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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.

Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)

Monday, April 22, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Palo Alto (74 Town & Country Village)

Tuesday, April 23, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

This hilarious and touching novel, now out in paperback, is the story of 15-year-old Bee, whose mother and best friend, Bernadette, mysteriously disappears. Told in an inventive epistolary format, from e-mails to letters to hospital bills, it's been a breakthrough work for Semple, a former Arrested Development and Ellen writer who now lives in Seattle, where the book is set. 

Granta Presents: The Best of Young British Novelists 4

Monday, April 22, 7 pm, at the Book Club of California (312 Sutter St., Suite 500)

While Granta's once-in-a-decade list of the best young British novelists was released yesterday, we still don't know which three of the 20 winners will be reading at next week's celebratory event. But with an unprecedentedly female-centric and foreign-born cohort, it's safe to say that the British novel is more globally interwoven than ever, reaching a wider range of topics and readers.

Elizabeth Scarboro (My Foreign Cities)

Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

We don't choose who we love, and Scarboro found herself irresistably attracted to someone doomed: her husband, Stephen, had cystic fibrosis, and wasn't expected to live past age 30. Determined to make the most of his remaining time, the duo tried to cram an entire marriage into 10 years, while pursuing promising medical advances to help Stephen to live longer. Scarboro's memoir eloquently details the pain and pleasure of being forced to live in the moment with the one you love. 

Mark Geragos and Pat Harris (Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works...And Sometimes Doesn't)

Friday, April 19, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Celebrity lawyer Geragos, who's represented everyone from Chris Brown to Winona Ryder, teams up with his colleague, Harris, to discuss what Americans do and don't know about the justice system in the post-O.J. Simpson trial age of Court TV. From stealth jurors who secretly harbor a need to convict to witness-stand liars, the duo details the many inequities in the justice system, arguing that it needs to be modernized to reflect an era of TV and blogs.