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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)

Friday, September 16th, 6:30-10 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Sunday, September 18th, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (59 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Morgenstern's first novel, an involving story of rival magicians who fall in love despite their mentors' wishes, has already earned plenty of acclaim and is poised to become one of fall's biggest breakouts. The Booksmith isn't just offering a reading with Morgenstern, but throwing a party that includes food, wine, tarot-card readings, magicians, and a circus-themed bookswap. Bring a favorite book and come home with another reader's favorite to enjoy. The reading, from 6:30-7:30, is free (RSVPs requested), while the party, which begins at 7:30, costs $25 (tickets are here). Morgenstern will also appear at Book Passage Corte Madera on Sunday; that event is free.

Calvin Trillin (Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff)

Saturday, September 17th, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (59 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Tuesday, September 20th, 7 pm, at the JCCSF (2300 California St.)

Trillin (pictured above), the renowned New Yorker writer and humorist, has just released a new best-of collection compiling his extensive food writing, his "deadline poems" for The Nation, personal stories, and all the other writing he's undertaken during his tenure. From rhyming verse about Sarah Palin and John Edwards to imagined scenarios like a "voodoo economics" ceremony, forty years of political and personal commentary are encapsulated here. The Book Passage event is free; tickets to the JCCSF event are $10 for students, $17 for JCCSF members, and $20 for the general public, and are available here.

Michael Moore (Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life)

Saturday, September 17th, 2 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

After earning plenty of criticism from both sides of the aisle in recent years, political rabblerouser Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, Bowling for Columbine) has decided to take a softer tack with his new book, a collection of short autobiographical essays. Though Moore famously grew up among Michigan autoworkers, his political interests formed at an early age; one of the stories here details how he got lost in the Senate at age 11 and was returned to his family by Robert Kennedy. Due to Moore's celebrity status, this reading is tightly controlled, so don't bring other books or memorabilia for him to sign.

Janet Reitman (Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secret Religion)

Tuesday, September 13th, 7 pm, at the JCCSF (2300 California St.)

From creepy Tom Cruise videos to tales of Xenu, Scientology's stranger aspects have gotten a lot of play in the press in recent years-- and set off a lot of lawsuits from the famously litigious religion. Reitman, a writer for Rolling Stone, gained unprecedented access to the church's documents and officials, as well as over 100 members or ex-members of the "spiritual corporation." Tickets are $10 for students, $17 for JCCSF members, and $20 for the general public, and are available here.