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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.

Love Hurts: A Litquake Event

Monday, February 13, 7 pm, at the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd St.)

Whether you're happily coupled or on the market, the hype surrounding Valentine's Day can be a bit stifling. To puncture a few holes in the holiday, Litquake is assembling a team of SF literary lights to read their favorite overwrought bits of purple prose, from The Story of O to Valley of the Dolls to Paul Theroux's Blinding Light. The ten readers include Michelle Tea, Malena Watrous, Justin Chin, and Brock Keeling. Tickets are $10, either in advance or at the door.

Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi (Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women)

Thursday, February 9, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

It's rare that we get to hear Muslim women discuss sex and romance frankly, but it's the key focus of Mattu and Maznavi's (above) new collection of essays, which was the first Pitchapalooza winner to see print. 25 Muslim women of all races and backgrounds, from lesbians to polygamous wives, discuss their attitudes on the search for love. Three of the book's contributors will read their work, and the editors will also field an "Ask a Muslim Woman" Q&A session.

Why There Are Words

Thursday, February 9, 7-9 pm, at Studio 333 (333 Caledonia St., Sausalito).

Organized by fiction writer and poet Peg Alford Pursell, this monthly reading series focuses on prose organized around a theme (this month's is "Vision"). The diverse group of readers includes novelists Carol Sheldon, Jacqueline Luckett, and Jon Wells; short-story writers Kirstin Chen and Susanna Solomon; blogger Marcus Banks; editor/bartender Nicole McFeely; and professional provocateur Chicken John. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Nathan Englander (What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank)

Tuesday, February 14, 7 pm, at the JCCSF (3200 California St.)

Englander's first two books, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and The Ministry of Special Cases, earned widespread acclaim, and he's returned to print with a collection of eight short stories that were enthusiastically blurbed by Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, and all three of the literary world's leading Jonathans (that would be Franzen, Lethem, and Safran Foer). Like his other books, it explores themes of Judaism, belonging, and morality. Tickets are $17 for members, $20 for the public, and $10 for students.