Summer Guide 2010: Books

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KGB’s Fantastic Fiction
Speculate about the mysteries of life and science over some cheap beer while you listen to some good fiction this summer. A mix of veteran and up-and-coming writers of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror) read excerpts and short stories once every month for this free event. This summer, highlights include Jack Ketchum and Scott Edelman on June 16 and, for the July 21 reading, M.K. Hobson and Lucius Shepard.
Third Wednesdays, KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th St. (betw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery), 212-505-3360; 7, Free.

World Cup 2010: The Indispensable Guide to Soccer and Geopolitics
World Cup fever hits June 11. If you’re going to pretend like you know what you’re talking about for the only month every four years that Americans care about soccer, you better do your research. Join Stephen and Harrison Stark as they discuss their book World Cup 2010, which lays out the premise that soccer is the window to a nation’s soul.
June 9, The Strand, 828 Broadway (at E. 12th St.), 212-473-1452; 7, Free.

The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee comes to Bryant Park.

Word for Word Series
With an event nearly every other day this summer, the Word for Word series in Bryant Park has something for everyone. Highlights include funny woman Samantha Bee (June 9), mean girl publicist Kelly Cutrone (June 16), sex master Dr. Ruth (June 30) and bad-ass war journalist and screenwriter Sebastian Junger (July 14). It’s the perfect storm of speakers.
Wednesdays, Bryant Park, enter park at W. 41st St. and 6th Ave., 212-768-4242; 12:30, Free.

Madison Square Reads
Throughout the summer, well-known writers will give free outdoor readings in Madison Square Park—right next to Shake Shack! You could read the entire book while on line! July 15, Craig Nelson (not the dude from Coach) reads from Rocket Men: The Epic Story of The First Men on The Moon. There’s also a number of food writers, then the stage hosts David Gates, Tracy Daugherty, Emily Barton and Stacey D’Erasmo July 22, to honor short fiction writer Donald Barthelme.
Thursday evenings, Madison Square Park’s Farragut Monument, enter park at E. 23rd St. and Madison Ave., www.madisonsquarepark.org; 6:30, Free.

McNally Jackson Fiction Book Club
Trend-shattering successful independent bookstore McNally Jackson is never short on interesting writers attempting to educate the fashionable illiterates of Nolita. The store also hosts plenty of readings and the summer kicks off with a bang—or just a dude with bangs—when Simon Rich visits June 2. Check back on the website for future updates.
One Monday per month, McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St. (betw. Lafayette & Mulberry Sts.), 212-274-1160, www.mcnallyjackson.com; 7, Free.

Housing Works Bookstore Café
The non-profit has its once a year Open Air Street Fair June 5, where it opens up the secret basement vault and unloads thousands of books for a dollar each on Crosby Street. Award-winning Netherland author Joseph O’Neill stops by June 10. For those of you whose psychiatric needs aren’t being met (i.e. all of you), there will be a July 27 event that’s described as “speed-dating but with shrinks” to celebrate the paperback release of our pal Sue Shapiro’s Speed Shrinking.
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St. (betw. E. Houston & Prince Sts.), 212-334-3324, www.housingworks.org; Free.

Bloomsday on Broadway
For the past 28 years, Symphony Space co-founder Isaiah Sheffer has hosted a marathon staging of scenes from James Joyce’s Ulysses, enlisting a lot of big-name celebrities to bring the story of a day in the life of Dublin anti-hero Leopold Bloom to life. Performances have been known to go on for seven hours, so be prepared for a lot of Joyce. Whatever the length, $25 is a good price for what has become a New York institution.
June 16, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (betw. W. 95th & W. 96th Sts.), 212-864-5400; 7 $25.

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