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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Caleb Crain

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.

Caleb Crain (Necessary Errors)

Wednesday, August 14, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Crain, a Columbia English Ph.D. who made his name with the blog Steamboats Are Ruining Everything, has become known for his intelligent and incisive literary criticism. Now, he's come out with a novel of his own, a semiautobiographical tale of a young gay man living in Prague a year after the Czechoslovakian revolution, and navigating the shoals of both the changing country and his own shifting relationships.

Jeff Guinn (Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson)

Thursday, August 15, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Friday, August 16, 7 pm, at Green Apple Books (506 Clement St.)

Charles Manson is one of the most notorious killers of all time, but 40 years after his brutal string of murders, we still don't know much about the man who not only killed with impunity, but enlisted others to do his bidding. Thanks to new interviews with Manson's sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever told their stories, as well as hundreds of other people in Manson's life, Guinn provides a definitive portrayal of the infamous murderer, examining his turbulent childhood, his musical dreams, and how he transformed himself into a cult leader. 

Michael Paterniti (The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese)

Tuesday, August 20, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Wednesday, August 21, 6 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)

While working at the famed Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Paterniti encountered a piece of cheese that would change his life. Made in a small village in Spain, it was rumored to have mystical qualities, but he couldn't afford it. Years later, he decided to track down the cheesemaker, only to get drawn into village life so much that he moved there-- and became involved in a village blood feud that involved secrets, death threats, and a murder plot. 

Chronicle Books Children's 25th Anniversary Collection

Sunday, August 18, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., at San Francisco Public Library (100 Larkin St., Fulton St. side)

The fun folks at Chronicle Books (hello, Grumpy Cat and Boo) are celebrating a quarter century of publishing kid favorites. There's a great lineup of author readings (including New York Times bestselling author Annie Barrows, who penned Ivy & Bean!) plus activities and giveaways for the under 16 crowd. Free!

Litquake Palo Alto 

Sunday, August 18, 2 pm, at the Oshman Family JCC (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto)

San Francisco is still a couple of months away from Litquake, but down in Palo Alto, the single-day Peninsula version of the festival is ready to kick off. Join Daniel Handler, Jane Smiley, Andrew Sean Greer, Gail Tsukiyama, Helene Wecker, Darya Pino Rose, and many more top local authors in discussions on topics as diverse as sex and romance, short fiction, women's memoirs, cross-cultural storytelling, and food writing. Admission is free with RSVP.