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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reading Today: READING OVERLOAD

Posted by on Sat, Feb 6, 2010 at 10:22 AM

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There are thirteen reading events today, including a reading about the civil rights movement; a mystery; and another reading from I Want to be Left Behind, which is a book about being raised in an Evangelical community that I just started reading and found that I enjoy quite a bit.

But a very long list would be pointless, so I am going to just talk up the readings I've starred in the calendar. Any one of these would make a fine afternoon or evening's entertainment for you:

George Clayton Johnson is at the Seattle Public Library this afternoon at one. The "legendary Twilight Zone writer" will talk about sci-fi and television writing with local sci-fi author Greg Bear. How many opportunities do you get to publicly acknowledge the coolness of the Twilight Zone?

Seattle Public Library is hosting Joshua Ferris at 2 pm. There'll be a Suggest about this popping up very soon, but Ferris is the smart and funny author of Then We Came to the End. His new book is The Unnamed, and I wrote about it in this week's Constant Reader:

The Unnamed's protagonist, Tim Farnsworth, is a successful, middle-aged lawyer with an incurable disease. For no apparent reason, he will suddenly start walking, with no direction in mind. Once, while putting out the trash late at night, his own body hijacks him:

He looked down at his legs. It was like watching footage of legs walking from the point of view of the walker. That was the helplessness, this was the terror: the brakes are gone, the steering wheel has locked, I am at the mercy of the wayward machine.

Then, tonight, Michelle Aharonian Marcom reads at Elliott Bay Book Company. Her Three Apples Fell From Heaven was a startling debut novel about atrocity in Turkey in the early 20th century. Her next book, The Mirror in the Well, is a novel about the Armenian genocide.

And the Fantagraphics Bookstore is hosting Stephen Weissman, whose work is on the cover of The Stranger this week. Weissman's work is very often like a brain-damaged Charles Schulz: A bunch of kids (a vampire, a cute li'l Frankenstein monster, and more) play somewhat cruel pranks on each other while pontificating about things that are way out of their league. His newest book, Chocolate Cheeks, raises the stakes in a really dramatic way. I think this might be his last book in this series, but it goes out with a doozy of a book.

The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here. And if you're planning on staying in and you're looking for personalized book recommendations, feel free to tell me the books you like and ask me what to read next over at Questionland.

 

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