It might seem counterintuitive to release a book composed of short stories filled with road trips, vacations, and pools now that it is fall. However, A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts (Borealis Books) isn't your typical collection of tales of sunny beaches or idyllic romance. Rather, it is a series of stories held together by recurring themes of infidelity, facing irreconcilable differences between the past and present, and binge drinking. The book's opening story, "Jubilation, Florida," is about two bloated, middle-age, happily married adulterers fumbling through a romance together while on a business trip. Together they share a freezing nighttime skinny dip, bourbon, and an accidental quoting of "The Raven" that is supposed to be romantic but instead is hilarious. The short story was recently included on NPR's Selected Shorts, an award-winning series featuring celebrities reading the best short fiction. Her portion was voiced by actress Joanne Woodward. Other stories in Reckless Hearts have a similar quirkiness that only adds to the charming humanity within each character.
Mon., Oct. 12, 7 p.m., 2009