For the Love of Lit: Our Five Best Book Events This Week


I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating
Housing Works Bookstore
Tonight, 7pm, $10
Your skepticism is justified. People with the rock-solid attention spans and copious alone time required to really bunker down to some hardcore reading tend to be the very same who run for the stacks when faced with the comparative brevity and binge socializing of speed dates. But no more. Because here, sustaining a thimble-sized bloodbath of paper cuts after flipping through Infinite Jest‘s 388 extra-textual footnotes and vacationing at Walden Pond for two consecutive spring breaks doesn’t make you weird or reclusive, no, but rather the stud. Dan Wilbur, author of How Not to Read teams up with seasoned hostess Jo Firestone to present this get together by CoverSpy. Daters are encouraged to bring a favorite book–there’s no better wingman.


Lars Iyer + McKenzie Wark
Book Court
Thursday, 7pm, free
With his fictional debut Spurious in 2011, and it’s sequel Dogma out last year, Lars Iyer became the kind of critic-adored cult hit that Melville House seems so good at smuggling into Brooklyn. Tonight he will read from Exodus, the final installment in this trilogy about two out-of-work intellectuals who feel utterly betrayed by culture. The protagonists bicker and bitch their way to enlightenment (Iyer has cited Don Quixote and Sancho Panza–that other pair of literary frenemies–as inspiration), while pondering Kierkegaard, pantslessness, and many a well-dropped insult. Media theorist McKenzie Wark mediates, and sponsor Full Stop will provide gin and wine.

Jack Kerouac’s Bilingualism: A Panel Discussion with Joyce Johnson
Barnard College
Monday, 6pm, free
Rev-up your Ford flatbed and hold on to those freedom fries, because we’ve got news for you. Jack Kerouac, possibly the most American of all Americans to ever traverse the highway system, originally began writing On the Road in French! Sacré that bleu. Author and Brooklyn native Joyce Johnson, who briefly dated Kerouac in the ’50s (after Allen Ginsberg set them up), will talk with French professor Hassan Melehy about the lead Beat’s cultural and linguistic Francophilia.

Paul Muldoon + Timothy Donnelly
McNally Jackson
Tuesday, 7pm, free
Pulitzer-embossed Paul Muldoon returns to give us The Word on the Street. His newest work is an exploration of the muddled term “lyric” and its original meaning as a poetic form, striking at the point where any given smattering of stanzas moves from poem to song. Themes include Charlton Heston, cellulite, pole dancing, and Jersey peaches, with a good chunk of the works coming straight from the set list of Muldoon’s rock band Wayside Shrines. He will discuss genre-hopping with fellow bard Timothy Donnelly, author of The Cloud Corporation.

Proust in 24 Hours: with Adam Gopnik and Anka Muhlstein
192 Books
Tuesday, 7pm, free
Swann’s Way, the first volume of Marcel Proust’s seven-part novel, was turned down by every major editor in France before he caved and coughed up the cash to publish it himself in 1913. Now, one hundred years later, we’re glad he did, because 192 Books is celebrating the novel’s centennial with a marathon reading that will sweep well into tomorrow. New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik will take a break from hanging around the set of Charlie Rose to introduce the event with Anka Muhlstein, author of Monsieur Proust’s Library. Champagne and madeleines will be on hand to help induce some involuntary memories of your own.