There are readings everywhere tonight.

In Renton (see?) Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu will discuss the failure of our educational systems in general and the failure of our educational systems in regards to young African-American men in particular. On Beacon Hill, Yolanda Alaniz and Megan Cornish will give a lecture "about campus, farmworker and Chicana feminist organizing at the University of Washington, in the Yakima Valley, and in the Seattle community."

And at REI (double-see?) Dan Nelson will give a signing and Power Point presentation. He is the author of Snowshoe Routes: Washington- 2nd Edition. Up at Third Place Books, Jay Spenser, who has read at practically every book venue in town, reads from The Airplane here tonight. Quoth my intern: "His book tour is unstoppable!" Indeed.

At Elliott Bay Book company, Stephanie Kallos reads from her second novel, which is titled Sing Them Home. Kallos wrote the well-received Broken For You, and I was considering reading this book until I read that it is about some kids whose mother blows away in a tornado and is never seen again. The mother's name is Hope. That kind of heavy-handed symbolism practically begs "Don't read me!" to me.

Up at the University Book Store, Mark Bittman, who writes about food, will read from Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes. In my opinion, Bittman's How to Cook Everything is essential. It's the cookbook that taught me how to cook. This has to be the reading of the night. Meanwhile, not far from the University Book Store, someone named Zhenya Lavy reads from a book called Food for Thought: The Ethics, Culture, and Politics of Eating. This is unfortunate timing, being the author of a book about food in a week that Michael Pollan comes to town and on the same night that Mark Bittman is reading on the same topic nearby.

UPDATE: The Bittman reading and Lavy's reading have been combined and will take place in Kane Hall. More details here.

Near Lavy's reading in Kane Hall, there is also a lecture entitled 'Contemporary Threats to Religious Liberty in the U.S.' I have nothing to say about that.

The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here.