Messages from Amma
Psychiatrist Dr. Janine Canan has compiled a book of sayings from Ammachi, the revered Indian holy woman who has spent decades spreading her "message of love and compassion throughout the world by distributing hugs and special blessings." In Other Words, 3734 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 232-6003, 7 pm

* Evolution's Captain
So many things have been written about Charles Darwin, it's about time somebody told the story of some of the supporting characters... like the captain of the boat that took Darwin to the island where he made all those discoveries. Turns out that Captain Robert Fitzroy was a devout Christian who brought Darwin aboard simply because he desired a traveling companion as educated as he was. He wound up providing the vessel Darwin needed to turn his twisted religion on its bloated butt. Then, Fitzroy killed himself. Author Peter Nicholls shares this delightful, humorous story tonight. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 238-1668, 7:30 pm

Joe Meno
The author of Hairstyles of the Damned sounds off. Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, 274-1449, 7 pm, free


* Seventh Annual PikNuke
Join poetry lovers from across Oregon for informal poetry readings and free verse in the shadow of one of America's most scenic nuclear cooling towers. Bring food, drink, and dogs. Doobage also highly recommended. Toxic waste provided courtesy of Trojan Power. Trojan Nuclear Power Plant/Recreational Area, By The Columbia River along Hwy 30, 941-2300, ext. 146, noon-6 pm


Michele Glazer & Brian Gard
Two poets throw down. Glazer recently completed the collection Aggregate of Disturbances. Gard will share from his chapbook Twenty- Six Sonnets for a Few Friends. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 238-1668, 7:30 pm

FBI Girl
Portland author Maura Conlon-McIvor presents this memoir about growing up the daughter of an FBI agent. Inspired by Ms. Nancy Drew, Conlon-McIvor went to great lengths as a child to follow in her father's footsteps and also snare his attention. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm


* How Dogs Think
Canine behavior expert Stanley Coren presents his engaging book about the emotional depth of dogs. Does your dog REALLY love you, or are you just another obstacle in its biological drive to get fed? Find out tonight... Powell's-Beaverton, 8725 SW Cascade Ave, 643-3131, 7 pm


* Earl Emerson
Emerson is a lieutenant in the Seattle Fire Department who's also written 14 novels. That kind of dogged work ethic baffles us, but then perhaps Emerson's line of work creates some demons that just have to be exorcised via the page. The ineptly titled Pyro, for instance, follows a (surprise!) lieutenant in the (ZOING!) Seattle Fire Department, who tracks down an arsonist 20 years after his father was killed by an arsonist. The book sounds and looks like sheer pulp (never put flames on a cover, even if the book is about fire), and it is. But Emerson has stronger writing chops than the average pulp Joe; his dialogue is tight and spare, and his pacing is superb. Check it out, fans of thrills. Murder by the Book, 3210 SE Hawthorne, 232-9995, 5 pm

* Marvin Bell
Reading from Rampart is Bell's first collection of poetry in 15 years. He's one of the great ones, so if poetry's your thing, you probably want to come on down. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm

Support The Portland Mercury

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