Authors to See Tonight

First a reminder from Brian J. Barr: At the SP20 Comedy Night last year, Eugene Mirman performed a gut-busting set before totally unprepared headliner David Cross. It was all the more reason to keep championing a comic who'd previously put his missteps on display like a kid tacking his C+ homework to the refrigerator. Now the hard-working Mirman has creatively leaped bounds beyond his alt-comedy contemporaries with his latest effort, which is not another DVD of sketches and stand-up, but rather a 200-page mockery of every self-help book you've ever read (or not). The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life (Harper Perennial, $13.99) will probably be funniest to those already familiar with his comedic delivery, which leans heavily on irony, and his observations on the absurdities in pop culture. (Example: Best way to make a baby cry? Act out an episode of The Wire with hand puppets!) Yet Mirman offers moments of startling clarity: When defending his authority to dish out advice, he writes, "In America, 'authority' is an attitude. And I've adopted it." And earned it. (See our new interview, too.) University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN J. BARR

And this from Damon Agnos: You may have recently wondered, "How does America's favorite military contractor do it?" If, by "America's favorite military contractor," you meant Halliburton. And if, by "it," you meant score billions in no-bid contracts, buddy up to DC's most powerful, overcharge taxpayers, cover up gang rapes, squander Iraq's oil money, and more. Sound familiar? Pratap Chatterjee has just the book for you. Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War (Nation Books, $26.95) is a birth-to-now account of the contracting behemoth--where Dick Cheney was once CEO--and its cheerleaders and whistleblowers. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255. $5. 7:30 p.m. DAMON AGNOS

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