Mark Twain House Celebrates New Book About The Author

Special to The Courant
"An Evening with Azar Nafisi'' is set for March 10 @TwainHouse

A new book about Mark Twain's life in Hartford will be launched at a "The Trouble Begins At 5:30" event at The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, on Wednesday, March 9, with a 5 p.m. reception followed by a talk at 5:30 p.m.

"Mark Twain's Hartford" (Arcadia, $21.99) is by Steve Courtney, who has published other books about Twain, his Hartford home and his circle of friends. The new book has previously unpublished images from the Twain archive. The talk is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.

On Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m., the Twain House will present "An Evening with Azar Nafisi," the Iranian author of the best-selling memoirs, "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and "Things I've Been Silent About." In her latest book, "The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books" (Penguin, $17), she says Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has been a major influence on her. Nafisi is a fellow at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and has taught at Oxford University and at universities in Tehran. The event will be recorded for broadcast on NPR's "Person Place Thing." Tickets are $30. VIP tickets, which include a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Museum Café, are $65.

Enrollment is open for a six-session course on "Writing Children's Books" with local author Pegi Deitz Shea. It will begin March 14 and continue on March 21, 28 and April 4, 11 and 18, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The cost is $300. Shea, an award-winning author, will discuss how to write a book for young readers and get published. Participants will work to create a manuscript ready for submission to an agent or editor.

Information and registration for Twain events: 860-247-0998 or

Authors At R.J. Julia

Books of interest to young readers will be discussed at free events at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison. All require reservations: 203-245-3959 or

On Tuesday, March 8, at 6 p.m., Natasha Friend will talk about her novel, "Where You'll Find Me" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99). In it, a disgruntled 13-year-old learns to cope with shunning by a friend, her mother's emotional problems, her new stepmother and more. Friend, who lives at the Connecticut shore, is the award-winning author of "Perfect," "Lush," "Bounce," "For Keeps" and "My Life in Black and White."

On Wednesday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m., Lauren Tarshis, of Westport, will discuss "I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937" (Scholastic Paperbacks, $4.99), the 13th in her best-selling "I Survived" series about resilient young people coping with disasters.

On Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m., several authors who will take part in the ninth annual New York City Teen Author Festival, March 13 to 20, will appear at the bookstore. They are Jesse Andrews, whose novel is "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (Harry N. Abrams, $9.95); Andrea Cremer, author of "The Conjurer's Riddle" (Philomel Books,$18.99); A.R. Kahler, author of "Shades of Darkness" (Simon Pulse, $17.99); David Levithan, author of "Another Day" (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99); and Luanne Rice, author of "The Secret Language of Sisters" (Point, $18.99).

Natasha Friend In Simsbury

Connecticut author Natasha Friend, who has published seven novels for teen readers, will give a free talk on Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m. at Simsbury Public Library.

Her new young-adult novel is "Where You'll Find Me" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99), which addresses issues of mental illness and suicide.

Registration is requested by Tuesday, March 8, at the library or at or 860-658-7663.

Maple Sugaring

David K. Leff will speak and sign copies of "Maple Sugaring: Keeping It Real in New England" (Wesleyan University Press, $24.95) at The Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot, on Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m.

The book explores the history, art, science and technology of maple sugaring and offers recipes from "The Maple Sugar Cookbook: Connecticut Style." Leff, of Collinsville, is a poet and essayist and a former maple sugar maker and board member of the Connecticut Maple Syrup Producers Association.

Information: or 860-868-0525.

Words And Music

The free Mishi-maya-gat Spoken Word & Music Series will return Thursday, March 10, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at Manchester Community College's MCC on Main, 903 Main St., Manchester.

New Hampshire's Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel will read at 8 p.m., following a classical guitar performance by Nick Cutroneo at 6:30 p.m. Fogel's most recent collection is "Interval: Poems Based on Bach's "Goldberg Variations" (Schaffner Press,$15.95) which won the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature.

Information: or 860-512-2824.

WordForge Reading Series

Poets Pat Hale and Jose B. Gonzalez will give a free WordForge Reading Series program, followed by an open mike, on Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m., at The Studio @ Billings Forge, 563 Broad St., Hartford.

Gonzalez' collection, "Toys Made of Rock" (Bilingual Review/Press, $12) is about his journey from El Salvador to the U.S. He is a professor of English at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.

Hale's collection, "Seeing Them with My Eyes Closed" (Grayson Books, $15), was published in 2015. She has won a Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and other awards. She is on the board of directors for the Riverwood Poetry Series.

Information: 860-508-2810 or

Authors At UConn

Poet Jericho Brown will read at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 8, at the UConn Co-op Bookstore, One Royce Circle, Storrs Center, Storrs, at an Aetna Writer-in-Residence event presented by UConn's Creative Writing Program. Brown, whose many honors include a Whiting Award and an American Book Award for his collection, "Please," is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University. Information: 860-486-8525 or

Also on Tuesday, March 8, at 4 p.m., The New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera will speak at the bookstore about "Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA" (Portfolio, $30), co-written with Ben Strauss. The book details how the NCAA created the $13 billion college sports entertainment industry and the lawsuit that challenged its control over players' lives and careers. Nocera, who has won many journalism awards, has been a business columnist for the Times, a staff writer for its magazine and an editorial director at Fortune. Information: 860-486-8525.

Riverwood Poetry Series

Riverwood Poetry Series will present a free reading and discussion with Brian Turner on Thursday, March 10, following an open mike session at 7 p.m. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave., Hartford.

Turner, a veteran of the wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq whose poetry explores the experience of being a soldier, has published two collections: "Here, Bullet" and "Phantom Noise" and the memoir "My Life as a Foreign Country" (Norton, $23.95), Open mike poems on the topic of "War and Its Aftermath" are encouraged, but not required.


Keeping It Classy

Keeping It Classy Book Club at Whiton Branch Library, 100 N. Main St., Manchester, which focuses on classic works of literature, will meet Thursday, March. 10, at 6:30 p.m., to discuss is "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo. The Mary Cheney Library, 586 Main St., Manchester and Whiton Library have copies to lend.

Information: 860-643-2471 or

Gardening With Wild Plants

The Book Club Bookstore, 100 Main St., in the Broad Brook section of East Windsor, will host a free talk by author and master gardener Judith Dreyer on Saturday, March 12, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Dreyer's book, "At the Garden's Gate" (FriesenPress, $13.99), contains information on wild edibles and the Native American Medicine Wheel.

Information: 86-623-5100.

Strecker At Mohegan Sun

Essex author Susan Strecker will give a free talk about her novel, "Nowhere Girl" (Thomas Dunne Books, $25.99, a thriller about an author investigating the long-ago death of her twin. Strecker will speak at a "Delicious Discussion" author event on Wednesday, March 9, at noon, at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse at Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville.

Tickets are $40 and include lunch and a copy of "Nowhere Girl." The event is sponsored by Bank Square Books and the Otis Public Library in Norwich.

Information: Otis Library, 860-889-2365, ext. 127.

Pavone In Darien

Chris Pavone, author of the best-selling novel, "The Expats," will discuss his latest thriller, "The Travelers" (Crown, $27), on Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m., at Darien Library, 1441 Post Road, Darien. The novel is set in the glamorous world of international travel. A wine tasting will follow Pavone's talk.

Information: 203-655-1234.

Guilford Poets Guild

The Guilford Poets Guild will present a free reading of old and new work by Bessy Reyna on Thursday, March 10, following an open mike at 7 p.m., at Guilford Free Library, 67 Park Avenue, Guilford. Reyna is the author of the bilingual collections "The Battlefield of Your Body" and "Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel," and her work has appeared in anthologies. Information: 203-453-8282.

Copyright © 2018, CT Now