Greg Melville

The key to a great (translation: wildly bestselling) work of nonfiction is death. And author Greg Melville has surely read Into Thin Air. That’s why, in his Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future Time (Algonquin, $15.95), he explains to his traveling buddy Iggy that it would help book sales if Iggy kicked the bucket en route. “The more tragic the better,” says Melville. “Death is money in the bank.” His account of their Vermont-to-California journey could’ve been an eco preach-a-thon, but it’s more a gentle tutorial on biodiesel, with large doses of buddy comedy, vehicular mishaps, and constant squabbling. Between side trips to Google and Wal-Mart, Melville chides Al Gore for living in a 10,000-square-foot Tennessee mansion. Each chapter gives you a little to think about and a serious hankering for fries. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, Free. 7 p.m. LAURA ONSTOT

Fri., Oct. 24, 7 p.m., 2008

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