In Baseball Weekly writer Tim Wendel’s novel Castro’s Curveball, Billy Bryan is a former minor-league catcher for the Washington Senators, a new widower, and a man who feels his “season” is winding down. “I think God has fed me a breaking ball to keep me off balance,” he says. But a scrapbook from Bryan’s time in Cuba playing winter ball takes his mind back to 1947, when he caught the buttery curve of a bearded pitcher, who had not only a wicked arm but also a revolutionary’s rhetoric. Caught between the woman he loves and the game he adores in a country whose future is uncertain, Bryan made a choice that led him down a path he still struggles to accept. Hot stove fanatics, soap-opera-loving seamheads, and folks who believe book jacket blurbs by Ken Burns can hear Wendel read from Castro’s Curveball at 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 12089 Rockville Pike, Rockville. Free. (301) 881-0237. (Christopher Porter)

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