Like the coming of springtime or the need to plant seeds in your neighbor's garden so that the flowers blossom up to spell a dirty word, 2012 wouldn't be complete without David Sedaris' annual reading in Los Angeles. Even though his most recent book is his 2010 short story anthology Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk ($13.99, Back Bay Books), he remains constantly entertaining to listen to as the frailties of the world curl into sweet wistful things issuing forth from his fertile imagination. His stories deal with everything from mastering the true argot of a foreign tongue with what the Pimsleur Approach does and does not teach; "Memory Laps," a story about being belittled by his father in favor of a star swim-team athlete while growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina; the story of two balefully misnamed children: Drew Peacock (droopy cock) and Chris Peacock (crispy cock); and a book signing in Lafayette, Arkansas, at which he's impelled to sign a T-shirt with a painting of a dolphin with scoliosis. He's also a big fan of collecting jokes at his signings; one of his favorites is "What's the worst thing you can hear while blowing Willie Nelson?" "I'm not Willie Nelson!" UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza, Westwood; Weds., May 2, 8 p.m., $15 & $25. (310) 825-2101, uclalive.org.
Wed., May 2, 8 p.m., 2012