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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.

Ruben Martinez (Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West)

Thursday, August 16, 7 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.) 

Tuesday, August 21, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Award-winning journalist and poet Martinez (left), who last explored border politics in the acclaimed Crossing Over, now widens his lens to encompass the entire American Southwest. From a drug epidemic that flourishes just outside of one of New Mexico's wealthiest towns to a race war triggered by the construction of an exclusive housing development, Martinez takes a hard look at how the up-and-down economic cycle has played out in the Southwest, and how vulnerable people are often left in its wake. 

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

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.

Oksana Marafioti (American Gypsy)

Thursday, August 9, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Friday, August 10, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Saturday, August 11, 7:30 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

The world of Gypsies, or Roma, is secretive and somewhat unknown, despite the incursions of reality shows like "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding." After touring Russia and Mongolia with her family in a traveling Romani ensemble, Marafioti (left) arrived in California at age 15, and her new memoir offers a unique look into Roma culture and how it affected her attempts to assimilate into American life. From her first boyfriend to her first experience with fast food, Marafioti's desire to reconcile her "Split Nationality Disorder" has humorous results.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

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.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

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.

San Francisco International Poetry Festival

Thursday, July 26-Sunday, July 29, various locations

Organized by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, this biennial celebration of poetry will take place all weekend long, with events like a Kerouac Alley kick-off party featuring readings by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jack Hirschman and a jazz concert starring Jonathan Richman. All weekend long, poets like Amiri Baraka (left) will read in Civic Center Plaza, capping off the event with a Sunday poetry crawl through North Beach galleries. Check their website for the full schedule.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

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.

Chris Cleave (Gold)

Wednesday, July 18, 12 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Wednesday, July 18, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Just in time for the Olympics, the newest novel from Cleave (Little Bee) focuses on Kate and Zoe, friends and track cyclists who, after training together for 15 years, compete in their final race at a fictionalized version of the 2012 London games. Though Kate is the more naturally gifted cyclist, a recurrence of her eight-year-old daughter's leukemia threatens to undermine her years of training and sacrifice. With cutthroat Zoe willing to do anything to win, Kate has to decide how far she'll go to take home the gold medal. 

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.

Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters Remix)

Monday, July 16, 4 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Monday, July 16, 7 pm, at Castro Theatre (429 Castro St.)

Palahniuk's signature blend of shock and social commentary has made him one of the most popular authors in the country, and his book tours are now closer to those of a rock star than those of an author. His latest release is a "director's cut" adaptation of his 1999 second novel Invisible Monsters, with adjustments, new material, and a "choose your own adventure" format. Given Palahniuk's popularity, you'll have to pay for a book or a ticket at both of his SF readings; go here for more information on the afternoon event at the Booksmith (free with purchase of the book), and here for more on the Commonwealth Club event in the evening ($20 without book, $40-70 with book). Both are likely to sell out, so be sure to buy tickets well in advance and arrive early.

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.

Ron Tanner (From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story)

Tuesday, July 3, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Thursday, July 5, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

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.

Bonnie Jo Campbell (Once Upon a River)

Wednesday, June 27, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Shehan Karunatilaka (The Legend of Pradeep Mathew)

Tuesday, June 26, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Karunatilaka's first novel recently walked away with the Commonwealth Book Prize, and for good reason: it's a strange, fiercely funny tale from his native Sri Lanka, a part of the world most Americans don't hear much about. When aging sportswriter (and professional drunk) W.G. Karunasena discovers that his liver is about to fail him, he sets out on a search for a vanished, legendary 1980s cricket player. The result is a madcap, humorous detective story with a thoroughly unreliable narrator. 

Lizz Winstead (Lizz Free or Die)

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.

This Side of Paradise: A Great Gatsby Garden Party

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