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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Michael Pollan talks food at WSU

Michael Pollan, best-selling author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and expert on America’s food culture, will present the Third Annual Common Reading Invited Lecture on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Washington State University’s Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.

Pollan, who also wrote the best-selling “The Botany of Desire,” will discuss what he calls the “Sun Food Agenda” – i.e., foods that are grown with the sun’s energy, without an over-reliance on fossil fuel energy.

The lecture is free and the public is invited.

Pollan has been a controversial figure at WSU recently. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” was originally selected as the “common reading” book for freshmen, but was pulled when a regent expressed concerns about its criticisms of agribusiness. An ex-regent later personally restored the funding for Pollan’s visit as a donation.

Pollan will also take part in a question-and-answer session on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the CUB Auditorium, but you must be a WSU student with ID to attend.

Monday library opening

Here’s some good news for those of us who frequent the downtown Spokane Public Library: Beginning Jan. 25, it will be open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It has been closed on Mondays since 2005 for budgetary reasons, but the library has been able to restructure its staffing to make this work. The Northwest Room will remain closed on Mondays, however.

Sedaris tickets

Tickets are on sale for the David Sedaris appearance, May 8, 8 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

Tickets range from $30 to $50. Sedaris is, without a doubt, the top-drawing author in America.

Local book roundup

Here are a few new releases from local authors:

• SpokeWrite: The Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Journal of Art and Writing: The Winter 2010 issue of the Gray Dog Press’ regional literary journal, featuring contributions from more than 20 writers and poets.

• “Book All the Teachers! An Irreverent Ride Through Middle School,” by James Parry (Gray Dog Press, $14.95): A retired Spokane middle school teacher writes a bittersweet account of his career, his colleagues and his students (release date Jan. 17).

• “The Joy of Teaching: Effective Strategies for the Classroom,” by Harry (Bud) Hazel (Pickwick Publications): A beloved emeritus professor at Gonzaga University draws on his experience and expertise to offer strategies for being an effective teacher.