Short Listed: October 2022

It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

What To Read

Sin Eaters

by Caleb Tankersley

Magical, heartfelt, and surprisingly funny, Sin Eaters paints a tumultuous picture of religion and repression while hinting at the love and connection that comes with healing. The powerful stories in Tankersley’s debut collection illuminate the shadowy edges of the American Midwest, featuring aspects of religion, sex and desire, monsters and magic, and humor.

My Evil Mother

by Margaret Atwood

Life is hard enough for a teenage girl in 1950s suburbia without having a mother who may—or may not—be a witch. A single mother at that. Sure, she fits in with her starched dresses, string of pearls, and floral aprons. Then there are the hushed and mystical consultations with neighborhood women in distress. The unsavory, mysterious plants in the flower beds. The divined warning to steer clear of a boyfriend whose fate is certainly doomed. But as the daughter of this bewitching homemaker comes of age and her mother’s claims become more and more outlandish, she begins to question everything she once took for granted.

What To Watch

Shirley

Actress Elizabeth Moss is Shirley Jackson in this biopic about the trailblazing female author who penned The Lottery.

Uncle Tom

Referencing Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin with its title, this documentary explores conservative black American thought in counterpoint to mainstream liberalism.

Where To Go

Boston Book Festival 2022

The Boston Book Festival returns to Copley Square on Saturday, October 29. Celebrating the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight, and inspire, the Boston Book Festival presents year-round events culminating in an annual festival that promotes a culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of the city.

Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival

The MVHBF is an annual free event held at the Haverhill Public Library which celebrates books. The authors pay nothing for their table space and volunteer their time and knowledge for the programming. Authors attend to connect with the readers and donate at least 10% of their day’s sales to the Haverhill Public Library. (October 15)

Past, Present, and Future: Barbara Kingsolver on Demon Copperhead and Silas House on Lark Ascending

The Center for Fiction is thrilled to welcome two acclaimed creative powerhouses, Barbara Kingsolver and Silas House, for a discussion about the past, present, and future of social inequity, complex family ties, and the significance of story. (October 18)

What To Listen For

Kaitlyn Tiffany

Woz and Jobs may have helped put the Internet in your pocket, but, according to author and journalist Kaitlyn Tiffany, it was fangirls who shaped its culture. In this NPR interview, Tiffany goes in depth about fandom culture and how it manifests on the Internet. She explains it all in her new book Everything I Need, I Get From You: How Fangirls Created the Internet as We Know It.

Joe Trohman

Begin by grabbing your favorite headphones and rocking out to Dance Dance, the audibly pleasing and pulsating song by the rock band Fall Out Boy. Repeat as often as you like. Then read None of This Rocks, the memoir by lead guitarist and cofounder of the band. You won’t find any bubblegum here. Just moments of real life and the hard truth about growing up an outsider in a culture you adore.

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