THURSDAY 9/21

Mary Gaitskill
Wow. Award-winning author Mary Gaitskill (Veronica; Two Girls, Fat and Thin; the story that inspired the movie Secretary) will be in conversation with local author Matthew Stadler tonight, complete with delicious dinner from the folks at Simpatica, and live music courtesy Marriage Records. The definition of an incredible evening. Simpatica, 828 SE Ash, 235-1600, 6 pm, $55

SATURDAY 9/23

PDX Chicken: A Guide to Raising and Keeping Chickens in Portland
I am so sick of books with vague and misleading titles that obscure what the author is trying to communicate! Whatever the hell this book is about, the reading's at 7:30 pm. Every Day Wine, 1520 NE Alberta, 331-7119, 7:30 pm, free

The Time is Now
It's not exactly a reading (OK—it isn't a reading at all), but it's in a bookstore and cool, attractive people who love to read will undoubtedly be there. It's the launch party of Olympia artist Nikki McClure's 2007 calendar. McClure works in cut black paper, and her works combine both whimsy and startling graphic power. Her t-shirts, books, postcards, and all that good stuff will be on hand. Plus! Pie tasting! Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, 274-1449, 7 pm, free

SUNDAY 9/24

Spare Room Poetry Reading
Please welcome Seattle poet Daniel Comiskey, coeditor of Monkey Puzzle magazine and acclaimed Chinese poetry translator; and local poet Kaia Sand, whose work will be featured in a forthcoming issue of McSweeney's. New American Art Union, 922 SE Ankeny, 231-8294, 7:30 pm, $5 suggested

Dirty Sugar Cookies
Ayun Halliday, who bills herself as a "true anti-foodie" (whatever the hell that is) has written a book about her complete lack of discrimination when it comes to the food she eats. The publisher says the book is both "omnivorous" and "hilarious," which apparently means that you'll be cracking up when it eats you alive. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

TUESDAY 9/26

Cheryl Strayed and Ellen Hiltebrand
The Kennedy School and Community of Writers' Last Tuesday author series chugs on with appearances from Cheryl Strayed, who is a very engaging public reader, and Ellen Hiltebrand, whose book is about a young American woman in "the guerrilla-infested mountains of Guatemala." Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd, 249-3983, 7 pm, free

The Return of the Player
This is, duh, the sequel to the Hollywood farce The Player, which Robert Altman adapted to film in 1992. Tonight's reading features an optional "Player's costume contest." Bonus points awarded for strolling off the elevator 10 minutes into the reading twirling a cane. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

WEDNESDAY 9/27

True Stories
The best part of the game Truth or Dare certainly wasn't Dare (unless it involved some hot French-kissing action), but Truth, when the dirty secrets had to come spilling out. Tonight, four authors and two musicians play a bold (and likely hilarious) version of truth-telling: Marc Acito, Chelsea Cain, Kristin Hersh, and others take the stage to let the truth set them free. Highly recommended. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 288-3895, 7:30 pm, $8

The Interpretation of Murder
A thriller inspired by Sigmund Freud's only visit to the States, wherein the good doctor tries to get inside the head of a "sadistic killer." Spoiler alert: The murderer just wants to fuck his mom. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free