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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.

Carmela Ciuraru (Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms)

Tuesday, August 9th, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (59 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Thursday, August 11th, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

George Eliot, Patricia Highsmith, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell. What do they all have in common? None of them wrote under their real names. Ciuraru, whose work has appeared in the Chronicle and the L.A. Times, examines authors throughout history, and the social and personal milieus that led them to become famous for names other than their own. Ciuraru appears in the Bay Area twice this week; her SF appearance will be an interview with Zyzzyva's Oscar Villalon.

Jeremy Ben-Ami (A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation)

Wednesday, August 10th, 6-7 pm, at the World Affairs Council Auditorium (312 Sutter St., 2nd Floor)

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be a difficult topic, particularly for progressive American Jews who find themselves torn between their heritage and their politics. Ben-Ami's new book advocates a third way for thinking about Israel among Americans, one in which pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian viewpoints aren't mutually exclusive.

Christopher Boucher (How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive)

Wednesday, August 10th, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Based in part on a popular hippie-era vehicle-maintenance guide, Boucher's first novel examines a single father attempting to raise his "son"-- a 1960s-era Volkswagen Beetle with a penchant for self-destruction. The premise may sound wacky, but the book has garnered high praise from many top authors, including Sam Lipsyte and Adam Levin.

Heidi Swanson (Super Natural Every Day)

Saturday, August 13th, 11 am, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Swanson, proprietress of the popular blog 101 Cookbooks, has just released a second cookbook of her own, with simple, market-driven recipes that are primarily (but not exclusively) healthy and vegetarian. She'll be cooking live at the Ferry Building with produce from the farmer's market, making it easy to observe her technique, pick up groceries, and replicate the recipe at home.