MONDAY Elliott Bay Book Company kicks off our week in readings with Calf, Andrea Kleine’s debut novel. Here’s an introductory note you’ll find before the first page of Calf:
If that doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what will. Kleine will be appearing with delightful Seattle author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, who will read new work.
TUESDAY Marion Nestle, who is a nutrition expert, reads at Town Hall from her book Soda Politics. It’s about how the soda industry has willfully caused “increased rates of obesity, risk for Type 2 Diabetes, [and] poor dental health” in people all over the world. She also prescribes some solutions and highlights some anti-soda campaigns that have worked around the world.
WEDNESDAY Okay, it’s time for a programming note: this week is incredibly loaded down with great-looking events. I could highlight three or four events for every night this week — for instance, Sloane Crosley is reading at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight. But tonight at the Seattle Public Library, Orhan Pamuk will be reading from his newest book, A Strangeness in My Mind. Crosley is one of the funniest writers at work today, but Pamuk has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, so he obviously comes out on top.
THURSDAY At Hugo House it’s time for the last Cheap Wine and Poetry of the year. Your readers tonight are Poetry Northwest’s Kevin Craft, memoirist Nicole Hardy, self-professed “creative heartist” Nikkita Oliver, and the indomitable Ed Skoog. Wine, as always, is $1 a glass.
FRIDAY Remember what I said about every night of the week being overstuffed with events? The Carrie Brownstein and Maria Semple reading at The Neptune is very likely to have sold out by now, so let’s direct our attention to a smaller, very worthy event: at Left Bank Books, Vancouver poets Kevin Spenst and Jeff Steudel will read from their latest books. Spenst’s debut collection is riddled with pop culture and the landscape of Vancouver. It’s titled Jabbering with Bing Bong. Steudel’s Foreign Park is about the history and ecology of the Fraser River. It’s not every night you get to attend a reading at Left Bank Books; go celebrate one of Seattle's best bookstores.
SATURDAY Town Hall Scholar in residence Brangien Davis, who was until recently the arts and culture editor of Seattle magazine, will give a tour of Town Hall’s hidden gem, “an Austin Universal Air Chest, a 2023-pipe organ that was installed in 1923.” The organ hasn’t worked in a long time, but Davis will investigate the way it’s blended into the building, and she’ll talk about what it might take to bring the organ back to life.
SUNDAY At Benaroya Hall tonight, Gloria Steinem will present her new memoir, My Life on the Road. She will be interviewed by Cheryl Strayed, and Seattle singer/songwriter Hollis Wong-Wear will perform new music. This is obviously going to be a very special evening.
MONDAY Start the week off with some librarians at a Bookish Happy Hour at the Diller Room. This is part of Seattle Public Library’s Booktoberfest program, which brings librarians, beer, and you together in non-traditional venues.
TUESDAY I’ve been looking forward to this for months now: at the Seattle Public Library, I’m participating in an event with Colum McCann and John Freeman. McCann, of course, is a beloved novelist who manages to span that widest of chasms: he writes — gasp! — bestselling literary fiction. His newest collection is titled Thirteen Ways of Looking, and it contains a novella and three short stories, touching on security and our modern panopticon of a society and also heartbreak, because you can’t have a McCann story without heartbreak. Freeman is well-known in the publishing industry: he was editor at Granta, he’s a noteworthy literary critic (which makes him as rare as mermaid’s tears), and now he’s starting a new magazine called Freeman’s, which presents new work based on a theme. The first issue is centered around the idea of “Arrival,” and it features talent like McCann, Haruki Murakami, Louise Erdrich, and Dave Eggers. This is an explosive debut for a literary magazine, and this event should be a lot of fun.
But of course, because I’m involved in that event, I’m naturally biased. So allow me to present an ALTERNATE TUESDAY event for your edification. At Town Hall Seattle, Jack Nisbet will appear in conversation with John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science, and geologist David Montgomery. Nisbet’s newest book Ancient Places explores the relationship between the landscape and the culture of the Pacific Northwest,.
WEDNESDAY The WordsWest Literary Series will happen at C&P Coffee Company in West Seattle. This is a monthly reading series that brings new and established talent to a neighborhood that doesn’t see very many literary events. Tonight’s readers are KUOW journalist Ruby de Luna, who has reported on immigrant communities and health care, and Stephanie Timm, an author who recently wrote a play titled Tails of Wasps and co-authored an adaptation of The Ramayana with Yussef el Guindi.
THURSDAY Obviously, you’re going to Lit Crawl Seattle. This is not optional.
FRIDAY Elliott Bay Book Company hosts two novelists who have been published by the wonderful publisher Akashic Books. Joe Meno will read from his new novel, Marvel and a Wonder, which is about a farm, horse-racing, and family. Nina Revoyr’s new novel Lost Canyon is about four backpackers who go on a trip that finds them outside of their comfort zone.
SATURDAY University Book Store presents a special reading with Seattle author G. Willow Wilson and writer Margaret Stohl. They’ll be signing their new books: Wilson’s latest comic is A-Force, which features an all-woman team of superheroes, and Stohl recently published a young adult novel starring the Marvel character Black Widow. While mainstream comics is slowly opening up to women, it’s still a predominantly male-dominated field. This is a rare chance to meet and talk with two women who have made names for themselves and thrived in that industry. Go show them some love.
SUNDAY Hugo House hosts a reading from Floating Bridge Press chapbook winners. Every year, great local publisher Floating Bridge Press sponsors a contest that finds a new poet and publishes their work. This year’s winner is Michael Schmeltzer, who will read from his chapbook, Elegy/Elk River. (He’s also got a book coming out soon from Two Sylvias Press.) Several finalists from the contest— Maya Jewell Zeller, Brian Cooney, and Linda Malnack — will also read. This is a great chance to see some new poets do their thing; you’ll likely be seeing these names around town for years to come. Why not get a head start tonight?
MONDAY It’s not very often that I send you out to Bellevue, but tonight I bring you a very good reason to head east: the Bellevue branch of University Book Store hosts an evening with a number of poets reading from Raising Lily Ledbetter, a compelling anthology of poetry about women at work that I reviewed a few weeks ago. Readers include Carolyne Wright, Eugenia Toledo, Kathya Alexander, Deborah Woodard, Judith Roche, Erin Fristad, and Mary Ellen Talley.
TUESDAY Cartoonist Ted Rall will discuss his excellent comic-book biography of Edward Snowden at Town Hall tonight. He’ll be interviewed onstage by some jerk named Paul Constant, who press materials inform us is the co-founder of a site called the Seattle Review of Books.
So because we here at SRoB have a conflict-of-interest rule that insists we provide an alternate event on nights when we’re taking part in a reading, our ALTERNATE TUESDAY: event is a doozy: Seattle Arts and Lectures presents an evening with poets Mary Szybist and Robert Wrigley. Szybist is interested in what it means to have a body, and Wrigley writes about nature and spirituality in a very interesting way. Expect a smart discussion about corporeality and its limits.
WEDNESDAY We’ve got a two-fer tonight: First up, awesome small press festival Short Run, which is preparing a month’s worth of events in October, presents a Zine and Comix Fair in the lobby of Northwest Film Forum. After the fair, though, you should head down to Vermillion for the 5th anniversary celebration of Seattle’s other great small-press festival, the APRIL Festival. Readers include Stacey Levine, who is one of the best short story writers in all of Seattle and such an incredible reader of her own work that she released a single on Sub Pop, and Don Mee Choi, who is one of my favorite local poets. Think of it as a mini-lit crawl with two stops!
THURSDAY Ravenna Third Place Books hosts Ryan Boudinot, Paul Constant, Eric Reynolds, and Sonora Jha having a panel discussion about Seattle’s literary scene to celebrate the release of Boudinot’s new book, Seattle: City of Literature. Reynolds is an editor at Fantagraphics, which means he works on some of the best comics in America. Boudinot, most recently, is the author of The Octopus Rises. And Jha is the local author of a great novel called Foreign that was for some reason only published in India, but which you can buy at Elliott Bay Book Company.
And because I’m on that panel, your ALTERNATE THURSDAY event is at University Book Store, where the wonderful writer Lauren Groff presents her new and much-ballyhooed novel Fates and Furies, which is described as a “portrait of a modern marriage told with the fury and force of a Greek myth.”
FRIDAY Hugo House hosts a big splashy launch party for Seattle: City of Literature, featuring Ryan Boudinot, Rick Simonson, Jim Lynch, Elissa Washuta, Charles Mudede, and Brian McGuigan.
SATURDAY Elliott Bay Book Company hosts Ian Brennan and Bob Forrest. The authors will discuss Brennan's novella, Sister Maple Syrup Eyes, and Forrest’s memoir Running With Monsters. Forrest apparently has something to do with a show called Celebrity Rehab, and his book includes reminiscences of River Phoenix’s death.
SUNDAY The Beacon Hill branch of Seattle Public Library hosts a free screening of the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and also hosts a discussion of the book on which the movie is based. The film series is set to conclude this fall, which makes this an interesting time to discuss the final book in the series. Half of the book has already been (poorly) adapted, so what’s the second half going to be like? Is there a chance that the Hunger Games film series can rebound and reclaim the greatness of its second installment? Is Mockingjay even a good book to begin with? These questions, and more, will finally be settled once and for all. (No pressure!)
MONDAY Your week begins at University Book Store, where Fran Wilde reads from her new fantasy novel Updraft. It’s set in a world “built in towers of living bone” and stars a main character who has the “ability to control the invisible predators that roam the skies with her voice.” That sounds entirely bonkers, and is therefore worthy of our respect.
TUESDAY Elliott Bay Book Company brings Joy Williams to town for what they acknowledge is a “rare” visit. Williams is largely regarded as a master of American fiction, and her name is often dropped in the same sentence as writers like Flannery O’Connor. If you like short stories, I’d recommend her collection Honored Guest. She debuts a new story collection, The Visiting Privilege, here tonight.
WEDNESDAY The reading series Lit Fix pops up in Belltown tonight with a great lineup: Kevin Maloney, Jeanine Walker, and short-story author (and Instant Future publisher) Matthew Simmons, as well as musician Steven Curtis. But tonight’s Lit Fix is also a big deal because it’s the last local public appearance of local writer Kelly Davio before she moves to London. Davio gave a great interview to the Seattle Review of Books about why she’s leaving town and what she’ll most miss about Seattle a week or so ago. Here’s your chance to go show your support for her.
THURSDAY You’ll want to visit Hugo House for the latest installment of Cheap Beer & Prose, where the beer is cheap ($1 per can of PBR) and the readers are guaranteed to be good. Tonight’s readers include Jean Burnet, Kevin Emerson, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, and Jay McAleer.
FRIDAY Philip Howard, a professor at the University of Washington reads at Town Hall from his book Pax Technica, which reimagines the internet as something simultaneously open and secure, neither of which is strictly true today.
SATURDAY Head to Neighbours Nighclub for Banned! Books in Drag, in which David Schmader hosts a bunch of drag queens who will “give performances inspired by their favorite works of literature” to raise awareness for banned literature. This is the only literary event this week where you’ll find performer names like Sparkle Leigh, Isabella St. Extynn St. James, LaSaveona Hunt, Atasha Manila, Aleksa Manila, Charlie Menace, DonaTella Howe, Sylvia O'Stayformore and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang.
SUNDAY Hugo House hosts a passel of poets in a baseball-themed World Series of Poetry. Two teams composed from the poets Ed Skoog, Kary Wayson, Oliver de la Paz, Arlene Kim, Dean Rader, and Sarah Galvin will “take turns batting at topics pitched to them by the audience.” Sounds like a lot of fun! This event is hosted by John Roderick, a musician who tried to be a politician a few months ago. He's a good host of literary events.
MONDAY Celebrate Labor Day at Bumbershoot, where the Words & Ideas Stage hosts a discussion between local authors Timothy Egan and Jamie Ford, with moderation from Portland Magazine editor Brian Doyle. Egan, of course, is a New York Times contributor and the author of some fantastic non-fiction history books. Ford wrote the Seattle-set novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
TUESDAY Elliott Bay Book Company hosts Anita Feng, a local poet and zen teacher who just published Sid, a contemporary retelling of Siddhartha. Press materials say that “Sid teaches that the key to the story of the Buddha's life is that the story could be about any of us.”
WEDNESDAY This is a big-name night with a big-name Seattle author. Third Place Books hosts Jonathan Evison, who will be reading from his new novel This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! Evison, the author of the very good All About Lulu and the phenomenal Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (which is being adapted into a movie starring Paul Rudd) is always trying new things in his fiction. Harriet is a novel about a nearly 80 year-old woman on an Alaskan cruise. At this reading, you should ask Evison how he researched the book.
THURSDAY When an event is titled “Wave in the PNW: An Evening with Wave Books,” you’ve got our attention. Wave Books is one of the most ambitious publishers of poetry in America today, and tonight, they’re bringing five Pacific Northwest authors to town. Tonight’s readers are Alejandro de Acosta, Joshua Beckman, John Beer, Cedar Sigo, and Don Mee Choi, who is one of the best poets in Seattle right now. Seriously, this is a roster that’s gushing with talent — Beckman and Sigo have rocked my world in past readings — but I can’t wait to read Don Mee Choi’s forthcoming collection.
FRIDAY It’s time again for the Hugo House’s Literary Series, in which three authors and a local band produce new work based around a theme. Tonight’s readers are novelists Dinaw Mengestu and Alissa Nutting, along with wonderful local poet Sarah Galvin. The Foghorns will perform new songs. The theme — this year’s Literary Series is all about cliches — is “Beating a Dead Horse.” Somehow, I think this is the theme Sarah Galvin was born to write about.
SATURDAY Head on out to the Bellevue branch of University Book Store for what sounds like a fascinating book. Here’s the pitch: “Over a decade ago, W. Ernest Freud, the only one of Sigmund Freud's grandchildren to become a psychoanalyst, asked Bellevue psychologist Daniel Benveniste to write his biography.” Tonight, Benveniste debuts the biography, which is titled The Interwoven Lives of Sigmund, Anna and W. Ernest Freud: Three Generations of Psychoanalysis. Imagine the kind of apple that family tree must’ve produced.
SUNDAY Capitol Hill rum bar Rumba is an unconventional place to hold a reading, which means we’re all for it. Tonight, author Adam Rakunas presents his novel Windswept, which is a science fiction story about a labor organizer who wants to open a rum distillery. Yes, and it all happens in space. You just can’t resist that kind of a premise.
MONDAY Our week starts off with the August edition of Nerd Nite at Lucid Jazz Lounge. As with every Nerd Nite, this one features two very different speakers. First up, Marielle Saums will discuss the history of bananas. Then, electrical engineer Krunal Desai, who press materials inform us “bailed on the auto industry to work on spacecraft,” will discuss why modern cars are so difficult to fix but so easy to hack.
TUESDAY The Central Library hosts a tribute to the dearly departed Northwest author Ivan Doig, with authors Annie Proulx, Linda Bierds, David Laskin, and Myra Platt all sharing memories of Doig and reading pieces in his honor.
WEDNESDAY It’s back to the Central Library for you: sci-fi author John Scalzi will read from The End of All Things, which is the newest volume in his Old Man’s War series. Scalzi is an excellent novelist who is also an Important Figure on the Internet. He’s not afraid to be political — specifically, he’s not afraid to be a feminist — and he’s often a voice of reason when Twitter events begin to fly out of control, as they so often do.
THURSDAY University Book Store hosts The Coup frontman Boots Riley, who’ll be reading from his book of lyrics, poems, and essays, Tell Homeland Security - We are the Bomb. I’m a fan of the lot of The Coup’s music, but I think their song “Wear Clean Draws" is a stone-cold classic:
FRIDAY Tonight, you're returning to University Book Store, as author Nina Ansary appears in conversation with with Steve Gutzler. They’ll be discussing Ansary’s new book Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran.Get a load of this, from the description of the event:
By digging into the actual impact of government policies, religious beliefs, and social norms, Ansary reveals the unintended increase of educated women following the repeal of gender equality laws, the influence of increased access to textbooks and women's magazines, and the powerful female voices and accomplishments by women in both Iran's past and present.
SATURDAY Elliott Bay Book Company hosts a reading with Pushcart Prizewinning author Ottessa Moshfegh. She’ll be reading from her novel Eileen, the story of a secretary at a boy’s prison who escapes from a terrible domestic situation.
SUNDAY Seattle’s very best Oulipian writer, Doug Nufer, shares the stage with Paolo Pergola, a member of the Italian Oulipian group OPLEPO. Pergola will read constraint-based pieces in English and Italian. Nufer will likely read from his new book, Lifeline Rule. (Pergola’s bio also mentions that he has “translated Popeye into Italian.”) This is all happening at Gallery 1412. Nufer’s readings are always a blast, and while we’re often visited by authors from around the country, we are not always visited by European writers. So we should give Pergola a warm Seattle welcome. Is that a thing? A "warm Seattle welcome?" Well, if it isn't, we should pretend that it is.
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.
Monday: Tonight’s recommended event is the Seattle Spelling Bee at Cafe Racer, in which adults drink beer and try to spell words of varying difficulty. What could possibly go wrong?
Tuesday: The Literary Mixer, a monthly happy hour event, has been going on for a couple years now. (It started at Vermillion, but the event moved to the Hideout not so long ago.) The concept behind Literary Mixer is as simple and clear as the name of the event: bring the book you’re currently reading to the bar. Buy a drink. Talk to strangers about the book you’re reading, and ask them about the book they’re reading. This is a fun way for shy book nerds to meet new people.
Wednesday: It’s a banner year for the UW writing program. No, not because David Shields has published approximately 35 books this year so far; that happens every year. The reason for celebration is that three UW grads are debuting poetry collections in 2015, and the Hugo House is hosting all three in a reading that’s kind of the equivalent of a literary homecoming party. Sonia Greenfield reads from Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, Jessica Johnson is the author of In Absolutes We Seek Each Other, and Erin Malone wrote Hover. All three books have already won awards. Go show your hometown pride.
Thursday: Elliott Bay Book Company hosts a group reading to celebrate the launch of a new anthology called BLENDED. Local authors including Samantha Waltz, Gigi Rosenberg, Emma Kate Tsai, Cassie Premo Steele, Kezia Willingham, and Sallie Wagner Brown will read their contributions to the book, which collects non-fiction stories about blended families.
Friday: What better way to celebrate a summer Friday night than with a reading from a sci-fi novel? Ted Kosmatka presents The Flicker Men at University Book Store tonight. It’s a thriller about a quantum physics researcher who accidentally discovers scientific proof of the soul. Of course he immediately is pursued by mysterious forces who want to keep his discovery quiet. Go get your genre on.
Saturday: Even though we just bumbled into August, it’s time to start getting ready for fall, or at least to start thinking about getting ready for fall. Amy Bronee, author of The Canning Kitchen, teaches a canning class up in Fremont’s Book Larder bookshop.
Sunday: One of the Seattle Public Library’s best outreach programs, the Books on Bikes team, will be building a temporary outdoor full-service library on the waterfront today, as part of the Waterfront Whimsea celebration. When they say full-service, they mean it: you can check out books, get a library card, and talk with a librarian about upcoming SPL programs. Bring the kids for games, music, and prizes.
Monday: The monthly science discussion series Nerd Nite Seattle hosts a lecture titled “Slimers and Submersibles” tonight at LUCIDLounge. Hilary Hayford discusses using radio to track small marine animals and Tim Dwyer discusses using remote-controlled giant robots to investigate the ocean. But there’s also a special guest appearance at this Nerd Nite: a special bonus "live Q&A with real-life researchers currently at sea on a research mission!” Why would you go anywhere else tonight?
Tuesday: The Elliott Bay Sci-fi and Fantasy Book Group is discussing Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle tonight at 6:30. It’s free and you don’t have to have bought the book at Elliott Bay in order to participate, although you get bonus points if you do. This is one of Dick’s best-loved books — though, frankly, I found it a little disappointing, given that he died before he could finish the story he started in this book — and it’s also a popular television show. Please only show up if you read the book, though. People don’t come to book groups to talk with people who only watch TV.
Wednesday: Author John Colasacco has a new book called Antigolf coming out from a publisher with the delightful name of Civil Coping Mechanisms. Tonight, he’s celebrating at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar with delightful local poet Sarah Galvin and APRIL Festival cofounder Willie Fitzgerald, as well as with a Portland author named James Gendron, who is the author of a book titled Sexual Boat.
Thursday: Let’s be clear that Book Lust Nancy Pearl is a local treasure. I’m not as enamored with Steve Scher, who can be a very bad interviewer. But Scher and Pearl together have an easy rapport, especially when they nerd out on books. Town Hall is hosting a live taping of Pearl and Scher’s podcast, “That Stack of Books,” with a pair of special guests tonight at 7:30. It’s $5.
Friday: Geffrey Davis is a poet who was born here (hooray!) and then moved to Pennsylvania (let’s not hold that against him). He’s a Cave Canem fellow, which is a sign of quality in a poet. (You should learn what Cave Canem is, if you’re unfamliar.) He’ll be reading from his new collection, Revising the Storm, at University Book Store tonight at 7 pm.
Saturday: James B. Moore reads from his poetry collection Spirit Unchained: The Autobiography of a Soul: Collected Poems 1967-2014 at Ravenna Third Place Books at 7 pm. That’s maybe one too many colons for a title to bear, but how often do you get to hear a poet reflect on four whole decades in the business?
Sunday: No events that I could find. Go sit in the sun and re-read a book that you were so-so on the first time. Maybe you’ll find something new to love.
MONDAY: Elliott Bay Book Company hosts Seattle Times reporter James Neff, who debuts his new historical account, Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa. This one’s got some good blurbs. Seymour Hersh says, “This is not a book about a good Bobby versus a bad Hoffa. It is a study of two men who always got what they wanted staging a shootout on the streets of Laredo. And, as Neff tells it, there were no winners.” And Erik Larson — Devil in the White City Erik Larson — calls it “a triumph of investigation and revelation.” That makes it well worth your time.
TUESDAY: Might as well have a pajama party in Elliott Bay Book Company all night Monday night, because they’ve got the best reading of Tuesday, too. Lidia Yukanvitch, the brilliant Portland author of Dora: A Headcase, reads from her new novel, The Small Backs of Children.
WEDNESDAY: Ada’s Technical Books hosts a comic book reading with Anders Nilsen and Marc Bell. Bell presents his first “full-length graphic novella,” which seems like a weird designation — what is the fullest length a graphic novella can reach without hitting novel-size? For that matter, what’s the official size of a graphic novel? Anyway, in Stroppy, the protagonist “hopes to win big in a songwriting contest organized by the All-Star Schnauzer Band.” Nilsen, who has made some great comics including the terrific Charles Schulz-meets-Tolstoy bird epic Big Questions, celebrates the publication of a new collection of his sketchbooks. It’s titled Poetry Is Useless, which is a great title.
THURSDAY: Up at Ravenna Third Place, Jody Bower reads from her book Jane Eyre's Sisters, which “argues that Joseph Campbell's model of the hero's journey does not work for women.” Instead, Bower thinks books about female heroes “need a different model to do justice to a woman's experience of moving beyond the expectations of conventional societal roles to find her true, creative self.” This is a fascinating argument.
FRIDAY: Back to Elliott Bay Book Company for a reading from Scott Dodson, who’ll read from his book The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Dodson’s book couldn’t be any better timed, now that the Notorious RGB has become a style icon.
SATURDAY: No events today. You should probably set the day aside to either read Go Set a Watchman, which was released on Tuesday or — my preference — re-read To Kill a Mockingbird, instead.
SUNDAY: No readings today, either. It’s summer! Go read a book in the park. Recommend a book to a friend, and ask for a recommendation in return. Bury your face in the pages of a book and waggle your face around for a while.