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Authors in L.A. this week: Gustavo Arellano, Ken Caillat and more

April 23, 2012 |  8:30 am

"Making Rumors" by Ken Caillat and "Taco USA" by Gustavo Arellano
Food for the gut and for the ears: Gustavo Arellano explores the popularity of Mexican cuisine in his latest book "Taco U.S.A." while Ken Caillat gives readers a glimpse into the studio when Fleetwood Mac recorded the classic 1977 album "Rumours." Both authors discuss their books at Southland events this week.

No interest in the success story behind ballpark nachos? Or who argued during the recording of "You Make Lovin' Fun"?  Want something more serious?

Far more sober fare will be served Tuesday night when religion scholar Jack Miles sits down with Marxist theorist Slavoj Zizek and theologian Boris Gunjevic to discuss their new book "God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse" as part of the L.A. Central Library's "Aloud" series.

Zizek and Gunjevic are interested in examining the nature of Christian fundamentalism, what Islam says about religious belief, and the contradictory impulses troubling some atheists, as Zizek explains:

The modern atheist thinks he knows that God is dead; what he doesn't know is that, unconsciously, he continues to believe in God. What characterizes modernity is no longer the standard figure of the believer who secretly harbors intimate doubts about his belief and engages in transgressive fantasies. What we have today is a subject who presents himself as a tolerant hedonist dedicated to the pursuit of happiness, but whose unconscious is the site of prohibitions -- what is repressed are not illicit desires or pleasures, but prohibitions themselves.

It's a discussion far more daunting than the evolution of tacos, to be sure, but Miles is a formidable scholar with a knack for clarity and just the right person to helm this conversation.

Also in town this week are Carol Higgins Clark, Christopher Moore and A.J. Jacobs, among others. As always, we recommend that you check with the bookstore or venue for any time or event changes.

4/23 7:45 p.m. Skylight Books will participate in a paperback book giveaway as part of World Book Night (you must sign up in order to receive a book).

4/24  7 p.m. Vroman’s presents Julia Alvarez discusses and signs "A Wedding in Haiti" at All Saints Church in Pasadena.

4/24 7 p.m. Hammer Readings presents "New American Writing" featuring Aimee Bender and Etgar Keret at UCLA's Hammer Museum.

4/24  7 p.m. Carol Higgins Clark signs and discusses “Gypped” at Book Soup.

4/24  7 p.m.  The Aloud Series at the Central Library in Los Angeles presents Slavoj Zizek and Boris Gunjevic ("God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse") in conversation with Jack Miles, distinguished professor of english and religious studies at UC Irvine.

4/25  7 p.m. Gustavo Arellano presents and signs “Taco U.S.A.” at Book Soup.  

4/25  7 p.m. A.J. Jacobs discusses and signs "Drop Dead Healthy" at Vroman’s.

4/26  6 p.m. Ree Drummond presents and signs "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier" at Vroman’s.

4/26  7 p.m. The Aloud Series at the Central Library in Los Angeles presents Javier Sicilia -- "Poetics of Protest: Giving Voice to Mexico's Movement for Peace" -- in conversation with Ruben Martinez, author and professor at Loyola Marymount University, with translation by Betto Arcos.

4/26  7 p.m. Ken Caillat presents and signs “Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album” at Book Soup.

4/26  7:30 p.m. Writers Bloc presents Arab Israeli author Sayed Kashua in conversation with UCLA professor Arieh Saposnik.

 4/27  6 p.m. Willard Poetry Recital & Art Exhibit at Vroman’s.

4/27  7:30 p.m. Zocalo Public Square presents "What Will Digital Medicine Look Like?" a lecture by The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care").

4/28  Christopher Moore discusses and signs "Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art" at Vroman’s.

4/28  Stephen Motika signs "Western Practice: Poetry" at Chevalier's Books.

4/28  1 p.m. James Kaelan re-releases his novella "We're Getting On" and premieres his documentary at the United Film Festival at Skylight Books.

4/28  5 p.m. Guy Delsile reads and signs his book of graphic journalism  "Jerusalem" at Skylight Books.

-- Nick Owchar

Images: The covers of "Making Rumours" and "Taco U.S.A." Credits: Wiley and Scribner, respectively