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.

Barry Estabrook (Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit)

Tuesday, August 16th, 6-7 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)

Just in time for tomato season, James Beard Award winner Estabrook has released his new expose on America's favorite vegetable, er, fruit. Modern mass-market tomatoes have 14 times the sodium of the specimens our grandparents ate, but almost none of the nutrients. Their farming employs thousands of illegal immigrants, many of whom are negatively affected by the massive amounts of pesticide used in the process.

Oriana Small, a.k.a. Ashley Blue (Girlvert: A Porno Memoir)

Thursday, August 18th, 7:30-9 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Porn star and self-proclaimed "girl pervert" Small (pictured at left) will be part of an adult-themed evening at the Booksmith, with Carol Queen, founder of the Center for Sex and Culture, as moderator. Over the past decade, Small has had a number of adventures in the adult-film industry, including reckonings with substance abuse and relationships. She'll discuss those experiences while showing starring clips from films like Anal Sex Love. Only those 18 and older will be allowed in.

Sheila McClear (The Last of the Live Nude Girls)

Monday, August 22nd, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

The Booksmith aims to titillate this week, with events featuring both Oriana Small (above) and former peep-show performer and New York Post reporter Sheila McClear. McClear initially intended to work in the Times Square peep shows for just a few weeks, hoping to pay for her move from Detroit. Her stint lasted longer than she thought; she ended up spending nearly two years in the once-thriving, now shrinking industry. Her book is a history of the growth and death of the peep show, as well as the lives of the women who perform(ed) there.

Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck

Tuesday, August 16th, 7 pm, at SOMArts (934 Brannan St.)

This monthly series allows visitors to share both food and literature by bringing a potluck dish for others to enjoy. The reader at this month's event is poet Kevin Simmonds, whose recent Mad for Meat explores the conjunction of sex, race, and culture in Japan. If you're a writer, sharpen your pencils: after the reading, the organizers will host an on-the-spot writing contest based around the month's theme, "Blue Ribbon." Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $5 if you bring a potluck dish; there's also a cash bar. Tickets are here.

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