The Seattle native reads from Burning Salt, a new collection of stories. Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 Main St, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey is about all the things the author learned about life from her mentally retarded sibling. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
Sailing My Shoe to Timbuktu: A Woman's Adventurous Search for Family, Spirit, and Love is a memoir. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
CITY CHRONICLES: REPORTS FROM THE HOME FRONT
Anna Balint, Allen Braden, Peter V. Breysse, Suzannah Dalzell, Darren Higgins, David Warren Paul, Steve Potter, Cecilie Scott, and Amontaine Woods celebrate the publication of (and read from) This Neutral Air, a special issue of Raven Chronicles about the "subterranean aftershocks" of that superterranean disaster involving those towers. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030, 7 pm, donations requested.
* JULIE ORRINGER, VENDELA VIDA
Orringer is the author of the short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater, in which one story begins, "I am the canker of my brother Sage's life. He has told me so in no uncertain terms. Tonight as we eat hamburgers in the car on the way to our first scuba class, he can't stop talking about the horrible fates that might befall me underwater." Vida is an editor at the most compelling literary magazine in the country, The Believer, and the author of a debut novel, And Now You Can Go, in which horror befalls the main character on the first page. (A stranger puts a gun to the narrator's head and the narrator surreally imagines "a bullet going through my thoughts.") Vida's book, like Orringer's, addresses and illustrates the humor, the helplessness, and the sheer fucking terror of everyday life. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
The mystery writer signs Silent Proof. Barnes & Noble Pacific Place, 600 Pine St, 264-0156, 12:30 pm, free.
The retired LAPD detective signs Death and Justice: An Exposé of Oklahoma's Death Row Machine. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 6:30 pm, free.
MARIA DOLAN, KATHRYN TRUE
The authors of Nature in the City: Seattle will talk about their book and show slides. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
The National Book Award-winning novelist lectures on the topic "What Makes an Enduring Story?" Johnson thinks it has something to do with "when a writer--traditional, experimental, literary, or pulp--stumbles consciously or unconsciously, by genius or by dumb luck, upon an archetypical character, an imaginative situation, a flexible concept that organizes a welter of complex feelings and ideas, or a fictional situation or premise so fertile and intriguing that other writers feel compelled to keep retelling it." The Playhouse, 200 Madison Ave N, Bainbridge Island, 842-7901, 7:30 pm, $10 general/$5 students and seniors.
MARK L. ARMOUR, ROB NEYER
The authors of Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way and Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups, respectively, talk about bats, balls, and other topics. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 4:30 pm, free.
We Never Speak of It: Idaho-Wyoming Poems 1889-1890 is a series of dramatic monologues from the perspectives of pioneer women and children. Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE, 6 pm, free.
Orchard, set in Wisconsin in the 1950s, is a novel about a painter whose life bears many resemblances to that of the artist Andrew Wyeth. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 6 pm, free.
TOD MARSHALL, ROBYN SCHIFF
Marshall is the author of Range of the Possible, a book about contemporary poets, and Dare Say, his debut poetry collection. Schiff's debut collection is Worth, which Mark Levine calls "a marvel." Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
ANNA MOCKLER, GREG HISCHAK, DAVID THORNBRUGH, JOHN McFARLAND
Mockler reads from Burning Salt, her new collection of stories. The other authors read from new work. Ravenna Third Place Books, 634-3400, 2 pm, free.
In a review of his first book, The Boy, the New York Times called attention to Murr's "genius for the unexpected." Tonight Murr reads from his strange and beautifully dark second novel, The Genius of the Sea. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5:30 pm, free.
* CYNTHIA KAPLAN
Why I'm Like This is a book of sarcastic and endearing first-person essays, à la Fran Lebowitz. The best way to describe it is to quote from it. Here's a paragraph selected at random: "There was a guy I slept with for five months. We had almost nothing to talk about but he could come to orgasm twice without ever pulling out, like that Doors lyric, 'Love me two times: I'm goin' away.' I was both sad and relieved when he ended it. At the time, the acid test for me was whether or not a guy had read Ethan Frome, and he failed. One night he fell asleep on the bench in his entryway with a piece of toast in his hand." Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free. (Also on Tues Sept 16 at University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.)
The Einstein's Dreams author reads from his new novel, Reunion, in which a character revisits his uncomfortable past. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
PETER PEREIRA, PAT SODEN, MICHAEL WIEGERS
Three editors--from Floating Bridge Press, the University of Washington Press, and Copper Canyon Press, respectively--talk about the tricky art of publishing poetry and take questions from the audience about what poetry editors are looking for. Richard Hugo House, 322-7030, 7 pm, free.
The impetus for A Hundred Little Hitlers: The Death of a Black Man, the Trial of a White Racist, and the Rise of the Neo-Nazi Movement in America was the murder of a man in Portland in 1988. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Mystery writer McGarrity signs Everyone Dies. Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 117 Cherry St, 587-5737, noon, free.
* CHARLES BAXTER
The author of The Feast of Love (a National Book Award nominee) reads from his new novel, Saul and Patsy--"a penetrating, surprisingly funny meditation on the dynamics of community belonging and acceptance," wrote in the New York Times last week. Eakin aptly noted that Baxter's writing consists of "subtle forays into ordinary lives," lacking the "pyrotechnics" and "gimmicks" that have "lately become prerequisites for buzz." Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
* DOUG NUFER, ANNA MOCKLER
Doug Nufer has spent a decade "writing increasingly elaborate constraint-driven novels," according to Rendezvous Reading Series curator (and fiction writer) Matt Briggs. Tonight, in an event titled "Burning Gerunds: New Work," Nufer and Mockler will read from their new work. Rendezvous, Jewel Box Theater, 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823, 7:30 pm, $5 donation.
The author of the thriller Frequencies talks about the trials and rewards of self-publishing. Richard Hugo House, 322-7030, 7:30 pm, free.
The author discusses and signs Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 6 pm, free.
The Good House is a horror novel. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
ROY E. GEPHART
Gephart signs Hanford: A Conversation About Nuclear Waste and Cleanup and answers your questions about the nuclear waste industry and environmental havoc. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
* MONICA ALI
See Stranger Suggests. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
HOMELAND--Words. So many words. Tuesdays at 7 pm. Caffe Vita, 1005 E Pike St, 709-4440, free.
IT'S ABOUT TIME READING SERIES--Featured readers: Sean Bentley, John Gorski, Priscilla Long, Ron Starr, Sharon Cumberland. Thurs Sept 11 at 7:30 pm. Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE, 525-2347, free.