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Word on the Street

Book news and events in New England

An illustration by Tony Fucile from “Mitchell’s License.”

Tony Fucile

An illustration by Tony Fucile from “Mitchell’s License.”

‘Boston Noir 2’ event

Dorchester native Dennis Lehane and the co-owners of Newtonville Books have gathered a bevy of little-known gems between the covers of “Boston Noir 2: The Classics” (Akashic). Highlights include the late Robert B. Parker’s short story “Surrogate,” in which his famous detective Spenser makes an early appearance, and a work of occult fiction by Joyce Carol Oates.

Linda Barnes’s private investigator Carlotta Carlyle made her first appearance in the short story “Lucky Penny,” reprinted in “Boston Noir 2.” And readers also will encounter Blanche White, the sharp-tongued cleaning woman and amateur detective, who starred in four novels by Barbara Neely.

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Publication of the anthology will be celebrated with a reading by Barnes, contributor David Ryan, and Atul Gawande at Harvard Bookstore on Monday. Newtonville Books will host a reading on Saturday. On that night, Lehane will join his co-editors, bookstore co-owners Jaime Clarke and Mary Cotton; Ryan and guest readers. Both events start at 7 p.m.

Telling stories

What is the future of storytelling? Three leading creators of children’s books who have toggled between pages and screens of various types will address this question during a panel discussion from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Cambridge Public Library. They are:

 Tony Fucile, the author and illustrator of “Let’s Do Nothing!” who has spent more than 20 years designing and animating characters for feature films, including “The Lion King,” “Finding Nemo,” and “The Incredibles”

 Peter H. Reynolds, a children’s book illustrator who with his brother, Paul, founded FableVision Studios, which creates animated films, interactive graphic novels, digital storybooks, and iPhone apps

 Scott Nash, an illustrator and early pioneer on the Web who has done animation work for Disney and MTV and now runs his own design firm for kids’ media.

The presentation is sponsored by Candlewick Press, a Somerville-based book publisher that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

‘Bored of the Rings’ talk

Members of the Harvard Lampoon staff will be at the Harvard Coop at 7 p.m. Wednesday to talk about “Bored of the Rings,” the Lampoon’s 1969 parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.”

This edition (with a new foreword by co-author Henry N. Beard, who went on to be a founder of National Lampoon) was published by Touchstone last week.

Dayton Literary Peace winner

Somerville resident Andrew Krivak has won the 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for “The Sojourn,” (Bellevue Literary), about World War I. Judges Alan Cheuse and April Smith described it as a “splendid first novel that comes in under 200 pages, but tells a much larger story, a story — yes, let’s invoke Tolstoy — of war and peace.’’ Krivak, who teaches at Boston College, drew on tales he heard from his Slovak grandmother. The $10,000 prize honors writers whose work advances peace and promotes understanding.

Coming out

 “Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy” by Judith Watt (Harper Design)

 “Superman is Jewish? How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way” by Harry Brod (Free Press)

 “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife”by Eben Alexander (Simon and Schuster)

Pick of the week

Liza Bernard of Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vt., recommends “Elsewhere: A Memoir” by Richard Russo (Knopf): “This is a heartfelt and intimate portrait of Russo’s relationship with his troubled mother and his coming to terms with what he could — or could not — have done differently, starting when he was a young boy and his parents’ marriage failed. Insightful and painful in turns, this is a real-life tale from one of our best storytellers.”

Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter @JanLGardner.
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