The beginning of fall in Brooklyn means donning blazers, encountering pumpkin spiced everything, switching from iced coffee to hot coffee, and the all-week literary carnival that is the Brooklyn Book Festival. While the actual festival takes place on Sunday, September 21, the events that lead up to the day are as much fun as the day itself. So we present a guide to all the parties, readings, literary scavenger hunts (yup!), and other book-ish events on the week leading up to the official party.
Monday, September 15
Our Pick: The Electric Literature/Buzzfeed Books/PEN America/Tumblr Kickoff Party
What’s that about? A killer combination of literary hosts throw a huge Brooklyn shindig, complete with free drinks, dancing, and My Struggle Madlibs.
Where/When? The Paper Box (17 Meadow St. in East Willamsburg) from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm.
Other Things We’d Check Out: A free advanced screening of This Is Where I Leave You, the Jonathon Tropper film adaptation featuring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Jane Fonda and a panel of n + 1 editors at BookCourt talking about the first ten years of the magazine.
Tuesday, September 16
Our Pick: A Place for Black Literature’s annual BookEnd Reading
What’s that about? Four writers from the African diaspora, including Brooklyn 20 pick poet Saeed Jones, read from their work and talk about African and African-American literature. It’s co-hosted by the excellent Franklin Park Reading Series, and the price of admission ($6) includes a beer.
Where/When? Franklin Park Beer Garden in Crown Heights, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Other Things We’d Check Out: A tribute to Walt Whitman at WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint, Bone Clocks author David Mitchell in conversation at St. Joseph’s College, Animal Farm Reading Series featuring Gawker’s Leah Finnegan and Hamilton Nolan and Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen at Over the Eight.
Wednesday, September 17
Our Pick: L.I.U. Literary Scavenger Hunt
What’s That About? What is sounds like: A scavenger hunt with literary clues, complete with bookish prizes. It’s an earlier event, so you can go scavenge and still have time to go to another event later.
Where/When? 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at LIU Brooklyn, One University Plaza
Other Things We’d Check Out: Berl’s Poetry Trivia at Berl’s Poetry Shop, H.O.W. Journal Launch and Fundraiser featuring readings by Justin Taylor and Merritt Tierce, Words on Whiskey with the Kings County Distillery
Thursday, September 18
Our Pick: Brooklyn Bound: Writing Kings County
What’s That About? A panel of writers, including Evan Hughes of Literary Brooklyn fame, novelist Yelena Akhtiorska (Panic in a Suitcase) and Mark Chiusano (Marine Park: Stories), talk about the challenges and delights about writing in and about Brooklyn. You can see why we might be biased towards this one.
Where/When? Brooklyn Museum, 7:00 pm. Tickets are $15.
Friday, September 19
Our Pick: If you’re looking for carousing and schmoozing with literary folks: The Fifth Annual Brooklyn Indie Party. If you’d prefer a conversation about an (awesome-looking) feminist journalist’s memoir: The launch of Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable Things at PowerHouse arena.
What’s That About? The first: A big throwdown of independent publishers and magazines, from Electric Literature to Archipelago Books to Tin House, with free food and drinks. The second: Laurie Penny in conversation with Molly Crabapple and gender politics in the 21st century.
Where/When? The Indie Party is at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene at 7:30; Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple are at the PowerHouse Arena in DUMBO at 7:00 pm.
Other Things We’d Check Out: A vodka-drenched discussion of contemporary Russian literature over dinner at Karloff Restaurant and a costumes-encouraged evening of cocktails, poetry, and dinner celebrating the Satanic Verses of Bienvenio Bones Banez, Jr. at WAH Center.
Saturday, September 20
Our Pick: Goosebumps author R.L. Stine reads in Green-Wood Cemetary
What’s That About? Fulfilling all your childhood dreams and nightmares simultaneously
Where/When? Green-Wood Cemetary at 2:00 pm.
Sunday, September 21
What’s That About? Bad Feminist and An Untamed State author Roxane Gay (who we interviewed in August) talks with New York Times columnist and Jezebel founder Anna Holmes.
Where/When? BookCourt in Cobble Hill at 7:00 pm
Other Things We’d Check Out: Photoville’s Brooklyn Book Festival afterparty, complete with beer and food.
For the full list of Bookend Events, head to the Brooklyn Book Festival site.