Recommended: ZZ Packer and Sasha Frere-Jones Readings

Two readings of note tonight, especially since tomorrow is barely a workday at all.

Recommended: ZZ Packer and Sasha Frere-Jones Readings

Credit: Piera Gelardi/Refinery29

The Non-Motivational Speakers Series: Popular Culture Thursday, August 28, 8 p.m. Happy Ending Lounge 302 Broome Street, 212-334-9676

The Non-Motivational Speakers Series, hosted by Adam Rosen, seems to be all about. . . well. . . non-motivation, and this month's installment takes aim at a suitably discouraging topic: pop culture. Joining Rosen for what promises to be a wholesomely skeptical take on modern times is Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker's pop music critic, who is presumably hoping not to stand trial for nailing Coldplay to the wall two weeks ago. He's joined by Amelie Gillette, a commentator for The Onion's culture-grilling A. V. Club, and Robert Galinsky, a self-proclaimed actor, writer, musician, director, and mastermind behind "the only training center for Reality TV in the country." Check your "A Paler Shade of White" questions at the door.

Recommended: ZZ Packer and Sasha Frere-Jones Readings

ZZ Packer / New Stories from the South Thursday, August 28, 7 p.m. Housing Works Bookstore Café 126 Crosby Street, 212-334-3324

Short story maven ZZ Packer is stopping by Housing Works for a reading from New Stories from the South 2008, a twenty-story collection edited by Packer and published on August 12 by Algonquin Books. The Georgia-born ZZ, who made a solid debut with her own collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has applied her Southern sensibilities in compiling this haul of below-the-Mason-Dixon-line fiction, a fresh addition to the Faulkner/O'Connor-heavy world of Southern lit. New Stories showcases "some of the youngest and freshest voices" south of the Mason Dixon, shaking up notions that "[Southern] men are either Cavaliers, brought up on a diet of buttermilk biscuits, bourbon, and cigars, or the redneck yeomen whose enormous wads of snuff are rivaled only by the more impressive enormity of their goiters." —Ruth McCann


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