Your Week in Readings: The best literary events from December 7th to 13th

MONDAY Your week begins at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Tonight, they’re hosting Christopher T. Bayley, author of Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle. For all its political faults, one thing you’ve got to give Seattle: in comparison to east coast cities, it’s remarkably free from corruption. (Many would argue that this lack of corruption is why it’s very hard to get major infrastructure projects done in this town. Sometimes it takes a little grift to grease the wheels.) Tonight, Bayley will talk about the exception that proves the rule: a payola scheme that rocked the SPD.

TUESDAY It’s a very special night for this here blog. Dock Street Salon at Phinney Books is always a fun time: a short reading from a pair of guests, followed by a lively question and answer session, occasionally with some free libations to spice up the conversation. Tonight’s guests are, uh, Martin McClellan and Paul Constant, the co-founders of the Seattle Review of Books. We’ll read some of our stuff, and then we’ll talk about whatever you want to talk about: book reviewing, the Seattle literary scene, holiday gift recommendations. We hope you’ll come and talk with us. It’ll be a lot of fun!

But our rule around here is that if an event in this column features a SRoB connection, we provide an alternate, non-SRoB-affiliated event for the sake of fairness. So our ALTERNATE TUESDAY event is at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight. Short story author Elizabeth Tallent is reading there. She hasn’t read in Seattle since the publication of her last book of stories, in 1993. Her newest collection is titled Mendocino Fire. This, then, is a generational event. If you haven’t heard of Tallent, chances are it’s because you weren’t paying attention to literary fiction two decades ago. Here’s an interview with Tallent to help get you up to speed.

WEDNESDAY Tonight, I couldn’t choose between two events. One is a fun genre event, and the other is a celebration of Northwest fiction history. The first is Noir at the Bar at the Alibi Room This is an opportunity for the Seattle crime fiction opportunity to show off what they’ve been working on, with readings from Robert Dugoni, Ingrid Thoft, Danny Gardner, Sarah Chen, Frank Zafiro, Brian Thornton, and Michael Pool. The MC for the evening is Will "The Thrill" Viharo, a prolific pulp novelist who recently moved to town.

Meanwhile, Tess Gallagher will be reading at Elliott Bay Book Company. She’s presenting Beginners, a new collection of Raymond Carver stories. These are the stories that would eventually, in edited form, appear in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, but they’ve been “‘re-established’ by longtime Raymond Carver scholars William L. Stull and Maureen P. Carroll.” I don’t know if “de-editing” a story collection is a good idea or not, but it’s certainly an interesting one.

THURSDAY Beloved local travel writer (and marijuana legalization advocate) Rick Steves reads at Broadway Performance Hall Tonight, he’s examining the idea of "travelling as a political act.”

FRIDAY Here's a very special event: “3 for 3,” happening at the Hugo House. Songwriters from The Bushwick Book Club, the local music organization that writes new music in response to works of fiction, will perform songs inspired by Seattle writers: David Laskin’s family historical narrative The Family, David Lasky and Frank M. Young’s excellent musical biography comic The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, and Donna Miscolta’s novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced. Besides the fun of seeing local writers and local musicians teaming up to create something new, this evening is also a fundraiser for STYLE: Songwriting Through Youth Literature Education. (Lets just take a moment to reflect on the awesomeness of that acronym. Good job, style. That shit is tight.)

SATURDAY It’s time for a new edition of Margin Shift’s reading series. Margin Shift is a poetry collective including writers like Maged Zaher, Don Mee Choi, and Jane Wong. Tonight’s reading includes the Denver poets Sueyeun Juliette Lee and Joshua Ware, as well as excellent Seattle poet EJ Koh. (Please note the Margin Shift has moved their reading series to Common AREA Maintenance in Belltown.) If you love poetry, you’ll be here tonight.

SUNDAY Town Hall Seattle hosts a very special taping of a holiday-themed episode of ”That Stack of Books,” a podcast hosted by beloved Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl and former radio host Steve Scher. For this one, they’ll discuss holiday gift recommendations. As we’ve said many times before (and will continue to say forever and ever) books make the best gifts, and a book recommended by Nancy Pearl is a very special book indeed.