Books

Pulitzer Prize-winner Adam Johnson coming to Stories on Stage

Author Adam Johnson
Author Adam Johnson

Stories on Stage is a literary series at which local actors perform authors’ short works. The organizers hit it big with Pulitzer Prize-winner Adam Johnson (“The Orphan Master’s Son”), whose new collection of short stories, “Fortune Smiles,” is getting big-time buzz (Random House, $27, 320 pages).

As part of the evening, Johnson will give a presentation and answer questions. Performing a story from his book will be Sacramento actor Kelley Ogden. Johnson has appeared for the Bee Book Club.

This edition will be 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento. A $5 donation is suggested. Information: www.storiesonstagesacramento.wordpress.com.

Ready to read

“The Hanging Girl” by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton, $28, 512 pages): “Nordic noir” is the term for Scandinavian crime fiction, a subgenre usually moody, nihilistic and cold-blooded. Jo Nesbo and Camilla Lackberg are two writers specializing in it. Breaking the model is Adler-Olsen, Denmark’s top crime novelist. His witty six-title “Department Q” series stars cold-case specialist Carl Mørck and his civilian assistants – the mysterious Assad and the obsessive Rose. Here, they investigate the suicide of a colleague and the murder case that obsessed him. Simultaneously sardonic and funny.

“The Child Garden” by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink, $25, 312 pages): The mystery writer temporarily left her 10-title “Dandy Gilver” series for her sixth stand-alone. When a private school closes because of a student’s suicide, restless spirits inform a neighbor woman that the death was by murder.

“The Shift: One Nurse, 12 Hours, Four Patients’ Lives” by Theresa Brown (Algonquin, $25, 272 pages): Practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Brown compiles a day in the life in a hospital cancer ward. It’s a place where hope fights tragedy, and reprieves sometimes happen.

“Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” by Salman Rushdie (Random House, $28 304 pages): “Jinn” are mythological supernatural beings, made familiar to U.S. movie audiences as “genies.” Disney Studio’s “Aladdin” comes to mind, as does the horror film “Wishmaster.” Here, the author of “The Satanic Verses” gives a demonstration of magical realism in which the jinn are behind a series of bizarre events in New York City. Rushdie is considered among the world’s top contemporary writers.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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