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Book Notes: Get Lit!, Big Read big hits

SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2011

The Get Lit! and Big Read numbers are in, and they’re impressive:

• An estimated attendance of 3,000 for Get Lit!’s 50-plus events.

• An estimated attendance of 5,000 people for the Big Read events, focusing on Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.”

O’Brien’s headlining talk drew about 450 people to the Bing Crosby Theater (which counted toward both numbers).

And a near-capacity crowd caught Ani DiFranco’s concert at the Bing, in which she got into the Get Lit! spirit by reading a couple of poems.

The best news of all: Get Lit! will be back in 2012. The theme will be “Capturing the World,” with an emphasis on writing by, and about, people around the globe. The headliners are yet to be announced.

‘Packing for Mars’

Now, Spokane, here’s your next assignment: Start reading “Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void,” by Mary Roach.

That’s the book selected for the next Spokane Is Reading event, the communitywide reading project.

And what a great assignment. “Packing for Mars” is a compulsively readable and entertaining look at the space program (and space travel in general).

You’ll find out how astronauts eat, drink and, well, relieve themselves in zero gravity – and much, much more. It’s both funny and informative.

There’s no hurry. You’ve got until Oct. 20, when Roach will make her Spokane is Reading appearance.

‘My Princess Boy’

Seattle author Cheryl Kilodavis will discuss and sign her nonfiction picture book, “My Princess Boy” (Aladdin), on Tuesday, noon at Eastern Washington University’s JFK Library.

“My Princess Boy” made a national splash when it came out last year. It was inspired by the author’s 4-year-old son who enjoys “traditional girl” things, such as jewelry.

The discussion and signing will be followed by a workshop at 2 p.m. in the JFK Auditorium. Kilodavis’ visit is sponsored by the EWU Libraries and Pride Center.

She will also do another book signing, Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in the Spokane Valley Mall, 15310 E. Indiana Ave.

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