Some people pretend to read books. I corner these poseurs at parties, asking pointed questions about symbolism and character development, refusing to back down until I've exposed the lies. Or run out of cocktail weenies. But if you really want to be entrenched in the world of books, listen to the people who know best at an in-person discussion called "Critical Mass: Writers and Critics in Conversation." Critical Mass is the blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors, and the online forum offers a profusion of literary delights such as discussions on reviews, cultural topics and more. The blog comes to life at Barnes & Noble with author Ben Fountain, book editor Mike Merschel, NPR commentator Tom Dodge and others. The discussion starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the bookstore's 7700 W. Northwest Highway location. Call 214-739-1124.
Tue., Feb. 12, 7 p.m., 2008