The best book events, readings, signings and lectures around Connecticut

Julia Pistell

Maybe you love words and literature and writing and books, but maybe you don't actually want to, you know, read a bunch. Here are some literary events where you can go soak up some writerly atmosphere and company. Like books on tape, only with people.

 Julia Pistell, Jan. 11, 7 p.m., Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006, Free.

Julia Pistell is funny. Really funny. And she believes in lunch hours. Join the comedian, humorist, improv actress and NPR contributor at Real Art Ways, and hear her read from her latest work.

 Dan Chaon, Feb. 7, 7 p.m., R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, (203) 245-3959,

Dan Chaon's the author of several short story collections, at least one of which has been nominated for a National Book Award, and all of which explore dysfunction and desire. Meet the author, buy a copy of his new book (Stay Awake, $25 including ticket), and then scoot home to read it.

 "Demon Children and Tiger Mothers: A History of Dystopic Domestic Memoir." Feb. 20, 3:15 p.m., William L. Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St., New Haven. Free.

Are you dreading the holidays? Got a crazy family? Maybe your mother kept a dead cat in the freezer for two years and your father's a pathological liar. Who knows. Writers have been writing what we know for centuries, and the family has been dystopic for probably about as long. This lecture by Briallen Hopper (whom Dan Savage once called a future church leader) is sure to put things in perspective. (Because really, finding Fluffy next to the dinner rolls isn't as weird as you'd think it might be.)

"Collegium Musicum — Concord of Sweet Sounds: Shakespeare's Musical Influences." Feb. 22, 4:30 p.m. lecture, 5:15 performance, Beinecke Library, 121 Wall St., New Haven. Free.

The Bard created more than one exceptionally dysfunctional family for the stage, but did you know he had a soundtrack planned for every fight, assasination, and existential crisis? Come hear how it all went down in Renaissance England.

Poetry Readings and Jazz: Thurs., Dec. 8th, 6 p.m. 1 Harbor Point Square, Stamford. $40-$100. Poetry and Jazz with dinner, alcohol and silent auction. For more information contact Diane Rosenthal: (203) 324-5214 or Fern Pessin: (203) 524-4735.

Senior Thesis on The Trojan Woman: Thurs.-Sat., Dec. 8-10 p.m., 8 p.m. Center for the Arts, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown. Sarah Wolfe '12 reads from and explains her thesis entitled: Lift Your Head on Euripides' The Trojan Woman. Tickets are free but required. (860) 685-3355.

University Night: Wed., Dec. 14th, 7 p.m. Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford. Five UConn students read their poetry.

Syllable: The Reading Series - Fantasy: Wed., Dec. 14, 7-8:30 p.m. La Paloma Sabanera, 405 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. $5. A continuation of the Syllable reading series: bring your own fantasy pieces to read loud (no more than 10 minutes of material) or come just to listen. (860) 956-5003.

Discussion on Heroine Literature: Thurs., Dec. 15th, 7-8:30 p.m. Scranton Library, 801 Boston Post Road, Madison. Mark Shenker, Dean from Yale College, continues discussion with four more literary classics.

Reading by Award-Winning Poet: Thurs., Dec. 15th, 7 p.m. Wintonbury Branch Library, 1015 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield. Katharine Carle, writer of Divided Eye, will be reading selected poems. (860) 242-0041.

Poetry Reading and Signing: Thurs. Dec. 15th, 7 p.m. Wintonbury Branch Library, 1015 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield. Katharine Carle reads for Wintonbury Branch Poetry Series. (860) 242-0041.

Poetry Institute Series: Thurs. Dec. 15th, 7 p.m. The Institute Library (second floor), 847 Chapel Street, New Haven. David K. Leff reads his poetry for The Poetry Institute Series with book signing.

Tim Page: Remembering the Campus Restaurant: Fri., Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. University of Connecticut Co-Op, 2075 Hillside Road, Storrs. Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic and Mansfield native Tim Page reads excerpts from his memoir, Parallel Play, and speaks about the long-gone Campus Restaurant. (860) 486-5027.

Inescapable Rhythms: Wed., Jan. 11th, 7 p.m. Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford. Non-fiction writer Julia Pistell reads from her latest work.

Celebration of the Adastra Press: Thurs., Jan. 19th, 7 p.m. Manchester Community College, 60 Bidwell Street, Manchester. Featuring readings by Gary Metras and Jim Beschta.

Poetry on the Line: Sun., February 5th, 2:00 p.m., Windsor Art Center, 40 Mechanic St., Windsor. Suzanne Levine and Phyllis Katz read poetry for Poetry on the Line Series and sign books.

Reading from Freelance Writer: Thurs., Feb. 9th, 6:30 p.m. Wood Memorial Library, 783 Main St., South Windsor. Tad Richards reads from works for Riverwood Poetry Series. (860) 289-1783.


-By Brianna Snyder and Alexis Zanghi