Wear a tuxedo. Wear jeans. Wear a formal gown. Wear a house dress. In other words, come as you are. Maybe even arrive, um, unclothed.

There’s no way there will be a dress code on Saturday, May 14, at my friend Steven Hart’s Nighthawk Books in Highland Park, New Jersey, when another friend — novelist Bathsheba Monk — reads from her newly published novel, Nude Walker.

Bathsheba Monk

Steve promises live musical entertainment, starting at about 2 p.m., followed by Bathsheba’s reading at 3 p.m. Copies of the novel will be available for purchase, as well as copies of B. Monk’s first book, Now You See It: Tales from Cokesville, a wonderful collection of linked short stories set in Pennsylvania coal country. After the reading, Bathsheba will gladly sign copies of her books.

Bathsheba’s a wonderful stylist and a witty storyteller. The characters in Nude Walker are colorful and engaging. And the novel’s theme, plot and setting are gratifyingly ambitious, with a story that ranges from an U.S. military base in Afghanistan to a left-for-dead Pennsylvania coal country town where foreign-born entrepreneurs and economic outcasts are the new “locals.”

It’s a really good book (which will someday also make a really good movie). Bathsheba Monk’s a really good writer and a really good reader. And you’ll have a really good time – so, on May 14, walk or run, dressed or not, to Nighthawk Books in Highland Park, N.J.

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