Sherman Alexie is the best reason in the world to cram yourself into a bookstore basement with the entire population of Seattle. He’s funny as hell—“like a standup comedian,” I’ve heard Alexie virgins exclaim—and he understands that readings are performance. An Alexie reading is not just about communication, it’s about empathy—making a room full of people feel the exact same emotion at the exact same time. Tonight, he’s debuting his new book of poetry, What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned, and he’ll autograph copies for the perfect Seattle-centric Christmas gift. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave,, 7 pm, free)