***While the COVID-19 epidemic continues, our in-store events have been canceled or postponed, and we are continuing to evaluate plans in coordination with authors and publishers. We will update our calendar as necessary, as well as posting on our social media channels. Please email us at email@example.com with questions.
Thank you for your understanding.***
[POSTPONED] Mary Norris on GREEK TO ME
Wednesday April 08 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us with author Mary Norris on her memoir GREEK TO ME: Adventures of the Comma Queen!
The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
In her New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, Mary Norris delighted readers with her irreverent tales of pencils and punctuation in The New Yorker’s celebrated copy department. In Greek to Me, she delivers another wise and funny paean to the art of self-expression, this time filtered through her greatest passion: all things Greek.
Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris’s lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine—and more than a few Greek men—Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.
Mary Norris is the author of Greek to Me and the New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, an account of her years in The New Yorker copy department. Originally from Cleveland, she lives in New York.
[POSTPONED] Alexander Kriss on THE GAMING MIND
Thursday April 09 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for a discussion on Alexander Kriss on his book The Gaming Mind: A New Psychology of Videogames and the Power of Play!
A therapist reveals the role of videogames in the lives of his patients, writing in the tradition of Oliver Sacks
Society has come to malign videogames and their players, suggesting that videogames promote violence or indulge antisocial behavior. The Gaming Mind is the antidote to this rhetoric.
Drawing us into his therapy office, clinical psychologist Alexander Kriss explores the positive impact of playing videogames and how they connect us with our humanity. Kriss sees videogames as a window into the mind, and he weaves together case studies, professional insight, and his personal history in a gripping narrative that disrupts our assumptions about gaming and “gamers.” We meet his patients: Jack struggles to decode emotions yet relishes the relationship-building dynamics of Mass Effect; while Patricia, a former aspiring model, finds solace in the wake of trauma by crafting a hideous avatar, “Pat.” Kriss also recounts how even he experienced Silent Hill 2 as a virtual landscape, in which to process the death of a friend.
Without shying away from potentially risky subjects like addiction and online harassment, Kriss advances a balanced, scientifically supported view of videogames. Sometimes the way we play reveals who we are—and what we want from our lives.
Alexander Kriss, PhD, runs a psychotherapy practice in New York City, where he treats patients with anxiety, depression, and videogame “addiction” (a term he disputes). He has a psychology degree from The New School and a playwriting BFA from NYU. Kriss’s writing on mental health and technology has appeared in Logic, Kill Screen, and numerous academic publications.
Feminist Book Club: Such A Fun Age [Virtual]
Saturday April 11 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Astoria Feminist Book Club will have a virtual session on April 11 at 1:00, when we'll discuss "Such a Fun Age," by Kiley Reid. In order to participate, please email the group leader, Jen, at astoriafeministbookgroup@
Our focus is on an intersectional exploration of women's rights and status worldwide.
The next selection is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, which we will discuss on Saturday, April 11th at 1pm. The book is available for purchase at the Bookshop at 10% off all month long.
Questions about this group? Email Jen at AstoriaFeministBookGroup@gmail.com.
[POSTPONED] Mariah Fredericks for DEATH OF AN AMERICAN BEAUTY
Thursday April 16 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for a discussion with local author Mariah Fredericks latest release DEATH OF AN AMERICAN BEAUTY!
Death of an American Beauty is the third in Mariah Fredericks's compelling series, set in Gilded Age New York, featuring Jane Prescott.
Jane Prescott is taking a break from her duties as lady’s maid for a week, and plans to begin it with attending the hottest and most scandalous show in town: the opening of an art exhibition, showcasing the cubists, that is shocking New York City.
1913 is also the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation speech, and the city's great and good are determined to celebrate in style. Dolly Rutherford, heiress to the glamorous Rutherford’s department store empire, has gathered her coterie of society ladies to put on a play—with Jane’s employer Louise Tyler in the starring role as Lincoln himself. Jane is torn between helping the ladies with their costumes and enjoying her holiday. But fate decides she will do neither, when a woman is found murdered outside Jane’s childhood home—a refuge for women run by her uncle.
Deeply troubled as her uncle falls under suspicion and haunted by memories of a woman she once knew, Jane—with the help of old friends and new acquaintances, reporter Michael Behan and music hall pianist Leo Hirschfeld—is determined to discover who is making death into their own twisted art form.
MARIAH FREDERICKS was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives with her family. She is the author of several YA novels. This is her third novel to feature ladies’ maid Jane Prescott.
VIRTUAL EVENT: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan in Conversation with Cheryl Tan for STARLING DAYS
Friday April 17 | 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Join us with authors Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Cheryl Tan in conversation for the novel STARLING DAYS on Instagram Live, over at @astoriabookshop!
The moving new novel by the author of Harmless Like You, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and NPR Great Read
On their first date, Mina told Oscar that she was bisexual, vegetarian, and on meds. He married her anyhow. A challenge to be met. She had low days, sure, but manageable. But now, maybe not so much . . . Mina is standing on the George Washington Bridge late at night, staring over the edge, when a patrol car drives up. She tries to convince the policeman she’s not about to jump, but he doesn’t believe her. Oscar is called to pick her up.
With the idea of leaving New York for London—a place for Mina “to learn the floorplan of this sadness”—Oscar arranges a move. In London, Mina, a classicist, tries grappling with her mental health issues by making lists. Of WOMEN WHO SURVIVED—Penelope, Psyche, Leda. Iphigenia, but only in one of the tellings. Of things that make her HAPPY—enamel coffee cups. But what else? She at last finds a beam of light in Phoebe, and friendship and attraction blossom until Oscar and Mina’s complicated love is tested.
A gorgeously wrought novel, variously about love, mythology, mental illness, Japanese beer, and the times we need to seek out milder psychological climates, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s Starling Days—written in exquisite prose rich with lightly ironic empathy—is a complex and compelling work of fiction by a singularly gifted young writer.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like You—the winner of The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. It was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an NPR 2017 Great Read. Her short work has appeared in several places including Granta, Guernica,
Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is a New York-based journalist and author of “Sarong Party Girls” (William Morrow, 2016) as well as “A Tiger In The Kitchen: A Memoir of Food & Family“ (Hyperion, 2011), both of which were international bestsellers. New York magazine named "Tiger" one of the "Top 25 Must-Read Food Memoirs of All Time." She is also the editor of the fiction anthology “Singapore Noir“ (Akashic Books, 2014).
She was a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal, In Style magazine and the Baltimore Sun. Her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, National Geographic, Foreign Policy, Marie Claire, Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, The (Portland) Oregonian, The (Topeka) Capital-Journal and The (Singapore) Straits Times among other places.
She has been an artist in residence at Yaddo, Hawthornden Castle, Le Moulin à Nef, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ragdale Foundation, Ledig House and the Studios of Key West. In 2012, she was the recipient of a major arts creation grant from the National Arts Council of Singapore in support of her novel.
[POSTPONED] Stephen Haff on KID QUIXOTES
Tuesday April 21 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for a discussion of Stephen Haff's KID QUIXOTES!
Still Waters in a Storm is an after-school program held in a small room in Bushwick, Brooklyn; it is a place for kids to practice reading and writing in English, Spanish, and Latin. For the students, many living in constant fear of deportation, Still Waters is a refuge. For Stephen Haff, a former public-school teacher, it is the sanctuary he built following a breakdown caused by bipolar depression. At Still Waters, all agreed that there would only be one rule: “Everyone listens to everyone.” And this has unlocked spectacular potential.
Since 2016, the students have been collectively translating Don Quixote into English, taking the Spanish tale—a story about a dreamer who never gives up—and adapting it into a bilingual musical. Six-year old Sarah tells of her mother’s journey across the desert from Mexico riding on the back of a tiger. Alex, a very private teenager, sings her coming out song to standing ovations. As the kids perform their work across NYC, they learn that they belong in this country—their voices amplifying to deliver a message of diversity, love, hope, and resilience essential to us all.
About the Author:
Stephen Haff is the founder of Still Waters in a Storm, a one-room school serving Spanish-speaking immigrant children in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Previously, he taught English at a public school in Bushwick for nearly a decade. He earned his MFA in Theater Studies at Yale, and has made a living directing plays and writing essays for the Village Voice and other publications. Stephen lives in Queens with his wife, children’s book author Tina Schneider, and their three children.
Elisabeth Thomas in conversation with Genevieve Valentine for CATHERINE HOUSE
Thursday May 14 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for a conversation with debut author Elisabeth Thomas on her novel CATHERINE HOUSE with local author Genevieve Valentine!
Trust us, you belong here.
A gothic-infused debut of literary suspense, set within a secluded, elite university and following a dangerously curious, rebellious undergraduate who uncovers a shocking secret about an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.
Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.
Among this year’s incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. Even the school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves within the formidable iron gates of Catherine. For Ines, it is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had. But the House’s strange protocols soon make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda within the secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.
Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.
About the Author:
Elisabeth Thomas grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she still lives and now writes. She graduated from Yale University and currently works as an archivist for a modern art museum. This is her first novel.
Genevieve Valentine is a novelist, comic book writer, and cultural critic.
Matt Ortile on THE GROOM WILL KEEP HIS NAME
Tuesday June 09 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for the release of Matt Ortile's book THE GROOM WILL KEEP HIS NAME!
A riotous collection of "witty and captivating" (Bitch Magazine) essays by a gay Filipino immigrant in America learning that everything is about sex--and sex is about power
When Matt Ortile moved from Manila to Las Vegas, the locals couldn't pronounce his name. Harassed as a kid for his brown skin, accent, and femininity, he believed he could belong in America by marrying a white man and shedding his Filipino identity. This was the first myth he told himself. The Groom Will Keep His Name explores the various tales Ortile spun about what it means to be a Vassar Girl, an American Boy, and a Filipino immigrant in New York looking to build a home.
As we meet and mate, we tell stories about ourselves, revealing not just who we are, but who we want to be. Ortile recounts the relationships and whateverships that pushed him to confront his notions of sex, power, and the model minority myth. Whether swiping on Grindr, analyzing DMs, or cruising steam rooms, Ortile brings us on his journey toward radical self-love with intelligence, wit, and his heart on his sleeve.
About the Author:
Matt Ortile is the managing editor of Catapult magazine. Previously, he was the global publishing lead for BuzzFeed International and the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. His writing has been published by BuzzFeed, Into, Self, and Out, among others. He lives in Brooklyn.
Launch Event! Tara Altebrando in Conversation for TAKE ME WITH YOU
Tuesday June 23 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for the launch of Tara Altebrando's newest YA thriller, TAKE ME WITH YOU!
Take Me With You is a new psychological thriller that challenges our trust in the electronic devices we keep close and reveals that the truth may very well be the opposite. Eden, Eli, Marwan, and Ilanka barely know each other beyond having a class or two together. But when they are all summoned via messaging app to an empty classroom after school, they find a small cube sitting on a desk. Its sides light up with rules for them: Do not tell anyone about the device. Never leave the device unattended. And then, Take me with you . . . or else. The more the device learns and “grows,” the more the four rebel—until they find out just what the device is capable of.
Tara Altebrando is the author of several middle grade and teen novels, including The Opposite of Here, The Possible, and The Leaving. She lives in New York City with her family.