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Our guide to readings, spoken word, and other literary events 

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Adam McDaniel & C.A. Smythe: The authors read from their books. Sat., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., free. A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro (at 18th St.), 431-0891.

Anna Camilleri: The editors and authors of Red Light: Superheroes, Saints, and Sluts discuss the book. Wed., Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., free. Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th St.), 282-9246, www.mtbs.com.

Brian Jacques: Brian Jacques presents his most recent novel, High Rhulain, and his new cookbook, The Redwall Cookbook. Thu., Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m., free. Books Inc./Laurel Village, 3515 California (at Locust), 221-3666.

Brini Maxwell: The author reads from Brini Maxwell's Guide to Gracious Living. Thu., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., free. Books Inc./Castro, 2275 Market (at 16th St.), 864-6777, www.booksinc.net.

Francisco Aragón: The author reads from Puerta del Sol. Fri., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.

Friday Night Poetry at the Yak: Spoken word, open mike, and acoustic music are the fare at this regular event. Fridays, 7:30 p.m., free. Yakkety Yak Coffeehouse, 679 Sutter (at Taylor), 351-2090.

GenderEnders: Monthly series of spoken word/music events where the performers are cheerfully queer and the audience is even more so. First Tuesday of every month, 8:30 p.m., $4-$7. Cherry Bar & Lounge, 917 Folsom (at Fifth St.), 974-1585, www.thecherrybar.com.

Gravity Goldberg & Eric Zassenhaus: The editors celebrate the release of Instant City: A Literary Exploration of San Francisco. Thu., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., free. City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), 362-8193, www.citylights.com.

Gus Lee: The author reads from China Boy. Thu., Oct. 27, 12:30 p.m., free. Book Passage, Ferry Building (Embarcadero & Market), 835-1020, www.bookpassage.com.

Haynes Johnson: The author discusses the era of Senator Joe McCarthy. Wed., Oct. 26, 6 p.m., $18. Commonwealth Club, 595 Market (at Second St.), 597-6701, www.commonwealthclub.org.

Jill Fredston: The author reads from Snowstruck: In the Grips of Avalanches. Fri., Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m., free. Books Inc./Marina, 2251 Chestnut (at Scott), 931-3633, www.booksinc.net. And Mon., Oct. 31, 12:30 p.m., free. Stacey's, 581 Market (at Second St.), 421-4687, www.staceys.com.

Joan Biskupic: The author talks about Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Wed., Oct. 26, 12:30 p.m., free. Stacey's, 581 Market (at Second St.), 421-4687, www.staceys.com.

Joan Didion: The author in conversation with Dave Eggers. Tue., Nov. 1, 8 p.m., $18.50. Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon (at Bay), 567-6642.

Joe Loya: The author reads from The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell. Thu., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.

Kevin Chong: The author reads from Neil Young Nation. Fri., Oct. 28, 1 p.m., free. Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), 863-8688, www.booksmith.com.

Kim Wong Keltner: The author reads from Buddha Baby. Thu., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., free. Books Inc./Alameda, 1344 Park Street, Alameda, 510-522-2226, www.booksinc.net.

Louis Freeh: The author and former director of the FBI recounts his life. Fri., Oct. 28, noon, $15. Commonwealth Club, 595 Market (at Second St.), 597-6701, www.commonwealthclub.org.

Mary Gaitskill: The author reads from Veronica. Wed., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com. And Thu., Oct. 27, 12:30 p.m., free. Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th St.), 282-9246, www.mtbs.com.

Pam Houston: The author reads from Sight Hound. Fri., Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m., free. Alexander Book Company, 50 Second St. (at Market), 495-2992, alexanderbook.booksense.com.

Paul Buhle: The author reads from Wobblies and discusses labor. Thu., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., free. Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th St.), 282-9246, www.mtbs.com.

Queer Open Mic: Queer spoken-word artists and writers read from their work twice monthly at the center's Three Dollar Bill Café. Second and Fourth Friday of every month, 8 p.m., $1-$3. SF LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market (at Octavia), 865-5555.

Robert Jordan: The author reads from The Knife of Dreams. Wed., Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444, www.codysbooks.com.

Sim Van der Ryn: A founder of the green architecture revolution talks about his books and art. Thu., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444, www.codysbooks.com.

A Suspect Thoughts Halloween: Suspect Thoughts Press ghouls read from their favorite scary stories. Sun., Oct. 30, 4 p.m., free. Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th St.), 282-9246, www.mtbs.com.

Tania Katan: The author reads from My One Night Stand With Cancer. Fri., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., free. A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro (at 18th St.), 431-0891.

Tuesday at Pat's Cafe Reading Series: Each weekly formal reading is followed by an open-mike session for fledgling writers. Tuesdays, 7 p.m., free. Pat's Cafe, 2330 Taylor (at Columbus), 905-8837.

Word Beat Reading Series: Readings are followed by an open mike hosted by David Gollub, Debra Grace Khattab, and Jeremy Morris Siegel. Thursdays, 7 p.m., free. Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph (at Dwight), Berkeley, 510-549-1128.

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