The holidays are fast approaching and if you're a book lover in the city, you're more likely to be at a store buying a book as a gift than attending a reading this week, but nonetheless, there are some stellar choices for auditory literary entertainment, we humbly digest them for you:

2005_12_ARTSorientalist.jpgTomorrow night, at the always awesome Used Book Cafe, Julian Rubenstein and Tom Reiss read from their books, Ballad of the Whisky Robbers and The Orientalist. Both books fall under the "truth is stranger than fiction" adage, so it should prove to be a raucous, fascinating reading. Used Book Cafe (126 Crosby St.), Wednesday December 14th, 7PM, and free.

Seriously, and we love Frank McCourt and all, but he's becoming more ubiquitous every week. He's like the Fabian Basabe of the literary scene these days, and for a few weeks, we sort of resisted listing it, but since it's happening again, well... if you can't beat 'em, list 'em. So McCourt is speaking at the 92nd Street Y (Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street) on Thursday Night at 8PM and it'll cost you $17. Even though a few weeks ago, he was free. McCourt will be reading from Teacher Man his (new) memoir.

For your Saturday night kicks, KGB Bar (85 E. 4th St., at Second Ave.) is working on the premise that music, literature and alcohol are a stellar combination and hosting a night of Dylan, with music writers Ben Hedin, Robert Polito, and David Gates, plus Dylan archivist Mitch Blank, getting together to discuss the folk singer’s (and adopted New Yorker by way of Minnesota) music and legacy. Friday, December 17, 7PM, and free.

We love the Half King (505 W. 23rd St., just west of 10th Ave.), have you noticed? It's not just their amazing mac and cheese that keeps Gothamist going back, it's the fascinating panels and readings they've got. Next Monday, Tom Piazza reads from his new homage to the city he loves, Why New Orleans Matters, about the city and the devastation by Hurricane Katrina. That's Monday, December 19th, at 7PM, and as ever, it's free. But be warned - the mac and cheese isn't.