Let it suffice to say that politicians are not held in very high esteem by a large portion of the American electorate. Many refer to them simply as crazy. And on some level Nassir Ghaemi sort of agrees -- at least as it regards the most powerful of them. Ghaemi, a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, argues in his new book, “A First-Rate Madness,” that the "best crisis leaders are either mentally ill or mentally abnormal; the worst crisis leaders are mentally healthy.’’ To illustrate his point, Ghaemi draws from the careers and lives of leaders such as Lincoln, Churchill, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, and others. Ghaemi will discuss “A First-Rate Madness” on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Harvard Coop in Cambridge.
And now for the rest of the list, read on.
MONDAY: Nassir Ghaemi discusses “A First-Rate Madness,” at 7 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop, Cambridge … John Ferling (“Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free”) speaks at 6 p.m., at Boston Public Library, Copley Square … Alexander Maksik reads from “You Deserve Nothing,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge .
TUESDAY: Sally Jacobs discusses “The Other Barack,” at 7 p.m., at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge … Gail Mazur, Barbara Helfgott Hyett, and Kim Triedman read from “Poets for Haiti,” at 7 p.m., at Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton … Sven Birkerts discusses “The Other Walk,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … Dawn Tripp (“Game of Secrets”) and Joan Leegant (“Wherever You Go”) read at 7 p.m., at Newtonville Books, 296 Walnut St., Newtonville … Eoin Colfer reads from “Plugged,” at 7 p.m., at Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner … John Ferling discusses “Independence,” at 7 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop.
WEDNESDAY: Ruth Rendell discusses “Vault,” at 7 p.m., at Porter Square Books … Sue Miller (“The Lake Shore Limited”) and Anna Solomon (“The Little Bride”) read at 7 p.m., at Newtonville Books … Alma Katsu (“The Taker”) and Christopher Buehlman (“Those Across the River”) read at 7 p.m., at Brookline Booksmith … Yochai Benkler discusses “The Penguin and the Leviathan,” at 7 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop … Justin Torres (“We the Animals”) reads at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … Theda Skocpol speaks on the Tea Party movement at 7 p.m., at First Parish Church, 3 Church St., Harvard Square, Cambridge … Spencer Quinn discusses “The Dog Who Knew Too Much,” at 7 p.m., at Wellesley Books, 82 Central St., Wellesley; RSVP 781-431-1160 or firstname.lastname@example.org … Erin Morgenstern reads from “The Night Circus,” at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, 1 Worcester Road, Framingham.
THURSDAY: Leah Hager Cohen reads from “The Grief of Others,” at 7 p.m., at Porter Square Books … Charles C. Mann discusses “1493,” at 7 p.m., at Brookline Booksmith … Andy Gresh and Michael Connelly discuss “Great Book of Boston Sports Lists,” at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, 90 Middlesex Tpk., Burlington … Miles J. Unger discusses “Machiavelli: A Biography” at 7 p.m., at Back Pages Books, 289 Moody St., Waltham … John Tirman signs “The Deaths of Others,” at 6:45 p.m., at the Harvard Square Coop … David Rakoff (“Half Empty”) speaks at 6 p.m., at Boston Public Library, Copley Square … Tahmima Anam reads from “The Good Muslim,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … Scott Alarik discusses “Revival: a Folk Music Novel,” at 8 p.m., at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge; tickets ($20) available through Club Passim … Kevin O’Connor and Michael Casey discuss “The Best Homes from THIS OLD HOUSE,” at 7 p.m., at Wellesley Free Library, 530 Washington St., Wellesley … Webster Bull discusses “Something in the Ether: a Bicentennial History of Massachusetts General Hospital,” at 7:30 p.m., at the Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main St., Charlestown.
FRIDAY: Thomas Ponniah and Jonathan Eastwood discuss “The Revolution in Venezuela,” at 3 p.m., and Myla Goldberg reads from “The False Friend,” at 7 p.m., at Harvard Book Store … John Harrison Smolens discusses “The Schoolmaster’s Daughter,” at 7 p.m., at Wellesley Books.
SATURDAY: Hill Harper (“The Wealth Cure”) speaks at 2 p.m., at Boston Public Library, Copley Square … Sean Conway signs “The Empty Space Between Stars” from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at A Novel Cafe, 464 Main Street, Tewksbury … Erica Ferencik discusses “Repeaters,” at 7 p.m., at Wellesley Books ... Jacob Walker and Rob Cox (”The History of Chowder”) speak at 1 p.m., and Marianne Leone (”Jesse, A Mother’s Story”) speaks at 4 p.m., at Westwinds Bookshop, 35 Depot St., Duxbury.
Announcements must arrive at email@example.com two weeks before publication date. Events are subject to change .