EJ Koh Book Launch: A Lesser Love

Sept 7


Daniel Handler with Sherman Alexie

Given that Alexie decided to cancel his tour and most public appearances for the year, it's unlikely he'll read tonight. But Daniel Handler will certainly be there! He's dropping the Lemony Snicket pen name and returning to his more realistic (and more troubling) treatment of the dark lives of juveniles with a new, slim novel called All the Dirty Parts. It's about a porn-obsessed high schooler named Cole who constantly thinks about sex. If you don't get enough of the President's unrestrained id throughout the week, try a romp through this dirty—and ultimately very lonely—teenager's mind. You'll probably laugh as much as you cringe with this one. RS

Temple De Hirsch Sinai, 7:30 pm



Sept 8


Ann Powers

Influential music writer Ann Powers (currently a critic and correspondent for NPR, and former senior curator at what we used to call the Experience Music Project) will share her new book about the history of American music as well as the erotic and politically transformative nature of pop: Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music.

The Summit, 7:30 pm, $5


Rowan Buchanan Hisayo

Rowan Buchanan Hisayo's debut novel Harmless Like You is about '60s and '70s New York City, cross-cultural identity, global movement, inherited trauma, and gender—but centrally, it seems to focus on ideas of art and meaning. The protagonist of Harmless Like You is grappling with the decision to "become an artist," and all the interconnecting identity themes expressed in the book interact with and develop her ideas about creation and self-worth. Namara Smith at the New York Times describes Hisayo's writing as "lyrical and evocative, if occasionally overdone."

Hugo House First Hill, 7 pm, free


Word Works: Kelly Link

In 2015, Paul Constant wrote: "The first sentence of the first story in Kelly Link's new collection, Get in Trouble, reads, 'Fran's daddy woke her up wielding a mister.' If you stop there, your mind goes to some strange places: a father waking up his child by menacingly waving another man around? Is he a giant? If you've read Kelly Link's stories before, you know that certainly wouldn't be uncharacteristic; her stories almost always involve at least one fantastic element. But no. The second sentence describes him 'spritzing her like a wilted houseplant,' and suddenly the giant becomes a guy armed with a plastic spray bottle, an act of miraculous transmogrification in reverse. It's just a tiny little trick with words, but it demonstrates the muscular sentence-to-sentence propulsion of a Link story." Hear Link show off her creativity and wordplay live at this Word Works talk (titled "A Vampire is a Flexible Metaphor") that will focus on the details of writing fantasy.

Frye Art Museum, 7 pm, $15



Sept 10


Dar Williams

Earlier this year, Andrew Hamlin wrote, "Dar Williams fits short stories into song, assesses the moral magnetic compass of the Xer generation, at least, and stays so catchy that you barely realize you're being tested. Until you get the CD home and check out the lyrics." At this event, the folk singer will share her new book What I Found in a Thousand Towns, in which she "couples the work of urban theorists with her own experiences to propose solutions for rebuilding declining communities."

Rainier Arts Center, 6 pm, $5



Sept 11


John Nichols

Progressive journalist and author John Nichols (known for telling it like it is and authoring many works of political/cultural nonfiction) will share his latest book, Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America. Prepare for a passionate talk that will outline the insanity of Trump's administration and offer potential avenues for resistance.

The Summit, 7:30 pm, $5



Sept 12


Ben Blum

Based on the true story of his own cousin holding up a bank in Tacoma and thereby ending his career as a U.S. Army Ranger, Ben Blum brings us a gripping account of the crime and an insightful investigation into the toxic masculinity and family weirdness that fostered it. No less an authority than Mary Gaitskill said it is "one of those rare books that illuminates its subject beyond what you thought possible–and then transcends its subject to become something more." Blum lived and wrote in Seattle while he completed parts of this book, so this reading will be a bit of a homecoming for him. RS

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free


Jonathan White

Tides is the latest work by writer/sailer/surfer Jonathan White, combining memoir, science, and anthropology for a cultural and scientific investigation into the significance of (you guessed it) tides. White travelled around the world conducting interviews and assessing the impact of these mysterious moon-driven forces.

University Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm, $5



Sept 13


Barbara Johns

Art historian and curator Barbara Johns will share her new book, The Hope of Another Spring, a biography of Japanese-American artist Takuichi Fujii that highlights both his artistic contributions and the historical context of his life (including his incarceration in several American internment camps during World War II). The book features a previously unknown collection of art that Fujii created during his internment, including a detailed and illustrated diary.

Central Library, 7 pm, free


Mike Love

Mike Love (yes, that Mike Love, a quite controversial founder of the Beach Boys) will share his memoir, Good Vibrations. Bob Stanley at the Guardian reviewed the book: "As Wilson's brothers Dennis and Carl are no longer around to tell their side of the story, there's a strong case for Love being the Beach Boys' most reliable narrator. And given that the story involves Charles Manson, Leonard Bernstein, Republican fundraisers, parental abuse, mental illness, and a cataclysmic fall from grace, as well as some of the greatest music of the 20th century, it's a story well worth reading."

University Book Store, 7 pm, free


The Revival of Seattle's Left

Seattle's own labor activist Jonathan Rosenblum's new book Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement begins with the first successful movement—which Rosenblum himself helped lead—to raise the minimum wage to $15. He'll explain how the initiative prevailed thanks to a coalition of workers, religious leaders, and community organizers. In this talk, he'll participate in a discussion with other "New Left" politicians and activists in Seattle.

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, 7 pm, $10


Vanessa Grigoriadis with Claire Dederer

Vanessa Grigoriadis is known for her award-winning feature-length articles (including her super-famous 9,000-word essay on Britney Spears) and today she'll share her new book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus. She'll be joined in discussion by memoirist Claire Dederer.

University Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm, $5



Sept 15


Carolina Ebeid and Charif Shanahan

This event offers readings from debut works by two promising poets: Carolina Ebeid (author of You Ask Me To Talk About the Interior and editor of online journal Visible Binary) and Charif Shanahan (Stanford Stegner Fellow and author of the award-winning collection Into Each Room We Enter Without Knowing).

Open Books, 7 pm, free


Elizabeth Rosner

Elizabeth Rosner will present her latest work: Survivor Café, about the impending disappearance of survivors (of the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, and the Killing Fields, just to name a few) and what it means for our understanding of history and our collective memory.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Sept 19


Chris Guillebeau

Writer, speaker, and blogger Chris Guillebeau (best known for his 2010 book The Art of Non-Conformity) will share his latest work, Side Hustle, about the ever-growing "gig economy" and the ways in which you can make money, increase your job security, and advance your career outside your 9-to-5.

University Book Store, 7 pm, free


Sherman Alexie

Prolific, hilarious, heartbreaking author Sherman Alexie was scheduled to go on a long and busy book tour this year to promote his latest work, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, which Amber Cortes called "an incredibly honest, multi-genre memoir about his complicated grief for his late mother, Lillian." In an open letter on Facebook, he spoke honestly about the impact the book and the tour was having on him. Bottom line is, this is one of the few events featuring Alexie that doesn't seem to be cancelled. It's a celebration of the 10th anniversary edition of his National Book Award-winning, New York Times best-selling, memoir-adjacent novel Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Third Place Books Lake Forest Park, 7 pm, free


Words on Water: Writers in Conversation

Shashi Tharoor is an Indian politician and former U.N. diplomat who has written more than a dozen bestselling books (both fiction and nonfiction). Tharoor, an incredible resourcing on Indian politics and international affairs, will headline this reading that will feature regional writers alongside writers from India and its diaspora.

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, 6:30 pm, $20



Sept 20


Josh Weil with Carol Guess and Urban Waite

Award-winning author Josh Weil will share his new short story collection, The Age of Perpetual Light, which explores "themes of progress, the pursuit of knowledge, and humankind's eternal attempt to decrease the darkness in the world." He will be joined by Seattle writers Carol Guess and Urban Waite.

Hugo House First Hill, 7 pm, free



Sept 21


Robert Madrygin

Robert Madrygin's debut novel is about a Bosnian War refugee of Muslim heritage who moves to the United States and has his world transformed (again) by 9/11. Patricia Whalen, former international judge of the War Crimes Chamber at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, wrote: "The Solace of Trees tells the story of a child's ability to survive the unspeakable trauma of war with grace and resilience, and how these very skills become necessary once again as an adult. It is a story of human cruelty delivered by opposite forces, and of the power of the individual to make a difference each time."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Sept 23


E.J. Koh Book Launch

E.J. Koh has been reading intense, image-driven poetry in Seattle for the last couple years, so it strikes me as odd that A Lesser Love, winner of the Pleiades Press Editors Prize for Poetry, is her first full-length collection of poems. (Full disclosure: I was the editor of Pleiades magazine for a year, but I had nothing to do with the selection of this book.) No matter. Now's the time to rejoice! Stranger Genius nominee Don Mee Choi called Koh's lyrical meditations on loss and longing "a remarkable debut...that exposes broken love, broken bodies across the sea of migration and history." In one of my favorite poems of hers, Koh writes, "I started to tell stories because / my parents lived so far away." Go listen. You'll be in fine company. Stranger alum Paul Constant will moderate the Q&A. RS

Hugo House First Hill, 7 pm, free



Sept 25

Nathan Englander

Nathan Englander is the author of several acclaimed short story collections that deal with morality, politics, Israel, Orthodox Judaism, and lapsed orthodoxy with humor and precision, as well as the novel The Ministry of Special Cases, set during Argentina's devastating "Dirty War." Englander is here to share his latest book, Dinner at the Center of the Earth, a political thriller that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The novel is highly anticipated, though the critics at Kirkus Review were not too impressed, referencing Englander's uneven and unfocused tone. Earlier in the day, you can also grab lunch with Englander at Third Place Books Ravenna. The $45 ticket includes entry for one person, a copy of the book, and a Mediterranean lunch from Vios Cafe.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Sept 26


Ben Hatke in Conversation with Kazu Kibuishi

Two best-selling graphic novelists, Ben Hatke and Kazu Kibuishi, will share their latest works at this art-infused literary event. Hatke will also discuss the last of his Might Jack novels, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, with Kibuishi.

University Book Store, 7 pm, free


Eli Finkel in conversation with Dan Savage

Eli J. Finkel, professor of social psychology at Northwest University, will share his new book The All-or-Nothing Marriage, a research-based treatise on the institution of marriage and how to improve it. He'll be joined by our own Dan Savage, who for years has been advocating against the all-eggs-in-one-basket approach to relationships. Look forward to a funny, honest, academically-informed discussion of commitment, fidelity, and communication.

University Temple United Methodist Church, 7 pm, $28


Major Margaret Witt

Major Margaret Witt attracted international attention after she was discharged from the military on a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" violation (The Stranger's Eli Sanders covered the story several times). Eventually a federal judge in Tacoma ruled that she should be reinstated, and just months after that decision was made, Obama repealed DADT. Now Witt will visit Seattle to tell her own story and share her new memoir, Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military Trial at the Tipping Point for Gay Rights.

Museum of Flight, 7:30 pm, $5


Six Pack Series

Six Pack is my favorite reading series in town. Six performers create a new thing based on a shared theme, and they get a six pack for their efforts. The theme this time: Doppelgangers, Avatars and Code Names: What I Learned When I Wasn't Myself. Readers who will be revealing their alter egos include Stranger alum Cienna Madrid, genderqueer artistic director for DangerSwitch Eddie Dehais, and performance artist Kaitlin McCarthy. The crowd is typically pretty sauced and rowdy, but also fully prepared to have a good public sad. RS

12th Avenue Arts, 7:30 pm


Franklin Foer

Former New Republic editor and current Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer (who has written informative and terrifying articles like "It's Putin's World," and whose 2014 firing from the New Republic spurred resignations from two-thirds of the editorial staff) will share his latest work, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. This new book delves into the dangers of the tech world—political, social, economic—and why we should pay attention to its alarming growth.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Sept 28


Everyday Africa with Peter Di Campo and Charles Mudede

Everyday Africa is an incredibly popular Instagram feed created by Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill that uses a deluge of gorgeous photos to overpower negative media-driven stereotypes. At this event, DiCampo will share some of the most famous and noteworthy images shared on the feed and discuss the new collection Everyday Africa: 30 Photographers Re-Picturing a Continent. After DiCampo speaks, our own film editor Charles Mudede (who writes regularly about his time in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, where he was born) will moderate a panel of smart people from Seattle's African community, who will discuss "the power of media to empower or to disenfranchise."

Northwest African American Museum, 7:30 pm, free


Frances McCue

Hugo House founder, educator, poet, and author Frances McCue probably deserves a few more titles—she's a versatile, ambitious, multidisciplinary figure in the Seattle literary scene, and someone you should know if you care about good writing and good community. At this event, she'll share her new book Timber Curtain (related to the upcoming feature-length film Where the House Was, about Hugo House) that deals with loss, change, and nostalgia.

Hugo House First Hill, 7 pm, free


Nicole Krauss

Novelist Nicole Krauss will discuss her new book, Forest Dark, which boasts an incredible quote from Philip Roth on the cover: "A brilliant novel. I am full of admiration."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Oct 2


Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng is the author of bestselling and Amazon Book of the Year Award-winning novel Everything I Never Told You, and she's following up her auspicious debut with another promising work, Little Fires Everywhere. Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) called the new novel "witty, wise and tender" and "a marvel."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free


Stephen Greenblatt

Historian Stephen Greenblatt is the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of well-researched and thoroughly engaging book The Swerve, and general editor of The Norton Shakespeare and The Norton Anthology of English Literature. He'll visit Seattle to share his new book, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, which explores both the origins and the impact of the enduring story.

Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University, 7:30 pm, $5



Oct 4


Women You Need to Know: Janet Mock

Janet Mock Aaron Tredwell

The PR copy for Janet Mock's new memoir, Surpassing Certainty, about her life as a twenty-something sex worker is too unapologetically salacious not to partially reproduce here: "Under the neon lights of Club Nu," the copy reads, "Janet meets Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, who becomes her first." But this encounter with Troy was only the maiden voyage on Mock's long, rough, and ultimately affirming journey to becoming the person she is today. "I came from that world and I was built by that world," Mock told the L.A. Times about her time as a stripper and sex worker. "I will not forget my people. I have a firm stiletto planted in the streets and in those clubs with those girls." RS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm



Oct 6


Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty is an incredibly popular expert on death. She's a mortician, host of the YouTube series "Ask a Mortician," founder of the natural burial advocacy organization Order of the Good Death, and author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory. Hopefully, Doughty will be excited to return to Seattle—she said we're "probably the best place for alternative death care in America right now." She's visiting with a brand-new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, in which she offers a firsthand account of death rituals and practices around the globe.

The Summit, 7 pm, $5


Nicholas Kristof

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and political commentator Nicholas Kristof has been a staunch (but fair) supporter of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—lucky for us, because the Gateses are now bringing Kristof to speak to the Seattle public. Kristof will speak about his 2010 book Half the Sky, which makes a passionate but economics-based argument for women's empowerment worldwide.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 4:30 pm, free



Oct 7


Eli Sanders

While the City Slept is not a 300-page version of "The Bravest Woman in Seattle," rather, it's the product of years and years of research about the three people whose lives intersected in that little red house on South Rose Street. In powerful and absorbing prose, Eli tells the story of how Jennifer Hopper and Teresa Butz found each other and became partners. He tells the story of how Isaiah Kalebu repeatedly slipped through the cracks in the criminal justice and mental healthcare systems. He shows you how our failure to patch those cracks contributed to Kalebu's crimes against Teresa and Jennifer. And he tells the story of how Jennifer Hopper found the strength to forgive Kalebu. He does the thing that every writer is supposed to do—He looks and he looks and he doesn't turn away. RS

Everett Public Library, 2 pm, free


October "Write-In"

Writers of all kinds will gather for this quarterly Hugo House/Write Our Democracy event focusing the power of the word to fight against cynicism and for liberty and justice. Specifically, this write-in promises readings, prompts, and time to write with fellow community members.

Hugo House First Hill, 10 am, free



Oct 8


Masha Gessen

Russian and American journalist Masha Gessen understands Putin (if you haven't read her article "Autocracy: Rules for Survival," do so now) and has written terrifying, illuminating articles about the dangers of autocrats and the various transformations of her home country. She's here to share her latest work, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which "follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy."

Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University, 6 pm, $5



Oct 9


Art Garfunkel

American songbook legend and general beloved weirdo Art Garfunkel will bring his decades of folk-pop experience, myriad of chart-topping hits, and literal thousands of miles walked and the memories therein to Seattle. Garfunkel will share his highly anticipated memoir What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From an Underground Man.

Neptune Theatre, 7:30 pm, $34


Garry Wills

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and historian Garry Wills writes regularly about politics and religion, but much of his theological work has focused primarily on Christianity. In this talk, he'll speak about the Qur'an (including outlining misconceptions about the text and clarifying its actual content). The press release presents the talk this way: "Through the eyes of a sympathetic outsider, Wills will help us frame a night of interfaith dialogue and empathetic curiosity."

Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University, 7:30 pm, $5


Steph(en) Burt

Harvard professor of English, one of the greatest living literary critics, and a very good transgender poet. Burt's touring with a new book called The Poem Is You, which offers 60 good readings of poems. If you have ever thought to yourself "I don't get poetry!" then this lecture is for you. Also, you can just e-mail me. I'm right here. RS

McCaw Hall, 7:30 pm, $20-$80



Oct 11


Raj Patel

Raj Patel is the author of The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy; former Stranger visual art editor Jen Graves wrote that in that work, he used "MLK's forgotten economic radicalism to frame what he had to say" and called out "the totalizing nature of American capitalism—the way it externalizes costs it doesn't want to deal with—as the weirdly accepted violation of human rights it is." Patel's latest book, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet, is about economics, the environment, and human rights—expect Patel to deftly bring the interconnected themes together in a political and systemic analysis.

Rainier Arts Center, 7:30 pm, $5



Oct 12


Dan Savage with Esther Perel

Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel is known for the 2007 book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, her podcast Where Should We Begin? and her popular TED talks. At this event, she'll join our own snarky, hilarious, and helpful relationship expert Dan Savage to discuss her new book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Expect a frank and entertaining discussion about cheating, "successful" relationships, and love.

SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 8 pm, $35


Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in economics and social entrepreneurship—he's the founder of the Grameen Bank, and began the microcredit movement way back in the 1970s. At this event he'll speak out against capitalism in its current form, citing "rampant inequality, massive unemployment, and environmental destruction."

Seattle University, Campion Ballroom, 7 pm, free



Oct 13


Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America

The blurb for essay collection Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America begins: "When 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump and 94 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton, how can women unite in Trump's America?" This book, edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, includes work by Rebecca Solnit, Cheryl Strayed, Sarah Hepola, Nicole Chung, Katha Pollitt, Jill Filipovic, Samantha Irby, Sarah Jaffe, and more influential women writers. A selection of editors and contributors will visit Elliott Bay to talk about feminism, protest, and solidarity in the age of Trump.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free


Word Works: Mary Ruefle

It's rare for Mary Ruefle to leave (what I imagine to be) her reclusive forest home in the White Mountains of Vermont, but when she does it is a cause for celebration and merriment. Her latest creation is a long-ish essay/short book called On Imagination, and, as its title suggests, it reads like a lost chapter from Madness, Rack, and Honey, which is, in my view, one of the freshest, wisest, most "accessible," and funniest books on contemporary poetics available to the world at the moment. The best thing about Ruefle, as Ben Ratliff points out in the New York Times, is that she's "a supernally well-read person who has grown bored with what smartness looks like." If you haven't seen that yet, you should do yourself the favor. RS

Frye Art Museum, 7 pm, $15



Oct 16


Armistead Maupin

San Francisco-based novelist Armistead Maupin was one of the first authors to write about AIDS (in 1983) and is best known for his Tales of the City series. His latest book, Logical Family, is a photograph-filled memoir that Neil Gaiman described as "fascinating, as delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us."

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $39-$75



Oct 18


Loudon Wainwright

In 2016, Stranger contributor Jason Baxter wrote, "There's a whole generation of folks (myself included) for whom Loudon Wainwright III is more familiar as an actor (having appeared in M*A*S*H, three Judd Apatow productions, and G-Force—2009's Jerry Bruckheimer production about guinea pig secret agents). Wainwright the actor, while delightful, is nowhere near as interesting as Wainwright the musician, who's been recording and performing sardonic folk commentaries since his beatific 1970s self-titled debut." Clearly, Wainwright is extremely multitalented, because he's visiting Seattle to share his new book, a memoir about "family, inspiration, and art."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free


Ron Chernow

I'm sure you're familiar with the Tony Award-winning smash hit musical explosion known as Hamilton? Well, I've been told Ron Chernow wrote the biography of Alexander Hamilton that Lin-Manuel Miranda used as source material for his wildly popular show. This year, Chernow will be touring with a new presidential biography about Ulysses S. Grant, probably the greatest writer ever to hold the office. RS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $20-$80



Oct 19


Eileen Myles Catherine Opie

Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is one of the last century's greatest American poets. She's a badass lesbian from the wrong part of Boston who ran for President in 1992, back when that meant something. Afterglow (a dog memoir) is a book about her dog, a pit bull named Rosie. What else could you possibly want? RS

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Oct 22


Humans of New York: Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton gained international fame for his Facebook page "Humans of New York," on which he posted his street photography documenting the interesting outfits, poses, and activities of NYC residents. But what made his work really interesting were the captions, often quotes from the people being photographed, that allowed glimpses into their inner lives and most traumatic struggles. There have been quite a few smart take-down pieces of Stanton that point out the potential dangers of his empathetic ethnography, but ultimately, Stanton has achieved his goal of humanizing strangers and giving audiences practical examples of the (newly minted) word "sonder" (the realization that strangers have as rich and complex a life as you do). At this event, Stanton will share "his own personal story, and the perspective he has gained since embarking on his journey to help others tell theirs."

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $27-$75



Oct 24


Jennifer Egan

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Jennifer Egan will share her latest work, Manhattan Beach, the first novel she's released since her gigantic 2011 hit. Booklist calls her new book "propulsive, surprising, ravishing, and revelatory...a profound page-turner that will transport and transform every reader."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Oct 25


Amy Tan

Amy Tan has written beautifully (and sometimes controversially) about Chinese-American culture, generational gaps, and familial relationships; her best-known books are The Joy Luck Club (which was made into a fairly groundbreaking movie, for Hollywood standards) and The Valley of Amazement. She's here to share her latest work, Where the Past Begins, a memoir about how she became a writer.

Central Library, 7 pm, free



Oct 27


Sherman Alexie Loves: Nikki Giovanni

Writer, poet, activist, and living legend Nikki Giovanni rose to prominence in the late 1960s with her collections Black Feeling, Black Talk and Black Judgement. Since then, she's shaped the literary world with her political, historical, sometimes militant poetry, collecting numerous accolades (including seven NAACP Image Awards) along the way. See her perform in person as part of the "Sherman Alexie Loves" series.

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $80



Oct 29


Nick DiMartino

Nick DiMartino is a local literary powerhouse—he's the author of more than 20 plays and 18 books, and he's quietly keeping literature alive on the UW campus through his work at the University Book Store. At this event, he'll read from and sign his latest work, The Big Party.

University Book Store, 3 pm, free


Roddy Doyle

In 2013, Paul Constant wrote, "Doyle is a beloved author for good reason. His novels Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha and The Woman Who Walked into Doors have moved thousands upon thousands of people." If you are not one of the thousands who has been moved by his short stories, novels, plays, or screenplays, brush up and see him perform in person.

Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University, 6 pm, $5



Oct 30


Walter Isaacson

The very influential Walter Isaacson (president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, former CEO of CNN, and former managing editor of Time) has written a number of very good biographies of people including Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs. At this event, he'll share his latest book: Leonardo Da Vinci, which explores the artist's life and essential genius.

Broadway Performance Hall, 6:30 pm, $43-$48



Nov 1


Valerie Hsiung with Jane Wong, Don Mee Choi and Amaranth Borsuk

Poet, "love detective," and Poor Claudia editor Valerie Hsiung (a trilogy and incantation inarticulate) will share her third full-length poetry collection, e f g (Action Books). She will be joined by three excellent local poets whose work you should definitely read: Jane Wong (Overpour), Don Mee Choi (Hardly War and The Morning News is Exciting), and Amaranth Borsuk (Pomegranate Eater).

Hugo House First Hill, 7 pm, free



Nov 4


John Hodgman

Writer, actor, and political comedian John Hodgman (very recognizable from his time on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) is visiting Seattle to share his new book, Vacationland, advertised as his departure from "fake news and invented facts." Hear Hodgman talk about true things at this onstage interview and book signing.

First Baptist Church, 7 pm, $30/$35



Nov 5


SAL Presents: A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates

The title of MacArthur genius Ta-Nehisi Coates's new book, We Were Eight Years in Power, sounds like a quote pulled from the mouth of a Democrat in 2017, but it comes from the mouth of Thomas Miller, a black congressman from South Carolina who was elected to office during the relatively progressive period of Reconstruction. Not much changes, I guess, when it comes to the racist's response to much change. In this collection of essays, mostly composed of stuff he published in the Atlantic during Obama's presidency, Coates looks back at how the GOP used the election of the country's first black president to dogwhistle for eight years, and thus usher in the current hounds. RS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $85-$145



Nov 9


Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn (author of nonfiction Holocaust remembrance amalgam The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, longtime New York Review of Books contributor, and winner of many prizes including the National Book Critics Circle Award) will share his latest work, An Odyssey, a literature-inspired memoir about family. For a preview, read the excellent New Yorker article "A Father's Final Odyssey."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Nov 10


Claire Messud

Claire Messud writes intense, engrossing novels, and earned plenty of awards and praise for her previous works that include The Woman Upstairs, The Last Life, and The Emperor's Children. Her latest book, The Burning Girl, is about a whirlwind friendship between two preteen girls. According to Dwight Garner at The New York Times, it lacks Messud's signature sharpness and voice—he describes the new book as "oddly distant," "formal," and "ultimately unconvincing."

Central Library, 7 pm, free


Hugo Literary Series: Jericho Brown, Porochista Khakpour, Rachel Kessler

Take in a variety of original, commissioned works on the theme of "Area Protected by Neighborhood Watch" performed by local and visiting leaders in the arts: award-winning and very necessary poet Jericho Brown (Please and The New Testament), novelist and essayist Porochista Khakpour (Sons and Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion), poet, writer, and performer Rachel Kessler (who you might recognize as half of the Vis-à-vis Society), and a musician whose identity is yet to be announced.

Fred Wildlife Refuge, 7:30 pm, $25


Jeffrey Eugenides with Mary-Ann Gwinn

Each of Jeffrey Eugenides' three novels have been bestselling smash hits—The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex, and The Marriage Plot have successfully seeped into the collective conscious. His latest work of fiction, Fresh Complaint, comes out in October and promises a collection of both new and previously published stories from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He'll share excerpts alongside another Pulitzer winner: former Seattle Times book editor Mary-Ann Gwinn.

First Baptist Church, 7 pm, free


Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld is known for his books (The Gigantic Robot, Goliath, and You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack) and his cartoons and illustrations that have been featured in publications like the New Yorker and the Guardian. Hear about his latest work, a best-of collection titled Baking With Kafka.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Nov 11


Mita Mahato

In 2015, Rich Smith wrote, "Mita Mahato shapes dark, contemplative, and chuckle-funny comics using collaged strips of newspaper. Aside from looking really cool, the medium allows her to repurpose commercial color to meet artistic ends and to incorporate broken sentences from news stories into her own work, which often explores loss and disconnection." At this event, Mahato will sign copies and present a slideshow of work from her new book In Between: The Poetry Comics of Mita Mahato.

Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery, 7 pm, free



Nov 13


A.E. Stallings

Rich Smith describes A.E. Stallings as a "top notch formal poet with deep intellectual and aesthetic roots in ancient Greek writings."

McCaw Hall, 7:30 pm, $20-$80


Matthew Weiner with Maria Semple

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner (who Portland Mercury Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey once lovingly called "a real goddamn smarty-pants when it comes to crafting TV shows") will share his debut novel, Heather, the Totality. He'll be joined by the incredibly funny Seattle writer Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette? and Today Will Be Different.

Seattle University, Campion Ballroom



Nov 14


Harriet A. Washington

Harriet A. Washington (author of the bestselling, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present) will speak about her latest work, Infectious Madness, which deals with "bioethics, history of medicine, African American health issues and the intersection of medicine, ethics and culture."

Hogness Auditorium UW, 3 pm, free


Janet Fitch

Janet Fitch is known for writing darkly compelling novels like White Oleander and Paint It Black. At this event, she'll share her new historical fiction book The Revolution of Marina M, in which a young woman from St. Petersburg "will join the marches for workers' rights, fall in love with a radical young poet, and betray everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn."

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free


Reza Aslan

SAL associate director Rebecca Hoogs described Aslan's new show as a kind of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, but for religions. Sounds equal parts promising and infuriating. RS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $45-$145



Nov 16


Mark Z. Danielewski

Rich Smith called Mark Z. Danielewski's most famous novel, House of Leaves, "the literary Rubik's cube of my college years." For the past few years, Danielewski has been writing his The Familiar series (he plans to publish a total of 27 volumes) that focuses on a vast web of interconnected narratives. At this event, he'll share the fifth installment.

University Book Store, 7 pm, free


Paisley Rekdal with Dana Levin

Award-winning writer and poet Paisley Rekdal will return to Seattle (she was born here!) to present her latest work, The Broken Country: On Trauma, A Crime, And The Continuing Legacy of Vietnam, which won the 2016 AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction. Rekdal will be joined by poet Dana Levin (In the Surgical Theatre, Wedding Day, Sky Burial, and Banana Palace).

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Nov 17–18


Amber Flame

Amber Flame is a poet and performer, and Hugo House's newest Poetry Writer-in-Residence. At this event, she'll celebrate the release of her debut collection Ordinary Cruelty.

Gay City, 7 pm



Nov 18


This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home

Editors Margot Kahn and Kelly McMasters will present their collection This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home, and will be joined by a number of incredible contributors: Kate Lebo, Jane Wong, Maya Zeller, Tara Conklin, Elisabeth Eaves, and Claudia Castro Luna, to name a few.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Nov 19


David Sedaris

NWAA presents this reading with the witty, self-deprecating, hilariously judgmental David Sedaris, best known for his essays and memoirs. He's worth seeing in person—Amy isn't the only performer in the family.

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $50-$59



Nov 20


Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org, a laudable nonprofit climate action/environmental organization whose activists have protested Shell's arctic drilling rig, protested the Keystone XL pipeline, and attempted to shut down tar sand pipelines in North Dakota, among many other campaigns. McKibben has also written at length about global warming and is one of the nation's most prominent thinkers and writers on environmentalism—he's written more than a dozen books on the subject. At this event, he'll share his latest work, Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance, a novel that explore the idea of state succession from the United States.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 7 pm, free



Nov 27


Pete Souza with Brandi Carlile

Screw six degrees of separation—if you'd like just one person separating you socially from Barack Obama, attend this talk with former White House Photographer Pete Souza. Souza will present his new book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, and no matter how you feel about the former president's policies, you'll probably enjoy the hours you spend gazing at photos of his glimmering smile. Souza will be joined by musician Brandi Carlile.

Broadway Performance Hall, 7 pm, free



Nov 28


Isabel Allende

Author of The House of the Spirits, which Alexander Coleman over at the New York Times described as "a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present, and future of Latin America." She's written 22 books, including In the Midst of Winter, which comes out in October. RS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $20-$80



Nov 30


Kevin Young

Author and poet Kevin Young, whose nonfiction book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Award and was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book for 2012, was called "one of the most talented poets in the United States" by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $10



Dec 3


Joe Biden

[Insert several references to the Onion's fantastic coverage of "Diamond" Joe Biden here, including "Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am In White House Driveway," "Biden To Cool His Heels In Mexico For A While," and "Biden Lines Up Sweet Summer Gig Installing Above-Ground Swimming Pools.] Okay but seriously, Uncle Joe is coming to read to us from his new book about his rough yet productive final year as VP. It's called Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. Go give him a titty-twister and ask him for advice on how to beat these GOP bozos. RS

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $80-$250


Youth Poet Laureate Reading

Celebrate young literary talent in Seattle at this Youth Poet Laureate reading, featuring the 2017/2018 laureate: Lily Baumgart of Garfield High. (You might also hear from the Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador, Namaka Auwae-Dekker.)

Elliott Bay Book Company, 3 pm, free



Dec 5


Anca Szilágyi

Seattle novelist Anca L. Szilágyi derives the title of her debut novel, Daughters of the Air, from a class of women in Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid" who can gain immortality through good works. Szilágyi's protagonist, Tatiana "Pluta" Spektor, attempts to do just that in this fabulist, political coming-of-age story. RS

Sorrento Hotel, 7:30 pm, free



Every first Wednesday


Silent Reading Party

Invented by our own Christopher Frizzelle, the reading party is when the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel goes quiet and fills with people with books tucked under their arms. (And, occasionally, a Kindle or two.) And there's always free music.

Sorrento Hotel, 6 pm, free



Every second Monday


African-American Writers' Alliance Poetry Reading

Hear poets from the Northwest's African American community in a reading organized by the NW African American Writers' Alliance.

Third Place Books Seward Park, 7 pm, free



Every first Thursday & third Friday


Seattle StorySLAM

A live amateur storytelling competition in which audience members who put their names in a hat are randomly chosen to tell stories on a theme.

Fremont Abbey (first Thursdays) and St. Mark's Cathedral (third Fridays), 8 pm, $10