Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brooklyn Book Festival: What To Do, Where To Go

The Brooklyn Book Festival, on Sunday, September 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is bigger than ever this year -- with so many authors (more than 220), panels and events that it pays to plan ahead.

Besides panel discussions and readings, there will be young adult and children’s programming and a literary marketplace in Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza. Readings will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall, in Borough Hall Plaza and Columbus Park, at St. Francis College and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Go to the Events section of the Book Festival web site and pick out your authors and discussions. It's an easy ten minute or less walk between Borough Hall and St. Francis College or the Historical Society.

Build in extra time to pick up your tickets at the information booth at Borough Hall. (It seems that a booth will be located on Montague Street as well this year -- see below in the Where to Eat section.) Some events require tickets (those in the Borough Hall Courtroom and the St. Francis Auditorium) and some don't. Tickets are free but are only available one hour before each event, so be strategic if you think an event you really want to attend will be very popular.

Where to Eat:
Montague Street (it runs into Court Street right across from the Festival) will be holding a foodie celebration that merchants are calling a 'festival of nosh.' (More here) Visitors can taste their way up and down the street. The Montague Street BID says that tickets to the Book Festival's readings and literary discussions will be available at an info booth located right on the street. Plus the Martha Cardona Theater will be offering up free live opera.

How to Get Here:
Ground Zero for the fair will be at Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza, at the intersection of Joralemon and Court Streets, near Montague Street. Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall; R to Court Street; you can also take the A, C, F to Jay Street/Borough Hall and walk a couple of blocks. (Ask someone where Court Street is.)

Directions by car at at the Book Festival web site in the About Us section.

* * *
A Book Festival Sampler

Readings include:
Paul Auster (Man in the Dark), Russell Banks (The Reserve) Francine Prose (Goldengrove), Tao Lin (Shop Lifting from American Apparel), Yona Zeldis McDonough (Breaking the Bank), Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist), Jonathan Ames (The Double Life is Twice as Good) and more.

A few of the discussion panels:
- Jonathan Lethem and Mary Gaitskill in Conversation;
- Faith & Fiction with Benjamin Anastas, Rene Steinke and Chris Adrian;
- The International Graphic Novel with Guy Delisle (The Burma Chronicles), Peter Kuper (Diario de Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico) and Sarah Glidden (How To Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less), moderated by Matt Madden;
- Satire and Comic Relief in 2009 with Jeffery Rotter (The Unknown Knowns), Gary Shteyngart (Absurdistan) and Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake), moderated by New Yorker editor Ben Greenman (Superworse);
- And many more . . .

If You're Into Love or Food, or If You Love Food:
The Unstoppable Bestseller, featuring a panel of romance authors; a panel of love-lorn rappers, musicians and poets; and Feeding Love in NYC with Giulia Melucci (I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti), Michelle Maisto (The Gastronomy of Marriage) and Jonathon Deutsch (Gastropolis, Food & New York City); and more. Moderated by “Serious Eats” blogger Ed Levine.

The festival features a Tribute to Norman Mailer with author and journalist
Pete Hamill, Paul Holdengräber and Norris Church Mailer; as well as a reflection on the Legacies of John Updike and David Foster Wallace, with Lev Grossman (The Magicians) and Salon book critic Laura Miller (The Magician’s Book). Moderated by David Ulin, editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review.

For Kids:
Head to the Target Children’s Area with your 2-year-olds to 9-year-olds for with book readings, a performance of children’s classics by the Troupe Theatre and author signings.
- Judi Barrett (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Pickles to Pittsburgh);
- Mo Willems, creator of the world’s most famous pigeon and the early reader Elephant and Piggie;
- Victoria Kann, co-author of Pinkalicious and current bestseller Goldilicious;
And many, many more.

For Teens:
Youth Stoop is geared toward readers ages 10 – 18, features selections from fantasy and vampires to graphic novels and fiction about love.
- Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux; Because of Wynn Dixie) will read and discuss her new book The Magician’s Elephant together with Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm).
- Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak; Chains); and M.T. Anderson (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, National Book Award winner).
- Coe Booth (Kendra), Gayle Forman (If I Stay) and Matt de la Pena (We Were Here).
And many more

New York Comic Con (NYCC):
- A performance tent, guest presentations, guest autographing sessions and a dedicated marketplace area.

Photo of pile of books by Ian Wilson, Creative Commons license
Photos of Book festival by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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