How do you plan a trip to Miami Book Fair? Very carefully — or maybe not carefully at all. If you’re not one of the people who plots out Miami’s big literary weekend down to the last minute, arepa break included, here are a few events of worth noting. But remember: There are hundreds more.
“An Evening With the National Book Awards Winners and Finalists”: 6 p.m. Friday, Chapman Conference Center, $15: Consider this an appetizer. The fair has invited 27 finalists and winners of this year’s National Book Awards. At this preview, you can learn a little about each author and, based on what sounds interesting, you can see your favorites in full sessions over the weekend.
Already got your Saturday and Sunday plans? Kick back with a cold beer and check out the Miami Improv Showcase at 7 p.m. Friday at The Swamp (Northeast Third Street at Second Avenue). Stay for live music with the Spam Allstars at 9 p.m. Free.
Richard Price, 1 p.m., Room 8503: The crime novelist (Clockers, Freedomland, Lush Life and, most recently, The Whites under the name Harry Brandt) talks about his career — which includes a stint writing for HBO’s The Wire — with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lorraine Adams. Free.
“Hair: A Cultural Exploration,” 2 p.m., Room 8503: I don’t know about you, but at least half of my waking hours are spent fretting about my hair. If you’re the same, check out this panel, moderated by editor Elizabeth Benedict, with writers Hallie Ephron, Ru Freeman and Marita Golden, contributors to the essay collection Me, My Hair, and I. Free.
“Live Your Most Humorous Life,” 2 p.m., Room 8302: We all need to laugh more. Agreed? Join funny writers Sara Benincasa, Terry Sweeney, Matthew Diffee and Jason Gay for a few chuckles as they discuss their new books. Free.
Rock Bottom Remainders, 8 p.m., Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd.: Join hard-rocking writers Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Greg Iles, Mary Karr and Mitch Albom (among others). And yes, it’s free — they wouldn’t make you pay for this. Really.
“Qué Pasa en mi Casa,” 11:30 a.m., The Swamp: If you grew up in Miami, you remember ¿Qué Pasa USA? (and quite possibly learned some Spanish or English from it). Kick off your day with pastelitos, croquetas, café con leche and producer/writer Pepe Bahamonde in conversation with cast members Barbara Ann Martin (Sharon) and Glenda Diaz Rigau (Marta). Free.
Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar, 12:30 p.m., Chapman: Eisenberg (The Social Network) reads from his debut story collection Bream Gives Me Hiccups and Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) discusses his memoir Yes, My Accent is Real. Free tickets required, but there will be a standby line.
“A Queer Quinceañera,” 5:30 p.m., The Swamp: Come of age with local drag performers Juleysi and Karla for a Reading Queer event that straddles the border of performance and poetry. Expect music, dancing and lots of glitter. Free.
Rosie Perez and John Leguizamo, 6:30 p.m., Chapman. One grew up in Brooklyn, the other in Queens, but both went on to gain success and fame. Perez and Leguizamo share the stage to talk about their new memoirs. Free tickets required, but there will be a standby line.