Elizabeth Berg signs her latest novel, The Handmaid and the Carpenter. Thu 12/14, 7 PM, Burke’s Books, 116 Main, Park Ridge, 847-692-2300.

Joanne Scheff Bernstein promotes Arts Marketing Insights: The Dynamics of Building and Retaining Performing Arts Audiences. Mon 12/11, 7 PM, Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm, Winnetka, 847-446-8880.

Chicago Architecture Foundation Lunchtime Lecture Architect Stanley Tigerman discusses the Pacific Garden Mission. Wed 12/13, 12:15 PM, ArchiCenter, 224 S. Michigan, 312-922-3432, ext. 266.

College of Complexes Milan Vydareny holds forth on “Philanthropy and Fund-raising From Plato to Bill Gates: Boon or Bamboozle?” Sat 12/9, 8 PM, Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln, 312-327-6611 or 312-842-5036, $3 plus a $5 food/drink purchase.

“Creative Living in the City” Reps from Friends of the Parks and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation discuss “Completing the South Lakefront Park System: The Last Four Miles.” Thu 12/14, 12:15 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630.

Jerry Crimmins reads from his historical novel Fort Dearborn. Wed 12/13, 7 PM, Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm, Winnetka, 847-446-8880.

A.C. Frieden reads from his new thriller, Tranquility Denied. Thu 12/14, 5:30 PM, After-Words, 23 E. Illinois, 312-464-1110.

Jim Graczyk presents A Field Guide to Chicago Hauntings. Sun 12/10, 2 PM, Borders, 2817 N. Clark, 773-935-3909. Joint appearance with Dale Kaczmarek and Tamara Shaffer.

Patricia Hampl (A Romantic Education) discusses Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime. Tue 12/12, noon, Art Institute, Fullerton Hall, Michigan and Adams, 312-443-3600. Tue 12/12, 7 PM, Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm, Winnetka, 847-446-8880.

Dale Kaczmarek signs Windy City Ghosts II: More Tales From America’s Most Haunted City. Sun 12/10, 2 PM, Borders, 2817 N. Clark, 773-935-3909. Joint appearance with Jim Graczyk and Tamara Shaffer.

E.E. Knight reads from his latest fantasy, Dragon Avenger. Fri 12/8, 12:30 PM, Barnes & Noble, DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson, 312-362-8795.

Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood Tribune writer Kogan and photographer Osgood talk about Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago. Mon 12/11, 7 PM, Charlie’s Coffee House, 1126 Central, Wilmette, 847-256-5617.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford promotes Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption. Thu 12/14, 7 PM, Borders, 830 N. Michigan, 312-573-0564.

“Lebanon: Images of War” Multimedia presentation by journalist Ana Nogueira and photographer Andrew Stern. Thu 12/14, 7 PM, In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor, 773-772-0100, $10.

Local Author Night With Jimmy Carrane (Improvising Better: A Guide for the Working Improviser), J.D. Gordon (Caribbean Calling), Mark Maller (Getting Back), and Jean Iversen (BYOB Chicago: Your Guide to Bring-Your-Own-Bottle Restaurants and Wine and Spirits Stores in Chicagoland). Wed 12/13, 7 PM, Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 773-293-2665.

Lyric Opera Lecture John Rammel of the Lyric Opera lecture corps discusses Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Tue 12/12, noon, Evanston Public Library, north branch, 2026 Central, Evanston, 847-866-0330.

Cheryl Matlock signs her debut novel, Next Time. Fri 12/8, 5 PM, Barnes & Noble, DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson, 312-362-8795.

Lucia Mauro presents her photo book Frieze Frame: Textures and Colors of Italy. Tue 12/12, 6 PM, Italian Cultural Institute, 500 N. Michigan, suite 1450, 312-822-9545, reservations requested.

Gary W. Moore The “successful entrepreneur and business executive, exciting speaker and sales trainer, musician and author” signs Playing With the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams. Sun 12/10, 2 PM, Borders, 830 N. Michigan, 312-573-0564.

Next Theatre Company Saturday Salon “Why Be Good? Religious Imperatives and the Afterlife” is the topic for religion scholars Mark Bosco, Inamul Haq, Rachel Havrelock, Ron Kidd, and Tracy Tintchman. Held in conjunction with Next’s production of Miss Witherspoon. Sat 12/9, 4 PM, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston, 847-475-1875, ext. 2, reservations suggested.

Nextbook Writers Series Brazilian novelist Moacyr Scliar (The Centaur in the Garden) and scholar Ilan Stavans (Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language) discuss “the surprising joys awaiting readers of Latin American Jewish literature.” Wed 12/13, 6:30 PM, Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State, 312-747-4074 for info, 888-219-5222 for tickets, $8, $6 students.

Norman Pellegrini signs 150 Years of Opera in Chicago. Sat 12/9, 1 PM, Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm, Winnetka, 847-446-8880.

Red Rover Series “Readings that play with reading.” For Experiment #10: Draw Near, local poets and/or writers Joel Felix, Arielle Greenberg, A.D. Jameson, Mike Newirth, Ed Roberson, Fred Sasaki, Tony Trigilio, Michelle Tupko, Lina Ramona Vitkauskas, and Leila Watson “simultaneouly read their work to mini-audiences.” Sat 12/9, 7 PM, Locus, 2114 W. Grand, 773-645-1853, $3 suggested donation.

Neal Samors (Real Chicago) talks about Chicago in the Sixties: Remembering a Time of Change. Sat 12/9, 1 PM, Burke’s Books, 116 Main, Park Ridge, 847-692-2300. Tue 12/12, 7 PM, Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake, Oak Park, 708-383-8200.

Joseph P. Schwieterman The DePaul prof discusses The Politics of Place: A History of Zoning in Chicago. Tue 12/12, 7 PM, Bucktown-Wicker Park branch library, 1701 N. Milwaukee, 312-744-6022.

Series A A reading series dedicated to showcasing experimental writing. Featured at this outing: poets Hanna Andrews, Becca Klaver, Kristin Aardsma, and Bradi Homan. Tue 12/12, 7 PM, Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell, 773-493-2682.

RTamara Shaffer presents her true-crime tale Murder Gone Cold: The Mystery of the Grimes Sisters. Sun 12/10, 2 PM, Borders, 2817 N. Clark, 773-935-3909. Joint appearance with Dale Kaczmarek and Jim Graczyk. Shaffer wrote about the Grimes sisters in the March 21, 1997, issue of the Reader.

Catherine M. Soussloff (The Absolute Artist) discusses The Subject in Art: Portraiture and the Birth of the Modern. A Renaissance Society program. Sun 12/10, 2 PM, Univ. of Chicago Cobb Hall, room 402, 5811 S. Ellis, 773-702-8670.

TallGrass Writers Guild TWG members Bret Angelos, Robert Klein Engler, Kathleen McElligott, and Robert Nelson offer “Shaggy Dog Stories.” Fri 12/8, 7 PM, Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 773-293-2665.

Charlie Trotter plugs his new cookbook, Spa Cuisine. Sat 12/9, 3 PM, Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster, 773-871-3610.

Twilight Tales Robert Weinberg presents “The Science of James Bond” and Bond novelist Raymond Benson (The Man With the Red Tattoo) reads his story “A Hard Day’s Death.” Mon 12/11, 7:30 PM, Red Lion Pub, 2446 N. Lincoln, 773-348-2695, $4 suggested donation.

Cy Tymony touts Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: How to Turn a Penny Into a Radio, Make a Flood Alarm With an Aspirin, Change Milk Into Plastic, Extract Water and Electricity From Thin Air, Turn on a TV With Your Ring, and Other Amazing Feats. Sat 12/9, 1:30-3:30 PM, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and Lake Shore Dr., 773-684-1414.

“War by Other Means” Discussion with former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo (War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account of the War on Terror) and University of Chicago law prof Richard Epstein. Tue 12/12, 6 PM, McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, 445 N. Michigan, 312-222-4860, $10.

Charlie Weis promotes No Excuses: One Man’s Incredible Rise Through the NFL to Head Coach of Notre Dame. Thu 12/14, 10:30 AM, Barnes & Noble, 55 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-676-2230.

B. Joseph White The University of Illinois president discusses The Nature of Leadership: Reptiles, Mammals, and the Challenge of Becoming a Great Leader. Fri 12/8, 6 PM, Barbara’s Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted, 312-413-2665.

Michael Willian signs The Essential It’s a Wonderful Life: A Scene-by-Scene Guide to the Classic Film. Sat 12/9, 10:30 AM, Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm, Winnetka, 847-446-8880.

Zine Readings With zinesters Matt Coppens (Panic Attack), Matt Gauck (Next Stop Adventure), Andrew Mall (Living Proof), and Billy Roberts (Proof I Exist), Sat 12/9, 8 PM, Quimby’s Bookstore, 1854 W. North, 773-342-0910.