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.
Jaron Lanier (Who Owns the Future?)
Monday, May 13, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Tuesday, May 21, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)
Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget) returns with another visionary tome on the present and future of technology. This time, he discusses the allure of digital networks, and how they've managed to destroy the economy (through Wall Street's financial machinations in 2008) and flattened industries like media and manufacturing. In their place, he proposes a new information economy that will allow people to receive payment for their contributions and expand the middle class instead of shrink it.
Gary Greenberg (The Book of Woe: The Making of the DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry)
Tuesday, May 14, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)
Tuesday marks the release of the DSM-V, the latest edition of the "psychology Bible" that dictates the symptoms, treatment, and nature of every type of mental illness in the U.S., as well as how the government will (or won't) help those with mental-health issues. Greenberg, a psychotherapist, spent two years embedded with both hard-line proponents of the DSM and their opposition as the new edition was crafted, and has concluded that many of the new revisions are based on shaky science and deception on the part of its publishers, the American Psychiatric Association, which stands to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in profit from the publication of the new book.
Jessie Oleson Moore (The Secret Lives of Baked Goods)
Monday, May 13, 6 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)
Tuesday, May 14, 7 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)
Moore, otherwise known as the CakeSpy, is a "dessert detective" who set out to find the origins of popular treats, from baked Alaska to whoopie pies. She investigates the history of the chocolate-chip cookie and determines why red velvet cake is red, providing classic recipes for each of the treats she uncovers along the way.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
Wednesday, May 8, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Marra has arguably the most sterling credentials a recent MFA grad could ask for: a degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a Stegner fellowship, and the grand prize in the Atlantic's Student Writing Contest. His first novel, set in 2004, follows failed physician Akhmed and young doctor Sonja, who must join forces to treat wounded rebels and refugees when their small Chechnyan village comes under attack. As they harbor an eight-year-old girl whose father has been kidnapped by Russian forces, they begin to fall for each other, but the war outside their gates threatens to tear them apart.