The city has an embarrassment of literary riches to offer on Wednesday, Aug. 25: three readings, all by drastically different authors. First, catch Rick Moody on your lunch break. It’s been five years since his last, acclaimed novel, The Diviners, and this afternoon he’ll be reading from his newest, The Four Fingers of Death: a 700-plus-page sci-fi satire dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut (Bryant Park Reading Room, 12:30 p.m., free). Tonight, though, you’re going to have to make some tough choices. Labor Day is less than two weeks away, and if you desperately need a vacation but can’t spare the time or the cash, the next best thing might be “How I Learned to Live on the Road: Tales of Travel, Travails, Wanderlust and Out-of-Town Hijinks,” a group reading at Happy Ending that’s part of its “How I Learned” series. This week’s installment features Rachel Shukert, Hugh Ryan, Melanie Hamlett, and Emma Straub (8 p.m., doors at 7 p.m., free). And if you’re not afraid to admit you love chick lit, you’ll want to make it to a conversation between Susan Shapiro (Overexposed) and Jennifer Belle (The Seven Year Bitch); plan your outfit very carefully (Barnes and Noble at 86th Street, 7 p.m., free). On Thursday, trendsetting types can visit the Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Square to see James Hannaham, a onetime Salon staffer, read from his first novel, God Says No. Published by McSweeney’s, it’s the story of a young, married, black Christian struggling with homosexuality (Barnes and Noble at 86th Street, 7:30 p.m., free).
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