Bookish Love

bookish love September 8, 2008

Zizek, Lukes spoke at Barnes & Noble

I will avoid paraphrasing Zizek wherever possible, since there’s no way that won’t involve butchering of words, so I resort, inevitably, to a somewhat trashier retelling, which begins with one of my favorite feminist columnists, Katha Pollit, seated right in front of me–only I realized much later that it was she, and that she was married to Steven Lukes, who was there to promote his “Big Ideas / Small Books” title Moral Relativism, as was Slavoj Zizek to promote his “Big Ideas / Small Books” title Violence.

Continued after the jump.

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bookish love September 3, 2008

Zizek at B&N tonight

If you’re in the mood to judge, Slavoj Zizek can be cut and diced in a million ways, like why the hell would he get his hands dirty in corporate advertising while waving a big, red, bleeding Communist flag, though I actually find this mingling of boundaries pretty sweet. And though you may or may not agree with the stuff that comes out of the mouth of this vociferous modern-day philosopher from Slovenia, he sure as hell is fascinating, and in that arena he’s got very little competition, especially from his peers. In short, the world is a better place when a man with a brain on fire decides to devote a documentary to the theme, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.

Continue reading about the event after the jump.

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bookish love June 6, 2008

Salman Rushdie read at Barnes & Noble

The book jacket of his newest, The Enchantress of Florence, describes Salman Rushdie as “one of the world’s most important living writers”. When these words were used to introduce him yesterday, the grinning author shook with the whole of his laughing belly. Though known to be “arrogant”, a word often used interchangeably with “outspoken”, he’s had a jovial air about him every time I’ve seen him (having just finished reading Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, I’m reminded of Behemoth the cat). I’ve also heard the phrase “show off” when his work is spoken of unfavorably, but I really think he writes glorious books only because he can hardly contain himself.

Continued, and photos after the jump.

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bookish love January 19, 2008

Zadie Smith & Gary Shteyngart at McNally Robinson

As pedestrians walked past the McNally Robinson book store in Soho, they stumbled a few paces back and forth. Beaming from the other side of the glass front was an engaged throng of faces. They had stuffed themselves into the store’s cafe area, late comers sprawling wherever there was space. Visible to the outsider was the strong back of a woman in a green sweater, whose face, unknown to him, was where all eyes in the room fell. Some bent their head whichever way against the glass until they recognized author Zadie Smith, and a few amongst them had even a point-and-shoot handy. We were monkeys in a zoo, gathered to hear authors Zadie Smith and Gary Shteyngart read from Gregor von Rezzori’s , Memoirs of an Anti-Semite; the novel has been re-issued by New York Review of Books, with an introduction by Deborah Eisenberg that Zadie Smith described as “brilliant”.

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Continued, and more photos, inside. Continue Reading »

bookish love November 30, 2007

Indie Lit Culture This Week (Free)

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Dec 1 & 2 | 11:00 AM to 5:00PM
This weekend, the annual Indie & Small Press Fair will return to General Society Landmark Building at 20 West 44th Street. Different panels will address a variety of interests, including tips for those seeking a literary career (finding the right literary agent, understanding self-publishing), readings from authors published by independent publishers (Indie Press Author Read-A-Thon: Notable Indie Authors Read Their Work), even a literary trivia smackdown between A Public Space and the New York Review of Books, and a discussion of independent culture itself. If last year was any indication, the space gets filled with an overwhelming number of tables making offerings at discounted prices, and for the panels that have caught your attention, you need to get there ahead of time, especially if it takes place later in the day.

Dec 4 | 7:00 PM
Circumference Magazine will present poets Wang Jiaxin (China) and Moikom Zeqo (Albania) at Housing Works Used Book Café at 126 Crosby Street.

Excerpt from Moikom Zeqo’s “The Double”:

When the Roman consul Lucus Anitius gave orders
For the legions to march into the Illyrian heartland
He had not only a chronicler on his war council
But also a double of King Gentius,
Dressed just like him, with painted eye-brows
Most certainly with a false sceptre,
And with a sentence learnt by heart:
“I am Gentius, King of the Illyrians!”

bookish love, playing soon September 14, 2007

Oliver Sacks, Zadie Smith, Fiona Apple, others at New Yorker Festival

And tickets go on sale tomorrow at noon!

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I’m psyched about Oliver Sacks, author of several of my favorite books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf. He will talk from his newest, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain at this year’s New Yorker Festival, which is promising mind-rejuvenating panels in abundance throughout the weekend of October 5 (full schedule). Then there’s Zadie Smith, whose last event in New York, an evening at BAM, sold out way in advance; who spoke with such fury and conviction at last year’s festival, and whose White Teeth remains one of the most refreshing books I’ve ever read. Also participating are Fiona Apple, Sigur Ros, Yo La Tengo, actor Bill Nighy, authors Salman Rushdie, Miranda July, Ian McEwan, Steve Martin, amongst many others.

bookish love August 23, 2007

BookSwim, but how to stay afloat?

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BookSwim aspires to be the Netflix for books, though their site has been down and I’ve been unable to test. When I first discovered Netflix, I had hoped this kind of service would come into existence, but the site-down situation (the worst possible for an online service) has triggered some cautionary thoughts.

Continued after the jump.

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Bookish Love + Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival

For the one or two readers who might’ve noticed, promptness is not a promise of this blog! It’s been many weeks since I was last at South Street Seaport or McCarren Pool, or listened to any new music (other than Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam, my singular source of music since the leak, an event that’s now too old to discuss). And so after weeks of seclusion (from social forms of entertainment- my new subscription to the Economist is to blame!) I ventured out* to the neighborhood to notice that Seventh Avenue Books, which sits right next to Park Slope Books, has decided to move on after serving the hood for six years. Needless to say, there’s a huge sale, though its neighbor does have a more interesting selection, which might make it a better first-stop (my collective purchase today from the two stores, below).

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But now to the point of this post: you will notice it’s being filed under a new category: “Bookish Love”, and if you’re not one of the two readers I mentioned in the beginning, you’ll need an explanation; after being distracted with the setting up of this blog, my other blog, bookishlove.net, obviously suffered serious neglect, so the only decent thing to do is merge the two, with less ambitious goals (I will no longer attempt to provide a comprehensive list of all literary events going about town, or to attend as many of these events as I previously did. From those I do attend, there will be photos, of course, and words if there’s anything to say, and of those that I hope to attend, there will be a mention; and in keeping these goals modest, there won’t be any insightful book reviews). Having said that, Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival is this Saturday, August 18th, from 4 to 7 PM; and, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Borough Public Library are now all open six days a week!

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Who sticks out his tongue? After the jump.

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Miranda July, Becky Stark, David Byrne at NYPL – review + photos

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Miranda July’s sold-out reading at the 42nd street Humanities and Social Sciences Library was much more of a formal event compared to the one organized by 192 Books three days prior. The vibe here was more wine-and-cheese, both of which were present. During the intermission, however, I did spot two young men excitedly having Michel Gondry autograph an orgami bird (or was it a plane?).

More photos, and review continues, after the jump.

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bookish love May 22, 2007

Miranda July read at 192 Books

To be accurate, Miranda July read at Paula Cooper Gallery. It sits just around the corner from the tiny 192 Books, who organized the reading, and where it was originally supposed to be held. Perhaps best-known for having written and starred in the movie Me and You and Everyone We Know, Miranda’s in New York promoting her collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. It comes in two choices of cover: yellow and pink.

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Continued after the jump.

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