JOHN HODGMAN – Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

This event will take place at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Although his career as a bestselling author and correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was founded on fake news and invented facts, in 2016 that routine didn’t seem as funny to JOHN HODGMAN anymore. Everyone is doing it now.

Disarmed of falsehood, he was left only with the awful truth: John Hodgman is an older white male monster with bad facial hair, wandering like a privileged Sasquatch through three wildernesses: the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth; the painful beaches of Maine that want to kill him (and some day will); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.

Each ticket includes admission to John Hodgman’s event and 1 copy of Vacationland. Tickets available online and in-store.

 


Award-winning author JAMES MCBRIDE shares his latest: Five-Carat Soul

Harvard Book Store welcomes bestselling and award-winning author JAMES MCBRIDE for a discussion of his latest book, Five-Carat Soul, his first work of fiction since the National Book Award–winning novel The Good Lord Bird.

This event is free; no tickets are required. Also, this event includes a book signing.

About Five-Carat Soul
The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with MCBRIDE’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. MCBRIDE explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives.
As MCBRIDE did in his National Book award-winning The Good Lord Bird and his bestselling The Color of Water, he writes with humor and insight about how we struggle to understand who we are in a world we don’t fully comprehend. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.


KL PEREIRA and MINNA ZALLMAN PROCTOR share their latest works

Harvard Book Store welcomes writer, poet, and teacher KL PEREIRA and writer, critic, and translator MINNA ZALLMAN PROCTOR for a discussion of their books, A Dream Between Two Rivers: Stories of Liminality and Landslide: True Stories.

This event is free; no tickets are required. Also, This event includes a book signing.

About A Dream Between Two Rivers
Both literary and speculative, both magically real and viscerally strange in the tradition of Angela Carter, Karen Russell, and Jorge Luis Borges. In this collection, KL PEREIRA weaves elements of fairy tale, folklore, and myth into the lives of women, children, and immigrants. Her lucid prose underscores the tenacity of those who are most vulnerable, who live on edges between neat and clear definitions of who they are and who they want to be. Free of normative ideas of gender, class, race, and sexuality, PEREIRA  explores rebirth amidst darkness.

About Landslide
MINNA ZALLMAN PROCTOR’s Landslide is a captivating collection of interconnected personal essays. These “true stories” explore the author’s complicated relationship with her mother―who was diagnosed with cancer at age fifty-seven and died fifteen years later―and the ways in which their connection was long the “prime mover” of PROCTOR’s life, the subtle force coursing beneath her adulthood. As such, these vibrant essays also narrate the trials and triumphs of PROCTOR’s own life―shifting between America and Italy (and loving “being a foreigner, the constant sense of unfamiliarity that supplanted all of my expectations and disappointments”), her bumpy first marriage, the profound pleasure she takes in motherhood, and the confounding experience of trying to arrange a Jewish burial for her “Jewish, not quite Jewish” mother.

PROCTOR has an integrity and humor that is never extinguished despite life’s mounting difficulties. She also slyly questions her own narrative throughout. “Not having told this story before means I never fixed many details in my memory,” she writes. “[I] have to rely on flashes, the transparent stills that hang in my mind, made of smell, the way the light casts, the wind on skin.” The essays in this book are a sharply intelligent exploration of what happens when death and divorce unmoor you from certainties, and about the unreliable stories we tell ourselves, and others, in order to live.


CELESTE NG in conversation with ALEXANDRIA MARZANO-LESNEVICH

Harvard Book Store is thrilled to welcome back award-winning local author of Everything I Never Told You CELESTE NG for a discussion of her latest novel, Little Fires Everywhere. Celeste will be joined in conversation by The Fact of a Body author ALEXANDRIA MARZANO-LESNEVICH. This event is co-sponsored by 826 Boston.

This event is free; no tickets are required. Also, this event includes a book signing!

About Little Fires Everywhere
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, this riveting novel traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

 


ALEXIS OKEOWO Discusses A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed journalist and New Yorker staff writer ALEXIS OKEOWO for a discussion of her new book, A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa.

In the tradition of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, this is a masterful, humane work of literary journalism by New Yorker staff writer ALEXIS OKEOWO—a vivid narrative of Africans who are courageously resisting their continent’s wave of fundamentalism.

In A Moonless, Starless Sky, OKEOWO weaves together four narratives that form a powerful tapestry of modern Africa: a young couple, kidnap victims of Joseph Kony’s LRA; a Mauritanian waging a lonely campaign against modern-day slavery; a women’s basketball team flourishing amid war-torn Somalia; and a vigilante who takes up arms against the extremist group Boko Haram. This debut book by one of America’s most acclaimed young journalists illuminates the inner lives of ordinary people doing the extraordinary—lives that are too often hidden, underreported, or ignored by the rest of the world.

This event is free; no tickets are required. Also, This event includes a book signing.

 


Poets & Pints: October 11

Join Porter Square Books in their celebration of poetry: Poets & Pints

The greater Somerville and Cambridge area is lucky to have such a vibrant poetry community. So, once a month we will gather at the community space at Aeronaut on the Duck Village stage, to celebrate that community with readings by three local poets.
The event will feature a social hour from 6-7 in which you can grab a beer and converse with the poets, hosts, and other poetry fans. The formal reading will be from 7-8 and will feature three local poets reading from their latest works.
The poets reading on October 11 are:

Poems by PAULA BONNELL have appeared in a variety of print and online publications including APR, Reviews — Hopkins, Hudson, Manhattan Poetry, Southern Poetry, Women’s of Books — and independents such as Gargoyle, Invisible City, and Rattle. Even in newspapers — The Real Paper and a Sunday Boston Herald.  Also in 4 collections — Airs & Voices, which Mark Jarman selected for the Ciardi Prize; Message, which includes “Midwest” as heardon The Writer’s Almanac and “Eurydice”, chosen for a Poet Lore narrative poetry publication award; and two chapbooks, Before the Alphabet – a story in free verse of a child’s kindergarten year, and tales retold, published in April 2017 — new takes on stories you’ll recognize.

SCOTT RUESCHER’s full-length collection of poems, Waiting for the Light to Change, was published by Prolific Press in May 2017. Some of the poems in the book have won the 2016 Write Prize from Able Muse magazine, the 2015 Rebecca Lard Award from Poetry Quarterly, and, in both 2013 and 2014, the Erika Mumford Prize from the New England Poetry Club. Others have appeared in recent issues of Origins Journal, Solstice, About Place, Agni Online, The Harvard Educational Review, Shadowgraph Quarterly, and The Somerville News. A shameless “evangelist for reality” who declaims “its glitzy multitudinosity in long cinematic sentences” (according to Tony Hoagland), he administers the Arts in Education program at Harvard Graduate School of Education and teaches English in the Boston University Prison Education Program.

NATALIE SHAPERO is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor at large of the Kenyon Review. Her poetry collections are Hard Child and No Object.

This event is free and open to the public!

 


A Conversation With ANN POWERS, One of America’s Most Influential Pop Music Critics

Northeastern University is pleased to host ANN POWERS NPR music correspondent and author of Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black & White, Body and Soul in American Music, about creating NPR’s recent list of “150 Greatest Albums Made by Women,” and about the state of music criticism in the U.S.

ANN POWERS is NPR Music’s critic and correspondent. Powers served as chief pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times from 2006 until she joined NPR. Prior to the Los Angeles Times, she was senior critic at Blender and senior curator at Experience Music Project. From 1997 to 2001 Powers was a pop critic at The New York Times and before that worked as a senior editor at the Village Voice. Powers began her career working as an editor and columnist at San Francisco Weekly.

Event funded by Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

 


MassMouth Story Slam: Oh Baby!

MassMouth kicks off its 2017-2018 Story Slam Season at Trident Booksellers & Cafe! Theme of the show: Oh baby!

Doors open at 6pm. Slam starts at 7pm.

All slams, except semi-finals: $10 online or at the door

Tickets available at Eventbrite

 


ARMISTEAD MAUPIN Presents – Logical Family: A Memoir

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning novelist ARMISTEAD MAUPIN—author of the nine-volume Tales of the City series—for a reading from his debut memoir, Logical Family.

Tickets:

Tickets only are $5 + $1.27 fee

Tickets (bundled with book) are $27.95 + $2.57 fee

Doors close at 5:30pm! — This event includes a book signing.

About Logical Family: A Memoir
In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.
Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, ARMISTEAD MAUPIN lost his virginity to another man “on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.” Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor), and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.

Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, MAUPIN shares his candid search for his “logical family,” the people he could call his own. “Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us,” he writes. “We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives.” From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who MAUPIN insisted was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, MAUPIN tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.

MAUPIN recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America’s queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion—and inspired millions to claim their own lives.

 


True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities

Brooklyn Booksmith is pleased to welcome JOHN HECHINGER, author of True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities, in conversation with Max Larkin.

Hechinger embarks on a deep investigation of SAE and general fraternity culture, exposing the vast gulf between its founding ideals and the realities of its impact, on colleges and in the world at large.

This event is free and open to the public.