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Readings Coming Up: Banned Books and More

At the next reading, coming up quite soon, I’ll be part of an interesting and diverse lineup of local and independent authors, publishers, and librarians selling our books and talking a little about them.

But as to what we’ll be reading — that comes from another corpus. Because next week is Banned Books Week, the book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read, when libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

The 2014 celebration will be held September 21-27. And I’ve been invited to participate in the Banned Books Read-a-Thon at the El Cerrito Library next Tuesday night, September 23rd at 7pm. Brenda Knight and Peg Conley, also from Cleis Press and Viva Editions, will be there, and I’m looking forward to meeting Stephanie McCoy, whom I already know from her deliciously atmospheric novel, Sweet as Cane, as well as the rest of the authors and publishers.

And, of course, I’m looking forward to what everybody’s going to choose to read. We’ve been asked to commit to protecting our First Amendment by reading from a favorite, classic or child’s book that’s been challenged in schools, bookstores, or libraries. Which (happily and also sadly) gives us a long list of terrific stuff to choose from.

I’ve already made my choice. A particularly wonderful and important book that, imo, has been challenged for the single most absurd and dispiriting reason ever.

Curious? Come on out to the El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito, CA, 7PM, Tuesday, Sept 23 (over 18 only).

But wait! There’s more! You can also come and hear me read at the San Francisco Women’s Building, at 6PM October 18. The event’s called UnderCover Reads, Tales from Outriders, OutWriters, and Outliers. It’s part of San Francisco’s giant LitQuake celebration, and you can find out more about it here.

And (after I’ve been so quiet for so long) still more: the Leather, Lace, & Lust event I read at last Aug 30 went so well that we’ve decided to make it a series. Next reading, December 13. Stay tuned for more info.

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