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Book Notes: Get ready, get set … Get Lit!

Get ready for the busiest week of the year on Spokane’s literary scene.

Get Lit! begins Wednesday. The calendar holds so many events – 55 workshops, panels and readings – that the best way to find them all is to go to the Get Lit! website at

The main ticketed events are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday:

Tales From the Periodic Table with Sam Kean, Thursday, 7 p.m., Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave. – Kean is an entertaining and erudite writer on scientific subjects and the author of “The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.”

Reimagining the Classics with Sena Jeter Naslund and Nancy Rawles, Friday, 7 p.m., the Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St. – Both authors are known for reworking the historic and literary canon from a female perspective.

• Ani DiFranco in Concert, Friday, 8 p.m., Bing Crosby Theater – No, she’s not the typical author. She’s the well-known singer-songwriter who can discuss lyrics as poetry and do some spoken-word pieces – all in the context of a concert.

An Evening with Tim O’Brien and Brian Turner, Saturday, 8 p.m., Bing Crosby Theater – Everybody in Spokane (well, those of us into this sort of thing) have been absorbed in O’Brien’s brilliant 1990 Vietnam War novel, “The Things They Carried.” It’s Spokane’s Big Read selection, which ties in perfectly with his Get Lit! appearance. He’ll share the stage with soldier-poet Turner.

In Conversation with Matthew Dickman, April 17, 11:30 a.m., Lincoln Center – The acclaimed Portland poet and author of “All-American Poem” will discuss his work in an interview format.

Tickets for DiFranco are $37 in advance through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

The rest of the above events are $15 each through TicketsWest. If you plan to attend at least three, the smart thing to do is get a festival pass for $45. There are dozens of free readings and workshops as well. Here are a few that caught my eye as particularly noteworthy:

Michael Harmon, Saturday, 2 p.m., Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave. – Harmon is a local author who has had great success with his young adult novels, including his most recent, “Brutal.” This is part of a larger children’s and youth author session beginning at 11:30 a.m. Free.

Jack Hamann, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Riverpoint Campus, Phase One Building, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd. – Hamann is a Seattle author whose “On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of WWII” uncovered an unjust allegation brought against 43 African-American soldiers in Washington state. Free.

Heather Gold, performing “I Look Like an Egg But I Identify as a Cookie,” Thursday, 7 p.m., River Park Square, Kress Gallery, third floor, 808 W. Main Ave. – Gold is a comedian and performer who describes herself as the love child of Sarah Silverman and Rachel Maddow. In this performance, which has played San Francisco and New York, she’ll tell her coming-out story – “while baking a delicious batch of chocolate chip cookies for the audience.” Free.

This is merely a taste of Get Lit! Check the website to find the rest.

Lost Horse readings and music

Lost Horse Press out of Sandpoint will do its own author showcase on Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., at Spokane’s Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, 2316 W. First Ave.

Maya Jewell Zeller, author of the just-released poetry volume “Rust Fish,” will be joined by authors Henry Real Bird, Christopher Howell and D.S. Butterworth.

They will also be accompanied by two musicians, classical guitarist Leon Atkinson and fiddler Fiddlin’ Red Simpson.

It’s not officially part of Get Lit!, but will be “in celebration of Get Lit!” It’s free.

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