* Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian American
If you can make it through the egregiously long and boring title of Linda Lawrence Hunt's new book without nodding off, you'll find a fascinating story: a Norwegian woman's 3500-mile walk across America to win $10,000, in 1896. Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, 246-0053, 7:30 pm, free

* Aimee Bender
Reed's Visiting Writers Series is never anything short of stellar. They kick off the spring edition with Bender, whose incredible short stories include a librarian who diddles every dude who comes into her library, and a woman who falls hard for a hunchback whose hunch turns out to be a fake. If we had a nickel for every time that happened. Reed College, Psychology Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock, 777-7755, 8 pm, free


We've always thought that Mercury's resident Writer On the Bizarre and Arcane (WOBA), John Dooley, was a bit of a prick, and tonight he proves it with a tag-team spoken word performance event alongside the poet/actor Joe Cronin. There'll be live music accompaniment, too, courtesy of Andrew Tolen. Dig it. Rabbit Hole, 203 SE Grand Ave, 231-2925, 8 pm-ish, free


The Kitchen Boy
Robert Alexander's tale of the real-life kitchen worker who witnessed the grisly execution of Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II, and his entire family. Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, 246-0053, 7:30 pm, free


Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics
Writer Sasha Cagen's silly term "Quirkyalone," which refers to a person who CHOOSES to be single, sounds like a cop-out to us. But then again we'll take any excuse we can get for not being able to land a date for the umpteenth weekend in a row. "Uh... it's 'cuz we don't WANT to date... We're a Quirkyalone, okay!?" Barnes & Noble, 1720 N Jantzen Beach, 283-2800, 7:30 pm, free


The USA Patriot Act: A Community Forum
More Everybody Reads fun, this time via a panel moderated by new Multnomah library director Molly Raphael, that will focus on the Patriot Act's impact on public libraries. Okay, maybe it's not fun, but you should probably go anyway. Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave, 988-5471, 7 pm

Four Gay Novelists
What could be better? The gay writers include Trebor Healey, Marshall Moore, Van Allen, and Dan Boyle, whose book, Huddle, finds gay men in the midst of big, burly football teams. Do any of them play tight end? YES! THANK YOU! You've been a wonderful audience, and GOOD NIGHT! Twenty-Third Avenue Books, 1015 NW 23rd Ave, 224-5097, 7:30 pm, free

* Kris Nelscott
Local mystery buff Nelscott presents the third book in her Smokey Dalton series, Stone Cribs. Murder by the Book, 3210 SE Hawthorne, 232-9995, 6:30 pm

Support The Portland Mercury

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30