If the Bay Area seems a little more quirky and interesting this week, it's probably because Jenny Lawson is around.

The irreverent writer, known to the Internet world as The Bloggess, started out writing a parenting blog in Houston but has amassed a huge and loyal following with her blog at www.thebloggess.com. In between tales of marriage, parenting and stuffed rodents, you'll sometimes see the amazing power of social media as her fans rally around causes like providing holiday gifts for kids and the Traveling Red Dress Project, an idea too cool to explain in this short space.

Last year, she produced a sharp and funny memoir called "Let's Pretend This Never Happened." The paperback tour of the book, which made The New York Times bestseller list for nonfiction, is the reason for her visits. Like her blog, the book is an episodic memoir of her unusual childhood, which included a father fond of taxidermy, and her life as an adult as she raises a daughter with her husband and battles depression.

Her Bay Area tour started Monday at Books Inc.in San Francisco's Marina district. She's at Rakestraw in Danville at 7 p.m. Tuesday and at the Eastridge Barnes & Noble in San Jose at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


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RISQUE REVUE: Chris Esparza's Giant Creative is bringing burlesque back to San Jose on Saturday with "Va Va Boom," a show featuring San Jose burlesque troupe Bionic Vixens Revue and 1960s-style girl-group music by the Bang.

Esparza points out that while it's an 18-and-over show at the San Jose Woman's Club's Landmark Ballroom, this is classic burlesque -- there's a lot of shaking and shimmying, as well as bawdy humor, but no nudity.

Things get shaking at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Go to www.bionicvixensrevue.com for more information.

NOW THAT'S A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE: Caffe Frascati owner Roger Springall emailed me over the weekend with surprising news about the downtown San Jose eatery: Trip Advisor users have it ranked No. 1 among 980 restaurants listed in San Jose.

Of course, we all know statistics fudge things a bit. Caffe Frascati has only 11 reviews so far, but they're all very positive, which puts its score above Le Papillon (No. 2 with 65 reviews) and Falafel's Drive-In (No. 5 with 141 reviews).

"You might need to start making reservations before you come in," Springall joked.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.