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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.

The True Stories Lounge

Friday, September 9th, 7 pm, at the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd St.)

This new monthly reading by nonfiction authors at the Make-Out Room is a spiritual companion to the more fiction-oriented Writers with Drinks, and its organizers have been able to secure a lineup to rival WWD's for their initial outing. Readers include essayist Joyce Maynard (To Die For), novelist Alicia Erian (Towelhead), historian Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost), and Salon co-founder Gary Kamiya (Cool, Grey City of Love). Admission is $10 at the door, and as always, drinks will be available.

Paul Madonna (All Over Coffee)

Friday, September 9th, 7:30 pm, at the SF Zen Center (300 Page St.)

Paul Madonna's weekly cartoon All Over Coffee appears in the Chronicle and on the Rumpus, has been spun off into two books, and boasts near-iconic status among the artsy set in SF. Combining drawings of beautiful spots around the city (and occasionally around other cities) with philosophical musings, Madonna's art often feels like the work of chance, but hides a meticulous backbone. At this Zen Center lecture, he'll discuss his creative process and show examples of his work.

Justin Torres (We the Animals)

Wednesday, September 7th, 7:30 pm, at Books Inc. Castro (2275 Market St.)

Spare and unflinching, Torres' debut novel, We the Animals, is the story of three young brothers trying to survive poverty and a tumultuous parental relationship in upstate New York. At a slim 125 pages, it's still earned plaudits from Michael Cunningham and Marilynne Robinson, among others. Torres (pictured at left), who is openly gay, is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford; the event in the Castro will serve as a launch party for his book.

George Pelecanos (The Cut)

Thursday, September 8th, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Since 1992, Pelecanos has quietly turned out some of the nation's best crime fiction, primarily set in and around his hometown of Washington, D.C. His literary prowess earned him a writing spot on the miniseries The Pacific and a writing-producing gig on The Wire, where he was nominated for an Emmy; he currently writes for Treme. The Cut, his 18th book, is the first to feature Spero Lucas, an Iraq veteran with a sideline in recovering stolen property, for which he takes a 40 percent cut. When Lucas gets involved with a major crime boss, though, he gets more than he bargained for.