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I HEART CALIFORNIA A contributing editor to the Nation, Amy Wilentz, reads from her essays “I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen: Coming to California in the Age of Schwarzenegger” (Simon & Schuster), about the collision of politics, movie stars, and natural disasters in the golden state. Refreshments are served. Tomorrow, 6:30 p.m., Corner Bookstore, 1313 Madison Ave. at 93rd Street, 212-831-3554, free.

A ROOM OF THEIR OWN The creative writing program at New York University begins its Fall Reading series with a reading by the six women recipients of this year’s Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards. Featured writers include Melissa Range, Rivka Galchen, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts. Friday, 7 p.m., Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, 1 Washington Mews at Fifth Avenue, 212-998-8816, free.

MYTHICAL BATTLES A history and classics professor at Cornell University, Barry Strauss, discusses his book “The Trojan War: A New History” (Simon & Schuster), comparing myths to recorded history. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Cooper Union, the Wollman Lounge, 51 Astor Place, between Third and Fourth avenues, 212 353-4158, free.

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