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Akbarzada's poetry reading among Charlottesville book events

New Dominion Bookshop will present a reading and conversation with poet and Afghan refugee Samman Akbarzada at 4 p.m. Saturday. The author of two books, in her early 20s, will read from her recent poetry collection, “A Glimmer in the Dark,” and take part in a conversation with New Dominion Bookshop manager Julia Hoppe.

The book traces Akbarzada’s heartbreaking and transformative journey as a refugee and the resilience of people in war-torn Afghanistan.

New Dominion also will welcome Ernest Thompson, Academy Award-winning author of “On Golden Pond,” at 7 p.m. Friday. He will read from his new novel, “The Book of Maps,” which traces a filmmaker’s 16-state road trip with his 10-year-old son.

Plan ahead for a book talk and reading from “Small Pieces,” a new collaborative book by author and University of Virginia professor Micheline Aharonian Marcom and artist Fowzia Karimi, at 7 p.m. May 18. Marcom contributes short stories and Karimi provides watercolors for the book. As part of an early release, visitors will be able to purchase copies of the book during the event.

The bookshop recommends arriving early at all of these events to get the best seating. Learn more at or call (434) 295-2552.

Liz Childs Kelly has been named a 2023 Gold Nautilus award recipient. The Charlottesville author is being honored for “Home to Her: Walking the Transformative Path of the Sacred Feminine.”

Nautilus Awards are presented to books that promote sustainability, conscious living and spiritual growth. Previous recipients include Barbara Kingsolver and Thich Nhat Hanh.

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is offering the following book-related events in the coming week:

10:30 a.m. Saturday at Scottsville Library: “Stories, Stories, Stories!” offers book fans of all ages a chance to dance, play and take part in simple art projects. No registration is required.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Charlottesville City Market: The Bookmobile will be at the market to support the market’s Power of Produce program for children. There will be Storytime at 11 a.m., on-board browsing time and library card registration. The Power of Produce program will offer children a “Two-Bite Challenge” to earn $5 in POP Bucks to spend on fresh fun produce.

Tuesday: Northside Library will be closed for branch staff training day.

10:30 a.m. Thursday at Gordon Avenue Library: Reading Rumpus is an early-literacy and language-development drop-in event designed for children up to age 3 and their accompanying caregivers, but everyone is welcome. Expect lively participation, songs and movement to bring books to life.

Noon Thursday at Central Library: Brown Baggers Book Club members will discuss “Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead. For a Zoom link to the series’ virtual events, email

5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pen Park: The Bookmobile will be at Community Attention Foster Families’ Spring Picnic to promote literacy and have fun.

6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Northside Library: Next Step — Writers’ Workshop offers writers camaraderie and support. Contact Margaret Spokes at or call (434) 973-7893, Ext. 4, for details.

2:30-4:30 p.m. May 19 at Gordon Avenue Library: Voter registration will be available. A registrar official will be on hand to update voter information, help people apply for absentee ballots and answer questions.

For details about library events, go to

The Charlottesville Reading Series has announced its May lineup. Mark your calendars for readings by poet Hajjar Baban and novelist Brendan Slocumb at 7 p.m. May 19 at New Dominion Bookshop. Get details at


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