That’s What She Said at Public Assembly


2012: Year of the Dragon, Year of 30th Olympiad, and year of outrageous lady hating. It seems almost silly to point out areas where women are particularly marginalized, because the past few months have brought us this, this, and who could forget this?

But most of think of the arts as a kinder, gentler, or at least better and more gender equal place. Oh, but this guy thinks that women can’t be funny, and (some) people seem to…like him? His “argument” isn’t even worth debating, but here’s a debate you might have time for: why are women so underrepresented in the literary arts?  Women who choose to pursue careers in comedy or in writing are bravely facing obstacles that their (straight) male counterparts are unlikely to ever experience. And I’m being really generous with the use of the word “unlikely.” And what of the women who do both? Women who tell jokes in public and write books? These women should be celebrated, cheered, given their own day, their own year even (2013 is available). Well, the Desk Set can at least give them a couple of hours. Jumping off my high horse just in time to have some fun and invite you to :

the Desk Set & the G.L.O.C. present

That’s What She Said:
Conversations with Women Writers/Comics

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:00PM

Public Assembly’s back room

Glennis McCarthy, of the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy (G.L.O.C), will moderate a panel discussion with women navigating the worlds of both comedy and literature. Panelists include legendary SNL cast member Rachel DratchElna Baker (The Moth, This American Life, Studio 360, Radiolab),Kambri Crews (92Y, UCB, the Moth, Ochi’s Lounge), and Karen Bergreen (Gotham, Comic Strip, Caroline’s)

That’s What She Said is part of EtceteraPublic Assembly‘s week long festival of art, talks, films, comedy, learning, music and dancing.

This event, like many of the Et Cetera events is FREE.

(But bring cash if you want to buy a book!)



7:00 PM

Public Assembly

70 North 6th Street

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Rachel Dratch grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, attended Dartmouth College, and spent nine years in the Chicago improv scene, eventually making it to the Second City mainstage, where she worked with Adam McKay, Tina Fey, Scott Adsit, and Kevin Dorff among others. Starting in 1999, Rachel famously spent seven seasons as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. After leaving SNL, Rachel has performed in various TV, film and theatre projects. Last spring, she published her first book, the memoir Girl Walks Into a Bar…

Elna Baker is a writer and comedic storyteller. She’s appeared on The Moth Radio Hour, This American Life, BBC Radio 4, All Things Considered, WTF with Marc Maron, Studio 360, The Sound of Young America, and at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She’s written for ELLE, Glamour and Men’s Journal among others. Her memoir The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance was published by Penguin, earning four stars in People Magazine and the 2010 AML award for best humor writing. She’s also the co-host and co-creator of The Talent Show, recently named best variety show by New York Magazine.

Kambri Crews once lived with her deaf parents in a tin shed in Montgomery, Texas. She now runs her own PR and production company in New York City, books comedy for the 92YTribeca, and is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Burn Down the Ground (Random House). A renowned storyteller and public speaker, Kambri has performed on The Moth’s Mainstage, The 92Y, SXSW Comedy, Risk!, UCB Theatre, Gotham Comedy Club and given speeches at SXSW, DeafHope, and many other schools, colleges, venues and events.

Karen Bergreen, a mainstay in the New York City comedy clubs, has been invited twice to perform at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado and the Great American Comedy Festival at the Johnny Carson Theatre in Norfolk, Nebraska.  Karen has appeared on Comedy Central, The Oxygen Network, and The Joy Behar Show, and Law & Order. Her 2010 comic novel Following Polly earned praise from The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, and her mother-in-law.  Her newest novel Perfect is Overrated came out in July.

Glennis McCarthy (nee McMurray) is a New York Times profiled comedian, actress and founder of, a community-building website for women in comedy. At 19, Glennis moved from a trailer park in Colorado to New York City with a degree in manicurist…ing. [Nails.] She survived a 93-year-old French roommate with Dementia; a customer service job opening mail containing used condoms; a winter in Jersey City on $200 a week; an almost marriage; lots and lots of credit card debt; a celebrity boyfriend; a blue album; and an eventual emersion as the FIERCE butterfly you see before you. She is writing a book about it and yes, mom, you will be in it.

They Spin for Us, We Flip for Them

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After the hottest spring and summer on record, it’s hard to even remember what passed for our most recent winter here in Brooklyn. But many months ago, we partied with the library crowd at the fine Bell House, sipping lit themed cocktails, dressed to the nines in some old-fashioned Noir splendor. Biblioball 2011 was the latest of the Desk Set’s dance parties, and over the years we’ve engaged the (100% volunteer) services of some of NYC’s best and loveliest DJs. Whether at DDLR or Biblioball, these gals and guys have been so great to us over the years, making sure we get funding into the hands of amazing organizations like Literacy for Incarcerated Teens and Books Through Bars.

Matt Fiveash at Daddy's, Mardi Gras 2009

Good news, friends: you don’t have to wait for the next Desk Set bash to catch some of these fine purveyors of classic soul, rock, boogaloo, alt-pop and nearly every other genre of music you love. They’re all quite busy doing their thing all year long. Here’s where you can catch of few of them this summer, online and in real life.

  • Mr. Matt Fiveash can be found on the first Wednesday of every month at our favorite Graham Avenue haunt Daddy’s. And for the agoraphobic (or anyone else who enjoys listening from home), tune in on Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 PM on WFMU’s Rock & Soul Ichiban Stream.
  • Rob Dyrenforth DJs a regular gig in Greenpoint at NoName bar, 597 Manhattan Ave every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sunday every month from 10p to 3a. And, you can find him playing records from time to time at Hotel Delmano on Berry St.  This month, he’ll be there on the 14th (tomorrow!) and 24th.

Check back next week for more details about some of our other favorite record spinners and their whereabouts!

Last week’s WORD

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Here are my belated thanks to those of you who came out for last week’s event with Jon Michaud, librarian at the New Yorker and first-time novelist, at WORD in Greenpoint. Apologies for the delay, but I’ve been to Russia and back since I was last in touch (more on that coming soon).

Maria and I wait for the event to begin

WORD just turned four, which makes them close in age to the Desk Set. Having lived in the Greenpoint area for about twice that long, I cannot even remember or imagine how I survived pre-WORD. Their book selection, events, and wonderful staff make them an absolutely necessary part of my neighborhood, and indeed the city of New York.

The Desk Set has collaborated with WORD before, and when we heard about the opportunity to co-host the Jon Michaud reading and signing, we were all over it. It was an honor to interview Mr. Michaud, and the fact that the New Yorker listed the event felt like no small accomplishment.

Jon’s book, When Tito Loved Clara, centers on the interwoven loves and lives of Clara, a Dominican immigrant who grew up in Inwood, Tito, her high school boyfriend, and Thomas, her husband. Clara and Thomas are both librarians – as is their creator – so this book and this author were a perfect match for a Desk Set event.

Jon and I began our conversation by discussing his day job. Knowing there were several librarians in the audience, and feeling overcome with curiosity myself, I had to ask him about what he does at work and how he came to do it. Jon revealed that he landed this dreamy position in much the same way many of us land our own jobs – by answering a want ad. His work ever since has been a fairly typical librarian’s blend of providing access and ensuring preservation. The library at the New Yorker is unsurprisingly more of an archive, and Jon is in many ways a guardian of the magazine’s history. The library has been working for years to make sure every page of every issue is digitally preserved, and therefore available for our perusal, either on the Complete New Yorker hard drive or disc set, or though the New Yorker’s online archive. Jon also makes regular contributions to the New Yorker’s Book Bench Blog.

When I read When Tito Loved Clara I was delighted by the details about librarianship. Clara and Thomas meet in Library School, at Pratt, and go on to work in different branches of our field. I pointed out to Jon that he has really broken some ground in terms of librarian portrayal in contemporary arts and culture. Not a shush to be heard, no great reference-based mysteries solved, and sexuality dealt with in only the most normal (read: no repressed buns coming unraveled as eyeglasses fall to the floor) ways. Jon was eager to use his book as a way to redress the lack of realistic librarian portrayal in pop culture, but he was also able to tell the reader a lot about his characters through their vocations. Clara struggles as a child with language and assimilation, and a Master’s Degree in Library Science and a prestigious job with a law firm comes to represent a triumph of academic ambition. Thomas – who is more of a technical services type – can create order through chaos in his professional, but not necessarily his personal life. Plus, Jon knows what it is to be a librarian and was therefore able to fill his narrative with the details of the trade.

The very pretty book cover for When Tito Loved Clara

Jon also told me that the book allowed him to bring one of his favorite New York neighborhoods, the often overlooked Inwood, into prominence. Most non New Yorkers, and even some born and bred here, Jon pointed out, have no idea where or what Inwood is. No surprise perhaps that his original title “The Inwood Girl” was rejected. Happily the cover art tells us something about the neighborhood even if the title does not. The forest and train tracks are an odd sight for Manhattan, but the Henry Hudson Memorial bridge, while less known than it’s neighbor the GW, seems so obviously perched over the Hudson River and tells us just where we are. The library card was an awfully clever addition, and Jon is as pleased by the cover as any first-time novelist can expect to be. Let’s hope they don’t ruin it for the paperback.

Amidst the love triangle(s), the library degrees and the northern Manhattan backdrop, the themes of fertility and pregnancy are prevalent in every step of this book. Asked if, as a man, he was worried to explore such a personal and weighty topic among women, Jon simply said, “no.” Clara and Thomas have experienced a miscarriage, and Jon frankly discussed the way a similar experience changed his own life. Frank discussion of miscarriage and fertility treatments are about as rare as realistic portraits of librarianship, and it’s a lot to tackle in a 338-page novel. Jon manages it all with thoughtfulness and skill and even humor.

The importance of education in general and specifically the experience of a New York City Public School education is another prominent feature of When Tito Loved Clara, and it led Jon to choose the East River Academy as the recipient of the WORD event’s fund raising. East River Academy is a NYC Department of Education school that serves young people on Rikers Island. We’re collecting sets of books for an English class there, and it’s not too late to contribute. Jon’s friend, a teacher at East River, developed a wish list with some extraordinary books. Donors have already completed a set of Sherman Alexie’s award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and we hope to do the same with books by Paul Volponi, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and Mark Salzman. Donate here.

Before reading from When Tito Loved Clara, Jon surprised us by reading the New Yorker’s original review of the 1957 Hepburn/Tracy comedy after which we take our name, Desk Set. I for one was surprised at how little the reviewer cared for the picture. He didn’t mention the conflict between librarian and computer, or the delightful dresses, or even the comical romantic tension between the stars. At best he says it’s “reasonably acceptable,” and at worst… well, watch this short video, and hear for yourself:

Jon Michaud at WORD from Desk Set on Vimeo.

Just shows to go you, even the New Yorker gets in wrong sometimes…

Biblioball Photo Booth portraits by Jeremy Balderson: Round One.

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Check out the gorgeous Biblioballers!

Reminiscing about the Biblioball 2010: Spellbound!

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Good News:

Biblioball 2010: Spellbound sold out, and we raised a whopping $9,200 for Literacy for Incarcerated Teens.

Photography by Phillip Kim

We’re thrilled with the success, but it’s $800 short of our goal of $10,000. If you are interested in helping us get there, you can donate to LIT online and include “The Desk Set” in the note so they know to count it towards our goal. Go to Even $5 would help out.

Hundreds of people contributed to the Biblioball: designing the poster, painting the photobooth backdrop, taking pictures, directing, choreographing, performing, MCing, DJing, stamping photo-folders, scheduling crafting parties, cutting snowflakes, curating bands, making an oversized Scrabble board, posting flyers, creating the slide show, donating raffle prizes, shooting videos and slides, decorating the Bell House, creating a zine, baking cookies, and much more! Thank you to all of the volunteers! We appreciate that you all put so much effort and work in order to raise money for LIT!

Please support these generous businesses, organizations, and people who contributed to the Ball!

They rule.

Deepest thanks to our official Media Sponsor, Brooklyn Based. They are tremendous harbingers of cool, so we were honored to have their support and promotion.

We also benefited from the support of the New York Library Association (NYLA),  the country’s first state library association, and advocates for libraries, librarians and all New Yorkers. Our Leather Bound Sponsors were integral to the success of the event. Big thanks to First Second and Classic Specs.

We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our Hard Cover and Fancy Pants Raffle Sponsors:

Restaurants & Bars: Diamond Bar,  Great Jones Cafe, Enid’s, Huckleberry Bar, Rose Water, Alma, James

Jewelry: Khara LeDonne, Dirty Librarian Chains, & Camille Hempel

Camille Hempel Jewelry Design

Bookshops, publishers & journals: A Public Space, n+ 1, St. Mark’s Bookshop, The Strand, WORD, Bazillion Books,  Dissent Magazine, Microcosm Publishing, Mammal, Harper Collins,  Random House and Crown Publishing, Ugly Duckling Presse, First Second, & Melville House Publishing.

Beauty & Wellness: Fringe NY, Sprout Wellness,  Exhale Spa

Yummy Food & Drinks: 2 CooksInTheKitchen, Brooklyn Brewery, Tuthilltown Distillery, Nunu Chocolate, My Friend’s Mustard, Cheshire Canning, Crop to Cup, Mombucha, Fizzy Lizzy, and Granola Lab

Art: Ky Anderson, Ali Douglass, Aubrey Edwards, and Sara Varon!

Cultural Institutions:  MoMA, Frick Art Reference Library, Brooklyn Historical Society, & Symphony Space!

Travel: Ovation Travel & this awesome Colorado condo!

Records, Eyeglasses, or Assorted Cool stuff: Permanent Records, Park Slope Eye,  Buy Olympia & Fred Flare!

The Spectacle of Spectacles, photograph by Lauren Silberman

Support these rad bands, DJs, and performers who donated their time and talent to the Biblioball!

Giant thanks to Tom Palvich of the Great Pumpkin blog for curating the bands, wrangling the DJs, and helping out with various tasks!

Harry and the Potters will blow your mind and make you want to start a band, Raindeer will have you shaking your booty around with a giant smile plastered on your face, and the girls in Crazy Pills will have you pumping your fist!  Thank you to the gang of incredible DJs:  Marty McSorley, Mikey Post, John XI, Shakey, Megan Awesome, Ryan Tozzi, Dave Tomkins and Jimmy T for providing such incredible jams.

Giant thanks to all of the dancers & trapeze artists from Tableau Vivant directed by Jean Loscalzo with images by B.A. Miale, and to the librarians and patrons of Shush…tifying: A Spectacle of Spectacles directed by Joy Tomasko!

Thank you to BPL Circulation Supervisor, MC Official Burn (you can find him at the Cypress Hills Branch) and writer/musician Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith for being fabulous the Masters of Ceremonies!

Photograph by Lauren Silberman

These authors partied with us at the Happy Hour and donated their books to the Top Shelf raffle! They rock, and you should totally read their books:

Gilbert Ford (author of Flying Lessons & illustrator extraordinaire), Ian Christe (publisher of Bazillion Books and author of Sound of the Beast), Julia Holmes (author of Meeks), Jeffrey Rotter (author of The Unknown Knowns), Marcy Demansky – author of Bad Marie and Twins, Justin Taylor (author of Everything Here is the Best Thing Eve), Dave Tomkins (Author of How to Wreck a Nice Beach), Adrienne Vrettos (author of  The Exile of Gigi Lane, Skin, and Sight) Emily St. John Mandel (author of Last Night in Montreal), Ayun Halliday (author of  Zinester’s Gude to NYC and No Touch Monkey), Elizabeth Bird (Fuse #8 blogger, author of Children’s Literature Gems, and public librarian), Said Sayrafiezadeh (author of When Skateboards Will Be Free)

Did you get your copy of the Borough is My Library: A Greater Metropolitan Library Workers Zine, Issue 2?

This issue explores the world of libraries and information activism through seven interviews. Beyond the boroughs, issue 2 features conversation about human rights with Toni Samek, cataloging with Sanford Berman, and discussion with Metropolitan library workers Aliqae Geraci, Karen Gisonny, Jessica Fenster-Sparber and information technology activist Daniel Kahn Gilmor.

If you missed out on this gem, don’t worry, you can mailorder it from Alycia Sellie at

Our appreciation cannot be stopped!

Thanks to the staff at the Bell House: it was fantastic working with you.
Thank you Gilbert Ford for painting the photobooth’s backdrop: it was spellbinding! And thanks to Jeremy Balderson for snapping our portraits all night long. (check back next week for selected portrait photos from the Ball!
Thank you Rick Banister for designing the stunning poster.
Thank you Jason Planitzer & Jon Dieringer for shooting and crafting the video invitation! It’s magical and darling!
We’re so lucky to have gorgeous Spellbound photos thanks to our glamorous and talented Biblioball photographers:  Phillip Kim, Lauren Silberman, Audrey Evans, and Dominick Mastrangelo

We are not done thanking you yet.

Finally, the Desk Set could not have thrown any party at all without the help of over one hundred volunteers. Whether you sold cookies, taped up snowflakes, made a slide show, or sold raffle tickets, your hard work was meaningful. Special thanks must be given to Meghan Dowell, who coordinated all of the volunteering, and Katie Coon who organized our decorating endeavors. Additional appreciation goes to Ryan Phillips and Perry Garvin for the fabulous and informative slide show, and to Letitia Samuel, Amber Billey, and Sarah Simms for going above and beyond.

Photo by Dominick Mastrangelo

Oh, and…

giant monster thanks to all of you who came to party and support LIT. As you can see, it takes a small army to make a Biblioball. But it takes YOU to make it fun.

With Love,

The Desk Set & LIT

Dance your card catalogs off at the Biblioball!

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Don’t be caught without your ticket to the Biblioball 2010: Spellbound!

Buy your tickets in advance here and save some cash for Fancy Pants raffle tickets!

Jean Loscalzo: Supercreator presents a Tableau Vivant :: Living Picture honoring the goddess of the hunt in all of her forms.  Channeling the spirit of the traveling circuses of the early 1900’s, using myth, poetry, dance, video and trapeze, the audience will be invited to get close enough to hear us breathe. The players are: On Trapeze: Jean Loscalzo, Justine Heilner, Alyssa Jill, Luisa Vieira. Ground Arousers and Dancers: Libby Sentz, Despina Stamos, Dena Rutherfurd, Ann Mazzocca, Jill Woodward, Autumn Costner and sarabrown…with -Video that Delights- by B.A Miale of

Librarians and other book nerds perform in Shush…tifying … A Spectacle of Spectacles, a library inspired riff on dance/theater performed & created by members of the Desk Set.

DJs Marty McSorley, Megan Awesome, Shakey, Mikey Post, John XI, and Jimmy T spin 40’s, 50’s & 60s Soul, 70s Funk, Pre-Punk Psych, Juke-Joint, Bogooloo, and more!

DJ Bios

Dave Tompkins, a former columnist for The Wire, writes frequently about hip-hop and popular music. His work has appeared in Vibe, The Village Voice, The Believer and Wax Poetics. As a child growing up in North Carolina, he wrote stories about Mud Men, shot football cards with his dad’s .38, and was forced into speech therapy. His grandfather ate the microfilm, somewhere over Moscow. He recently wrote a book called “How to Wreck a Nice Beach.”
DJ Jimmy T. Runs and operates the Brooklyn-based Electric Cowbell Records-an artist-run label that specializes in releasing 7″ 45RPM records. He plays drums and percussion for the North Brooklyn party band CSC Funk Band and drums in the lusty power-garage trio The Demands. He also plays percussion with Superhuman Happiness with Stuart Bogie and members of Antibalas. He played drums and was an original member of GWAR. Lots of vinyl charm that casts a wide net across a spectrum of rockin’ funkin’ dynamite with sprigs of latin, cumbia, and boogaloo.

DJ John XI Having cut his teeth in post-9/11 loft parties in the factory districts and back room bars of Brooklyn, DJ John XI (John Pugh) (who also moonlighted as drummer/singer in !!! and singer/drum programmer in Free Blood) landed his own radio show on East Village Radio in 2005. The show was called Fishguts & Chocolate (named for the two odoriferous factories his home was sandwiched between) and sought to track the early evolution of that thing we call popular music. Starting somewhere around 1947 with post-war blues, juke joint, hot jazz and jump, stretching through 1950’s R&B and R&R, 1960’s soul, girl groups and pre-punk psych, finally dipping a toe in 1970’s funk, reggae and proto-disco. He was torn away from his show eventually to attend to the rigors of touring, but the spirit (and smell) of Fishguts & Chocolate live on! Bringing the fossils of Pop out of the basement and onto a dance floor near you!

DJ Marty McSorley Dishin’ out tha hits! This L.A. transplant has found a new home in Brooklyn, and a time slot on WFMU. Look out for an all wax attack of Killer Cumbia, Banging Boogaloo, Amazing Afrobeat and other treats with roots in the Southern Hemisphere, along with a nice sprinkling of that West Coast G-Funk.

DJ Megan Awesome For the last few years, DJ Megan Awesome has been collaborating with bands and other DJs to make dance parties for the people. She’s a sucker for a good beat and long songs so she can dance to them too.

DJ Mikey Post A fixture in the Daptone Records stable of DJs, has spent the better part of the last 12 years digging through dusty shops and moldy basements collecting all sorts of waxen treasures from the 60’s era. Specializing in up-beat SOUL, GARAGE, and R&B 45s, you can expect to be kept on your feet when this classy gentleman drops the needle.

DJ Shakey – (Julie Covello) is part of New York City’s DJ elite and has spun at virtually every metro area nightclub that contributes to the culture. She created and directs “Shakey’s Record Fair”, the “Warper Party” and the world renown clothing swap “Thrift On!” She has written about music and more for Wax Poetics, Sweet Action, and Bust magazines. She also has a legendary record collection, performs with her bass and laptop duo “FreebassBK”, and volunteers to teach young women to dj at the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls.

Why spend your hard earned dough in this crappy economy? Because the work Literacy For Teens does is important, silly!

Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT) addresses illiteracy and aliteracy among New York’s detained and incarcerated youth. LIT is the only organization of its kind whose mission is to ensure that our detained and incarcerated youth have access to library materials, literacy programming, and library services of the highest quality. LIT partners with detention facilities at the local level to create and sustain physical libraries, reading materials and books, as well as to provide literacy programming, curriculum, and visits with critically-acclaimed authors.

Top Five Reasons Not to Miss the BPL After Party

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In no particular order.

1. It’s the earliest start time for an “After Party” in the history of after. 9:00 PM – without a doubt, the perfect time to get down on a Thursday. Be there right on time for 60 sweet minutes of open bar action!

2. Support Brooklyn Public Library!

Did you know that BPL is the fifth largest library system in the nation? You’d have to have spent the last few years under a rock not to notice the economic struggle of all of our public libraries . With gorgeous children’s rooms on second stories closed, a hiring freeze that threatens weekend and evening hours, and little light looming at the end of this tunnel, it is up to our Brooklyn community to use whatever power we have to keep our libraries great. All proceeds from the BPL Gala After Party go towards books and programming for Brooklyn Public Library’s 58 branches.

3. We may not have Sharon Jones, but you can’t say we don’t have soul. By now you’ve heard that SJDK will not be playing a set as we originally trumpeted. We are sorry to have raised your hopes. BUT, Duane Harriott will spin his classic blend of soul, hip-hop, disco and whatever the hell else he thinks will get you moving. DJ Duane has delighted us at many a Desk Set event, and we love, love, love to get into his groove.

4. We know they can write, but can they bowl?!

Find out as Brooklyn writers Natalie Standiford, René Steinke, Daniel Bergner, Jonathan Mahler, Manny Howard, and Gayle Forman bowl ten frames and compete for the title of Best Bowler who is also an Author and a Lover of Brooklyn Public Library! The winners’ trophies are custom made by Brooklyn Public Librarian, the darling Ivy Marvel. Wish you could get one? Publish a book, and then bowl a 200!

5. The Top Shelf Raffle, Baby!

Everybody gets one ticket upon entrance, and you can buy ’em for $5 each to increase your chances to win the following sweet items:

Don’t delay! Buy your tickets now to save the $5 that you probably owe in overdue fines. See you at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday at 9:00PM.

Biblioball 2010 : Now with Wizards!

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Harry and the Potters are performing at the Biblioball 2010: Spellbound on Saturday, December 4th at the Bell House in Brooklyn! If you like wizard rock, don’t miss them! They rule.

Baltimore’s Raindeer will also be performing and will keep our spirits high!

Brooklyn’s Crazy Pills kicks off the night! Work it, ladies!

BUY YOUR Biblioball 2010: Spellbound TICKETS TODAY AND HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR LITERACY FOR INCARCERATED TEENS! Go here for tickets & more information:

Thank you Tom Pavlich from The Great Pumpkin for curating the rock n’ roll!

Announcing Biblioball 2010 : Spellbound


It’s that time of the year…

On December 4th, be sure to find yourself among the bibliophiles at the Desk Set’s third annual Biblioball, the winter formal dance party for the well-read and the well-attired.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at The Bell House

7:30 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.

Tickets $10 – $55*

Purchase tickets now! All proceeds benefit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens.

Since 2008, hundreds of New York City’s savviest librarians and bibliophiles have flocked to Brooklyn for the nerdiest party of the year: the Desk Set’s annual Biblioball. Photo archivists mingle with children’s book authors to the sounds of the city’s finest DJs spinning soul 45s. Live music follows a sexy trapeze act, and guests win big in the Fancy Pants Raffle–all to support LIT, and their work to provide programming for incarcerated and detained youth–only at the Biblioball.


Jean Loscalzo, photo by Sara Brown

Crazy Pills

Live musical performances curated by Tom Pavlich, (of the Great Pumpkin blog) feature Brooklyn’s Crazy Pills, Baltimore’s Raindeer, and some extra special wizardly guests…

Plus …

Supercreator Jean Loscalzo presents Tableau Vivant: Living Picture trapeze/dance/video performance. Librarians and other book nerds perform in Shush…tifying … A Spectacle of Spectacles, a library inspired riff on dance/theater performed & created by members of the Desk Set.

DJs Marty McSorley, Megan Awesome, Shakey, Mikey Post, John XI, and Jimmy T spin 40s, 50s & 60s Soul, 70s Funk, Pre-Punk Psych, Juke-Joint, Bogooloo, and more.

Masters of Ceremonies, Brownsville librarian, MC Official Burn and writer/musician Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith keep the party flowing.

Our wizardly guests will host the Fancy Pants Raffle, and lucky winners will walk away with prizes from Exhale Spa, Harper Collins, the Strand, First Second Books, James, Melville House, Rosewater, The Great Jones, Enid’s and many more.

Guests can take home a copy of The Borough is my Library: A Greater Metropolitan Library Workers Zine, Issue 2 and a special commemorative Biblioball portrait.

*Ticketing Details

Leatherbound Tickets : Admission at 7:30 PM for our special VIP Happy Hour includes Classic Specs tote bags filled with hip magazines and goodies. Guests receive complimentary Brooklyn Lager, and delicious appetizers and snacks, and they can mingle with the literati as some favorite writers such as Dave Tompkins (How To Wreck a Nice Beach, Melville House/Stop Smiling, 2010) and special guests spin records.
$45 advance / $55 at the door.
Hardcover Tickets : Admission at 8:30 PM, $20 advance / $27 at the door.
Paperback Tickets
: Admission after midnight, $10 at the door

Special thanks to our sweet sponsors who are helping to make sure Biblioball 2010: Spellbound is the best party of the season, and possibly ever: Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Based, n+1, First Second, A Public Space, Classic Specs, Park Slope Eye, Word Brooklyn.

Can’t wait to see you at the ball!

Questions? write us at, and we’ll answer ’em.

The Falgousts deliver the books to A.P.Tureaud!

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Snapshot of some of the books!

Last Friday, my parents, Donna and Bill Falgoust loaded up all of the 613 books we bought with proceeds from the Beaucoup Book Love BBQ in September at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn and headed to the A.P. Tureaud School in the 7th ward of New Orleans. In January 2010 the Desk Set received a wish list of books from the teachers at the school, and we threw our annual rockin’ Mardi Gras benefit-party at Daddy’s bar to collect about half of the books requested. Since then, we’re proud to report that we not only completed the list but we’re also partnering with a lovely local New Orleans book store, Octavia Books, to curate an author series for the school!

The author series is beginning in December and we are thrilled that the kids at Tureaud will be able to meet with and learn from these writers. Nancy Parker (The Adventures of Yat & Dat: What’s Cookin’?) will visit the pre-k through 2nd grades. Jewell Parker Rhodes (Ninth Ward) will read to the 3rd through 6th grades. It’ll be the first time these students have ever had an author visit!  However, we have another $1,300 to raise in order to provide every child with a signed copy of each author’s books. That’s another 288 books! Please email us at if you would like to make a contribution.

Warm thanks to my parents for keeping track of and organizing the books, making bookplates with the donors names, addressing postcards, and delivering the books. Thanks to everyone who attended the BBQ and bought books. This labor of love has brought more than just books to the school; it has let the community know that we’re rooting for them. The teachers and students send their heartfelt appreciation!

Donna Falgoust and the kids at A.P. Tureaud

P.S. Want to know more about New Orleans? Check out this selected reading list from a few of NOLA’s biggest fans!

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