B.J. Novak

Actor and author B.J. Novak will appear Saturday, Feb. 22, at Coral Gables Congregational Church. (Jennifer Rocholl/Courtesy / February 22, 2014)

When he performs Saturday night at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, B.J. Novak will read short stories that recall girls who gave him great advice ("what does your heart tell you?"); meeting a man who Instagrammed pictures of everything he ate; and the time he bought Sophia the sex robot.

"Oh, yeah, it gets me very emotionally affected to read about the time I had a very serious relationship with a sex robot," Novak deadpans. "But no, that last one's not true. But a lot of these stories come from my personal life."

This month, the longtime television actor and screenwriter debuted his first collection of short stories, "One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories," which were assembled, he says, from the ream of unpublished ideas left over from his nine seasons on NBC's Emmy-winning sitcom "The Office." The result is 64 stories of varying length, from satirical pieces (the unaired Comedy Central Roast of Nelson Mandela; "To Catch a Predator" host Chris Hansen at a Justin Bieber concert) to half-formed vignettes, often running no longer than the length of a tweet.

"I've certainly got a lot of heartbreaking and explosive text messages in my life, so there's no excuse why a piece of writing couldn't be as short and have the same power," he says. "I thought by writing a book of fiction, I would be able to hide myself a little better. In fact, I reveal much more of myself. I was creating characters that I didn't realize were me, with all the hopes and fears and inner thoughts that traveled subconsciously through my mind."


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B.J. Novak will appear 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd. Anyone who buys a copy of the book will receive two tickets to the appearance. Call 305-442-4408 or go to BooksAndBooks.com.