Our picks for the best of the 2014 Brooklyn Book Festival

Books in the best borough! (via BBF Flickr)
Books in the best borough! (via BBF Flickr)

September bring crisp fall air, back to school, leaves on the ground, and the Brooklyn Book Festival! Marty Markowitz may be gone, and we might not get to see Tony Danza rap again, but this year’s festival looks like it’s going to kick ass. There are also a lot of cool bookend events going the week leading up to the festival. We combed through the long list of events and found the ones that we think you should go to. Check them out below.

Monday, September 15

Yeah, there’s a cool movie starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, but the stupid thing sold out in like two hours. Anyway, book festivals are about words, which is why we suggest Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am. Half improv, half poetry reading, audience members are given crazy prompts like “octopi” and “puberty” and have to come up with their own hilarious slam poetry. 7 pm at Pacific Standard (Free).

Tuesday, September 16

Last year we suggested the Animal Farm Reading series, which is returning for 2014. But this Tuesday we’re hitting up New York Lies put on by the Liars League of New York (yes, that’s the name). Five talented New York actors will original stories from five up-and-coming writers. 7 pm at 68 Jay Street Bar (Free).

Wednesday, September 17

Whiskey on Wednesday? Why, yes! At Words on Whiskey, Kings County Distillery co-founder Colin Spoelman will talk whiskey and scandals, and read from his book Guide to Urban Moonshining. And at the end you get a tour of the distillery AND a tasting, so it’s totally worth the money. 6 pm at Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 ($5)

Thursday, September 18

Granta, Great Britain’s grand gazette, is celebrating their 128th issue, American Wild at Soda Bar. Granta contributors will read their “stories from the wild” and editor Sigrid Rausing will host. There’ll be refreshments, but bring cash for booze — and don’t get too wild. 7 pm at Soda Bar (Free but pre-reg required)

Friday, September 19

Last year we suggested the Brooklyn Indie Party, and it looks just as awesome this year. Akashic Books, Archipelago Books, BOMB Magazine, Electric Literature, Melville House, powerhouse Books, and many more star indie presses and publications are going to be there. This year they’ve got drinks, food, prizes, and a DJ spinning tunes. 7:30 pm at Greenlight Bookstore (Free)

Saturday, September 20

Saturday’s packed with events, including not one but TWO otter celebrations! But the real show is going to be Fantagraphic’s Family Tour at Bergen Street Comics. Meet and talk shop with cartoonists Eleanor Davis (How To Be Happy), Simon Hanselmann (Megahex), Jesse Reklaw (Couch Tag), and special guests Michael DeForge (Lose #6) and Patrick Kyle (Distance Mover). 8 pm at Bergen Street Comics (Free)

Sunday, September 21

The main event! There’s a LOT of stuff going on the day off the festival. Just name a subject and there will likely be a panel on it. These ones piqued our interest, though, and they might yours.

This being Brokelyn, we think you should see economist firebrand Naomi Klein talk about her new book This Changes Everything, which lays bare the truth about fossil fuels and climate change. 10 am on the main stage.

Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy and Baked bakery owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito will talk about how they quit their jobs to make good food and drink (and money!) in the DIY haven of Brooklyn. 1 pm at the Brooklyn Historical Society Library

Incredibly thorough and readable investigative journalist Eric Schlosser will discuss his works, Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, and his new book, Command and Control, about how close we came to major nuclear disasters. 2 pm at St. Francis McArdle

It says fiction on the cover, but, no matter how hard the author tries, all writing is informed by reality. Modern literary greats Francine Prose, Paul Auster, and Joyce Carol Oates will gather to discuss how real life has inspired their writing. Hey, maybe they’ll all publish novels next about speaking on a panel. 3:30 p.m. at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church

Just like you we have three unwritten novels in a folder on our desktop, which is why we’re attending The Writer’s Life panel. Salman Rushdie, Siri Hustvedt, and Catherine Lacey are going to talk about finding time to write, getting inspiration and their rituals. Though we’ll probably miss half of it daydreaming about being up there on the dais… 5 p.m. at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church

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