A list of book-related events in New York City.Heads-ups should be sent to Sean Flannagan.
· Jonathan Lethem -- author of the sweeping and nuanced Fortress of Solitude -- joins forces with jazzy and precise auteur Colson Whitehead and Nuyorican novelist Edgardo Vega Yunqué to pay honest tribute to the City of New York that they write about. At the 92nd Street Y, 92nd & Lex. 8pm, 16 bucks.
· Speculative fiction from the African diaspora is spotlighted in Sheree Thomas' new anthology, Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. Check her and her associates out at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Historian Douglas Brinkley has done his part to try and get John Kerry the Democratic nomination (and quiet down that pesky Howard Dean) with his new narrative, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. See PR in action at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Jeff Sharlet and Peter Manseau, co-editors of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible -- which offers blasphemous modern-day remixes of Biblical stories by people like Rick Moody -- share the mic with tragic Smiths fan Marc Spitz (How Soon is Never?) and Black Table columnist Will Leitch at Barbès, Ninth Street & Sixth Ave in Park Slope. 7:30pm.
· Gabe Hudson is the author of "the first great fiction about the Persian Gulf War" (GQ), and Dear Mr. President compiles his unnerving and darkly humorous stories into one neat volume. Catch him on his high-security "Impeach President Bush and Deport Him to Iraq" book tour at KGB, 85 East 4th. 7pm.
· Architect James Sanders is the author of Celluloid Skyline: New York at the Movies, which examines the portrayal of NYC in the movies and the interplay between those images and reality. Catch him promoting the paperback edition of his extremely well-done book at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· Former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips has written a wider-ranging Bush-bashing book than all the others out there called American Dynasty: Atristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush. He focuses on the whole family, and concludes that the Bush dynasty is essentially anti-American. Get details at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Author Jerome Charyn discusses his paen to New York's "New Yorkiest" era, Gangsters & Gold Diggers: Old New York, the Jazz Age and the Birth of Broadway, at the 8th Street B&N, 8th Street & Sixth Ave. 7:30pm.
· Former-Silicon-Valley-cheerleader-turned-soul-searcher Po Bronson promotes the paperback edition of his well-timed book What Should I Do With My Life? at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· Girlbomb Janice Earlbaum, once-notorious Fabulist Stephen Glass and multitalented storyteller Jonathan Ames gather for an action-packed edition of Amanda Stern's Happy Ending Reading Series, 302 Broome at Forsyth. 8pm.
· Well-traveled hip mom and zine (remember those?) publisher Ayun Halliday reads selections from her book No Touch Monkey: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Mark Kurlansky tells us about 1968: The Year That Rocked the World at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Lawyer/novelist Jilliane Hoffman discusses her thriller Retribution at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Down-to-earth Harvard prof Henry "Skip" Louis Gates, Jr. discusses his new PBS-series companion, America Behind the Color Line: Dialogues With African Americans -- in which he suggests that African American society has split into two distinct groups, the privileged and the disenfranchised -- at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· And the Whitney is hosting a launch party for the buzzed-about anthology, Juncture: 25 Very Good Stories and 12 Excellent Drawings, which features young American writers who have fortunately embraced literary experimentation. 75th & Madison, 7pm.
· Best-selling author Elizabeth Buchan reads selections from her novel The Good Wife Strikes Back for older female fans at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd Street. 7pm.
· Playwright and NYT staffer Jesse McKinley reads comic fiction and comedian Seth Herzog reads comic nonfiction at Junno's, 64 Downing Street between Bedford & Varick in the West Village. 7:30pm.
· And it's an evening of comic confessions at Luna Lounge, featuring Jonathan Ames (whose book, What's Not to Love, will soon be a TV show on Showtime, and whose other book, The Extra Man, will soon be a movie), Judy Gold, Drew Hastings, Marc Maron and Jim Norton. 171 Ludlow, 8:30pm.
· Astronomer Ken Croswell surveys the red planet with prose, eye-widening imagery and insightful maps in his book, Magnificent Mars. Get a live tour at SIBL, Madison & 34th. 5:30-7pm in room 018.
· Undercover radical Donna Minkowitz, author of Ferocious Romance: What My Encounters With the Right Taught Me About Sex, God, and Fury, reads with short-story teller Melvin Jules Bukiet (A Faker's Dozen) at Barbès, Ninth Street & Sixth Ave in Park Slope. 7pm.
· Tracy Chevalier, author of the book behind the movie Girl With a Pearl Earring, discusses her new artwork-inspired novel, Lady and the Unicorn, at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· And lit journal Small Spiral Notebook is throwing a large literary drinkfest at Magnetic Field Lounge in BKLN. Catch rising talents Sara Gran (Come Closer), Rebecca Donner (Sunset Terrace), Krista Madsen (Degas Must Have Loved a Dancer), Felicia Sullivan and others, for a suggested donation that goes toward the printing of literature on luxurious paper. 7pm.
· Jeffrey Frank discusses Bad Publicity, his second scheming Beltway novel, at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· New Yorker writer David Denby tried to become wealthy with NASDAQ trades in 2000, then lost his money in the stock market crash like everyone else and became addicted to pornography (like everyone else). Get the story in all its bitter detail if you're so inclined when he reads from American Sucker at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Laura Pedersen reads selections from her "laugh-out-loud funny" novel about terminal illness, Last Call, at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Dr. Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, makes an appearance at the Union Square B&N to promote his new collection, Vintage Sacks. 7pm.
· Jeff Sharlet and Peter Manseau discuss their well-received new collection of remixed biblical stories and explorations into the fringes of American spirituality, Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible, at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Former Iranian professor Azar Nafisi led a secret book club in Tehran comprised of seven young women for years before she left the country. Hear what she learned from the study of illegal novels when she discusses Reading Lolita in Tehran at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· James McCourt reads from his historical collage, Queer Street: The Rise and Fall of an American Culture, 1947-1985, at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd Street. 7pm.
· Sonia Rivera-Valdes, "the Cuban Anais Nin," reads selections from her collection of unusual and erotic interlinked vignettes, The Forbidden Stories of Marta Veneranda, at Bluestockings, 172 Allen between Stanton & Rivington. Featured themes include one man's uncontrollable lust for a foul-smelling 400-pound woman, and a gay man's dangerous obsession with hetero porn. 7pm.
· Crazed long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox has swum everything from the sewage-saturated Nile River to the Bering Strait. She'll discuss Swimming to Antarctica at the Lincoln Square B&N. 7pm.
· Dan Kennedy, author of Loser Goes First and curator of the Really Small Talk site -- which is more entertaining and less time-consuming than McSweeney's -- teams up with Jenifer Hixson of The Moth storytelling collective for a thoroughly enjoyable evening at Junno's, 64 Downing Street between Bedford & Varick in the West Village. 7:30pm.
· Russell Andrews reads from his conspiracy thriller Aphrodite at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· E. Jean Carroll sells her Man Catching Theory to wayward souls in her book, Mr. Right Right Now! : How a Smart Woman Can Land Her Dream Man in 6 Weeks. At least one of her Amazon user reviews is written by a sneaky publicist with a conflict of interest. At the Chelsea B&N. 7pm.
· Charlie Stella talks up his third mobbed-up novel, Charlie Opera, at the Park Slope B&N. 7:30pm.
· Soft Skull's Richard Eion Nash and novelist David Hollander read from the new anthology Juncture: 25 Very Good Stories and 12 Excellent Drawings -- which welcomes back an era of literary experimentation and features the work of individuals like Jonathan Lethem and Colson Whitehead -- at Barbès, Ninth Street & Sixth Ave in Park Slope. 7:30pm.
· Peter Biskind chronicles the temper tantrums of Harvey Weinstein and other lovable indie-film personages in his 560-page narrative, Down & Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. Hear his angle at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Elmore Leonard discusses Mr. Paradise, his new novel populated by topless cheerleaders and Detroit hit men, at the UWS B&N. 7:30pm.
· Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines tell the story of A. G. Gaston, a grandson of slaves who lived for more than a century and acquired a personal fortune of over $130 million, in Black Titan: A. G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire. Live at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd Street. 7pm.
· Marge Piercy reads from her sixteenth novel, The Third Child -- a sort of WASPy, Beltway take on Romeo and Juliet -- at Bluestockings, 172 Allen between Stanton & Rivington. 7pm.
· Nelson George discusses his compelling and excessively subtitled new study, Post-Soul Nation: The Explosive, Contradictory, Triumphant, and Tragic 1980s as Experienced by African Americans (Previously Known as Blacks and Before That Negroes) at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Marge Piercy reads takes her sixteenth novel, The Third Child, to the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Lisa Archer, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Elspeth Potter, Kyle Walker and Jeni Wright titillate listeners with selections from Best Lesbian Erotica 2003 at (guess) Bluestockings, 172 Allen between Stanton & Rivington. 7pm.
· Novelist Chris Bohjalian and his wife were "cab-napped" in 1986 and taken to a crack house in Brooklyn just in time for a police raid, so they got freaked out and moved to Vermont. Idyll Banter: Weekly Excursions to a Very Small Town is the result. Reinforce your decision to stay in NY at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Sam Lipsyte reads excerpts from The Subject Steve -- his dark, comic, wordplay-driven novel about a terminally ill ad man who pens slogans celebrating "the ongoing orgasm of the information lifestyle" -- and dark, comic, inventive poet Matthew Zepruder (American Linden) follows suit at Barbès, Ninth Street & Sixth Ave in Park Slope. 7:30pm.
· Carrie Fisher, author of Postcards From the Edge, continues the manic adventures of bipolar celebrity talk-show host Suzanne Vale in The Best Awful. Hear some at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Joseph Finder reads from Paranoia, his new suspenser about corporate espionage, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Tish Benson, Lol Fow and Charlotte Warren read selections from the suddenly ominipresent anthology, Juncture: 25 Very Good Stories and 12 Excellent Drawings, at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· The excellent Konundrum Engine Literary Review presents a hearty stew of entertaining and compelling writers, including Jonathan Ames, Nelly Reifler, John Haskell, Dennis DiClaudio and Michael Ewing. Voluntary donations go to the Doe Fund, a homeless-to-work training shelter whose recipients I see working every damn day. At Rififi, 332 East 11th between First & Second. 7-9pm.
· New Yorker editor Ben Greenman reads from Superworse -- a remix of his short-story collection Superbad -- and is joined by clip-art-defacer David Rees of My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery across from CBGB. 7pm.
· Kurt Vonnegut, John Guare, Penelope Niven, Paula Vogel, Sam Waterson and Tappan Wilder pay tribute to Thornton Wilder at the 92nd Street Y, 92nd & Lex. 8pm, 16 bucks.
· Frustrated space enthusiast Greg Klerkx discusses his anti-NASA tract, Lost in Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age, at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Katherine Shonk reads selections from her debut collection of short stories populated by stressed-out Muscovites and naive Americans in post-Communist Russia, The Red Passport, at Half King, 505 West 23rd at Tenth Ave. 7pm.
· Norman Coady, author of the forthcoming novel, The Decline & Fall of All Y'All -- the first of six books using a quarantined New York City (pop. 107,363) as its backdrop -- joins novelist Joseph Coulson at Junno's, 64 Downing Street between Bedford & Varick in the West Village. 7:30pm. 7:30pm.
· Andrew Lewis Conn reads from P: A Novel, his wildly ambitious remix of Ulysses, at the Telephone Bar & Grill, 149 Second Ave. 7pm.
· The human brain was once dismissed by learned men as a "a bowl of curds," until British physician Thomas Willis realized it was the seat of human consciousness. Science writer Carl Zimmer discusses Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain and How It Changed the World in room 018 at SIBL, Madison & 34th. 5:30-7pm.
· Neal Bascomb reads anecdotes from his chronicle of skyscraper one-upmanship in 1920s New York, Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City, at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· Haven Kimmel reads from her new novel about a feminist pool shark, Something Rising (Light and Swift), at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Ed McBain reads from The Frumious Bandersnatch, his new page-turner about the kidnapping of a hip-hop diva, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Grandson Sean Hemingway discusses the timely collection Hemingway on War at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· The Finnegans Wake Society of New York meets to tease out meaning from Joyce's linguistic constructions, starting with page 267, line 24, which reads: "A one of charmers, ay, Una Unica, charmers, who, under the branches of the elms, in shoes as yet unshent by stoniness, wend, went, will wend a way of honey myrrh and rambler roses mistmusk while still the maybe mantles the meiblume or ever her if have faded from the fleur, their arms enlocked, (ringrang, the chimes of sex appealing as conchitas with setas stray, rung!), all thinking all of it, the pleasure each will preen her for, the business each was bred to breed by." (Footnotes not included.) At Gotham Book Mart, West 47th between Fifth & Sixth. 6-8pm.
· New Yorker columnist Ken Auletta explores how journalism can preserve its values in the age of the Internet and obsessive-compulsive weblogs and the atomization of the publishing universe with former New Yorker ed-in-chief Tina Brown. At the 92nd Street Y, 92nd & Lex. 8pm, 25 bucks.
· Freelance writer Laurie Sandell, poet/novelist Victoria Redel and self-proclaimed emotional idiot Maggie Estep do Amanda Stern's Happy Ending Reading Series, 302 Broome at Forsyth (J/M/Z/F to Delancey). 8pm.
· Acclaimed Brit author Tibor Fischer, who did an admirable job of attaching his name to Martin Amis' last highly publicized novel, reads from his new "great Internet novel," Voyage to the End of the Room, at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Colin Harrison reads from his noirish, carnivorous new NY fiction, Havana Room, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Ana Menéndez reads from her debut novel Loving Che, about a Cuban-American woman who discovers that her long-lost mother was once an artist in love with the one and only Che Guevara, at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· NYT editor Keith Dixon reads from his debut novel Ghostfires, which sounds rather dark. From the Publishers Weekly summary:
As this strong debut by a New York Times editor begins, Warren Bascomb, a 68-year-old defrocked surgeon and morphine addict, awaits a Dilaudid delivery from a flight attendant-cum-drug smuggler. Involved in the drug business, though not present, is Warren's estranged son, Ben, a recovering alcoholic desperate for money to support his family. When the drug money proves insufficient, Ben buries his valuables, whacks himself with a baseball bat and cries robbery. The police who respond mistake him for the robber and shoot him in the leg. Ben's hospital stay involves physical and emotional therapy, and in alternating chapters, both he and Warren confront their demons. Looming particularly large is William Bascomb, Warren's late father. Warren's morphine addiction stems from the burns he suffered trying to save William from a fire, but William left everything to Ben, including his Harvard ring, in a "final jab from the grave" for Warren. There's also the matter of Ben's late mother: dying of cancer, she begged her son to help her kill herself, which Warren believes was murder. Meanwhile, Warren is growing nervous about running low on his morphine supply and being answerable for his son's debts. Once Ben is released and shows little inclination to resume the smuggling, Warren's desperation comes to a head.