"The Beach Book" by Carl H. Hobbs tells sunbathers why beaches widen and narrow, and helps boaters and anglers understand why tidal inlets migrate. The book also outlines scientific information on sea-level rise and ways to combat not only the erosion of beaches but also the decline of other coastal habitats. Informed by the latest research and with a passion for its subject, this book claims to provide timely and useful information about our shores. 6:30 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Debra Dean, author of "The Madonnas of Leningrad," releases "The Mirrored World," a novel of love and madness set in 18th century Russia. The novel reconstructs and re-imagines the life of St. Xenia, one of Russia's most revered and mysterious holy figures. Born to a Russian family of lower nobility, Xenia, an eccentric dreamer, falls in love with Andrei, a charismatic soldier and singer in the Empress's Imperial choir. But then a tragic vision comes true, and a shattered Xenia descends into grief, undergoing a profound transformation that alters the course of her life. Then, one day, she mysteriously vanishes. Years later, dressed in the tatters of her husband's military uniform and answering only to his name, Xenia is discovered tending the paupers of St. Petersburg's slums. Revered as a blessed healer to the downtrodden, she is feared by the royal court and its new Empress, Catherine, who perceives her deeds as a rebuke to their lavish excesses. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"Civic Talk" by Casey Klofstad attempts to show that discussions about politics and current events with our friends, colleagues, and relatives has the ability to turn thought into action. The book further claims to present evidence of a causal relationship between casual chatting and civic participation. Klofstad contends that social context plays a central role in maintaining the strength of democracy. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
In "Narc" by Crissa-Jean Chappell, seventeen-year-old stoner Aaron Foster was offered a choice: go to jail or turn undercover narc to find the dealer who's funneling drugs into Miami's Palm Hammock High School. But Aaron has never been good at getting close to people. With a cop breathing down his neck, Aaron gets himself invited to parties where deals occur. Aaron lies to everyone; including the cute but troubled Morgan Baskin, and eventually brings her danger. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Dwyane Wade, the eight-time All-Star for the Miami Heat, has miraculously defied the odds throughout his career and his life. In his memoir "A Father First," we meet the coaches, mentors, and teammates who played pivotal roles in Dwyane's basketball career. This book is a revealing, personal story of one of America's top athletes, but it is also a call for good parenting. Mr. Wade will only sign books. One book per person, or as a family. Photos must be taken in passing, by giving your camera to the store's designated photographer who will snap a photo of you with Mr. Wade while he signs your book. 11 a.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Book vouchers required for autographing event. Book cost $26.99. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Reporter Michael Grunwald's "The New New Deal," tells the story behind President Obama's $800 billion stimulus bill. Grunwald's reporting claims to show how the stimulus helped prevent a depression while jump-starting the president's agenda for lasting change. The research he conducted claims that the Recovery Act has launched a transition to a clean-energy economy, doubled the nation's renewable power, and financed unprecedented investments in energy efficiency, a smarter grid, electric cars, advanced biofuels, and green manufacturing. Furthermore, it claims that, like the first New Deal, Obama's stimulus has created legacies that last. Michael Grunwald gathered his information from sitting in on cabinet meetings, as well as recounting the secret strategy sessions where Republicans devised their resistance to Obama, to show how the stimulus was born and its effects on America. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Randy Wayne White's new book "Gone" tells of Hannah Smith: a tall, strong, formidable Florida woman, the descendant of generations of strong Florida women. She makes her living as a fishing guide, but those that know her also know she has a keen sense of justice, and they have taken to coming to her with their problems. Her methods can be unorthodox, though, and those on the receiving end of them often wind up very unhappy—and sometimes very violent. And when a girl goes missing, and Hannah is asked to find her, that is exactly what happens. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Happily married and pregnant with her first child, artist Kali Miller probes Lillian Campbell, her ninety-three year old grandmother, for information about her roots and her mother's accidental death in "The Devil's Madonna." Kali's questions intensify the paranoia that has dominated her grandmother's adult life—that someone from the past has found her—and with Kali's demand for the truth, Lillian sinks into a life of nightmares and fear. Will her life in 1930's Berlin, her loves and lies, and the true meaning of the small painting that she has hidden for more than seventy years be exposed to reveal the hideous secret that has haunted Lillian to this day? 7:30 p.m. Books & Books Miami Beach, 927 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. Details: (305) 532-3222 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"European Identity and Culture" by Rebecca Friedman and Markus Thiel is a collection drawing on studies exploring the meaning and composition of European identity, the mechanisms that create and shape it, and the question of whom it includes. Each author pays close attention to the cultural aspects of identity formation, such as symbols, coinage, ceremonies and discursive manifestations, or in the cultures of the everyday, such as in new communication networks, consumption or leisure. Presented in collaboration with Florida International University's School for International and Public Affairs. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"Finding Home" by Maruchi Mendez is a memoir from the mother of Ramiro "Toti" Mendez, a college baseball player who starred at Florida International University and Miami's Westminster Christian High School. Toti, whose athletic endeavors graced local headlines, died from an undetected heart condition, without knowing the most important story of his life. Mrs. Mendez never had the chance to explain to Toti about his birth. Toti was born in Asturias, Spain, and illegally adopted by Maruchi and her husband Ramiro, who brought him to the US. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.