David Lynch reads from his book, Catching the Big Fish, and screens his new movie, Inland Empire; Swiss Family Robinson for young readers.

Books/FilmDavid LynchDavid Lynch's new book, Catching the Big Fish, is more a collection of random thoughts and anecdotes than a linear narrative. Which is to say, it's exactly like a David Lynch movie (with the exception of the aptly titled Straight Story, which Lynch directed but didn't write). Surprising factoids in Lynch's books are: (a) He financed the finale of Eraserhead by saving up funds from a job as a Wall Street Journal paperboy; (b) he spent part of his childhood in Spokane; (c) in print, he comes off as a pleasant, rational creative type from Missoula; and (d) he claims he's never done hard drugs. The last of these revelations might be the most startling. To get to where Lynch gets with his films, one assumes the guy's done (and still does) his fair share of psychedelics. Instead, he sinks to his requisite creative depths via transcendental meditation, a movement for which Lynch currently serves as spokesperson in chief. While Catching the Big Fish is revealing in many ways, don't expect to gain a deeper understanding of Lynch's more confusing films. He won't do commentaries on his DVDs, simply because he wants viewers to draw their own conclusions as to what seemingly random elements might mean. By his own admission, Lynch doesn't always have a firm grip on what something he includes in the final cut actually means, beyond the fact that it has some sort of artistic significance and is therefore worth transmitting to the masses. If that M.O. sits well with one of the most original filmmakers in cinematic history, it should be more than OK with loyalists and critics alike. Lynch will sign and read from his book, Catching the Big Fish at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave. 7:30 p.m. He will screen his new movie, Inland Empire, at Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave. 7:30 p.m. (sold out at press time) and midnight Wed., Jan. 17. Lynch will be present after the first screening for a Q&A with audience members. Tickets: $20, Seattle Art Museum, 654-3121; Scarecrow Video, 524-8554. Lynch will also appear at Scarecrow Video, 5030 Roosevelt Way. Noon Wed., Jan. 17. MIKE SEELYBooksYoung ReadersJohann Wyss'Swiss Family Robinson has been adapted for numerous movies and TV shows, but the excitement might be best conveyed by the word on the page, loosing young imaginations to dream and wonder. First published in 1812, the rollicking story of shipwreck and survival on what the family could salvage and the natural resources available still attracts young readers. The novel is the subject for the upcoming Young Readers Book Discussion Group (for kids ages 8–12) at Santoro's Books in Greenwood. It's led by Santoro's Steven Karaiskos, who teaches elementary school and is a reading skills specialist. At the end of each meeting, the participants help choose the book for the next monthly meeting (every third Tuesday). No time like now to enjoy a good read and prepare to talk about it. Santoro's Books, 7216 Greenwood Ave. N., 784-2113, www.santorosbooks.com. 7–7:45 p.m. JOANNE GARRETT

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