brooklyn bartenderBrooklyn is one of the top trendsetting places today anywhere. Its neighborhoods, artists, writers, restaurants, and, yes, drinking establishments set the pace for the rest of the nation.

Brooklyn Bartender takes us behind the bar to experience 300 of the best and most inventive drinks being served today, plus tips for at-home mixologists. Organized by spirit, the recipes allow readers to replicate bartenders’ signature drinks, including everything from the ornate juleps and cobblers of Maison Premiere to the party-friendly “Frozemonade” at Extra Fancy to the namesake gin cocktail of Clover Club. Additional features include “5 Takes on the Martini” and variations on other classic drinks, as well as bartenders’ recommendation for events, infused spirits, and more.

Designed to be the perfect bar-side companion, the sophisticated compilation is enhanced by more than 250 photos and illustrations. (description from publisher)

visitationstreetBored and restless on a hot summer night in Red Hook, Brooklyn, 15-year-olds June and Val decide to take a pink raft down to the docks and float out into the bay.  The next morning, Val is found unconscious under a pylon, but June remains missing.  Her absence becomes a catalyst for new relationships and a weight for the residents trying to find a way out.

Red Hook, Brooklyn has become the butt of a lot of hipster jokes in the last couple of years, and along with the gentrification of the neighborhood and the devastation caused by hurricane Sandy in 2012, Red Hook has found itself in national headlines.  Pochoda’s examination of this historic neighborhood takes place right on the cusp of this change. Visitation Street is about a specific place at a specific time, but feels remarkably universal. Most young people are reaching to move beyond the circumstances to which they’re born, and as young people from across the country move to newly cool Red Hook, many of the long-term residents of Red Hook are looking for a way out.

Ivy Pochoda’s Visitation Street presents the voices of this urban, changing neighborhood in the midst of tragedy.  I often speed through books I like, wanting to find my way to the conclusion.  But in Pochoda’s debut novel, I took my time.  I genuinely liked Fadi, Cree, Val, Jonathan, Ren, and Monique — flaws and all.