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Non-Motivational

March 3rd Non-Motivational Speaker Series: State of the Sitcom

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns to The Gallery at LPR with a night devoted to perhaps the most non-motivational art form out there: the sitcom. Saul Austerlitz, author of Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community will be joined by Jennifer Armstrong, who wrote Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted and has a forthcoming book about Seinfeld, as well as Slate's television critic Willa Paskin. Please provide your own laugh track.

Varsity Letters

January 28: "Pigskin Is Kosher"

The biggest football game of the year is coming to the biggest Jewish city in the nation. (OK, it's in Jersey, but that still counts.) And in the run-up to the Super Bowl, Tablet Magazine and Varsity Letters bring together two authors renowned for their writing on both football and many things Jewish. We're calling it "Pigskin Is Kosher." Rich Cohen is the author of the new best-seller Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football, as well as Israel Is Real, Tough Jews, and The Avengers, among other titles. In Samuel G. Freedman's latest book, Breaking the Line, he writes about the world of black college football in the late 1960s and how it shaped the game as we know it today. A religion columnist for the New York Times, Freedman is the author of books including Jew Vs Jew. Longtime friends and fellow authors, they'll punt, pass and kick their way through an evening of football talk moderated by Marc Tracy of The New Republic. "Pigskin Is Kosher" will be held at 7:30 PM on Tues., Jan. 28, at The Gallery at LPR (158 Bleeker St, between Sullivan and Thompson). Admission is free and books will be available for purchase.

Varsity Letters

January 9th: Hockey Night in Manhattan

Varsity Letters goes to the ice with a night all about hockey on Thursday, January 9th. Puck Daddy blogger Greg Wyshynski will be joined by Jay Greenberg, co-author of Mark Howe's book Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey, as well as Joe DeLessio of Sports on Earth and New York Magazine, at the Gallery at LPR in New York City.

Varsity Letters

Dec. 19: Varsity Letters Goes Inside the NBA

Varsity Letters returns to The Gallery at LPR for a look inside the NBA with some of the people closest to the game. Former number one NBA draft pick Billy "The Hill" McGill will be joined by Eric Brach, his co-author on Billy "the Hill" and the Jump Hook: The Autobiography of a Forgotten Basketball Legend; also speaking will be longtime agent Keith Glass, author of Taking Shots: Tall Tales, Bizarre Battles, and the Incredible Truth About the NBA; and basketball journeyman Paul Shirley, who wrote Can I Keep My Jersey?: 11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball Vagabond.

Non-Motivational

A Very Special Non-Motivational Speaker Series, Nov. 26

The Non-Motivational Speaker Series returns on Tuesday, November 26, and it's Singles night -- Kindle Singles Night, that is. By now just about everyone has heard of Kindle Singles -- even the New York Times! But how do these digital mongrels (not quite a book, not quite a magazine story) actually work? Come hear three writers talk about the new form and their own Singles. Jason Zinoman will read from his Searching for Dave Chappelle. Craig Fehrman will read from his Home Grown: Cage the Elephant and the Making of a Modern Music Scene. Rachel Corbett will read from A Killing in Iowa: A Daughter's Story of Love and Murder. Each Single is also available on Amazon for $2.99 or less. And at those prices? Everyone's going home happy.

Varsity Letters

Varsity Letters Nov. 14: College Football Night

Varsity Letters returns to the Gallery at LPR on Thursday, November 14th, for a night that looks back on some key figures in college football as highlighted by two recently released books. Author Jim Lefebvre will read from and discuss his book Coach for a Nation: The Life and Times of Knute Rockne. He'll be joined by New York Times columnist Samuel Freedman, who'll discuss his new book Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights.

Events

Nov. 11: Live Hang Up and Listen in New York City

We at Gelf have long been fans of Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast. That's why we're happy to share that they will be doing a live show in New York on Monday Nov. 11 at 7:30pm. Slate sports editor Josh Levin, NPR’s Mike Pesca, and Varsity Letters alum (several times over) Stefan Fatsis will be joined by special guest Bob Costas for a live taping of their podcast at City Winery at 155 Varick Street in Manhattan. Expect a smart, funny conversation about whatever’s in the news, plus an in-depth interview with Costas about his long broadcasting career and his role as NBC’s Olympics host.

Varsity Letters

October 10th: Baseball Labor's Love Lost

Varsity Letters returns to The Gallery at LPR on Thursday, October 10, for a night that looks through America's pastime through the eyes of its players. Daniel Gilbert, author of Expanding the Strike Zone: Baseball in the Age of Free Agency, will speak about changes to the game that have gone well beyond the playing field. He'll be joined by Michael O'Keeffe, Teri Thompson, and other members of the Daily News I-Team, reporting back from the front lines of A-Rod's fascinating legal battles.

Geeking Out

Sept. 17th, Geeking Out: The Pioneer Detectives

Gelf is expanding to San Francisco! Join us for our premiere bay area event at the Knockout on Tuesday, September 17th for an evening devoted to mystery, science, and the temptation to believe. Konstantin Kakaes will discuss his new e-book, The Pioneer Detectives, which tells the story of the Pioneer Anomaly, an unknown force acting on the spacecraft Pioneer 10, the first man-made object to journey through the asteroid belt and visit Jupiter, eventually leaving the solar system. The Anomaly had the potential to upend Einstein and Newton—to change everything we know about the universe.

Varsity Letters

September 12th: Jewish Jocks

Varsity Letters marks the day prior to Yom Kippur with a celebration of the Jewish athlete at The Gallery at LPR in Manhattan. Join Marc Tracy, staff writer for The New Republic and co-editor of Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame; Howard Megdal, a contributor to Sports on Earth and Capital New York and author of The Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players; and real life Jewish jock Robert Podhurst, a sports sociologist and former basketball player for Macabbi Tel Aviv; as they explore different angles on 3,000 years of tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax.

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