January 16: Mary Stallings and other SF events 

Who’s in town

Nigeria-born author and Brown University professor Okey Ndibe talks about his new novel, “Foreign Gods, Inc.” [7 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]


Rebecca Eaton: The executive producer of “Downton Abbey” and author of “Making Masterpiece” gives the inside scoop on the new season of PBS’ popular “Downton” series. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Bird life: Ed Pandolfino, president of Western Field Ornithologists, and Keith Hansen, an illustrator of birds, talk about the birds of the Sierra Nevada. [7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Universalist Church and Center, 1187 Franklin St., S.F.]

Italian art: Professor Roy Willis discusses the art wonders of central Florence, covering the Romanesque era through the Renaissance. [7 p.m., Museo ItaloAmericano, Building C, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.; RSVP: (415) 673-2200]

Literary events

Ishmael Beah: The former Sierra Leonean child soldier and author of “A Long Way Gone” presents his first novel, “Radiance of Tomorrow.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Nick Bruel: The children’s-book author, best known for his “Bad Kitty” series, talks about “Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble.” [4:30 p.m., Books Inc., 1375 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame]

Sam Wasson: The author and film professor talks about “Fosse.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Two authors: George Saunders (“Tenth of December”) and Karen Russell (“Swamplandia”) discuss literary influences, fantastical landscapes and genre-defying fiction. [7 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F]

At the colleges

Alan Alda: The actor and science advocate discusses why scientists need to communicate engagingly with the public. [7 p.m., Li Ka Shing Center, Stanford University, 291 Campus Drive, Stanford; RSVP: www.events.stanford.edu]

At the public library

Book group: The West Portal Book Club discusses Meg Wolitzer’s latest novel, “The Interestings.” [2 p.m., West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way, S.F.]

Thursdays @ Noon Films: “Viva Las Vegas” (1964), starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret, is the featured film today. [Noon, Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Jazz giants

Singer Mary Stallings, recipient of the 2011 SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award, appears in concert, paired with pianist Kenny Barron, a 2010 NEA Jazz Master. [7:30 p.m., SF JAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., S.F.]

Local activities

Shadow theater: ShadowLight Productions presents “Poro Oyna,” a shadow-theater work that brings to life the mythology of the Aynu tribe of Hokkaido, Japan. [7:30 p.m., Southside Theater, Building D, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

Night out: Third Thursdays night, in the Yerba Buena area, features extended hours and special events at culture and food sites. [5 to 10 p.m., Mission and Third streets, S.F. www.thirdthursdaysf.wordpress.com]

Magnolia tour: The San Francisco Botanical Garden hosts its naturalist-led “Magnolias by Moonlight” tour. [6 p.m., 1199 Ninth Ave., Golden Gate Park, S.F.; RSVP: www.sfbotanicalgardensociety.org]

Tacolicious: The kale salad, with cabbage, quinoa, apples, persimmons, grapefruit, pickled baby carrots, cider-cumin vinaigrette and pine nuts, is recommended today. [741 Valencia St., S.F., (415) 626-1344; 2031 Chestnut St., S.F., (415) 346-1966; 1548 Stockton St., S.F., (415) 433-1800]


Participatory installation: Visitors are invited to “read” typed conversations between deaf artist Christine Sun Kim and her collaborators Stijn Schiffeleers and Shira Grabelsky. [6 p.m., Southern Exposure, 3030 20th St., S.F.]


Short films: “On the Other Side of You: New Korean Films” is presented by Korea National University of Arts and curated by Jee Yeon Min. [7 p.m., Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F.]


Multicultural laughs: The lineup of stand-up comics includes Jabari Davis, Yayne Abeba, Nina G, Bobby Golden and Lisa Geduldig. [8 p.m., El Rio, 3158 Mission St., S.F.]


Dueling pianos: The cellar barroom’s popular ongoing, no-cover musical series features Travis facing off against Lee Huff. [9:30 p.m., Johnny Foley’s Irish House, 243 O’Farrell St., S.F.]

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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