A Tour of the Exotic with Andrew Blackwell, James Higdon & Lizzie Stark
WORD (126 Franklin St., Brooklyn)
Authors Andrew Blackwell (Visit Sunny Chernobyl), James Higdon (The Cornbread Mafia) and Lizzie Stark (Leaving Mundania) will combine forces for a joint reading and discussion on everything from LARPing to radioactive waste to recreational drug use.
For most of us, traveling means visiting the most beautiful places on Earth—Paris, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon. It’s rare to book a plane ticket to visit the lifeless moonscape of Canada’s oil sand strip mines, or to seek out the Chinese city of Linfen, legendary as the most polluted in the world. But in Visit Sunny Chernobyl, Andrew Blackwell embraces a different kind of travel, taking a jaunt through the most gruesomely polluted places on Earth. From the hidden bars and convenience stores of a radioactive wilderness to the sacred but reeking waters of India, Visit Sunny Chernobyl fuses immersive first-person reporting with satire and analysis, making the case that it’s time to start appreciating our planet as it is—not as we wish it would be.
In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modem times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Maña. In Cornbread Mafia author James Higdon–whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration–takes readers back to the 19705 and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines.
Exposing a subculture often dismissed as “geeky” by mainstream America, Leaving Mundania is the story of live action role-playing (LARP). A hybrid of games—such as Dungeons & Dragons, historical reenactment, fandom, and good old-fashioned pretend—LARP is thriving, and this book explores its multifaceted communities and related phenomena, including the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval reenactment group that boasts more than 32,000 members. Author Lizzie Stark looks at the hobby from a variety of angles, from its history in the pageantry of Tudor England to its present use as a training tool for the US military.