With fall back-to-school themes inundating all areas of life, October is that time of year to transition your outdoor drinking routine to something more erudite and sweater-worthy. But as working hours grow longer and daylight peters out earlier, making the time to explore new haunts gets harder. A local happy hour is always an option, but the potential for mind-expansion is limited when you’re downing well drinks while watching your buddy karaoke to Ariana Grande.
Enter book readings, the best cover for taking the edge off while engaging in light brainwork since trivia nights and nerdy bingo.
Our borough is home to both some of the best authors and independent bookstores in the country. You’ve Got Mail may have been set in Manhattan, but we have our own local Fox Books and Meg Ryans to root for. And since this is Brooklyn, after all, we show our support by pairing intellectual curiosity with alcohol (be it free boxed wine at the event itself, or a quick trip to the local wine store across the street).
Here’s a selection of boozy book events the month of October has in (book)store for Brooklyn readers:
Marcy Dermansky presents The Red Car, in conversation with Emily St. John Mandel
Monday, October 10 at 7:30pm
686 Fulton St., Fort Greene
On the day before her new book’s official sale date, this Fort Greene establishment will host Marcy Dermansky to discuss The Red Car with Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven. The Red Car is about a woman stuck in a rut in Queens who finds out that her old boss and mentor died in a car accident. Upon flying to California for the funeral she “discovers that her boss has bequeathed to her the red sports car in which she died,” and embarks on an adventure in the car. All those contemplating setting out on a similar west coast road-trip once slush season hits can mingle at the wine reception that follows.
Vol. 1 Brooklyn presents Tobias Carroll, with Jason Diamond
Thursday, October 13 at 7:30pm
143 7th Ave., Park Slope
Tobias Carrol, the managing editor of Vol 1. Brooklyn, a Brooklyn literary magazine, will be presenting his new novel Reel, a story about two people whose lives collide at a punk show in Seattle, and the events that unravel after that meeting. He’ll be joined by Jason Diamond, a co-founder of Vol 1. Brooklyn, to discuss the book. There will be a snack table and free drinks at the event. For those who don’t mind feeling a little hungover on a Friday, Tobias Carrol mentioned on the Facebook event page that he suspects “folks will be venturing to High Dive, should anyone be craving an afterparty.”
“Us & Them” Translator Reading Series
Saturday, October 15 at 8pm
770 Hart St., Bushwick
This event is a part of a series put on by Molasses Books, the bar-cafe-bookstore in Bushwick that was sent from the gods for those of us wise enough to recognize that reading and drinking should not be mutually exclusive activities. In this series, literary translators read some of their own work, as well as the pieces they’ve translated. Molasses Books often opens the floor to DJs and late night dancing after the readings, and drinks are relatively cheap with beer and wine staying in the $3-$7 range. This event is perfect for people who can make the seamless shift from discussing Berlin writers to replicating Berlin nightlife.
If your reading interests lean more Food52 than Fahrenheit451, this book event featuring local food writer Aleksandra Crapanzano will likely speak to you. She will be reading from her new book, The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes, and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City. She will also host an audience Q&A and be available to sign copies of her book. It’s usually up to the author and publishers whether food and drinks will be served at BookCourt, but judging by the contents of the event all signs point to snacks. If not, buy a cheap bottle from Brooklyn Wine Exchange a block away, and go forth to cook up a magical London-inspired meal for a Friday night in.
Paula Mejia presents Psychocandy 33 1/3, with Rob Sheffield and Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm
126 Franklin St., Greenpoint
Self described “texpat” and arts writer Paula Mejia will be celebrating the launch of her new book about The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy album at this cool northerly bookstore in Greenpoint. The book is part of 33 ⅓, a Bloomsbury series of short books about albums. Meija will be joined by fellow music lovers Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone) and Kristen Yoonsoo Kim (Complex) to talk about her book and generally geek out about music. Wine is typically served at these events, but should it run out head a few blocks south to Saint Vitus to further reaffirm what you already knew: rock isn’t dead yet.
Reductress presents How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having it All–And Then Some! with Anna Drezen, Beth Newell & Sarah Pappalardo
Tuesday, October 25th at 7pm
28 Adams St., Dumbo
Presented by the women from Reductress, the satirical feminist website, this book launch will be a celebration of all things women.The Definitive Guide to Having it All–And Then Some! stays true to the tone of the Reductress and is filled with illustrations and photos to teach women how to “battle [the] patriarchy better than everybody else.” Free drinks will be available while supplies last, and the open warehouse-y space is the perfect location to walk around with your girlfriends and practice your power strut (without stepping on male toes).
For more bookish tendencies, follow Liz Robau on Twitter: @lizrobau
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