April Events!

by Jessica on March 26, 2015

April is on the way and bringing lots of fun things along with it. Yes, April brings Coachella but in the book world we care more about the Festival of Books which is taking place April 18 & 19. We’ll definitely be set up with a few booths so please come say hi. But if we can’t catch you there then come on over to the event space for these great events! We’re working on making Vroman’s look even better so besides the events there’s a lot of great stuff happening in the store to check out. See you soon, friends! 

Wednesday, April 1, 7pm
Jamaal Wilkes discusses and signs Jamaal Wilkes: Memoirs of the Original Smooth as Silk
An inside look at the Hall of Fame basketball career of Jamaal Wilkes. or “Silk,” from the beginning to legendary Coach John Wooden and UCLA along with 2 NCAA championships and an 88-game winning streak, to the 1975 championship season in Golden State, and 3-time NBA champion with the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers. Jamaal’s story inspires, uplifts and amuses young and old, and basketball and non-basketball fans alike as he shares his unique perspectives. (88 Str8 Enterprises)

Thursday, April 2, 6pm
Literary Trivia Night @ Hastings Ranch! 
Brush up on your literary knowledge and join us for some fierce competition! Free to play, all ages welcome. Refreshments will be served and there will be prizes for the winners, too!

Thursday, April 2, 7pm
Charles Harper Webb presents and signs Brain Camp
Powered by a fierce, compassionate intelligence, Brain Camp explores with clarity and vividness a wide spectrum of emotions–love to hate, tenderness to brutality–all from a perspective both universal yet distinctly Webb’s. Metaphors of startling aptness and originality, a voice at once endearing and provocative, high musicality, propulsive energy, wild imaginative leaps, as well as a mastery of diction from lyricism to street-speak, create a reading experience of the first order. These poems go down easy, but pack a wallop. As Robert Frost said poetry should do, Brain Camp “begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” (University of Pittsburg Press)

Friday, April 3, 7pm
George Bernard Shaw in Action (Celebrating PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse)
Join two Teaching Artists from The Pasadena Playhouse for a lively discussion of George Bernard Shaw’s adaptation of the Greek myth into a performance text. Presentation will include a reading of selections from the play, conversation about moving dialogue from the page to the stage and contextualizing Shaw’s work within the theatrical canon. Presented in tandem with the production of George Bernard Shaw’s PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse, playing March 17 – April 12, 2015.
Tickets to PYGMALION may be purchased online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by calling 626-356-7529. Use code VROMANS20 to save 20%* on tickets!
*Code VROMANS20 is valid for 20% off tickets to PYGMALION. Offer expires April 12, 2015 and is good on all performances excluding March 22, 2015. Discount is available on all seats excluding ROW C and Hot Seats. All seats are best available. Offer not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offer. All tickets are subject to availability. Service charges and theatre restoration fee apply to all orders.

Saturday, April 4, 1pm
Fortunately, the Storytime: A Munchtime Activity
The milk is missing, so mix and match dry cereal (provided by Vroman’s) to munch on as you listen to the first few chapters of Neil Gaiman’s hilarious adventure, Fortunately, the Milk. Afterwards, write your own imaginary story about why you were late to something. Ages 6-10.

Saturday, April 4, 4pm
Chris Freeman & Sue Hodson discuss and sign The American Isherwood
James Berg and Chris Freeman have pieced together a wholly illuminating work that chronicles some of the lesser known writings of Christopher Isherwood. Known for his crisp style and his camera-like precision with detail, Isherwood gained fame for his Berlin Stories, which served as source material for the hit stage musical and Academy Award winning film Cabaret. More recently, his novel A Single Man was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film and his long relationship with artist Don Bachardy was the subject of an award-winning documentary. Isherwood’s colorful journeys took him from post–World War I England to European exile to Los Angeles in the full flower of gay liberation. This collection of essays considers Isherwood’s diaries, his vast personal archive, and his published works and offers an appreciation of a writer who spent more than half of his life in southern California.

Monday, April 6, 7pm
Tracey Cleantis discusses and signs The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
After multiple fertility treatments and years of hardship in her pursuit to have a child, Tracey Cleantis was forced to face the notion that things don’t always work out the way we planned. Through this process, however, she discovered that sometimes there comes a time when the smartest, healthiest, and sanest thing to do it so let go of the original plan in order to find a new way to happiness. The Next Happy offers a roadmap for that journey, teaching you how to let go when your dream isn’t working and ask the questions that will let you move on and set realistic goals for finding a new way forward.

Tuesday, April 7, 7pm
Andrew Morton discusses and signs 17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History
Andrew Morton tells the story of Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor and his American wife, Wallis Simpson. He explains the bizarre wartime Nazi plot to make him a puppet king after the invasion of Britain and the attempted cover-up by Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and King George VI of the duke’s relations with Hitler. For the first time, Morton reveals the whole story behind this cover-up. He explores the daring heist ordered by King George VI and the smooth duplicity of a Soviet Spy. Drawing on FBI documents, exclusive pictures, and material from the German, Russian, and British royal archives, as well as the personal correspondence of Churchill, Eisenhower, and the Windsors themselves, 17 CARNATIONS is full of adventure and intrigue.

Thursday, April 9, 7pm
Naomi Hirahara discusses and signs Grave on Grand Avenue
LAPD bicycle cop, Ellie Rush, stops for a friendly chat with gardener Eduardo Fuentes while patrolling one of Los Angeles’s premier concert halls. A few minutes later she’s shocked to discover him lying at the bottom of a staircase, clinging to life and whispering something indecipherable. Nearby, the father of Xu, a Chinese superstar classical musician, claims Fuentes was knocked down while attempting to steal his son’s multimillion-dollar cello—a story Ellie has trouble believing. It’s clear to Ellie that she must act quickly before someone else falls silent.
Poet Amy Uyematsu will be joining Naomi, reading from her new collection of poetry, The Yellow Door

Friday, April 10, 7pm
Dan Jurafsky discusses and signs The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu
In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know. Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? The fascinating journey through The Language of Food uncovers a global atlas of culinary influences that lie just beneath the surface of our daily snacks, soups, and suppers.

Saturday, April 11, 11am – 4pm
Zine Workshop @ Hastings Ranch! 
We will be continuing our zine workshop. Zines, comics & other forms of diy (self publishing). Illustrators/writers of all ages welcome!!!

Saturday, April 11, 4pm
Lorraine Bracco discusses and signs To the Fullest: The Clean Up Your Act Plan to Lose Weight, Rejuvenate, and Be the Best You Can Be
After losing both of her parents within 9 days of each other, Bracco decided it was time to take charge of her life and health. In To the Fullest, actress, Lorraine Bracco presents her Clean Up Your Act Program, a comprehensive plan to help women over 40 look and feel younger. The program includes an intensive liver cleanse to reboot the body to start fresh on the path to optimal health by eliminating gluten, sugar, eggs, and dairy. Meal plans and a varied list of meals and snacks illustrate that hunger is not part of the program and that eating clean has endless flavorful options. Her diet will help you lose pounds and deliver your body the energy it craves. Bracco also adds her own mouthwatering recipes to ease the transition to clean eating.

Sunday, April 12, noon
Vroman’s Local Author Series introduces Hope & Gabriel Punsalan and Khatera Ghazanfar
Hope & Gabriel Punsalan read from and sign I Love You Like…
Accompany little Alexander as he takes an imaginative journey playing in his toy chest. Follow along with each character that he brings to life and experience the joy it brings to all!

Khatera Ghazanfar reads from and signs Holy Cow! Elsie’s Great Escape to the Sacred Land
Mama Cow and Elsie have their whole worlds shattered when Farmer Ed, their gentle owner, is forced to sell his small farm to a commercial farmer because he is no longer able to compete with the commercial farms. They are taken from a place where they are loved and safe, to a place where they are lost in a sea of cows fated to become someone’s meal. But through Mama Cow’s sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice a mother can make for a child, Elsie manages to escape her fate with the help of a young bull, Sonny. Elsie and Sonny then embark on a journey to find the great land in the east they have heard about, where cows are sacred and reign high. They are swept away on an adventure that at times is hilarious, heartbreaking, and death defying, but always keeps the reader in suspense.

Sunday, April 12, 4pm
Vroman’s Local Author Day introduces Pedram Navab, Jennifer Maimone, and James Michael Dorsey

Pedram Navab presents and signs Without Anesthesia
“Dear Tess, we cut you up today.” So ends and begins the disturbing and provocative story of Tess, a third-year medical student whose compulsive desire to feel her patients’ pain leads her to destruct her own body by methods both horrific and creative. When Tess’s narrative intersects with similarly obsessive characters, the distinctions between fiction and reality, between art and medicine, are called into question. Without Anesthesia spans time periods and settings — from 1920’s Hollywood to late 1990’s New York — and culminates in an ending that Alfred Hitchcock himself would approve.

Jennifer Maimone presents and signs Demon’s Prize
For months, socially withdrawn Dr. Brent Carson has been reading about women being abducted throughout the city, the most recent article revealing how all of them may have been practitioners of witchcraft. Out of curiosity, Brent decides to personally investigate what is going on, but is distracted when four friends move to the city, all of whom he knows to be werewolves – except for Angela Dane, who is only half.

James Michael Dorsey presents and signs Vanishing Tales From Ancient Trails
James Dorsey is no ordinary travel writer. In this remarkable book he takes us inside remote cultures many will be surprised to learn still exist. The author’s fascination with remote lands and ancient practices of their inhabitants makes him as much a participant as an observer. That a 21st-century man could invoke the spirit of a Stanley or a Shackleton makes it a must read.” – Dick Russell, author of Eye of the Whale.

Monday, April 13, 6pm
Chiquis Rivera signs Forgiveness: A Memoir
Chiquis Rivera is a singer and the daughter of the late music superstar Jenni Rivera. In Forgiveness, Chiquis bravely reveals the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father during her childhood and the difficulties she’s faced in her personal life as a result. Despite growing up marked by the wounds of abuse, she eventually conquered her fear of love and intimacy. This story also recounts what caused the distance between her and her mother toward the end of Jenni’s life, and sheds light on what she wishes she could have shared with her. Two years after her mother’s death, Chiquis answers the most difficult questions: Was she able to make peace with Jenni? And in this story of triumph and tragedy, who is most in need of forgiveness?

Tuesday, April 14, 7pm
William Hackman discusses and signs Out of Sight: The Los Angeles Art Scene of the Sixties
Histories of modern art are typically centered in Paris and New York. Los Angeles is relegated to its role as the center of popular culture but lacking the highbrow credentials of other major metropolitan cities. Yet in the 1950s and 1960s, L.A. witnessed a burst of artistic energy and invention rivaling New York’s burgeoning art scene a half-century earlier, and east and west coasts seemed evenly matched. Out of Sight chronicles the rapid-fire rise, fall, and rebirth of the L.A. art scene, from the emergence of a small bohemian community in the 1950s to the founding of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1980. William Hackman also explores the ways in which the L.A. art scene reflected the hopes and fears of postwar America and pays tribute to the city that gave birth to an overlooked moment in modern art.

Wednesday, April 15, 7pm
Hallie Ephron discusses and signs Night Night, Sleep Tight: A Novel of Suspense
It’s Los Angeles, 1985. Deidre Unger makes the drive from San Diego to Beverly Hills to help her father put his house on the market. When she arrives she gets a lot more than she expected. Deirdre finds her father facedown in his swimming pool – dead. At first, Deidre assumes her father’s death is a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that everything isn’t as it seems to be. As Deidre digs deeper into the past she becomes increasingly more convinced that her father’s death is the deadly third act in a story that has long been in development. If she isn’t careful she may be the final victim.

Thursday, April 16, 7pm
Joe Kanon discusses and signs Leaving Berlin
From the bestselling author of Istanbul Passage comes a novel of postwar East Berlin in 1948. It’s almost four years after the war has ended and the city is still in ruins. In the West, a blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies. In the East, the early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the compromises of the Cold War. Alex Meier is a young Jewish writer who fled the Nazis for America before the war began. Alex is faced with deportation and the loss of his family. With nowhere left to turn he makes a bargain with the CIA. He will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. Almost immediately things start to go fatally wrong. An East German agent is killed and Alex finds himself a wanted man. But worse than all that, he discovers his real assignment is to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he ever loved.

Tuesday, April 21, 7pm
Brian Fagan discusses and signs The Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History
From the dawn of existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationship with one another. Brian Fagan unfolds this fascinating story from the first world, animals that wandered into our prehistoric ancestors’ camp and found companionship to the industrial age when some animals became commodities and others became pets. Through an in-depth analysis of six truly transformative human-animal relationships, Fagan shows how our habits and way of life are altered by our bond with animals. Among other stories, Fagan explores how herding changed human behavior and how the horse carried a hearty band of nomads across the world and toppled the emperor of China.

Wednesday, April 22, 7pm
Les Standiford discusses and signs Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles
In 1907, William Mulholland, an Irish immigrant, conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history, an aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles. This allowed the resource-challenged desert city to grow into a global metropolis. With colorful detail, Water to Angels brings to life the personalities, politics and power which included bribery and deception behind this dramatic event.

Thursday, April 23, 7pm
Sam Quinones discusses and signs Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
In Dreamland, Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small country on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin to the veins of people in the United States. Communities like Charlotte, NC and Salt Lake City, UT communities that had never seen heroin before were overrun with it. How could heroin, a drug that had been trafficked into the country by giant Columbian drug cartels be so ubiquitous in American heartland? Who was bringing it here? Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of American capitalism: the stories of young men in Mexico that were independent of the drug cartels in search of their own American Dream and that of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut determined to corner the market on pain with its new miracle drug, Oxycotin. Quinones illuminates just how these two stories fit together. Dreamland is a scathing account of drug culture and addiction that is spreading to every part of the American landscape.

Friday, April 24, 7pm
Ryan Gattis & artist, Chaz Bojorquez discuss and sign All Involved: A Novel
A propulsive and ambitious novel as electrifying as The Wire, from a writer hailed as the West Coast’s Richard Price–a mesmerizing epic of crime and opportunity, race, revenge, and loyalty, set in the chaotic streets of South Central L.A. in the wake of one of the most notorious and incendiary trials of the 1990s
At 3:15 p.m. on April 29, 1992, a jury acquitted three white Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with using excessive force to subdue a black man named Rodney King, and failed to reach a verdict on the same charges involving a fourth officer. Less than two hours later, the city exploded in violence that lasted six days. In nearly 121 hours, fifty-three lives were lost. But there were even more deaths unaccounted for: violence that occurred outside of active rioting sites by those who used the chaos to viciously settle old scores.
A gritty and cinematic work of fiction, All Involved vividly re-creates this turbulent and terrifying time, set in a sliver of Los Angeles largely ignored by the media during the riots. Ryan Gattis tells seventeen interconnected first-person narratives that paint a portrait of modern America itself–laying bare our history, our prejudices, and our complexities. With characters that capture the voices of gang members, firefighters, graffiti kids, and nurses caught up in these extraordinary circumstances, All Involved is a literary tour de force that catapults this edgy writer into the ranks of such legendary talents as Dennis Lehane and George V. Higgins. (Ecco Press)

Saturday, April 25, 10:30am
Craft time with Jen – Binoculars!!
Jen will be teaching everyone how to create their own set of binoculars with string and cardboard. Yay! Materials will be provided.

Saturday, April 25, 4pm
Jo Ivester discusses and signs The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South
In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields. There he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. Ultimately, it wasn’t Ivester’s father who made the most enduring mark. It was her mother, a stay-at-home mother who became a high school English teacher. In The Outskirts of Hope, Ivester uses journals left by her mother, as well as writings of her own, to paint a vivid and inspiring portrait of her family’s experiences living and working in an all-black town during the height of the civil war movement.

Monday, April 27, 7pm
April Dammann discusses and signs Corita Kent. Art & Soul. The Biography
On the cover of Newsweek in 1964, Sister Mary Corita became known as the rebel nun. Corita may have been a rebel but she was never outspoken. Her message was very clear. Love, peace, joy and godliness. An eighteen-year-old Frances Kent joined the Immaculate Heart of Mary order of Catholic nuns in 1936. From the day she became Sister Mary Corita, her vision expanded. First as a nun, teacher and artist to finally an activist for social justice. As early as 1952, Corita and her art were recognized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as best in show for printmaking. Her work evolved to represent a subversive homage to mass media, giving a whole new meaning to the slogans and marketing manipulations of consumer culture. In 1968, a trampled and despondent Corita took a radical turn toward independence. Fearful but faithful, she left her religious order. From then on she was known as Corita Kent. Suddenly thrust into the secular world, she shaped a new career. She continued to turn out silkscreen prints that combined image and quotations. For the next two decades, Corita approached politics from a humanistic standpoint and was repeatedly recognized for her profound messages. In 1985, the U.S. Postal Service commissioned her to design the Love Stamp which went on to sell more than 700 million copies. Before her death in 1986, Corita Kent bequeathed her complete collection of prints to what is now UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Her work will be showcased in Los Angeles in June 2015, when “Someday is Now: the Art of Corita Kent” opens at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Wednesday, April 29, 6pm
Rick Bayless discusses and signs More Mexican Everyday: Simple, Seasonal, Celebratory
Rick Bayless transformed America’s understanding of Mexican cuisine with his Mexican Everyday. Now, ten years later, he returns with an all-new collection of uniquely flavorful recipes. More Mexican Everyday teaches home cooks how to make delicious meals with a few ingredients in a short amount of time. He explains the classic techniques that create so many beloved Mexican meals, from tacos and enchiladas to pozole and mole. “Everyday” Mexican also means simplicity, so Rick dedicates whole chapters to illustrate skillful use of the slow cooker and rice cooker. Rick loves to highlight the use of seasonal vegetables. The heart of this cookbook is devoted to modern creations that range from a Jícama-Beet Salad inspired by Mexico’s classic Christmas Eve salad to a sweet-and-tangy butternut braise. Rick’s flexible imagination also transforms breakfast into a meal for any hour. His Open-Face Red Chile–Chard Omelet is as great for Wednesday night dinner as it is for Sunday brunch. Also included are some of Rick’s amazing desserts. Among them are his Mexican Chocolate–Pumpkin Seed Cake and Fresh Fruit with 24-Hour Cajeta and Bitter Chocolate.
This event will be held in the Vroman’s event space and will be ticketed. Tickets are $40.00 + tax per person and will include a copy of More Mexican Everyday along with entry for a tasting of recipes from the book. Tickets will be available for purchase as of Monday, April 6th at 9am. Books and tasting vouchers will be available for pick up the morning of Tuesday, April 28th. 


Monday Mentions! – Money, Dollars, Money

by Jessica on March 23, 2015

Good Monday Morning! Everybody wants money but everybody’s got bills. I pulled a few recommends from the staff from the Monday & Business section.
We’ve got plenty more with this came from at the store!

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The world’s best selling book
By Paul Arden

This book is hands-down my favorite! Paul Arden gives us the rules of success in the most simple and encouraging way. I highly recommend adding this book to your library!

Recommended by Chelsea

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals
By Heidi Grant Halvorson

Written with clarity and scientific rigor as well as a healthy dose of humor, this is probably one of the most responsibly researched and well-presented books on goal achievement that you will ever read. You will learn: What has gotten in the way of achievement; how you set goals that you’re not conscious of; tools for assessing future goals; and why the “think positive” motto doesn’t ensure success. For fans of John Medina and Mary Roach.

Recommended by Sarah

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
By Daniel H. Pink

I love this book! When I was in school, everybody (parents, teachers, counselors) promoted the professions as a way to the top of the economic ladder. Just a few years later it was the professions augmented by computer know-how that would vault you into the financial stratosphere. But now with professional information available online, and routine computer work outsourced to Asia, those careers we once thought the path to security are fast becoming the Western world’s 21st Century dinosaurs. So how do we compete in the new global economy? Sensitivity! Compassion! Ingenuity! In short, melding our right-brain (emotional) propensities with our left-brain (analytical) capabilities. And how do we do that? What will we reap if we succeed? Read this inspiring work, and prepare to take a new enlightened path to success in business and in life.

Recommended by Jan


Have a fab week!

– Jess

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Join us!
Friday March 27, noon

Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage
is one man’s account of the country’s transformation and the tale of a truly momentous career. Many Americans recall Frank’s lacerating wit, whether it was directed at the Clinton impeachment (“What did the president touch, and when did he touch it?”) or the pro-life movement (some people believe “life begins at conception and ends at birth”). But his private and public lives are less well-known. For more than four decades, he was at the center of the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness. From the battle over AIDS funding in the 1980s to the debates over “big government” during the Clinton years to the 2008 financial crisis, Barney Frank played a key role.
In this feisty and often moving memoir, Frank candidly discusses the satisfactions, fears, and grudges that come with elected office. He recalls the emotional toll of living in the closet and how his public crusade against homophobia conflicted with his private accommodation of it. He discusses his painful quarrels with allies; his friendships with public figures, from Tip O’Neill to Sonny Bono; and how he found love with his husband, Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting member of Congress to enter a same-sex marriage.
Event location: South Pasadena Library’s community room located at 1115 El Centro St.
This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $30.00 + tax and include one ticket and one copy of Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage.
Tickets cannot be shipped.
We are now accepting paid reservations. You may purchase your tickets online at vromansbookstore.com or by calling the Will Call department at 626-449-5320.
Tickets and books will be available for pick-up from the store location beginning the date of the book’s release, Tuesday, March 17.
Reserved tickets and books may also be picked up at the
Will Call table at the venue the afternoon of the event.
Tickets and books may be available for purchase at the venue, while supplies last.


Monday Recommends – Graphic Novels!

by Jessica on March 16, 2015

Happy Monday! Today I’ve plucked a few from our graphic novels section.

By Jim Krueger, Alex Ross

The artwork alone makes this Graphic Novel a must have for any Comic Book Collection. This is D.C. comics at its finest. Earth is in peril and only the Legion of Doom is able to save it. The Justice League is unable to protect earth this. Unless…

Recommended by Alfonso

By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons

See what the movie left out, including a better ending! Behold the masterstroke of comics’ greatest writer, Alan Moore.
If you only read one graphic novel in your life, read Watchmen.
You’ll be glad you did.

Recommended by Victor

By Adrian Tomine

1) The drawings are clear and not too overstuffed or hectic (this is a plus!)
2) Our hero is sorta likeable but also sometimes a jerk (nothing I can relate to but fascinating – just kidding)
3) The dialogue is familiar yet fresh and rarely false
4) Romantic intrigue and disappointments are played out pretty convincingly and
often with painful honesty
5) The clothing and hairstyles are right on – satisfying!

Recommended by Jeeyeon

By Luke Pearson

A young artist and adventurer goes looking for a troll… AND FINDS ONE! This beautiful indie graphic novel is based off the same Scandanavian folk art that Frozen was!

Recommended by Josh

Batman: Year One
By Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli

Batman: Year One tells the story of Batman’s first year as Gotham’s dark knight. Frank Miller’s portrait of Gotham City is one of crime and police corruption. It also tells the story of Commissioner Gordon’s first year in Gotham. This a MUST READ for any Batman fan.

Recommended by Victor

Have a fab week, friends!


Easter (and Spring) are on the way!

by Jessica on March 11, 2015

A HUGE benefit of living in SoCal is we don’t really have a winter. Though, many of us have come from other places with harsh winters we’re glad to be where we are now. Everywhere else in the country has had a really brutal winter and we feel for them and want them all to be safe. Without much of a winter we don’t necessarily get as excited about Spring as others do in the sense that we can wear shorts when the temps finally get above 30 degrees. However, we can get excited in other ways! With the colors and the blooms popping up all over the city. Dreams of spending whole afternoons lounging in a
park engrossed in a new read.

We just sprang ahead this past weekend so why not showcase some of our colorful Easter things we have on display in the store!


There’s plenty more with that come including a big Spring/Easter book display on the wall in the Children’s Dept. Stop by today for some cheery smiles from the staff and colorful things to look at!

– Jess


It’s that time of the week again!
I tend to read way more non-fiction than fiction. It’s not that I don’t like fiction, it just has to be a very specific type of fiction. I love non-fiction for the same reasons I love documentaries –  I always learn something new. At times it can be going to class without actually having to go there.

Whether that something new is learning about a person, a place, how to do something or how to make something I just devour non-fiction. If you’re crazy about non-fiction too then here are some staff recommends from our Non-Fiction Section.

The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter 
By Matt Paxton, Phaedra Hise

We all hoard to a certain extent. If you can keep it in check it might be considered collecting—baseball cards, antique clocks, movie ephemera (I collect words!). But when it gets out of control then you’ve got problems. Paxton, a professional cleaner, divides hoarders into 5 categories and delineates the warning signs of escalating trouble and offers suggestions for coping (and hopefully controlling) the situation for both the hoarder and those that care about them. A frightening, yet compassionate, look at a growing epidemic.

Recommended by Jan

The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches 
By Zack Hample

Continuing the tradition of his Watching Baseball Smarter, Hample reveals much of the unknown about baseball. He gives us an encyclopedic look at the ball, including history, physics, chemistry, and legend. He also gives us a thorough guide to retrieving balls at a stadium: how to catch a home run on the fly, how to talk to players to get a ball. All VITAL info.

Recommended by John

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales 
By Oliver Sacks

Several neurological mysteries of the human brain get treated with a compassionate, highly fascinating, and very readable touch. Dr. Sacks describes a number of different cases wherein a patient loses a critical function of their mind. One woman, when her hands are placed behind her back… well, you need to read about this for yourself. What I love is that Oliver Sacks is a terrific writer, so his work in the hospital becomes a literary treat for me. Plus, his patients become lovable and uniquely human.

Recommended by Jeeyeon

Spirited: Unlock Your Psychic Self and Change Your Life
By Rebecca Rosen, Samantha Rose

This book guides you through old-fashioned “self work” with the help of outside spiritual support so you can reclaim your happiness and freedom. Fun to read and written from the heart – great for developing your psychic muscles.

Recommended by Regina

Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisan 
By David Rakoff

Go ahead and judge this book by its cover. It’s bright, irreverent, funny and interesting. Humorous essays, reminiscent of David Sedaris. Good for homesick New Yorkers.

Recommended by Allison

Have a fab week, friends!


Our fearless leader (CEO/Prez), Allison Hill has a new piece for the Los Angeles Daily News entitled
5 books that would make great movies. You can read the full article below or follow this link to be taken to the original article. You can also check out her website here!


When I was a kid the three biggest events of my year were Christmas, my birthday and the Academy Awards.

It didn’t matter that I hadn’t seen any of the movies nominated. For me, the Oscars were a party. There was singing, and dancing, and fancy dresses, but most of all they seemed to be a celebration of stories and storytelling. And there was nothing I loved more than stories.

I still love stories. I still love the Oscars. And now I’m lucky enough to live in the city that hosts them. The 87th Academy Awards may have set out to honor films, but this year was also a celebration of books, honored for adaptation and even inspiration. A lot of great books.

Why do some books make it to the big screen though, and others, even others with similar themes or subject matters, don’t? “Still Alice” was a haunting and beautiful novel (and film) about a professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But has anyone green-lighted an adaptation of “Turn of Mind,” a mystery about a murder suspect who is suffering from Alzheimer’s? (The agony of not remembering whether she did it …)

I loved the novel (and film) “Inherent Vice,” Thomas Pynchon’s drug-hazed, noir romp through L.A. in the ’60s. It had Pynchon’s signature penchant for language and crazy cast of characters but was actually accessible unlike his novel “Against the Day,” which admittedly I experienced more as words washing over me rather than actual reading and comprehending.

But what about “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me,” the 1966 counterculture novel by Richard Fariña? It was made into a movie in 1970 but I think we’re ready for a remake. Maybe now that Pynchon’s had his film debut, Hollywood will take a fresh look at this book that Pynchon himself said “comes on like the Hallelujah Chorus done by 200 kazoo players with perfect pitch.”

And let’s talk about “Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.” It is one of my great joys to discover two books about the same topic with contrasting viewpoints. The movie “The Theory of Everything” is actually based on Jane Hawking’s second memoir about her marriage to Stephen Hawking. The first, “Music to Move the Stars,” offers her own different take on her marriage. One not yet softened by time. I think I’d like to see that movie now.

Hollywood blew up the box office and the bestseller list (again) with Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.” We all could visit Disneyland if we had a quarter for every time someone mentioned a book that is “the new ‘Gone Girl,’ ” so I won’t even attempt to address this one. I’m sure the film rights are already negotiated for Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train” anyway.

And what “Birdman” did for Raymond Carver may readers be lucky enough to have happen again with cinematic nods to the short stories of Lydia Davis, Alice Munro or James Salter.

Perhaps it’s trivial to focus on books that are related. Maybe I should lobby for new stories for Hollywood to tell. Or maybe I should talk about the books that have been optioned for years but still haven’t hit the big screen, such as Budd Schulberg’s “What Makes Sammy Run?” Come on, already!


Regardless I think the book world needs its own night of singing, dancing, fancy dresses, red carpet, paparazzi and Neil Patrick Harris. (Well, maybe Ellen DeGeneres.)

Don’t you want to see Bill O’Reilly and Cheryl Strayed present an award together? Don’t you wonder who Stephen King and E.L. James would bring as their dates? Can’t you just imagine what a great speech Toni Morrison would give?

I’ve been waiting all my life for such a night. And I know exactly who I’m going to wear.


Mixed Bag of Monday Recommendations!

by Jessica on March 2, 2015

Happy Monday, ya’ll! Hope everyone had a spectacular weekend that involved reading and resting. It is Monday so that means we have a few recommendations for you in case you are looking for that
new read. Here’s a few from all over the store.

From our Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality Section:

The Pocket Pema Chodron 
By Pema Chodron

Looking for a little solace in the middle of your hectic day? Curious about Buddhism, but have no idea where to start? Well, this little treasure of a book is for you. Randomly flip to any page, and there will undoubtedly be something that applies to you. It is full of bite-sized wisdom, containing over 100 passages on acceptance, patience, compassion, and mindfulness by the beloved Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron. A perfect gift for anyone struggling with challenging emotions or seeking a
little encouragement.
Recommended by Rasha

From our Poetry Section:

Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid 
By Nikki Giovanni

“I wish I could live in a book all wrapped up in my Fairy Godmother’s arms or sitting with my cave mother baking dinosaur eggs” (pg. 93) I’ve said it before but I will say it again, I adore Nikki Giovanni. She is a brilliant & masterful poet. Her words are a celebration of the pain and beauty that is life.
Recommended by Sarah Anne

From our Humor Section:

Vader’s Little Princess
By Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown’s second Star Wars themed book is an amazing little book full of great illustrations depicting Darth Vader parenting a young Princess Leia. Every page brought a smile to my face. From illustrations of Leia critiquing the Death Star trash compactor to Leia introducing Vader to Han for the first time. This would be a great gift for any Star Wars fan and particularly good for dads of all ages. I was overjoyed to get my copy and tell as many people as possible about the book.
Recommended by Clark

From our Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror Section:

By Ken Grimwood

What if you could live life over again? And again? And again?” Jeff Winston, the hero of this compulsively readable novel, dies in the very first sentence…and wakes up in his 18-year-old body in his college dorm room, his memories of his just-ended life completely intact. Jeff ends up caught in an endlessly repeating life loop, never quite living the same life twice, and along the way, he realizes that he is not the only one replaying. A GREAT read!
Recommended by Anne

From our History and Current Affairs Section: 

A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863
By Jeffry D. Wert

It’s difficult to believe that one of this country’s true military geniuses was once derided by his own men as “Granny” – partly due to his insistence on discipline and preparation (most Confederate soldiers were volunteers who believed that fighting spirit was enough to ensure a victory). By the time of the Appomattox Court House, however, he was both beloved by his men and admired by friend and foe alike. This book examines his increasingly effective leadership on the field, his interactions with his subordinate commanders and how those successes led to the overconfidence that resulted in his defeat at Gettysburg. (The book concludes with an overview of his generalship through the end of the war). An engrossing assessment of one of America’s true military greats.
Recommended by Jan

See you next week!!


Introducing Indie Author – Anker Frankoni!

by Jessica on February 25, 2015

We have a wonderful debut novel in stock here at Vroman’s that just so happens to be written by a wonderful indie author (who also just so happens to be a real stand-up guy!) The book is called Mexican Eskimo and the author is Anker Frankoni.

Anker Frankoni  is part joker, part thief, part joyful, part grief. Anker Frankoni strives above all to be a Defender of the Right and Pursuer of Lofty Undertakings. His Twitter account offers occasional threads of 3:00 AM Haiku, and other sporadic letter-cobbled strips of electronically encapsulated musings. Anker calls his work ‘fiction with a mission‘.

Mexican Eskimo is a story for grown-ups: a love story about finding trust and hope amidst generations of anger and neglect, suicide and substance abuse.

A faithful documentation of a most unlikely existence, Mexican Eskimo is an intricate layer-cake of actual and imagined pieces of dimly remembered facts, generously frosted with sweet, sticky gobs of gospel-truth fantasies.

The story is peppered with international flavor, vibrant characters, multi-cultural themes, and lush settings. It is rife with magical realism, and also features a large cast of young protagonists struggling with identity conflicts and independence, described in a range of historical periods from the 1850’s, 1930’s, the present day, and even in worlds that existed so long before now that time itself had not yet started to be counted in years.

If Frankoni’s writing corresponds to your idea of good storytelling, and his ideals resonate with yours, share your own tip with like-minded friends to help spread reader awareness for this promising new writer’s work and cause: 10% of his income from book sales and royalties goes to non-profit organizations working to help stop child-abuse, which resulted in $650 in charitable donations in just the first nine months from release last year.

To help spread reader-awareness in Southern California, the author is offering this special deal to Vroman’s customers through the end of February: Buy a first-edition copy of “Mexican Eskimo Book 1: Exmikan” then email Anker@MexicanEskimo.com with a link to any post in which you share a review, picture, Tweet, Facebook post, etc., of or about his book, and Mr. Frankoni will email you a download code for the 9-Hour unabridged audiobook version of the novel from Audible absolutely free!

Albuquerque’s Weekly Alibi wrote a nice writeup that you can read here.  You can read another review from the Editor in Chief of San Francisco State University’s literaly journal 14 hills here!

Sounds like a good deal, right?
We think so! Stop by to grab a copy of Mexican Eskimo or give us a call at 626.449.5320.

If you’d like to learn more about Anker and his writing please visit him on any of these social platforms.



March Events!

by Jessica on February 24, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 4pm
Alane Daughtery discusses and signs From Mindfulness to Heartfulness: A Journey of Transformation Through the Science of Embodiment
Most of us live our lives worn out with stress, anxiety, and emotional chaos. Moreover, the law of adaptations shows us that the more we experience any internal state, the more it becomes the operating system of our life. From Mindfulness to Heartfulness offers another path. It invites you on your own transformative journey to live life at your fullest capacity. It will show you how you have become who you are, and it will offer you a blueprint for change. It will show you how heartfulness, embodied, calms the threat and fear that so often consumes you, and it will offer you a step-by-step approach to one of calm and connection, including a loving connection with yourself.

Monday, March 2, 7pm
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell discusses and signs Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette
During the reign of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in 18th-century France, the most engrossing, controversial, and extravagant periods in the history of fashion took root. This tumultuous era’s largely female-dominated fashion industry was pivotal to producing courtly attire and also promoted a thriving secondhand clothing market outside of royal influences. In this compelling book, complete with portraits and photos of rare garments, Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell discusses in depth the exceptionally imaginative and uninhibited styles of the period immediately before the French Revolution, and also explores fashion’s surprising influence on the course of the Revolution itself.

Tuesday, March 3, 6pm
Join us for an evening of poetry and art created by the students of Willard School.
Thursday, March 5, 6pm
Literary Trivia Night @ Vroman’s Hastings Ranch!
Brush up on your literary knowledge and join us for some fierce competition! Free to play, all ages welcome. Refreshments will be served and there will be prizes for the winners, too!

Thursday, March 5, 7pm
Stephanie Kegan discusses and signs Golden State
Growing up in the 1960s in one of California’s most prominent political families, Natalie worshipped her big brother, Bobby, a sensitive math prodigy who served as her confidante. But after Bobby left home at sixteen on a Princeton scholarship, something changed between them. Now that Natalie is happily married, with a career and two young daughters, her only real regret is losing Bobby. When a series of bombings across California rocks Natalie’s perfect life, she becomes obsessed with the case until she makes a very unexpected discovery. The bomber’s manifesto reads alarmingly like the last letter she received from Bobby. What follows this discovery is a tale of the limits of loyalty and the sacrifices we make for family.

Friday, March 6, noon
Vroman’s Bookstore’s Lunch with Lisa See
Join us in celebrating the paperback release of China Dolls with this special intimate lunch with Lisa See at The Raymond Restaurant. The Raymond Restaurant located at 1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena. Seating is very limited and sure to go soon so sign up asap. Cost is $60.00 + tax – includes lunch and one paperback copy of China Dolls by Lisa See.

To sign up stop by the Vroman’s Will Call department or call us at 626-449-5320. We will not be taking reservations online for this one.

Saturday, March 7, 10:30am
This remarkable debut from Kelly Light celebrates the brilliant artist that resides in all of us! Louise loves art and she is trying her hardest to create her masterpiece – the one that will finally capture what her imagination looks like on the outside. Louise also loves Art, her little brother, and this is their story. Fans of Eloise and Olivia will love this new children’s literary heroine!
Sunday, March 8, 1pm
Henry Herz presents and signs Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes
In this charming and clever book of nursery rhymes, Herz takes classis Mother Goose storylines and changes the setting to a land filled with monsters and goblins! More playful than scary, these tales are sure to delight children and parents alike as they see their favorite classic nursery rhymes transformed into something new and fresh. Kids are encouraged to come dressed up as their favorite monster for this event!

Monday, March 9, 7pm
Ellen Snortland & Lisa Gaeta discuss and signThe Safety Godmothers: The ABCs of Awareness, Boundaries and Confidence for Teens
FOR PARENTS: Do you avoid speaking to your kids about violence? It’s not your fault; you probably don’t know what to say or even how to begin. Reading The Safety Godmothers: The ABCs of Awareness, Boundaries and Confidence will start the conversation for you in a thorough and entertaining way. This is a book that will change – and possibly even save – your life, or the life of your child. The Safety Godmothers – Ellen Snortland and Lisa Gaeta – know violence reduction and prevention from A-Z. This book is an invaluable compilation of Ellen and Lisa’s personal safety techniques, practical insights and advice, based on their decades of real-world experience.

Tuesday, March 10, 6:30pm
Get ready, world, because Penguin Teen is taking this show on the road! Vroman’s Bookstore is so excited to be a host for the first official Penguin Teen group tour of 2015! Here is your chance to meet Morgan Rhodes (Gathering Darkness, book 3 of the Falling Kingdoms series), Rachel Hawkins (Miss Mayhem, sequel to Rebel Belle), Seth Fishman (The Dark Water, sequel to The Well’s End), Maggie Hall (The Conspiracy of Us) and Jessica Khoury (Kalahari) and talk to them in person about their amazing books!

Wednesday, March 11, 7pm
Jonathan O’Dell discusses and signs Miss Hazel & the Rosa Parks League
Set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi, and inspired by his Mississippi childhood, Odell tells the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida – one wealthy and white and the other poor and black – who have only two things in common: the devastating loss of their children, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another. After drunkenly crashing her car, Hazel is sedated and bed-ridden. Vida is then hired by Hazel’s husband to keep tabs on her and care for their only surviving son. Forced to spend time together, these two women realize that they have more in common that they thought and strive to make changes in their segregated town.

Thursday, March 12, 6pm
In celebration of the release of her debut YA thriller, Tunnel Vision, Susan Adrian has hit the road with her YA Friend Tour, a panel event featuring Susan along with authors Gretchen McNeil (Get Even), Livia Blackburne (Midnight Thief) and Mary McCoy (Dead to Me) who will all be presenting their latest YA releases.

Friday, March 13, 7:30pm
USC’s MPW Student/Faculty Reading Series
The University of Southern California’s MPW Student/Faculty Reading Series occurs once a month at a bookstore in Los Angeles and features five student readers and one faculty reader from the program. Vroman’s is happy to host this latest installment featuring poet, playwright and Professor of the Practice, Brighde Mullins along with several student readers.

Saturday, March 14, 4pm
Claire Keane discusses and signs Once Upon a Cloud
Fresh from her work on Frozen and Tangled, Claire Keane brings her legendary talent to her debut picture book about finding the right present for someone you love. In this visually stunning story about finding unexpected inspiration and giving from the heart, Claire Keane (art department for Frozen and Tangled) invites readers on a rapturous journey through the clouds. Celeste wants to find the perfect gift for her mother, so she takes to the skies in hopes of finding something truly special. She meets the sun, the moon, and the stars, but that still isn’t what she’s looking for. At the end of her journey, Celeste finds the most magical gift, and it’s just what she was hoping to find!

Sunday, March 15, 4pm
Introducing Zharame Publishing Press and authors Dante Zuniga-West, Kristin Kibbee, and Joel Eisenberg
Zaharame Publishing Press aims to deliver stories with depth, that cut to the heart, and appeal to everyone, from Science Fiction to Memoirs and everything in between.

In Dante Zuniga-West’s Rumble Young Man, Rumble Quinton, a man heading to a new town for a fresh start at life. He spends a lot of his time drinking too much, renting too many movies at a local video store and becoming friends with a homeless man named King Henry. He stumbles into a gym where a group of people are training to become Muay Thai fighters. The irresistible pull of fighting forces Quinton to focus his anger. Through this Quinton learns that glaring truth behind an age-old prizefighting manta: there are many fights in life, not all of which occur in the ring.

In Kristin Kibbee’s book, Whole in the Clouds, Cora Catlin feels out of place in her life. She feels that everything is backwards and a part of her is missing. She’s an outcast and an orphan. Things start to turn upward when she encounters an elfin stranger who takes her to a mystical world that awaits her. This world is complete with shy unicorns, elves, inchworms that wear spectacles and trees that sprout children. Cora explores this new world with her devoted dog, Motley. She discovers the meaning of true love, true friendship and what it means to finally feel whole.

Joel Eisenberg’s book, Chronicles of Ara: Creation tells a story of when J.R.R. Tolkien is summoned to authenticate a recently-discovered “lost” book of Beowulf. Events are set in motion that years later will unveil an imminent tragedy: The entirety of the world’s art and invention has been inspired by a corrupted muse, who has implanted a series of codes within the works of history’s most influential authors that warn of humanity’s end.

Monday, March 16, 7pm Victoria Zackheim & contributors present and sign Faith: Essays from Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists

Contributors include: Aviva Layton, Anne Perry, David Corbett, Amanda Enagati, Barbara Abercrombie, Bonnie Garvin, Mara Purl, and David Misch
Dive into this thought-provoking collection of personal essays that explores the perennial question: What do I believe? Whether they are believer, skeptic, agnostic, atheist or something “other” these twenty-four authors share a daring perspective on what faith means or doesn’t mean. This collection includes bestselling authors such as Pam Houston whose wit and sense of irony gives the question of faith a surprising twist.

Tuesday, March 17, 7pm
Elliot Ackerman discusses and signs Green on Blue
Aziz and his older brother, Ali, are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and mountains of Afghanistan. There is no school to attend, but their mother teaches them to read and write. One day, a convoy of armed men arrives in their village and their world starts to crumble. The boys survive and are able to make their way to a small city. They learn to beg and eventually they are able to earn work from the local shopkeepers. When a bomb explodes in the market and Ali is hospitalized, Aziz is forced to join the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. Will Aziz embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind and risk placing his brother in jeopardy?

Wednesday, March 18, 7pm
David Joy discusses and signs Where All Light Tends to Go
The world that Jacob McNeely lives is crueler than most. His father is the leader of an organized meth ring. Jacob dropped out of high school and has been working for his father for years with promises upon promises that his payday will come. His only joy comes from reconnecting with his first love, Maggie. Jacob has always resigned to playing the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, Jacob is faced with a choice. Should he stay and appease his father or should he leave this town and follow the girl he loves?

Thursday, March 19, 7pm
JA Jance discusses and signs Cold Betrayal
Ali Reynolds’s longtime friend, Sister Anselm rushes to help a young pregnant woman who has been hospitalized for severe injuries after she was hit by a car. The woman had been running away from the The Family, a polygamous cult with no tolerance for those who try to leave. Her story strikes a chord with Sister Anselm, reminding her of a case she worked years ago. Meanwhile, marriage is going well for Ali and her husband B. Simpson. Ali’s hope for slowing down is thrown out the window when Ali’s new daughter-in-law approaches her in desperate need for help. The girl’s grandmother, Betsy, has been receiving anonymous threats but the police think the elderly woman’s just losing her wits. While Ali struggles to find a way to protect Betsy, Sister Anselm needs her help as well. The two race the clock to uncover the secrets of The Family before someone comes back to bury them forever.

Friday, March 20, 7pm
Dennis Lehane discusses and signs World Gone By
It’s been ten years since Joe Coughlin’s enemies killed his wife and destroyed his empire. The former crime kingpin now works as a consigliore to the Bartolo crime family, where he travels between Tampa and Cuba, his wife’s homeland. Joe is a master and effortlessly mixes with Tampa’s social elite, the U.S. Naval intelligence, the Lansky-Luciano mob and the mob-financed government of Fulgencio Batista. He seems to have everything – money, power, anonymity and a beautiful mistress. But success cannot protect him from the dark truth of his past; the wages of a lifetime of sin weigh heavy and will eventually be paid in full.

Saturday, March 21, 11am – 4pm
Zine Workshop
We will be continuing our zine workshop. Zines, comics & other forms
of diy (self publishing). Illustrators/writers of all ages welcome!!!

Saturday, March 21, noon
Shane Dawson has always been an open book. We’ve seen him go from his first YouTube vlog back in 2008 to his cover story in “Variety” magazine. We’ve seen him deal with weight loss center drama, heard details of his love life and loved his adorable Q & A’s with his mom. In his debut book, I Hate Myselfie, fans are finally able to get a chance to see the real Shane through personal stories that are both humorous and heartwarming. Shane’s memoir features the silliness and satire that his fans already love but it will be even more in depth and more real.

Saturday, March 21, 4pm
Cara Black & Rhys Bowen present and sign Murder on the Champ de Mars and The Edge of Dreams

In Murder on the Champ de Mars, it’s April 1999 in Paris and Aimee Leduchas has her hands full. She is running her detective agency while fighting off sleep deprivation as she tries to be a good single mother to her new bebe. The last thing she has time for is to take on an investigation for a poor manouche (Gypsy) boy. But the boy insists. He says his dying mother has a very important secret to tell Aimee about her father’s unsolved murder a decade ago. When Aimee arrives at the hospital, the boy’s mother has disappeared. What does she know that’s so important? Will Aimee be able to find her before it’s too late?

In The Edge of Dreams, Molly Murphy Sullivan’s husband Daniel is a captain in the New York City police force who is finding himself stumped. He is chasing a murderer whose victims have nothing in common. Nothing except for the taunting notes that are delivered to Daniel after each and every murder. When Daniel receives a note immediately after Molly and her young son Liam are in a train crash, Daniel and Molly begin to fear that maybe Molly herself was the target. Molly’s detective instincts are humming but finding the time to dig deeper into the case proves to be a challenge. Molly starts suffering from strange dreams and she wonders if they just might hold answers to solving Daniel’s murder case.

Sunday, March 22, 4pm
Ron Young discusses and signs Crossing Boundaries in the Americas, Vietnam, and the Middle East
Crossing Boundaries in the Americas, Vietnam, and the Middle East is the personal, yet profoundly political first-person account of one man’s unique interracial and interfaith leadership roles over five decades in movements for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, and for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace. Ron Young’s story, told with honesty, humility, and humor, gives an insider view of key events in these movements and personalizes a significant strain of modern American history not often afforded sufficient attention in either the textbooks or the mainstream press. This book is an important read for anyone interested in these issues and movements. It should be recommended reading for students in colleges and high schools. (Resource Publications)

Monday, March 23, 7pm Jack Bishop discusses and signs The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to Eating Well with 700 Foolproof Recipes

This comprehensive cookbook is full of more than 700 recipes including appetizers, soups, savory pies and hearty vegetarian main dishes. It will give vegetarians and those wanting to incorporate more vegetables, grains and beans into their diets hundreds of inventive and appealing options to choose from.

Wednesday, March 25, 7pm
Mary Doria Russell discusses and signs Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral
America in 1881 was full of vicious politics, smuggling and gang warfare along the Mexican border and a president that was scorned by half the population. All those forces came to a head on the afternoon of October 26, when Doc Holiday and the three Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple arrest but thirty seconds and thirty bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt. Wyatt Earp was the only man left standing. The lies began before the smoke even cleared but the gunfight at the O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs. Epitaph gives voice to the real men and women whose lives were changed forever by the fatal thirty seconds at in Tombstone. At the heart of it all is the woman behind the myth, Josephine Sarah Marcus, who loved Wyatt Earp. She carefully chipped away at the truth until she had crafted the legend that would become the epitaph she believed her husband deserved.

Thursday, March 26, 7pm
Jacqueline Winspear discusses and signsA Dangerous Place
In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, stability and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all Maisie wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. Her sojourn is cut short when her stepmother summons her home because her aging father is not getting any younger. Aboard the ship returning to England, Maisie realizes she isn’t ready to return. Against the captain’s wishes, she heads to Gibraltar. The danger in Gibraltar is very real. Days after Maisie’s arrival, a photographer, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered. Miaise becomes entangled in the case and draw the attention of the British Secret Service. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is equally as dangerous but in a very different way.

Friday, March 27, noon Vroman’s Bookstore presents Barney Frank discussing and signing Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage
Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage is one man’s account of the country’s transformation and the tale of a truly momentous career. Many Americans recall Frank’s lacerating wit, whether it was directed at the Clinton impeachment (“What did the president touch, and when did he touch it?”) or the pro-life movement (some people believe “life begins at conception and ends at birth”). But his private and public lives are less well-known. For more than four decades, he was at the center of the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness. From the battle over AIDS funding in the 1980s to the debates over “big government” during the Clinton years to the 2008 financial crisis, Barney Frank played a key role.
In this feisty and often moving memoir, Frank candidly discusses the satisfactions, fears, and grudges that come with elected office. He recalls the emotional toll of living in the closet and how his public crusade against homophobia conflicted with his private accommodation of it. He discusses his painful quarrels with allies; his friendships with public figures, from Tip O’Neill to Sonny Bono; and how he found love with his husband, Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting member of Congress to enter a same-sex marriage.

Event location: South Pasadena Library‘s community room located at 1100 Oxley St, South Pasadena. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $30.00 + tax and include one ticket and one copy of Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage.  More…

Saturday, March 28, 10:30am
A banjo is a stringed musical instrument with a circular frame. This banjo craft is aimed mostly to preschoolers and toddlers but older children will also love to make it and definitely love playing with it. Join us after Mr. Steve’s storytime for this fun and musical craft!

Sunday, March 29, 2pm

Kyanna the Rad Scientist

Join us for a day of science exploration! We’ll have several experiments you & your kids can do together to understand how electricity works, sound is created and how chemistry can explain even the most outlandish of magic tricks, the science behind it is way cooler anyway!!

Sunday, March 29, noon
Vroman’s Local Author Day KIDS EDITIONIntroduces
Gloria Avrech &
James Matlack Raney
Nana is seeking a connection to her inner Spirit. Her granddaughter, Lily-Rose, helps her by creating a special experience which ends up surprising and amazing both of them. Their imaginative travel takes them into magical and real, inner and outer worlds. In this delightful story, the reader learns about shamanic ritual and journey work. Also, the reader learns that the old fashioned idea, “Children should be seen and not heard.” is incorrect. Actually, children should be seen and heard; someone young can instruct someone old. Wisdom and knowledge can be found in humans of all ages.

James Matlack Raney discusses and signs

Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves

Eleven year-old Jim Morgan once had a home, a life of comfort, and a future full of promise. But all that changed the night his father was murdered. Now Jim is on the run from his father’s enemies, a wicked count and his vengeful son, and at the same time, trying to decipher the secret to the last mystery his father left him – the hidden location of an ancient treasure.

Monday, March 30, 7pm
Smith Henderson discusses and signs Fourth of July Creek
Benjamin Pearl is an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness. Pete Snow is a social worker that is trying to help Benjamin. However, Pete comes face-to-face with the boy’s disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and a lot of caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist. As Pete’s own family spins out of control, Pearl’s activities park the interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the center of an enormous manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Tuesday, March 31, 7pm
Alexis Landau discusses and signs The Empire of the Senses
Lev Pearlmutter is an assimilated, cultured German Jew who enlists to fight in World War I. He leaves behind his gentile wife, Josephine and their children, Franz and Vicki. Part 1 of the novel focuses on Lev and his experiences on the Eastern Front. Part 2 picks up in Berlin in 1927-1928, the Pearlmutter children are now young adults and grappling with their own questions. Franz is drawn into the Brown Shirt movement while struggling with his unexpressed homosexuality. Vicki has bobbed hair and is enamored with jazz music all while falling in love with a young man who wants to take her to Palestine. Unlike most historical novels of this kind, The Empire of the Senses is not about the Holocaust but about the brew that led to it.