Barbie 101, Sara Paretsky and more of this week's best lit events
Homeroom: Barbie 101 Homeroom returns with its popular "101" lecture and discussion series, in which "experts and enthusiasts explore popular [culture] and subculture in front of a drinking crowd." Tonight's theme is Barbie. You know, weighing in on what outfit she looks best in and how she maintains that crazy figure. Joking! The topics are gender, self-identity, feminism, artistic appropriation and more, with guests Tim "TinTim" Jones-Yelvington, Jamie Kazay and Robyn Pennacchia. Fred Sasaki and Seth Vanek host. The Hungry Brain. Oct 29 at 9pm. $5 suggested donation.
Ursula Bielski Renowned paranormal historian and author Ursula Bielski scares up some stories to share about Chicago's supernatural folklore and haunted hotspots. For ages 16+ and just in time for Halloween. Registration is required by calling (312) 744-8313. Chicago Public Library, Edgebrook Day. Oct 30 at 6pm. Free.
Sara Paretsky Paretsky celebrates the release of Critical Mass, the latest book in her popular V.I. Warshawski series and one she describes as quite a departure from her other V.I. novels. Swedish American Museum. Oct 30 at 7:30pm. Free.
All Hallow's Eve Eve Variety Hour There are plenty of traditional ways to celebrate Halloween—haunted houses, costume parties, horror film fests and the like—but we're always happy to encounter something that deviates from the norm. Featuring shadow puppetry, live music, literary readings and a raffle, the All Hallow's Eve Eve Variety Show mixes it up. Participants include acclaimed artist/author Audrey Niffenegger (Her Fearful Symmetry), filmmaker Chris Hefner (The Pink Hotel), writer/editor Fred Sasaki (Poetry), playwright Chris Bower, accordionist Rob Cruz, writer/editor Margaret Patton Chapman (decomPmagazine), artist April Sheridan (The Center for Book and Paper Arts) and performers Jennifer Friedrich and Damien Hinojosa (Incurable Theater). All proceeds benefit the newly established CHI*PRC (Chicago Publisher's Resource Center). California Clipper. Oct 30 at 8:30pm. $7 suggested donation, includes raffle ticket.
The Interview Show Mark Bazer hosts this monthly live chat show, featuring writers, musicians, artists and other prominent Chicagoans. Tonight's installment features Rich Cohen (author of Monsters: The 1985 Bears and the Wild Heart of Football), Tony Hu (chef-owner of Lao Sze Chuan, Lao 18 and others) and director Bill Siegel (Hoop Dreams). Hideout. Nov 1 at 6:30. $8.