Past Malice is a mystery about a New England tourist town turned killing field. Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 117 Cherry St, 587-5737, noon, free.
The author of Back Under Sail: A Wilderness Race talks about sailing and how it saved her. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
SKYE KATHLEEN MOODY, G. M. FORD
The two mystery writers read from recent work. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
The Machine Crusade is a continuation of the Dune series; this one is written by the now-deceased original author's brother. Barnes & Noble, 2700 NE University Village, 517-4107, 7 pm, free. (Also on Oct 28 at Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.)
On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature includes landscape-centric considerations on Theodore Roethke, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gary Snyder, and other writers. Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
The author reads from Sleeping in Caves: A Sixties Himalayan Memoir. Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE, 525-2347, 7:30 pm, free. (Also on Oct 26 at Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 2 pm, free.)
Judging from the titles of the pieces in Field Recordings, Skoog's poems are about things like pilgrims, snow, and parish chatter. His beginnings are very Richard Hugo ("Say the rain rides in from the west"), and his endings are sometimes terrific: "The dinner rush sings headache but I struggle apron forward to bear your strange dinner." Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 2414 N 45th St, 633-0811, 7:30 pm, free.
The "number-one-bestselling crime writer of all time" (according to the press release) signs Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 6 pm, free.
* NANCY PEARL
Our very famous librarian reads from and talks about Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
May the Best Man Die is--well, you can probably tell from the title what it is. Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 587-5737, noon, free. (Also at Ravenna Third Place Books, 525-2347, 6 pm, free.)
Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest is about mill towns and logging camps. Everything you ever wanted to know. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 2 pm, free.
Niffenegger's debut novel is The Time Traveler's Wife. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 4:30 pm, free.
The science fiction writer signs Darwin's Children. Capitol Hill Half Price Books, 115 Belmont Ave E, 267-4895, 6 pm, free.
Fulghum signs the 15th-anniversary edition of his Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON, LAWRENCE R. SMITH
Okay, this is kind of confusing. So let me just quote the press material: "Several things are going on here this evening. By coincidence, it worked out that Maxine Hong Kingston and Lawrence R. Smith would be in Seattle to read at Elliott Bay on this date. By no coincidence, they are friends. And while each is here with quite distinctively separate books--she with the long awaited big prose book, The Fifth Book of Peace; he with a new novel, Annie's Soup Kitchen--they are also collaborators in an unusual project which will get screened as part of this evening's goings-on. Truck Girl is a short film directed by Lawrence Smith--with a featured part being played by Maxine Hong Kingston ('Max' the bartender, no less). The film will be the 'bonus' part to the evening." Make sense? Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free with ticket.
The attention-getting and helpfully obnoxious liberal (who U.S. Catholic calls the "muckraker laureate") talks about his new book, Dude, Where's My Country? Paramount Theatre, 911 E Pine St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, $15-75.
BRENDA HILLMAN, PATRICIA DIENSTFREY
Hillman and Dienstfrey are the editors of The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood, a book of essays. Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 633-0811, 2 pm, free.
* VICTOR LaVALLE
The author of the critically heralded Slapboxing with Jesus reads from his new book, The Ecstatic, which Colson Whitehead describes as a "harrowing exploration of one family's disintegration" and praises as "a disquieting labyrinth of a novel." Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 4 pm, free.
* COLLOQUE WHEEL READING SERIES
Stacey Levine and John Burgess, immensely talented writers both, read from new work. Victrola, 411 15th Ave E, 325-6520, 7 pm, free.
The Outside columnist reads from Hold the Enlightenment: More Travel, Less Bliss. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
JOHN DE GRAFF, STEVE BESRUSHKA
Take Back Your Time is a collection of essays about time management. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
Naked in Baghdad chronicles NPR foreign correspondent Garrels' experiences as one of 16 reporters who stayed in Baghdad during the recent invasion. University of Washington, Kane Hall 130, 634-3400, 7 pm, free with ticket. (Also on Oct 28 at Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.)
* NANCY MAIRS
A Troubled Guest: Life and Death Stories is about capital punishment, assisted suicide, and other equally upbeat topics. Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
* SANDRA CISNEROS
See Stranger Suggests. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 621-2330, 7:30 pm, $9-23.
One Last Look is a novel written in diary form. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Cold Justice is a suspense novel featuring half of a man's face on the cover. Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 587-5737, noon, free.
* REBECCA BROWN
Amy Bloom says that Rebecca Brown's "prose is like Shaker furniture: simple, strong, and useful in the most beautiful sense." This is a fundraiser for a photography project about queer women and "transfolks." LGBT Community Center, 1115 E Pike St, 323-6540, 6 pm, $10 suggested donation.
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage pays tribute to the airmen shot down over Chichi Jima during that nasty second World War. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
The Edinburgh-based performance poet reads from Bad Ass Raindrop. I'm not kidding, that's what it's called. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Maran discusses Dirty: A Search for Answers Inside America's Teenage Drug Epidemic. University of Washington, Kane Hall 220, 634-3400, 7 pm, free with ticket.
* JONATHAN RABAN
If you don't go to this reading, you are clueless. Or stupid. (See review in this week's issue, page 28.) Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
POETSWEST--Featuring Jim Lutz, Jack McCarthy, and R. D. Shadowbyrd. Sun Oct 26 at 7 pm. Penny Cafe, 1707 NW Market St, 682-1268, free.
STAGE FRIGHT--Youth open mic. Fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 pm. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030, free.
TAKE A POEM INTO YOUR HEART--Fourth Friday of every month at 7:15 pm. Oct 24: Daughters of Dementia--six poets, including Esther Helfgott. Lottie Motts Coffee Shop, 4900 Rainier Ave S, 725-8199, free.