In "Night Swim" by Jessica Keener, 16-year-old Sarah Kunitz lives in a posh suburban world of 1970 Boston. From the outside, her parents' lifestyle appears enviable, but inside their five-bedroom house, all is not well for the Kunitz family. Coming home from school, Sarah finds her well-dressed, pill-popping mother lying disheveled on their living room couch. At night, to escape their parents' arguments, Sarah and her oldest brother, Peter, find solace in music, while her two younger brothers retreat to their rooms and imaginary lives. 7 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Lillian Hellman was a 20th century playwright on Broadway. Yet the author of "The Little Foxes" and "Toys in the Attic" is today remembered more as a toxic, bitter survivor and literary fabulist. In "A Difficult Woman," historian Alice Kessler-Harris presents a reclamation of a combative, controversial woman who straddled many political and cultural fault lines of her time. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Within the Appalachians of North Carolina lies the cove, a dark, forbidding place where spirits wander. Or so the townsfolk of Mars Hill believe — just as they know that Laurel Shelton, the lonely young woman who lives within its shadows, is a witch. Alone she aches for her life to begin. Then it happens — a stranger appears, carrying nothing but a silver flute and a note explaining that his name is Walter, he is mute and is bound for New York. As the days pass, Walter slips easily into life in the cove and into Laurel's heart, bringing her the only happiness she has ever known. But Walter harbors a secret that could destroy everything — and danger is closer than they know. In "The Cove" by Ron Rash, fear and ignorance reign, and Laurel and Walter discover that love may not be enough to protect them. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
In "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi, no one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but "The Reestablishment" has plans to use her as a weapon. However, Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time. 6 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
THE NEVER SKY
In "Under the Never Sky" by Veronica Rossi, Aria, who is exiled from her home, knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then she meets an outsider named Perry. He's wild and her only hope of staying alive. Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate their whole society. 6 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
SHADES OF GREY
When Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey embark on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian's secrets and explores her own dark desires in "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E L James. 7 p.m. Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. $10. Details: www.booksandbooks.com.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright releases a memoir of her formative years in Czechoslovakia during the tumult of Nazi occupation, World War II, fascism and the onset of the Cold War in "Prague Winter." She is interviewed on stage by Alberto IbargŁen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Secretary Albright will sign books to follow. 8 p.m. Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus Auditorium, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Free. Details: www.booksandbooks.com.
In "Deadlocked" by Charlaine Harris, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she'd rather not know when she discovered she had telepathic abilities. And now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she'd rather not see — like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. It's up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl's fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who's set out to make Sookie's world come crashing down. 7 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance" by Charles J. Kropke and Eleanor Goldstein includes original stories and nascent legends. These stories are the culmination of over four dozen personal interviews with influential leaders of South Beach. When added to the original artwork of painter Joe Davis and the photography from Mr. Davis and fellow photographer Petra Mason, the book is an addition to the existing literature of Florida history, illustrated with 150 full-color images including four double-page gatefolds. 6:30 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"The Scent of Scandal" by Craig Pittman uncoils like a mystery novel and the author claims to show how some people can become so obsessed with beauty, with profit, with fame, that they will ignore everything, even the law. After its Peruvian discovery in 2002, Phragmipedium kovachii became the rarest and most sought-after orchid in the world. Prices soared to $10,000 on the black market. Then one showed up at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where every year more than 100,000 people visit. The collision between Selby's scientists and the smugglers of the orchid led to search warrants, a grand jury investigation and criminal charges. It made headlines around the country, cost the gardens hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and led to tremendous internal turmoil. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.