MONDAY August can be a challenging month for readings in Seattle. Now that we’re in August, Town Hall is shuttered for a month for its yearly schedule of renovations — you can’t keep a place that old looking that good without a whole lot of TLC — and other readings series choke back on their offerings. So maybe it’s time to check in on some old faithful institutions, like Works in Progress, the Hugo House’s twice-monthly reading series. A lot of the local poets you love got their start at open mic nights like this. Maybe you’ll find your next favorite here. The event listing explains the idea behind the series: “Applause for all. No judgment. Some content not suitable for children or small animals. Listeners welcome.”
TUESDAY The most promising reading of the week happens tonight at University Book Store, when local sci-fi authors Nisi Shawl, Eileen Gunn, and L. Timmel DuChamp present stories from Shawl’s new anthology, Stories for Chip. This is an anthology of stories honoring legendary sci-fi author Samuel R. “Chip” Delany. The New Yorker ran an appreciation of Delany just last week, so this reading is very timely.
WEDNESDAY Fremont cookbook shop The Book Larder hosts a class on how to make a steak dinner, with a menu including “Wedge salad with blue cheese and cherry tomatoes, Roasted green beans and corn with dill, Seared rib eye steak, Salsa verde, Anchovy butter, and Roasted peaches with soft cream.” Droooool. It’s 70 bucks, but that includes the class and dinner. Sign up at the Book Larder’s site in the link above.
THURSDAY Out at the Mill Creek branch of University Book Store, local author Sonya Lea reads from her new memoir Wondering Who You Are, a heartbreaking and inspiring story about a surgical accident that “left her husband of 23 years with no memory of their life together and barely any of the man she knew left inside of him.” How do you bounce back from something like that? Find out tonight.
FRIDAY The Seattle Public Library will be hosting a pop-up library at KEXP’s Concert at the Mural series. Go visit the library to a live soundtrack provided by local rock bands Other Lives, The Shivas, and Tangerine.
SATURDAY If you’re looking for a Saturday social event, you can’t do any better than Hot Off The Press: A Cool Summer Small Press Fest, happening at Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery. Local comics publishers Intruder Comics and Yeti Press will have items for sale, and there will be readings from cartoonists Noah Van Sciver and Gina Siciliano and novelist Ryan Boudinot, who will be reading from his eye-poppingly gorgeous new short story collection The Octopus Rises.
SUNDAY Why don’t more book clubs happen on Sundays? This afternoon, Ada’s Technical Books presents the newest edition of its Human Thought and Sexuality Book Club, which this month discusses Brian Alexander’s book America Unzipped. Promotional copy for the book begins with this impressive sentence: “Welcome to the America we don’t usually talk about, a place where that nice couple down the street could be saddling up for ‘pony play,’ making and selling their own porn DVDs, or hosting other couples for a little flogging." I don't know about you, but I'm sold.