No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America

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Thursday, August 2 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Darnell Moore, writer and leader in the Movement for Black Lives, brings what’s sure to be a riveting discussion of his new memoir No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America to the Brooklyn Historical Society. The description for his book on his website recounts how three neighborhood boys in Camden, New Jersey tried to set him on fire when he was only 14. In the three decades since that encounter, Moore has gone on to seek solace in the gay community of Philadelphia, justice on the front lines in Ferguson, Missouri, and life in his current home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In this book, he seeks to understand how that 14-year-old boy not only survived, but became the individual that he is today. Tickets to this event cost $5.

Books Beneath the Bridge: Greenlight Poetry Salon

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Monday, August 6 at 7 p.m. at Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park, The Granite Prospect Steps

Make the most of summer with this free outdoor literature series in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This event is a true celebration of the power of black women in poetry, featuring contributors to The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 2 such as Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of novel-in-verse The Poet X; Camonghne Felix, political strategist and author of Build Yourself a Boat and Yolk; and Safia Elhillo, Pushcart Prize nominee and author of The January Children.

NYC History Book Club

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Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. at McNally Jackson Williamsburg

This one’s for the local history buffs out there. The first and third Thursday of every month, McNally Jackson’s Williamsburg location hosts a book club series on New York’s eclectic history through books that range from journalism to utopian science-fiction. This particular discussion focuses on The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert Caro. You should try to read Parts I-III advance of the discussion, but if life gets in the way, I’m sure skimming will suffice.

The Bowery Boys Magical Mystery Hour

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Tom Meyers and Greg Young from the Bowery Boys podcast present this enchanting hour and a half of “historical wizardry and superstition” which takes the audience through twisted tales of illusion and sleight-of-hand tricks by traveling through time from old magic shops to parlors circa the Gilded Age. A book signing will follow the program. Tickets cost $20.

Fort Greene Summer Literary Festival

Saturday, August 18 from 3-5 p.m. at Roulette Intermedium

(Image Credit: Greenlight Bookstore)

Okay, this one’s less of a book talk and more of a book smorgasburg, but we’ll allow it because it hosts some great poets and performers coming together to bask in the literary traditions of Fort Greene. Sponsored by the Greenlight BookstoreNY Writers Coalition and Akashic Books, this event features Phillip B. Williams, author of Thief in the Interior; Jon Sands, author of The New Clean; Samantha Thornhill, author of A Card for My Father; emcee Chris Prioleau, founding editor of the Apogee Journal; and youth readers from the NY Writers Coalition.

Jenny Kroik + The Sketchy Book Club

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Sunday, August 19 from 2-4 p.m. at Strand’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room

Persuade your inner artist and get sketchy at this event that’s sure to delight the introverts out there by combining two beloved pastimes: drawing and reading. As each participant in this small-group setting states their favorite book, another person sketches their portrait. A few authors and musicians will make some guest appearances as well. They only ask that you bring your favorite book, a sketchbook and art supplies with you. No watercolors, please–think of the books! Unlike most Strand events, this one is free but there is a suggested $10 donation.

Read Dating > Speed Dating

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Strand’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room; please see description below for dates.

If you’ve ever day-dreamed of the quintessential meet-cute in a cozy bookstore, then make your way to Strand for an evening of sparks flying (not literally–that would be quite disastrous for the books) over old manuscripts. Strike up a conversation with a fellow bibliophile. Who knows where it might lead? Tickets cost $15 and must be purchased in advance.

There are two different dates. Women seeking men and men seeking women should attend the event on Thursday, August 23 at 7 p.m. Women seeking women and men seeking men should attend the event on Wednesday, August 29 at 7 p.m. Please note: Strand states that, “We respect and accept all identities and conceptions of gender. Whichever of our speed dating nights you feel comfortable attending, we will be glad to host you!”

Unapologetic: Charlene A. Carruthers & Glory Edim

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Wednesday, August 29 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Join Author Charlene A. Carruthers, founding national director of the BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) and Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl, for a talk about Carruthers’ necessary and timely book, Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. The book serves as Carruthers’ guide to subverting mainstream ideas around race, gender and class through the lens of intellectual and grassroots organizing within the black community, spanning the Haitian Revolution to the U.S. civil rights movement. This event is free of cost.

Ryan Hampton: American Fix

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Tuesday, August 28 from 7-8 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

The U.S. opioid crisis continues to unfurl with seemingly no end in sight to its devastation, but Ryan Hampton is on a mission to change that outcome. As a former White House staffer and heroin addict as well as the outreach lead and recovery advocate for the nonprofit Facing Addiction, Hampton is uniquely poised to address the challenges to overcoming addiction in his new book American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis – and How to End It. Tickets cost $15 and grant you a gift card to Strand.