Your Week in Virtual Readings: The best streaming literary events from April 13th - April 19th

This is the day of the week when I typically tell you what events are taking place in Seattle this week. But nobody is having events right now because of — well, you know — and so this space has been event-free for a few weeks.

This week, though, we got a listing for a couple of interesting online events. One is a celebration of bestselling novelist Elena Ferrante that doubles as a fundraiser for booksellers, and the other is a discussion about pandemics with local authors as part of Third Place Books's new virtual reading series. Here's what they have to say about it:

Monday, April 13th at 6 pm: Our Brilliant Friends

Europa Editions has launched “Our Brilliant Friends,” an after-dinner book club and watch party that meets every Monday at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (9:00 p.m. ET on Zoom), an hour before the HBO adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet airs. Tickets will be sold for a suggested donation of $5 and all proceeds will benefit the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign, which was launched last week with the support of James Patterson, Reese’s Book Club, the American Booksellers Association, and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

Events begin with a panel conversation among prominent Ferrante fans, followed by a brief reading by translator Ann Goldstein from Elena Ferrante’s new novel, The Lying Life of Adults (Pub date: September 1, 2020). At 10:00 p.m., attendees are encouraged to stick around in the Zoom chat as they watch and react to the newest episode of My Brilliant Friend on HBO.

For the April 13 event, co-hosts include McNally Jackson, Elliott Bay Book Company, and City Lights Bookstore. Guests will include Alexander Chee, Sarah Treem (The Affair), and Michael Reynolds. Future events will include John Freeman, Lauren Groff, and many others to be announced.

Visit the Eventbrite page for more details.

Wednesday, April 15 at 7pm: Betsy Gaines Quammen with David Quammen

Join Betsy Gaines Quammen and David Quammen for a live-streaming discussion on coronavirus outbreak, religious conspiracy, and movements agitating against shelter in place orders, hosted by Third Place Books and Torrey House Press. Gaines Quammen is the author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West, and since her book tour has been postponed, David and Betsy decided to collaborate and talk about both of their books and how they intersect at this very moment. David, who wrote Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic, will cover the topic of disease outbreak, and Betsy will talk about responses to outbreak focused on rebellion and conspiracy.

As governments and communities work to stop the spread of COVID-19 with stay-home orders, Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, is currently agitating against disease related restrictions in Idaho. But as the White House eases environmental protections and recommends suspension of habeas corpus, could Ammon have a point? We hope you can join us for this casual, hopefully fun, informative and best of all, not contagious live event from Betsy and David's living room to yours.

No purchase is required to view this event, but attendees are encouraged to purchase American Zion and Spillover from Third Place Books:

Watch the event here.

If you have any virtual literary events happening in the next few weeks, please send me an email at and I'll pass the posts along here.