From the best podcasts to the best soul-crushing novels, here’s our picks for Brooklyn’s best in books and media.
Best Book that Reminds You How Soul-Crushing Office Work Is: The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
Best Genre-Bending Short Stories: Upright Beasts by Lincoln Michel
Best New BK-philic Blog: Hey Ridge
Former Brooklyn Magazine Editor Henry Stewart is from Bay Ridge, and he loves his ‘hood, and he loves delving into the quirks and intrigues that have long made his streets so beloved. His newish, smart, charmingly investigative blog is devoted to all of that.
Best Book to Weep to on the Subway: The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
Best Book for Worsening Your Bed Bug Phobia: Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the Worls by Brooke Borel
Best Local Literary Podcast: The Catapult
New works by authors we love—and some we’d yet to discover—are read by the authors themselves for this bi-weekly podcast, which is an awesome way to keep up with the latest in literary talent.
Best Local Literary Podcast that Is So Much More than a Local Literary Podcast: Lit Up
Hosted by Emily Gould and Angela Ledgerwood, this smart and lively and, ok, frequently fucking hilarious podcast features conversations with authors like Lidia Yuknavitch, Jon Ronson, and Nell Zink, all of whom talk about their books, yes, but also kind of everything, which easily makes Lit Up one of our favorite lit-related developments in Brooklyn this year.
Best Old Brooklyn Book to Revisit: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Not all of our beloved childhood books age as well as we’d like (ahem, To Kill a Mockingbird), but Smith’s look at early 20th century Williamsburg remains as potently moving as ever.
Best Equal Parts Goofy and Smart Podcast: Another Round
This podcast from BuzzFeed is one of our favorite listens, and the perfect thing to turn on when riding the subway—provided you don’t mind laughing out loud in front of strangers. Hosts Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu are consistently insightful about topics ranging from identity to friendship to male strippers.
Best Newish Book To Make You Concerned About the Physical Integrity of Most of Brooklyn’s Infrastructure: Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman
Best Zine: AdHoc
A zine for the music- and art-lovers among us (that’s everyone, right?) AdHoc manages to pull off the perfect mixture of long form stories and artful spreads in a consistently compelling manner.
Most Mysterious podcast: The Mystery Show
Host Starlee Kine tackles the day’s pressing questions, things like: “How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?” and “Why is that vanity plate so creepy?” It’s smart, funny, and eminently listenable. Plus, you know, all your deepest, darkest questions are answered!
Best Old New York Book to Revisit: Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell
Best Book to Read During $1 Oyster Happy Hour: The Oyster War by Summer Brennan