Start: 6:00 pm
Worried about waning enrollment, the head counselor of the world's worst summer camp leads his campers on a series of increasingly dubious escapades in an effort to revive their esprit de corps. A young boy on a sailing vacation with his father comes face-to-face with a dangerous stranger, and witnesses a wrenching act of violence. Parents estranged from their disturbed son must gird themselves for his visit, even as they cannot face each other. And in the dazzling title story, the beleaguered crew of the first Confederate submarine embarks on their final, doomed mission during the closing days of the Civil War. Alternately funny, menacing, and deeply empathetic, the wildly inventive stories in Ethan Rutherford's The Peripatetic Coffin ($13.99) mark the debut of a powerful new voice in contemporary fiction.Ethan Rutherford received his MFA in fiction from the University of Minnesota, and has taught creative writing at Macalester, the University of Minnesota, and the Loft Literary Center. A former bookseller at Three Lives & Co. as well as Magers & Quinn, he lives in Minneapolis, where he is the guitarist for the band Pennyroyal.
Start: 7:00 pm
A bittersweet novel filled with longing and hope, Jennie Shortridge’s Love Water Memory ($26.00) explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity. Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can’t answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiancé, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.Jennie Shortridge has published five novels: Love Water Memory, When She Flew, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe, Eating Heaven, and Riding with the Queen. When not writing, teaching writing workshops, or volunteering with kids, Jennie stays busy as a founding member of Seattle7Writers.org, a collective of Northwest authors devoted both to raising funds for community literacy projects and to raising awareness of Northwest literature. Erica Bauermeister presents The Lost Art of Mixing ($25.95). In prose to be savored, Bauermeister brings back some of the most engaging characters from School and introduces intriguing new personalities as she follows them around the seasons of a year. At the heart of her story once again is Lillian, the chef and restaurant owner with a remarkable ability to bring out the hidden essence of people as well as ingredients, and to combine both in surprising, delightful new ways Erica Bauermeister, the bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy for Beginners, is also the coauthor of 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Washington, from which she holds a Ph.D. in literature, and is a graduate of Occidental College.
Start: 7:00 pm
Angelico Hall, Dominican UniversityTickets: $35 (includes signed book)Online registration is now closed. To register, call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1 In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook. Michael Pollan is the author of six previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times best-sellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.