In the introduction to his new collection of syndicated writings, Too Soon to Tell, Calvin Trillin says that what surprises him most about journalism is how much he writes about animals. In many of these short pieces, written between 1990 and ’94, he doesn’t seem to be writing about anything at all, but Trillin’s faux-Garrison Keillorisms conceal an observational eye that cuts to the quick so fast you don’t even feel like you’ve been set up. And fear not—there are several mentions of Willy, the late tic-tac-toe-playing chicken, and references to the ongoing debate over whether raccoons have a head for numbers. Trillin reads at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s, 1200 F St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-3686. (James Lochart)

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