A biography of famous Revolutionary War era traitor Benedict Arnold and a guide for collectors of a Chinese game that has intrigued countless Americans will be discussed by their authors at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison. Both talks are free, but reservations are required: 203-245-3959 or www.rjjulia.com.
On Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m., author Eric D. Lehman will talk about his book, "Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London" (Wesleyan,$30). It tells how Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists captured Fort Griswold and burned down the settlement of New London in 1781,describes life in those times and explores how and why Arnold betrayed his countrymen and killed his neighbors.
Lehman is a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport who has widely published fiction, travel stories, essays, and nonfiction. He also is the author of "The Insider's Guide to Connecticut" (Insider's Guide, $18.95), "Literary Connecticut: The Hartford Wits, Mark Twain and the New Millennium" (History Press, $19.99) and "Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity" (Wesleyan, $28.95).
On Saturday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m., Ann Israel and Gregg Swain, the authors of "Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game: A Collector's Guide to Mah Jongg Tiles and Sets" (Tuttle Publishing, $24.95), will speak.
The richly illustrated book explores the history of the game and the beauty of the tiles used to play it. The authors, fans of the game, became experts on its history and paraphernalia, made from materials ranging from paper to ivory and mother of pearl.
Ann Israel writes Advice for the Lawlorn, a weekly syndicated column for attorneys published by American Law Media. Gregg Swain is a devoted fan of Mah Jongg.
"The Sense of an Ending"
A free book discussion will be held Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at Prosser Public Library, 1 Tunxis Ave., Bloomfield. The book is Julian Barnes' 2011 novel, "The Sense of An Ending" (Vintage, $14.95), which won the Man Booker Prize in England. Copies are available at the library. Registration: 860-243-9721 or www.prosserlibrary.info.
"Wobblies In Connecticut"
They were known as "the Wobblies." The Industrial Workers of the World was a progressive international labor union founded in 1905 that tried to create a working-class movement that crossed racial and ethnic lines, and it had a presence in Connecticut.
On Thursday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., Ellington, labor organizer Steve Thornton, author of "A Shoeleather History of the Wobblies: Stories of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Connecticut" (Shoeleather History Project, $11.99) will discuss his book. Pre-registration is required for this free talk: library.ellington-ct.gov/ or 860-870-3160.
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, will host a reading by poets from Connecticut River Poets, Guilford Poets Guild and students from the Creative Writing Class of Old Saybrook High School on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. They will read poems inspired by the museum's current exhibit, "Life Stories in Art." A reception will follow.
The cost to attend is included in admission to the museum, which is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for students and free to those 12 or younger. Information: 860-434-5542.
Authors At Bank Square Books
Michael Crummey, an acclaimed writer from Canada, will discuss his new novel, "Sweetland" (Liveright, $24.95) on Tuesday, Jan. 20, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Bank Square Books, 53 W. Main St., Mystic.
The novel is set on a remote island off Newfoundland, whose dwindling population is offered money by the government if they all agree to leave for the mainland. But Moses Sweetland, a lighthouse keeper whose family settled the island, refuses to leave.
The cost is $30 for lunch and a copy of the book; $10 for lunch only and free for the talk alone.
On Saturday, Jan. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m., Richard Harteis will celebrate the publishing of his memoir, "WMD" (Poet's Choice, $24.95). The book is a record of a year in the poet's life following the loss of people close to him and a diagnosis of White Matter Disease, a progressive disorder that affects nerves in the brain and the spinal cord. The event is free.
Children's Writing Workshop
Author Christine Pakkala will lead a free writing workshop for children ages 7 through 10 or in grades 2 through 5 on Saturday, Jan. 24, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury. The workshop is sponsored by Friends of the Simsbury Public Library.
Pakkala writes the award-winning children's book series, "Last-But-Not-Least Lola" and teaches at the Westport Writers' Workshop.
A kid-friendly Power Point presentation will explain the writing and publishing processes she used to create her first Lola book and will show how books need a beginning, middle and end and a main character with a problem. Pekkala will then provide writing prompts and the children will write and share their stories.
Copies of her books will be available for purchase and signing. Pre-registration is required at the library's reference desk, at www.simsburylibrary.info or by calling 860-658-7663.
Author At RV Show
Wethersfield author Glenn Maynard will sign copies of his book "Strapped Into An American Dream" (Strategic Book Publishing, $32.50), which is about his one-year journey through the 48 continental states in an RV at the Northeast Recreational Vehicle & Camping Show at the Connecticut Convention,100 Columbus Blvd., Hartford.
Maynard will sign copies of that book and of his "Desert Son" (Black Rose Writing, $15.95) on Saturday, Jan. 24, and Sunday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The RV show also is open Friday, Jan. 23, from noon to 8 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults, free for children 14 and younger.