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.

Anthony Swofford (Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails: A Memoir)

Wednesday, June 6, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

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

Swofford's memoir Jarhead, about his Gulf War-era Marine service, was a major bestseller and got turned into a Hollywood film. But his success was tested by a host of issues, including the loss of his older brother, the dissolution of his first marriage, and his estranged father's diagnosis with a terminal illness. Attempting to pick up the pieces, Swofford (pictured at left) embarks on a series of RV trips with his Vietnam-vet dad, where both men try to come to terms with their military pasts and their present misdeeds. (Can't make his book readings? Swofford will also read at Saturday's edition of Writers with Drinks.)

Dan Ariely (The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-- Especially Ourselves)

Monday, June 11, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Tuesday, June 12, 7:30 pm, at the Oshman Family JCC (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto). 

Behavioral economist and Duke University professor Ariely established himself as one of the leading experts on human behavior (and misbehavior) with his book Predictably Irrational. His new work delves into the forces that cause us to lie and cheat, examining how we achieve a balance between getting what we want and not being able to look at ourselves in the mirror-- and how our little dishonesties can often add up to many more problems than the gross violations of trust we abhor in others. 

Nell Freudenberger (The Newlyweds)

Thursday, June 7, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Marina (2251 Chestnut St.)

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

The latest from New Yorker "20 Under 40" list member Freudenberger (Lucky Girls, The Dissident) is the story of Amina, a Bangladeshi mail-order bride who meets her American husband online and moves to upstate New York, where she braves her way through a series of culture clashes. But when both husband and wife discover that the other was in love with someone else before their marriage, Amina returns to Bangladesh, putting their new life (and her future) on the line. 

Rosecrans Baldwin (Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down)

Tuesday, June 12, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Wednesday, June 13, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Palo Alto (74 Town & Country Village) 

After a childhood trip to Paris, Baldwin (You Lost Me There) had long dreamt of moving to the City of Light, despite not speaking a word of French. But when he actually got the opportunity to move to France for an ad-agency job, he found that Paris wasn't exactly what he expected. Endless construction outside his apartment, government red tape, office politics, and perplexing dinner parties were just some of the expat woes Baldwin encountered. His memoir examines the difficulty of maintaining Parisian dreams when confronted with Parisian realities.

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