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This week in books

The Heights by Peter Hedges
The Heights by Peter Hedges
Dutton Adult

South by South-West is just wrapping up, the out-of-towners are returning whence they came and the rest of us are busy recuperating from the week of festivities. Even though Austin is somewhat subdued this week those dedicated book-worms looking for a good literary event will still find something to satisfy their appetite this week in books.

Speaking of whetting the literary palate, Peter Hedges, author of the novel turned film What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, has come out with his much anticipated first novel in over a decade, The Heights. The title refers to Brooklyn Heights, a picturesque urban residential neighborhood in New York, and centers around a middle class couple living in The Heights and the many characters that inhabit their lives and their locality. Hedges will be at BookPeople this Wednesday at 7 pm.

At 8 pm, immediately following the discussion with Hedges, Chris Cleave,  author of award wining novel Incendiary, will be at BookPeople to promote Little Bee, the New York Times bestselling novel about the life of a Nigerian orphan who goes by the eponymous nickname Little Bee. Those from the UK will know the novel by its overseas title The Other Hand.

In the vein of literature for and about children, Trevor Romain, popular for his books on bullying, will be at BookPeople this Thursday at 7pm to discuss his latest book taken from his personal journals The Art of Caring.

For younger children and those children at heart who still enjoy a good puppet-show the puppeteers at BookPeople will be putting on a special pirate-themed show based on the children's book How I Became a Pirate. Bring the kids and your best eye-patch to "YARR! BookPeople's Pretty Perfect Puppetshow" this Saturday at 11:30 am.

For those parents in Austin looking for a little good advice and commiseration on the difficulties of child rearing, staying fit and taking on all the other responsibilities in life at the same time, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea will be at BookPeople this Friday at 6 pm to promote their new book Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity. If the busy mothers and fathers out there can get an hour free this Friday, this is definitely an event for them. 

Finally, Austin young adult fiction authors Varian Johnson and April Lurie will be teaming up for a dual release party this Saturday at 2 pm.

April Lurie is releasing The Less-Dead, a deep dark novel about a fundamentalist serial killer targeting gay teens in Texas and two Austin youths dealing with religion, sexuality and growing pains in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The title is taken from the term "less-dead" which refers to victims whose deaths aren't discovered or aren't taken seriously due their marginalized status in society.

Saving Maddie, Varian Johnson's latest, also deals with sex and sin in religious America, following a preacher's son and a fallen girl in their lives and friendship.


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