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.

Website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

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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.

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We’ve got a great Mystery section here with a lot of mystery fans on staff.
We even have a Mystery Newsletter (Scene of the Crime)! There’s a lot of mystery out there to read so if you’re looking for something new to pick up check out a few picks below!

Blood Memory
by Margaret Coel

If you read Girl With Braided Hair I’m sure you liked it, and that makes Blood Memory a must! This mystery is a stand-alone from Ms. Coel’s usual series of tales but she hasn’t deserted the Native American theme. Catherine McLeod is an investigative reporter. She’s working hard on a story about the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes filing to reclaim twenty-seven million acres of their ancestral land. The elders agreed to speak with her because they consider her one of them. Is her pursuit of this story because she’s bent on the truth getting out so the public is aware or does the betrayal at Sand Creek touch something in the Arapaho blood that runs through her veins? And why is someone trying to kill her? Can it be the story — or is it the serial rapist they are trying to catch? The motive will surprise you and the documents and tales form long ago will touch your heart. The will also make you think!
Recommended by Lee Kelley

The Moonstone 
by Wilkie Collins, Carolyn G. Heilbrun

“Considered the 1st – & by many the best – detective novel ever written, this book debuted originally in serialized form in 1868. I mention this because it should not be thought of as historical fiction: its depiction of the crime & its resolution are not quaint but contemporary. The myriad scientific advantages that present day crime solvers (both real & fictional) have were not even dreamed of when this was written. & that just makes this book even more enjoyable. The crime & its unraveling are told by many voices over a year’s time, & proves, among other things, that great mysteries do not have to a) have bodies strewn all over the place; b) have a detective in constant peril of being beaten to a pulp – or worse – and c) do not need to be solved overnight. A delight from beginning to end.”
Recommended by Jan

The Killer Inside Me 
by Jim Thompson

The hokey and harmless-seeming police officer in 1950s West Texas likes to say ‘golly’ and ‘gee whiz’ in between slapping women around and staging sudden and brutal murders. Few in his small town want to confront the possibility that this gentleman-officer is capable of any sort of violence. As our narrator/serial killer states plainly the whys and wherefores of his extracurricular activities, his tone stays chummy and light. It’s pretty unsettling how wholesome and clean a psychopath can be.
Creepy! Fun!
Recommended by Jeeyeon

Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery 
by Spencer Quinn

Chet is a dog anyone could love — well as long as you stayed on his good side anyway. Bernie is a P.I. and Chet is his partner. Chet was training to become a police dog; he was the best jumper in his class. Unfortunately that was also his downfall. But no matter, now he’s with Bernie and the two of them make a great investigative pair. The really fun part of this mystery is that Chet narrates the story – dog fashion! If he remembers a smell that may be a clue but can’t seem to get Bernie to pay attention, well he just may get distracted a bit too and go on to something else. Like wondering why cats catch birds. After all, he never has. Well, cats are just strange anyway.
This book is a delight, and I’m keeping my eye out for more.
Recommended by Lee

The Last Policeman
by Ben H. Winters

Recently-minted police detective Henry Palace is called to the scene to declare a death a suicide by hanging… but something seems off to Hank and he’s thinking he may be looking at a murder. But who would want to murder a mild-mannered actuary? As he starts investigating, Hank becomes more and more frustrated: not only can he not convince anyone that it’s not a suicide, he can’t get anyone to care. That’s because there’s an asteroid headed towards earth, dooming all life on the planet when it hits in 6 months’ time. This darkly funny novel raises some surprisingly serious questions about the value of human life and what it means to be part of a community.
Recommended by Anne

Read on friends! See you next Monday with more recommendations!

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Monday Staff Recommendations – YA Edition

by Jessica on February 16, 2015

The Young Adult genre has really picked up speed over the past few years.
There’s some really great things happening and the genre just keeps growing.
To navigate the waters here are some of the Vroman’s staff top picks!
As always, follow the link on the persons name to check out all of their favorites!

Go Ask Alice
by Anonymous

I read this book in 1984 or 1985 and still the details of certain scenes are frozen in my mind. As I followed the narrator’s experiences with drugs I became thoroughly stunned and frightened. For me this tale was more than effective during the heyday of “say no to drugs”… it was compulsively readable, and for a middle school student, just knowing enough and scary enough to feel like a great secret.
Recommended by Jeeyeon

We Were Liars
By E. Lockhart

I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you really anything about this book. It’s better that way. It’s rich and complicated and sparse and perfect. It’s suspenseful— disclaimer: You WILL be up all night— and desperately beautiful and staggering. Just read it, okay?
Recommended by Danielle

The Selection
By Kiera Cass

In a world where people are separated into casts based on their worth, America Singer resides in the 5th. The casts are ruled by a King and Queen who when their son is of age for a wife, begin The Selection. 35 girls are selected from the different casts to compete for the Prince’s love. America is one of those girls. However, it is not the life she envisioned, not the life she wants. With a broken heart she befriends the Prince, and strikes a deal with him he cannot refuse-if he lets her stay in the competition, she will help him find the perfect princess and wife. I absolutely adored this book!
Recommended by Jen

Code Name Verity 
By Elizabeth Wein

It’s 1943 and two British girls crash land in Nazi occupied France. One of them is a spy captured by the Gestapo. One is a pilot never trained to be on the war front. In their own way, each has to complete a mission important to turning the war against Germans. It is a matter of life and death. Powerful, cunning, fingernail-biting good, Code Name Verity is one of the best wartime novels in recent memory. The best part if that the protagonists, both women, are not left on the home front to “come of age”. These women are in the mix of battle from the get go, doing their part and more to help the war effort. The story of their friendship, the high price that the war demands of them and the grace and panache with which they handle it will leave you marveling at the storytelling ability of author Wein. Fantastic read!
Recommended by Karrie

My Life Next Door
By Huntley Fitzpatrick
This was a beautiful story that made me laugh, cry, and smile. Samantha knows a lot of things about being the daughter of a politician. What she doesn’t know is how to live a life without plans—a life where she can do what she wants, as she pleases. After years of watching the large, chaotic, free-spirited Garrett Family next door, Sam is shocked when Jace Garrett climbs up her balcony and gives her the opportunity to experience a normal life. This story is similar to Romeo and Juliet in their forbidden romance and with Sam having to determine where her loyalties lie.
Recommended by Jen

Have a great reading week! See you next Monday with more recommends!
— Jess

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Hugs & Kisses from Vroman’s Bookstore!

by Jessica on February 14, 2015

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Monday Staff Recommendations for you!

by Jessica on February 9, 2015

Starting a new Monday tradition…Monday Staff Recommends
where I’ll put a few suggestion up for people that are looking for their next read. Like the suggestion? Follow the link on the person name to see a list of all their recommendations!

 Love History? 

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

This is what it looks like, a history of North America as invaded by Europeans beginning in 1492. The indictment if the settlers/colonists/”Americans” is pointed and honest. Andrew Jackson and George Armstrong Custer are portrayed as murderous savages betraying and preying on the indigenous people who were just minding their own business and trying to live in peaceful harmony with the earth.
Recommended by John in the Book Department

Your Next Young Adult Read:

Thirteen Reasons Why 
By Jay Asher
This book works through some tough issues about how an individual’s actions, decisions and inactions can affect another person. When a set of tapes shows up on Clay’s porch, sent to him by the recently deceased Hannah, the story they contain changes his outlook on life, and how he chooses to interact with the people around him,
whether they be close friends or strangers.
Recommended by Jen in the Children’s Department

A Fictitious Suggestion:

Single, Carefree, Mellow
By Katherine Heiny

I have a fondness for fiction that has a sense of humor and place – and if it says something old-as-time in a new way, even better. These stories meet all the marks. The title piece absolutely blindsided me. The characters are not exactly likeable (often, unlikable) yet for all their privilege and obliviousness they are still relatable. They might be friends of yours. Heiny captures women’s worlds, their friendships, indiscretions, and interior lives, with quiet accuracy. Her style is fresh, “slice of life” and sneak attack clever. For me this is THE breakout read for 2015.
Recommended by Sarah in the Book Department

Satisfy your Graphic Novel Taste Buds with this pick! 

Soppy: A Love Story
By Philippa Rice

The dictionary definition of the word soppy sums this lovely little book up just right:
“self-indulgently sentimental.” You’ll devour this sweet morsel in one sitting.

Recommended by Jackie

You’ll eat up this Cooking Suggestion: 

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly 
By Anthony Bourdain

It’s a memoir about a cool guy’s life; it’s an expose about a tough business; it’s a love affair with food; it’s a bunch of exciting travel stories; it’s raunchy, sweet, shocking, and very smartly written!
I was hooked from page 1 and read it in two sittings.

Recommended by Regina

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Our own wonderful President and CEO, Allison Hill wrote a piece on LA’s publishing scene for the Pasadena Star News. The piece is below and if you’d like to see the source, click here!

 

 

Many of Los Angeles’ best restaurants are located in strip malls. L.A.’s publishing scene is equally hidden and surprising; most people don’t even know it exists.

Although New York is known to be the center of the book publishing world, Los Angeles’ contribution is growing. And when it comes to publishing, New York may be a banquet for 100 people but L.A. is a scintillating, intimate dinner party. I invite you to dine with 10 of my favorite L.A. publishers:

PROSPECT PARK BOOKS

At the head of the table, the lovely ladies of Altadena’s Prospect Park Books. Their website states that they “focus on fiction, humor, cooking/food and regional titles,” which seems like they don’t really focus at all; they just publish great books — books with “a certain wildness,” according to them. I think they should give the toast.

Recommendation: “Drink: Los Angeles: A Drink Lover’s Guide to L.A.”

AMMO BOOKS

Seated next to them are the hip founders of AMMO Books. The abbreviation stands for American Modern and their titles consist of fresh, colorful, beautifully designed books focused on visual arts and pop culture. They will most likely be the best dressed at this party.

Recommendation: “The Instagram Book: Inside the Online Photography Revolution”

SIGLIO PRESS

Pass the grilled tofu to their left and you’ll find the beautiful Siglio Press. For this Eagle Rock-based publisher the book is art: “The Torture of Women,” a book version of an 125-foot collage; various limited editions that include actual art pieces; and books with artful covers.

Recommendation: “Between Page and Screen,” an interactive, wordless love story viewed through your computer webcam.

RED HEN PRESS

They’re sure to make interesting, small talk with Red Hen Press, a nonprofit press that publishes more than 20 books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry every year. And they’ve brought along a friend: their fabulous lesbian imprint, Arktoi.

Recommendation: “Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade, 2004-2014”

ANGEL CITY PRESS

The elegant Angel City Press is seated at the far end of the table. They may be the only people at the party not complaining about traffic; they clearly love Los Angeles, having made it their mission to shine light on the best the city has to offer.

TAMTAM BOOKS AND UNNAMED BOOKS

They won’t be able to get a word in edgewise with the eccentric TamTam books and the up-and-comer, and equally passionate, Unnamed Books seated next to them.

TamTam Books carefully selects, translates and reprints unique international writing, most notably Boris Vian’s work. Unnamed Press focuses on international writing too, moving beyond boundaries with what they refer to as “undiscovered writers” and “uncharted territories.”

Recommendation: “Manual of Saint-Germain-Des-Pres 1920-1959” and “The Fine Art of F*cking Up.”

WRIT LARGE PRESS

No doubt Writ Large Press will have something to add to the conversation; they push boundaries too, actively expanding the role of publisher. They publish overlooked Los Angeles writers while also offering literary experiences: a performance space project that includes a pop-up bookstore and a festival for L.A. writers and publishers.

Recommendation: “Eulogy to an Unknown Tree,” a great collection of poems, recommended by Nick Flynn.

ASYLUM PRESS

Asylum Press is sitting waiting impatiently for dessert. They publish weird, wonderful comics and graphic novels.

Recommendation: Their “Fearless Dawn” series, featuring a badass comic book heroine.

SANTA MONICA PRESS

And finally, the last to mention but the first to arrive, the classic Santa Monica Press, publisher of an eclectic mix of quintessential L.A. nonfiction ranging from the “Three Stooges Hollywood Filming Locations” to “L.A. Noir: The City as a Character.”

Recommendation: “Faces of Sunset Boulevard: A Portrait of Los Angeles”

This is just a taste of the richness that is Southern California’s publishing scene. We’re so lucky that this everlasting meal is in our own backyard. Eat your heart out, New York.

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February Events!!

by Jessica on January 27, 2015

Hello there. Hope everyone’s year is getting started off on the right foot. Are you reading more? We hope so! February is just as packed as January and there’s no sign of stopping us in 2015!
Check out the full list of events below. See you soon!

Sunday, February 1, 4pm
Rebecca Scherm discusses and signs Unbecoming

On the dirty outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac and mends teapots. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, she checks her hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One she married and the other she’s in love with. Both men were jailed for a crime that Grace planned. The heist went bad but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas in her bag. In Paris, a waiting game begins as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravel and she becomes another woman entirely. This debut thriller about a daring art heist and a small-town girl’s major transformation is sure to attract fans of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt.

Monday, February 2, 7pm
Alexandra Fuller discusses and signs Leaving Before the Rains Come

A child of the Rhodesian wars and a daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally faces the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia—elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day—Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes. Fuller reveals how, after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her, she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves.

Wednesday, February 4, 7pm
Jan-Christopher Horak discusses and signs
Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design

Academy Award winning filmmaker Saul Bass (1920-1996) defined an innovative era in cinema. With title sequences such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) and Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955), he introduced the idea that opening credits could tell a story and set the mood for the movie that followed. Bass’s stylistic influence can be seen in popular Hollywood franchises from the Pink Panther to James Bond, as well as in more recent works such as television’s Mad Men. The first book to examine the life and work of this fascinating figure, Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design explores the designer’s revolutionary career and his lasting impact on the entertainment and advertising industries.

Thursday, February 5, 11am
Mo Willems discusses and signs Waiting Is Not Easy!
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more… (Disney Press)
PLEASE NOTE: We apologize but we are no longer taking class reservations for this event! 

Thursday, February 5, 7pm
Gayle Forman discusses and signs I Was Here
Cody and Meg shared everything. So when Meg drinks a whole bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is shocked that there was no warning. When Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the things Meg left behind she discovers a lot more that Meg has never told her. She learns of Ben McAllister, a boy with a guitar and secrets of his own. Cody also learns about an encrypted computer file that she eventually gets open, and everything she knew about her best friend and her death gets thrown into question.Gayle will be joined by Margaret Stohl & Deanna Kizis!

Friday, February 6, 7pm
Jenn Clark discusses and signs How to Be a Goddess: A Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About

Are you tired of reading relationship advice books only to see no real improvement in your relationships? Do you wish you had a dating coach to guide you every step of the way? Relationship guru and magazine columnist Jenn Clark has written the only book on love and dating you’ll ever need. Using her signature style of insightful straight talk, laugh-out-loud humor, and candid personal confessions that made her blog Jenn X: 30Something & Single so popular, Jenn takes you through each step of the relationship process. You’ll learn exactly what to do to become a goddess with men. You’ll find out where to meet guys, how to act on a first date, how to handle conflict in a long-term relationship, and everything in between. Ladies, meet your new best friend, Jenn!

 Saturday, February 7, 10:30am
Christian & Parker Jacobs present and sign Welcome to Goon Holler

From the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba comes a story about Tooba, a lonely, timid, and always hungry bigfoot, who stumbles upon Goon Holler, where Dosie takes him to a Goon Scout pancake breakfast and helps him make new friends. Tooba will also make a special appearance!

Sunday, February 8, 2pm
IWOSC Reads Its Own
IWOSC Reads Its Own is a spellbinding afternoon of eclectic, eccentric, and exemplary works — from poems to true stories to hilarious monologues and beyond, read aloud by distinguished IWOSC scribes. Fifteen of IWOSC’s talented member writers will read short excerpts from their work.  We’ll be regaled with their wit, have our emotions stirred, or be plunged into deep thought.  First-time and return readers will share their work.  Selections may be published, unpublished, or works in progress, several minutes in length. For more information, see www.iwosc.org or contact info@iwosc.org.

Monday, February 9, 7pm
Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey discusses and signs Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp: A Nisei Youth Behind a World War II Fence

Lily Nakai and her family lived in southern California, where sometimes she and a friend dreamt of climbing the Hollywood sign. At age ten, after believing that her family was simply going on a “camping trip,” she found herself living in a tar-papered barrack, nightly gazing out at a searchlight. She wondered if anything would ever be normal again. In this creative memoir, Lily Havey combines storytelling, watercolor, and personal photographs to recount her youth in two Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. Vintage photographs reveal the historical, cultural, and familial contexts of the Nakais’ dislocation. The paintings paired with her animated writing pull us into a turbulent era when America disgracefully incarcerated, without due process, thousands of American citizens because of their race.

Tuesday, February 10, 7pm
Patricia Bracewell discusses and signs The Price of Blood

Readers first met Emma of Normandy in Patricia Bracewell’s gripping debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England’s King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but they have never had a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when Æthelred, still haunted by his brother’s ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder. As tensions escalate, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men including the man she loves. When Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword.

Wednesday, February 11, 7pm
Lynsey Addario discusses and signs It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and WarMacArthur Genius Grant winner Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making–not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself.

 Addario finds in photography a way to travel with a purpose, and It’s What I Do is the story of that singular calling–how it shapes and drives her life and how it changes the lives of others. She captures virtually every major theater of war of the twenty-first century and from it creates a historical document of truth on the international conflicts that have made, and remade, our world. She photographs the Afghan people before and after Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and the countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting inside story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.
As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys’ club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and profession, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother, she gains an all the more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life.   Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It’s What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war. (Penguin Press)

Thursday, February 12, 7pm
Vroman’s Bookstore presents an Evening with Nick Hornby in conversation with Carolyn Kellogg of The Los Angeles Times

Nick Hornby, the bestselling author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down will be speaking with Carolynn Kellogg about his writing career and his latest book, Funny Girl: A Novel.
Set in 1960’s London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingenue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby’s latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.

Thursday, February 12, 7pm
Liza Palmer discusses and signs Girl Before a Mirror

Anna Wyatt is an account executive in a Mad Men world. She is recently divorced and has done a lot of emotional housecleaning including a self-imposed break from dating. While working on trying to win over a new client she stumbles upon a self-help book – Be the Heroine, Find You’re Hero – that leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign she’ll win the account. For Anna, taking control means taking chances and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success.

Friday, February 13, 7pm
Kristin Hannah discusses and signs The Nightingale

From the #1 New York Times best selling author Kristin Hannah comes The Nightingale, an epic love story and family drama that centers on two sisters. Older sister Vianne Mauriac see her husband go off to the Front, never really believing that the Nazis will invade France until they do, leaving Vianne to do all she can to keep her and her daughter alive and well. At the same time Vianne’s passionate younger sister Isabelle is on the search for her purpose, briefly finding it when she falls completely in love with and joins Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France. But when Gäetan betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others. With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war.

Saturday, February 14, 10:30am
Valentine’s Day Craft time with Jen

You’ll be ready to play Cupid once you have created your very own love arrows! This will make a very cute gift
for your valentine!

 

Monday, February 16, 7pm
Boris Fishman discusses and signs A Replacement Life
In this highly acclaimed literary debut, a failed journalist is asked to do the unthinkable: forge Holocaust-restitution claims for older Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York. Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, “didn’t suffer in the exact way” he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has–as a Jew in the war, as a second-class citizen in the USSR, as an immigrant to America. So? Isn’t his grandson a “writer”?

High-minded Slava wants to put this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for him–Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American, but he wants to be a lionized writer even more. Slava’s turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family. A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice. (Harper Perennial)

Tuesday, February 17, 7pm
M.O. Walsh discusses and signs My Sunshine Away

It was the summer everything changed. My Sunshine Away is set in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, barrels of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fans. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too. In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

Wednesday, February 18, 7pm
Christopher Noxon discusses and signs Plus One
“Well observed, honest, and laugh-out-loud funny, Plus One tells a story from the inside of show business about being on the outside.”– Matthew Weiner, creator of “Mad Men”.

Christopher Noxon’s debut novel Plus One is a comedic take on bread-winning women and caretaking men in contemporary Los Angeles. Alex Sherman-Zicklin is a mid-level marketing executive whose wife’s fourteenth attempt at a TV pilot is produced, ordered to series, and awarded an Emmy. Overnight, she’s sucked into a mad show-business vortex and he’s tasked with managing their new high-profile Hollywood lifestyle. He falls in with a posse of Plus Ones, men who are married to women whose success, income, and public recognition far surpasses their own. What will it take for him to regain the foreground in his own life? (Prospect Park Books)

Thursday, February 19, 7pm
David Morris discusses and signs The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Just as polio loomed over the 1950s, and AIDS stalked the 1980s and ’90s, post-traumatic stress disorder haunts us in the early years of the twenty-first century. Over a decade into the United States’ “war on terror,” PTSD afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict’s veterans. In total, some twenty-seven million Americans are believed to be PTSD survivors. Yet to many of us, the disorder remains shrouded in mystery and shame. Now, David J. Morris, who is a war correspondent, former Marine, and PTSD sufferer himself, has written the essential account of this illness. Through interviews with individuals living with PTSD, forays into the scientific, literary, and cultural history of the illness, and memoir, Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with the condition and to their loved ones, but also to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time.

Sunday, February 22, 11am
Laurie R. King presents and signs Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are critically acclaimed and beloved by readers for the author’s adept interplay of history and adventure. Now the intrepid duo is finally trying to take a little time for themselves–only to be swept up in a baffling case that will lead them from the idyllic panoramas of Japan to the depths of Oxford’s most revered institution.

After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer “Thomas Carlyle” is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus–not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband. Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be.

Once in Japan, Russell’s suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way. From the glorious city of Tokyo to the cavernous library at Oxford, Russell and Holmes race to solve a mystery involving international extortion, espionage, and the shocking secrets that, if revealed, could spark revolution–and topple an empire. (Bantam)

Sunday, February 22, 2pm
Vroman’s Local Author Day introduces Victor J. Wright, Doobie Shemer and Karrie Ross

Victor J. Wright discusses and signs The Wright Stuff: A Story of Perseverance, Inspiration and Hope The life of Victor Johnell Wright changed forever during a high-school football game in 1976, when the star running back of the sophomore team at John Muir High School in Pasadena, California suffered a spinal injury during a botched play. Psychologists often point to several attitudes people go through when faced with a crisis: fear, denial, anger, acceptance, etc. Victor experienced them all, yet his faith in God and the loving care of his family and closest friends have allowed him to live the past four decades in a way that has inspired thousands and has made him a community treasure.
Doobie Shemer discusses and signs Walking With Elijah: The Fable of a Life Journey and a Fulfilled Soul
Forty-five-year-old Doobie Shemer has it all: a loving family, two cars, a dog and two cats. He lives in his suburb house, holds a corporate executive position and he is financially stable. Life is comfortable and predictable. Yet something is missing, something he can’t describe, can’t put his finger on. A restless feeling of being incomplete dominates his whole existence. Nevertheless, Doobie soon learns that life for him was not meant to be routine or ordinary.
Karrie Ross discusses and signs Our Ever Changing World: Through the Eyes of Artists: Collaborations and Couples
Just how DO Artists live together? Is it a collaboration or…? Our Ever Changing World—Through the Eyes of Artists —Couples and Collaborations bring together twelve couples, 24 artists, one an artist and the other an artist or involved in a connecting profession, one main question and six self-guided interview questions with photos. What happens is an insight into how strengths, weaknesses, focus, determination, confidence and intention all play a part in the creating of a loving, giving, playful, atmosphere allowing them to thrive.

Monday, February 23, 7pm
Lisa Unger discusses and signs Crazy Love You

Darkness has a way of creeping up when Ian is with Priss. Even when they were kids, playing in the woods of their small upstate New York town, he could feel it. Still, Priss was his best friend, his protection from the bullies who called him a “loser” and from his family’s deadly secrets. Now that they’ve both escaped to New York City, Ian no longer inhabits the tortured shell of his childhood. He is a talented and successful graphic novelist, and Priss is still trouble. The booze, the drugs, the sex – Ian is growing tired of late nights together trying to keep the past at bay. Especially now that he’s met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. But Priss doesn’t like change; it makes her angry. And when Priss gets angry, terrible things begin to happen.

Tuesday, February 24, 7pm
Bestselling author, Michael Connelly introduces Denmark’s Queen of Crime, Sara Blaedel and her American debut, The Forgotten Girls

Though not yet well-known in the U.S., Sara Blaedel’s work has found many fans like bestselling author, Michael Connelly, who called her “One of the best I’ve come across.” He’ll be here to introduce this internationally bestselling author and her first U.S. Translation entitled,
The Forgotten Girls.
The Forgotten Girls begins in a forest in Denmark, when a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick–the new commander of the Missing Persons Department–is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed–and hidden–in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

Wednesday, February 25, 7pm
Michael Gazzaniga discusses and signs Tales from Both Side of the Brain

In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with each other. Both humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and excitement of working as a scientist. He paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.

Thursday, February 26, 7pm
Jim Bell discusses and signs The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission

Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012; its sister craft, Voyager 2, will do so in 2015. This fantastic journey began in 1977. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The fact that it actually happened makes this humanity’s greatest space mission. In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team. A team that includes Ed Stone, Voyager’s chief scientist and the geologist whose Earth-bound experience would prove of little help in interpreting the strange new landscapes revealed in the Voyagers’ astoundingly clear images of moons and planets.

Friday, February 27, 6pm
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar signs Streetball Crew Book Two Stealing the Game
Chris Richards has always looked up to Jax, his older brother and his parents’ “golden child.” Lately, though, Jax has been full of surprises. First he dropped out of law school; then he started hanging out with some shifty-looking friends. One day Jax asks Chris to recruit his best middle school teammates for a pick-up basketball game in the park. Chris doesn’t think much of it until the wrong team wins and Jax goes ballistic. It turns out that Jax bet on the game, hoping to earn enough money to repay a debt to someone who doesn’t forgive easily. While Chris tries to walk a thin tightrope between helping his brother and staying out of trouble, his friend Theo does some behind-the-scenes detective work to learn what Jax has been up to. The day Chris is roped into a police investigation is the day he realizes he made the wrong play. (Disney-Hyperion)

This is a booksigning only.
No tickets necessary to be in line but we will be checking Vroman’s Bookstore receipts for confirmation of a Vroman’s purchase of at least one copy of
Streetball Crew Book Two Stealing the Game.

Saturday, February 28, 4pm
William Albracht & Marvin Wolf discuss and sign Abandoned in Hell: The Fight for Vietnam’s Firebase Kate
In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen. He found their defenses woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments–some 6,000 men–crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.

Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht’s men held off repeated ground assaults by communist forces with fierce hand-to-hand fighting, air support and a dangerously close B-52 strike. For days, the NVA blanketed Kate in a rain of rockets, mortars, artillery, machineguns, and small arms, blocking efforts to resupply, reinforce, or evacuate the outpost. Albracht continually exposed himself to enemy fire to direct air strikes, to guide re-supply helicopters, to distribute ammunition and water to his men, to retrieve the dead and to rescue the wounded, often shielding men with his own body. Wounded by rocket shrapnel, he refused medical attention or evacuation. Exhausted from days without sleep, he continued to rally his men to beat off each new enemy attack. After five days, Kate’s defenders were out of ammo and water. Aerial resupply was suicidal, and reinforcements were denied by military commanders who had written off Kate. Albracht refused to surrender or die in place. Refusing to allow his men to surrender, Albracht led his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.

Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam’s heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once, And Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage. (New American Library)

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We are so excited to introduce you to Maud Simmons, our newest Artist on the Stairwell

Please join us in celebrating the opening of the show with Maud on January 26th, from 6-8pm. Follow this link for more information. 

About the Artist:
Maud Simmons is a native of New York and attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated with a BFA in painting. Her work runs the gamut from large to small, heroic to intimate, with every medium represented in a long career of constant change and experiment. The shoe paintings are a series in her latest homage to the ‘ordinary’. “My purpose is to find beauty where it is hidden…in the closet or the kitchen drawer. Any good painter can create a lovely landscape, but what about the shoes you wear every day? They deserve recognition and applause.”

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Young Readers League Finale Recap (in photos!)

by Jessica on January 16, 2015

Now that we’re coming down off the high of the Finale of our Young Readers League 2014-2015 Program here is a recap of the evening…in  photos!

Cece and her mom having a little pre-show fun in the photobooth!

Cece talking about the Phonic Ear she wore in school growing up.


Listening attentively.


Q & A Time!


The signing line!


A wonderful group of Children’s Authors! (L to R: Marla Frazee, Cece Bell, Dan Santat)


Heather (YRL Coordinator) and Cece Bell!


An adorable gifty from a fan!

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