02/17/17 2:35pm

2016 ended its reign of terror by taking one last icon from us: BookCourt, the beloved Cobble Hill bookstore closed its doors after 35 years on New Year’s Eve. But packaged with that gloomy cloud was a tantalizing silver lining: author and former BookCourt employee Emma Straub announced she and her husband would pick up the mantle and open a new bookstore in the neighborhood. And now it’s really happening! Straub posted on Instagram yesterday that the new store, Books Are Magic (aw), will open at 225 Smith St. at the corner of Butler this spring. There’s no official opening date yet but construction is well underway according to Instagram pictures. We’ll keep you updated on an official date when we hear more. (more…)

12/06/16 10:59am
We'll miss these shelves. Via Facebook.

We’ll miss these shelves. Via Facebook.

BookCourt announced today it’s closing after 35 (!!) years as the literary heart of Cobble Hill and surrounding neighborhoods, and it feels a particularly spiteful match thrown onto the already gasoline-drowned 2016. The press release the owners sent out didn’t cite a specific reason other than they were ready to move on with their lives. The store survived the gentrification and yuppiefication of the neighborhood, and seemed to stand strong even as a Barnes and Noble opened just a few blocks away. Its last day will, fittingly, be the last day of 2016: New Year’s Eve.

BUT, this is one piece of 2016 news that has an actual good news clapback. The spirit of BookCourt won’t be gone forever because two of the store’s acolytes, wife and husband duo Emma Straub and Michael Fusco-Straub, also announced today they’re opening a new bookstore somewhere nearby.

“Books are magic, and we want to make sure that this neighborhood is positively coated in bookish fairydust for decades to come,” the couple wrote in their announcement. Details on when and where their store will be are still to come, but Straub worked at BookCourt for years so we imagine the store will live on in some form in her new shop. Still, people are taking the BookCourt news particularly hard. (more…)

06/03/14 10:44am
books beneath the bridge

The Patti Smith appearance from 2012 still pretty much says it all. Photo by Julienne Schaer, via Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn is nothing if not literary, and we also love our parks. So it makes sense we’ve made Brooklyn Bridge Park’s outdoor summer reading series Books Beneath the Bridge successful enough the past two years that it’s coming back for 2014. So we’ve got another year of all your favorite local bookstores hosting readings at the park’s Pier 1 Granite Prospect. (more…)

09/30/13 10:00am
Your pets are there for you all the time, so why not do something nice for them?

Your pets are there for you all the time, so why not do something nice for them?

1. Got rare vinyl? Got vinyl that will make people think you’re cooler than them? Then bring it to the Saint Catherine and set up shop at their turntable, because it’s “Bring Your Own Vinyl” night (Monday)

2. Journalist George Packer pops in to BookCourt to talk about his new bookThe Unwinding, a book about how we’re all basically screwed. Maybe the sequel will be happier? (Monday)

3. The Moth visits Greenlight, where they’ll have stories from past Moth champions and also a couple from everyday schlubs like you. Isn’t that special (Monday) (more…)

07/01/13 8:50am
You're alright, America. Photo by Derrick Sanskrit Kennelty-Cohen

You’re alright, America. Photo by Derrick Sanskrit Kennelty-Cohen

1. Coney Island’s “Flicks on the Beach” kicks off with a screening of Little Fugitive, the story of an adorable moppet who’s hiding from the consequences of what he thinks is A MURDER (Monday)

2. Or if you like your movies indoors and with half-price Sixpoint, check out Absence, the strange story of a disappearing pregnancy (Monday)

3. Make some friendship bracelets at Brooklyn Launchpad, so you can keep track of who your friends are. Put a tiny GPS tracker in them and you can keep track of where your friends are (Monday) (more…)

01/10/13 7:19am
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion hits the Bell House Sunday

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion hits the Bell House Sunday

1. Check out Brooklyn Launchpad’s collection of animation from diverse sources: people who are alive and people who are dead (Friday)

2. Venom is usually deadly, or makes you mildly uncomfortable, but this is just a dance party. So actually, it could do that second one still (Friday)

3. As another animation option, you can check out Heavy Metal at Videology and pretend it’s not erotic at all, because it’s a cartoon for God’s sake (Friday) (more…)

See Jonathan Ames and ask him a bunch of questions about Jason Schwartzman

See Jonathan Ames and ask him a bunch of questions about Jason Schwartzman

Brooklyn has helped foster an incredible literary scene, to the point where it was called a “vertically integrated factory for literature.” Providing a home and a great environment for such a wealth of talent is good for more than sticking year end “Best Of” lists on the proverbial Brooklyn fridge: it also means that something as simple as a reading can be a stacked fundraiser, like the case of Book Court’s All Day Sandy Benefit. (more…)

09/14/12 7:00am

Book Festival 2011 via Flickr’s Navdeep Dhillon

This year’s Brooklyn Book Festival is poised to take over our fair lit-loving borough on Sept. 23, with more than 280 national and international authors presenting over a hundred events over fourteen stages around Brooklyn. And this year is particularly star-studded: Our picks of the best of the fest include a discussion about the future of marriage and monogamy with sex columnist Dan Savage and The Atlantic‘s infamous spinster Kate Bolick, contemplating the artisanal-everything trend in Brooklyn with David Rees, who wrote a book on artisanal pencil sharpening, and, of course, Brooklyn’s own Tony Danza in conversation with everyone’s favorite Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.  A full schedule is available at the site but here are our top ten picks for the 2012 Festival (and don’t forget our book swap after party with drink specials  too!) (more…)

So you finished college however many years ago and you’ve been done with learning ever since. High five, sports fan! Still, your brain has felt a little flat lately. Well don’t worry because starting Sunday you can find a solution to your problem at Public Assembly when it hosts Et cetera 2012. Not just an informational campaign on how to spell the oft-abbreviated phrase, Et cetera promises a “week-long version of a state-funded liberal arts college” packed into the building’s three rooms, and seems poised to deliver with (mostly free) events running Sunday to Saturday, from bad feminist readings to short lectures on topics like “The French” and the history of beer to a ladies-focused investigative journalism talk. Celebs such as Rachel Dratch, Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Ames will be there too.

But with so many lectures, discussion and dance parties to go to, which should you choose? Join us after the jump for our official Brokelyn picks. (more…)

12/12/11 10:05am

Michael Showalter has some wet hot American gift ideas. Photos by Doug Campbell.

What do local authors and lit celebs Emma Straub, Michael Showalter and David Rees think you should give for the holiday? If you were at Greenpoint’s Word Bookstore this weekend, you would have found out in person. But if you missed it, we were there to collect their suggestions; plus we asked for some cheap gift ideas, for your non-bookish friends, and — in one case — got a lesson in artisinal pencil sharpening. Book suggestions ranged from classics to new releases, and cheap gift ideas ranged from the free (a sonnet) to the practical (batteries) to the awesome (gift certificates to a bar) to the creepy (cat hair crafts). (more…)