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When LAist thinks of John Lithgow and food, some kind of a shiny extra-terrestrial pear pops into our head. We suggest you put that image out of your mind, however, if you're so inclined to see the former "3rd Rock from the Sun" star read aloud short-stories — about food — at this weekend's Food Fictions! at the Getty Center (Friday- Sunday, May 19-21). He's one of several actors who will be orating culinary-inspired selections from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Long Way Home," and others. To tell you the truth, LAist didn't recognize the names of any other actors listed until we discovered that Chief Security Officer Odo would be reading V.S. Pritchett. Ticket prices are rather steep ($30 Friday, $20 Saturday-Sunday, $15 students/seniors), so we expect these esteemed thespians will be reading with, ahem, brio-che.

If paying more than $7 to see anything at the Getty strikes you as just plain wrong, other creative types are willing to read to you, for free, this weekend.

Ben Ehrenreich, a contributor to the tic-tac-toe-styled Believer magazine and the Los Angeles Times, will read from his debut novel The Suitors at the UCLA Hammer museum on Sunday May 21 (6 p.m.) The story loosely follows Homer's Odyssey, a tale that's spawned emulations from James Joyce to the Coen brothers.

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The same billing includes New Yorker scribe Daniel Alarcón, who's got a new bunch of short stories that riff on global dislocation and globalization — two themes near and dear to a city where so many of the inhabitants count another country as their first home.

And if you really can't be bothered to wander much further than your local Los Angeles Public Library branch, the LA Weekly conveniently lists five semi-forgotten tales of coastal California. Just reading the descriptions (one includes pirates!) left us feeling more erudite.

Photo by elenakulikova