Varsity Game

SAT 8/20
The Finer Things Spectacular, which takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Rockhill Club Mansion (4520 Kenwood), is supposed to bring together people who share an affinity for, you know, the finer things in life. And though we might think the party’s required guest credentials are a little elitist, Ken Lumpkins disagrees. “This event is for the more professional, college-educated crowd,” says Lumpkins, president of Higher Ground Entertainment. “We call them the upperclassmen,” he says — and we think he means it. The party promoters’ Web site,, warns that anyone not at least 25 years old isn’t welcome. The first of its kind, the event serves as a precursor to Savoy Nights, monthly get-togethers for Kansas City’s up-and-coming, and offers more than ten means of entertainment, including a spa, a screening lounge, live music and poetry. Lumpkins says the soirée is meant to be classy — so, men, leave the denim and athletic jerseys at home, and ladies, please just show up. General admission is $30; VIP tickets cost $50 and include dinner. Call 816-965-7697. — Todd Broockerd

In a Bind

Book groups are taking back what’s theirs.

SUN 8/21
Book clubs have gotten a bad name in the past ten years. With seals from Oprah, Today and Good Morning America marring countless covers, what once denoted a get-together to talk about the finer points of tone, metaphor and plot has turned into a sales angle. Lately, however, readers seem to be reclaiming the tradition; the members of KS Booknerds make up one such faction. The group meets at 4 p.m. Sunday at the House of Cha (21 West Ninth Street in Lawrence, 785-830-8888). Having just kicked off the club with Gregory Maguire’s Wicked — the “real” story of a young, insecure Wicked Witch of the West — the Booknerds are taking a big step up to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, the disquieting tale of a middle-aged man’s love for a 12-year-old girl. Perhaps it goes down better with a dozen other readers and a mouthful of bubble tea. See for more information. — Christopher Sebela

Meditation Nation
Join William Simpson on the journey, not the destination.

Poet William Simpson is on the road in support of his newest book, From the Path: Verses on the Mystic Journey — but he’s not just doing readings. The hometown author and director of the Conscious Living Foundation reads his spiritual poetry at Barnes & Noble (8625 Northwest Prairie View Road in Zona Rosa, 816-505-3355) at 7 p.m. Friday and Borders (8625 North Boardwalk Avenue in the Northland, 816-741-1787) at 2 p.m. Sunday. Simpson also offers a free meditation workshop at Aquarius Books (3936 Broadway, 816-931-6303) at 3 p.m. Saturday. We guess that means this former local is coming om. — Rebecca Braverman

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