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1. While it's understandable that Barack Obama's memoir was centered around his absent father, a curious reader's mind surely turns to the lesser-documented influence that his mother must have made on him as a man and a politician. Janny Scott, the author of A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother, will be speaking at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight about the restless life of the young woman who gave birth to the president. She's researched Stanley Ann Dunham's life—including her ties to Seattle—and she'll give a talk and answer any questions you may have. One can only hope that a still-furious birther will show up with some addled questions; Scott is the person who can debunk them.

2. We have a super-late addition to the readings calendar for tonight. Chris Cleave, who is the author of the Seattle Reads choice for 2011, Little Bee, will be reading tonight at the Sorrento Hotel's Fireside room as a Night School symposium at 8:30. You can read more information about that here. Cleave will be reading in libraries all around town this week. I'm not a fan of his book. Well, that's not exactly true. I can't get past the first two sentences: "Most days I wish I was a British Pound coin instead of an African Girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming." That is a master class in bad writing, right there.

3. Visit the readings calendar for everything else going on tonight, including a history of Cambodia's troubles and a couple of interesting poets.