They came, they swapped, they drank beer — and they discussed the difference between African and Latin American magical realism. Sunday afternoon’s Great Brokelyn Book Swap turned out to be a whole lot of brainy, rainy-day fun, and lucrative, in that free loot sense, owing to the fact that everyone pretty much adhered to the rules and brought high-quality titles. There were several Orhan Pamuk title sightings, along with Malcolm Gladwell, Don Delillo, and at least four Stieg Larssons….
Andrew Lindeman from the South Slope brought one book, Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up, and traded it for Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red. Why that one? “I read his book Snow and really liked it. It’s very lyric and he does a really nice job of capturing place. There’s a nice sonic quality to the book.” (We’re totally stealing “lyric” and “sonic” for our next book club meeting.)
Amber Marlow and Rob Blatt from Park Slope brought James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, a green bride’s guide and a few other titles and took home fistfulls of new reads including Rebecca Skloot’s Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Sloan Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Dave Egger’s Zeitoun.
Marye Cherry Butler, it turns out, was the one who brought Henrietta Lacks -- “a fantastic story,” she says — along with a bunch of Haruki Murakami books. She adopted Thomas Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem, while her companion Martijn Ten Bloemendal took home Kurt Vonnegut’s classic Breakfast of Champions.
Julie Turkewitz from Windsor Terrace brought a book of Pablo Neruda poems in Spanish and English and took home Dave Egger’s What is the What to reread. “I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book,” she said. “A friend gave it to me and I had to give it back to her.”
Liz Kaczmarczyk of Ditmas Park brought Collum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Khaleid Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Sons, and picked up Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone. “Bone” appetit, Liz! Everyone else, stay tuned for the next swap.