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Written on the Dock of the Bay: Friday, January 6

In Daniel Handler's 'Why We Broke Up' the reasons for a break up are explained through an assortment of boxed objects, illustrated by Maira Kalman


Hey, so, just wondering, why did the love of your life break up with you? Actually, it’s not just me who’s wondering. David Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, would like to know as well. So if you could post your break up tale here, that would be great.

You might want more details. Here you go. Daniel Handler wrote a book called Why We Broke Up, which is illustrated by Maira Kalman. It’s about a girl named Min Green and a guy named Ed Slaterton who are breaking up. Min gives Ed a box of objects to explain what went wrong. It includes a box of matches, a toy truck, and a comb from a hotel room. For the sake of the story, Handler and Kalman dug deep into their romantic histories. It wasn’t fun, so now they’re both asking you to do it, too. Handler says that if someone has to relive heartbreak, it might as well be everyone.

Mo Willems, author of Knuffle Bunny, wrote about his experience: “You know that old expression, 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are People Who Hate Me, Belittle Me, Take Pleasure In Pointing Out My Faults, And Think I’m Ugly'? It was like that, which was too bad. I mean, hey, I’M FROM MARS. That ought to count for SOMETHING, right?”

And here’s Brian Selznick, author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, on the romantic troubles of his youth: “I knew I had to break up with Ann Rosenberg after she chose a teal dress for the prom. I had never heard of teal. Also, I was gay."

Aren’t high school relationships fun?


Tuesday, January 10

Book club // Urban fiction books are known to include sex, drugs, and violence. In other words, the kinds of things that might get a mother or father wondering if perhaps they should talk to their kid about the books they’re reading. Maybe. But there's also a book club where urban fiction books are discussed in detail every 2nd Tuesday at Oakland's Elmhurst branch public library. // DETAILS: Tuesday, January 10, 6pm. Elmhurst Branch. 1427 88th Avenue, Oakland

Wednesday, January 11

Cookbook reading // It feels good to make food on your own. But sometimes, just after you’ve announced, “I’ve made pizza!” there’s a hater ready to hate who says, “Oh, really, how’d you make the dough?” And when the truth comes out (the dough was bought, pre-made, at Trader Joe’s) it stops feeling like you made the pizza after all. The good news is that there’s a book out there about foods that actually shouldn’t be made from scratch. It’s called Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Make from Scratch. Jennifer Reese will be at Omnivore Books with some fun food stories relating to her cookbook. // DETAILS: Wednesday, January 11, 6pm. Omnivore Books on Food. 3885a Cesar Chavez Street, San Francisco

Thursday, January 12

Author reading // If you read one book about bread in your lifetime, it should be Bread: A Global History. (No offense to the book Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy Years of History, but there just isn’t a local reading of that book this week.) Bread: A Global History begins approximately 20,000 years ago and ends with speculations about what bread of the future will look like. Maybe it’ll be a robo-bread with the power to create and eat itself. // DETAILS: Thursday, January 12, 6pm. Omnivore Books on Food. 3885a Cesar Chavez Street San Francisco

Memoir reading // If you’re looking for an event with more rage, come visit Alice Bag at the Berkeley Amoeba. She’s a member of the punk band The Bags and was a member of the (satiric) all-girl, early Goth band Castration Squad. She’s got a new memoir out called Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, A Chicana Punk Story in which she starts out singing, “She's taken too much of the domesticated world, she's tearing it to pieces. She's a violence girl.” // DETAILS: Thursday, January 12, 6pm. Amoeba. 2455 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley