HISTORY IN BOOKS: In the 63 years in which his family and owned and operated the Brattle Book Shop in Boston, Newton resident Kenneth Gloss has amassed adventures seeking books, personal experiences with well-known writers and collectors, and items for the shop’s private collection, including a 1912 World Series scorecard, and a sales brochure for the Titanic.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Gloss will share a bit of everything in a free talk sponsored by the Shrewsbury Historical Society at the Shrewsbury Public Library, 609 Main St.
During the audience participation segment in his lectures, Gloss said, he is most commonly asked what makes a book collectible. He invites community members to bring volumes for a free verbal appraisal.
“It’s a question that’s almost impossible to answer,’’ said Gloss, noting that monetary value typically is found in any book dating to the 1400s or printed in America in the 1600s. First editions published early in a well-known author’s career may also be valuable. “There are exceptions,’’ he noted, “so it’s always worth asking.’’
A frequent guest appraiser on PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow’’ and WBZ Radio, Gloss is a member and past president of the New England Antiquarian Booksellers Association, a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, Bostonian Society, and sits on the advisory board of the USS Constitution Museum.
For more information, call 617-542-0210 or visit www.brattlebookshop.com.
LITERARY NEWTON: Author William Novak of Newton is once again lending his literary expertise to “Spring Fling: An Evening for Library Lovers,’’ an annual fund-raising event returning Saturday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St.
Novak, who has written or coauthored 18 books, said the event is a celebration of the literary achievements of area residents. National Public Radio program host Tom Ashbrook of Newton will provide the opening remarks, and Novak will introduce the authors and read excerpts from their works.
This year’s honorees include Belmont resident Leah Hager Cohen, author of “The Grief of Others,’’ a 2011 New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Brookline resident Edith Pearlman, whose book “Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories’’ received the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and 2011 PEN/Malamud Award for short-story writing; Concord resident Tim Riley, for “Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life,’’ his biography of rock icon John Lennon; and Brookline resident Lou Ureneck, for his memoir, “Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine.’’
“I’m always excited to be involved in this event,’’ Novak said. “It supports a great institution that is the pride of Newton.’’
Spring Fling will also feature live music, hors d’oeuvres and desserts by Bakers’ Best, and a silent auction. Tickets cost $125, with proceeds benefiting the purchase of materials for the Newton Free Library.
For more information, visit www.newtonfreelibrary.net.
COOKING UP A CURE: More than 10 years ago, executive chef Wesley Chen of Newton volunteered to assist with a local food demonstration at a diabetes conference, as a way to give back for the expert care his grandmother received at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
Now 88, Ah-Pao Chen continues to manage her type 2 diabetes, while her grandson remains a stalwart volunteer for the organization supporting diabetes research and clinical care.
On Monday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wesley Chen will participate in the eighth annual “A Spoonful of Ginger,’’ sponsored by Joslin’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The Chen family, along with architect Been Wang of Belmont, will be honored at the event for their contributions to Joslin’s efforts, and the national organization’s mission to address the rising number of Asian-Americans living with diabetes due, in part, to an increased consumption of processed foods.
With his four brothers and two sisters, Chen owns and operates the Lotus Cuisine chain of restaurants: Lotus Blossom in Sudbury, Lotus Flower in Framingham, Water Lily in Wayland, and Changsho in Cambridge.
Other participating Boston chefs serving ginger-inspired dishes will include Jasper White, Andy Husbands, Gordon Hamersley, Ting San, Evan Deluty, Joanne Chang, Brian Reyelt, Jacky Robert, and Jose Duarte.
“When you have a personal connection and a tremendous interest in something,’’ Chen said, “you always want to do more.’’
For more information about Monday’s benefit event, visit www.joslin.org/ginger.
RELIVING THE PAST: Newton resident Paul Lewis (inset below), an English professor at Boston College, is curating the exhibition “Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History,’’ which opens Wednesday and continues through July 30 at the Boston Public Library’s main branch in Copley Square.
Created by Boston College faculty, students, and staff members, the exhibition draws on the collections of the Boston Public Library, Massachusetts Historical Society, and American Antiquarian Society. Divided into six “chapters,’’ it details the rise and fall of reputations, and the issues faced by African-American, Irish, and female writers in Boston between the American Revolution and Civil War.
The display of letters, manuscripts, and early editions features such literary figures as Judith Sargent Murray, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret Fuller, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau.
Students will discuss their discoveries, recite poems from early magazines, and perform songs based on works by Longfellow and Poe at a free event, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the library, 700 Boylston St.
A satellite show describing the first seasons of Boston’s Federal Street Theatre will be on display from Wednesday through July 30 at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St. in Boston.
For more information, visit www.bostonliteraryhistory.com beginning Wednesday.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: Harvard resident John Byler, a brain-injury survivor and author of “ ‘You Look Great!’ - Strategies for Living Inside a Brain Injury,’’ will be the keynote speaker Thursday at a conference in Marlborough organized by the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.
The 31st annual gathering takes place from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road West.
For details, call 508-475-0032 or visit www.biama.org.