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The Beckett Centenary Celebration continues this week with a season of his shorter works at the Bookshop Theatre, A Piece of Monologue on Tuesday (“the summing up of the last two and a half billion seconds of a man’s life”) and The End on Wednesday (One man’s testament to the lack of care in the community). 7pm, £7, tickets: 020 7593 1520.
The Caine Prize for African Writing, sometimes known as “the African Booker”, is Africa’s leading prize for literature published in English. Jon Snow hosts tonights event at the British Library, where we get to hear the writers shortlisted for the 2006 prize. 8.15pm in the Purcell Room, tickets £8.15.
“Jack Reacher is back with a gripping adventure that takes him from the gritty New York streets to the heart of the English countryside in a mysterious kidnapping case that has even Jack perplexed.” Our only question is; how often are kidnappings not mysterious? Ask the author Lee Child hmself when he appears at Foyles, 6.30pm, tickets are £5, 0870 420 2777.
Bill Buford set out to write a feature about a chef called Mario Batali, but ended up on an adventure which dominated his life for years. In Heat (Cape), he describes his time as a ‘kitchen bitch’ at Babbo in New York, shooting game with Marco Pierre White in Britain, studying pasta-making in an Italian hillside trattoria, and learning his trade from a Dante-quoting butcher. He’s reading at 7pm, at the London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL, tickets £6 (020 7269 9030).
As if book launches weren’t fun enough – here’s one wth ice cream. Readings by Emily Pedder, Nikesh Shukla, Gemma Weekes, Carol Sidney, Manzu Islam and Romesh Gunesekera, also doubles as a launch event for the anthology Tell Tales Volume III. Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE, 3.45pm, £8/5 0870 429 6883