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.

826 Valencia Write-a-Thon

Friday, August 26th, 12-8:26 pm, at 826 Valencia (826 Valencia St.)

The long-running Mission charity 826 Valencia, which supports at-risk youth through creativity and literacy efforts, is raising money with its annual write-a-thon, which brings together Bay Area authors both notable and non-notable to write for donations on 8/26. Get your friends to sponsor your efforts with a per-page rate or a set amount, then settle in amongst the staff and kids to craft a story (or two, or ten). Don't want to write? Drop by, watch the festivities, and throw a few bucks in the kitty.

Penn Jillette (God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales)

Thursday, August 25th, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (59 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Jillette (pictured at left), the speaking half of long-running magic act Penn & Teller, is known for being an avowed atheist and general skeptic. (P&T's long-running Showtime series, Bullshit!, is devoted to undermining popular opinions on a variety of subjects, from the criminalization of drugs to circumcision.) His new book is equal parts polemic and memoir, derailing the Ten Commandments and replacing them with his own set of "Penn Commandments." Other topics discussed along the way: tattoos, parenthood, and sex while scuba diving.

Jeremy Adam Smith, Tomas Moniz, and Shawn Taylor (Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood)

Thursday, August 25th, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Parenting is a political act, according to the editors of the zine Rad Dad and the blog Daddy Dialectic, who'll appear at the Booksmith to discuss a new compilation of the best essays from both publications. From sharing parenting with female partners, to gay and transgender experiences of fatherhood, to trying to teach kids about racism and violence, these three local authors (alongside guest writers ranging from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Ian McKaye) explore facets of parenthood that often go undiscussed.

Elizabeth Kaplan (Fresh from Elizabeth's Kitchen: Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Recipes)

Sunday, August 28th, 3-4 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)

In 2002, chef and teacher Elizabeth Kaplan learned that she had celiac disease and that both of her children were also gluten-intolerant, necessitating a total reformat all of their diets. Sensing a business opportunity, Kaplan cooked up The Pure Pantry, a line of gluten-free baking mixes that help celiac sufferers enjoy the convenience of fresh baked goods. Her new cookbook offers a repertoire of kid-friendly and gluten-free recipes, both savory and sweet.

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