Quick Lit: June 9-June 15

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Jamling Norgay and Araceli Segarra at 27, 600' on the Southeast Ridge of Mount Everest
PHOTO BY DAVID BREASHEARS

Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Rosario Dawson, Writers with Drinks, Adam Savage, David Breashears, Gail Sheehy, and more.

Wednesday, June 9

Art of Activism with Rosario Dawson
The Redford Center will celebrate actress, activist, and Voto Latino co-founder Rosario Dawson. The program will also honor our Art of Activism award winners James Berk and Martha Ryan, two Bay Area leaders nominated by their communities for their outstanding work.
7 p.m., $20
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
1881 Post, SF
www.redfordcenter.org

The Artist in the Office
Author Summer Pierre discusses her new book, The Artist in the Office: How to creatively survive and thrive seven days a week.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Marina
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633

David Breashears
Hear Breashears discuss mountain climbing and filmmaking, as well as pay tribute to the spirit of the late photographers and adventurers Galen and Barbara Rowell. Wilderness explorer and writer Craig Childs will be presented with the 2009 Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure.
7:30 p.m., $35
Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel
Peacock Court
1 Nob Hill Circle, SF
www.commonwealthclub.org

Killing Time
Author John Hollway recounts an 18-year odyssey to prove the innocence of John Thompson, a man who is convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a prominent white man in New Orleans.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Laurel Village
3515 California, SF
(415) 221-3666

Second Nature: The inner lives of animals
Animal behaviorist and author Jonathan Balcombe draws on his latest research, observational studies, and personal anecdotes to reveal the animal experience, including emotions, problem solving, and moral judgment.
7 p.m., free
Green Arcade
1680 Market, SF
(415) 431-6800

Thursday, June 10

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
C.W. Gortner will read from his new novel about the dramatic, tragic, and misunderstood life of one of history’s most powerful and controversial women.
7 p.m., free
BookShop West Portal
80 West Portal, SF
(415) 564-8080

The First Tycoon
Author T.J. Stiles presents, The First Tycoon: The epic life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the first authoritative look at Vanderbilt’s life.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Berkeley
1760 4th St., Berkeley
(510) 525-7777

Forbidden Creatures
Author Peter Laufer shares his newest nonfiction book titled, Forbidden Creatures: Inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Castro
2275 Market, SF
(415) 864-6777

Seaworthy
Author Linda Greenlaw talks about her new book which offers a compelling narrative about a person setting her own terms and finding her true self between land and water.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Marina
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633

“Why There Are Words” Reading Series
Hear authors read from their work on the theme of “heat” at this informal art gallery literary salon featuring Cara Black, Catherine Brady, Elizabeth Eslami, Joe Quirk, Prartho Sereno, and Todd Zuniga.
7 p.m., $5
Studio 333
333 Caledonia, Sausalito
http://whytherearewords.wordpress.com

Friday, June 11

The Devil’s Punchbowl
Hear contemporary writers living in California reflect on aspects of the state’s natural and man-made geography at this release of The Devil’s Punchbowl: A cultural and geographic map of California.
7 p.m., free
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia, SF
www.mtbs.com

Saturday, June 12

Very Good Looking Seeks Same
Author Robert Philipson will read and sign copies of his new book where he presents an entertaining and honest collection of original poetry depicting gay men in search of love.
4 p.m., free
A Different Light Bookstore
489 Castro, SF
(415) 431-0891

Writers with Drinks
This literary variety show combines poetry, stand-up, comedy, science fiction, romance, mystery, literary fiction, erotica, memoir, zines, and  blogs with drinks to raise money for local, worthy causes. This installment to feature Tobias Wolff, Lev Grossman, Taylor Mali, Andrew Lam, Corrina Bain, and Bill Carter with host Charlie Jane Anders. All proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture.
7:30 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale
Make Out Room
3225 22nd St., SF
www.writerswithdrinks.com

Sunday, June 13


Scent of the Missing
Susannah Charleston details her training and experiences with Dallas’ elite Metro Area Rescue K9 unit, which carries over into her training her own search-and-rescue dog, Puzzle.
2 p.m., free
BookShop West Portal
80 West Portal, SF
(415) 564-8080


Monday, June 14

“Make It: How to DIY”
Hear Mark Frauenfelder, editor of Make magazine, in conversation with the host of Mythbusters Adam Savage about how to create useful gadgets from everyday objects.
6:30 p.m., $20
Commonwealth Club
2nd floor
595 Market, SF
(415) 597-6700


Tuesday, June 15

Bonobo Handshake
In 2005, author Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After settling in a bonobo sanctuary, Woods realized that both the human and ape inhabitants were refugees from unspeakable violence.
7 p.m., free
BookShop West Portal
80 West Portal, SF
(415) 564-8080

Kicking In
See author Richard Wirick discuss his latest story collection, a compilation of dark, edgy, tales chronicling the outer limits of drug culture.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Marina
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-5158

Passages in Caregiving
Best-selling author Gail Sheehy will discuss her new book which recounts her journey as a caregiver for her husband, media pioneer Clay Felker, and offers stories about other Americans who find ways to outwit our broken health care system and ways to keep the caregiver healthy.
7:30 p.m., $25
Jewish Community Center
3200 California, SF
(415) 292-1233
www.jccsf.org/arts

Private Life
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley discusses her new novel that traverses the intimate landscape of one woman’s life from the 1880’s to World War II.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness, SF
(415) 776-1111

She Looks Just Like You
Amie Miller presents a much needed cultural road map to what it means to become a parent, even when the usual categories don’t fit.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Castro
2275 Market, SF
(415) 864-6777