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This Week’s Readings

MONDAY: Yay, George Saunders (TENTH OF DECEMBER). [Bookcourt, offsite]

TUESDAY: The Debutantes: Six Women Writers Discuss First-Time Publishing with Jen Doll, Kathleen Hale, Ariel Lawhon, Lindsey J. Palmer, Susan Rieger, and Helen Wan. [Housing Works]

WEDNESDAY: Leslie Jamison (THE EMPATHY EXAMS) in convo with Michelle Orange (THIS IS RUNNING FROM YOUR LIFE). [McNally Jackson]

THURSDAY: Brooklyn Book Launch for BOURBON: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN SPIRIT by Dane Huckelbridge. [Powerhouse]

FRIDAY: Enid Harlow (GOOD TO HER, a Prohibition-era historical novel). [Bluestockings]

Also, check out Kate Gavino’s (Last Night’s Reading) Instagram for some awesome drawings from Sunday’s Downtown Literary Festival.

Finally, this article made me feel a bit better about the world.

This Week’s Readings

MONDAY: Tova Mirvis (VISIBLE CITY) in convo with Lara Vapnyar (THE SCENT OF PINE). [Greenlight]

TUESDAY: Largehearted Boy’s Literary BFFs with Rebecca Serle (THE EDGE OF FALLING) and Leila Sales (THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE). [Mcnally Jackson]

WEDNESDAY: Essayist Sara Barron (THE HARM IN ASKING: MY CLUMSY ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUMAN RACE) with fellow authors Ophira Eisenberg (SCREW EVERYONE—best book title ever!) and Diana Spechler (SKINNY, WHO BY FIRE). [WORD]

THURSDAY: OCTOPUS! A Discussion of Animal Intelligence, Behavior—and Robots with Katherine Harmon Courage (OCTOPUS! THE MOST MYSTERIOUS CREATURE IN THE SEA), bio-robotics researcher Frank Grasso, animal intelligence scholar and philosopher Robert Lurz, and cephalopod behavior expert Jennifer Basil. [Housing Works]

FRIDAY: Riffing the Blues: Danny Kalb (guitarist and co-founder of The Blues Project) will play music and share tales with Community Bookstore co-owner Ezra Goldstein. [Community Bookstore, $10]

This Week’s Readings

MONDAY: A “literary cage match” with the Morning News Tournament of Books. Including Elif Batuman, Choire Sicha, Elliott Hold, Roger Hodge, John McElwee, Andrew Womack, and Rosecrans Baldwin. [Housing Works]

TUESDAY: Freerange Nonfiction with Lizz Winstead, Clifford Thompson, Morgan Parker, Melynda Fuller, Amber Drea, and Jeb Gleason-Allured. [CULTUREfix]

WEDNESDAY: MIXER Music and Reading Series turns seven! Celebrate with Alex Lemon, Anya Ulinich, Joanna Smith Rakoff, and Ocean Vuong. Plus music by Gillian. [Cake Shop]

THURSDAY: Valerie Martin (THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE) in convo with Mary Morris. [Center for Fiction]

FRIDAY: Deborah Feldman (EXODUS: A MEMOIR) n convo with Mark Jacobson. [Greenlight offsite at St. Joseph’s College]

On Sex, Love and the Novel (along with This Week’s Readings)


I meant to do a post on the excellent panel “Sex, Love and the Novel" at Housing Works last Thursday, which featured Kate Bolick, Emily Cooke, Parul Sehgal, Adelle Waldman, and moderator David Haglund. But now that I’m looking at my notes, it’s all a jumble of ideas and reading suggestions and opinions. So in a kind of (hopefully not too annoying) stream-of-conscious way, I’d like to share some of the discussions:

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This Week’s Readings

So in a bit of personal news: I got a new job!

I’ll be starting as a senior developmental editor at Bedford/St. Martin’s (an imprint of Macmillan) later this week. It was so surreal to clear out my cubicle at Elsevier on Friday, as I worked there for six years, first in Philly and then New York. I have some wonderful friends there who I’ll greatly miss (though I’m putting us on a monthly happy hour schedule). But I’m excited for the change, both in the work I’ll be doing — developing print and e-content for neat books such as this — and in the awesome team I’ll get to work with.

In my few days off between jobs, I’m planning to hit up the Met for the Warhol exhibit, catch a matinee of Lincoln, and attend a reading or two. My top options for literary events are after the jump!

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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


Well, I saw it. The Hunger Games, of course. I don’t read a lot of YA, but I remember how impressed I was when immersed in the book—it is just absolutely compelling. The movie (which my friends and I hurried to an hour early to find an empty theater, ha) was a great adaption, and it was somehow satisfying to hear the reactions of others in the audience who hadn’t read the book—mostly male gasps and mutterings like, “That’s not right.”

I do have to say, though, that it was highly disturbing. When reading about the unfolding of horrific events, there’s always that screen in place between the words and the resulting mental images. With a movie, there’s no such screen. A friend of mine who hadn’t read the book wasn’t convinced she liked the movie—and without having the buffer of already knowing the story, I could understand why.  (Especially when considering the brutality of certain teenagers today, as evidenced by the upcoming documentary Bully.) I appreciated a lot about the movie (strong female heroine, etc.), but it’s definitely not for children.

Speaking of YA, I wanted to mention a great post my friend just wrote in defense of low reading level books for high schoolers—which include The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, but also The Great Gatsby, Night and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Alright, on to readings for this week, which include Farzana Doctor, Vivek Shraya, Cheryl Strayed, Lauren Groff and Louis Begley.

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“The Anti-Foodie Foodies: Has Food Worship Jumped the Shark?”: Erica Wildes, Amanda Hesser, James Oseland, Annia Ciezadlo, Devanie Jackson and Tracie McMillan

So my notes from this meta-ish “anti-foodie foodie” event at Housing Works Tuesday night are a bit nonsensical (“fetishization of eating,” what?), but I wanted to mention panelist Tracie McMillan’s new book: The American Way of Eating. In the book, Tracie records her attempts to uncover what it takes to “eat well” in America, especially from the view of the working poor. At the panel, Tracie shared some fascinating stories, including working at the grocery section at Wal-Mart (a food titan), as well as earning less-than-minimum wage on a garlic farm. This is going on my reading list, for sure. Now, if I could just work on upgrading my meals beyond Trader Joe’s frozen foods…

"Behind the LongReads": New York Mag’s Dan P. Lee, Jessica Pressler and Wesley Yang, moderated by Adam Moss

A friend of mine has a bit of a thing for Adam Moss, EIC of New York Magazine. Thus I (happily) found myself at Housing Works on Wednesday night for “Behind the LongReads,” an event pairing long-form site LongReads with the magazine.

As moderator, Adam spoke with several NY contributing editors about working on pieces that have garnered awards and accolades. Wesley Yang, Jessica Pressler and Dan P. Lee discussed their articles, which focus on (respectively) the state of Asian-American life circa Tiger Mom, Ken Starr’s stripper wife, and the deceased owner of the violent “Travis the Chimpanzee.”

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