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HIGHER LEARNING

Built from staccato gags about the frustrations of high school, Jillian Tamaki‘s newest graphic novel, SuperMutant Magic Academy, reads like acerbic Peanuts strips for the Harry Potter/X-Men set. Like Schulz’s creations, the students here suffer from anxiety, unrequited love, and existential dread, but Good Ol’ Charlie Brown couldn’t pitch a winning game, let alone shoot lasers from his eyes, and Schroeder’s single-minded pursuit of his music pales next to performance artist Frances’s devotion to shock. Tonight, Tamaki is joined at Housing Works by Rookie staff writer Estelle Tang to discuss how she spun these wry bursts of futility and embarrassment into a rewarding, heartfelt conclusion.

Tue., May 5, 7 p.m., 2015

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CHRISTMAS SPIRITS

The holidays mean you’re allowed to get a little hokey, and today Housing Works Bookstore Cafe hosts a sentimental Christmas celebration in high literary style. The shop’s fifth annual What the Dickens?: A Christmas Carol Marathon Reading boasts an impressive roster of authors performing the Dickens classic in its entirety, preceded by caroling from the New York City Master Chorale. Readers include a range of respected scribes, like Jami Attenberg, whose The Middlesteins was a New York Times bestseller; Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians fantasy trilogy; and Rosie Schaap, who created a paean to bar culture in her memoir Drinking With Men. Get a drink yourself — the bookstore’s café serves hot cocoa and wine — and listen to each author’s spin on the well-worn story of Scrooge’s journey to yuletide enlightenment.

Sat., Dec. 20, 1 p.m., 2014

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ASK AWAY

Whatever you want to know, silly or serious, is on the table for the asking. But beware, you’re next in line. At the popular Ask Roulette storytelling series, audience members can ask special guests, or other audience members, anything their nosey hearts desire as long as they brave the hot seat in turn. Tonight’s hosts are Rembert Browne of Grantland, Robert Krulwich of Radiolab, and Eli Brolin of Found: The Musical.

Thu., Nov. 13, 7 p.m., 2014

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ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Not since the legendary Gen X standard Sassy has a teen fashion mag garnered appreciation for telling girls they look great with what they already have, rather than telling them what they need to buy. Rookie was the pet project of 12-year-old Tavi Gevinson before she exploded as a style icon, actor, and maybe this decade’s most dynamic tween. Six years later, the online magazine is a hotbed for offbeat style, with tutorials on how to dress “Spawn-of-Satan chic” (think Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby) and take cues from “Secret Style Icons” like cereal box characters or the witches of Hocus Pocus. It has also featured poignant art, advice on everything from depression to sex (queer and straight), and guest pieces by Karen O, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Joss Whedon, and John Waters, among many notable others. The publication’s amazing history is chronicled in Rookie Yearbook Three, launching tonight. Gevinson talks with writer and trans-rights activist Janet Mock at the book party, and will sign copies following a Q&A.

Wed., Oct. 22, 7 p.m., 2014

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THREE SHEETS A CHEF

There’s no reason to let indolence, ineptitude, or intoxication get in the way of whipping up something delicious, if Hannah Hart’s career trajectory is any indication. The witty home cook got her start by filming a drunken guide to grilled cheese-making for a friend. YouTube viewers loved her laissez-faire approach to the culinary arts, and soon she had a hit series on her hands. My Drunk Kitchen, the show’s new cookbook companion, combines Hart’s concoctions with stories, advice, and photos to serve as an encouraging, albeit tipsy guide for kitchen novices. Recipes range from totally legit turkey burgers to microwave lasagna doctored up with potato chips (“layzagna”). Tonight, Hart celebrates the book’s launch in Soho, so drop by to learn about how she devised her list of the best five meals to eat while standing over the sink.

Wed., Aug. 13, 7 p.m., 2014

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THE SIMPLE LIFE

In this city, where bigger is better and more is more, you wouldn’t expect to find of a couple of guys like The Minimalists. Childhood best friends Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus have been likened to “Henry David Thoreau, but with Wi-Fi” (Boston Globe). And, like the pond-dweller’s mantra to “Simplify,” they preach similar virtues of radical reduction in their newest memoir, Everything That Remains (Asymmetrical Press). In short: Own less stuff, be happier. Life: solved. Tonight, they read from the book and outline their 21-day journey into minimalism, a numerically transversed 12-step program that outlines a plan for how and why to pare down your life with points of action that include getting rid of your TV, eating only unprocessed foods, digitizing all your papers, and picking your outfit — your single outfit. Hang out afterward for a Q&A and book signing.

Fri., June 6, 7 p.m., 2014

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STREET STYLE

In 2013, we made off with a sweet pair of Ferragamo slingbacks circa 1970-something and an armful of sweaters from the Golden Age of GAP (1996, roundabouts). The resultant look was kind of like Sofia Loren meets Sofia Coppola, which is to say, erratic. The moral of this story is that the Housing Works Open Air Street Fair has proved fertile ground for the style hunter, and a bargain at that. Now celebrating its 10th year, the bazaar-cum-block party returns to quaint, cobblestoned Crosby Street with books, records, tune-ups by Recycle-A-Bicycle, and, of course, fashion finds from the discerning Soho Thrift Shop. This year’s live music comes from Two Boots’ Americana Jamboree, so grab a bag and scour those heaps. All profits help support New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.

Sun., June 1, 10 a.m., 2014

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WORD ON THE STREET

Bar hopper? Bookstore hopper? Today is the perfect time to bounce between both. The Downtown Literary Festival is back for a second year celebrating the longtime writerly culture and bookish sensibilities of Lower Manhattan. Housing Works Bookstore and McNally Jackson host a series of nontraditional reading events like literary cabaret and “The Greatest 3-minute Bad Apartment Stories,” along with archival explorations of New York lit journals BOMB, Guernica, The Paris Review, and more. This year, genre boundaries are pushed further with presentations on the comic book, the importance of music venues to New York scribes, and television’s increasing influence on the whole scene (with Slaughterhouse 90210’s expert mash-up artist Maris Kreizman). Check out author and booze aficionado Rosie Schaap’s custom book-and-cocktail pairings before heading to the afterparty at Von Bar.

Sun., April 13, 10 a.m., 2014

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THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Tonight, novelist Wesley Stace, also known as musician John Wesley Harding, sits down to chat about what happens to musicians whey they grow up and settle down. Rock and Roll: An Infantile Business, a discussion and musical performance, also includes first-time dad and musician Walter Martin of the Walkmen and punk-band frontman turned author and father of two Sam Lipsyte (The Fun Parts). Stace discusses his new book, Wonderkid, a tale of a rock band that finally finds success — in a children’s musical. Oh, the pains of adulthood.

Fri., March 28, 7 p.m., 2014

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BAH, HUMBUG!

One of the nicest holiday traditions in town, What the Dickens? A Christmas Carol Marathon brings together a talented group of writers, editors, and performers for a day-long reading of the Charles Dickens classic at Housing Works Bookstore Café. The event begins at noon with Christmas caroling from members of the New York City Master Chorale; the reading goes from 1 to 4:30. Grab a hot chocolate or a glass of wine from the café and enjoy the tale as told by readers including Adam Gopnik, Lev Grossman, Téa Obreht, Fiona Maazel, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Lorin Stein, Emma Straub, Lynne Tillman, and surprise guests. Not done with your Christmas shopping? All books in the store will be 10 percent off.

Sat., Dec. 14, 1 p.m., 2013