1. Seng Kok Ung signs and discusses his memoir, I Survived the Killing Fields, in the Phnom Penh Noodle House, which is a very delicious restaurant. It's a harrowing story about a terrible time.
2. Robert V. Taylor reads and signs at Town Hall tonight. Taylor battled apartheid—let's take a moment to note, by the way, that Mitt Romney advisor Ted Nugent supports apartheid—and now Taylor is "one of the nation’s highest-ranking, openly gay Episcopal priests." That makes this local author absolutely worth your time. His new book is titled A New Way to Be Human.
3. A mother tells the protagonist of Glaciers "everything is temporary. Everything. There's not a thing in this world that will not change, including you." That young daughter, Isabel, grew up in Alaska and then moved to Oregon at age eleven, only to learn that trends arrive late in Alaska, leaving her "anachronistic—a remnant of two or three years past." Glaciers is a novel about thrift shopping and feeling out of place and living in Portland. Not much happens in terms of action, but it's a lovely small portrait of someone's inner life. It's Alexis M. Smith's debut novel. She reads at Third Place Books tonight, and if you like delicate, meditative fiction, this is the reading for you.
4. Anthony Shadid was one of the special ones: A brave journalist who loved telling the truth about the conflicts that shape the Middle East in beautiful language. When the news of his death broke in February, many who knew him—including some of us here at The Stranger—were crushed by the loss. We are fortunate, at least, that Shadid left a memoir behind. House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East isn’t some kind of rush-job, or piecemeal document assembled from notes and fragments. The book, which documents the reconstruction of Shadid’s home and the story of his Lebanese-American family, was already scheduled to be published this spring. It’s one last gorgeous firework of a book from a writer who died way too young. Town Hall is hosting a remembrance of Shadid tonight. You should go.