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How to Make a Great Book Party

What makes a great book party? In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed author Evan Hughes about his new book, Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. While introducing some of the great Brooklyn novelists featured in his literary history, Hughes also shared the secret behind his headline-making book party in Brooklyn. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

I wanted it be as social as possible–not to have people sit still and behave for too long. People want to mingle with the friends they came with. The party was two hours, but I really made an effort to keep the readings and the entertainment to a 30-minute period. I brought other writers into it. Two other writers who also lived in Brooklyn, Touré and Michael Thomas, both read selections from Brooklyn literature.

Hughes concluded:

I only read for four minutes and talked about the book for a couple minutes. Then Alina Simone and her band played three songs, they were terrific. Then people had time to buy books, talk and be merry … Keep it relatively brief and engaging. Keep in mind that reading aloud is a tough way to engage an audience. It can work, but I think it is best to be concise and have a range of people on stage for a few minutes each.

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