Third Place Books Ravenna is hosting "America's Ultimate Cheapskate" tonight.

This week in Constant Reader, I'm trying something new: Short short story reviews. I'm pleased that the first round includes Doug Dorst, whose new book The Surf Guru is a fine collection of stories. (If the title is scary for you: Relax, it isn't a bunch of stories about surfing.) I very much enjoyed Dorst's debut novel, Alive in Necropolis, and this is a strong second showing from the author. Dorst reads at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight.

And New Yorker contributor Tom Bissell reads at University Book Store. His book Extra Lives is subtitled Why Video Games Matter. It is sure to be better than the other book on the subject, Everything Bad Is Good for You. Bissell comes clean about his addiction to the Grand Theft Auto series and talks to experts about video games as art, or at least video games as not escapism for the socially retarded.

Support The Stranger

Either of the latter two readings should be pretty great (sorry, cheapskate).

The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here. And if you're planning on staying in and you're looking for personalized book recommendations, feel free to tell me the books you like and ask me what to read next over at Questionland.