THURSDAY 1/11

Digging for the Truth
True, this book is a pretty cheesy-looking affair based on the History Channel show of the same name, but author/TV show host Josh Bernstein goes all over the world looking for clues into ancient mysteries and cultures. Some of his escapades include sailing on a Viking ship, digging around underneath the Sphinx for buried secrets, and following the trail of the Lost Art of the Covenant to Ethiopia. So at the very least, Bernstein has some good stories to share, and isn't that what it's all abut anyway? Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills, Beaverton, 228-4651, 7 pm, free

Moody Food
Ray Robertson's novel was inspired by the life of country-rock genius/druggie/idiotic overdoser Gram Parsons. Moody Food's Thomas Graham is a groovy far-out hippie musician in the '60s who "revels in music and freedom," but eventually dies. Way to revel, hippie. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm, free

Deadly Diversions Mystery Book Group
This month, Powell's mystery book group meets to discuss Raymond Chandler's masterpiece, The Big Sleep. If you've never read this one, it's the perfect thing to snatch up with that gift certificate your aunt mailed over for Christmas. Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills, Beaverton, 228-4651, 7 pm, free

FRIDAY 1/12

Torch
Cheryl Strayed's Torch doesn't break a lot of new ground: It's about the interpersonal struggles of a family in a small town, and how they deal with the death of a loved one. But Torch's characters are well-drawn and believable, and Strayed's novel is at once moving and engrossing, which is far more valuable in a book than any novelty or literary innovation. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

MONDAY 1/15

Anthony Swofford
See feature, pg. 11. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

Gabrielle Bell,

Kevin Huizenga, and Anders Nilsen
In keeping with their unflagging support of independent artists and publishing, Reading Frenzy brings us three emerging comic book artists for a night of chatting, book signing, and slide-showing. There's Gabrielle Bell, a New Yorker via London and San Francisco, who has published a slew of acclaimed titles, including the popular When I'm Old. Kevin Huizenga has about three dozen comics under his belt, including Supermonster, and Anders Nilsen, who has won several awards for comics like Big Questions, will also be in the house tonight. Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, 274-1449, 7 pm, free

WEDNESDAY 1/17

Rain Village
The synopsis: A young, diminutive girl grows up illiterate on a farm. A "mysterious" librarian comes to town and becomes her mentor. The girl's father begins to molest her at night. So she does what any girl would do–she becomes a trapeze artist at the circus. The end. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free