Nitehawk’s “Booze & Books” series is partnering with Abrams Books for a signing of Tom Shone’s Woody Allen: A Retrospective and screening of the director’s 1980 film Stardust Memories (starring Allen, Charlotte Rampling and Jessica Harper). Fittingly, the movie is about a filmmaker recalling his various inspirations while attending a retrospective of his work. Before the show Shone will be signing the illustrated biography, the first complete film-by-film overview of Allen’s career; it includes original interviews as well as 250 behind-the-scenes stills, photographs, posters, and ephemera. Don’t forget to ask about the special cocktail for sale, inspired by the film – it is “Booze & Books,” after all.
Tuesday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m. Nitehawk Cinema, 36 Metropolitan Avenue (Williamsburg). $15 (ticket only) or $45 (ticket plus book).
The addictive tumblr Slaughterhouse 90210, which pairs pop culture images with delightfully on-the-nose literary quotes, is being released as a book. Author Maris Kreizman usually references her favorite TV shows (Mad Men, Gilmore Girls, and Bob’s Burgers get considerable play), but some of her selections have turned out to be incredibly poignant. A particularly relevant one pairs a photos of Donald Trump with a passage from Catch-22 that reads in part: “It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy…Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.” To celebrate the book’s release, TV critics Taffy Brodesser-Akner (GQ, New York Times), Tyler Coates (Decider), Gilbert Cruz (New York Times), Willa Paskin (Slate), Pilot Viruet (Flavorwire) will join Kreizman in conversation.
Tuesday, October 6, at 7 p.m. Housing Works Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby Street (NoLIta).
Patti Smith will be signing her new book, a memoir called M Train, at Barnes & Noble. Illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is described as a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. Smith herself calls it a “roadmap to my life,” and it all starts in a Greenwich Village café where a young Smith used to ruminate on life, jotting down thoughts in her notebook while enjoying a cup of joe; we can scarcely think of a more poetic beginning for this now-beloved icon’s journey to becoming one of the most remarkable multi-platform artists at work today.
Wednesday, October 7, at 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 33 East 17th Street (Union Square). Must show proof of purchase of M Train from a BN retail location or BN.com to receive a wristband. Smith will be signing the new book only, no backlist titles or memorabilia.
If you’ve never come across her work before, now’s your chance to discover Eileen Myles’s cult classic Chelsea Girls, and as a bonus see an impressive gathering of accomplished poets. Myles’s biographical account of her childhood in Boston and life as a struggling poet in New York City is said to be starkly honest, “suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young artist’s life.” For the book’s rerelease, she will be joined by Sam Ace, Jen Benka, Charles Bernstein, Stephen Boyer, Alex Chee, r. erica doyle, Megan Fernandez, Adam Fitzgerald, Mira Gonzalez, Emily Gould, Patricia Spears Jones, erica kaufman, Porochista Khapour, Ben Lerner, Elinor Nauen, Trace Peterson, Ariana Reines, Jill Soloway, Stacy Szymaszek, Anne Waldman, Joe Westmoreland, and Simone White.
Wednesday, October 7, at 8 p.m. The Poetry Project, St. Mark’s Church 131 E. 10th Street (East Village).
Strangers Drowning is a non-fiction deep dive that’s said to be a must-read for a well-examined life, but given the people it follows in an effort to pin down the limits of human altruism, you might also consume it like a reality television show. A couple adopts one child, then another, and before they know it they have 20, at a possible detriment to the children. Another couple founds a leprosy colony in the wilderness of India, knowing that their two small children may contract leprosy or be eaten by panthers. “The children survive. But what if they hadn’t?” The book’s synopsis asks. “How would their parents’ risk have been judged?” Author Larissa MacFarquhar will join fellow writer David Grann (The Lost City of Z) for a discussion and book signing.
Wednesday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street (Fort Greene).
You most likely know Miranda July as a director and actress, but according to the synopsis her debut novel is “so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny—so Miranda July—that readers will be blown away.” And that does pretty well describe July’s 2005 film Me You and Everyone We Know, which she wrote and starred in. Now in The First Bad Man: A Novel, we meet Cheryl, a tightly wound, vulnerable woman who is “haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies.” So, yup. Sounds like a concept only July could pull off and have it somehow not translate as completely insane. Lena Dunham stopped just shy of calling her the voice of a generation, saying “never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self.” Don’t miss July at the signing of Bad Man’s paperback release.
Thursday, October 8, at 1 p.m. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street (NoLIta).