What's free in the 305 this week? With the exception of one World-Cup-themed film, it's the week of testosterone-fueled book readings. There's a cranky British intellectual, a suave racecar driver, an embedded journalist, and the first Latin-American author to win a Pulitzer for fiction. Remember to also check our directory of World Cup bars, because Italy takes on Paraguay today at 2:30 p.m.
Monday: Best-selling author and contributing editor of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens, reads from his memoir Hitch-22. Books & Books has this proud atheist reading at Temple Judea. (To control crowds, Books & Books requires that you first purchase a $10 ticket, which can be applied to the purchase of his memoir or any other book.)
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Tuesday: During Saturday's World Cup match, when we saw England's goalie Rob Green basically throw Clint Dempsey's shot into the goal (gifting USA a point that would lead to a tie), all we could think of was Andres Escobar. After he botched Colombia's world cup win by shooting into his own goal, he was assassinated on the streets later that year. Learn more about Andres and another Escobar - the druglord Pablo - at a free screening of The Two Escobars at UM's Bill Cosford Cinema. Thanks ESPN!
Wednesday: Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves reads from his autobiography Victory Road at Books & Books.
Thursday: Before you see the Sundance-winning battlefield documentary Restrepo, hear Sebastian Junger (that guy who wrote The Perfect Storm) read from War - his book about the frontlines of Afghanistan - at Books & Books.
Friday: Oscar Hijuelos was the first Latin-American to win a Pulitzer for fiction. That was back in 1990 for his novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, which was later adapted into the film and Broadway musical Mambo Kings. He'll read from his latest book, Beautiful Maria of My Soul. It follows Maria, muse of the Mambo Kings, who lives in Miami but is nostalgia for the glory days of Old Havana.