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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.

Lucy Knisley (Relish: My Life in the Kitchen)

Saturday, April 13, 5 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Monday, April 15, 6-7 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)

Comics artist Knisley (French Milk) has developed a cult following on the Web for her insightful examinations of twentysomething life and the process of growing up. Knisley also loves food, and she comes from a family with a culinary pedigree: her mother was a chef and her father a gourmet before either was hip, and she grew up in Manhattan restaurant kitchens before a move to upstate New York. In her new graphic memoir, she examines how food has affected her at all stages of her life, from fancy organic fare to ramen and McDonald's fries.

Elizabeth Strout (The Burgess Boys)

Tuesday, April 16, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Strout's previous novel, Olive Kitteridge, took home the Pulitzer Prize, and many critics believe she may have outpaced that book with her latest work, which also focuses on small-town Maine residents. It's the story of brothers Jim and Bob Burgess, who've long ago deserted their hometown in Maine for life in New York when their sister Susan asks them to come home and help with her troubled teenage son, Zach. The resulting conflict and simmering old family tensions illustrate how families can both divide and unite us. 

Po Bronson (Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing)

Wednesday, April 10, 7 pm, at Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium (460 Arguello Blvd.)

Local author Bronson's latest work (written with Ashley Merriman, with whom he also penned NurtureShock) examines the hidden factors that can mean the difference between success and failure, whether on the playing field or in the boardroom. Exploring everything from how home-field advantage applies to diplomacy to how men and women judge and act on risk differently, the book offers practical tips for getting the most out of yourself competitively. Tickets are $10 or $35 with a copy of the book; more info here

Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers)

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

Thursday, April 11, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Kushner's first novel, Telex from Cuba, earned her critical acclaim, and she's gotten even more praise for her second, which explores a young woman named Reno who tries to make it big in the '70s art world in New York. As she delves deeper into the scene, she becomes involved with Sandro, a wealthy artist who convinces her to join him in his homeland of Italy, where she gets dragged into a dangerous underground world.