Lisa See reads from 'Dreams of Joy' 

Who's in town

Lisa See: The bestselling author reads from her newest novel, “Dreams of Joy.” [7 p.m., Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

‘Afghanistan’s Challenge’:
Members of the Afghani Ghanzi Province’s government talk about the human aspects of the conflict in Afghanistan. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Diplomacy in Southeast Asia: U.S. ambassadors to Southeast Asian nations address questions about U.S. relations with individual countries and our role in the region as a whole. [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

M. Jordan Raddick: The Johns Hopkins University-based science educator gives a talk titled “Galaxy Zoo: Citizen Science.” [7:30 p.m., California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, S.F.; RSVP: (800) 794-7576]

Transit plan: Transit officials discuss the updated Bay Area Regional Transportation Plan, a $200 billion and 25-year investment plan for our transportation infrastructure. [12:30 p.m., SPUR, 654 Mission St., S.F.]

Literary events
Michael Larsen:
The author of the new edition of “How to Write a Book Proposal” provides a blueprint for writing the proposal you need to get the best deal for your book. [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Patrick Schwerdtfeger: The writer and social-media speaker discusses “Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed.” [5:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Poetry night: Poets Q.R. Hand, Kim Shuck and Bill Vartnaw read from their work. An open-mic session hosted by Jerry Ferraz follows. [7 p.m., Bird and Beckett Books and Records, 653 Chenery St., S.F.]

Book talk: The Commonwealth Club hosts a discussion of Daniyal Mueenuddin’s “Other Rooms, Other Wonders,” a Pakistan-set novel. [5:30 p.m., 595 Market St., S.F.]

At the colleges
Art exhibit:
The Academy of Art University presents its Spring Show, an exhibit featuring fresh talent and the best student work. [9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1849 Washington St., S.F.]

At the public library
‘First Monday Movies’:
“The Big Heat” (1953), a noir crime drama directed by Fritz Lang and starring Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin and Gloria Grahame, is the featured film. [6:30 p.m., Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission St., S.F.]

Local activities
Italian tones:
The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble presents “Viaggo Italiano,” a concert of chamber music informed by Italian perspectives. [8 p.m., Green Room, War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Chow voyagers: Porchlight presents a “Kitchen Confidential” story session, featuring local culinary personalities. Storytellers include food writer Sara Deseran and Delfina chef Craig Stoll. [8 p.m., Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St., S.F.]

Two comics: Rising stand-up comedians Kabir Singh and Sammy K. Obeid, aka KO Comedy, perform at the Punch Line. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

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