Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival recap

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Rain or shine the Brooklyn Book Festival still went on. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. I went to with my mother, but a certain 10-year-old tried to weasel in on the trip. My little brother was quickly vetoed. He had his chance to come when I asked days ago. Armed with the trusty GPS, off we went in the rain. I was hoping to make it in time for the 11am Mothers and Daughters talk at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, but it was not to be. I arrived in time but the GPS kept taking us toward one way streets. I made a couple of wrong turns, before finally finding a parking lot. We make it to the hall, only to find out the talk was FULL!! The only way you could get into that talk was with a ticket, which should have been available inside the hall because it was raining. Right? WRONG!! After coming out of the rain, I had to go back outside, wait on line and then get a ticket for the 12pm talk featuring authors from Akashic Books.

Some Sing, Some Cry: A NovelThe True Nanny Diaries (Volume 1)A little bummed, but that left time to browse the booths. Knowing me, there was no way I was coming home empty-handed. I must say, the Brooklyn Book Festival offered a lot of opportunities for self-published to showcase their work.

The True Nanny Diaries by Nandi, isn't my cup of tea, but it might be yours. I had the opportunity to meet her while browsing her booth. David L. has published several books, and is the CEO of Total Package Publications ( Very inspiring!

Bad Marie: A Novel (P.S.)Labor Day: A Novel (P.S.)The first book that caught my attention was Some Sing, Some Cry by sisters Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza. I don't know why, but I'm attracted to 600+ page books. It's been awhile since I've read a book that long. As soon as I get caught up on review books, I'm challenging myself to read books longer than 400 pages. Oh, the PRESSURE!! I need a name for it. Any suggestions? The Epic Book Challenge perhaps?

I also made it to the Harper Perennial booth, where every two seconds someone said, "All of these books are $10!" It was said with such enthusiasm, I couldn't leave empty-handed. After a little browsing, I settled on Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky and Labor Day by Joyce Maynard.

Before you know it, 12pm rolled around. My mother and I moved on to a talk about historical fiction from Akashic authors Bernice L. McFadden, Marlon James, and Dennis LeHane.

I know it's hard to tell from that picture, but Lehane is on the right, followed by James, and McFadden. It was wonderful to hear them read, especially James. His novel John Crow's Devil is written entirely in dialect. To hear him read was hilarious. I did get Glorious by McFadden and John Crow's Devil at BookExpo America, so I will get to them at some point. I had heard of some of Lehane's books -- Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone Baby Gone to name a few -- so it was nice to put a face to the name. After that it was onto an hour-long talk about the delicious food available in Brooklyn. That's not the easiest thing to listen to on an empty stomach.
Rain or no rain, I had a great time!!

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