Author events, Nov. 10-16

Chris Matthews, "Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked." 8 p.m. Nov. 10. Talk and signing. $18-$24. MJCC Book Festival, Marcus Jewish Community Center, Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. 678-812-4000, President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O'Neill were a political odd couple whose philosophies were miles apart. Matthews, O'Neill's former chief-of-staff, offers a timely lesson in bipartisan cooperation.

Anne Lamott, "Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair." 7 p.m. Nov. 11. Talk and signing. Free. First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairmont Ave., Decatur. 404-373-1653, Lamott ("Help, Thanks, Wow") explores how to make sense of life's chaos, recapture wholeness after loss and reconnect to one another in this frazzled age.

Susan Gregg Gilmore, "The Funeral Dress," and Lisa Patton, "Southern as a Second Language." 12:30 p.m. Nov. 12. Catered luncheon and talk. $25. FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 E. Main St., Woodstock. 770-516-9989, In a new novel, Gilmore writes about two Southern seamstresses who form an unlikely and enduring bond of friendship. In Patton's latest, Memphis belle Leelee Satterfield returns with a new restaurant and a new relationship — with a Yankee chef.

Charles McNair, "Pickett's Charge." 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13. Discussion and signing. Free. SCAD's Ivy Hall Writers Series, Ivy Hall, 179 Ponce de Leon Ave., N.E., Atlanta. 404-253-3206, Alabama native McNair ("Land O' Goshen") tells the story of Civil War veteran Threadgill Pickett, who escapes from an old folks home to avenge his brother's death by killing the last living Union soldier.

Russell Shorto, "Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City." 7 p.m. Nov. 13. Reading and signing. Free. Carter Presidential Library & Museum Theater, 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta. 404-865-7100, Shorto tells an intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam, from the building of its first canals in the 1300s to its complex present.

Poetry: Eugene V. Ellis and Collin Kelley. 8 p.m. Nov. 13. Reading. $3-$5, cash or check only. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-872-5338, Ext. 228; Ellis' poetry collections include "Alewives" and "Winter in the Tropics." Kelley is the author of "Render," as well as novels "Conquering Venus" and "Remain in Light."

William A. Sessions: Flannery O'Connor's "A Prayer Journal." 7:15 p.m. Nov. 14. Talk and signing. Free. Decatur Library Auditorium, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-370-8450, Ext. 2225; Edited by Sessions, the book includes a facsimile of O'Connor's spiritual journal, in her own hand, which she kept between 1946 and 1947.

Brian Eames, "The Dagger X." 7 p.m. Nov. 15. Talk and signing. Free. Little Shop of Stories, 133A E. Court Square, Decatur. 404-73-6300, Paideia School teacher Eames ("The Dagger Quick") writes of Caribbean pirates in this adventure about a 12-year-old boy who takes refuge on a forsaken island that holds a store of a spice with the power to make men kings.

Joe Samuel Starnes, "Time and Place: Using Research in Your Fiction." Noon Nov. 16. Talk and signing. Free. Registration required. Room 300, Kennesaw State University Center, 3333 Busbee Drive, Kennesaw. 770-420-4736, Starnes, who grew up in Georgia, uses his own experience writing "Fall Line," set in 1955 Georgia, to discuss the way research can give short stories and novels a sense of verisimilitude, and offers tips on avoiding the pitfalls and delays it can bring to fiction writing.