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

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Ayelet Waldman: The author reads from Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. Tue., Jan. 31, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.

Celebration of the Word: This regular event features an open mike for writers hosted by Jeanne Powell. Mondays, 7 p.m., free. Perry's Joint, 1661 Fillmore (at Post), 931-5260.

Dave Barry: The author reads from Dave Barry's Money Secrets: Like: Why Is There a Giant Eyeball on the Dollar? Fri., Jan. 27, 7 p.m., free. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista (at Chickasaw), Corte Madera, 927-0960.

Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva: The authors read from Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR's the Kitchen Sisters. Sat., Jan. 28, 4 p.m., free. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista (at Chickasaw), Corte Madera, 927-0960.

Edward Burger: The author reads from Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz. Fri., Jan. 27, 12:30 p.m., free. Stacey's, 581 Market (at Second St.), 421-4687, www.staceys.com.

Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Book Discussion Group: A book discussion group; open to all. Call for information. Fourth Wednesday of every month, 7:30 p.m., 355-5616. Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Branch Library, 3555 16th St. (at Market), 554-9445.

Forrest Gander: The author reads from A Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory, and Transcendence. Tue., Jan. 31, 7 p.m., free. City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), 362-8193, www.citylights.com.

Isabel Kershner: The author reads from Barrier: The Seam of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Sun., Jan. 29, 1 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444, www.codysbooks.com.

Joanne Jacobs: The author reads from Our School: The Inspiring Story of a Principal, His Students, and the School That Changed Their Lives. Mon., Jan. 30, 7 p.m., free. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista (at Chickasaw), Corte Madera, 927-0960.

Juanita Brown & David Isaacs: The authors discuss The World Café. Sat., Jan. 28, 7 p.m., free. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista (at Chickasaw), Corte Madera, 927-0960.

Kim Gruenenfelder: The author reads from A Total Waste of Makeup. Thu., Jan. 26, 6 p.m., free. Book Passage, Ferry Building (Embarcadero & Market), 835-1020, www.bookpassage.com.

Linda Carroll: The author reads from Her Mother's Daughter. Thu., Jan. 26, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.

Louis Sacher: The author reads from Small Steps. Thu., Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m., free. Books Inc./Laurel Village, 3515 California (at Locust), 221-3666.

"On the Road: The Jack Kerouac Manuscript": Through March 19. Main Library, Jewett Gallery, 100 Larkin (at Grove) (Lower Level), 557-4200.

Mary Doria Russell: The author reads from A Thread of Grace. Mon., Jan. 30, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.

Nick Laird: The author reads from Utterly Monkey. Mon., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444, www.codysbooks.com.

Open-Mike Fridays: Authors are invited to read from their work at this regular open-mike event. Fridays, 8 p.m., free. Cafe International, 508 Haight (at Fillmore), 552-7390.

Pam Houston: The author reads from her book. Wed., Jan. 25, 6 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444.

Paul Auster: Wed., Jan. 25, 8 p.m., $18.50, www.cityarts.net. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), 392-4400.

Poetry and Pizza: Your donation gives you license to attack an all-you-can-eat buffet of thin-crust New York-style pizza as you dig the work of local bards. Last Friday of every month, 7:30 p.m., $5, www.poetryandpizza.homestead.com. Escape From New York Pizza, 333 Bush Street (at Kearny), 421-0700.

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.

Retool and Grind: Monthly open mike for musicians, poets, dancers, and others with a yen to command the stage for five minutes at a time. FTMs and those who love them are the staple performers. Last Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m., free. Eros, 2051 Market (at Church), 864-3767, www.erossf.com.

Sergeant Peter Thoshinsky: The author reads from his book. Wed., Jan. 25, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.

Sundays at Cafe Prague: Each week a featured reader presents his or her work, after which the mike is open to others who wish to read; all potential readers must arrive by 4 p.m. Sundays, 4 p.m., free. Cafe Prague, 584 Pacific (at Columbus), 433-3811.

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.

Weekly Open-Mike/Talent Showcase: Poets, musicians, and comics are invited to step right up and present their act to a waiting audience. All present are also eligible to win four free hours of studio recording time. Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., free. The Canvas Cafe and Gallery, 1200 Ninth Ave. (at Lincoln), 504-0060, www.thecanvasgallery.com.

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