Courtesy photoCountry star Luke Bryan is bringing his "That's My Kind of Night Tour" to the Bay Area. [7 p.m.

Oct. 20: Country music, fondue meets comedy and more

Who's in town

Mark Bittman, a New York Times columnist and advocate of back-to-basics cooking, discusses time-saving techniques for simple, delicious food. [7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F.]

Lectures

Tabloid politics: Matt Bai, author of “All The Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid,” speaks about the 1987 Gary Hart scandal and how the media focuses on personal character over public actions of politicians. [Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Transcendental meditation: Cult expert Gina Catena speaks about her decades in the movement led by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which she says has cult-like characteristics. [5:15 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Real 'Game of Thrones': British historian Dan Jones discusses the bloody decline of the royal Plantagenets and the rise of the Tudors. [12:30 p.m., Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.]

Literary events

Four years after rescue: The 33 trapped Chilean miners rescued in 2010 reveal their full story for the first time in journalist Hector Tobar's “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Story of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free.” [7 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Syrian view: Journalist Reese Erlich has an on-the-ground perspective of the Syrian conflict, with interviews with President Bashar Assad and rebel leaders, in “Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect.” [7 p.m., 1680 Market St., S.F.]

At the public library

Chair yoga: Instructor Mark Cormier shows standing and sitting exercises for adults and seniors. [2 p.m., Bayview Branch, 5075 Third St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Labor heroes: The contributions of Filipino farmworkers in the fight for workers' rights is highlighted in “Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers.” [6 p.m., Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State, 1600 Holloway Ave., S.F.]

Brazil's slums: David Linger, director of the upcoming Flying Under the Radio arts festival, speaks about Brazilian culture and “Bad Press, Good News: Rio's Favelas Speak of a New Brazil.” [6:30 p.m., Fromm Hall, USF, 2130 Fulton St., S.F.]

Local activities

New music series: Green Apple Books' new location on Ninth Avenue is launching its “Bibliophonics” concert series with performances by Molybden, Mark David Ashworth and Exray. [7 p.m., 1231 Ninth Ave., S.F.]

Theater preview: The Marsh presents works in progress. [8 p.m., 1062 Valencia St., S.F.] Aussie chanteuse: Australian singer Kimbra, widely heard on Gotye's 2012 megahit “Somebody that I Used to Know,” performs. [8 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]

Fondue, comedy and you: The cheese is hot and the jokes are funny (usually) at Melt Cafe's free comedy night. Sonoma County comics Charlie Adams and Mike Olson join local comedians for this week's show. [8 p.m., 700 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Country music show: Country star Luke Bryan is bringing his “That's My Kind of Night Tour” to the Bay Area. [7 p.m., Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord]

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