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Allie Pape

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Mary Johnson

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.

Mary Johnson (An Unquenchable Thirst)

Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

After seeing a Time cover story on Mother Teresa, then 19-year-old Johnson decided that working with the nuns in the legendary humanitarian's order was her purpose in life. She traveled to India and joined the Missionaries of Charity, but struggled to adapt the life of an American teenager to the intense strictures of the order; eventually, after 20 years, she left to find her own path. Her memoir tells the story of her time in India and how she's reacclimated to life in the U.S. 

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.

Karen Russell (Vampires in the Lemon Grove)

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

Russell, who broke big with 2011's Pulitzer-nominated Swamplandia!, has returned with her second collection of short stories, which combines her trademark interest in all things quirky and supernatural with her dry wit and insight into modern life. Whether she's writing about silk-factory workers who turn into silkworms, a massage therapist who can heal by manipulating tattoos, or the titular blood-suckers, Russell's imagination and perspective are one-of-a-kind. 

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Madeleine Albright

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.

Madeleine Albright (Prague Winter)

Thursday, February 21, 7 pm, at Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California (50 Acacia Ave., San Rafael)

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.

Nigella Lawson (Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes

Friday, February 15, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Saturday, February 16, 12:30 pm, at Left Bank (507 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur)

Saturday, February 16, 5 pm, at Williams-Sonoma (340 Post St.)

Lawson, the British "domestic goddess," TV star, and author of eight cookbooks, goes Italian in her latest tome, with 120 recipes for pastas, main courses, and desserts inspired by the simplicity and purity of Italian cuisine. If you'd like to taste a meal prepared by Lawson herself, the Left Bank event will feature multiple courses of recipes straight from the book, paired with wine; tickets are $125 and include tax, tip, and a signed copy. 

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.

George Saunders (Tenth of December)

Thursday, February 7, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Being the subject of a major profile titled "George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You'll Read This Year" just as said book comes out is a tall order for any writer, but if anyone can handle the mantle ably, it's Saunders, the quick-witted author of In Persuasion Nation, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and other iconic collections of stories that probe the hypocrisies of modern life without neglecting to find the sweetness in human relationships. His newest collection takes an even more emotional turn, exploring issues like cancer and PTSD, but doesn't sacrifice his trademark humor and inventiveness. 

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.

Cheryl T. Cohen Greene (An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner

Tuesday, January 29, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Friday, February 1, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Tuesday, February 5, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Berkeley resident Greene, who was portrayed by Helen Hunt in last year's The Sessions, is a surrogate partner who helps people struggling to accept their sexuality, and her new book provides interesting and candid insight into her profession and the many people she's helped in her career. She also discusses her work with polio-stricken poet Mark O'Brien, whose quest to have a normal sex life despite living in an iron lung is the subject of The Sessions

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Caskhouse Opens: Noe Valley beer fans now have a bar of their very own; Caskhouse (which was supposed to be called Crafthouse, but got a name change after Tom Colicchio of Craft sent a cease-and-desist letter) is now open, with six California draft beers ($7 a pint) like CaliCraft Cali Kolsch, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, and Drake's Robusto Porter, as well as several wines by the glass ($10-12) and a handful of bottled and canned brews. Hearty food offerings include housemade salt and pepper chips ($4) and porter-braised beef short ribs ($8). (Tuesday-Friday, 4 pm-12 am and Saturday-Sunday, 2 pm-12 am; 3853 24th St., Noe Valley.) 

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.

Nick Flynn (The Reenactments)

Friday, January 25, 7 pm, at St. Cyprian's (2097 Turk St.)

We all speculate about who would play us in the movie of our life, but what happens when the movie of your life actually gets made-- and documents the most painful experiences you've ever gone through, to boot? Nick Flynn watched from the sidelines as his memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City became the movie Being Flynn. As Julianne Moore and Robert DeNiro took on the roles of his suicidal mother and homeless father, Flynn learned about himself and began to process his grief. Flynn's reading, presented by Booksmith, The Rumpus, and St. Cyprian's, will include an interview with Rebecca Solnit and music from Cass McCombs and Penelope Houston. Tickets are $10, and all proceeds will support DISH, which aims to secure affordable housing for the homeless. 

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Wine Kitchen Opens: The Divisadero corridor has a new place to sip a glass of vino; Wine Kitchen, which opened last week, has an enormous selection of wines from around the globe, including four local draft wines ($9-12), two draft beers ($5-6), and more than 40 bottles (ranging from $30 for an Italian Prosecco to $110 for Billecart-Salmon champagne). The "kitchen" part of the equation is also very much in play; the owners have worked at Commonwealth, Bar Tartine, and Spruce, and their menu includes gourmet offerings like crispy sweetbreads, tuna crudo, and mushroom tempura. (Bar: Monday-Saturday, 4:30-11 pm; kitchen: 5:30-10 pm; 560 Divisadero St., Western Addition/NOPA.) 

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.

A Celebration of the Adobe Bookshop

Wednesday, January 15, 7 pm, at Adobe Books (3166 16th St.)

Long-running Mission bookstore Adobe is in danger of closing, but a group of concerned readers is attempting to convert it into a member-run, collective bookstore, gallery, and art space. To celebrate Adobe's life so far, three of SF's most acclaimed authors, Stephen Elliott (The Rumpus), Michelle Tea (Valencia), and Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell), will all read, and information about the new project will be distributed for those looking to join the cause. Check out the Facebook event page for more info. 

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