Who cares about the fiscal cliff when we'll have authors talking about Scientology, the space-time continuum, and Joy Division?
1. Adam Mansbach :: Although Adam Mansbach's new novel, Rage Is Back (Viking), can't sell anywhere near as well as his modern-day children's classic, Go the Fuck to Sleep, chances are good it'll be as clever as its predecessor. :: January 13 :: Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline :: 2 pm :: Free :: 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com
2. Michael Dahlie and J. Robert Lennon :: J. Robert Lennon's Familiar (Graywolf), one of the best novels of 2012, concerns a rift in the space-time continuum. Michael Dahlie's The Best of Youth (W. W. Norton) satirizes independently wealthy Brooklyn writers. Which is more absurd? :: January 24 :: Newtonville Books, 296 Walnut St, Newtonville :: 7 pm :: Free :: 617.244.6619 or newtonvillebooks.com
3. Ian Svenonius :: Some will turn out to see Svenonius because he was in the Make-Up and Nation of Ulysses, others because he was once named Sassy magazine's "Sassiest Boy in America," and still others to hear him read from his caustic and funny new book, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group (Akashic). :: January 26 :: Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline :: 7 pm :: Free :: 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com
4. Jennifer Haigh ::News from Heaven (Harper Collins), the Boston-based author's first story collection, returns to the scene of Haigh's terrific novel, Baker Towers. :: January 30 :: Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline :: 7 pm :: Free :: 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com
5. Lawrence Wright :: Wright's description, in the New Yorker, of Scientologists playing violent musical chairs in the desert was supremely bonkers. Praise Xenu, Going Clear (Knopf), the book from which it was excerpted, finally has a release date for January 17. :: January 31 :: Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge :: 6 pm :: $5 :: 617.661.1515 or harvard.com
6. Christopher Castellani :: This is the first of five chances Bostonians will have to hear the Grub Street artistic director read from his third novel, All This Talk of Love (Algonquin), a book about the misguided nature of immigrant families' romance with the old country. :: February 5 :: Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, 1 White St, Cambridge :: 7pm :: Free :: 617.491.2220 or portersquarebooks.com
7. Peter Hook ::Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division can't possibly rival Hook's riff in "Digital," but, according to The Guardian, it's pretty good. The supremely gifted Joy Division/New Order bassist dishes on his rift with Bernard Sumner and the brief and tragic life of hero/martyr/demigod Ian Curtis. :: February 8 :: Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, Cambridge :: 7pm :: Free :: 617.491.2220 or portersquarebooks.com