The Aspen Writers' Foundation hosts award-winning author Ann Patchett in this week's "Winter Words" series. Patchett, whose earlier book Bel Canto earned a PEN/Faulkner Award and Orange Prize among others, will read from her bestselling new memoir and first nonfiction work, Truth & Beautya tale of love, unbreakable friendship, and despair that spans two decades. Wed 5:30 p.m. The Given Institute, 100 East Francis St., Aspen. Tickets $15-20. For more information, call 970-925-3122 or visit www.aspenwriters.org/winter . For the History Geek
Spice up your own romance with a taste from Rosemary Fetter's book Colorado's Legendary Lovers: Historic Scandals, Heartthrobs and Haunting Romances. The author discusses the torrid affairs of Colorado's infamous lovebirds, such as explorer Lady Isabella Bird's jaunt with Rocky Mountain Jim in Estes Park, or the scandalous secrets of newspaper publisher William Newton Byers and his high-tempered mistress, Hattie Sanford. Fri 7 p.m. Estes Park Museum, 200 Fourth St., Estes Park. Free. For more information, call 970-586-6256 or visit www.estesnet.com/museum . For the Film Buff
Choose from a wide array of provocative documentaries, sharp-witted comedies, musicals, and family favorites at the Jewish Film Festival this week. The opening night gala will feature the first recipient of the Cultural Achievement Award, local civic activist and columnist Susan Barnes-Gelt. Also catch the screening of Isn't This a Time, a tribute to Howard Leventhal, who brought Jewish values and music to Carnegie Hall. Feb. 9-16, showtimes vary. Shwayder Theatre, Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, 350 S. Dahlia St. $8 single film admission; $36 festival pass/12 admissions; $100 opening night. For more information, call 303-316-6360 or visit www.mizelcenter.org . For the Animal Lover
Support animal-assisted therapy and learn how horses and dogs can help people overcome emotional and physical challenges at the Hoofs 'n' Hounds Development Center's fund-raiser at Zelda's Boutique. Grab a glass of wine and cozy up for some bidding, because here's your chance to make nice with Cupid before the big day and snag a romantic spa overnight, a six-day South African Safari, or a pair of polo lessons for you and your honey. Pets welcome! Fri 6-9 p.m. Zelda's, 4321 Tennyson St. For more information, call 720-581-3485 or visit www.hoofspaws.org . For the Romantic
Can't go wrong with a cocktail party, formal dinner, and romantic ballet for Valentine's Day. And it's all in one place, all on the right night, and all catered by renowned chef Kevin Taylor. The Colorado Ballet is honoring the 10th anniversary of three company dancers, who will perform specially selected, personally meaningful pieces after dinner. Tue 6:30 p.m. Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets. Tickets $150. For more information or tickets, call 303-339-1612 or visit www.coloradoballet.com .