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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Novelist Chris Cleave's newest book is Gold, a story of two Olympic track cyclists competing in the 2012 games.

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.

Chris Cleave (Gold)

Wednesday, July 18, 12 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Wednesday, July 18, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Just in time for the Olympics, the newest novel from Cleave (Little Bee) focuses on Kate and Zoe, friends and track cyclists who, after training together for 15 years, compete in their final race at a fictionalized version of the 2012 London games. Though Kate is the more naturally gifted cyclist, a recurrence of her eight-year-old daughter's leukemia threatens to undermine her years of training and sacrifice. With cutthroat Zoe willing to do anything to win, Kate has to decide how far she'll go to take home the gold medal. 

Maggie Shipstead (Seating Arrangements)

Sunday, July 22, 7 pm, at the Belmont Library (1110 Alameda de las Pulgas)

A family reunion and a wedding combine for a wild weekend in the lives of the Van Meter family, subjects of Shipstead's first novel. Bride Daphne is seven months pregnant, her sister Livia has been jilted by the son of her father Winn's oldest rival, and Winn himself has set his mind to seducing the most beautiful of his daughter's bridesmaids. The novel's fusion of frothy beach-read travails and insight into family dynamics has earned praise for its sophistication and complicated characters. 

Jesse Bering (Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human)

Tuesday, July 17, 7 pm, at the GLBT History Museum (4127 18th St.)

Thursday, July 19, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Castro (2275 Market St.)

Research psychologist Jesse Bering's new collection features 30 of his most popular essays from Slate and Scientific American, exploring topics like the history of cannibalism, the science of homosexuality, the evolution of bodily fluids, the adaptive function of the female orgasm, the design of the human testicle, and other unusual aspects of the human body. At the Books Inc. event, he'll be interviewed by sexpert Violet Blue. 

Password: Litquake's Literary Speakeasy

Thursday, July 19, 7 pm, at Public Works (161 Erie St.)

Booze, jazz, and readings are all part of the fun at this Litquake fundraising event, which will feature local literary personalities portraying (and reading from the works of) the literary lights of the 1920s. The lineup includes Noir City founder Eddie Muller as Dashiell Hammett, Rumpus editor Isaac Fitzgerald as Robert Benchley, and novelist Sarah Fran Wisby as Dorothy Parker. Pianist J. Raoul Brody and vocalist Laurie Amat will perform, The Thin Man will screen in an adjacent room, and gin and vodka cocktails, as well as Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, will be sold at the bar. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. 

And a bonus event: 

Dave Eggers (A Hologram for the King)

Tuesday, July 17, 12-1 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Thursday, July 19, 12 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Neither of Dave Eggers' Bay Area appearances for his new novel will include a reading, but he's so popular that we didn't want to leave him out of this week's roundup. Hologram, which is already garnering top-notch reviews, is the story of a struggling businessman who heads to Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch effort to save his family's home from foreclosure and pay his daughter's college tuition. Eggers will sign books at both events, and 15% of the proceeds from sales of the book at the Books Inc. event will benefit his charity, 826 Valencia.