When it’s too cold to go outside – or COVID cases are surging – a lot of people feel the best course of action is to just stay home and curl up with a good book.

This month, you can also stay home and listen to a Maine author talking about a good book. Or any author from anywhere, for that matter. Many local libraries and bookstores are back to doing author talks and book events virtually, often on Zoom, instead of in-person, as the omicron variant of COVID-19 sweeps through Maine.

Whether you’re interested in science, history, wellness or graphic novels, you can find a virtual author event to your liking. Here are some highlights of the ones coming up in January, but you also might want to check the website of your local library or favorite bookstore.

Author Kathryn Williams, who lives in Cumberland, will discuss her new young adult novel “The Storyteller” during a virtual event Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Williams

STORY OF A STORYTELLER

Author Kathryn Williams, who lives in Cumberland, will discuss her new young adult novel “The Storyteller” during a virtual event Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.. The event is organized by Print: A Bookstore in Portland. It focuses on a teenage girl who discovers her late aunt’s diaries and becomes fascinated with the idea she may have been a princess of Russia’s last royal family, the Romanovs.

The event is co-hosted by The Telling Room in Portland, where Williams teaches and leads the Young Emerging Authors program. Williams says she drew a lot of inspiration for her 17-year-old character from the young authors she’s worked with over the years. One of them, Nina Powers of Bath, will be discussing the book with Williams during the event. For more information and to register for the free event, go to printbookstore.com.

A SIMPLER LIFE?

The pandemic has forced a lot of us to simplify our lives. We don’t go out as much, we don’t buy as much, maybe we don’t run around as much. If you need some ideas on simplifying your life beyond what the pandemic has made apparent, you can hear from an author on the subject. Marie A. Laverriere will talk about her book “Minimalism for Well-Being: Simplifying All Facets of Your Life” on Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. Laverriere is a mental health therapist who lives in a 293-square-foot cottage in Scarborough. The event is presented by the Scarborough Public Library. For more information and to register for the free event, go to scarboroughlibrary.org.

Anna Crowley Redding will talk about her book “Black Hole Chasers” Jan. 20 during a virtual event organized by Print: A Bookstore in Portland. Photo courtesy of Anna Crowley Redding

CHASING BLACK HOLES

Investigative journalist Anna Crowley Redding, who lives in Cape Elizabeth, will be talking about her new book, “Black Hole Chasers: The Amazing True Story of an Astronomical Breakthrough,” during a virtual event Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. The event is organized by Print: A Bookstore in Portland. The book tells the true story of how the Event Horizon Telescope team displayed the first-ever image of a super massive black hole, in 2019. The image took years of work and massive cooperation between groups around the globe. Redding will be in conversation with Peaks Island author/illustrator Jamie Hogan. For more information and to register for the free event, go to printbookstore.com.

FRENCH LIT

Maybe you took French years ago but don’t use it much? If you want to see if you still understand the language, you can check out a virtual author talk being put on by the Lewiston Public Library. Michele Laliberte will talk about her debut novel, “Nativa,” on Jan. 21 at 3:30 p.m., and the entire program will be in French. The novel, also in French, is the fictional diary of Laliberte’s grandmother, and begins with two children born in Quebec separated from their families and sent to Lewiston in the 1890s. For more information and to register, go to lplonline.org.

Tracy Walder will talk about “The Unexpected Spy” Jan. 13 during a virtual event presented by Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine.

FROM AWAY TOO

Print also is hosting two author talks this month from writers who don’t live in Maine, one of the advantages of virtual events being that they can be done from anywhere. On Jan. 18, Veronica Agarwal and Lee Durfey-Lavoie will discuss their middle-grade graphic novel “Just Roll with It” about dealing with anxiety and OCD. On Jan. 29, author Lisa Mantchev and illustrator  E.G. Keller will discuss their new picture book “Twisty-Turny House.” You can register for both on the Print website.

Another author from out of state, Tracy Walder, will discuss her book “The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life of Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists” on Thursday at 7 p.m. The talk is presented by the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine with Longfellow Books in Portland as the event’s book partner. Suggested ticket price is $10. More information and links to register can be found longfellowbooks.com and mainejewish.org. 


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