THURSDAY 7/14

Jim Motavalli
Motavalli is the editor of E: The Environmental Magazine, which has just produced a new book: Green Living, a guide to living a planet-friendly life without being a lunatic about it. Annie Bloom's Books , 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, 246-0053, 5 pm

Gina Ochsner
Like fellow short-story maven Aimee Bender, Ochsner deals in magical realism, but eschews Bender's glossy, pop-y aesthetic. Her world is desolate and gritty; her characters are lonely, often desperate. They drink, they smoke, they go home at night to empty apartments. In "A Darkness Held," my favorite story from Ochsner's new collection, People I Wanted to Be, a substitute teacher at a Catholic school spends her evenings chain-smoking, drinking Franzia, and musing that the emptiness of her life is proof that, "God not only winks at a full-blown drinking problem but is actually egging her on." The sad, familiar routines of Ochsner's characters are interrupted by understated miracles: a prophetic mynah bird; the ghosts of unborn children; drawings that come to life. Though not always welcome, these miracles offer the possibility of escape, growth, and change. AH Annie Bloom's Books , 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, 246-0053, 7:30 pm

Matthea Harvey & Charles D'Ambrosio
The last two days of the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop start now with up and coming poet Harvey (Sad Little Breathing Machine) and essayist/short story-ist D'Ambrosio, whose writing ability wavers somewhere between amazing and transcendent. Cerf Amphitheatre , Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 8 pm, $15

Steve Raymond
Raymond's Year of the Angler and Year of the Trout are about fishing, and if you're a fisherman, well, you just might like them, especially since they've been reprinted by Lyons under one beautiful cover. Powell's Books on Hawthorne , 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 238-1668, 7:30 pm

Kevin Smokler
Editor Smokler's new essay collection, Bookmark Now, is an important thing: a discussion on, well, discussing literature in an era when it's sadly, horribly, tragically becoming antiquated. Features contributions by Glen David Gold, Neal Pollack, Tracy Chevalier, and more. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm

FRIDAY 7/15

Denis Johnson
...And the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop draws to an official close, with lovable novelist/poet/Tin House regular Denis Johnson, whose Jesus' Son remains the book that makes you wish you'd done about 500 times more drugs, if only to have had a small chance at writing something comparable. Cerf Amphitheatre , Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 8 pm, $15

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
On Saturday July 16, at 12:01 AM, the new Harry Potter book becomes available to the rabid public, and bookstores all over town are celebrating with gusto. The downtown Powell's--which reports having 8,000 copies of the book in stock--will conquer its Burnside block with fire-eaters, jugglers, and appearances by key characters. Across the street, the usually underground Reading Frenzy is getting into the act, too, with prizes, refreshments, and a 9:20 pm screening of Wizard People, Dear Readers, an unauthorized re-envisioning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Brad Neely. Various bookstores , 9 pm through the night

MONDAY 7/18

Bakari Kitwana
See My! What A Busy Week! pg 25.
Powell's Books on Hawthorne , 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 238-1668, 7:30 pm

Mozart in the Jungle
The subtitle to this book is Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, a laughable notion, but one that, according to oboe virtuoso and author Blair Tindall, is very apt in the world of competitive New York Broadway orchestra pits. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm

TUESDAY 7/19

Barry Eisler
Thriller writer Eisler presents his latest, Killing Rain, another installment in his series of books about Japanese American assassin John Rain. Borders-Downtown , 708 SW 3rd Ave, 221-9814, 7 pm

Elizabeth Kostova
Kostova's debut novel, The Historian has an intriguing premise: a young girl ventures across Europe to finish her late father's lifelong quest--to find Dracula... BWA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA! Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm

WEDNESDAY 7/20

Beth Lisick
Popular San Francisco columnist Lisick shares her new book, Everybody into the Pool, about how she become a "chronicler of alternative culture" after being raised in the 'burbs. Name us a "chronicler of alternative culture" who DOESN'T have a suburban background and we'll eat our shorts. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm