Brooklyn Book Festival 2016 Edition

I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival with a friend; had a nice time.

This year, I’m still pleased that the Alma Mater Law School hosted some of the events, proactively involved with the community. Plus: we’re the best law school in Brooklyn, as the dean, Nicholas Allard, said during the panel he moderated, “Politically Correct?” (mind you, we’re the only law school in Brooklyn). This panel included
Ralph Nader (Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think), Thomas Frank (Listen Liberal), and Gloria J. Browne-Marshall (The Voting Rights War), discussing the election process and voter empowerment, in light of the current political climate.  Here’s a link to the photo of them over at the Brooklyn Book Festival’s tumblr.

I thought that the “Politically Correct?” panel was interesting, even if it wasn’t surprising about the current political climate. I’ve heard Browne-Marshall speak before at a few bar association continuing legal education programs, and at the panel, she was impressive about the need to vote (relevant things that people of color and women ought to remember – as people would have been deprived of the ability to vote and have been marginalized over voting power is concerned).

Nader made some good points about the need to participate (putting aside that I didn’t quite appreciate third parties as much as he does).

Frank raised some good points about how liberalism (or the current Democratic Party’s version of it) takes the working class for granted (which were good points; I wasn’t sure of what we would do about it, since I don’t think that the policies of the current version of conservatism necessarily helps the working class either). Frank’s previous book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, is one of those pivotal analysis on what the Republicans did – which I still ought to read already).

The program would have been better if there had been more time for Q&A, something that always depends on timing available, anyway.

My friend and I also attended the panel, “Not So Generic: Diversity in Science Fiction presented by the Center for Fiction.”  (see here for the Center for Fiction’s event page for this panel; and here for the Center for Fiction’s tumblr). The panelists included
Catherynne Valente, Seth Dickinson, Alyssa Wong, and Alice Sola Kim, and they discussed how science fiction and fantasy as genres are currently covering gender constructs and sexuality (and the backlash of that). I thought that this was a well-done discussion, especially as modern society has to deal with how we are (or aren’t) inclusive.

The book vendors were quite a diverse crowd.  I really noticed, more than ever, that by separating the children’s portion to Saturday rather than on Sunday, there was more physical space, but I felt a different vibe on Sunday.

We went to the food trucks.  Man, I’m such a sucker for the tasty empanadas from the Nuchas truck; there was also the Gorilla Grilled Cheese NYC truck.  See here for a nifty photo of the food trucks at the book festival, from the Brooklyn Book Festival tumblr.

Some of my photos from the book festival will be shown on the next post.

(cross-posted at

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