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by Michael Bowen & r & & r & Reading About Ourselves

For once, the Washington State Librarian isn't rapping our knuckles or shushing us. Instead, Jan Walsh has selected nine Spokane-related books for her official summer reading list, including crime books by Jack Olsen and Timothy Egan (and a crime novel by Jess Walter) along with young-adult fiction by Chris Crutcher, Michael Harmon and Terry Trueman, a Sherman Alexie novel and more. Visit, click on the "Washington Reads" book icon, and follow the links.

Libby Lies

It's the worst case of industrial poisoning of an entire community in American history: Exposure to asbestos has seriously harmed the lungs of one out of every four people in Libby, Montana (pop. 2,700). KSPS in Spokane will be airing a P.O.V. documentary about the vermiculite in Libby's past and present on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 9 pm.

Big Names in Town

Chicago's sold out at Northern Quest on Friday, and they don't have Peter Cetera (or even his brother Et) singing for them anymore. But if you need a musical fix with some familiarity, Billy Bob Thornton is playing at the Big Easy Tuesday night. OK, so he's an actor -- his stage presence should at least be good.

Dueling Divas

Four bejeweled women -- each with her own accompanying "divette" (one as young as 9) -- will stroll the aisles of Lake City Playhouse on Saturday night, singing cabaret-style and vying for your "votes" (ones and fives, please, though they won't turn down any $10 or $20 bills) in a fund-raiser for Coeur d'Alene's community theater. The fun starts at 7:30 pm; tickets are $10. Visit or call (208) 667-1323.

Calling All Gourmands

Your doctor said to skip breakfast on Wednesday because Pig Out in the Park starts at 10 am that day. But have you noticed how the top prices have crept up to eight bucks? You take some egg rolls here and some chocolate over there ... that salmon sure looks good ... and then you really should grab some fish tacos and corn on the cob for the gang back at work, and pretty soon, you need to make a run to the nearest ATM. And another food tent, too.

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