Tag Archives: Astoria Bookshop

Astoria Bookshop to join Independent Bookstore Day celebrations in May

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Astoria Bookshop Facebook page

Literary lovers will unite in Astoria, as one local shop will join the first annual nationwide celebration of independent bookstores.

The Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St., is one of 26 bookstores in New York City—and the only one in Queens—that will come together on May 2 for the first nationwide Independent Bookstore Day (IBD).

The celebration comes after a successful Bookstore Day in California last year, and this year stores throughout the United States will host literary events including readings, raffles, scavenger hunts, parties, literary trivia and story times. An afterparty for Bookstore Day NYC will be held in Brooklyn at POWERHOUSE Arena, 37 Main St.

“I’m so thrilled to be participating in the inaugural Independent Bookstore Day along with my fellow booksellers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s such a wonderful way to gather together as book lovers and celebrate,” said Lexi Beach, owner of the Astoria Bookshop. “Several of my favorite local Queens authors will be participating in events at the bookshop, so the whole day is going to feel like a big party.”

Participating stores will also be offering exclusive day-of merchandise created for Independent Bookstore Day, which is being produced by the Northern California Independent Bookstore Association in partnership with the American Booksellers Association.

“The entire purpose of Bookstore Day is to celebrate our collective success and thank our customers and the community of readers,” said Samantha Schoech, IBD program director. “For so long, the message about indie bookstores was all doom and gloom, but the truth is, there are more indie bookstores this year than last, and more last year than the year before that. Independent bookstores are actually opening around the country. We want people to know that.”

The schedule of events at the Astoria Bookshop on May 2 for Independent Bookstore Day includes a children’s game of Team Pictionary at 1 p.m. with local graphic novelists Raina Telgemeier (“Sisters”) and Dave Roman (“Astronaut Academy”). At 6 p.m. the shop will also host a literary trivia game show hosted by Tony Hightower of Trivia NYC and featuring a panel with authors Blake Harris (“Console Wars”), Lee Billings (“A Billion Years of Solitude”), Genevieve Valentine (“Persona”) and Christina Finnegan (“The Gorgeous Mosaic”). The night will also feature book-inspired cocktails and prizes.

For more information on the celebration of Independent Bookstore Day in New York City visit bookstoredaynyc.com.


New literary series in LIC to bring writing community together

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Catherine LaSota

One Long Island City writer is setting the stage for fellow lovers of the art to share their work and a cold drink.

Catherine LaSota, who moved into the western Queens neighborhood a year ago, has started a new monthly series called the LIC Reading Series. Set to premiere on April 14 at 8 p.m., the series will take place in the carriage house located behind LIC Bar at 45-58 Vernon Blvd.

On the second Tuesday of every month, the series will host three writers reading their pieces. LaSota, who will be the host during each event, said that the plan is for at least one of the writers to live in or write about Queens or have some other relationship to the borough.

“There is such great writing happening in Queens and I wanted to add to the thriving community that is already here,” LaSota said. “There is a big community of awesome writers here in Queens.”

For the first two months, every writer who will take the stage is either originally from Queens and now lives somewhere else, or currently resides in the borough. 

The premiere night in April will feature readings by Audrey Dimola (author of “TRAVERSALS”), Bill Cheng (author of ” Southern Cross the Dog”) and Joseph Salvatore ( author of “To Assume a Pleasing Shape”). 

The goal of the series is to showcase works from poets, fiction writers and, in the future, some memoir and non-fiction writers. 

LaSota has also partnered with the Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St., to have books for sale at the events, including those of the readers for each night. 

“I’ve found that the community of writers and people who are interested in writing is one of the most supportive communities I’ve come across,” LaSota added. “I hope to foster a supportive community for readers in all stages of their careers.”

The LIC Reading Series is free to the public, although LaSota said she encourages those who attend to support the LIC Bar, which was chosen because of its accessibility and being known as a location where writers like to go during the summer to read and enjoy a beer.

“I’m really excited because everyone I’ve approached about this is really excited and saying ‘Yes, I’d love to read,’” LaSota said. “I think there is a real interest in this and I think we’re going to have a good crowd.”

For more up-to-date information visit, www.facebook.com/LICReadingSeries.


Pop-up bookstore at Q.E.D.

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



The Astoria Bookshop and Q.E.D. are teaming up to bring more books and literary events to Queens.

The Astoria Bookshop has curated a selection of books for Q.E.D. geared toward the growing artistic community in Queens, including memoirs written by comedians and books that help spark creativity.

This partnership will allow Q.E.D. the opportunity to provide books from local writers as well as authors who have graced its stage or taught classes at the venue, such as Vanity Fair editor Mike Sacks, Ophira Eisenberg (“Screw Everyone”) and Baratunde Thurston (“How to be Black”).

Q.E.D. owner ​Kambri Crews,​ author of the memoir “Burn Down the Ground,” has a vested interest in cultivating the literary scene in Queens. “I’m excited to provide an avenue to introduce books to readers,” Crews said. “In the short time we’ve been open, Q.E.D. has hosted dozens of published authors and emerging artists. Selling their books and providing books on their craft is yet another way we can support their artistic endeavors.”

Click here for the full story


Astoria woman releases Queens food guide

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Mark Bennington

One Astoria writer is taking readers on a delicious trip around the borough with her new book.

Andrea Lynn released her fourth food book called “Queens: A Culinary Passport” on Sept. 30, providing a guide to the most diverse borough and the variety of ethnic cuisines it has to offer.

Lynn, who grew up in Alabama and moved to Astoria seven years ago, attended culinary school in New York City and worked as a personal chef.

“Brooklyn gets a lot of hype, Manhattan gets a lot of hype, and it seems like Queens as a whole doesn’t get the same appreciation,” said Lynn, who is now a freelance food writer. “I decided why not try to do a book about it. I was trying to think of things that would let people explore things like I do.”

In the 214-page, fully-illustrated book, Lynn offers a guide to more than 40 restaurants and food stands, chef and restaurant profiles, interviews with establishment owners, and recipes, which Lynn said would help readers bring ethnic dishes home.

“I realized the more you start exploring, the more you find and it seems almost endless,” Lynn said. “I feel like [the book] scratches the surface. It’s a good guide to Queens but there is so much beyond it.”

The book also features ethnic grocery stores, fish markets, delis and more. It also includes “easy-to-follow” subway directions and neighborhood walking tours.

“The common excuse [from outside people] is that Queens is so far away,” Lynn said. “All the excuses that people make, the book troubleshoots the excuses. I tried to make it as accessible as possible.”

She said the hardest part of compiling the book was trying to fit everything because the borough has a lot to offer.

“You can’t get everything represented. There’s so much,” she said.

She also added that after finishing this guide, she hopes other people will also begin to work on food guides to specific neighborhoods in the borough.

“I hope [the readers] will use the book to explore Queens or even to just start making more ethnic dishes at home,” Lynn said. “Or even start learning how diverse the borough really is.”

“Queens: A Culinary Passport” is available on Amazon and bookstores, including the Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St.

Lynn will be having a book signing at the Jackson Heights Fall Festival on Oct. 19 at 34th Avenue and 78th Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Wednesday: A mix of clouds and sun during the morning will give way to cloudy skies this afternoon. High 44. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Cloudy with periods of rain. Low near 40. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Rainfall near a half an inch.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Reading and book signing with Kevin Cook

Join The Astoria Bookshop for a reading with Kevin Cook, the author of “Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America,” as he discusses the enduring legacy of the case. His heartbreaking account of what really happened on the night Genovese died is the most accurate and chilling to date. Starts at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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