Your Week in Readings: The best literary events from June 29th - July 5th

Wednesday June 29: Know the Mother Reading

Desiree Cooper’s short story collection Know the Mother examines motherhood in all its complicated variations — mothers of unborn children, mothers of adults, unhappy mothers. Seattle author Tara Conklin’s novel The House Girl is a novel about a runaway slave’s legacy. These two should deliver a fascinating conversation about race and gender. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Thursday June 30: So Much for That Winter Reading

See our Event of the Week column for more details. Seattle Public Library, Capitol Hill Branch, 425 Harvard Ave E., htp:// Free. All ages. 6:30 p.m.

Friday July 1: The Starving Artist Cookbook Reading

Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you have to eat garbage. Artist Sara Zin learned how to cook real food from real ingredients, and now she’s published The Starving Artist Cookbook: Illustrated Recipes for First-Time Cooks. For God’s sake, stop eating Lunchables three times a day and go listen to this woman. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Saturday July 2: Go Read An Invisible Sign of My Own

There are no readings or literary events to speak of over 4th of July weekend, so instead I’m going to recommend three short books you can read in the span of a single day. The first one is Aimee Bender’s remarkable novel An Invisible Sign of My Own. It’s about a fragile young woman who somehow becomes a schoolteacher, even though she’s woefully unprepared to be a schoolteacher. Eventually, she meets the most adorable love interest to ever appear in fiction, and there’s a horrible accident. Will things work out? Is that even the right question to ask?

Sunday July 3: Go Read an Ed McBain Novel

If your hobbies include lying on the couch and watching Law & Order reruns, you should give one of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels a shot. It’s a series, but it doesn’t run in strict episode-to-episode order; you can start reading anywhere you want. The 87th Precinct books are police procedurals with razor-sharp dialogue, interesting crimes, and memorable scenes. I read three in a day, once.

Monday July 4: Go Read Fup

Jim Dodge’s novella Fup is just about the perfect short read: it’s about an old man who winds up in charge of his grandson’s welfare. The two of them adopt a pet duck, who they name Fup. (Get it? Fup Duck?) The duck changes both of their lives for the better. Fup is funny and sad and optimistic and about as much fun as you can find between two covers.

Tuesday July 5: Clarion West Presents Elizabeth Bear

Seattle-area sci-fi writing organization Clarion West brings Elizabeth Bear to town as part of its summer reading series. Bear has written 27 novels and over 100 short stories in the last 11 years alone—step aside, Stephen King—about an array of topics including espionage, LGBT rights, witchcraft, and steampunk brothels. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, Free. All ages. 7 p.m.