A list of book-related events in New York City.
Heads-ups should be sent to Sean Flannagan.
· Paul Auster, Rick Moody, Russell Banks and Elizabeth Frank discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne on the occassion of the American author's bicentenary at the 92nd Street Y. 8pm.
· Steve Coll, managing editor at the Washington Post, breaks down the decades-old role of the CIA in Afghanistan in Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. Know the ledge at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Amanda Stern reads excerpts from her novel The Long Haul at the Half King, 10th Ave & 23rd. 7pm.
· Azar Nafisi reads from Reading Lolita in Tehran at Symphony Space, 95th & Broadway. 7pm.
· Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, Jonathan Safran Foer and Dave Eggers (none of whom need links) read words to benefit 826NYC -- McSweeney's new nonprofit after-school writing-lab thing in Brooklyn -- at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th. 8pm.
· Science writer/blogger/Wired mag contributor Steven Johnson (Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life) and Alison Smith (Name All the Animals) read at KGB, 85 East 4th. 7pm. My question for Steven, having not yet read his book: How can the brain watch itself? Doesn't that imply a false separation between the watcher and the brain? Ever read any Krishnamurti? Don't start.
· Brit comedy producer Danny Wallace illustrates just how incredibly easy it is to start a global cult these days in his report, Join Me. Seems to be a sort of British, Internet version of the "Andre the Giant has a Posse" thing started in Providence, Rhode Island by designer Shepard Fairey over a decade ago. If you have no idea what I'm talk about, kindly shrug and move along. Or see what the deal is with this dude at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Nathaniel Bellows reads from On This Day, his light and clean debut novel about how a pair of siblings dealt with the loss of their parents, at the 8th Street B&N, 8th Street & Sixth Ave. 7:30pm.
· David Shipler digs into the omnipresent Working Poor: Invisible in America at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Washington Post writer and foreign correspondent Neely Tucker recounts him and his wife's rather horrific experiences in Zimbabwe in Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir. He's at the UWS B&N tonight discussing it in detail. 7:30pm.
· Little Gray Books Lecture No. 25 at Galapagos, 70 North Sixth Street in Williamsburg. Topic: 'The Animals: Are They Our Enemies?' Featured guests: Hannah Tinti, John Jeremiah Sullivan and the proprietors of monkeywire.org ("the premier source of monkey and ape news for ALL primates"). 8pm.
· Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York), Martha Southgate (The Fall of Rome) and Richard Eoin Nash (Soft Skull Press, Juncture) converge for a stellar edition of the Happy Ending Reading Series, 302 Broome at Forsyth. 8pm
· The New York Observer hosts an evening of staged reading with Rachael Cohen, Jim Shepard, Pete Singer and John Jeremiah Sullivan (wait a second, isn't he supposed to be at the Little Gray Book Lecture tonight? Keep an eye on this one) at the Columbus Circle Borders, inside the new mega-mall that the Observer has undoubtedly made fun of in recent weeks. 6:30pm.
· Monica Ali, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Tobias Wolff and Nick Hornby read excerpts of their work the night before the Book Critics Circle Award ceremony at the New School's Tischman Auditorium, 66 West 12th. 6pm.
· Varley O'Connor reads from her second novel, A Company of Three, which follows the adventures of a group of struggling theater actor types in the '70s, at the Park Slope B&N, Seventh Ave in BKLN. 7:30pm.
· Novelist and Columbia fiction-writing professor Binnie Kirshenbaum reads from An Almost Perfect Moment, which concerns a Brooklyn Jewish teenager's obsession with the Virgin Mary. At the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Edward Ball discusses the mysterious gender-switching of biographer Gordon Langley Hall in Peninsula of Lies. Details available in person at the Chelsea B&N. 7pm.
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· Pete McCarthy discusses his new Guinness-fueled global genealogy expedition in The Road to McCarthy: Around the World in Search of Ireland at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet, editors of the well-received Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible, read at the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam at 75th. 7:30pm.
· Martha Tod Dudman reads from her Sixties reckoning, Expecting to Fly: A Sixties Reckoning, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Kate Christensen reads from her novel The Epicure's Lament at the charming Corner Bookstore, 1313 Madison at 93rd. 6pm. RSVP: 212-831-3554.
· Poets & Writers editor Therese Eiben discusses the new P&W-approved writers handbook, The Practical Writer, at the Union Square B&N, 7pm.
· Ben Sherwood reads "warmhearted but not maudlin" excerpts from his novel, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud -- in which a 28-year-old cemetery caretaker spends his workdays playing catch with the ghost of his dead brother -- at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Full-time clinical psychologist and part-time mime Howard Buten discusses his practical approach to autism in Through the Glass Wall: Journeys Into the Closed-Off Worlds of the Autistic. Catch him at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· Andrew Sean Greer (see below) is the center of a reception and book-signing inside the Pen American Center in the Rare Book Room on the third floor of The Strand. RSVP: 212-334-1660 x111. 6:30pm.
· Andrew Sean Greer reads from his second novel, The Confessions of Max Tivoli -- about the love-related agonies endured by a man who ages backward -- at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm. One to watch.
· Highly skilled crime fiction developer George Pelecanos reads excerpts from his latest installment, Hard Revolution -- in which a black cop protagonist works the D.C. streets in the late '60s amidst a backdrop of explosive racial tension -- at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm. Check the liner notes to the accompanying CD -- that's the kind of thing you're able to do when your publisher happens to have access to the back-catalogs of Atlantic Records, Elektra and Warner Bros.
· Ambitious novelist Suki Kim (The Interpreter) and budding novelist Jennifer Gilmore do the Cupcake Reading Series at Lolita, 266 Broome at Allen. 7pm.
· Kinky Friedman -- whom The New York Times considers to be "the world's funniest, bawdiest, and most politically incorrect country music singer turned mystery writer" -- reads from his fifteenth novel, The Prisoner of Vandam Street, at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· M. D. Elevitch reads some of his letters from his memoir, Dog Tags Yapping: The World War II Letters of a Combat GI, at Housing Works Used Book Cafe, 126 Crosby in Soho. 7pm.
· Colum McCann, Karen Duffy and editor Christopher Cahill read selections from Gather 'Round Me: The Best of Irish Popular Poetry at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Former Baton Rouge cop Laurie Lynn Drummond reads excerpts from her cop-centric short-story collection, Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You, at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7-8pm.
· New York radio fixture Jonathan Schwartz discusses his new memoir, All in Good Time, at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Steven Johnson discusses Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life at his neighborhood B&N in Park Slope, Seventh Ave in BKLN. 7:30pm.
· Formerly embittered ex-nun Karen Armstrong chronicles her winding spiritual journey in The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness. Live at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
O'Hagan on Morrissey
and fanhood. [via Maud]
· Nell Freudenberger, Edmund White and A. M. Homes gather to promote the release of GRANTA 84: Over There: How America Sees the Rest of the World at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Former PI Leslie Silbert reads from her debut thriller, The Intelligencer -- which shifts back and forth between modern-day espionage and espionage in the 16th century -- at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Alison Smith reads from her coming-of-age memoir, Name All the Animals, at the Park Slope B&N, Seventh Ave in BKLN. 7:30pm.
· Jeffrey Paine discusses his Tibetan Buddhist recap, Re-enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West, at the 8th Street B&N, Sixth Ave & 8th Street. 7:30pm.
· Bruce Murkoff reads from his epic historical novel Waterborne at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· Time mag book critic Lev Grossman mixes together the attractions of medieval codices and esoteric video games in his new thriller, Codex. Hear some at the Park Slope B&N, Seventh Ave in BKLN. 7:30pm.
· Josh Melrod, co-founding editor of Land-Grant College Review, reads with Mitch Levenberg & Kevin Baker at KGB, 85 East 4th. 7pm.
· So, what is reality? Mediagenic Columbia physics prof Brian Greene explores the substrate of the universe in The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality, and also at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· In Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal, David France chronicles in gut-wrenching detail the sex scandal that started in Boston in 2002 and ended up engulfing the Catholic Church. He also unwittingly helps non-Catholics understand why sex in church is so hot. At the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Dean King reads from his true survival saga, Skeletons on the Zahara -- wherein a crew of sailors from Connecticut end up getting shipwrecked in North Africa, enslaved and dragged through the Sahara (all in 1815) -- at the Half King, Tenth Ave & 23rd. 7pm.
· 44-year-old medical text-book editor Emmett chronicles how he picks up his underwear with his toes in Nicholson Baker's new novel, A Box of Matches. Consider sublime trivia at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· In Samantha Gillison's King of America, a rich kid modeled on the late Michael Rockefeller disappears while on a mind-blowing, anthropological art-buying mission among the head-hunting tribes of New Guinea. She's reading it at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· Pete Hamill calms your ass down with a reading and discussion of James T. Farrell's classic American work, Studs Lonigan: A Trilogy, at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· Chris Abani reads from his debut dazzler, GraceLand -- about a teenage Elvis impersonator trying to make it out of a steaming ghetto in Lagos, Nigeria (home of Fela) in the late '70s -- at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Jasper Fforde reads from the third in his series of books about literature come to life ("a Harry Potter for adults"), The Well of Lost Plots, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm
· Award-winning Colombian novelist Jorge Franco reads from his violent American debut, Rosario Tijeras -- the life story of a troubled beauty who once castrated a man with scissors (tijeras) -- at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· Marion Nestle dissects the business of food in Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· Former New York Times foreign correspondent Christopher S. Wren kicked off his retirement by walking from the Times newsroom in midtown Manhattan to Fairlee, Vermont. He returns to promote his chronicle of the adventure, Walking to Vermont, at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Learn about the tragic romance between Deirdre and Conall that started it all if you want when Edward Rutherfurd reads from his James Michener-style historical epic, The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· OK. So what would the world look like without words?
· Bill McKibben, author of 1989's The End of Nature, comes with Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, in which he attempts to scare the hell out of everyone with talk of flesh-eating nanobots and a genetically engineered ruling class. Discuss at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· As avid New Yorker Philip Lopate observes, "Manhattan is almost pathologically averse to letting you wander to the river's edge and get close enough to touch the water." Marvel at the amount of swimming that used to go on in the East River when he discusses his highly detailed study, Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan, at the Court Street B&N, 106 Court in Brooklyn. 7pm.
· Controversial ethicist Pete Singer -- author of the hardline vegan straightXedge classic, Animal Liberation -- turns his attention to President Bush, who would probably call Singer a "lima-bean green." He's breaking down President of Good & Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush at the Chelsea B&N, Sixth Ave & 22nd. 7pm.
· Amanda Davis is unfortunately not around to read from her debut novel, Wonder When You'll Miss Me -- she was tragically killed in a plane crash along with her parents in March 2003. But Susan Orlean, Susan Choi and Elissa Schappell will read from her work and celebrate her life at the Half King, Tenth Ave & 23rd. 7pm.
· Player hater Dale Peck, whose scathing book reviews are being compiled into a book called Hatchet Jobs, reads and promotes margarita consumption at the One Story Cocktail Hour at Arlene Grocery, 95 Stanton between Ludlow & Orchard. 6:30pm.
· Digital culture luminary Larry Lessig discusses Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity at the 92nd Street Y, 92nd & Lex. 8:15pm. UPDATE: Sold out. Getting linked on BoingBoing will do that to you.
· Bruce Feiler promotes the paperback edition of Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths with ever-timely discussion at the Park Slope B&N, Seventh Ave in BKLN. 7:30pm.
· Jim Shepard reads some of his exhilerating short stories concerning gay love affairs on the Hindenberg and other unusual propositions from Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories at the Astor Place B&N. He's joined by Gabe Hudson and his Gulf War gothic fiction from Dear Mr. President. 7:30pm.
· David Horovitz details the chronic tension experienced by human beings in and around Israel in his study, Still Life With Bombers: Israel in the Age of Terrorism. Frank discussion at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Much-read astrologer Susan Miller lured so many people to her last reading a few months back at the Lincoln Center B&N that Barnes & Noble has broken its "one event per city" rule and given her another event at which to promote The Year Ahead 2004. This one's at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· Much of the early work on the New York City subway was performed by blind mules. Transit trivia like this abounds in NYT columnist Randy Kennedy's Subwayland, and he's at The Half King putting his subway obsession to good use. Tenth Ave & 23rd. 7pm.
· David Edmonds and John Eidinow, authors of the bestselling Wittgenstein's Poker, discuss Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time -- which offers post-Cold War detail on the two-month-long 1972 chess match between Soviet champ Boris Spassky and eccentric American grandmaster Bobby Fischer -- at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· "Dew breaker" is Haitian slang for a government functionary who comes in the early morning to arrest someone or burn their house down, breaking the dew on the grass as he crosses. Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat reads from The Dew Breaker -- about a Haitian immigrant who reveals to his artist daughter that he is not a prison escapee but rather a former prison guard, well-versed in torture -- at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.
· Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. Magazine, and Elaine Lafferty, ed-in-chief of Ms. Magazine, hawk signed copies of Ms. Magazine (which now has a weblog) at the Union Square B&N. 7pm.
· David Liss reads from his latest novel set in the squalid streets of 18th-century London, A Spectacle of Corruption -- which gets points for reviving 18th-century swear words like "bum firking" and "shitten stick" -- at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· Phillip Lopate discusses Manhattan's hidden Waterfront at Coliseum Books, 42nd Street across from Bryant Park. 6pm.
· William Gass and Daniel Slager discuss Auguste Rodin: Meditations by Rainer Maria Rilke at NYU's Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews between University & Fifth Ave. 7pm.
· That Subliminal Kid DJ Spooky, who has been working on a science fiction novel for the last ten years in between cryptic posts to the Nettime list and one interesting new book called Rhythm Science, discusses architecture and music with Gregg Lynn at Cooper Union's Great Hall, 7 East 7th at Third Ave. 8pm, 12 bucks. Tix available through Ticket Central.
· Professors Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit break down anti-Western stereotypes in their timely study, Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies, at the UWS B&N, 82nd & Broadway. 7:30pm.
· Martin Doerry reads selections from My Wounded Heart: The Life of Lilli Jahn 1900-1944 -- a collection of recently discovered letters written by a female German Jewish doctor from the inside of forced-labor camp, before she was sent to Auschwitz to die -- at the Lincoln Center B&N. 7pm.
· In Lucinda Rosenfeld's second sassy novel, Why She Went Home, dishearteneed 30ish Manhattanite Phoebe Fine moves back to her parents' suburban home in Jersey and starts dumpster diving and selling her neighbors' trash on eBay. She (Lucinda) is at the Astor Place B&N. 7:30pm.