Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brooklyn Bookstores: Part 2 (and NBA parties!)

As promised last week, I'm profiling the final three on my list of favorite bookshops in Brooklyn. But first, I thought I'd do a wrap up of a few National Book Award parties from last Wednesday. First, the Association of American Publishers Young Publishing Group sponsored an event at Random House to watch the award ceremony. The Huffington Post coverage of the event includes a shaky and loud video with interviews of Chip Kidd, Avi Steinberg, Teju Cole, Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz. The Random House cafeteria in the background is hardly recognizable - all of the lights are off, with blue and pink accent lighting and swanky turquoise pillows.

Then there was the after party at Cipriani Wall Street hosted by the DailyBeast, which was attended by a young crowd. On the dance floor, there was a fair amount of Peanuts style dancing going on, including some noteworthy celebratory moves from NBA Fiction winner Jaimy Gordon and her sister. Finally, the literary magazine Armchair/Shotgun, hosted the contrarian first annual NOT-the-National-Book-Awards at Blue & Gold Tavern, where they encouraged attendees to "Suggest a book that will never win an NBA, because it's terrible. Or because it's great, but available only in Tagalog. Or because it's How I Met Your Mother: Complete Cast Bios."

And now, the final three recommended Brooklyn bookstores.

Unnameable Books – Prospect Heights
600 Vanderbilt Ave

Unnameable Books is owned by Adam Tobin and is a great place to go for poetry readings and film viewings, which are held in the shop's backyard or in the basement. In a recent profile, Adam explains why he had to change the bookshop's name (it was originally Adam's Books) and what he sees as the role of his bookstore in the neighborhood. In June of 2008, Unnameable Books was featured on the cover drawn by Adrian Tomine for The New Yorker, who lived above the shop's previous location on Bergen Street. The cover shows a guilty looking woman receiving a package from as the shop owner unlocks the bookstore and makes eye contact with her. One of the funniest events I attended at Unnameable Books was a midnight book party to celebrate the simultaneous publication dates of Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue and Nabokov's The Original of Laura (read The New Yorker's Book Bench coverage here).

Greenlight Books – Fort Greene
686 Fulton Street

Greenlight Books opened just over a year ago after Jessica Stockton-Bagnulo, the events coordinator at McNally Jackson in Nolita, won a $15,000 grant from the Brooklyn Public Library. Rebecca Fitting, a 34-year-old sales representative for Random House joined her as a business partner. Today, the bookshop is thriving, and hosts a great list of readings and literary events that are supported by the myriad writers who live in Fort Greene.

Book Court - Cobble Hill
163 Court Street

Founded in 1981, BookCourt is owned and operated by Henry Zook and Mary Gannett (pictured below) and their son Zack. What I love about Book Court is that it is so community orientated and they always have a wall of staff picks that I peruse every time I stop by the store. For reviews and upcoming events, check out their website. They also have a funny Twitter feed that features posts like "Waitaminute, have we talked about the fact that resident dreamboat Paul Auster is going to be here tonight, w/his new book, Sunset Park?" or "The clarity with which I understand that I need pizza is astonishing" or "Best title I've unpacked today: Diary of a Baby Wombat."

1 comment:

  1. I'm disappointed that DUMBO's Powerhouse Arena didn't get a shout-out! As a great event space - cum - independent bookstore, this little gem lives up to its big name.