Dan Kois of Slate reports on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in NY1's newest living segment, "The Book Reader."
Three new books light up vivid facets of New York City life, from the dive bars of the '90s to the queer underground of the '80s to the make-believe city we all know from TV.
Rosie Schaap is the drinks columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and her new memoir, "Drinking with Men" just published by Riverhead Books, tells the stories of the barstools she's occupied all her adult life, from the bar car on the Metro-North to Puffy's Tavern in Tribeca. Schaap is great on the way that bars encourage camaraderie without all that confessional nonsense you have to deal with in church. Though these days Schaap tends bar in Brooklyn, "Drinking with Men" makes me think she'd pour a good Manhattan.
In 1996, the artist David Wojnarowicz wrote a vivid comic book - part memoir of his youth as a street hustler, part political diatribe about AIDS. Wojnarowicz died in 2000, but his comic, "7 Miles A Second", has just been republished by Fantagraphics. The art is by James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook, and this graphic novel is an amazing document of the gaudy, dangerous world of clients and johns and artists and thugs downtown in the 1980s.
Every New Yorker I know has a soft spot for the city as it was portrayed in "Law and Order" for 20 seasons. Well, good news for those of us who miss that beloved series: Dick Wolf, Law and Order's creator, has written a thriller, "The Intercept" and New York in the novel feels very familiar: the wisecracking cops, those witnesses too busy even to stop stocking shelves while discussing a murder. It's the highest praise to say this book, out now from Morrow, reads like a really good TV show.
Look for reviews of all three of these books and more on the Slate Book Review at www.slate.com/books.