Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bookmark these weekend events

By Damian Harris-Hernandez

Bookmark the whole weekend because the Brooklyn Book Festival just got bigger.

Even with 12 stages, Borough Hall Plaza couldn’t hold the 250 authors who are coming from all over the world for the Sept. 12 event. So the festival expanded with “Bookend” events taking place all weekend in hot spots around town from Greenpoint to Mill Basin.

Sunday is still the main day with big hitters such as novelist Salman Rushdie, Brooklyn’s own Paul Auster, comedian Sarah Silverman and athlete Venus Williams taking the stage outside Borough Hall.

Poet John Ashbery will be honored, economist Paul Krugman will give it to us straight, and humorist Neal Pollack will meditate on yoga at the fifth-annual gathering.

“The festival is very cutting edge and very forward thinking, yet we offer something for everyone,” said Johnny Temple, chair of the Literary Council, which helped jumpstart the festival with Borough President Markowitz four years ago. “Everyone who comes down will find something to smile about.”

The Bookend events help further diversify the festival and allow Brooklynites as well as visitors to see what the rest of Brooklyn has to offer.

Here’s some recommended reading:

Role model John Waters gets intimate with his audience as he discusses his new book at Greenpoint’s Coco 66 at an event presented by WORD Books on Sept. 10 at 8 pm. Tickets $25.

In “Opening Act,” literary rock stars John Murillo, Sung J. Woo, Fiona Maazel and others flash read from a theme provided by Debut Lit at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO on Sept. 10 at 8 pm. Free.

Melissa and Brendan Vaughan, authors of “The New Brooklyn Cookbook,” serve up some expertise at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg with a panel of brewers, fermenters, chefs and farmers on Sept. 11 at 2 pm. Tickets $65 (includes an advance copy of book).

What better place for rock and roll journalist Rob Sheffield to read from his new book, “Talking to Girls about Duran Duran,” than Bell House, the hip Gowanus music venue. Stick around and dance to DJ Sheffield as he spins ‘80s hits. On Sept. 11 at 8 pm. Free.

Down in Mill Basin, dinner guests at Pizza D’Amore sing numbers from Mark Rotella’s book “The Story of Italian American Song,” which features the songs of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Connie Francis and others, on Sept. 12 at 7 pm

Brooklyn Book Festival at Borough Hall [209 Joralemon St. at Court Street in Downtown, (718) 802-3700], Sept. 12 from 10 am-6 pm, free; Coco 66 [66 Greenpoint Ave. between Franklin and West streets in Greenpoint, (718) 389-7392]; powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049]; The Brooklyn Kitchen [100 Frost St. between Leonard Street and Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 389-2982]; Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510]; Pizza D’Amore [2147 Mill Ave. between Avenue U and Strickland Avenue in Mill Basin, (718) 531-2333].


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