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14

THURSDAY

Elise Juska’s debut novel, Getting Over Jack Wagner, tells the woes of Eliza, a Philadelphia copywriter who exclusively dates “rock stars.” Anyone who recognizes the title reference, however, will realize that Eliza uses the term a little loosely—a soap-opera schlep crooning “Alllll…I…neeeeeeed” does not a rock star make—because really, any rumpled musician from the House of Blues will do. And though Eliza’s future sometimes seems bleak in this High Fidelity for women, the author details her character’s disasters in romance with a sense of humor. Take, for example, the blind date gone horribly wrong: “All sense of social decency, of public humility, of proper dating/dining/pasta-eating etiquette vanishes as I am seized with an overwhelming sense of frustration, of futility, and before I know it I hear myself yelling: ‘My best friend got engaged!’ ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa,’ he bellows. ‘I’ve only known you an hour.’ As I was saying: I am much better off alone.” Juska reads at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 3040 M St. NW. Free. (202) 965-9880. (Tricia Olszewski)