Brooklyn Book-Nerds Still Love Lethem

perrotta Brooklyn Book Nerds Still Love LethemWhile John Grisham’s Playing for Pizza and Alice Sebold’s The Almost Moon top the New York Times‘ best sellers list, we’re poking our heads into BookCourt in Cobble Hill to see what Brooklynites are tucking into their totes.

Out in the Manhattan suburb (sorry, it’s true!), where baby strollers, daddy-actor types and yoga-obsessed writers run rampant, it’s not surprising that Tom Perrotta’s new book The Abstinence Teacher tops the hardcover fiction list. After all, the guy wrote Little Children, the most angsty-cool anti-parenting guide ever written. In his new book, Mr. Perrotta abandons the kiddie playground for school to examine how a single sex education teacher will battle a herd of evangelical Christians trying to get her to ditch the old banana/condom demo and take on an abstinence curriculum. In The Abstinence Teacher, Mr. Perrotta continues "writing books for people who don’t much like bookssatires for nice people, fuck books for prudes," according to Benjamin Alsup at Esquire. Fun! But you could also follow Mr. Alsup’s advice and just wait for the movie.

Or…. if you’re one of those coffee-shop writers who brood in the glare of your iBook about the success of authors like Mr. Perrotta, you’re not alone. In the No. 7 spot of Bookcourt’s Hardcover Fiction list, there’s Foreskin’s Lament, a memoir by Shalom Auslander. On his Nextbook blog chronicling the pains and labors of writing a memoir, he includes Mr. Perrotta in his "festival of ultra-short horror films play[ed] in my mind." "If I’ve met you and liked you at all, I’ve probably imagined you mutilated. I met Tom Perrotta at a joint writing seminar in Brooklyn one evening. Afterwards we went out for pizza and beers. Nice guy. Let me use his Metrocard. Died slowly beneath the wheels of a subway car after falling onto the tracks and being severed in two by an uptown N train."

And for your required F-train required reading, Jonathan Lethem’s much-touted The Fortress of Solitude is still flying off the shelves. Whether it’s "gentrification" guilt or navel-gazing obsession with living in the smarty-pants outer borough, Brooklyners are keeping it in the No. 2 spot of the paperback best seller list, um, four years after it was originally published. It’s not a total surprise, I guess, since BookCourt lies just blocks from where Lethem grew up on Dean Street.