Rich Cohen's "The Fish That Ate the Whale" tells of Samuel Zemurray, who started with nothing but a cart of freckled bananas and ended up building an empire of banana cowboys, mercenary soldiers, Honduran peasants, CIA agents and American statesmen. From hustling on the docks of New Orleans to overthrowing Central American governments, Zemurray emerges as an unforgettable figure. 6:30 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
POWER OF BOOKS
"The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe is the true story of a son and his mother, who start a book club that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal; prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Christina Diaz Gonzalez transports the reader to 1930s Spain in "A Thunderous Whisper." Ani believes she is just an insignificant 12-year-old; this is what her mother tells her. Her father made her feel important, but he's been off fighting in Spain's Civil War. Then she meets Mathias — a boy of action. Mathias' father is part of a spy network and soon Ani finds herself helping him deliver messages to other members of the underground. She's actually making a difference in the world. And then her world explodes. The sleepy little market town of Guernica is destroyed by Nazi bombers. In one afternoon Ani loses her city, her home and her mother. But in helping the other survivors, Ani gains a sense of her own strength. And she and Mathias make plans to fight back in their own way. 5 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
The 31st annual West Indian Literature Conference celebrates Jamaican and Trinidad and Tobago's 50 years of independence. Writers of different generations reflect through readings from their own works, in "Nations and Imaginations: An Evening with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest," Trinidad and Tobago's annual literary festival. Featuring 2012 OCM Bocas Prize winner Earl Lovelace, Edwidge Danticat, Olive Senior, Edward Baugh, and Lisa Allen-Agostini; hosted by NGC Bocas Lit Fest program director Nicholas Laughlin and presented in collaboration with the University of Miami. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Adam-Troy Castro's "Gustav Gloom and the People Taker" tells of Fernie What lost in the Gloom mansion after her cat appears to have been chased there by its own shadow. Fernie discovers a library full of every book that was never written, a gallery of awkward statues, and finds herself at dinner watching her own shadow take part in the feast. Along the way Fernie is chased by the People Taker, who is determined to take her to the Shadow Country. It's up to Fernie and Gustav to stop the People Taker before he takes Fernie's family. 2 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"Vodou Saints: Lessons on Life, Death and Resurrection" is a story of lessons learned from Haitians in the over three decades that Dr. Arthur Fournier has worked with them, both in Miami and in Haiti. These lessons span the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Miami, the political turmoil of the Aristide years, the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 and most recently the outbreak of cholera. Through all these experiences Haitians have taught Dr. Fournier a worldview quite different from his own. Fournier uses this adopted worldview to deal with tragedy in his own life. 5 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Michael Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue" is an intimate epic, set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz. Author reading. 7:45 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free with ticket acquired at any Books & Books store. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"Black Social Movements in Latin America" by professor Jean Rahier is a collection of essays exploring the transformations of the political landscapes that black social movements in Latin America have been operating in since the end of the 1970s. Evaluating black social movements in their national contexts, the essays claim to reveal that these transformations have mostly consisted in the passage from state-sponsored ideological thought to state-managed multiculturalism and corporatism. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
Based on his columns for The New Yorker, Ian Frazier's first novel, "The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days," centers on a memorable character. Structured as a daybook of sorts, the book follows the Cursing Mommy — beleaguered wife of Larry and mother of two boys, 12 and 8 — as she tries valiantly to offer tips on how to do tasks around the home, only to end up on the ground, cursing, surrounded by broken glass. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
"The Hot Country" by Robert Olen Butler tells of Christopher Marlowe Cobb, the early 20th century American newspaper war correspondent, traveling to Mexico in April and May of 1914 during that country's civil war, the American invasion of Vera Cruz and the controversial presidency of Victoriano Huerta, El Chacal. Covering the war in enemy territory and sweltering heat, Cobb falls in love with Luisa, a young Mexican laundress, who is not as innocent as she seems. The intrepid war reporter soon witnesses a priest being shot. The bullet rebounds on the cross the holy man wears around his neck and leaves him unharmed. Cobb employs a young pickpocket to help him find out the identity of the sniper and, more importantly, why important German officials are coming into the city in the middle of the night from ammunition ships docked in the port. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.