Despite living in Fort Greene, I haven't been down to Greenlight Bookstore more than a handful of times. The first time was when I got locked out of my apartment six weeks ago and had to find shelter because I have no friends in the neighborhood. Plus I was jacket-less. After spending quite some time in Greenlight, I remembered why I really shouldn't go into bookstores.
Thank goodness I didn't have my wallet on me because I would have spent so much money. On a return visit, I somehow managed not to have my wallet again and had to put a staff recommendation on layaway, Kazushi Hosaka's Plainsong. It's early on but I already love it. I haven't had the chance to get to the end because I'm behind on this month's book club reading -- Zadie Smith's NW -- but I knew just flipping through the pages at Greenlight that Plainsong was right up my alley.
Also, I love Zadie Smith's movie reviews from Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays. It's the movie equivalent of reading Nick Hornby's Stuff I've Been Reading columns. It goes to show that if someone is smart, they can write about anything. The tough part is getting that smart...
- The In-Between Generation: A Review of Kazushi Hosaka's Novel Plainsong (2011)
- About.com review of Plainsong (2011)
- Nabokov, Meet 50 Cent: Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind (2009)
- Generation Why? Zadie reviews The Social Network (2010)
- The House That Hova Built: Zadie on Jay-Z and Barclays (2012)
The event featured a Q&A with former NY Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton and the bookstore was packed with a very diverse crowd. For all authors out there, learn to make your readings funny. I can usually pay attention for about three minutes during a typical reading, but Eddie's personality and reading was just hilarious. Semi-pro tip: in a pinch, laugh at yourself, the crowd will awkwardly follow. Watching Eddie read made me want to write things that are like, actually funny when read out loud. Or just, you know, funny period. Dare to dream I guess. Below are a couple of my favorite Fresh Off the Boat Vice episodes, along with a lot of book related links.
- Fresh Off the Boat: Back to Taiwan Part 3
- Fresh Off the Boat: Bay Area Part 2 (2012)
- Chef Who Refuses to Be Defined by His Wok
- NY Times Review: Pork Buns Steamed in Bluster
- NPR: Fresh Off The Boat And Serving Up Asian Culture
- Eddie Huang and Heems: On Authenticity, Ethnicity, and Panda Sneakers
- Eater: How Much Eddie Huang Can You Cram in Your Brain?