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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.

Litquake on the Peninsula

Sunday, August 26, 3-10 pm, at the Oshman Family JCC (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto). 

The Litquake festival in October is fast approaching, but before it arrives, the Peninsula will get its own miniature Litquake, with over 35 authors appearing to discuss their work. Panels cover topics like food writing, multicultural fiction, sex writing, and writing about life in Silicon Valley, with speakers like Ellen Sussman, Daniel Alarcon, Alan Kaufman, Matt Richtel, and Ellen Ullman. The event culminates with a talk by KQED's Michael Krasny (left) on the power of Jewish humor. Entry is free, except for the Krasny talk, which is $25 for members and $30 for non-members (tickets are here). 

826 Valencia Write-a-Thon

Sunday, August 26, 12-8:26 pm, at 826 Valencia (826 Valencia St.)

The popular youth writing and literacy center 826 Valencia is celebrating a decade of helping local kids write, read, and publish their work, and as a fundraiser, they're holding a writeathon on 8/26 (which also happens to be Youth Literacy Day). Just like a marathon, participants can get "sponsored" by friends and family to write for eight hours, with funds going to the organization. The event kicks off at noon with a workshop from the SF Writers' Grotto, and will culminate with public readings by the writer who raises the most money and the writer who crafts the staff's favorite submission of the day. To sign up, go here

Doug Fine (Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution

Wednesday, August 22, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Most Americans know that illegal cannabis is a highly profitable industry, but they might be surprised to learn that at $35.8 billion in annual revenue, it far exceeds the value of all of our nation's corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion) production. Medical marijuana, by contrast, brings in only $200 million-- but its total user base in 14 states numbers only about 200,000 people, meaning legalization could raise significant tax revenues for the U.S. economy. Fine investigates the potential economic value that legalizing pot could provide by spending a growing season in Mendocino County, where the $6 billion cannabis industry constitutes 80 percent of the local economy. 

Madeline Levine (Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success)

Thursday, August 23, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Laurel Village (3515 California St.)

Marin-based psychologist Levine made waves with a controversial New York Times editorial about the dangers of helicopter parenting. Having worked with dozens of teenagers whose parents pressured them to get the best grades and acceptance to a top college, only to fall into depression, addiction, self-harm, and other dangerous behaviors, Levine lays out a new model for parenting, one that encourages parents to stop treating their children as extensions of themselves and create room for risk and the ability to fail.