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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Rebecca Solnit

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.

Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)

Tuesday, June 25, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Acclaimed local writer Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell, Infinite City), whose recent essay on tech gentrification in SF went viral, has just released her thirteenth book, which explores the way we create stories and narratives in our lives. As with her other works, Solnit rambles elegantly between topics as personal as a family member's dementia and a trip to Iceland, and as iconic as Che Guevara and Frankenstein, using disparate examples to draw universal conclusions. 

Tara Ison (Rockaway)

Thursday, June 27, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Eerily timed given the destruction wrought on the area by Hurricane Sandy, Ison's third novel is a love letter to Rockaway Beach in Queens, which provides a haven for a struggling painter who's coming to grips with caring for her aging parents. There, she meets an over-the-hill rocker and devout Jew who challenges and influences her, and falls in love with the quirky town just before New York is brought to its knees by the events of 9/11.

Jeannette Walls (The Silver Star)

Friday, June 28, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Walls' unforgettable debut memoir The Glass Castle is still a bestseller more than five years after its release, but its author has spent the intervening time delving more deeply into fiction, first with Half-Broke Horses, a novel based on her grandmother's life, and now with The Silver Star, the story of two California sisters forced to make a harrowing cross-country journey after their artistic mother vanishes to "find herself." Tickets are $29 and include a signed copy of the book. 

Matt Bell (In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods)

Wednesday, June 26, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)

Bell's intense and visceral debut novel focuses on a newlywed couple who decide to abandon their chaotic lives and live in the woods, where they can survive by their own wits. But when the wife repeatedly fails to get pregnant, the husband is driven into a mysterious rage, only intensified by the unusual and mythical occurrences that seem to blossom everywhere in their new home. In the House has earned praise for its idiosyncratic, experimental, and deeply moving prose.