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.

Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior)

Thursday, November 15, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

The latest novel from bestselling author Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna) focuses on Dellarobia, a restless Appalachian farm wife who discovers a mysterious valley that resembles a lake of fire. As scientists, reporters, and religious leaders descend on her town to witness the phenomenon, Dellarobia must stand up to her family, church, and neighbors. Tickets to Kingsolver's appearance are free with purchase of a copy of the book; call (415) 927-0960, ext. 1, to reserve a spot. 

Margaret Talbot (The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century)

Thursday, November 15, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Friday, November 16, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

New Yorker staff writer Talbot's father, Lyle Talbot, was an entertainer at heart. After running away from his Midwestern home to join the circus in 1918 and working in a theater troupe and as a magician's assistant, he found his way to Hollywood, where he was a romantic lead in early talkies, starred in big-time movies with Humphrey Bogart and Carole Lombard, and ended up playing parts in cult B movies and taking regular roles on Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet. Talbot uses her father's career as a window into the changing face of 20th-century entertainment, blending social history and memoir. 

Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves

Thursday, November 15, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

Friday, November 16, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

In this new book for teens, young-adult authors write letters to their teenage selves, guiding them through everything from early relationships to body issues to bullying. The content varies from letters to diary entries to graphic-novel-style art, but all of the letters offer advice and reassurance to teens that life does get better as they get older (and provides some useful food for thought for adults as well). Each of these readings will feature editor E. Kristin Anderson and a group of contributors reading their letters. 

Eric Asimov (How to Love Wine)

Wednesday, November 14, 7 pm, at the JCCSF (3200 California St.) 

Thursday, November 15, 5:30 pm, at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (1605 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley.)

Asimov, the wine critic for The New York Times, aims to make converts out of wine newbies in this hybrid memoir-instructional guide, which details everything from how to feel comfortable ordering wine at a restaurant to how to select a bottle to pair with a meal at home. The JCCSF event features a wine tasting by Shoe Shine Wine; tickets are $25 or $20 for members. The Kermit Lynch event starts with a meet-and-greet at next-door Bartavelle, followed by a signing and tasting inside the shop; call (510) 524-1524 to RSVP. 

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