09/16/16 3:00pm
Words to live by: 9 Brooklyn celebs share their fall reading recommendations

Via Flickr user proimos.

That slight tinge of chill in the air (or at least the slight lack of oppressive humidity) means fall has finally pulled up its moving van and started unloading its stuff into our lives. We’ll miss summer, but the fall crisp snaps our academic minds back out of their sun-soaked slumber. We file away beach reads and reach instead for books that will challenge our brains or take us on long, cozy adventures. It’s the season we bring our books to read in bars and step up our subway reading game.

This Sunday, the fall reading season kicks into high gear with the return of the annual Brooklyn Book Festival, a free day of readings, author panels and other events, all centered around a street fair of publishers and booksellers. Choosing the right read to kick off the fall can be overwhelming, so we checked in with a few of our favorite Brooklyn-based comedians, musicians, models and booksellers to see what they’re reading right now. We asked not just for  new releases but for anything that matches the mood of the season or counts as necessary reading right now. Here are their picks; make sure to pick one up at your favorite local bookstore! (more…)

09/14/16 3:40pm
Stacks on stacks on stacks. Via Verso Books.

Stacks on stacks on stacks. Via Verso Books.

In the midst of all this political razzmatazz where Hillary is tripping (literally) and Trump is mongering (lying) you know what Brooklyn needs? Socialism! Or at least a jolt of philosophical thought from the mother of all leftist political book-sellers, Brooklyn’s Verso Books, which is holding a huge 50 percent-off sale right now. You can get books that are 100+ pages of feminist thought, social critique and architectural analysis for as low as $5. Are we lighting your liberal arts souls on fire yet? (more…)

09/12/16 3:28pm
Do the write thing: 10 things not to miss at the Brooklyn Book Festival this year

Bring on the books! Via Flickr user Betty Tsang.

The Brooklyn Book Festival is necessary methadone that helps wean us off quitting summer cold turkey. The day-long event on Sunday reminds us why fall in New York is pretty great too, as we put away the tank tops and jorts and instead pull up our big pile of books and don our best reading flannels. The annual festival is Bonnaroo for Brooklyn book worms and Lollapalooza for lit lovers, an all-you-can-eat buffet of free readings, talks and author appearance that takes over downtown Brooklyn, jam-packed with stars and illuminati of the printed word. With dozens of events on the docket this year that include heavyweights like Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie and Jacqueline Woodson, it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re unprepared.

We made a guide to help you navigate the vast library of choices. Here are Brokelyn’s top 10 picks for what not to miss at the Brooklyn Book Festival this year so you can take in the best of the fest, from important discussions of gentrification and voting to a fun journey into the intersection of literature and comedy. All the events are free and entrance is first-come, first-served.  (more…)

08/29/16 3:59pm
2016 eagles lit prize landscape 1200px

The 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize Shortlists were announced today.

Brooklyn is probably second only to Manhattan when it comes to literary cachet — though you’ll find plenty who say Brooklyn has taken over the top spot in recent years. The borough is crawling with literary stars and wannabe authors who are clearly writing what they know. Brooklyn is so woven into the fabric of modern letters that almost everyone knows what you mean when you call something a “Brooklyn book”. Or do they? What makes a book très Brooklyn? Is it just using the borough as a backdrop? Is it the anxious internal ruminations of Ben Lerner’s characters or mysterious foreboding of Paul Auster’s Cobble Hill? Or is it the autobiographical Williamsburg novel à la Tropic of Capricorn and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

Today the Brooklyn Public Library announced the short list for the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, which takes on the challenge of answering that very question. Now in its second year, two prizes are awarded to the “most Brooklyn” fiction and nonfiction books recently released. The winners each get a $2,500 prize and bragging rights for being most in tune with the city’s most populous borough.

We asked the shortlist committee chairs, Krissa Corbett Cavouras (fiction) and Mark Daly (nonfiction) what they thought made the books on their list deserve this distinction. Both are Brooklyn Public Library librarians, both serious readers, both lovers of Brooklyn, and both well-qualified to know the essence of a Brooklyn book. The two committees Corbett Cavouras and Daly chaired were made up of Brooklyn librarians who volunteered for the task of choosing three books for each short list. They read all 13 books nominated by Brooklyn bookstores in their category and convened to debate which ones should move on to the final judging.

“Each of these books has something to offer, a new way of looking at the world, a new way of thinking about Brooklyn,” Daly said of the two long lists. Corbett Cavouras said “that in a couple of years [these lists] will be a mini collection of great books that speak to Brooklyn themes.”

The committees evaluated their books based on three criteria: whether the book is set in or about Brooklyn; whether the author a Brooklyn native or resident; and the most subjective: does it embody the “Brooklyn spirit?” None were absolute requirements, but Corbett Cavouras and Daly both found determining the Brooklyn spirit was the most important — and interesting — to consider. (more…)

01/20/16 4:32pm
Toni Morrison is coming to town and you better have your library card.

Toni Morrison is coming to town and you better have your library card.

Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate, literary hero and one of the only good things you were forced to read in high school, is coming to Brooklyn. She’s doing a discussion and reading from her new book God Help the Child, at the Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope on Feb. 2. If you want to buy tickets, too bad, because they’ve been sold out for awhile. But the Brooklyn Public Library, which is cosponsoring the event has a few FREE tickets to raffle off this week. Find out how to enter below.  (more…)

11/20/14 4:21pm
powerhouse on 8th

Prepare to save big, ye who enter here.

Do you need to do some holiday shopping for nerds who love to read books. Ugh, the worst, right? Who can read in this Golden Age of Television we’re living in? Well, if you know some people who want books, you should do a little early holiday shopping next week at powerHouse on 8th (1111 8th Avenue, Park Slope), because they’re celebrating their one-year anniversary by offering 20% off all the books and merchandise in the store. (more…)

06/26/14 10:05am
oyster

Can you write something simple yet elegant and makes Millennials actually want to read? via Facebook

Do you love to read? Do you love to read so much that you’re kept awake at night by thoughts about how other people should read more? That sounds a little weird to be honest, but hey, do you, and use that weird passion in a career devoted to books as a copywriter at Oyster. Oyster, for those of you who don’t know, is a Netflix-like service that streams an unlimited number of e-books at a time, instead of episodes of Breaking Bad, so you’re paying for a library to come to your phone. (more…)

06/09/14 9:47am
summer reading

Kind of like this, but at a much louder, more crowded beach. via Flickr user Haceme un 14

Yep, it’s the season for beach reads and summer reading lists. We may be stuck in our cubicles but our minds are on a tropical island somewhere, Singapore Sling in one hand and sexy summah romance novel in the other. Or if you’re like me, you’re in the shaded backyard of a bar hoping that cute girl drinking a beer one the table over there will inquire about your Norton Critical Edition of Don Quixote (the Ormsby translation, naturally) and reveal that she’s a learned scholar in all things Cervantes and would certainly love to get together for drinks and talk about 17th century European literature how’s Tuesday sound perfect here’s my number.

So what’s the rest of team Brokelyn reading this summah? (more…)

11/22/13 11:29am
Emma Straub could help you find your next favorite novel.

Emma Straub could help you find your next favorite novel at WORD.

Authors across the nation will be doing some heavy lifting on the retail front November 30th. As part of Indies First, writers will be slinging hardcovers at local bookstores to spur business and keep some of those Amazon dollars in out of Seattle. Of course Brooklyn, well known for its varied cast of established and up-and-coming authors, is taking part. On “Small Business Saturday” Bergen Street ComicsCommunity BookstoreGreenlight BookstoreThe POWERHOUSE ArenaPOWERHOUSE on 8th, and WORD will be staffed by some of our favorite local authors. (more…)

11/21/13 10:50am
greg gutfeld not cool

Being uncool is serious business

From politics to the personal, from fashion to food, from the campus to the locker room, the desire to be cool has infected  all aspects of our lives. At its most harmless, it is annoying. At its worst, it is deadly, on a massive scale.  The Cool are the termites of life, infiltrating every nook and cranny and destroying it from within. The Cool report the news, write the scripts, teach our children, run our government—and each day they pass judgment on those who don’t worship their coolness.  The cool fawn over terrorists, mock the military, and denigrate employers. They are, in short, awful people.

In  Not Cool,  Greg Gutfeld, host of Red Eye and cohost of The Five, and bestselling author of The Joy Of Hate, lays out the battle plan for reclaiming the real American ideal of cool (building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibilities for your actions, and leaving other people alone to live as they damn well please).  Not Cool fights back against the culture of phonies, elitists, and creeps who want your soul. It’s not a book, it’s a weapon—and one should be armed with it at all times.

– Product description for Greg Gutfeld’s Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You

“The Cool report the news”? Has Greg Gutfeld ever met a reporter? Anyway, we obviously cannot wait for this book.