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This week in books

Caricature by André Gill of Charles Darwin and Émile Littré
Caricature by André Gill of Charles Darwin and Émile Littré
Bibliothèque national de France

Hello to all the Austinite bibliophiles out there. The big book fairs of 2009 have folded up tent and left town but there are still a glut of great book events in Austin for the discerning reader.

The Center for Inquiry Austin will be holding the annual Darwin Day celebration at Bookpeople at noon this Saturday the 6th. Among the planned attractions will be evolution-related exhibits and activities and birthday cake in honor of the man of the day, great fun for all offspring young and old. The real draw for the adults, however, is the slated guest speakers, Jacqueline Kelly and Dr. Dan Hardy. Jacqueline Kelly authored The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, a Newbery honoree which chronicles a young Texan girl’s intellectual awakening through the exploration of natural science in the world around her at the turn of the century. Dr. Dan Hardy, an Austin pathologist and Darwin enthusiast will give a talk, “Darwin, Wallace, and Evolution”, on the dynamic between the two co-discoverers of the theory of evolution.

Unfortunately lovers of both evolutionary theory and lesbian fiction will be torn between two Austin hangouts this Saturday (both of which serve excellent coffee). The Sapphic Reading Group will be hosting a signing and meet and greet of ten lesbian fiction authors at 2:00 pm on Saturday at Genuine Joe’s.

For those on the lookout for a quiet evenings book signing there are plenty of authors, local and otherwise, ready and willing to hawk their freshly published wares.

Famous kabbalist Yehuda Berg will be at Bookpeople Tuesday at 7:00 pm as part of an international tour promoting his new book The Power to Change Everything. Self help and jewish marginalia are also on the menu over at BookWoman. Ann Daly will premier the audio-book Do-Over! How Women Are Reinventing Their Lives Thursday at 7:00 pm and Kathleen Alcalá & Dolores Sloan will give a speech on Crypto-Judaism Saturday at 7:00 pm.

S. Craig Watkins will have a signing of his non-fiction exploration of youth, society and modern media The Young and the Digital at Bookpeople on Wednesday evening. Gwendolyn Zepeda brings a touch of fiction and local flavor to the mix on Friday evening at 7:00 pm with a signing of her latest novel Lonestar Legend. Finally Jeff Mapes will be promoting his new book Pedaling Revolution at 6:00 pm, which covers the practical, political and ethical aspects of the switch to bicycling as a major mode of transport and should appeal to a broad swath of the Austin population from the bike nerds to the fitness enthusiasts to the green revolutionaries.

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