The lovable Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives and third man in line for the presidency, makes a rare appearance at the Coronado Mall branch of Barnes and Noble (6600 Menaul NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, 883-8200) on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at noon. He's taking a break from wrecking the nation for a few days to promote his new book, Speaker: Lessons from 40 Years in Coaching and Politics. In it, Hastert shares buckets of wisdom gathered from long careers as a wrestling coach and political hack. Expect lots of creepy secret service types, sporting sunglasses and long black coats, sweating their federal balls off in the August heat. Please stop by to tell Mr. Speaker what a wonderful job he's doing for our country.
Ever since that "Seinfeld" episode where Elaine rips off a Ziggy comic and manages to sell it to the New Yorker, mockery of that magazine's cartoons has become hipper than arm warmers in June. Yet the New Yorker's long history of providing a forum for some of the best comic artists in the business is indisputable. One of the stars of recent years has been Danny Shanahan, whose cartoons have graced the magazine, inside and out, for the last 15 years. He'll be in Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139) on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. to give a drawing demo and sign copies of More Weird and Wonderful Words and The Future Dictionary of America.
Poet and musician Joy Harjo will be in Bookworks on Sunday, Aug. 22, at 3 p.m. for a release party for Native Joy for Real, Harjo's latest fusion CD. She'll also sign her recent poetry collection, How We Became Human.
Bestselling mystery writer J.A. Jance comes to Bound To Be Read (6300 San Mateo NE, 828-3500) on Monday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. to hawk her new novel, Day of the Dead. Set in the Southwest, the book tells the story of a retired sheriff who investigates a decades-old murder with bizarre implications. Critics have said this hard-boiled suspense novel contains the kind of graphic power that's typically the sole domain of male authors.
That sums up some of the more interesting August book events. For a complete roster of events, call your favorite local bookstore.
Local bookstores that want their September events considered for inclusion in this column should contact me by phone at 346-0660 ext. 251 or by e-mail at email@example.com.