7 Things to Do in L.A. This Week for $5 or Less

Miranda July in Me and You and Everyone We Know. She signs her new book Thursday.
Miranda July in Me and You and Everyone We Know. She signs her new book Thursday.

The "Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland" group exhibition, which opens tonight, is an early celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's landmark book of fantasy and whimsy. Curator and Nickelodeon animator Nico Colaleo assembled this tribute by 50 artists in and around the animation industry, blending sense and nonsense with a cavalcade of mixed media devoted to Carroll's visionary weirdness. Expect free beer, wine, Wonderland-themed entertainment, surprises and photo opportunities. NerdMelt Showroom, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Aug. 28, 7-11 p.m.; free. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —David Cotner

Need some cookbooks to help deal with the overflow of late-summer produce? The Culinary Historians of Southern California's annual used cookbook sale is, conveniently, at the Hollywood Farmers Market. This is the place to find rare and classic cookbooks, magazines and other food-related ephemera. All sales benefit the Los Angeles Public Library's culinary collections, which are among the best in the world, and the source of the library's popular "To Live and Dine in L.A." exhibit, on view through Nov. 13. Hollywood Farmers Market, 1600 Ivar Ave., Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 30, 8 a.m.; free. chscsite.org. —Sascha Bos

M. Night Shyamalan's cultural cachet isn't what it once was, but his name elicits curiosity nonetheless. His latest, horror flick The Visit, is screening for free at USC in advance of its theatrical release. Two siblings sent to their grandparents' place find that all is not well with their elders and that leaving their room after 9:30 is most ill-advised. USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Wed., Sept. 2, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine

Ryan Berg discusses his experiences with LGBTQ homeless teens in New York and his debut book, No House to Call My Home: Love, Family and Other Transgressions, with Carlos Sosa of local community organization C.I.T.Y. x1. Of the more than 4,000 homeless teens in New York, roughly 40 percent are identified as queer. Berg introduces readers to eight such disowned and abused kids he knew while working as a residential counselor in a group home and as a caseworker. Berg also probes the foster care system and how youth are "aged out" of it, often forcing them to enter a life of sex work, drugs or crime. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., Sept. 2, 7 p.m.; free, book is $25.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

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Indie filmmaker, actress, performance artist and writer Miranda July signs her latest book, The First Bad Man. Published earlier this year, July's story centers on protagonist Cheryl Glickman, a lonely, repressed 40-something woman who lives alone, has sexual fantasies about a co-worker and dreams of a baby boy she's convinced she met when she was 6. This is July's first novel following her 2007 short-story collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You, and a decade after she marked another first in her career, her feature film debut, 2005's Cannes- and Sundance-winning Me and You and Everyone We Know. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., Sept. 3, 7 p.m.; free, book is $16. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

The San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention has an intimate, old-timey vibe, with hourly raffles, dozens of vendors and a spate of golden-age and silver-age comics, along with free pizza for the first 100 paid attendees. Special guests include retired policeman Ken Osmond, who played Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver. Scott Tracy Griffin, an expert on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, also makes an appearance, as does Lana Wood, aka Plenty O'Toole in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. The original model for Disney's Tinker Bell, Margaret Kerry, also stops by, along with other special guests. It's like a mini San Diego Comic-Con right in our own backyard. Granada Pavilion, 11128 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills; Sun., Aug. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $5, kids under 12 free. (661) 253-1284, facebook.com/SanFernandoValleyComicBookConvention —Tanja M. Laden

The new monthly storytelling salon Origin Story carries on comic book movies' grand tradition of focusing on a person's beginnings. Hosted by Moth GrandSLAM winner Margot Leitman, the evening of exposition and exultation will include stories from voice-over actress and comedian Andrée Vermeulen, America's Funniest Home Videos' Jennifer Semler, actor and comic Jonathan Braedley Welch, Jacob Reed of the improv group Bangarang! and Heather Sundell of the L.A. Times. UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Aug. 31, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —David Cotner

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