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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)

Tuesday, December 11, 7 pm, at the JCCSF (3200 California St.)

Taleb's The Black Swan was a hit in business circles, and in his newest work, he explains how individuals and companies can survive and thrive during the kind of cataclysmic events profiled in that book. Like its predecessor, Antifragile is iconoclastic, far-reaching, innovatively constructed, and generally irascible, but still packed with intriguing ideas about the unintentional consequences of events that can't be predicted or anticipated. Tickets are $25 ($45 premium) for the general public, $20 ($40 premium) for members, and $15 for students. 

Michael Bush (King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson)

Tuesday, December 11, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

The late Michael Jackson was not only a trendsetter in music, but in fashion as well, with a signature penchant for military jackets, sequined gloves, and leather ensembles. Bush designed Jackson's clothes for more than 25 years, and his new book features detailed photographs of some of the thousands of outfits he made for Jackson. For his Book Passage appearance, he'll be bringing a selection of clothes with him to display, covering the full range of Jackson's career. 

Zyzzyva's Holiday Party and Reading

Tuesday, December 11, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Zyzzyva's winter issue has just hit shelves, and this reading will offer a grab bag of work from Bay Area writers featured in its pages. Travel writer Chaney Kwak will read "Oh Oh Oh," a story about furtive Christmas sex; Carolyn Miller will read her poetry; Brian Boies will read a story about a misguided trip home on BART; and Earle McCartney will read a story about a young family man adrift in his small town. Editors Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon will host, and snacks and drinks will be provided. 

Tamim Ansary (Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan)

Wednesday, December 12, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)

As the US war in Afghanistan enters its second decade, Ansary's book examines the curious and frustrating history of the country, where the conflict between Kabul cosmopolitanism and tribal life has always been in play and regular invasions by outside powers every 40 to 60 years have crippled progress. Ansary, a native Afghani who now lives in San Francisco, examines the history of his country in clear, conversational prose.