For those who only discovered (and promptly binge-watched) the show just a few years ago on Netflix, it’s a little weird to think the book that spawned Emmy-winning Friday Night Lights was actually first published in back in 1990. The classic account of the Permian Panthers follows the high school team’s 1988 season in Odessa, Texas. Says the blurb on Amazon: “Odessa is not known to be a town big on dreams, but the Panthers help keep the hopes and dreams of this small, dusty town going.” It’s good to know that the book is just as earnest as the show. Themes like racial and social divides in America’s small towns still hold up today, so snag a copy of the 25th anniversary edition (with updates on where the team members are now) and hear author Buzz Bissinger in conversation with the book’s editor, Jane Isay.
Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway (Noho).
At nearly six feet tall, Constance Kopp towers over men, has no interest in marriage, and has been alienated from society with her sisters for over 15 years, ever since a family secret sent them into hiding. When a rich silk factory owner threatens their family farm, the sheriff enlists Constance’s help; “Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family – and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared,” says the description for Girl Waits With a Gun. Author Amy Stewart (The Drunken Botanist) will be reading from her debut novel, which has earned all kinds of starred reviews and the praise of Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Prey, Love), who called it “a smart, romping adventure.”
Tuesday, September 8, at 7 p.m. WORD Bookstore, 126 Franklin Street (Greenpoint).
Join Bill Clegg, author of the bestselling memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, for the release of his first novel, Did You Ever Have a Family. The novel was selected as Amazon’s best book of September and called “masterly” by the New York Times; it’s about a woman who loses her entire family to a devastating tragedy on the eve of her daughter’s wedding. It follows her on her cross-country journey, where she meets people who were in their own ways affected by the disaster. Ultimately, it promises to be a tale of hope and a celebration of family – the ones we make and the ones we create. Don’t miss Clegg in conversation with Paul Yoon, author of Snow Hungers and Once the Shore, winner of the Asian American Literary Award for Fiction
Tuesday, September 8, at 7 p.m. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street (NoLIta).
Colin Channer, hailed by This is How You Lose Her author Junot Diaz as “one of the Caribbean Diaspora’s finest writers,” will read from his debut poetry collection, Providential. It’s described as an intimate portrait of family, violence, loss and love and a meditation on the figure of the Jamaican policeman. The book is published by Brooklyn’s own Akashic Books, and you can check out some of his previously published poems in Prairie Schooner and Harvard Review, among others. He is also the author of many books of prose, including The Girl With the Golden Shoes.
Thursday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m. Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton Street (Fort Greene).
Join a pair of bold woman who aren’t afraid to take on two modern atrocities of womanhood: fattism and manspreading. Cassie J. Sneider is the author of an XOJane article about how to deal with out-of-bounds knees (spoiler alert: she sits on them with her bony butt. Twelve of them by the time she wrote on article. She might be on to something — she didn’t get shoved or yelled at once!) Virgie Tovar is a BuzzFeed contributor, fat activist, and editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion. Together they’ll discuss body image and give some tips for how to love yourself in a world full of manspreading haters designed to make you inwardly scream at every lurch of the L Train.
Friday, September 11, at 7 p.m. Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street (LES).