You don't expect two great literary minds to sit down in conversation in front of an audience and bullshit about, say, foosball — but with these Writer's Bloc salons, you never know what to expect from the writers on stage. Tonight, authors Erik Larson and David Kipen will discuss, one expects, Larson's In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (Broadway Books, $16), the heavy —; in both senses of the word — paperback version that was published a couple of weeks ago in all its 480-page splendor. An expansive, exhaustive volume concerning William E. Dodd, the history professor who becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany it is a grim and gripping meditation on that slow suck on the soul that marks the essence of fascism, charting the effects of power on the wills of the professor and his family, who gradually become lethally enamored of all the rotten Nazi splendor. Kipen, who's written books on the interaction of the WPA and the West Coast in the '30s, currently runs Libros Schmibros, the lending library in Boyle Heights, which you really should check out after you go to Caine's Arcade. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 300 N. Clark Dr.; Beverly Hills; Tues., May 15, 7:30 p.m., $20. (310) 276-9776,

Tue., May 15, 7:30 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly