As part of The Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry, Seattle poet and translator Don Mee Choi “will discuss Walter Benjamin’s bread, Korean cornbread, warships, Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence, and Kim Hyesoon’s mirrors in her exploration of translation.” Translation is one of the most difficult-to-explain aspects of literature, and the experience of having a mind like Choi’s describe it for us is a blessing. Sorrento Hotel, 900 Madison St., 622-6400, http://hotelsorrento.com. Free. 21 and over. 7 p.m.
Thalia Field’s new novel, Experimental Animals: A Reality Fiction, is based on the true story of Claude Bernard, a French vivisectionist who was married to an animal rights activist. Bernard also was the man who invented and popularized the scientific method. Field has committed two decades to the research in this project, translating work from French into English and piecing together the complicated history of a complicated man. Hugo House, 1021 Columbia St., 322-7030, http://hugohouse.org. Free. All ages. 4 p.m.
You’ve likely seen Theo Gray’s gorgeous book The Elements, an illustrated guide to every one of the elements on the periodic table. His newest book, Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe, shows what happens when those elements combine:.basically, those reactions are responsible for everything in the universe. Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., 652-4255. http://townhallseattle.org. $5. All ages. 6 p.m.
This special edition of memoirist Paul Mullin’s reading series is curated by Seattle Times reporter Brendan Kiley. Readers include David Schmader, Sydney Brownstone, and Anna Minard. They’ll all be talking on the theme of “political nausea,” which is a commodity that is in no short supply these days.
Saint Andrew’s Bar and Grill, 7406 Aurora Ave N., 523-1193. http://www.standrewsbarandgrill.com/Free. 21+. 8 p.m.
Publishers are, understandably, hitting the heavy nonfiction titles pretty hard right now. But maybe you should take a breath and read a fun mystery series for a while? Amy Stewart’s Kopp Sisters series focuses on a woman who becomes deputy sheriff in the year 1916, and she focuses on women-centric crimes. So even while you enjoy a novel, you’ll still have strong feminist women to admire. Third Place Books Ravenna, 6504 20th Ave NE, 525-2347 http://thirdplacebooks.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
This Halloween edition of the ongoing mystery series features local writers including Waverly Fitzgerald, Alice Boatright, Tracy Weber, and, making her debut as a mystery novelist, longtime Seattle writer Bharti Kirschner. Get a fancy drink, take in the fancy surroundings, and let host Will "the Thrill" Viharo guide you through the evening of scary mystery. Sorrento Hotel, 900 Madison St., 622-6400, http://hotelsorrento.com. Free. 21 and over. 7 p.m.
See our Event of the Week column for more details.
Seattle young adult writer Martha Brockenbrough teaches a free class that will help writers refine the vital first 500 words of their books by minding six important points. It might sound gimmicky, but this is important stuff; the first 500 words are what will get you noticed by agents, editors, and browsers. Seattle Public Library, Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.. 684-7519, http://spl.org. Free. All ages. 2 p.m.
From his beloved newspaper column to his even-more beloved series of Tales of the City novels, Armistead Maupin has enjoyed a remarkable writing career: though he began his career as one of the first openly gay mainstream writers in America, he’s now happily married to a man he claimed to meet on Daddyhunt.com. That’s a lot of history for one life. Tonight, Maupin will appear in conversation with some dickhead named Paul Constant. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., http://seattlesymphony.org. $39-75. All ages. 7:30 p.m.
BAHFest “is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect scientific theory,” in which speakers present bad and wrong science to scientifically trained judges. Before the intentionally bad science begins, BAHFest founder Zach Weinersmith will read his new book, Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything.
Temple De Hirsch Sinai 1441 16th Ave., https://bahfest.com/. $1-$30. All ages. 5 p.m.
Caitlin Doughty is a mortician whose new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, “travels the world [from Bolivia to Japan to Indonesia] to discover how other cultures care for their dead.” Tonight, she’s joined by Seattle poet Sonya Vatomsky in an onstage conversation. She goes to Bolivia to see cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls; to Japan to watch relatives of the deceased use chopsticks to pluck their loved ones’ bones from cremation ashes; to Indonesia to watch a man dress his grandfather’s mummified body.
The Summit, 420 E. Pike St., 322-7411, http://townhallseattle.org. $5. 21+. 7 p.m.
Did you know that local writing organization Seattle7 Writers hosts a monthly book club at Seward Park’s Third Place Books? Tonight, novelist and sports writer Dave Boling will lead a discussion about Spokane author Jess Walter’s bestselling novel Beautiful Ruins. No purchase is necessary, and there will be Ruin-themed drink specials for sale.
Third Place Books Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave S, 474-2200, http://thirdplacebooks.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
Frances McCue is a founder of the Hugo House. She’s working on a documentary about the destruction of the old Hugo House building. And tonight she’ll be reading at Hugo House’s temporary headquarters from her new book of poems about Hugo House. The future of Hugo House will likely be discussed, as well. Hugo House, 1021 Columbia St., 322-7030, http://hugohouse.org. Free. All ages. 7:30 p.m.
Subtitled Privilege and Power on and Off the Field, Playing While White is a book about the way white privilege permeates every single aspect of sports culture. WSU professor David J. Leonard’s book investigates examples of whiteness in sports including Lance Armstrong’s sordid story and pretty much every aspect of NASCAR. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
Maria Alyokhina was fighting Putin years before your grandmother put on a pussy hat and started writing long Facebook rants about fighting Putin. As a member of Pussy Riot, Alyokhina spent two years in jail for her anti-Putin protests, and her memoir of her time as a Pussy Rioter will likely inspire some American women to fight a little nastier. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
See our Event of the Week column for more details. Washington State Convention Center, http://geekgirlcon.com. All ages.
As part of a monthlong celebration known as Booktoberfest, Seattle Public Library employees are taking literary events into nontraditional spaces. Tonight, they turn the information desk around and ask you the questions in a no-entry-fee trivia night at one of the city’s very best bars. Are you smarter than a librarian? Find out tonight! Union Bar, 5609 Rainier Ave S., http://spl.org. Free. 21+. 8 p.m.
Grab Back Comics started as a website collecting comics stories about sexual assault and harassment. Now it’s been collected in a beautiful print anthology. Tonight, the anthology’s editor, Erma Blood, appears with local cartoonists Amy Camber, Gillian Rhodes, Robin Elan, Tatiana Gill, and Tess LeBlanc. Third Place Books Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave S, 474-2200, http://thirdplacebooks.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, http://www2.bookstore.washington.edu/. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.