Another Human of the Bookstore is up on Tumblr!

by Jessica on September 18, 2014

In honor of our 120th Anniversary we are celebrating the people who have helped us and supported us over the years. We’re calling the project HUMANS OF THE BOOKSTORE and we’ll be posting the stories on our Tumblr.

This blog will have a little taste of what’s happening over there. Please follow us in this celebration of YOU!

We’ll be throwing a party in November to celebrate 120 so stay tuned for those details!

I had such a great time chatting with these ladies! They were so sweet, so adorable and more than willing to spend 20 minutes of their day talking to me. This is an excerpt from our conversation.

Bi-Weekly Knitting Meet-Up Group, Stitch-In
L to R: Elaine, Jewel, Lucie, Barbara, Leah

Leah: “We originally started the group over in the space near Anthropology (Vroman’s Museum Store). We met on the same days but we had an afternoon and an evening group. We moved over to this location then (Vroman’s Main Store). We were upstairs for a long time, then we were in the back and then they moved us to this spot. We’re noisy and we talk. We let people know that. Most of the time they move. We’ve had at least two or three people come by that have just been shopping here and said, “Oh! You knit?” We’ve had a couple people come back and sit with us and bring their stuff; there are usually 8 of us.”

Elaine: “Before we even started meeting here I came for the books! Most of us usually go home with a book or two…or six!”

Jewel: “Sometimes we have a double circle of chairs because there have been so many people.”

Leah: “So that’s our story. I do the knitting. Lucie handles the lace and crochet. Barbara tells us where to go… “

Elaine: “I also think that we advertise the bookstore to friends. Bookstores aren’t around that much anymore.”


Shakespeare in the PARK(let)! This Friday (9/19)

by Jessica on September 17, 2014

It’s almost the third Friday of September and you know what that means?!

PARK(ing) Day!

A little background on PARK(ing) day if you think I’m just talking gibberish!

This  movement begun in 2005 when Matthew, John, and Blaine wanted to bring attention to the lack of urban parks and pubic space. They accomplished this by paying a parking meter on a street in San Francisco—for two hours. During those two hours sod was rolled out, a bench and tree were placed, and people were invited to come and sit on the bench or on the grass; read a book or chat with a friend; sip on a latte or munch on a salad; take a nap or fly a kite—anything goes in these temporary parks. More info can be found here.

The Pasadena Playhouse will be taking over a parking spot near Urth Caffe complete with Writers in Residence (on typewriters),Shakespearean actors and calligraphy demos!

Friday, Sept. 19th, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
600 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
SE corner of Colorado and Madison
Free event
For other details, visit

Urth Caffe is offering a discount lunch to PARK(let) visitors.

Here are some fun photos from around the web of past PARK(ing) Days!





Stop by, enjoy some lunch and the Park(let)s popping up or maybe even start one of your own! Have fun out there and stay hydrated!


First HOTB Post is up on Tumblr! Here’s a taste!

by Jessica on September 16, 2014

We’ve got our first Humans of the Bookstore post up on Tumblr this morning!

Here’s a taste of what will be happening over there. Follow the Tumblr, share with your friends, celebrate YOU being awesome!


“I’m a school principal. It’s an incredibly stressful job. So this is actually part of a ritual I do every week. My favorite movie theater is next door (Laemmle) so I usually come down every Tuesday afternoon. I grab something to eat locally then I come here and I probably end up buying more books than I should! Then after I spend an hour and a half browsing I head over to the theater and catch a movie and then head home. It really helps me maintain my sanity.”




Introducing Humans of the Bookstore!

by Jessica on September 15, 2014

We have something really special to introduce to you!

In November, we are celebrating our 120th anniversary! Crazy, huh? We couldn’t be more proud of this achievement. We’re working on planning all sorts of fun things to help you celebrate with us!

One of those things is something we are calling Humans of the Bookstore!
It will be located on our Tumblr.

Throughout the years, so many people have been a part of helping us or supporting us in some way so that we can continue to be such a great bookstore. This is our way of thanking those people! We’re talking to customers, authors, buyers, maintenance crew, anyone and everybody that has helped shape us in some way. The conversations we’ve had with them, along with their photos will be posted on the Humans of the Bookstore Tumblr. I’ll be posting a little taste on this blog too.

Please follow along with us on this journey in celebrating YOU! We’ll keep you updated with all the other things we are planning as well and hope that you join us in this celebration! Please help us spread the word about this project as well. Please use the hashtag #HOTB when you are re-posting to your personal social media.

Thank YOU for being such a vital part of Vroman’s!


Whole Lotta Classes Goin’ On

by Jessica on September 10, 2014

It’s back to school for the kids and back to school for us too. We have a couple classes I wanted to highlight that we’ve got goin’ on this fall!

First Up TWO Vroman’s Education Classes are happening!

The Basic Four for Story Development: Point of View, Structure, Character Development and Dialogue
 Thursdays, September 18 – October 23, 6:30 – 8:30pm
 $250.00 per student

Learn the basics before you begin. Or if you are stuck in the novel, memoir or short story you’ve already begun, plug in for a recharge. This intensive and inspirational four-week course will teach you all you need to know about The Basic Four: Point of View, Structure, Character Development and Dialogue. Dynamic, engaging writing exercises, the chance to share your work in a safe environment, and concentrated mentoring by an award-winning novelist and skilled writing instructor will help jump-start your writing or pick you up out of the doldrums. All genres and writing abilities are welcome. Bring laptops or your favorite pen.
Instructor: Leslie Schwartz is the award-winning author of Angels Crest and Jumping the Green. She has published numerous short stories, essays and articles. She has taught writing for the past 20 years at various academic institutions including UCLA Extension, the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and UC Irvine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Pacific University and is the recipient of numerous awards for her writing. You can find her at


Beth Amine’s Shrine Making Workshop
Saturday, September 20, 1 – 5pm
$95.00 per person, materials included

Do you have the desire to explore your artistic creativity, clear the past, or intuit a new direction for career, health or love? If so, our next fulfilling and easy workshop is for you.
Shrine making is about self love and self discovery. Using a gently guided process, you will construct, paint and embellish a beautifully crafted wooden sacred space with doors and reveal hidden knowledge to yourself through the process. Beth has been working with thousands of people of all ages for over a decade. Each individual has a wonderfully fun experience of intuitive creativity and connection.
Instructor: Beth Amine has been dedicated to self expression in the arts for over four decades. She has created hundreds of commissioned works and paintings, as well as dance performances and teaching. Her passion for personal exploration has led her to create formats in both the visual arts and movement that allow anyone – literally anyone, from an autistic child to a patient with Alzheimer’s to a stressed executive – to experience the joy and well-being, that comes from expressing and connecting to ones internal life. Her work can be seen at It is her greatest pleasure to share this delight with you.

We are now taking sign ups for these classes! Call Vroman’s Will Call at 626-449-5320 to sign up.


The First Tuesday of Every Month Arthur Murray Dance Studio is putting on FREE dance classes on the Paseo!

Tuesday October 14th @ 6pm-6:30pm will be a Salsa Group Class!

Tuesday November 11th @6pm-6:30pm will be a Swing Group Class!

Tuesday December 9th @ 6pm-6:30pm will be a Merengue Group Class!



Go ahead, have some fun while gettin’ your learn on!


Spotlight on Story Time Mr. Steve! Happy 25 Years!

by Jessica on September 3, 2014

Today is Story Time Mr. Steve’s 25th Anniversary with Vroman’s!

We are so excited we get to celebrate such a great employee. Mr. Steve is legendary as Vroman’s story time reader and bargain book buyer. He has recommended thousands of books to young readers over the years. Those of us around here count on him for his book knowledge, sense of humor and eccentricities.

I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Steve this morning to ask him five questions.

1.)  How did you get your start at Vroman’s?
In 1989, I had been working at a dry cleaners for 5 years. My mom saw an ad and said, “You’ve always loved books. There’s a bookstore literally up the road from where you are working now. Why don’t you apply for it?” So I did. I walked in and I pretty much was hired on the spot because I made the Kids book buyer at the time laugh.

2.)    What was Vroman’s like back then?
It was much smaller, physically. It was half the size. We were open from 9am until 6pm. We were open only five hours on Sundays. We didn’t have a story time at that time. I wasn’t the first story time person.

3.)    That brings me to my next question, how did you become THE Story time Mr. Steve?
Haha. We had a girl, named Jennifer Alexander, who had a lot of credentials. She was an actress, a reading therapist and a teacher among many, many other things. She initiated story time and did it for like two years before moving on. They were like, “You’ve seen what she does. Do what she does.” For the first couple years, it was kind of like an imitation of what she did. Then I got more comfortable with it and made it my own thing.

4.)    What’s been the most fulfilling part about working at Vroman’s? What has kept you around…besides people putting up with your sass?
HAHA! You can put that in there too. You know what, in the end, there’s generally a lot of fairness. Just with Vroman’s mission statement is great. We have a great employee discount, all the vacation time. Some retail places don’t offer those things to their employees. Also, over the years I’ve had some really great co-workers and really great friends. Tons of stories that I’ll never forget…better than anything you could read in a book! The story time has been fulfilling. Really, the fact that I do the sale books and can put cheap and affordable books in the hands of people that otherwise might not get them is really good.

5.)    Lastly, any fun stories you’d like to share from over the years?
How many pages do you want the blog post to be? Haha! Well, here I’ll tell you about the Count. He was a regular customer. He always wore either a cape or a trench coat and carried a cane. He used to be a Shakespearean actor. He would come through and you’d ask him, “How ya doin’, Count?” And he’d say, “I’m still breathing, thank you. I hope you’re well” in a very Shakespearean accent. One day, a co-worker said that he had run for President so I asked him about it. Then we became friends! He would come in maybe once a week or once in awhile and then towards the end of his life he would come almost every day and just tell stories. The whole life with the Count was such an adventure!

Take a stroll down memory lane with us! Here are some photos of Mr. Steve from over the years!

Arrgh! It’s a Pirate Party!

And some from our celebration earlier today!

How fitting is it that Mr. Steve celebrates his 25th Anniversary on a story time morning! Here’s a shot from this morning!

Celebrating Mr. Steve earlier today!


Thanks for everything you do Mr. Steve! Happy 25 years!

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This Is Halloween…This Is Halloween!

by Jessica on September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day! What better way to celebrate than a post on fall…

As I mentioned last week in our September Events post the season of Fall is my favorite. Cooler (hopefully) weather, scarves, tea, tons and tons of pumpkin flavored things! By the way my favorite way to use pumpkin is in pancakes.

Along with fall comes Halloween which brings me to the reason for this post. We have our Halloween displays up! I snapped a bunch of photos to post here. There are some adorable decorations this year! Take a peek then go treat yourself to something pumpkin flavored.

Seriously. Great towels.


And this one too!



So. Much. Fun.


We are so excited to feature a really cool project by our own Danielle Borsch called NAME THIS MOVIE!!

Danielle has been in the book industry for six years. For over a year now, she has been managing the Children’s & Young Adult Department here at Vroman’s. I’m sure many readers of this blog have been helped by Danielle when searching in the Kid’s Department.

Fellow Vroman’s employees Waylon Bacon and Steve Ross also helped out with the campaign video!

The idea came from Danielle’s partner, Mike Winingham. Mike is an award winning screenwriter and will pen the screenplay based on the backers’ selections. He will also direct the final feature film.


The basis of NAME THIS MOVIE is this. We’ve all sat around at coffee shops and diners talking about how we would make this movie different or that we liked this part but we would change that part. Well, with NAME THIS MOVIE you can do just that!

The first of it’s kind, NAME THIS MOVIE is 100% socially-created. At feature-length, YOU are able to choose the plot, the characters and more! It’s a film that will be created by fans for fans.

But what is a socially-created film? For as little as $1, backers earn a vote toward the film’s title and literally “Name This Movie.” Higher pledges give the backers say in additional categories, including:

What is the GENRE of the film?
What does the VILLAIN want?
Is the LOVE STORY a major or minor part of the film?
Does the film have a HAPPY ENDING?

In addition to casting votes on the film’s content, backers can also select special experiences – tickets to events, visits to set, apprenticeships on the film and sweet swag  – posters, mugs, and even one-of-a-kind props! reported, “Thousands of filmmakers have used Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other sites to crowdsource money and other aspects of the movie-creation process. Michael Winingham seems to have taken that process to its logical end with Name This Movie.”

The Kickstarter campaign was launched on August 1 and goes until September 30.

Check out the campaign video here!

To join in on the fun and be a part of the movie making process check out the Kickstarter page!

For more information check out the NAME THIS MOVIE website!

Or find them on Facebook & Twitter for up-to-date news!


Young Readers League is back!

by Jessica on August 26, 2014

Thanks to a generous grant from indie bookstore champion and best-selling author James Patterson, we’re happy to announce a new Young Reader’s League program and selection!

This exciting program, in the spirit of One City, One Story programs was designed as a school-wide community reading extravaganza. Two years ago our first Young Readers League selection was Vroman’s favorite Savvy by Ingrid Law.

Young Reader’s League had 1,000 members join together to read this amazing book and participate in book clubs, essay contests, special events, turtle meet and greets, school visits by the author, and a Saavy Soiree finale at Vroman’s! Students all over Pasadena were reading, and answering the question, “What’s your Savvy?”

This year’s program promises to be even more exciting as we announce the
2014-2015 Young Readers League pick:

El Deafo by Cece Bell

This full color, funny, poignant, charming graphic novel for children, ages 8 to 12 (but really for all ages), introduces readers to El Deafo, our hearing impaired hero! It’s about feeling different, fitting in, making friends, and declaring one’s place in the world.

Everyone here at Vroman’s is in love with this book and the kids who helped us select this title could barely contain their excitement for it– reading it 2 and 3x and declaring, “Read it. It IS Amazing!”

Danielle, our Children’s Department Manager called it, “Perfect for children who loved Wonder or Smile.”

Heather, the creator of YRL, says, “El Deafo is a wonderfully smart and funny look at growing up with hearing loss. While Cece adjusts to wearing her Phonic Ear every day she is also challenged by many things we all face: making friends, first crushes and self acceptance. This is a lovely read that you will want to share with your friends!”

This is the kind of book that excites us as booksellers, and that we believe excites children about reading!


“A standout autobiography. Someone readers will enjoy getting to know.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Worthy of a superhero.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This empowering autobiographical story belongs right next to Raina Telgemeier’s” Smile “(2011) and Liz Prince’s “Tomboy.” –Booklist

Watch the funny and heart-warming video of Cece Bell talking about El Deafo!

YouTube Preview Image

We call on all the children in the San Gabriel Valley to read this book! The book comes out September 2nd (we are accepting pre-orders now!) So pre-order your copy of the book at Vroman’s and start watching for event announcements.

Young Reader’s League will be bringing the author to local schools this fall, and in January, Vroman’s will be hosting all kinds of special El Deafo programs, events, including a special visit from Cece Bell, the author herself… in person!!

Sign up for our email list or watch our website for upcoming announcements and details!

You can also check out CeCe Bell on these platforms:




September Events!

by Jessica on August 25, 2014

Can you believe Labor Day is just around the corner and that means summer is nearing a close? :(

Don’t get too upset though because this also means it’s almost fall! My personal favorite time of year and a really busy time in general for books.

We have a ton of great events coming up in September to help kick off the season with a bang! Mark your calendars. We can’t wait to see you in the crowd.


Friday, September 5, 7pm
Teddy Steinkellner discusses and signs Trash Can Nights

Jake Schwartz is back at San Paulo Junior High, completely unprepared for his new celebrity status as the-boy-who-survived-a-gang-brawl. Facing unwanted attention from both foes and fanatics, he and three other diverse students must tread the middle school waters of adversity, romance, insecurity, and popularity.  All of this and more is in the remarkable follow-up to the popular Trash Can Days.


Sunday, September 7, 5pm
John Scalzi discusses and signs Lock In

“When a virus blasts the nation, leaving most sufferers only feverish, a handful with acute meningitis, and an unfortunate one percent so completely locked in that they can’t speak or even move, scientists come to the rescue with two initiatives. One is a virtual-reality environment, “The Agora,” that allows the locked-in to interact with others. The other involves the discovery that a few folks have brains receptive to being controlled by others, allowing the locked-in to hop aboard and use the bodies of these people as their own.”- Library Journal


Monday, September 8, 7pm
Priya Rana Kapoor discusses and signs Give Yourself Permission to Live Your Life

In her new book, Priya Rana Kapoor takes you on The Permission Journey™, a step-by-step guide that will equip you with the strength and courage to have newfound self-confidence and live the life you’ve always dreamed. Told from personal experience, Kapoor explains how she battled her own demons and how you can do the same. The breakthrough techniques outlined in The Permission Journey™ have benefited a wide range of people, from executives of large international corporations, to recent graduates struggling to find their feet. Everyone struggles with self-worth from time to time, and this book lets us know that we’re not alone and what we can do to turn things around.


Tuesday, September 9, 7pm
Bill Bradley discusses and signs Los Angeles Union Station: Tracks to the Future

Los Angeles Union Station opened in May of 1939, an unusual time for such a grand station to open considering the more common ways of travel were by car or plane. Thanks to its early inclusion on the National Registry of Historic Places, this iconic Southern California landmark has stood its ground and is now the hub of the country’s newest light rail and subway system, serving hundreds of thousands of people each week. Author William Bradley provides us with little-known details about this beloved landmark and couples them with beautifully rendered vintage photographs to help transport readers into one of California’s most important stories.
Mike the Poet will open the evening with an introductory poem for Los Angeles Union Station: Tracks to the Future.


Thursday, September 11, 7pm
Alice Simpson discusses and signs Ballroom

Told in interconnecting stories, Ballroom is a beautifully crafted novel about a group of strangers united by a desire to escape their complicated lives, if only for a few hours each week, in a faded New York City dance hall. The glamour of the Ballroom is all but gone, but the small group of loyal patrons struggling to find passion, love, attention, and deferred dreams keep the dance floor alive. After all, it is their only way to mend their tired and unfulfilled lives. The way these varied characters come together are both touching and unexpected in this stunning debut novel.


Friday, September 12, 7pm
Judy Carter discusses & signs The Message of You
In Honor of the upcoming San Gabriel Valley Pride LGBT Festival, Vroman’s presents Judy Carter reading and signing The Message of You.

The Message of You begins with a simple belief – that your greatest speech already exists and that it has already been delivered in front of a live audience masterfully and powerfully by you. Best-selling author and international comic Judy Carter sets out to prove that The Message of You is in the advice you give to your friends; in the lessons you teach your children; in the stories you tell your family. It’s expressed through the volunteer work you do, the way you run your business, the way you turned your messes into successes.

The Message of You is a distillation of all of your experiences, both personal and professional, that form the narrative meaning of your life. A meaning that you can develop into a well-written, funny speech to inspire audiences, enhance your current profession, and launch a successful money-making career as a professional speaker.

San Gabriel Valley Pride LGBT Festival will be Saturday, September 20th from 11am to 6pm in Pasadena’s Memorial Park, Levitt Pavilion and Holly Street.


Sunday, September 14, 4pm
Darrell Miller discusses and signs The 16th Minute of Fame

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” This famous Andy Warhol quip has now become possible, in large part, due to the vast audiences of hundreds of channels of scripted television and unscripted reality TV shows. Author Darrell Miller characterizes fame as that defining point in your life or career that has the potential and capacity to actually take you to a higher level of success and to reach your personal or business goals. Throughout his career as an entertainment attorney, the author has observed many high profile people who have achieved their personal dreams. Miller’s primary goal is to make people stop and give real consideration to some of these issues in an effort to motivate them to understand that once they have reached a certain level of fame and fortune, it is extremely important to spend quality time developing basic plans and avoiding complacency in order to sustain their success.


Monday, September 15, 7pm
Elizabeth Silver & Erin Lindsay McCabe present and sign The Execution of Noa P. Singleton and I Shall Be Near to You

Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date. Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing, claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa’s sentence to life in prison. There’s just one caveat: Noa must tell her side of the story. Linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life itself can impose while they confront the best and worst of what makes us human.

Inspired by more than 250 documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near to You is the gripping story of Rosetta, who refuses to leave her husband’s side whatever the cost. Refusing to abide by cultural standards, Rosetta cuts her hair, hems an old pair of pants, and enlists as a Union soldier. The couple must face incredible odds to stay together, including gender conventions, constant danger, and the fear that her secret might become exposed. Above all, this debut novel tells a love story about what can happen when two partners face life’s challenges together.


Tuesday, September 16, 7pm
Stuart Rojstaczer discusses and signs The Mathematician’s Shiva

Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch and his family would like to mourn the passing of his mother, Rachela, with modesty and dignity. But Rachela, a famous Polish émigré mathematician and professor at the University of Wisconsin, is rumored to have solved the million-dollar Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize problem. Rumor also has it that she spitefully took the solution to her grave. To Sasha’s dismay, a ragtag group of socially challenged mathematicians arrives in Madison and crashes the shiva, vowing to do whatever it takes to find the solution. Written by a geophysicist, this debut novel tackles not only the human drive, but also human beings’ determination to solve the impossible.


Wednesday, September 17, 7pm
Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman discusses and signs The Golem of Hollywood

The legend of the Golem of Prague has endured through the ages, but the creature that has been lying dormant may not be any longer. Detective Jacob Lev wakes one morning, dazed and confused: He knows he met a mysterious and beautiful woman the night before, but can find no trace of her. But this mystery pales in comparison to the one he’s about to be called on to solve. Newly reassigned to a Special Projects squad he didn’t even know existed, he’s sent to a murder scene in the hills of Hollywood. There is no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor of a house. Seared into a kitchen counter nearby is a single word: the Hebrew for justice. Detective Lev is about to embark on a globetrotting odyssey to solve a mystery that will change him, and the world, forever.


Thursday, September 18, 7pm
Ron Koertge discusses and signs Sex World

This collection of flash fiction will leave you in stitches as you read about a robot who claims that the sound of turbines is his lullaby, or how a fed-up daughter finds a foolproof way to do away with her horrible mother. Fans of the classic Persephone and Demeter story will love Koertge’s new take on the tale and you’ll also hear about a page from Lois Lane’s diary that reveals a surprising secret! Each story is more unique than the last and is told in a way that only Koertge can.


Thursday, September 25, 7pm
James Ellroy discusses and signs Perfidia

In this new novel, James Ellroy writes about Los Angeles in a way that he never has before. It is December 6, 1941, and America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans—but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons several Angelenos – a detective, a war profiteer, the only Japanese-American on the LA cop payroll, and a young woman looking for adventure – who must come together before the investigation rips them apart.


  Friday, September 28, 6:30pm
Aaron Becker discusses and signs Quest
In this follow up to the Caldecott Honor Journey, Aaron Becker tells of a king who emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination.


Saturday, September 27, 3pm
Liz Climo discusses and signs The Little World of Liz Climo

Artist Liz Climo has charmed her fans with her comic world of whimsical animal characters, where grizzly bears, dinosaurs, rabbits, and anteaters grapple with everyday life with wit and humor. Through her comics, we discover that an armadillo can dress for Halloween, a dinosaur can be a loving parent … and a rhino can squeeze orange juice! This new collection features more than 100 of her comics, starring her beloved characters in all kinds of funny situations.

Sunday, September 28, 12pm
Local Author Day: Vroman’s introduces Benla Bennett and Jerilyn McIntyre
Benla Bennett reads from and signs The Land at the Top of the Stairs
A Note from the Benla Bennett: “These stairs were built by my father in the 1960’s to provide us access to the top of our property in order to clear brush. Over the years the question everyone, adults and children alike, asks when he or she walks into my backyard is: “What’s at the top of the stairs?” With that question in mind, I decided to write The Land at the Top of the Stairs from a child’s point of view. While turning this story into a book I decided it would be fun to let the reader illustrate the story. Children are so very creative. Each book would certainly be an original with the child’s illustrations.”

  Jerilyn McIntyre reads from and signs Paws in the Piazza
“Back home, I was content to be just an ordinary house cat. I didn’t get out much. But it’s different here in Venice.” How different? Harley quickly finds out after his family arrives in Italy. He takes up with a group of local cats who roam wild in the alleys and neighborhoods of Venice, and meets the mysterious Angela, a beautiful white Angora who steals his heart. Then he becomes embroiled in a fierce and ongoing war between his friends and a rival band of cats, and discovers the magical order that underlies life in the enchanting and historic city that is his new home.

Sunday, September 28, 4pm
Local Author Day: Vroman’s introduces Dublin Galyean, W. David Smith, & Clyde Derrick

Dublin Galyean discusses and signs Bougainvillea Blues
Bougainvillea Blues is the heartfelt coming of age story of Joey Norton, a twelve-year-old boy. Sex, love, and voyeurism: Joey is trying to figure it all out. When his world collides with the gorgeous Gloria, the boy who likes to watch is forced to participate in his own life for the first time. A smothering mother, neighborhood boys with their own code of sexuality, and a father with secrets that will stun the family and force Joey to make the first grown-up decisions of his life turn up the heat on a story of love and loss see in the breezy, warm air of 1960’s San Diego.

W. David Smith discusses and signs Above the Mountain
The poems of Above the Mountain are moments with private people and what they dream when life changes. Five lives open, the last a questioning child who experiences near physical death in the midst of laughing adults, then a manifestation of a death much bigger than his own. The book concludes with the actual demise of a friend in childhood and a glimpse of the humanity behind one person’s eyes the life of the vanished friend creates as years pass.

Clyde Derrick discusses and signs The Wash
With bold characters and exquisite prose, The Wash is a compelling addition to California literature. Clyde Derrick masterfully captures a time and place while telling the sprawling multi-generational story of a Western family as seen through the clear and loving eyes of Cluny Taggart, recalling his twelfth year.
Monday, September 29, 7pm
Steph Cha discusses and signs Beware Beware: A Juniper Song Mystery

Working as an apprentice at a P.I. firm, Juniper Song finds herself nose deep in a Hollywood murder scandal. When a young woman named Daphne calls looking for an eye on her boyfriend, Song takes the case. Daphne is an independently wealthy painter living in New York, and her boyfriend Jamie is a freelance screenwriter in Los Angeles, ghostwriting a vanity project for aging movie star Joe Tilley. Song quickly learns that there’s more to this case than a simple tail, and her suspicions are confirmed when Tilley winds up dead in a hotel room. Nonetheless, when Jamie becomes the prime suspect in the movie star’s murder, she agrees to help the charismatic couple discover the truth, even as the police build their case against Jamie. As Song chases leads, she realizes no one – not even herself – is safe from judgment.