Self-described as "A Biography of Cancer," The Emperor of All Maladies traces cancer's "life" from the dawn of medicine in ancient Egypt to today. Siddhartha Mukherjee recognizes that cancer is the necessary evil twin to organic cells, just as adaptable and indomitable as we are. Along the way, we learn about the bizarre methods science has used to try to fight cancer and watch as it consumes the lives of arrogant doctors who believed they could best it once and for all. You'll never read a livelier biography about a more morbid subject. (Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave, 621-2230, 7:30 pm, $15)

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