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This Week’s Readings

Thanks to literary Tumblr superstar Rachel Fershleiser for mentioning BookStalker last week as a resource. I agree, it is hard to find ALL NY lit events in one place. BookBoroughing has gone a bit quiet (though I can imagine it coming back in the new year) and Timeout NY used to have a nice lit search feature that has since gone away. I usually rely on bookmarked event pages of bookstores and lit centers (/their monthly or weekly emails), along with my Facebook events page.

For this week, here are my top picks:

MONDAY: Franklin Park Reading Series, featuring 2013 NBA nominee Tom Drury (PACIFIC), Okey Ndibe (FOREIGN GODS, INC.), Sean H. Doyle (THE DAY WALT DISNEY DIED), and Lauren Belski (WHATEVER USED TO GROW AROUND HERE), with music by Heiko Julien (I AM READY TO DIE A VIOLENT DEATH). [Franklin Park]

TUESDAY: Launch party for CRABTREE, a picture book by Jon & Tucker Nichols. [Ziehersmith]

WEDNESDAY: MIXER Reading and Music Series with readings by April Heck, Cynthia Lowen, Bojan Louis, and Sara Sams, with music by the Shitty Pixies. [Cake Shop]

THURSDAY: Translator Christine Schwartz Hartley on COMMENTARY by French Surrealist Marcelle Sauvegeot. [BookCourt]

FRIDAY: Mike Tyson on his memoir, UNDISPUTED TRUTH. [Greenlight, offsite at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation]

SATURDAY: Hilton Als (WHITE GIRLS) in convo with Tin House editor Rob Spillman. [Community Bookstore, offsite at the Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center, 10 Grand Army Plaza]

SUNDAY: Lit at Lark: Moments of Darkness with Jessica Francis Kane (THE CLOSE), Shya Scanlon (IN THIS ALONE IMPULSE), and Rachel Sherman (LIVING ROOM). [Lark]

BookStalked: Penina Roth of the Franklin Park Reading Series


The Franklin Park Reading Series is one of the most popular reading series in Brooklyn, and I’m constantly amazed by the big names it draws in (seriously, every time). Curator Penina is my social media guru, but I was also impressed to find out that she single-handedly got the series going — after meeting with various Crown Heights inhabitants to find out what they were interested in (literature and bars, natch). After the jump, Penina shares stories about how she started FPRS,  some of its most memorable moments, and, of course, the awesome events to look for this spring.  

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This Week’s Readings

MONDAY: Tonight’s Franklin Park Reading Series will feature last week’s BookStalkee Karolina Waclawiak (How to Get Into the Twin Palms), Tim Horvath (Understories), Dylan Nice (Other Kinds), Margarita Korol (Spoils of War: Ode to a Refusenik Mother), and Lars Iyer (Spurious, Dogma & Exodus). [FRANKLIN PARK]

TUESDAY: Fiction Addiction’s new sister nonfiction series Big Umbrella will kick off with Rosie Schaap (Drinking with Men), Christopher Bollen (Lightning People), and Vol. 1 Brooklyn’s Jason Diamond. [2A]

WEDNESDAY: Manil Suresh (The Death of Vishnu) will discuss his newest, The City of Devi, with Rajesh Parameswaran (I Am an Executioner). [MCNALLY JACKSON]

THURSDAY: Can’t beat the name: “It’s Like my Heart has Sciatica: Smith Mag’s Annual Love & Hearthbreak Story Show.” Contributors sharing tales of “shattered relationships” will include Ophira Eisenberg, David Crabb, A.J. Jacobs, Catie Lazarus, Abby Ellin, and Bryan Christian. $10. [92Y TRIBECA]

FRIDAY: I’ve always wanted to see A. S. Byatt read — and now I’ll finally get my chance! The author of Possession and The Children’s Book, along with Tracy K. Smith (Life on Mars), will and be interviewed by WNYC’s Leonard Lopate. [POWERHOUSE ARENA]

This Week’s Readings


What have you been reading lately? I recently took this Instagram pic to show my current library books. (Note: I also buy a good amount of books, especially by new authors, but the NYPL truly has ANY BOOK you could imagine. It is magical.) I’m about 80% of the way through the first draft of my current novel, which has a decidedly feminist/political undercurrent. You can probably see this in some of my reading choices (The Worst of Times: Illegal Abortion—Survivors, Practitioners, Coroners Talk about its Horrors; The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion).

One of the coolest things about writing fiction is the ability to throw in whatever fascinates you, and then seeing how those interests intertwine to form your characters/plot and themes. For this book, I’ve been ponderin’ the following: mothers/daughters, celebrityism in the digital age, fundamental Christianity, and women’s reproductive rights. There’s a still lot of writing and editing to be done, but I’m quite excited about it.

This week in readings: Franklin Park, Literary BFFs, bookshop talk, Christopher Bram, and a tribute to Louise Glück.

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This Week’s Readings

Well. These past few weeks have been pretty nuts, to say the least. For me personally, things feel mostly back to normal, but I know A LOT of people are still facing the aftereffects of Sandy. From an article today: Tens of thousands of houses were damaged in the area. New York officials have said that 20,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers may have been left homeless by the storm. Please consider donating if you haven’t already — there’s still so many displaced and newly homeless people who need our support.

On a happier note, how ‘bout that election last week? What an incredible night. I was especially elated to see Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin become the first openly gay Senator.

This week holds some exciting events — including one featuring Close Friend and Famous Author Phil Edwards. And next Saturday I’ll be partaking in the Moby-Dick Marathon, reading literally alongside rock stars like Jonathan Ames, Myla Goldberg, Rick Moody, and Paul Dano! More on these and other events after the jump.

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This Week’s Readings

Wow, what a beautiful day in New York! Makes it so much easier to get up in the morning when it’s not pouring like crazy outside. There’s a lot of fun stuff going on this week, and it was difficult  to narrow it down. But I did! My top picks include Franklin Park, a post-dating debut, a new literary salon, a reading amongst friends, and something called CLOG: DATA SPACE.

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BookStalked: Mira Ptacin

This week’s BookStalked comes with a very bittersweet announcement.

Mira Ptacin is without a doubt one of the coolest people I’ve met in the literary scene in NYC—she’s SO warm and friendly and funny and smart. She’s also an insanely talented writer (I told everyone I know to read this recent essay of hers in Guernica, which is an excerpt from her upcoming memoir) AND she founded the popular reading series Freerange Nonfiction.

It was therefore a surprise to hear that Mira and Freerange will be moving to Portland, Maine next month! This news includes some great opportunities: Freerange will be teaming up with the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, spreading even more nonfiction love, and Mira will be better able to focus on her writing. Though New York’s not an easy city to leave, Mira is able to go with the joy of time/experience well-spent:

I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to: harnessed my writing chops, made a mark in the literary community, and helped start something I’m proud of; I have a dream agent and my memoir is currently with editors…so I’m very happy to go on to the next phase of my life! I also picked up a husband and two dogs along the way, got my MFA, ghostwrote a bestseller, got bangs, and made some of the most delicious and cherished friendships I could have asked for.

After the jump, Mira reflects back on her NYC reading experiences, which include Susan Orlean getting sassy, bitter jazz musicians, Seth Fried wearing a dog suit for a good cause, a death threat (yikes!), an amazingly complete readings listings, and the one event the clinched her decision to change zip codes.

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