The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and written by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Thursday prior to publication, with the date of the event in the subject line.
MONDAY: 11.28: Hello Kitty meets Harajuku as visiting scholar Yomota Inuhiko discusses “The Aesthetics of Kawaii” at Columbia University. 4:00pm, free. And Philip Gourevitch discusses non-fiction with Zia Jaffrey at the New School. 6:30pm, $5. Also, The Reader’s Room at Mo Pitkin’s presents John Hodgman, who will demonstrate the areas of expertise with musical accompaniment by Jonathan Coulton. 7:00pm, no cover.
TUESDAY, 11.29: Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, president of the Dorothy Parker Society of New York, stops by the Corner Bookstore, easily the model for the perfect little bookshop, to fete A Journey into Dorothy Parker’s New York. 6:30pm, free. Also, journalist and documentary filmmaker Heather Rodgers discusses Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage at Labyrinth Books. 7:00pm, free.
WEDNESDAY, 11.30: Jami Attenberg, herself a forthcoming debut author, launches the Class of 2006 reading series, offering a sneak peek of next year’s fresh voices. Future first-timers Deborah Schoeneman, David Goodwillie and Shari Goldhagen read from their work on Wednesday evening at Boxcar Lounge. Highly recommended. 8:00pm, no cover. In Brooklyn, Judy Budnitz, of Nice Big American Baby fame, and fellow short story writer, Vestal McIntyre, author of You Are Not the One, read from their work as part of a series at the Outrageous Look gallery. Also highly recommended. 8:00pm, free. And, Bedside Companions 2006, a pin-up calendar with a twist created to benefit charitable organizations supporting those living with HIV/AIDS, officially launches with The Pin-Up Release Party at Posh. 6:30-9:30pm, no cover.
THURSDAY, 12.1: December 1 is World Aids Day, a day of remembrance and a call to action. UNAIDS presents “World AIDS Day Commemoration: An Evening of Music and Reflection” at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, located at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. 7:30pm, free. Downtown, there is an Interfaith Memorial Service at St. JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in the Village Episcopal Church, 224 Waverly Place at West 11th Street. 6:15pm, free. Also of interest, Nadine Gordimer’s Telling Tales.
FRIDAY, 12.2: MoMA is free from 4:00-8:00pm, which is as good a reason as any to check out Beyond the Visible: The Art of Odilon Redon: “Delving into the imagination, Redon created a universe of hybrid creatures, offered his own interpretations of literary, biblical, and mythological subjects, and presented the environment in a singular way: we see grinning disembodied teeth, smiling spiders, winged chariots, unfamiliar plant life.”
SATURDAY, 12.3: The Land Grant College Review – still ticking and getting better all the time – celebrates its stunning new output with the “Issue No. Three Release Party”, at “the Lakeside Lounge — home to the city’s best jukebox and an infamous photo booth — with cans of Milwaukee’s Best and the lively music of The Two Man Gentlemen Band. Admission is free.” Highly recommended. 9:00pm.
SUNDAY, 12.4: Number one most fun Warhol superstar Brigid Berlin is the subject of an intriguing show of art and memorabilia at the gallery of rare book dealer Glenn Horowitz. And, news of my favorite conceptual art world prankster, via my favorite anonymous correspondent at Living with Legends: “Yves Klein (creator of the Chelsea Hotel Manifesto in 1961) is currently the focus of two exhibits. A museum-quality painting survey at the L & M Arts Gallery ( “Yves Klein: A Career Survey;” 45 East 78th Street, to December 10) and seven late fire paintings made of torched cardboard at Michael Werner (4 East 77th Street, to December 23).”