L.A.’s Top Literary Events in October

Look for Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, a slew of Homeric events, and a time travel-themed dance marathon
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The L.A. Odyssey Project (throughout the month)
The Library Foundation of Los Angeles has organized a month long exploration of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.There will be more than 70 librarian-created events and activities throughout the city, from a workshop where you can build Greek vases with 3D printers to an odyssey through space with Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists.
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Cost: Free 

Literary Death Match at Largo (October 1)
This month’s screenwriters-reading-prose edition of LDM will host Liz Meriwether (New Girl), Megan Amram (Parks & Recreation), Graham Moore (The Imitation Game), and Carol Leifer (Seinfeld), all of whom will read seven minutes of their work for this literary competition. Judges will include Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames and actress Kathyrn Hahn.
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Cost: $30 

Peter Thiel at Moss Theatre (October 2)
Peter Thiel has either started or funded some of the biggest names in the tech industry (think PayPal and Facebook). He will be in Santa Monica discussing his latest book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, and sharing his advice on how to create the startup that nobody else is building.
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Cost: $20 

Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields at Book Soup (October 6)
Scrabble players unite. Musician Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields has teamed up with New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast to create a four-line rhyming poem and accompanying cartoon for each of the 101 two-letter words included in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. A taste of what you’ll hear:

“AB
The perfect ab requires you
to do something called a “crunch.”
But I prefer to linger here
over this delicious lunch.”
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Cost: Free 

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord at Skirball Kenis Theatre (October 7- November 16)
What would happen if Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Leo Tolstoy were to spend their afterlife locked in a room together? Scott Carter’s (Real Time with Bill Maher) play explores this scenario, and watches the three luminaries duke it out in a comedic theological debate.
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Cost: $57-$72 

Nicholas Kristof at All Saints Church,Beverly Hills (October 8)
Live Talks Los Angeles has added New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff to its roster of speakers this month. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner will discuss his latest book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, which encourages readers to get involved with an issue that sparks their passion.
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Cost: $20 

Nathan Deuel at Levantine Cultural Center (October 9)
The former editor at Rolling Stone Deuel moved to Saudi Arabia with his wife, a foreign correspondent for NPR, in 2008, and then found out they were having a baby. He recounts the trials of becoming a father while on the front lines of the Arab Spring in his first book, Friday was the Bomb.
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Cost: Suggested $10 contribution or $15 with a signed copy of the book 

Live Read at LACMA (October 16)
Now in its fourth season Jason Reitman’s Live Read series at LACMA has sold out every one of its shows. Big name actors, who aren’t announced until just before the show, read classic movie scripts onstage. In this case, it’s American Beauty. You can still try to get standby tickets; the line starts forming at 6:30 p.m.
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Cost: $25 

Walter Isaacson at Vroman’s Bookstore (October 17)
After the unprecedented success of his biographies on Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Steve Jobs, fans of Isaacson wondered who he would write about next. He gives us an answer in his latest book Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, which profiles the people who created the computer and internet.
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Cost:  $40.00 + tax and includes one copy of book

Let’s Do The Time Warp Dance-a-thon (October 18)
On its 10th anniversary, 826 LA is holding a dance marathon fundraiser for its literacy and tutoring programs. And it’s time travel-themed. The evening’s festivities, which are 21+ and will be held at the Unique Space in DTLA, will include DJ sets, booze, and prizes for Best Moonwalk, Best Dressed, Jitteriest Jitterbug, and Most Convincing Robot. Consider reading (or watching) They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? as preparation.
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Cost: You must raise at least $100 to compete in the marathon; spectators can join and dance for $25

Jodi Picoult at Skirball Cultural Center (October 26)
Picoult has written 22 novels, nine of which have made it to #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list. She will read from her latest novel, Leaving Time, a story about a daughter searching for her mother who mysteriously disappeared.
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Cost: Free

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