Brooklyn Bookworms! discussion

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message 1: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
Hello Brooklyn!!! There are a lot of new books out there and I would love to know what everybody is reading or what they are writing! Let's revive this forum and have some fun.


message 2: by Lillian (new)

Lillian Slugocki (goodreadscomlillian_slugocki) | 2 comments hello all, am a brooklyn based writer about to be published by a brooklyn based publisher, represented by a brooklyn based agent, so I'm allllll about brooklyn, hollah. My book is the The Blue Hours, a link to website on my profile.


message 3: by Lillian (new)

Lillian Slugocki (goodreadscomlillian_slugocki) | 2 comments the last really great book I read was We Have to Talk About Kevin, dropped everything I was doing in my life, it was pretty great. Looking for another recommendation for same. thanks.


message 4: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
H'mmm. But is your book *about* Brooklyn?

:\


message 5: by Feliks (last edited Feb 25, 2013 09:57AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
I recall Charles Dickens said, 'every book I haven't read is a new book to me'. Maybe someone can correct me on that. But it feels right. [Chums complain that I'm always reading 'old' books: I'm like, wha huh? What the heck are you reading, and I bet its probably a knock-off of something already written!]

I suggest this: many 'older' books (if you choose well) will strike deeper, entertain you more thoroughly, and convey more that is relevant than anything you can pick up from the first-few 'recent release' glamour-aisles B&N steers you towards, when you walk in their front doors.

My theory is this: books that address fundamentals of human nature feel fresher, more relevant, and last longer in the mind than books which are more narrowly constrained to just some cultural phenomenon transpiring in the past couple years, whatever it is.

Contemporary society moves faster; but has 'much less to say' which everyone can respond to in equal measure. The world is much more finer-striated and segmented than ever before (even while regional diversity has shrunk almost out of sight). So we wind up with a rapid series of books that are relevant only for a split-second; and usually only for a special-interest group they're designed to appeal to.

I side with the Egyptians, I reckon.


message 6: by Gary (new)

Gary Patella | 3 comments I agree with you Feliks. I stick to the classics myself. It's not that I don't think there are worthy books being written today. But I do feel that the majority of books are not worth reading. To sort through the newer literature to find the handful of good modern books would be a very daunting task. By limiting my selection mostly to the classics, time has already done much of the sorting for me.


message 7: by Feliks (last edited Feb 25, 2013 09:49AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Its kind of an efficient way to get maximum benefit, right? Simply makes good sense.

Nearly every branch of the arts is experiencing the same phenomenon: the music industry has exploded with available listener choices thanks to digital; visual media like movies & tv are of course, bombarding us from every angle..and yes, books too are now produced like commodities, in dizzying quantities thanks to the e-book shift..and it all comes with a blizzard of marketing and promotion.

Does the average person have enough time--much less inclination--to consume every one of these products? Heck no. It almost gets to the point where--being confronted with so many choices--one is unable to choose anything. Overload, distraction. People wind up clicking on a choice; viewing it for five seconds; and then rapidly clicking away.

What about time to savor a particular product before moving on to the next? That also, is disappearing.

There's a dystopian novel 'Easy Travel to Other Planets' which treats of this. The author envisioned a scenario where people might suffer 'information sickness'--a kind of anxiety attack. Could be that's where we're headed.


message 8: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
Paul Auster, yeah he's Brooklyn. I just don't get him. I leafed through Sunset Park and was instantly bored. I guess I like grittier books like Last Exit to Brooklyn.


message 9: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
lol someone write a novel about that neighborhood? bwaha aha aha


message 10: by Feliks (last edited Mar 30, 2013 06:02PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
p.s. how about a snazzier logo for this group? At first glance it looks like a Canadian maple leaf?

:o


message 11: by Mariela (new)

Mariela (marykaymariela) | 2 comments Will anyone be interested in reading a specific book (I am open to suggestions) and then meeting up to discuss it over drinks?

Has anyone met up for book discussions before?


message 12: by Mariela (new)

Mariela (marykaymariela) | 2 comments Feliks wrote: "p.s. how about a snazzier logo for this group? At first glance it looks like a Canadian maple leaf?

:o"



I agree....


message 13: by Feliks (last edited Apr 26, 2013 12:59PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Mariela wrote: "Has anyone met up for book discussions before?"

I think its getting harder and harder to do this (in New York) in the face of the cell phone lifestyle. Even just a few years ago, it was always difficult to pin people down to a specific time and place and have them act responsibly and show up. The tendency (in the Big Apple) is for flighty gadabouts to ditch whatever invitation isn't their #1 choice. Even if its at the very last minute; they gamble on what looks the best and just blow-off any other arrangement.

But at least when they did show up; they were socially-skilled and could carry on a distraction-free, non-rude conversation looking other people straight-in-the-eye while they chatted.

I've hosted quite a few gatherings and seen less and less of these basic skillsets on display. When you do get today's strangers together in the big city they're unable to look up from their palm-toys. They're disoriented by reality and by face-to-face human contact. Difficulty maintaining focus on an extended conversation. So its usually not worth it.

Attendance used to be considered successful if 10 out of 40 people arrived; now; if even 10 arrive, only 2 of them are alert, conscious to the real world, and not in a personal 'txt' fog.


message 14: by Janet (new)

Janet | 1 comments How sad. I don't have a smartphone, for the record.


message 15: by Feliks (last edited Apr 30, 2013 07:34AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
I applaud you!

These others..it really is annoying. You'll be hanging out with folks for a book group or a movie group, a concert, a workshop or a lecture--whatever the case may be--everyone sitting there developing rapport, making plans, etc--but the underlying dynamic is this: at any moment the person sitting next to you could get a phone call and 'have to dash off to attend to something else'. Whatever happened to committing to something and following through? Me: anything I happen to be doing throughout my day, I'm there because I've deliberately chosen to be there. Its not, "I'm here only because nothing else happens to be occurring to lure me somewhere else". People are becoming creatures with brains the size of goldfish; and spines about as firm as sea-slugs.


message 16: by Feliks (last edited Apr 30, 2013 07:38AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
p.s. I've heard from the group leader via PM and she says the group will at the very least be getting a new logo! (hopefully one with the Brooklyn Bridge, and not this red+green Rorshach blob, ha)!


message 17: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
A new logo???? Far frigging out! Maybe in the future we can have a meet and greet book trade. I am very keen on this.


message 18: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Well? You *are* group leader, right? Its within your power to initiate. I uploaded some pics to the group page, just push one into the proper slot!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!

:)


message 19: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
d0ne


message 20: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Good job. Little tiny, somewhat hard to see. But miles better than the previous situation. Thank you!


message 21: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
I'll try one of yours. In the meantime, We need a masthead of 970 x 242 porportions. If you find something, can you let me know?


message 22: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
sure. i could make one, even. whattya got in mind?


message 23: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
How about people reading at Coney Island? Parachute drop and cyclone in background.


message 24: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
lol, want fries with that? :)

I could easily do Coney Island ..or I could do people reading...but people reading at Coney Island, that takes someone specifically shooting a picture of that activity

Anyway I'll just submit a few samples and you tell me if its headed in the right direction


message 25: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
How about a big gang fight on the beach? They can carry books!


message 26: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Okay I'm someone who tends to fiddle with things until they're 'just right'. I've done that here, probably to excess.

Uploaded a bunch more Brooklyn pictures --two, in particular are specifically sized for a masthead; they are paintings by local Brooklyn artist Karen Whitman.

For the logo, (like any New Yorker) I'm still not satisfied --I nominate like the bridge photo which is 4th from the left ("more bridge!" its called) because b&w stands out clearest on a webpage; its also looking at the bridge square-on with the distinctive gothic bridge arches shown to maximum clarity--almost like an advertising logo. Its a *gestalt* image; historically the most effective. Most of the other images --as nice as they all are--are less sharp, more diffusely-mingled grey tones. Just my opinion, mind!

Let me know what you think of the Karen Whitman artwork.

p.s. What about changing the group name to Brookworms!
I think everyone will still 'get it'


message 27: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
lol gang fight.."bring me 'the Warriors'"!


message 28: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
If we dispense with Brooklyn Bookworms, we will lose our special niche but that might be better. Being general would give the group more range. In the meantime, I'll change the logo again when I'm freed from the plantation later today.


message 29: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Is it okay to make plantation jokes again? :\


message 30: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
It's NEVER okay to make plantation jokes unless you're a social deviant like me. I'm what you would call "a lost cause".


message 31: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
By the way, I own an iPhone. ;)


message 32: by Feliks (last edited May 06, 2013 06:29PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
"Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for."
--Jefferson Smith

p.s. I'll make any joke which strikes my fancy! So watch out, you prevert! :p


message 33: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
Pervert??? at least I accept the fact that I am hopelessly addicted to bad literature like the Twilight series and Harry Potter. Crack literature is hard to kick. And I saw your Despise list, did you not read the fifty shades books or are you too ashamed to admit it?

How is the masthead coming along?


message 34: by Feliks (last edited May 06, 2013 08:58PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
TWO mastheads are ready for your trial run. Give 'em a whirl!

"Reviving Brooklyn Bookworms"--well, as you can see from my earlier comments, I am kinda un-optimistic about people's focus and commitment these days.

What I am interested in (personally) is the whole 'book-crossing' concept. I wish Brooklyn had some designated release-points! Perhaps this is the baby step we need to work on..secretly weaving books through the social fabric of Brooklyn..

Or, how about "group alerts" when paperback book stalls are spotted? As in, around Prospect Park?

Thanks for changing the group logo! Looks fab!

No, my 'despise list' is truly for books I feel are an insult to any human intellect, recommending such works would be akin to telling someone I disrespect their acumen.

'Fifty Shades'?! Ha, child's play. Rudimentary. 'Harry Potter'? ack. There's no excuse for reading pointless books just like there's no excuse for sitting through a bad movie.

And that's muh rulin'!


Sincerely,
The Chairman


p.s. hey, can you now fix the 'group rules' box so it doesn't show up every time a post is started?


message 35: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Oh my gawd that logo kicks major arse

stellar! Coolest group logo on the site


Agnes (BookBubbe) (bookbubbe) Hi fellow Brooklynites....new hear but born and raised in Brooklyn...yay....I love to read but must admit stuck on mysteries...although I throw in a romance or two here and then. I can be persuaded to change genres. My fave book and first one I read, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn....must re-read.

I also do book reviews...on my blog...www.beaderbubbe.blogspot.com - search Book Reviews....hope to book talk a lot.


message 37: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Excelsior! Cowabunga!


message 38: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
Hi Agnes, it's lovely to make your acquaintance! One of my favorite books is A Tree grows in Brooklyn. I never really got hooked on mysteries except for Sherlock Holmes. Maybe you can recommend some good mysteries to start off with. I'd appreciate it. :)


message 39: by Feliks (last edited Jul 29, 2013 11:48AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Try some Kinsey Milhone, 'hard-boiled' California girl detective written by Sue Grafton!
A is for Alibi

Of course, that's just girl-boiled. For the real deal, you want Andrew Vachss. First, go with Strega, then Blue Belle. Both set in New York, and both, as brutal as can be.

Back out west again, to another coupla rather stylish So-Co mysteries: A Dime to Dance By, The Two Dude Defense by Walter Walker. He should write more! Just goes to show that mysteries can be very elegant fiction--but still, gritty.

In the same vein: The Man Who Risked His Partner

Of course, the grittiest ever: The Friends of Eddie Coyle

..and possibly the best modern American detective novel, bar none:
The Last Good Kiss

The best classic-era American mystery tale:
Red Harvest

With something like this, as runner-up:
The Long Goodbye


message 40: by Maddy (new)

Maddy Lederman | 5 comments Hi Brook-worms,
I'm a new writer in Brooklyn. My book was recently published, but it's not about Brooklyn.
EDNA IN THE DESERT is about a tech-addicted teen forced to live without cell phone service, Internet or TV. There's an article in The Brooklyn Eagle (link below).
Looking fwd to meeting more Brooklyn writers!

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles...


message 41: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Welcome MADDY! Good luck to you with your book project.


--Feliks


message 42: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod
Maddy must be floored with your swiftness.


message 43: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
I was right on it, yep


message 44: by Barbikat60 (new)

Barbikat60 | 32 comments Mod



message 45: by L.J. (new)

L.J. Taylor (ljtaylorbooks) | 3 comments Hi. I'm L,J, Taylor and I write romantic suspense and suspense. I grew up in Brooklyn and attended Erasmus Hall H.S. where I had the same Spanish teacher that taught Barbara Streisand (that was her claim to fame). I published my first book - Just Dreams - a romantic legal thriller in August. Just Dreams by L.J. Taylor I am now working on the next book in the series.


message 46: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Fresh blood!

We just reached 70 members in our member roster, with Greg Wilson's joining up. And an author, too. Pretty good!


message 47: by RALPH (new)

RALPH CAVARRETTA | 2 comments Hello everyone, I am not from Brooklyn, but I was a New Yorker until I moved to L.A 5 years ago. I joined this group to read with fellow New Yorkers! I mostly read fiction, comedy novels, thrillers, etc. Also biographies, but I am open to any genre, a good read is a good read. Hope to make some new reading buds!


message 48: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 134 comments Mod
Welcome Ralph! I think your credentials are fully acceptable. We're inclusive of anyone who has any feeling towards Brooklyn, good or bad!


message 49: by Baanoo (new)

Baanoo | 1 comments Hey there, neighbors. I'm a painter who reads (& reads, & reads, & writes). I hope this group can introduce me to new authors & other literary delights. I joined a while back but don't think I ever quite got round to properly introducing myself!


message 50: by RALPH (new)

RALPH CAVARRETTA | 2 comments Feliks wrote: "Welcome Ralph! I think your credentials are fully acceptable. We're inclusive of anyone who has any feeling towards Brooklyn, good or bad!"

RALPH wrote: "Hello everyone, I am not from Brooklyn, but I was a New Yorker until I moved to L.A 5 years ago. I joined this group to read with fellow New Yorkers! I mostly read fiction, comedy novels, thrillers..."

Feliks wrote: "Welcome Ralph! I think your credentials are fully acceptable. We're inclusive of anyone who has any feeling towards Brooklyn, good or bad!"

Awesome, thank you for the acceptance!


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