Mary Ann Gwinn is taking a 2-month leave, but before she goes, she recommends author appearances you’ll want to check out.

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Lit Life

I’ve been browsing lists of all the authors who are reading in Seattle this fall. When you tally up our local writers, then add the out-of-towners who consider Seattle a must-stop on their book tour, there are literally hundreds to choose from — check out the literary listings in our Fall Arts Guide, which published Sept. 14, for a complete list.

I’m going to offer my 10 picks for fall, but first, some news. I’m taking a short leave of absence from my job at The Seattle Times, from mid-September to mid-November. I’m going to travel a bit and read a lot. My colleague Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times movie critic, will fill in for me — Moira is as crazy about books as I am and will do a great job. You can reach her at She will edit the books page and continue the Lit Life column under her own name.

In the meantime, here are some events where you may see me, because I will actually have time to go to them! Check websites for details; some are free, but several are not.

Ann Patchett: one of my favorite writers of both superb fiction (“Bel Canto”) and nonfiction (“Truth & Beauty”), Patchett has just published a new novel, “Commonwealth.” She discusses the writing life at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, at Benaroya Hall (Seattle Arts & Lectures). See a review of “Commonwealth” on today’s book review page.

Jacqueline Woodson: this author has won every major award for children’s literature, including the Newbery and the National Book Award for young people’s literature. Now she has published her first book for adults in 20 years, and its’ one of ten nominees for the National Book Award for fiction. She reads from “Another Brooklyn” at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Co.

Tracy Kidder: Kidder is a master of the nonfiction narrative; he’s so good at telling a story, you almost forget he’s there. He discusses his new nonfiction book, “A Truck Full of Money,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, at Town Hall Seattle.

Maria Semple: The author of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” has a new novel out, “Today Will Be Different,” another Seattle-set tale. Semple is undeniably hilarious, but she’s also thoughtful about the writing life. She appears at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Town Hall Seattle.

Alexander McCall Smith: There’s not a more charming author on the face of the Earth, and he has a new installment of his “Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency” series out — “Precious and Grace.” You can see him at two locations: at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Bainbridge High School for a West Sound Reads event (sponsored by the Eagle Harbor Book Co.), and at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Town Hall Seattle.

Tea Obreht, Eduardo C. Corral, Quenton Baker. These authors and artists will appear as part of the innovative Hugo House Literary Series. Obreht is the author of the acclaimed novel “The Tiger’s Wife,” Corral and Baker are poets, and music will be provided by the artist ings. All these artists will produce a work just for this event, and perform it for the first time. At 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Fred Wildlife Refuge, 128 Belmont Ave. East, Seattle.

Bryan Cranston. The actor/author/ “Breaking Bad” star discusses his memoir “A Life in Parts.” Hosted by Sherman Alexie. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Benaroya Hall (Seattle Arts & Lectures).

Emma Donoghue: The Irish author of “Room” and other great books has a new historical novel out. She reads “The Wonder” at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Co.

Jess Walter, Timothy Egan and Sherman Alexie. These Washington state authors, all National Book Award winners or finalists, will discuss “life, writing and basketball” on the eve of the opening of the NBA season. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Town Hall Seattle. Egan appears on his own at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Benaroya Hall (Seattle Arts & Lectures); he’ll discuss his recent book, “The Immortal Irishman,” and related matters.

Mark Frost: I recently had the surreal experience of watching the “Twin Peaks” episodes on Netflix with my son, who was not born when they originally aired. We both were taken in by their eerie atmosphere, their vintage Northwest settings and their off-the-wall humor. Frost, co-creator of the series, discusses his new book, “The Secret History of Twin Peaks,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Co.