We are so excited about tomorrow night’s launch party for Emily St. John Mandel’s new book, her second novel – THE SINGER’S GUN. Emily’s first novel, LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL is now out in paperback and we have copies of both books for sale.

Here’s what our manager Stephanie had to say about the new book: “Mandel’s new novel, like LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL, is practically bashful about how clever and well-constructed it is. So let me tell you. It has a subtle grace, marvelous characters, and places that are just as alive as the people. And like MONTREAL, there are many scenes and images from it that are still with me. I think I will never pass an glass-windowed office building without thinking about this book.”

And here’s what Emily herself has to say about Greenpoint, where she used to live and write:

I came upon Greenpoint by accident, at the beginning of 2003. I’d just come down from Montreal with two or three suitcases, not much money, no job, and no social security number—I was prone to impractical international migrations in my early twenties—and my sublet was only for two weeks. I needed an apartment.

On my third or fourth night in the city, I was talking to the waitresses at a certain Irish bar near the river—I knew most of them from the five months I’d lived in Manhattan during the previous year—on the theory that waitresses, perhaps especially waitresses who also happen to be illegal aliens, generally have need of cheap real estate and might have some tips on cheap-yet-not-unbelievably-dangerous neighborhoods. They suggested Williamsburg.

The next day I took the L Train to Brooklyn and wandered the unfamiliar stretch of Bedford Avenue in the February sunlight, looking for roommate-wanted flyers. I called the cheapest one, which turned out to not be in Williamsburg at all, but on a quiet corner in the northernmost part of Greenpoint. I moved in a week later. I could see Queens from my bedroom window.

I lived in Greenpoint for ten months, with a series of roommates and then with my boyfriend. I was working on my first novel—Last Night in Montreal was started in Canada, but Greenpoint was where I began working more seriously on completing a first draft. I liked the isolation of Greenpoint, the way the Manhattan skyline is visible at the end of certain streets. Years after moving away from the neighborhood, I find I’m back there all the time—I live in Park Slope now, but I visit WORD more often than any other bookstore.

Pretty fantastic, huh? Come meet Emily and hear her read from her wonderful new novel. There will be passports for all guests, and if you visit the right country…you might just win a prize. We’ll have wine and cupcakes too, hope you can join us to celebrate with this fine author and friend of WORD. (Facebook RSVP)

aMAYzing events schedule

April 27, 2010

We definitely have something for everyone on our May events schedule. Seriously. Take a look! We’ve got scheduled appearances by 45 writers/illustrators/musicians over the next 30 days, including 13 author events (with representation by at least 12 indie presses) plus five running group sessions, four Gym Park storytimes, a three-pm Bananagrams tourney, two book club meetings and one fantastic opportunity to drink gin and whiskey with Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket! (pictured above)

Here’s a brief rundown of the schedule, but be sure to check our complete May calendar with links to detailed individual web pages for each event:

Sunday, May 2, 6 pm: MOMMA SAID: Lies Our Mothers Told Us (And Some We Wish They Had) Get a head start on Mother’s Day with a laugh-out-loud lineup of funny folks, including Doree Shafirir, Jessica Grose, Piper Weiss, Gabe Delahaye, Julie Klausner + more great guests talking @ mom!

*The first full week of May is Emily Week at WORD with book launch parties for two Emily authors we love:

Tuesday, May 4, 7:30 pm: Launch Party for THE SINGER’S GUN with Emily St. John Mandel – Emily will read from her new book, answer questions, sign copies and give away some prizes too. Plus wine! No need to bring your passport, we’ll provide you with one on arrival…

Thursday, May 6, 7:30 pm: Launch Party for AND THE HEART SAYS WHATEVER with Emily Gould – We’ll celebrate with seriously fun drinks from Pernod (absinthe!) plus Perrier and probably beer too. Toast Emily as she reads from her new memoir and discusses the book with Matthew Perpetua of Fluxblog.

Saturday, May 8, 7:30 pm: Vol. 1 Brooklyn Reading Series at WORD – Featuring Chris Leo, RM O’Brien, Eric Paul and Jillian Weise. Hosted by Jason Diamond of Vol. 1 Brooklyn, a culture blog for the literary-minded.

Sunday, May 9, 4 pm: The Office of Blame Accountability-A Compendium of American Finger Pointing presented by Loudmouth Press, a local Greenpoint indie! Submit your personal blames to the OBA (but no mom-bashing on Mother’s Day…)

Tuesday, May 11, 7:30 pm: The Titanic Awards with Doug Lansky: Celebrating the Worst of Travel – Travel expert Lansky will talk about his new indispensable collection of the worst travel experiences. He’ll be joined by fellow travel writer Jason Cochran.

Thursday, May 13, 7:30 pm: Launch Party for FALLING IS LIKE THIS with Kate Rockland, joined by Rob Sheffield, author of LOVE IS A MIXTAPE and a special musical performance by Franz Nicolay, formerly of The Hold Steady. Plus: free beer provided by Sixpoint Craft Ales!

Friday, May 14, 7:30 pm: Debut Novelist Night with Heidi Durrow & Michele Young-Stone – readings from two new novelists, both visiting NYC. Heidi will read from THE GIRL WHO TELL FROM THE SKY and Michele from THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTENING STRIKE SURVIVORS.

Saturday, May 15, 3 pm: Bananagrams in the Basement! This month our tournament takes place during Brooklyn Based’s The Total Franklin St. Immersion – if you have a TFSI card, get 20% off at WORD that day!

Wednesday, May 19, 7:30 pm: Indie Press Night with Dalkey Archive and New Directions – Featuring: From Dalkey: Joshua Cohen, reading from his new novel WITZ and Alex Zucker, translator of CASE CLOSED, by Patrik Ourednik. From New Directions: Thalia Field, reading from her new novel, BIRD LOVERS, BACKYARD and Natasha Wimmer, translator of Roberto Bolano’s 2666, THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES, and most recently for New Directions, ANTWERP.

Thursday, May 20, 7:30 pm: Launch Party for Slice Magazine Issue Six, Metropolis – with readings from contributors Ramona Ausubel, Hassan Riaz, Rob Roensch and Rachel Safko.

Saturday, May 22, 1 pm: Graphic Novel Spectacular for Kids!
– free readings, improvisational drawing and activities, featuring: Frank Cammuso (Knights of the Lunch Table), Chris Giarusso (G-Man: Learning to Fly), Jarrett Krosoczka (Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown) Matt Phelan (The Storm in the Barn) and Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom). This will be a super fun, interactive and engaging event for kids ages 4+ plus, grownup graphic novel fans welcome too!

Sunday, May 23, 5pm: Indie Press Night with Other Voices, Emergency Press + more – Featuring readings from authors with new books out this year: Gina Frangello, Shya Scanlon, Emma Straub and Zoe Zolbrod, with introductions by Jami Attenberg.

Tuesday, May 25, 7 pm: Drinks with Daniel Handler at Coco 66 – Join us for an hour (or two) with author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). Sip classic cocktails (whiskey and gin martinis) made by the fine bartenders at Coco66 and listen to Handler read from and talk about Bernard DeVoto’s The Hour. One part celebration, one part history, two parts manifesto, Bernard DeVoto’s book (republished this year by Tin House) is a comic and unequivocal treatise on how and why we drink—properly. Handler will be available to sign copies of his own books as well as The Hour. *Please Note: This event will be ticketed – details to follow in early May. Check our website for info soon!

Think there’s at least one program on this list that strikes your fancy? We thought so. No excuses then, OK? We can’t wait to see you at WORD in May.

As the WORD basketball league prepares for their second season, we thought we’d share the infamous literary quiz that all players had to pass in order to play.  Shouldn’t be too hard for you book nerds.

(And before anyone emails or comments to ask: no, sorry, we are closed to new players at this point. Keep an eye out for next year’s league!)

1. Name one Kurt Vonnegut novel.

2. Who wrote Great Expectations?

3. The Odyssey is a sequel to what?

4. Name a poet. Any poet.

5. What is your favorite bookstore?

Players were given instructions that there was more than one answer to the fifth question, even though they were sitting in WORD’s basement when they took the quiz. As such, the list of bookstores named reads like a Who’s Who of great bookstores. We thought we’d share it here in case anyone needed a list of bookstores to visit.

Thankfully, WORD got many votes. (We love you too!) Coming in second was The Strand. Third was a tie between Idlewild Books and Spoonbill & Sugartown.

Other NYC bookstores making the list:

(Might have been easier just to link to the list on the IBNYC’s website.)

Owing to the peripatetic nature of NYC residents, the list for bookstores outside NYC is even longer:

There was also a mention of gleebooks, in Australia, and the NYPL and BPL, which did not qualify as correct answers owing to them not being bookstores, but were accepted because they are awesome.


April 8, 2010

If you’ve been reading our picks of the week at Largehearted Boy, you know that one of our favorite books of the last month has been debut novel Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes. This is just one of the best novels you’ll read this year. It’s long and grim (much like its setting, the Vietnam War) and absolutely worth reading to the end. It took thirty years of work and a bizarre set of coincidences for the book to reach publication, so think of it as the book equivalent of a finely-aged whiskey. We hope you’ll read it soon.

We also hope you’ll buy it from us so that you can help us join a campaign that our fellow booksellers (and lovers-of-Matterhorn) at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, Colorado, began. They’ve challenged bookstores across the country to donate a portion of the sale of each copy of Matterhorn to their local chapter of Disabled American Veterans, and we’re taking them up on that challenge. Whether you buy it in the store or online, we will donate $2 for each copy of Matterhorn we sell. Spread the word!

WORD around the world

April 2, 2010

This week we got a delightful email about the travels of one of our canvas WORD bags, and we just have to share. From Melissa:

“HI! I’m Melissa’s WORD bag. She was nice enough to bring me on vacation to Mexico. I didn’t have a passport, so she just smuggled me in her carry-on.

“While in Mexico, I learned how to make floral arrangements on the bed.

“I also sat on the porch and enjoyed the view.

“No, WORD bag! Don’t jump!! Don’t be sad that vacation is over, WORD bag!”

Thanks, Melissa! Want a WORD bag of your very own to take around the world on adventures? You can buy the canvas one here and our new oversized green jute bag here. And then make sure you send in photos of your bag having fun overseas!

Spring is officially upon us, and the April showers have started early. There will be plenty of blooming, raining and sneezing in the weeks to come, but regardless of what the weather or your allergies are up to, our April events schedule aims to provide some sunny relief. Here’s what we have on deck:

Our first two events of April include appearances by some of our favorite YA authors. In fact, the first full week of April is YA Week at WORD: On Tues. 4/6, Adrienne Maria Vrettos launches her latest YA novel, THE EXILE OF GIGI LANE and on Thurs. 4/8 we host our next YA Not? literary salon for not-so-young-adults, featuring Barry Lyga and Michael Northrop. We’re calling it Fanboys and Gentlemen.

Other author events include:

**Tues. 4/13: Arthur Philips reads from his novel, THE SONG IS YOU
**Thurs. 4/15: Launch party for REALITY MATTERS: 19 WRITERS ON THE SHOWS WE CAN’T STOP WATCHING Editor Anna David and contributors Austin Bunn, Amelie Gillette, Helaine Olen, Rex Sorgatz, and possibly a special Skyped guest!
**Wed. 4/21: Bryan Charles reads from 33 1/3 Pavement’s WOWEE ZOWEE + Q&A with Matthew Perpetua of Fluxblog
**Thurs. 4/22: Celebrate Earth Day with Emily Elizabeth Anderson, author of ECO-CHIC HOME w/demos and great green tips
**Wed. 4/28: Luis Alberto Urrea reads from MR. MENDOZA’S PAINTBRUSH, his new graphic novel, and is joined by local Brooklyn illustrator Christopher Cardinale.

Our kids’ event this month is an arts & crafts hour with Klutz kits – activities, storytime and snacks on Sun. 4/24 at 10:30 am – this is rescheduled from Feb. and this event is FREE, no sign up required but hope to see you and the kids there. Also, a reminder that we also host storytime each Monday morning at The Gym Park.

Other activities? Of course! There’s book club, running group, writing group and…Bananagrams in the Basement is back! Sun., 4/18 at 3pm – who’s in?

Our entire April event schedule can be viewed here, and Facebook RSVPs are encouraged. And as a closing treat…all those April showers bring May flowers, right? Look here to see what we’ve got blooming for May events (dates confirmed, details to come soon.) See you at the store!

Nerd basketball returns

March 5, 2010

That’s right, it’s time for nerds who love basketball to rejoice, because the WORD basketball league has returned! We’re starting the season a bit earlier this year, with pre-season kicking off in April, so the start-up meetings are pretty soon.

As with last year, we will require the following from those who would like to play: 4 out of 5 answers correct on a relatively simple test of your literary knowledge, a self-assessment of your basketball skills, a list of requested teammates (if you have one), and a signed waiver. So you’ll need to come to one of the following meetings to take care of all of that:

Monday, March 15 at 7pm
Wednesday, March 17 at 7pm

Both meetings will be held in the basement of WORD. It is REQUIRED that you attend one of these two meetings if you want to play.

If you’d like to be involved, but have no interest in physical activity, that is fine! We definitely need people to help behind the scenes. In particular, we might need another ref and we definitely need people to help with keeping score and time. Also, one of our employees would like to start a nerd cheerleading squad.  So if you’d like to join up without actually playing, just email stephanie at wordbrooklyn dot com.

March Events at WORD

February 28, 2010

We’re excited about our schedule of events for March, and even more excited about two other important milestones: SPRING officially arrives later this month AND we celebrate our 3rd anniversary! Yea us! And yea to all of you for supporting WORD for another awesome year. Here’s what we have planned for the month:

Thurs. March 4, 7:30 PM: I Love New York: 5 Minute Series storytelling night, hosted by Chairmen of the Bored, a great group of creative literary folks (who all met while playing basketball at WORD.) Sign up to tell a 5 minute tale and come for the fun (and the beer!)

Thurs. March 11, 7:30 PM: Author Amelia Klem Osterud will read from and discuss her new book THE TATTOOED LADY. We’ll have fake tattoos too, of course!

Sat. March 13, 3:00 PM: Our next YA Not? will feature Carrie Ryan, author of the new book, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES. Zombie donuts will be served. Our YA Not series is an ongoing literary salon for not-so-young adults. But YA fans of all ages are invited to attend.

Thurs. March 18, 7:30 PM: The first of two indie press nights we have planned for March, this one features several authors with new works from Vulgar Marsala, Two-Handed Engine, Emergency Press and MFG Imprint. Readings from: Jesi Bender, Chad Faries, Lisa A. Flowers and Cesca Janece Waterfield.

Wed. March 24, 7:30 PM: Museyon Guides and Jauntsetter host Russian Night at WORD! Featuring Russian rocker Mike ‘Vivisector’ Antipow, frontman of  Gulag Tunes; singer-songwriter Alina Simone, your guide to Russian chanson in Music + Travel Worldwide; and Laurel Maury, who uncovers Russian film locations in Film + Travel Europe. Budem zdorovy!

Fri. March 26, 7:30 PM: Indie Press Night with Tin House, featuring Geoffrey Becker, author of Hot Springs, Keith Lee Morris, author of Call It What You Want and Steve Almond, Tin House contributor and author of the upcoming release, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life.

Sat. March 27, 3:00 PM: Launch party for FLYING LESSONS, a new picture book from local author/illustrator Gilbert Ford. We’ll serve lemonade for the kids and make paper airplanes! Bring the entire family for an afternoon of fun and an event for kids of ALL ages!

Don’t forget this month’s book club, Sunday morning running group and new Monday evening writers group. All our events are listed here and you can RSVP for many of them on Facebook here (encouraged but not required.) See you this month at the store!

Local Greenpointer Jessica Reed has created this beautiful menu and will be serving up the items on it for our Venus in the Kitchen cocktail party on February 11th. Won’t you join us?

About Jessica Reed and Time Table:

Jessica Reed is a Greenpoint-based artist, writer, and amateur culinary historian interested in the intersections between food, history, art, and culture. Time Table, her most recent project, invites guests to taste the past at small gatherings serving food and drink made from period recipes, and utilizing period serving pieces and decorative elements whenever possible. Her ambition is to bring people together with food as a means of connecting with our shared history. Learn more here (soon!)

February Events at WORD

January 29, 2010

From Eat When You Feel Sad to The Art of Eating In, we’ve got a nice collection of new titles that will be featured at WORD author events in February. Sandwiched between these two, you’ll find much more, including one fun vintage Valentine themed event too! Let’s get right to list then, shall we?

Tuesday, February 9, 7:30 pm: Melville House launch party for Zachary German’s Eat When You Feel Sad, hosted by Tao Lin. Facebook RSVP. Wine will be served.

Thursday, February 11, 7:30 pm: We’ve partnered with Jessica Reed of Time Table to host a special cocktail party featuring aphrodisiac food and drink from the 1952 book, Venus in the Kitchen: Or Love’s Cookery Book. Come single or with a sweetie and spend some time sampling love potions of the early 50’s. We can’t make any promises on the power of these wacky concoctions—but we can promise a good time. Feel free to dress the part, though modern-day attire is just fine. There will be Fritters of Elderflower, Marmalade of Carnations, and Lovage, on the Rocks – you don’t want to miss this! See the “historic” menu for the event here and reserve your spot (Tickets are $5, no book purchase required but they will be available for sale.) Facebook RSVP.

Friday, February 19, 7:30 pm: We’ll celebrate the release of two new Harper Perennial titles with reading/Q&A, and some wine (of course!) Kevin Sampsell, Portland indie bookseller, will read from his new memoir, A Common Pornography and Brooklyn author Justin Taylor, will read from his debut story collection Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever. Facebook RSVP.

Tuesday, February 23, 7:30 pm: Julie Klausner, author of the new memoir, I Don’t Care About Your Band, will host a night of funny stories about love-gone-bad, also featuring Rachel Shukert, author of Have You No Shame? and Mike Albo, author of The Underminder: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. Hilarity will ensue. Facebook RSVP

Thursday, February 25, 7:30 pm: A reading and discussion with Not Eating Out in New York foodie blogger Cathy Erway, author of the new book The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove. Delicious treats will be served! Facebook RSVP.

And finally, something for the kids! On Saturday, February 27 at 10:30 am, we’ll host a Klutz Crafting Hour: Let’s Get Handy! Sign up here to reserve your spot – tickets are $5 and include all the crafting supplies plus snacks and refreshments too.

Oh, and don’t forget: We’ll do Bananagrams in the Basement again on Saturday Feb. 20 at 3 pm. Yes, more tasty banana-flavored goodies will be served. (Facebook RSVP) Plus – our book club meets next week on Feb. 3 and 6 to discuss The Group, and the new WORD running group meets outside the store every Sunday morning at 10 am. Plenty to keep you busy….so see you soon!


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