The Sellout, the latest novel by satirist Paul Beatty (The White Boy Shuffle), takes on some pretty big themes; it challenges “the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality–the black Chinese restaurant,” according to the blurb on the website for St. Mark’s Bookshop, where Beatty will read from his novel tonight. Evidently you don’t have to read much of The Sellout to be hooked; a New York Times review stated it contains “the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade.” April 14 at 7 p.m. St. Mark’s Bookshop, 136 East Third Street (East Village).

Comic book nerds, unite! Local comedians meet with industry professionals to record the live weekly talkshow The Comic Books Club every Tuesday at Fontana’s. The podcast is part of The Nerdist Network, and the conversation includes guests from a variety of background and interests from TV cartoons like Adventure Time to the X-Men movies to all manner of comic books, from Spiderman to the obscure. The show is free, plus there’s a chance to win free comics and a $25 gift certificate to Midtown Comics. April 14, at 7 p.m. Fontana’s, 105 Eldridge Street (LES).

Did you know that there are a number of retired Twinkie flavors, including banana? Or that about one shipping container is lost conversationevery hour at sea? These are the kinds of life-changing factoids that you yourself can possess if you meet Ryan Chapman for drinks and a discussion of his new book, Conversation Sparks, based on Chapman’s Webby-award nominated Tumblr “Fill the Silence.” Greenlight Bookstore will transform into a “social puzzle” at 7:30 p.m. with trivia, secrets, and prizes hidden among the stacks. The bookstore guarantees “you’ll leave 8% more interesting.”
April 15, at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street (Fort Greene).

The Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam at Page vs. Stage, this month bringing together poets Sean Patrick Mulroy and Jill Alexander Essbaum for a dramatic slam/reading. Essbaum’s poetry has been described as “John Donne in sexy underwear” and “a cross between Dorothy Parker and a lap dance,” and Mulroy currently co-hosts the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge, and co-curates a monthly LGBTQ reading series called Moonlighting, so to see them go head to head? We’d be lying if we said we weren’t intrigued.
April 14, The DL Lounge Red Room, 95 Delancey, LES. 

Join queer punk literary hero Sassafras Lowery for the NYC release of her latest novel Lost Boi, a reimagining of the Peter Pan story that doesn’t include anything resembling Allison Williams but does feature a corrupted Mommy Wendi, gentrifying pirates, LostBoiCoverand Pan’s “best boi,” the narrator, named Tootles. Lowery emerged on the Portland, Oregon writing scene with her debut book, the anthology Kicked Out, which gathered voices of current and formerly homeless queer youth alongside policy makers and activists. It was honored by the American Library Association and the Lambda Literary Foundation.
Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m. Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, LES.