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Arts and Entertainment

Pencil This In: Sheila Heti and Miranda July at Family; John Irving in Conversation; Jazz at Descanso

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We found a number of great events happening around town tonight. Sheila Heti reads from her new novel with slideshow help from Miranda July at Family; author John Irving is in conversation; Descanso Gardens opens its summer music series; Echo Park Film Center holds a film salon; and the LA Film Festival Continues. Read on for all the details.

Family Books welcomes author Sheila Heti tonight at 7:30, who’ll be reading from her new novel How Should a Person Be?She’ll also present a special slideshow with Miranda July. Heti’s book, which is part literary novel, part self-help manual and part bawdy confessional, focuses on a playwright fresh from a failed marriage. She’s unable to finish a feminist play she’s been commissioned to write. But by plunging into a new life experiment with a new friend and lover, she hopes to regain her footing in art and life

Live Talks LA presents an evening with author John Irving tonight at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. He published his first novel Setting Free the Bears in 1968, and hasn’t looked back since, writing The World According to Garp and winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. Tonight at 8 pm, he discusses his 13th novel, In One Person. Tickets: $25, $21 for American Cinematheque fans with the promo code CINEMATHEQUE.

Tonight at 8 pm, the Echo Park Film Center welcomes several filmmakers who’ll present works-in-progress or recently completed works on Super 8, standard 8mm and 16mm. The New Works Salon includes Matt Weathers’s ...and then they became spirits; Mike Stoltz’s Give Me Shapes, a dual projection collaboration with Hannah Lew, as well as a new 16mm work Sky Slicer; Erich Burci’s Island Woman, among others. Suggested donation: $5.

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Tonight from 6-7:30 pm, Descanso Gardens opens its Music on the Main summer series with an evening of live jazz and blues with Barbara Morrison. While food and beverages will be available for purchase, Descanso encourages guests to pack a picnic, bottle of wine, blanket or chair. Admission: $8, $6 seniors/students, $3 children (5 to 12 years), free for kids under 5.

Here are a couple of our LA Film Festival picks for tonight: LACMA holds a screening at 7:30 pm of Beauty is Embarrassing, which focuses on the work and life of LA-based designer, painter, puppeteer, sculptor and musician Wayne White. A Q+A with Elvis Mitchell, White and director Neil Berkeley follows. Also at 7:30 pm, at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 8, is Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg in Celeste and Jesse Forever. There’s also a short film program at screens at 9:50 pm at Virgin America Theatre/Regal L.A. LIVE 9. Tickets: $13.

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).