Rachel B. Glaser’s debut novel Paulina & Fran is celebrating its launch with readings from the author and special guests Leopoldine Core (Veronica Bench) and Mark Leidner (The Angel in The Dream of Our Hangover: Aphorisms). The novel is described as “a story of friendship, art, sex and curly hair.” It’s Glaser’s first full length work of fiction, but she’s already an accomplished writer with a published short story collection and book of poetry; her work has appeared in the anthologies 30 Under 30 and New American Stories, and Nylon has cited her as one of the “Coolest Female Poets to Know Right Now.” The conversation will be led by author Elisa Albert (After Birth).
Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. Housing Works Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby Street (Nolita).
John Darnielle, frontman of The Mountain Goats, is launching the paperback of his debut novel Wolf in White Van. The book, though described as “dark” and “gripping,” appears to have broad appeal, earning rave reviews in everything from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone to O: The Oprah Magazine. “A stunning meditation on the power of escape, and on the cat-and-mouse contest the self plays to deflect its own guilt,” said Ethan Gilsdorf of The New York Times Book Review. The novel tells the story of a man isolated by a disfiguring injury who creates a text-based role-playing game — disaster strikes when two players take their gameplay into the real world.
Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway (Noho).
Nine-year-old Laurent Lepage, the main character of Nature of the Beast, the newest novel in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, has gained a reputation as the boy who cries wolf. Not a day goes by when he’s not telling wild tales of alien invasions and winged beasts in the woods, so naturally no one takes him seriously until he mysteriously comes up missing. When he disappears, Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he played a terrible role in what happens next. Meet the author, Louise Penny, at the launch of her newest mystery.
Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 33 East 17th Street (Union Square).
In a time when machines are being increasingly integrated into society, Machines of a Loving Grace, the newest book by New York Times reporter John Markoff, seeks to answer the question of whether robots will ultimately help us or replace us. Markoff, a longtime Silicon Valley veteran who was the first reporter to describe the World Wide Web, discusses how the ways in which we use technology – to enhance the quality of human work and life or to replace humans entirely – will shape our future, in a discussion with journalist Steven Levy, author of Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.
Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore. 686 Fulton Street (Fort Greene).
Authors Helen McClory and Susan Rukeyser will present their respective debut books On the Edges of Vision and Not on Fire, Only Dying. McClory’s collection of short stories sounds, well… pretty intense. The synopsis: “Whether telling of a boy cyclops or a pretty dead girl, drowned sailors or the devil himself, each story draws the reader towards not bleakness but a tale half-told, a truth half-true: that the monster is human, and only wants to reach out and take you by the hand.” (Eek!) Rukeyser’s novel follows drug dealer Marko in his attempt to help troubled recluse Lola find her kidnapped newborn baby. Everyone assumes the child is just one of her delusions except the devoted, chivalrous ex-con, who takes it upon himself to come up with answers. Presented in conversation with Volume 1 Brooklyn editor Tobias Carroll.
Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. WORD Bookstore, 126 Franklin Street (Greenpoint).