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.

David Sedaris (Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk)

Thursday, May 3, 8 pm, at Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley (Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue).

Humorist David Sedaris (left) is the closest thing the literary world has to a touring rockstar, and the California College of the Arts has managed quite the coup in landing him for their annual fundraiser. Though Sedaris' last book departed from his traditional humorous-essay format, focusing on animal-related stories, he's continued to publish quirky insights into his life in various magazines, and listeners are likely to hear some new tales this evening. General-admission tickets are $45, while a VIP pre-party at the Berkeley Art Museum (for those who donate $350 or more) includes mingling with Sedaris, wine, hors d'oeurves, cocktails, and donors' choice of a private motorcoach ride to and from SF or valet parking. 

Mark Sundeen and Daniel Suelo (The Man Who Quit Money)

Tuesday, May 8, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Sundeen (Car Camping, The Making of Toro) turns his journalistic lens on Daniel Suelo, who hasn't spent a dime since abandoning his last $30 in a phone booth in 2000. Since then, Suelo has lived in caves across Utah, foraging for wild food and discarded groceries, neither paying taxes nor accepting food stamps or welfare. Though Suelo's lifestyle seems isolating, Sundeen discovers that it actually brings him an enviable degree of companionship and purpose. For this event, Suelo will appear alongside Sundeen and answer questions about his unique way of life.

Alison Bechdel (Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama)

Tuesday, May 8, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Wednesday, May 9, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

After over two decades writing the alternative comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel broke big with the graphic memoir Fun Home, which detailed growing up in a small town alongside her closeted gay father. In her new sequel, she turns her attention to her mother, an aspiring artist who was trapped in an unhappy marriage and took out her frustrations on her daughter. Bechdel examines how her maternal relationship affected her own lesbian love life, and how the pair eventually achieved an unlikely truce. 

Benjamin Busch (Dust to Dust: A Memoir)

Tuesday, May 8, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

The son of novelist Frederick Busch (The Night Inspector), Busch has led a varied life, from a stint in Iraq as a Marine to roles on The Wire (where he played narcotics officer Anthony Collichio, a colleague of detectives Herc and Carver) and The West Wing. Busch's memoir of his wartime experiences has been garnering early acclaim for its blend of raw military realism and detailed, elegant prose. 

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