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Joshua Piven can’t believe his good fortune. One day in 1998, out of the clear blue sky, a publisher called and asked him to write The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. Two years later, his lighthearted treatise on alligator wrestling and taxicab birthing was No. 1 on Amazon. Now Piven has tempted the fates by publishing another tome, As Luck Would Have It, which puts 10 tales of good fortune, including his own, under the microscope. Piven details his guidelines for wooing Lady Luck throughout nine chapters of such instructive tales as those of one-hit wonder Tommy Tutone and a guy who got struck by lightning inside a bank. But Piven clearly doesn’t belong to the “No whammy, no whammy, stop!” school of luck-pressing. Though he admonishes his readers to “keep an open mind” and “keep a positive mental attitude,” he keeps the most profitable advice—milk every last drop out of your disaster-scenarios book by writing sequels, licensing video games, and launching a prime-time television show—to himself. Piven reads at 7 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 7346 Baltimore Ave., College Park. Free. (301) 779-9300.

(Josh Levin)