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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.

Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman (Why We Broke Up)

Friday, February 3, 8 pm, at Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Ave.)

Bay Area native Handler, otherwise known as A Series of Unfortunate Events' Lemony Snicket, has teamed up with writer/illustrator Kalman (And the Pursuit of Happiness) to create an affecting portrait of first love. When high-schooler Min decides to break up with her boyfriend, Ed, she leaves a box on his doorstep containing several important items (each illustrated by Kalman); the book details each item's significance, telling the story of their relationship and its end in the process. Tickets are $22-27.

Rachel Bertsche (MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For a New Best Friend)

Sunday, February 5, 4 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

When Bertsche (above) moved to Chicago to be with her long-distance love, she gained a husband but lost her network of friends. To find a new BFF, she embarked on a course of 52 girl-dates, meeting potential pals through improv classes and friend rental websites. Bertsche's memoir delves into the latest research about the difficulties of making friends in adulthood, and discusses the importance of having friends. Her San Francisco reading will even feature a speed-friending event, facilitated by the CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com.

Rudolph Herzog (Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler's Germany)

Wednesday, February 1, 7 pm, at JCCSF (3200 California St.)

Humorists from Mel Brooks to Louis C.K. have made fun of Hitler over the years, but for those living in the dangerous shadow of the Third Reich, were jokes even a possibility? Herzog (son of filmmaker Werner) contradicts the conventional wisdom that Germans of the time were unaware of the extent of Hitler's atrocities, showcasing their awareness of his evil through their jokes. Tickets are $17 for members ($22 premium), $20 for the public ($25 premium), and $10 for students.

Lysley Tenorio (Monstress: Stories)

Thursday, February 2, 7:30 pm, at Books Inc. Castro (2275 Market St.)

Set in the Philippines and among Filipino-Americans in California, local author and Saint Mary's professor Tenorio's first story collection surveys decades of immigrant history with wit, intelligence, and compassion. The title story, which won a National Magazine Award, details a Filipino director's trip to Hollywood with his leading lady; other stories examine family relationships, both in Manila and abroad.