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.

Tama Matsuoka Wong (Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer's Market)

Saturday, August 4, 3-4 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)

With Denmark's Noma, which relies heavily on foraged ingredients, ranked as the top restaurant in the world, the ancient practice of foraging for food has gotten renewed attention. Wong (left), who serves as the forager for Daniel Boulud's acclaimed NYC restaurant Daniel, has written a guide that not only explains which foraged plants are edible, but which are the most delicious. She also delves into how to cook each plant, from obscurities like oxalis and creeping jenny to more well-known plants like dandelion leaves and purslane.

Mick LaSalle (The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses)

Friday, August 3, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

While American actresses bemoan a lack of substantive parts for women, particularly once they hit 40, France has seen a boom in female-centric filmmaking, with a particular emphasis on women of a certain age. How can the Hollywood landscape change to bring in more films that showcase women's lives and experiences, at every age? LaSalle, the Chronicle's film critic, tries to answer that question through interviews with French actresses both popular and obscure. He also offers a guide to the best of French women's cinema for interested viewers on this side of the Atlantic. 

M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)

Saturday, August 4, 4 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Stedman's debut novel is the story of Tom, a World War I veteran turned Australian lighthouse keeper, and his wife Isabel, who desperately yearns for a child after three painful miscarriages. When a boat arrives at their lighthouse with a dead man and a living baby inside, Isabel immediately claims the little girl for her own. But upon returning to land, the couple realize their choice has had heartbreaking consequences for another. The Light Between Oceans has already garnered huge acclaim for its lyrical prose and page-turner plot. 

A Tribute to Philip Larkin

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

For this special event, Shakespearean actor Barry Kraft, who's been interpreting the Bard for more than 45 years, will read from the complete poems of Philip Larkin (1922-1985), who is known for his distinctively witty, heartbreaking, and sometimes gloomy examinations of post-war British life. 

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