Henry David Thoreau of Walden Pond fame once set fire to woods surrounding the pond, burning down 300 acres. It was an accident, and one that changed Thoreau's outlook forever. Now John Pipkin has written a book, Woodsburner: A Novel, based on the incident. The story follows a few characters that are central to the story: There's Thoreau, who was a pencil maker; Oddmund Hus, a Norwegian immigrant who loves a woman he cannot have; Eliot Calvert, a bookseller who wants to be a playwright; and finally there's Caleb Dowdy, an Episcopal minister who has an opium habit. Pipkin won't have far to drive for today's reading and signing session - he lives just down the road in Austin, where he's worked as the executive director of the Writers' League of Texas. 7 p.m. Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive. For information, call 281-497-8675 or visit www.bluewillowbookshop.com. Free.
Thu., Aug. 13, 7 p.m., 2009