Quick Lit: May 5-May 11

Jillian Lauren talks about her life in a harem at Books Inc. on Tues/11

Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Jillian Lauren, Anna Quindlen, Bookswap, ghost photos, how to enjoy food and stay slim, New Yorker cartoonists, an author who claims she can revolutionize youir spending habits, and more.

Wednesday, May 5

Swinging from My Heels
The colorful, bawdy golfer Christina Kim teams up with author Alan Shipnuck to write a novel about the 2009 Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.
7 p.m., free
400 Post, SF
(415) 399-1633

Thursday, May 6

Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes
Listen as author Judith B. Tankard discusses her new book about the life and work of Beatrix Farrand, one of the foremost landscape architects of the early 1900s in a time when most women were barred from the professional world. Tankard’s book presents readers with watercolor renderings of Farrand’s designs, archival photos, and design plans.
6 p.m., $12
Mechanics’ Institute
57 Post, SF
(415) 393-0100

The Big Bang Symphony: A novel of Antartica
Author Lucy Jane Bledsoe will discuss and sign her new novel about three women who become involved in each other's lives after finding themselves transformed by their time on “the Ice.”
7 p.m., free
DIESEL, A Bookstore
5433 College, Oak.
(510) 653-9965

“The Ecopoetics of Water”
Participate in this special presentation by Professor and poet Brenda Hillman and Biodiversity scientist Healy Hamilton at this “Expert’s Mind” discussion, that asks scholars, poets, artists, scientists, and audience members to reexamine and challenge established ideas.
7:30 p.m., $22
Koret Auditorium
de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
Golden Gate Park, SF
(415) 354-0437

Picture the Dead
Attend this celebration and launch party for Lisa Brown's and Adele Griffin's new mystery book set against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Civil War-era attire encouraged. Featuring raffle prizes, ghost photos taken of all book buyers, refreshments, and special guest host Daniel Handler.
7:30 p.m., free
The Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688
Friday, May 7

Booksmith Bookswap
Bring a book you loved but are prepared to part with and join other smart, creative lit-minded souls of the city for a night of good company, swell atmosphere, delicious Reverie food, free-flowing wine, wise discourse and hilarious anecdotes. Author Lewis Buzbee, of The Yellow Lighted Bookshop and Steinbeck’s Ghost, will be there. You'll also receive a 20% off discount card.
6:30 p.m., $25
The Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

Human Rights Zine

Join authors and artists from SFSU for the release of their recently published human rights zine, Survival Rx: Knowledge for Health Equality, that focuses on themes of peace, clean water, food security, indigenous peoples’ and prisoners’ rights.
6 p.m., free
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck, Berk.
(510) 649-1320

Saturday, May 8

Bernal Yoga Literary Series
Enjoy this reading from local writers KM Soehnlein, Maggie Shipstead, Dina Hardy, Karin Cotterman, Francois Luong, Melissa Stein, and Paul Festa. Reception to follow.
7pm, $5 suggested donation
Bernal Yoga
461 Cortland, SF

French Women Don’t Get Fat

Hear author Mireille Guiliano discuss her new cookbook organized around her three favorite pastimes, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and learn from the writer of the ultimate non–diet book on how to enjoy food and stay slim.
11:45 a.m., free
CUESA Teaching Kitchen, North Arcade
Ferry Building
101 Embarcadero, SF
(415) 291-3276, ext. 101

I Hotel
Author Karen Tei Yamashita wrote this book consisting of ten novellas after interviewing activists from the Asian American movement, TWLF Strikers, I-Hotel tenants, and community residents to capture the International Hotel tenants fight against eviction in the Bay Area. The book is illustrated by Leland Wong.
3 p.m., free
Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University, Berk.
(510) 548-2350

Sunday, May 9

Anna Quindlen
Bestselling novelist and award-winning journalist Anna Quindlen will discuss her body of work including her new book, Every Last One, a story about a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.
8 p.m., $20
Herbst Theater
401 Van Ness, SF
www.city boxoffice.com

Monday, May 10

America, War, and Empire: A love-hate relationship
Newsweek editor and author Evan Thomas will explore our nation’s idiosyncratic urge to invade via the context of the Spanish-American war.
6 p.m., $35
Commonwealth Club
595 Market, 2nd floor, SF
(415) 597-6700

Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It
Hear author Billee Sharp shares her freecycling, budgey-savvy, barter-better wisdom that she expounds in her new step-by-step handbook that can revolutionize your spending habits. Learn how to raise organic veggies, , eco-clean your house, cure minor maladies, save money on small repairs, and more.
7:30 p.m., free
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck, Berk.
(510) 649-1320

Sy Montgomery
Hear naturalist, bestselling author, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator Sy Montgomery discuss her new book, Birdology: Lessons learned from a pack of hens, a peck of pigeons, cantankerous crows, fierce falcons, hip hop parrots, baby hummingbirds, and one murderously big cassowary. Don’t miss Montgomery revealing seven essential truths about birds at this reading.
7:30 p.m., free
The Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

Tuesday, May 11

George Booth and Matthew Diffee
Hear these two New Yorker cartoonists discuss Booth’s new book, About Dogs,  and Diffee’s work on the off-Broadway event, The Rejection Show, featuring the rejected work of otherwise successful comedic writers and performers. With special guest Sophie McCall.
8 p.m., $20
Herbst Theater
401 Van Ness, SF

Chinese Immigrant Poetry of Angel Island
Hear author and scholar Marlon Hom discuss the poetry that thousands of Chinese immigrants inscribed on the walls of Angel Island detention centers during their immigration in the early 20th century, and how these poems give us a rare glimpse into these immigrants reasons for leaving China and their thoughts and dreams upon arrival in the United States.
12:30 p.m., free
111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna, SF
(415) 974-1719

Dead in the Family
Hear author Charlaine Harris discuss her new mystery novel about Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic Luisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and other odd creatures. the television series True Blood was based on Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels.
7 p.m., free
233 Winston Drive, SF
(415) 731-0665

Private Life
Author Jane Smiley will discuss her novel about a 27 year old girl who marries a self-absorbed, obsessive man in 1905, when women were expected to live utterly subordinated to their husbands, and how historical disasters like the 1906 San Francisco earthquake helped to shape this woman’s private life and how to come to terms with it.
6 p.m., $12
Mechanics’ Institute
57 Post, SF
(415) 393-0100

Some Girls: My life in a harem
Hear author Jillian Lauren discusss her new book outlineing her coming of age, from a punk rock loving girl in New Jersey, to a stripper that winds up in a prince’s harem in Brunei, to the wife of Weezer bassist Scott Shiner.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc.
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633