Showing posts from December 23, 2008

Best-loved books of 2008, #23: Favorite Place-Based Anthology

Shop Indie Bookstores Brooklyn Was Mine edited by by Valerie Steiker and Chris Knutsen (Riverhead) (bonus: giving some love to the local!) If there's anything your Book Nerd loves more than books and indie bookstores, it's my adopted home town of Brooklyn. So of course I snatched up this nonfiction anthology (which, as I mentioned here , benefits the organization Develop Don't Destroy , which opposes what I think is the worst idea in Brooklyn development history.) It could have been hit or miss -- as Colson Whitehead hilariously observed , there's a certain amount of hype around Brooklyn these days, especially as a literary Mecca. Luckily, the mix of authors here offers views and voices beyond literary hipsterdom. The introduction by Pete Hamill offers several decades' perspective on the "sudden emergence" of Brooklyn, and opines that it will probaby remain itself whatever the condo developers or anti-gentrifiers attempt. Lara Vapnyar has an illuminating