The Brooklyn Book Festival is a beast. The annual Sunday literary celebration features more than 300 authors of all genres, participating in panels and readings across 14 stages. And that’s not even including the outdoor marketplace of more than 200 booksellers and publishers, the “bookend” events happening all this week or the Children’s Day on Saturday.
If you’re planning to make a day out of the main festival, here’s our guide on what to do hour by hour. All events are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you’re a big fan of a certain author, get there early.
Hear from three buzzy writers at “Extroverted Girls and Introverted Women,” as Jenny Zhang (“Sour Heart”), poet Morgan Parker (“There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé”) and Julie Buntin (“Marlena”) discuss writing female characters. Moderated by New Yorker contributing writer Jia Tolentino. St. Francis College Founder’s Hall, 180 Remsen St.
Stay in your seat for “Literary Lions,” featuring readings from festival honorees past and present: current honoree, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead (“The Underground Railroad”), as well as Pete Hamill (“A Drinking Life”), Jacqueline Woodson (“Another Brooklyn”) and Jonathan Lethem (“A Gambler’s Anatomy”). Moderated by Gregory Cowles, an editor at The New York Times Book Review. St. Francis College Founder’s Hall
Dig in to the art of dining with “Reservations at Home,” during which three cookbook authors — Raquel Pelzel (“Num Pang: The Cookbook and Breaking Breads”), Sohui Kim (chef and author of “The Good Fork”) and Saveur test kitchen director Stacy Adimando (“Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen”) — will give tips on creating a restaurant experience at home. Moderated by Food52’s Mayukh Sen. Center Stage, Columbus Park
Chances are you’re hungry now after that delicious discussion. So head to the plaza in front of the post office, where food trucks including Okonomi, Queen Cobra Thai, La Newyorkina and People’s Pops will be parked.
Devote some time to exploring the marketplace, where you can pick up recommended reads or magazine subscriptions.
A highlight of each Brooklyn Book Festival is the spotlight on debut authors, where you can hear from new voices and have a new fiction writer to follow. At “Who? New!” hear from Lara Elena Donnelly (“Amberlough”), Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes (“The Sleeping World”), Vanessa Hua (“Deceit and Other Possibilities”), Ian Bassingthwaighte (“Live from Cairo”) and David S. Mitchell (“We Hold These Truths”). Introduced by Claire Messud (“The Burning Girl”). Center Stage
Crime stories are having a moment, from true-crime podcasts and series like “Serial” and “Making a Murderer” to TV shows like “The Night Of” and “Big Little Lies” (itself based on a book). Indulge your guilty pleasure at “Killer Crime-Fiction,” where a panel including festival fixture Joyce Carol Oates (“A Book of American Martyrs”), Nelson George (“To Funk and Die in L.A.”) and Ben H. Winters (“Underground Airlines”) will discuss their approach to the crime-fiction genre. St. Francis College Founder’s Hall
“Twin Peaks: The Return” may have just wrapped up, but you can still get your David Lynch fix at “Between Two Worlds,” a panel discussion on the director’s influence on contemporary American fiction with Alexandra Kleeman (“Intimations”), Mark Doten (“Trump Sky Alpha”) and Lincoln Michel (“Upright Beasts”). Center Stage
IF YOU GO
The Brooklyn Book Festival is on Sept. 17 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn. For the full schedule of free events, visit brooklynbookfestival.org.