IT'S ABOUT TIME READING BENEFIT--Esther Altshul Helfgott's eclectic monthly reading series is usually held at the University branch of the Public Library, but tonight's display of poetry gets a special venue for worthwhile fundraising. Open Books, 2414 N 4th St, 633-0811, 7 pm, donation.

TONY HORWITZ--A behind-the-scenes look at the Civil War re-enactment movement, written with insight and humor, Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic enjoyed popular acclaim when it was published last year. Horwitz visits for the paperback edition. University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.

J. GREGORY KEYES, HOWARD WALDROP--Local sci-fi sensations read from their latest novels: Keyes from A Calculus of Angels and Waldrop from Going Home Again. Kane Hall 220, UW Campus, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.

ZOYA ZARUBINA--Zarubina's life is the stuff of spy novels: interpreting for Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, and later at the Nuremberg Trials, she informed for the KGB until she turned to work for peace. She reads from her story, Inside Russia: The Life and Times of Zoya Zarubina, written with Inez Cope Jeffrey. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.


MATT DICKINSON--Dickinson adds to the accounts of catastrophe on Mount Everest, recounting his experience as a cameraman during the 1996 storm in the dramatically-titled The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.


MARJORIE POWER--Power's most recent chapbook, Dave Poems, includes work published in well-respected poetry journals; her work is described as "subterranean... a new source of light and renewal." (Judith Skillman) Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.


*ROBIN MERIGAN, AMY HALLORAN, PETER SAMUEL NICOLAI, PEGGY SULLIVAN--Three local readers and a musician: Merigan reads from The Reluctant Electra, a collection of poems that includes a 1999 William Stafford Award-winner; Halloran, in what may well be her last Seattle reading before she leaves for the east, reads from new work; and Nicolai reads from Indian Heaven, which recounts his adventures from Navy to prison to life on the road. Peggy Sullivan accompanies with country blues ballads. Titlewave Reading Series, 7 Mercer St, 324-6379, 7:30 pm, free.


MARTIN GOLDSTEIN--A sensitive guide to our furry friends, Goldstein's The Nature of Animal Healing offers naturopathic advice and home remedies. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.


RICHARD MASON--Twenty-one-year-old Oxford student Mason will more than fund his education with The Drowning People, his debut novel of suspense and romance. A cleanly penned page-turner ripe for summer consumption. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.

TERRY BROOKS--Brooks is the perfect person to expand on George Lucas' fantastic universe. He signs his novelization, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Elliott Bay, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7 pm, free.

BAILEY WHITE--Chickens, peanuts, and pine populate White's small-town world, which she frequently explores on public radio. She visits here for the paperback release of her popular novel, Quite a Year for Plums. Town Hall Seattle, 8th Ave & Seneca, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.



Note to regularly programmed open mics: The Stranger will list events only if we receive an announcement--regular listings will be dropped unless we are notified that the events are in fact ongoing.


--Words and music add up in this evening venue, tonight presenting Open Mic O'Rama. Four Angels, 1400 14th Ave (at Union), 689-8661, 7:30 pm, free.

THE PEARL--Turn irritation into beauty: bring fiction, poetry, film or drama. Every first Thursday celebrates Dead Poets. The Pearl, 4215 University Way NE, 547-3326, 8 pm, free.


WORD ANARCHY--Mark Bruback hosts a free-for-all literary open mic. Left Bank Books, 92 Pike & 1st Ave, 622-0195, 8 pm, free.


RED SKY POETRY THEATER--Continuing its 18th season of readings, spotlighting local writers plus an open mic. Globe Cafe, 1531 14th off Pine, 633-5647, 7 pm, free.


LIVINGROOM--Every Monday about this time, people read and rant and play music. Habitat Espresso, 222 Broadway E, 689-8661, 7:30 pm, free.


HOMELAND--The homiest of open mics, with espresso chocolate chip cookies. Globe Cafe, 1531 14th Ave (at Pine), 324-8815, 7:30 pm, free.