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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.

Adam Hochschild (To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918)

Tuesday, March 13, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

If marathons of "Downton Abbey" have piqued your interest in the trials and tribulations of World War I, consider picking up Hochschild's new book, which focuses on the dissenters who tried to prevent the senseless carnage of what history has come to regard as a tragic and possibly preventable conflict. Those profiled include a female pacifist whose brother commanded the Western Front and a jailed journalist who managed to publish a clandestine newspaper-- using toilet paper.

Sarah Vowell (Unfamiliar Fishes)

Monday, March 12, 8 pm, at Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Ave.)

Vowell (above) has carved out a unique niche for herself: equal parts humorist and historian, she specializes in mining the quirks of American history while adding a personal slant. Her latest book examines the strange and sometimes tragic story of how Hawaii became part of America, ranging from the arrival of New England missionaries in the 1800s to the adolescence of our first Hawaiian president-- President Obama. Tickets are $17-27, and will benefit the 826 Valencia scholarship program.

Carol Edgarian (Three Stages of Amazement)

Saturday, March 10, 11 am, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Edgarian's second novel is the story of a San Francisco couple undergoing major trials in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. While surgeon Charlie Pepper attempts to get his medical-device company off the ground in the midst of a recession, his wife, Lena Rusch, gives birth to a premature baby with a host of health issues. The trials they face test their sense of self, their marriage, and their capacity for change.

Larry Smith (The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers & Artists, Famous & Obscure)

Thursday, March 8, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Smith, the creator of the Six-Word Memoir project, has returned with another compilation of short writings by a host of authors, discussing important moments that changed their lives. A group of local writers who appear in the book, including Caroline Paul, Aaron Huey, Steve Silberman, Matthew Zapruder, and Ellen Sussman, will read aloud from their entries. In keeping with the "Smith" theme, the Booksmith will also host Napa-based Smith-Madrone Wines, who will pour tastes of their chardonnay and cabernet.