Cheapskate: The best FREE events this week in New York City

B.J. Novak reads from his new book and more this week.

B.J. Novak reads from his new book, ‘The Book With No Pictures’

Comedian, actor, writer and former “Office” intern B.J. Novak turns children’s picture books on their heads with his new tome, “The Book With No Pictures.” Full of nonsensical words, silly songs and much more wordplay — all of which the person reading the book must say — “The Book With No Pictures” is sure to have you and the little ones cracking up. Stop by Barnes & Noble Upper East Side, Tuesday evening to hear Novak bring the words to life himself. Tuesday, 6 p.m., FREE, B&N Upper East Side, 150 E. 86th St., 212-369-2180, bn.com


Charles James: Beneath the Dress

Stop by the National Arts Club this week to see more than 60 fashion and erotic drawings by designer and dressmaker Charles James from the collection of James’ friend, writer R. Couri Hay. The mixed media exhibit also includes a short film with rare footage from Anton Perich and Hay’s 1970s documentary and interviews with James, as well as Perich’s vintage photographs of James at The Chelsea Hotel. The exhibit opens with an event Monday evening from 7 to 9 and runs through the end of the week. Monday-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., National Arts Club, Grand Gallery, 15 Gramercy Park South, 212-475- 3424, nationalartsclub.org


Stephin Merritt and Roz Chast in conversation with Bill Kartalopoulos

Wordsmiths and Scrabble enthusiasts, you won’t want to skip out on this event at Barnes & Noble Union Square Monday night. Author Stephin Merritt — singer-songwriter and the mastermind behind the band The Magnetic Fields — and illustrator Roz Chast will discuss their new book, “101 Two-Letter Words,” with “Best American Comics” editor Bill Kartalopoulos. Merritt has written an original four-line rhyming poem for every two-letter word in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, accompanied by an original illustration from Chast. Study up for that next Scrabble tournament! Monday, 7 p.m., event space opens at 5 p.m., FREE, B&N Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810, bn.com


‘Peeling the World’ with David Swart

Ever wonder how a spherical globe and a flat map could both be used to represent the surface of our round world? Unlock the secrets and reasons behind how and why cartographers flatten curved surfaces to paper and computer screen presentations with mathematician David Swart at this MoMath event. Wednesday, 4&7 p.m., FREE, National Museum of Mathematics, 11 E. 26th St., mathencounters.org


SciCafe: Islands at the Edge: Climate Change, Globalization and Island Culture

Climate change is the topic du jour of late, and in this presentation of SciCafe, anthropologist Jenny Newell and Marshall Islands poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner discuss how climate change is affecting daily life for people in the Pacific Islands, and what that means for the future for the rest of us. Wednesday, 7 p.m., doors at 6:30 p.m., FREE, 21+, seating first-come, first-served, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., enter at 77th St., 212-769-5100, amnh.org

Rozanne Gelbinovich