January Events!

by Jessica on January 6, 2015

It’s only the beginning of 2015 and we’re already packed to the gills with events!
Check out the full list below. See you soon!

Tuesday, January 6, 7pm
Phil Zuckerman discusses and signs Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

Living the Secular Life journeys through some of the most essential components of human existence and offers secular readers inspiration for leading their own lives. Over the last twenty-five years, “no religion” has become the fastest-growing religion in the United States. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people have turned away from the traditional faiths of the past and embraced a moral yet nonreligious, or secular, life. Drawing on new sociological research, Living the Secular Life shines light on this demographic shift, offering crucial information for the religious and nonreligious alike.

Thursday, January 8, 7pm
Jennifer Kunst discusses and signs Wisdom from the Couch: Knowing and Growing Yourself from the Inside Out

How can it be that perfectly intelligent people do such counterproductive things so much of the time? Why do we do the things we know we shouldn’t do, and why do we fail to do the things we know we should do? The simple answer to these questions is that the unconscious mind greatly influences all that we do. In this intelligent yet user-friendly book, psychoanalyst Jennifer Kunst raises some key questions that are on the minds of all those who are seeking a more satisfying, meaningful life.

Friday, January 9, 7pm
John J. Gobbell discusses and signs Edge of Valor

Edge of Valor is the fifth thriller by John J. Gobbell featuring the World War II exploits of Cdr. Todd Ingram, commanding officer of the destroyer USS Maxwell who saves his ship when it is hit by a kamikaze off Okinawa. For repairs, they pull into dock in Okinawa, where they receive news of the war’s end. Ingram expects to be shipped home like the rest of his crew but instead receives orders to fly elsewhere. Two days later the terms of surrender are settled and Ingram is working with one of the Japanese delegates to ensure that mines laid in Tokyo Bay are neutralized, allowing for safe passage of more than two hundred Allied ships. But something isn’t quite right when Ingram runs into one of his old Soviet adversaries. As his shipmates prepare to return to their loved ones, Ingram’s war continues. Now he doesn’t know whom to trust.

Saturday, January 10, 10:30am
Sarah Ban Breathnach presents and signs The Best Part of the Day
Breathnach is back with her first children’s book, The Best Part of the Day. This beautifully illustrated and lyrically written “good night” story encourages children to find at least one moment in each day that is worthy of celebration. Sarah Ban Breathnach’s first children’s book is the perfect addition to any family’s nighttime routine.

Saturday, January 10, 3pm
Dennis Palumbo discusses and signs Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery

Psychologist and Pittsburgh Police Department consultant Daniel Rinaldi has a new patient. Lisa Harland, a local girl, once made a splash in the dubious side of Hollywood before hitting rock bottom. Back home, she married one of the city’s richest and most ruthless tycoons. Upon exiting his practice, she’s kidnapped by an unknown assailant. Summoned to the Harland estate, Danny is forced, through a bizarre sequence of events, to be the bag man on the ransom delivery. This draws him into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a brilliant, lethal adversary. Phantom Limb, fourth in the acclaimed series of Daniel Rinaldi thrillers, will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
Dennis will also be leading a writing workshop in addition to his presentation.

Sunday, January 11, 4pm
Roger Friedland discusses and signs Amoré: An American Father’s Roman Holiday

Offered the chance to live and teach in Rome, Roger and his wife seized the opportunity to take their family to live in a city where love is alive and family bonds hold. This part memoir, part cultural exploration shares the stories of the Friedman family’s enchanted and unnerving passage into the heart of Rome and considers its lessons for America.

Monday, January 12, 7pm
Thomas Perry and Jo Perry discuss and sign A String of Beads and Dead is Better

After two decades protecting innocent victims on the run, and a year after getting shot on a job that took a dangerous turn for the worse, Jane Whitefield has settled into the quiet life of a suburban housewife in Amherst, New York—or so she thinks. One morning, Jane is met with some disturbing information: a childhood friend of Jane’s from the reservation, Jimmy, is wanted by the police for the murder of a local white man. But instead of turning himself in, he’s fled, and no one knows where he is hiding out. Jane instinctively retraces a walking trip she and Jimmy took together when they were fourteen in hopes that he has gone the same way again. But it soon becomes clear that the police aren’t the only ones after him. As the chase intensifies, the number of people caught up in this twisted plot multiplies, and Jane is the only one who can protect those endangered by it.

In Jo Perry’s debut novel, Dead is Better, Charles Stone is pretty sure he’s dead. He has bullet holes in his chest, and there’s a ghostly dog that seems to be his new companion. Unable to interact with the world of the living other than watching and listening, he and the dog—whom he names Rose—have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it. When Charles and Rose try to unravel the circumstances of Charles’s death, they uncover a criminal who is raking in millions of dollars by cruelly exploiting, and sometimes killing, his victims. But what difference can a ghost make? And what does the dog have to do with all of this? (Page Burner Press)

Tuesday, January 13, 7pm
Justin Chapman discusses and signs Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in Search of an African Utopia

In the Spring of 2012, reporter and travel junkie Justin Chapman set off by himself on an epic journey across eight countries in Africa. Along the way, he narrowly escaped being locked away in a mental institution, visited an impoverished township that is changing its future with the help of an art-based nonprofit, got into a life-threatening car crash, lived with a group of Catholic priests, witnessed a witchcraft healing ceremony, and many other unique and harrowing situations. Saturnalia is an engrossing cultural exposition like no other.

Young Readers League Finale with Cece Bell!
Wednesday, January 14, 5pm

Meet Cece Bell, the author and illustrator of El Deafo. The story of El Deafo was inspired by Cece’s own experiences growing up and we can’t wait for you to meet her and hear her story firsthand. She’ll also answer questions and sign books. Afterwards we’ll have a photobooth where you can take pictures that look like you’re in your own graphic novel!

Thursday, January 15, 7pm
Mick Ebeling discusses and signs Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done

From the beginning, Mick Ebeling has dreamed big, but that doesn’t mean his accomplishments have come easy. Yet he found the courage to ignore his adversities and move on and get things done. The first result was the Eyewriter, which Time magazine called one of the “Top 50 Inventions of 2010,” a device that tracks eye movements and translates them into a cursor on a screen, then into paint on a canvas or a sculpture design. Later he travelled to the Sudan with the homemade prosthetic hand his team created and taught the locals to use the 3D printers—now every week another armless boy gets new working limbs and hands. Fascinating, inspiring, and optimistic, Not Impossible is a true testament to the power of determination.

Friday, January 16, 7pm
Sue Ann Jaffarian discusses and signs Ghost in the Guacamole

When sisters Lucinda and Ricarda feud over whether or not to sell the family business, medium Emma Whitecastle is called in to contact their deceased father for guidance. What he tells them from beyond the grave, however, is not what they expected. His death was not an accident, and the girls’ lives may be in danger if they decide not to sell. Now they must all work together to solve the mystery and avoid another murder in the family.

Saturday, January 17, 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!

Saturday, January 17, 1pm James Silvani presents and signs Draw-a-Saurus: Everything You Need to Know to Draw Your Favorite Dinosaurs
Cartoonist James Silvani (comic book illustrator for titles such as Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Darkwing Duck) combines dinosaur facts with easy-to-follow art exercises so you can make cool and fun dinosaur drawings all by yourself! This book features drawing lessons on old favorites like T-Rex and Stegosaurus but also on lesser-known dinosaurs like Argentinosaurus. Other than owning a pet dinosaur, this book has everything a dinosaur fan could want! James will conduct a drawing demonstration followed by a book signing.

Tuesday, January 20, 7pm
Jack Walker discusses and signs Doctor Blood Moon

Doctor Blood Moon centers on a physician striving to reach his full human potential after years in a smothering professional career and a bad marriage. The novel is also about the risks and rewards of life in the city of Los Angeles. Johnny Blood, the leading heart surgeon in Southern California, came from humble beginnings, but through hard work and dedication graduated from Harvard Medical School with a full ride scholarship. His personal life, however, does not echo that of his professional life and he strives to reinvent himself as a man, physician, husband, and citizen.

Wednesday, January 21, 7pm
Marky Ramone discusses and signs Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone

Interviewed by author Jim Ruland
Before he joined the Ramones, Marc Bell was already a name in the New York music scene. But when he joined three other tough misfits, he became Marky Ramone, and the rhythm that came to epitomize punk was born. The Ramones received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, rank on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Without their signature “blitzkrieg” style of drumming that Marky brought to the stage, it’s hard to imagine what punk music would have sounded like. Having outlived his bandmates, Marky is the only person who can share the secrets and stories of the Ramones. In this memoir he sets the record straight, painting an unflinching picture of the dysfunction behind the band that changed a generation.

Thursday, January 22, 7pm
Marie Matsuki Mockett discusses and signs Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: Journey

Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster. Mockett also grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly. Seeking consolation, Mockett is guided by a colorful cast of Zen priests and ordinary Japanese who perform rituals that disturb, haunt, and finally uplift her. Her journey leads her across this exotic yet familiar land into the radiation zone in an intricate white hazmat suit, to a school for Zen Buddhist monks, and other fascinating twists and turns. Mockett writes of both the earthly and the sublime with extraordinary sensitivity.

Vroman’s Local Author Day introduces Justine SanFilippo, J. Allan Wolf, and Robert L. Grant
Sunday, January 25, 4pm

Justine SanFilippo discusses and signs Lose Your Inches Without Losing Your Mind!: 10 Simple Weeks to a Slimmer Waistline and a Healthier You
Lose Your Inches Without Losing Your Mind! is a practical and down-to-earth guide to shed inches in a healthy, balanced way and to keep them off…without going completely bonkers! After becoming frustrated with every diet she tried in an attempt to lose 45 lbs and 4 dress sizes, Justine SanFilippo finally found a simple solution to shed unwanted inches and keep them off for good. Like her, you may have already tried countless diets, only to find that you can’t keep off the pounds, or even follow the plan. However frustrated you are right now, Justine will save you the heartache, confusion, and mental exhaustion of dieting while helping you shrink your waistline. If you want to lose inches and keep your sanity, then this is the book for you!

J. Allan Wolf discusses and signs Zendoscopy: A Somewhat Coherent Collection of Stories
Zendoscopy is the story of one Sherman Alt, from his somewhat unconventional birth to his settling into marital bliss, albeit with plumbing problems. Along the way, Sherman faces occasionally serious and frequently hilarious adversity as he tries to gain worldly experience, especially with the opposite sex. Told in discrete episodes, the sum total is a story of social awakening, along with a dollop of philosophy, and even a bit of cosmology. Sherman and the people he encounters are a motley group of fascinating folks you’ll definitely want to get to know in this sometimes tender, sometimes wrenching, and sometimes outrageously funny collection of stories.

Robert L. Grant discusses and signs What Many Men Desire
Audrey is young, talented, beautiful—and mixed-race. Her ambition?—fashion design. But it’s 1936; to succeed, she must “pass” for white. A “gentleman” invites her—as his assistant—on a voyage aboard the Queen Mary. It’s her shot at the heart of fashion—London and Paris. But the “gentleman” is not what he seems. And a man she falls for turns out to be a gambler. She’s forced to grow up fast.

Tuesday, January 27, 7pm
Joshua Davis discusses and signs Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to them that they might amount to much. But two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. Their robot wasn’t pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. Against tremendous odds, they won! This is just the beginning to Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts. It is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country, even as the country tried to kick them out.

Wednesday, January 28, 7pm
Stewart O’Nan discusses and signs West of Sunset

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in shambles, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Just three years later, he would be dead of a heart attack. Those final years of Fitzgerald’s life, often obscured by the legend of his earlier Jazz Age glamour, are the focus of Stewart O’Nan’s brilliantly written novel. With flashbacks to key moments from Fitzgerald’s past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and their daughter Scottie.

Thursday, January 29, 7pm
Jan Jarboe Russell discusses and signs The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II

From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas, a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during World War II, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” During the course of the war, hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for other “more important” Americans behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany. This dramatic and never-before-told story of this secret FDR-approved American internment camp chronicles how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.


Saturday, January 31, 10:30am
Oliver Chin presents and signs The Year of the Sheep
In the tenth adventure in this popular annual Chinese Zodiac series, the lamb Sydney befriends a shepherd girl along with some other animals of the forest. When a storm strikes, Sydney must show them how valuable a sheep’s qualities can be. Empowering themes of self-discovery and cultural exchange have proven appeal with children, parents, and elementary educators. 

UC Irvine MFA Programs in Writing @ Vroman’s!
Saturday, January 31, 5pm
Please join the UC Irvine MFA Programs in Writing for our first off-campus reading of the winter quarter.  The event will feature work from poets Bryce Lillmars and Hillary Eaton and fiction writers Shane Crosby and Kris Dougherty. For more information on the UCI Programs in Writing and the MFA Reading Series, please check out their website at: http://www.humanities.uci.edu/mfareading