Books

‘How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia’

The third novel from Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid proves that his 2007 masterpiece, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (film version coming in May), was no fluke. Couched as a self-help book advising its young nameless addressee how to lift himself out of urban poverty, “Filthy Rich” offers tips that range from the practical (“Get an Education,” “Work for Yourself”) to the cynical (“Avoid Idealists,” “Dance with Debt”). Along the way, it offers an astonishingly vivid look at a broken, corrupt society where millions dream of getting “filthy rich.” It also has a thing or two to say about the role that love plays in even the most money-hungry life.

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer

Dining

Food-truck party

Food-truck season kicks off May 5 with the Mobile Food Rodeo, featuring 40 food trucks parked around Fremont from noon to 7 p.m. Between the food-truck festivities and Cinco de Mayo celebration, Fremont will live up to its billing as “The Center of the Universe” next weekend. Free admission. (mobilefoodrodeo.wordpress.com).

Tan Vinh, Seattle Times staff writer

TV

‘American Idol’

Yeah, it’s cheesy, corny and overshadowed by newer TV singing contests. But “American Idol” still holds a weird attraction for us longtime watchers — though more in the endgame than the early screech-athon phases. The current competish is now down to three strong gals, with artful vocalist Candice Glover a deserved front-runner. Glover can croon, she can belt, she can make a Burt Bacharach or John Legend tune her own, and if there’s any justice this jazzy-soulful-pop diva should win the crown. You can get an earful Wednesday and Thursday nights on Fox affiliate stations.

Misha Berson, Seattle Times arts writer