Christopher Ryan's book Sex at Dawn, an anthropological study of the history of sex and what we can learn from it, was a bestseller that reimagined the possibilities of sex. His latest book, Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress, questions the idea of progress as a central human pursuit, with plenty of historical examples. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com, 7 pm, free.
Local literary organizer extraordinaire Kate Berwanger invites six local writers to tell spooky stories inside the Pine Box, which used to be a funeral home The press release indicates that "this is a black-tie affair. Masks, veils, and other disguises strongly encouraged." The Pine Box, 1600 Melrose Ave,588-0375, http://www.pineboxbar.com/, $25.
Seattle writer Jessica Mooney's eagerly awaited new chapbook, Parting Gifts for Losing Contestants, is a collection of essays about grief. Mooney will be joined by Seattle poet Sarah Galvin, and she'll be interviewed onstage by arts writer Leah Baltus. Hugo House, 1634 11th Avenue, 322-7030, http://hugohouse.org, 7 pm, free.
See our Event of the Week column for more details. Various locations and times.
Author Madeline ffitch was born and raised here in the Northwest, and so was Helen, the main character of her new novel Stay and Fight. When Helen moves to Appalachia, has a child, and then tries to go back to the land, the local authorities try to intervene. This is a wonderful novel about freedom, nature, communities, and responsibility. At this reading, ffitch will be joined by brilliant interviewer Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Third Place Books Ravenna, 6504 20th Ave NE, 525-2347 http://thirdplacebooks.com, 7 pm, free.
Indiana poet Rosalie Moffett joins forces with Seattle poet Bill Carty, and local poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico. The three of them have new (or new-ish) books out and they're all exciting poets who are doing great work. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com, 7 pm, free.
Stephen Chbosky, author of cult favorite The Perks of Being a Wallflower, returns with a long-awaited new book. It's about a child whose imaginary friend seems to be born of stress but actually may have more sinister origins. Third Place Books Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, http://thirdplacebooks.com, 6 pm, free.