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BOOKINGS

Virtual author readings for May 9-15

All events take place online; visit the venue website for more information.

Local bestsellers for the week ending May 2

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the New England Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound. For an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound.org.

WORKING ON IT
Carrie Finison's "Don't Hug Doug" is about a boy who doesn't like to hug

Hugs are coming back, and for people like me, that’s not great news

Carrie Finison's children's book "Don't Hug Doug" can serve as a primer for adults, too.

Around the world

With “Great Circle,” Maggie Shipstead shows an expanded talent. Her writing still soars and dips with dizzying flair, but this time the dazzling prose is in the service of an expansive story that covers more than a century and seems to encapsulate the whole wide world. With detailed brilliance, she lavishes heart and empathy on every character (save one villain), no matter how small their role.

BOOK REVIEW
A  protestor waved a Black Lives Matter flag in front a Nina Simone music video during demonstrations in Portland, Ore., last year. Author Olivia Laing captures a moment where Simone, in conversation with an interviewer, recognizes that the absence of fear is, for her, the embodiment of freedom.

On finding freedom for every body

A new book by the British writer Olivia Laing, “Everybody” concentrates with exuberance on bodies as a means to riddle out the expression and performance of freedom. Through protest, suppression, illness, sex, and movement, human bodies are a battleground for freedom.

BIBLIOPHILES
Jonathan Ames.

Reading Raymond Chandler and other mysteries

With his tenth book, “A Man Named Doll,” Jonathan Ames has gone all noir with the story of Happy Doll, an ex-cop who protects the young women at a Thai spa from over eager clients. That, of course, does not turn out to be so simple, and soon someone has a bullet in his gut. Ames’s previous novel, “You Were Never Really Here,” was adapted into a film starring Joaquin Phoenix. But what's he been reading?

BOOK REVIEW

Love and lust and painting, all during lockdown

Although less even in execution than the Outline trilogy, Rachel Cusk's new novel, “Second Place,” draws on her evergreen preoccupations — the shadow of divorce, the binary of women and men, the chains of art and attraction — in a pandemic-tinged fable

NEW ENGLAND LITERARY NEWS
Tayari Jones is part of the Pink Pages fund-raising event for the Hoffman Breast Center at Mount Auburn Hospital.

The role of bookstores in fighting white supremacy; storytelling for a good cause; and a fund-raiser for WriteBoston

All the news of a literary bent from around the region.