Monday, September 21, 2009
2009 Brooklyn Book Festival
Two Sundays ago, the Brooklyn Book Festival took over the Court Street area for a whole day's worth of readings, vendors, and other festivities. This was the third year for the festival, and it's come quite a long way since its first. Borough Hall was packed! It's great to see something like this get such an amazing reception--perhaps next year they'll stretch the festival out to the whole weekend instead of just Sunday.
This year, the Book Fair teamed up with New York Comic-Con for a special comics-themed zone of Borough Hall. I think this is a step in the right direction, but it might need some tweaking if they plan to do something again next year. Some of my favorite publishers had booths, featuring new releases and signings, etc, but unfortunately most of the comics booths were made up of awkward self-published writers and artists who I found were all too easy to ignore.
For the other vendors, most of the usual suspects were there, with the exception of the mysteriously missing McSweeney's. McSweeney's and I have a complicated relationship, as I used to be quite a big fan of their publications but feel like they've been sliding for the past three or so years. They seemed to have steered away from printing contemporary literature and are focusing their efforts more on kids books and t-shirts. Maybe they'll have a booth at the Brooklyn T-Shirt festival instead...
Here's what I picked up at the festival:
Nog and The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudolf Wolitzer (published by Three Dollar Radio)
Black Jack, Volume 7 by Osamu Tezuka (published by Vertical, Inc.)
The Halfway House by Guillermo Rosales (published by New Directions)
Oh! A Mystery of Mono No Aware by Todd Shimoda (published by Chin Music Press)
Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? (published by Chin Music Press)
I'm really looking forward to getting to these, but right now I'm in the middle of Wolf Hall from the Booker Shortlist and I don't see myself finishing it any time soon...