There are three events I'm going to mention tonight.

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Our first event is at the Central Library. It's time for the Washington State Book Awards again. Authors including Jim Lynch, Lucia Perillo, and Timothy Egan will appear at an awards ceremony for best books by Washingtonians. Egan is the superhero in this equation, for sure.

Matthew Zapruder is up at Open Books tonight. Come on All You Ghosts is a collection of poetry from Zapruder, who is a poet who you should know.

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But the reading I'm most excited for is New Yorker editor Ben Greenman at Unviersity Book Store. I review a short story of Greenman's in this week's Constant Reader, but that's from a collection he put out in June. He has a more recent book called Celebrity Chekhov, and it is hilarious and thought-provoking. What he has done is taken short stories by Anton Chekhov and inserted modern-day celebrities (Tiger Woods, David Letterman, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Oprah) into the main character's roles. There are some viscerally funny images, like this, from the beginning of "Hush":

Eminem, a writer of hip-hop records, returns home late at night, grave and anxious, with a peculiar air of concentration. He looks like a man expecting a police raid or contemplating suicide. Pacing about his rooms, he halts abruptly, ruffles up his hair, and says in the tone in which Laertes announces his intention of avenging his sister: "Shattered, soul-weary, misery on my heart, and then to sit down and write. And this is life! Nobody has described the agonizing pain in the soul of a writer who has to amuse the crowd when his heart is heavy or to shed tears on command when his heart is light. I must be playful, coldly unconcerned, witty, but what if I am weighed down with misery, what if I am ill, or my child is dying?"

But the sense you don't get from that opening paragraph is that this isn't just a cut-and-paste job. Greenman has manipulated Chekhov into accepting our celebrities as characters. The stories take on new meaning (the first story, an adaptation of "Tall and Short," is reconsidered as a meeting between Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, and it couldn't have been written by someone who does not closely follow celebrity gossip. I swear, there's nuance and real sadness there) and they function on so many levels. It's really an astonishing book, and this is the reading of the night.

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.