Summer vacation might have students hightailing it to the nearest exit, but Union Hall wants to rope you back into the world of teachers and books for “How I Learned to Make the Grade: Stories About School,” where master storytellers, including author and comedian Sara Benincasa (Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom) and actor/comedian Jeffrey Joseph (The Tonight Show), will share their tales of playground humiliations and homecoming regrets. Of course, now that we’re all grown-ups, beer and cocktails will be available to ease the angst.
Wednesday, May 27, doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Union Hall, 702 Union Street (Park Slope).
At this week’s Practical Anarchy Reading Group, Sarai Walker will read from her debut novel Dietland. Walker’s articles have appeared in Seventeen and Mademoiselle, and she served as an editor for Our Bodies, Ourselves before getting her PhD, but her book sounds less like a preachy a dissertation and more like Bridget Jones meets Sex and the City with a feminist twist. The book tells the story of Plum Kettle, who works for a popular teen magazine. She’s just biding her time until her weight-loss surgery, trying to remain unnoticed, when she finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms.
Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street (LES).
Watch comedians and storytellers spin tales of their most gloriously awkward sexual moments in a room full of dildos and sex toys—it’s just not an invitation you get every day. Host Natalie Wall (Bad Assery Women and Comedy Festival), Phoebe Robinson (Blaria, Late Night with Seth Meyers), SJ Son (The Shame Game), Amber Nelson (Comedy Central, Just for Laughs Montreal) and a special surprise guest will celebrate the weirder side of sex at the Pleasure Chest. The $15 ticket ($20 at the door) will get you free beer and wine — might as well get a good buzz on before taking advantage of the 15-percent-off sale on all merchandise for ticketholders.
Friday, May 29, at 8:30 p.m. The Pleasure Chest, 156 7th Ave (Greenwich Village).
Braff Brothers Joshua and Zach will appear together at the Strand for the release of Joshua’s third novel, The Daddy Diaries, about Jay and Jackie, who uproot their family of four from San Francisco after Jackie loses her job but finds a lucrative new one in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jay, a one-time copywriter and aspiring author, now plays househusband, caring for his troubled 13-year-old son and precocious daughter as they adjust to their new life. We’re not sure what exactly Zach’s involvement will be, but now we know he’s the kind of guy who’s there to support his bro’s endeavors. So that’s nice.
Friday, May 29, at 7 p.m. The Strand, 828 Broadway (East Village).
The Enclave Reading Series’ spring season comes to a close in a poetry blitzkrieg. Max Blagg‘s poem Smack Yourself Senseless is a take-down of the heroin culture that dates back to the Lower Manhattan of 1980. Ron Kolm got his start when he got a job at Strand in 1970, kicking off a 40-year career of working with independent NYC booksellers. And Sheila Maldonado is an up-and-coming poet who grew up on Coney Island. It’s the last Enclave reading until September, so don’t miss out. As usual, the bar will be open, the lights will be dim, and admission is free!
Saturday, May 30, at 5 p.m. Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street (LES).