Just before Christmas in 1933, in the midst of the Depression, author Ted Gup's grandfather took out a newspaper ad in Canton, Ohio, offering $10 to 75 families in need. Readers were asked to submit letters pleading their case. Years later Gup discovered the letters in a suitcase and set off to explore the stories and family histories contained in those missives. Gup shares what he found in his new book "A Secret Gift,'' which he will discuss Tuesday at noon at the Boston Athenaeum. For reservations, call 617-720-7600.
And now for the rest of the list, read on.
SUNDAY: Poets Ellen Dore Watson, Jim Schley, Doug Holder, and Lawrence Kessenich read at 3 p.m., at the Emerson Umbrella for the Arts, 40 Stow St., Concord.
MONDAY: Gail Caldwell (“Let’s Take the Long Way Home”) and Cynthia Morrison Phoel (“Cold Snap”) read at 8 p.m., at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 56 Brattle St., Cambridge ($3) … Eric Jay Dolin discusses “Fur, Fortune, and Empire,” at 7 p.m., at Concord Library, 129 Main St., Concord … Joseph Ellis discusses “First Family,” at 6 p.m., at Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline ($5) … Gal Beckerman discusses “When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge … Poets Mary Bonina, Gloria Mindock, and Mark Pawlak read at 7 p.m., at Harvard-Yenching Library, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge … Graphic novelist Gareth Hinds discusses “The Odyssey,” at 7 p.m., at Wellesley Booksmith, 82 Central St., Wellesley.
TUESDAY: Joan Leegant discusses “Wherever You Go,” at 7 p.m., at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge … Bill Reynolds (“Rise of a Dynasty”) speaks at 6 p.m., at Boston Public Library, Copley Square … Jerald Walker (“Street Shadows”) speaks at 7 p.m. in Rm. 6-120, MIT, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge … Robert Darnton discusses “Poetry and the Police,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … Carolyn Marie Wilkins reads from “Damn Near White,” at 6 p.m., at the Africana Studies Center, Berklee College of Music, 7 Haviland St. …Seth Harwood discusses “Young Junius,” at 7 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop, Cambridge.
WEDNESDAY: Pauline Maier discusses “Ratification,” at 7:30 p.m., at Concord Museum, Cambridge Tpk., Concord … Richard Russo, Brendan Mathews, Steve Almond, and Heidi Pitlor discuss “The Best American Short Stories 2010,” at 8 p.m., at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge; tickets ($5) available at harvard.com, Harvard Book Store, or by calling 617-661-1515 … John Casey reads from “Compass Rose,” at 7 p.m., at Porter Square Books … Mark Kurlansky reads from “Edible Stories,” at 7 p.m., at Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner … Sven Birkerts, Jennifer Haigh, and others celebrate the life and work of Barry Hannah at 7 p.m., at Newtonville Books, 296 Walnut St., Newtonville … Tracy Chevalier discusses “Remarkable Creatures,” at 7 p.m., at Sandwich High School, 365 Quaker Meetinghouse Rd., E. Sandwich ($2) … Gerald Blaine discusses “The Kennedy Detail,” at 7 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop … Adam Corolla signs “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks,” at 4 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, Boston University, Kenmore Square ...Poet Claudia Emerson reads at 6 p.m., in the Bright Family Screening Room, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St.
THURSDAY: Dennis Lehane (“Moonlight Mile”) speaks at 6 p.m., at Boston Public Library, Copley Square … Ted Kerasote discusses “Pukka,” at 7 p.m., at Porter Square Books … Alissa Cohen discusses “Raw Food for Everyone,” at 7 p.m., at Brookline Booksmith … Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses “The Honor Code,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … Newtonville Books presents an evening with the literary magazine “The Normal School,” at 7 p.m., featuring Steven Church, Adam Braver, and others … Mark Peter Hughes discusses “A Crack in the Sky,” at 4 p.m., at Wellesley Booksmith … Dermot Meagher discusses “Judge Sentences,” at 7 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop.
FRIDAY: Nathaniel Philbrick (“The Last Stand”) speaks at 7:30 p.m., at Concord Museum … Dennis Lehane speaks at 6 p.m., at Coolidge Corner Theatre ($5) … Tim Wu discusses “The Master Switch,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … Victor David Giron (“Sophomoric Philosophy”), Michael Atwood (“History of Santa Monica”), and poet Leo Raciot read at 8 p.m., at Out of the Blue Gallery, 106 Prospect St., Cambridge … Gary Dell’Abate discusses “They Call Me Baba Booey,” at 6 p.m., at the Brattle Theatre; for tickets ($5), call the Harvard Square Coop at 617-499-2012 … Buddy Valestro signs “Cake Boss,” at 12:30 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, Boston University … Denise Bergman, Barbara Blatner, and Brian McMichael read at 7:30 p.m., at the Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St., Jamaica Plain.
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