Beyond the Valley of Thorns is book 2 in a series that began with The Dark Hills Divide. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
In Bender's new short-story collection, Willful Creatures, some (literally) pumpkinheaded parents try to love their little boy whose head is an iron; a man has his passions stripped from him at every turn by a gun-toting God; and a boy is born with keys instead of fingers. (Paul Constant) Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Walker reads from Dancing to the Concertina's Tune: A Prison Teacher's Memoir. Ravenna Third Place, 6504 20th Ave NE, 525-2347, 7:30 pm, free.
RANDY MICHAEL SIGNOR
The Seattle writer reads from Meeting Across the River: Stories Inspired by the Haunting Bruce Springsteen Song. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Yak Butter Blues is about a pilgrimage the author takes from Lhasa to Kathmandu, a journey that's forbidden to Tibetans. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 1 pm, free.
Mallinson reads from The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest: The Inside Scoop on Where to Take Your Dog. Her dachshunds will be with her. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 3 pm, free.
Day Mark is a collection of poetry. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
LARRY MATSUDA, ROBERT PENA, KRISTIN GUEST
The editors and contributors read from Community and Difference: Teaching, Pluralism, and Social Justice. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Renewing the Countryside: Washington examines "rural and urban sensibility practices, policies, and stewardship." Elliott Bay Book Company, www.sustainablenorthwest.org, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
This reading series in a bar continues tonight with the theme "Sweet Valley Hell," hosted by Gary Zinter. Bus Stop, 508 E Pine St, 322-9123, 8 pm, free.
You Poor Monster is the author's "funny, mazy third novel" (Publisher's Weekly). It's about a lawyer and a divorce. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
The Testing of Luther Albright is Bezos's debut novel. It's dedicated to some guy named Jeff. University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
HOMELAND—Words. So many words. Tuesdays at 7 pm. Caffe Vita, 1005 E Pike St, 709-4440, free.
POETSWEST—Featured readers and an open mic. Sundays at 7 pm. Penny Cafe, 1707 NW Market St, 682-1268, free.
SEATTLE SPIT—Featured readers and an open mic. First Thursday of every month at 8:30 pm. The Wild Rose, 1021 E Pike St, free.