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Pencil This In: Pine Derby Races, T.C. Boyle and Chamber Music

The magic 8 ball
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Tonight's the night for the first Knotty Pine Derby of the year at Bigfoot Lodge (East). There will be trophies, Boy Scout patches and drink tokens for winning cars and participants. Spectators are welcome to come and vote for their favorites. (And if you can't make it tonight, the Derby happens on the last Tuesday of every month.) 9 pm.

Writers Bloc presents blogger, scholar and author Mark Kleiman in conversation with former Governor of Massachusetts and onetime Democratic presidential candidate tonight at 7:30 pm in a Writers Bloc program. Kleiman's book, When Brute Force Fails, looks at crime and punishment in America: One in every hundred men in America is incarcerated, so the punishment isn't working. Tickets are $20, and will be held at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

Davida Hurwin, Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal present and sign Freaks & Revelations at Vroman's Bookstore tonight at 7 pm. "Inspired by the true story of Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal, author Davida Hurwin alternates between their two perspectives to tell the story of the hate crime that would change both of their lives. One boy is an angry mohawk wearing misfit, a member of both the Punk and White Power movements; the other is thirteen and already out of the closet, kicked out by his parents when they found out. When Tim almost takes Matthew’s life, neither boy realizes that they will meet years later and learn to forgive each other."