Each Monday, Critical Mass puts together an itinerary of book-centric events that'll keep you "lit" all week long.
Brad Meltzer churns out stories at the same fast-paced rate as the twisting plots in his ever-growing archive of political thrillers. In fact, his newest novel The Inner Circle
chooses our National Archives as the setting for hardcore history hunting and explorations into long lost presidential secrets. Conspiracies, codes, ancient artifacts â Meltzer will do what he does best in his bestsellers The Book of Fate
and The Zero Game
. He should be right at home amidst Philly's colonial streets when he stops by the Free Library tonight. Jan. 25, 2011, 7:30 p.m., free, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St.
When we pick up a book these days, most of us are trying to flee from the never-ending conversation on the economy. But, if you're feeling up for hearing another perspective on our country's jobless condition, stop by the Penn Bookstore to take in Robert S. Graham's book, Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse
, in which he puts the blame on the unions. Jan. 26, free, UPenn Bookstore, 601 Walnut St.
Irish novelist Colm Tóibín's new novel, The Empty Family
, for many critics, has landed him a spot among short story greats like James Joyce and Flannery O'Connor. Like his previous works including The Master
Tóibín's new collection deftly explore those age-old themes of loss and love, and how they more often that not come into conflict with the homeland. Tóibín will be at the Free Library to share it all. Jan. 27, 2011 at 7:30 p.m., free, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St.
Switch up your bookish experience and join wacky slam poet Simon Beaubien at FUZE's Open Mic & Poetry Slam. Beaubien apparently has more than just smooth rhymes under her belt: she has competed at the national level in slam poetry and pinball. Jan., 28, 7:30 p.m, $3-5, InFusion Coffee and Tea Gallery, 7133 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy.
Get a taste of two old time American greats: Wharton Esherick and Walt Whitman. Wharton Esherick's hand-lettered and illuminated facsimile edition of Whitman's poem "Song of the Broad Axe" will be released at the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt Library. What's more, there will be a reading of the poem by a Whitman look-a-like. Jan. 29, 2 â 4 p.m., free, UPenn Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut St.
Learn about civil rights hero Ernie Goodman â a defense attorney from Detroit who was instrumental in the sit down strikes of the 1930s as well as the anti-war demonstrations and ghetto rebellions of the 1960s-1970s. Authors David Elsila, Steve Babson, and David Riddle will read from their new book, Color of the Law
. Jan. 30, 4 P.M., free, Big Blue Marble Books, 551 Carpenter Lane.