Jillian Venters

The local author’s Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them (Harper, $13.99) takes a wry, humorous approach to advice subjects including: why friends don't let friends dress like The Crow; how to reassure people you aren't a Satanist, drug fiend, or psycho killer; and the difference between snarkiness and cattiness. (That latter point ought to be useful to older readers, too.) Venters also offers her thoughts on the weather: "Goth wardrobe is not ideal for all weather conditions. Summer is the obvious problem season for Goths; not only does all-black clothing absorb the heat very efficiently, but it's hard to maintain an air of otherworldliness and mystery when you're a peeling, sunburned mess." We like her tone; and concerned parents would also likely benefit from the book. BRIAN MILLER

Mon., June 29, 7 p.m., 2009

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