THURSDAY

Linda Greenlaw’s latest maritime adventure opens with what she calls “a fitting send-off”—a bare-bottomed salute by three middle-aged dockworkers. With the full moon at her back, Greenlaw heads into turbulent waters in The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island. After 17 years hunting swordfish, Greenlaw returns to her native Isle Au Haut, Maine, to try her hand at trapping the clawed cockroachlike delicacies that go great with hot butter. It’s a difficult, dirty job: “The bait stunk. The boat was muddy. And I was going broke while waiting for buglike creatures to crawl out from under rocks.” Greenlaw’s often comical story isn’t only everything you never wanted to know about catching lobster (though she certainly spends much time on the subject, even explaining what separates some claw-binding elastic bands from others); small-town politics also assume a prominent role. The tiny island is rocked by guerrilla warfare between fisherman and—timely enough—an accounting scandal. Greenlaw also goes into great detail on the general oddity of island dwellers. Among the unusual characters she comes across are a kleptomaniac Peeping Tom, a truck-stealing gay nude model, a cigar-eating ex-crop-dusting pilot, and freaky lighthouse fanatics. Find out what life is like at the bottom of the bait chain when Greenlaw docks at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-4227. (Chris Shott)