13 must-attend readings of winter 2011

Writers fight the good fight at local book events
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  January 4, 2011

Deb Olin Unferth

Winter is dreadful. Books are the opposite. We offer you the following author events as antidotes to sedentary overeating and bad television.

BARBARA ALMOND | Harvard Book Store | January 10 | The world stopped when Ayelet Waldman wrote that she loved her husband, the novelist Michael Chabon, more than she did their children. Psychologist Barbara Almond has heard worse. Her new book, The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood (University of California), details the frequent, if taboo, ambivalence that many mothers feel.

Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 7 pm | Free | 617.661.1515 or harvard.com

ILAN STAVANS AND CARLOS YUSHIMOTO | Porter Square Books | January 13 | Not content to let the New Yorker's anointed writers stand alone in their glory, Granta has devoted its winter issue to the best young Spanish-language novelists. Anyone hoping to buck America's solipsistic illiteracy of other cultures is advised to attend this reading. It features Stavans — one of the Granta judges — and Yushimoto, one of the elect.

Porter Square Shopping Center, 25 White St, Cambridge | 7 pm | Free | 617.491.2220 or portersquarebooks.com

RACHEL POLONSKY | Harvard Book Store | January 13 | When Vyacheslav Molotov wasn't busy helping Stalin commit genocide and sundry other misdeeds, he collected rare and beautiful books. Journalist Rachel Polonsky learned about this when, for a time, she lived in his apartment. The resulting book, Molotov's Magic Lantern: Travels in Russian History (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), has been praised for defying expectations.

1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 7 pm | Free | 617.661.1515 or harvard.com

MIKE YOUNG | Brookline Booksmith | January 14 | The Booksmith continues its efforts to secure every touring HTML Giant contributor. Mike Young, a fixture of the insouciant literary Web site, has written a story collection called Look! Look! Feathers, out on kicky independent Word Riot Press. Publishers Weekly has praised Young's depiction of "base humanity"; Nylon calls his writing "helplessly absurd."

279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7pm | Free | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com

UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE TRANSLATION NIGHT | Brookline Booksmith | January 20 | Earlier this year, The Russian Version (Zephyr) by Elena Fanailova, won a translation award for poetry. Stephanie Sandler, its translator, joins fellow highbrow polyglots Barbara Siegel Carlson — who translated Srecko Kosovel from the Slovenian — and Ugly Duckling publisher/noted Russian translator Matvei Yankelevich. |

279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7pm | Free | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com

SETH MNOOKIN | Harvard Book Store | January 24 | Vanity Fair writer Seth Mnookin grew up in Newton, went to Harvard, and wrote about his heroin addiction for Slate. His book about the Red Sox, Feeding the Monster, became a New York Times bestseller. He'll visit the Harvard Book Store to discuss The Panic Virus (Simon & Schuster), a work that takes on the causes of autism.

1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 7 pm | Free | 617.661.1515 or harvard.com

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Related: Fall Books Preview: Getting booked, Authors strut their stuff, Interview: Gary Shteyngart, More more >
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