Start: 1:00 pm
Celebrating a nearly universal character flaw, The Art of Procrastination ($12.95) is a wise, charming, compulsively readable book—really, a tongue-in-cheek argument of ideas. Perry offers ingenious strategies, like the defensive to-do list (“1. Learn Chinese . . .”) and task triage. He discusses the double-edged relationship between the computer and procrastination—on the one hand, it allows the procrastinator to fire off a letter or paper at the last possible minute; on the other, it’s a dangerous time suck (Perry counters this by never surfing until he’s already hungry for lunch). Or what may be procrastination’s greatest gift: the chance to accomplish surprising, wonderful things by not sticking to a rigid schedule. For example, Perry wrote this book by avoiding the work he was supposed to be doing—grading papers and evaluating dissertation ideas. How lucky for us.John Perry is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford University and currently teaches at UC Riverside.He is the co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program Philosophy Talk, and winner, in 2011, of an Ig Nobel Prize in Literature for the essay “Structured Procrastination.” He lives with his wife in Palo Alto, California. Originally published in 1987, The Book of Questions ($8.95), a New York Times bestseller, has been completely revised and updated to incorporate the myriad cultural shifts and hot-button issues of the past twenty-five years, making it current and even more appealing. This revised edition includes more than 100 all-new questions that delve into such topics as the disappearing border between man and machine. The Book of Questions may be the only publication that challenges and even changes the way you view the world, without offering a single opinion of its own. Gregory Stock is a biophysicist, bestselling author, biotech entrepreneur, and the former director of the Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine. His interests lie in the scientific and evolutionary as well as ethical, social, and political implications of today’s revolutions in the life sciences and in information technology and computers. He lives in Houston, Texas.
Start: 4:00 pm
Set in an unnamed, South American country in the aftermath of war, At Night We Walk in Circles ($27.95) shares the tone and masterful prose of the work of Roberto Bolaño, and is driven by a suspenseful plot that makes it impossible to put down. The story centers around a young actor, Nelson, who becomes a part of a radical guerilla theater troupe he’s long aspired to join. Nelson becomes hopelessly entangled with the group and we learn about Nelson’s rise and downfall through the investigation of our narrator, a man obsessed with uncovering Nelson’s mysterious story. In sharp, vivid and beautiful prose, Alarcón delivers a compulsively readable narrative and a provocative meditation on fate, identity, and the large consequences that can result from even our smallest choices.Daniel Alarcón is author of War by Candlelight, a finalist for the 2005 PEN-Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post, among others. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s, and he has been named one of the New Yorker’s 20 under 40. He lives in San Francisco, CA.
Start: 7:00 pm
Humans have explored their relationship to animals from the dawn of poetry. Barry Kraft has assembled a rich selection of poems that explores the agony and ecstasy of this relationship.Barry Kraft has been a professional actor for 46 years. He has acted in all 38 of Shakespeare's plays, playing more than 100 roles in 85 full productions. In addition to decades at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has had seasons with San Diego’s Old Globe, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespearean, Marin Shakespeare, and A.C.T. Barry is also a dramaturg, guest lecturer, educator, an avid Chess and Go player, and a poetry lover.