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.

Jojo Moyes (Me Before You

Friday, January 11, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Moyes' breakout novel, a massive word-of-mouth hit in her native England, is the story of Louisa, an average girl who's never left her tiny village, and her new boss Will, a former business titan and extreme-sports enthusiast who's recently become quadriplegic after a motorcycle accident and is suicidal. When Will's family hires Lou to convince him that his life is still worth living, the two spar, but ultimately develop a close relationship. Alternately funny, moving, and unpredictable, Moyes' book is already winning raves on this side of the pond (and warnings to prepare a box of Kleenex before cracking its pages). 

Jon Kabat-Zinn (Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness)

Wednesday, January 9, 7:30 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Dr.) 

Kabat-Zinn, one of the leading medical experts on the healing power of meditation and mindfulness, is visiting the Academy of Sciences this week to discuss the effectiveness of yoga in overcoming more than 50 medical conditions. He'll discuss the science behind his findings, and offer tips on combining yoga and mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and boost immune response. Tickets are $23-28, and available here

Bill Roorbach (Life Among Giants)

Wednesday, January 9, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Roorbach's newest novel is the story of David "Lizard" Hochmeyer, a seven-foot-tall football phenom who's about to leave for Princeton when his parents are mysteriously murdered. Left to pick up the pieces, Lizard and his older sister Kate become friends with their neighbor Sylphide, whose rock-star husband has brought her her own misfortunes. Over the ensuing decades, Lizard and Kate puzzle endlessly over their father's missing briefcase and shaky finances, becoming ever more intertwined with Sylphide in a spiral of murder and revenge.

Lisa O'Donnell (The Death of Bees)

Saturday, January 12, 3 pm, at the Palo Alto Library, Downtown Branch (270 Forest Ave.) 

In a Glasgow housing estate, Lennie realizes his next-door neighbors, 15- and 12-year-old sisters Marnie and Nelly, have buried the bodies of their parents in the backyard. Determined to help them, he gets to the bottom of the case, only to find out that their parents were neglectful, abusive drug dealers, and their father was in debt to the local drug lord. The trio's resulting adventures are funny and deeply profane, infused with quirky touches and plenty of interesting twists. 

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