The Strand is a historic landmark—here's why the owner thinks it shouldn't be called one.
Image Via GoodReads
The follow up to Egan’s critically acclaimed A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach takes place during WWII. According to NYC.gov, “Manhattan Beach tells the haunting World War II-era story of Anna Kerrigan, who becomes the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s first female diver, and her search for her missing father.” Manhattan Beach is not getting great reviews from everyone. Many reviews are positive but some go as follows:
Reading the dust jacket one would have thought this book contained a real good mystery. The only mystery to me was how anyone found this book entertaining! The characters were lackluster, the plot all over, the ending was unbelievable, and all in all, I found this book boring. – Elaine N. (Via Goodreads)
Looking back over the novel, I get an intense feeling of dissatisfaction. Everything is a series of disconnected plot points; many long, slow parts where nothing happens, and even the more action-filled parts were not particularly interesting. Bloodless and forgettable. – Emily M (Via Goodreads)
Pretty harsh reviews. But, as I said, this book does have a ton of positive ones such as:
This is a hauntingly ambitious historical novel of the sea and New York, set during the Depression era and the Second World War. It is impeccably researched in its period details and well plotted. -Paromjit (Via Goodreads)
“What can’t she do?” is right. Turns out Jennifer Egan can do anything she damn well pleases, including take 7 years to write a World War II novel that manages to shuck all the expected conventions of writing about those years. There is some amount of mystery here but it isn’t a mystery novel, just like there’s plenty of history but it isn’t a historical novel. Egan’s writing has all the pleasure of a comfy blanket on a crisp autumn morning – so what luck that this fall brings a joy like this novel. -Drew (Via Goodreads)
Do you let negative reviews deter you from starting a book or do you look to good reviews for recommendations? If you wany yo join in on the party and you live in New York, pick up a copy and see how you like it. I am curious to see what the next book choice will be.
Feature Image Via Vulture
The Brooklyn Home of Center for Creative Fiction is America’s first and only non-profit literary organization and, come January 2019, will be opening it’s doors in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.
The Center was originally established as The Mercantile Library (a lending library for merchant clerks) in Manhattan back in 1820. It was renamed The Center for Creative Fiction in 2008, shortly before the building was sold and The Center moved to a different building in the center of Manhattan. Up until now, it hasn’t exactly been easily accessible for members of the Brooklyn community.
via The Center for Fiction
“Brooklyn is home to so many great writers—both well-known and emerging—and so many of our audience members already are Brooklyn residents,” Noreen Tomassi, Executive Director of The Center, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “The borough may have more readers per square inch than anywhere in the country. Look at all the bookstores that thrive in Brooklyn!”
The new three-story building will include a cafe, library, bookstore, classroom, and a 160-seat auditorium. It will offer book recommendations, author’s picks, and more for avid readers and fans of fiction. For writers, there will be writing workshops, fellowships, classes on the business-side of the literary world, and so, so much more.
The Center describes itself as, “The only organization in the U.S. solely devoted to the creation and enjoyment of the art of fiction.”
I can’t wait to explore this new space and all the book magic it will be sure to bring!
Featured image via The Center for Fiction
With all the hype around Harry Potter & The Cursed Child finally making its way to Broadway, Harry Potter fans have even more to look forward to. The first of it’s kind celebrating a single series of books by a living author, ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’ is coming to New York’s Historical Society from October 5, 2018 to January 27, 2019.
With prices ranging from $21 for adults to $6 for kids, fans of the series can now view original manuscripts, rare books, and even J.K. Rowling’s original pitch letter to publishers. With tons of original material from Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archives, this exhibit is one of the most exclusive of Harry Potter archives to date.
Image via The Upcoming
The exhibit is split up into sections inspired by the key subjects taught at Hogwarts ranging from Herbology to Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Tickets just went on sale to the public and while there are lots of time slots still available for the coming months, we’re predicting that this exhibit will sell out very quickly.
Image Via The Telegraph
If you can’t make the exhibit in London or New York, there is a print-version which details a treasure trove of artifacts, including Mary GrandPré’s original pastel illustrations for the novels as well as costumes and set models for The Cursed Child.
Featured Image Via Amazon
English novelist, essayist, and short story writer Zadie Smith has written an essay called “Under the Banner of New York” about the tragic event that grieved the city last week.
Image Via CNN
Smith shares her thoughts on how New Yorkers, in our “elastic social arrangement,” respond to such events, and how we faintheartedly carry on with our week unsure of what to do or how to help. In the moment, however, we do all come together and assist in any way we can.
Like many a New Yorker right now I talk a good game but my mind is scattered, disordered. To me, the city itself feels scattered, out of sorts; certainly carrying on like London, like Paris, but also, like those places, newly fearful, continuing with its routines while simultaneously wondering whether it still wants to, considering decamping to the countryside while being repulsed by that same thought—oh, and a ragbag of other random thoughts and anecdotes.
Despite the subject matter, Smith maintains a hopeful tone, essentially musing on New Yorkers as first responders. Alluding to two anecdotal stories of accidents that happened at the same curb on the same street corner in the same week, Smith recounts an old lady tripping and a stroller breaking apart. Common to both memories was a “community of strangers” gathering to help in any way they could, then swiftly vanishing afterwards. New Yorkers always need to be urgently elsewhere. Smith then gives thought to the victims 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov’s act of terror.
None of us deserve to be killed in the street. We are a multiplicity of humans in an elastic social arrangement that can be stretched in many directions. It’s not broken yet. I have no idea if it will break soon – but its not broken yet. And here comes the rain, clearing the streets, for an hour maybe, even for a whole afternoon. We’ll be back out tomorrow.
Feature Image Via The Times