Tag: nyc

Bryant Park Reading Room Hosts a ‘Mid-Summer Musts’ Author’s Panel

All summer, Bryant Park Reading Room hosts author’s panels every Wednesday afternoon. This week’s panel was titled ‘Mid-Summer Musts’, and focused on a special set of books that are essential must-haves for your summer reading list. Throughout the panel, the authors were often asked tough questions. 

 

From left to right, Meryl Moss, Basil Hero, Katherine Howe, Justin Kuritzkes, Felicity McLean, Anna Pitoniak | Image Via Jovanna Reyes

 

 

Anna Pitoniak, the author of Necessary People, was asked about the negative relationships that her characters have with one another. In response, Pitoniak described the importance of capturing ‘the true essence’ of real relationships and emulating the toxic relationships that exist in the real world in an effort to help the reader understand them better. Another member of the audience then asked a question about how the setting of the story impacts the characters and the readers. 

 

Image Via Jovanna Reyes

 

Author Felicity McLean quickly responded, as the setting of her book, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, is an essential aspect. Since her book is based in Australia, McLean explained that she only intended for her character’s experiences to be relatable to Australians but discovered that readers from all over the world could relate to her characters. 

 

Image Via Jovanna Reyes

 

Katherine Howe, the author of The Daughters of Temperance, added to McLean’s answer and described how important the setting of Salem, Massachusetts is in regards to her characters and their interactions with the environment around them. Later, Howe was asked whether The Daughters of Temperance was a sequel to her first book, and she clearly established that her newly published book is definitely not a sequel, rather it is a ‘stand alone follow up’ to her first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane; featuring almost all the same characters, though not requiring the reader to have read its predecessor. 

 

 

Image Via Jovanna Reyes

 

Another question was directed at the authors, this time the audience member asked what were the inspiration behind each of the author’s novels. Basil Hero, author of The Mission of a Lifetime: Lessons from the Men Who Went to the Moon, automatically answered and recalled on the strong feelings and the impact that the moon landing made on not only the world-famous astronauts but on the rest of America; this strong feeling is what inspired Hero to write his book. 

 

Image Via Jovanna Reyes

 

Another panelist, Justin Kuritzkes, also explained the inspiration behind his book Famous People. Kuritzkes was interested in how just one aspect of a person can make them drastically stand out from the rest, especially the aspects that the public does not see. 

 

Image Via Jovanna Reyes

 

The panel continued with interesting questions and answers until it ended with all of the authors reading the last line of their books. Although the temperature was reaching the mid-nineties, the panel was very interesting and most importantly shaded from the blazing heat. 

 

More information on the weekly author’s panels can be found on the Bryant Park Reading Room website https://bryantpark.org/programs/Authors.

 

Featured Image Via Jovanna Reyes

Brooklyn's The Center for Fiction

Brooklyn’s New Center for Fiction: A Space for Writers and Readers

When you step foot in Brooklyn’s own The Center for Fiction, you’ll be ready to book your membership. Bookstr was lucky enough to snag an afternoon tour of the new space, but you’re going to want to stay a lot longer than that.

Recently relocated to 15 Lafayette Avenue, The Center for Fiction is more than just a bookstore—if anything can be ‘just’ a bookstore. It’s an impressive feat to fit thousands of worlds within the space of a single room… even if that room is spacious, modern, and beautifully lit. The Center for Fiction is an exceptionally curated bookstore, complete with thoughtful staff recommendations and indie releases. While browsing the high shelves (complete with rolling ladders like something out of a fairytale), I spotted one of my own niche favorites in the stacks: Kirk Lynn’s Rules for Werewolves, a dark and inventive 2015 release from Melville House—more notably, one I’ve never seen in another brick-and-mortar store.

 

The Center for Fiction Bookstore

 

Adjacent to the bookstore is the Center’s café, a charming spot whose walls are lined with 19th century novels. If you’ve ever fantasized about being peers with the historic greats (so, if you’re a writer) this is a dream that won’t require all that much fantasy. Sip an espresso, read a first-edition manuscript, and get lost in this novel idea.

 

The Center for Fiction's café, complete with paintings and first-edition 19th century manuscripts

Each table in the café is artfully topped with literary quotations.

 

Members have access to an even more impressive selection of features: a second-floor library with a 70,000 book collection. The basement, appropriately, is the 16,000 book crime & mystery library. Trust us—this is the only time you’ll want to be below ground with so many serial killers. (You could say it’s a collection to die for.)

 

The Center for Fiction has a sleek, modern decor juxtaposed with the antiquated and cozy.

 

The spacious upstairs features a sun-drenched reading room, complete with an adjacent outdoor patio. Plans are in development for an outdoor bar, so you may as well start planning to drink there. The reading room is a laptop free zone, which will enable you to concentrate fully on whichever book you’ve chosen and leave the world behind. A unique combination of the modern and refined, you’ll feel comfortable and inspired by this one-of-a-kind space.

 

The Center for Fiction Reading Room

 

 

The writers’ room offers a secluded yet inspiring space for those in all stages of their craft, be it an excited beginning or a far more frantic conclusion. Windows look out onto a vibrant neighborhood; inside, the atmosphere is peaceful and modern. Desks are spacious and outfitted with dividers (so, no direct eye contact with the person sitting across from you). With an adjacent kitchen, you’ll have everything you need to write all day… if you’ve got the concentration.

But The Center for Fiction has more than an updated space; it also has a vibrant, new community. Literature lovers can participate in a series of reading groups with varied prices for members and nonmembers—explore writers like James Baldwin, Aldous Huxley, and Henry James with high-level reading groups and discussions. Writing workshops are also available across a wide variety of disciplines, from genre-based courses on speculative fiction or crime writing to craft-based courses on dialogue and structure.

Individual membership is $150, dual membership is $275, and family membership is $325 annually. Although membership doesn’t cover the fees for writing and reading groups, it does count towards a 10% discount on all courses and special events. Of course, membership does include full borrowing privileges from both of The Center’s libraries, access to the reading room, and admission to the private bar.

 

All Images Via The Center for Fiction.