There is a sensory-social combination that's pretty much unbeatable: great food and the Napa Valley.
The two are merged in the best-selling "The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook," with an introduction by the winery's founders, Jack and Dolores Cakebread, and recipes and text by its culinary director, Brian Streeter.
Streeter will be in Sacramento on Nov. 1 for the Bee Book Club to talk about all things food and cooking, including recipe development, ingredients and techniques. His presentation and question-and-answer session will be especially timely. After all, many families will be planning their Thanksgiving and holiday feasts by then (and many others will be wondering just how to pull them off), and the winter cooking season will soon follow.
Streeter is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. He oversees Cakebread Cellars' food and wine programs, and directs the winery's annual American Harvest Workshop. That prestigious September event brings together chefs, artisan food-makers, and food and wine connoisseurs for five days of seminars, farm visits, tastings and dinners.
Join the culinarily curious crowd and ask Streeter your cooking questions. He will give a presentation and autograph "The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook" at 6 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento; (916) 452-5881.
Barnes & Noble will be there to sell the cookbook for 30 percent off the retail price (Ten Speed Press, $35, 203 pages; with Janet Fletcher).
Through Nov. 1, these bookstores will offer a 30 percent discount on the title: Barnes & Noble, Avid Reader at the Tower in Sacramento, Avid Reader in Davis, Time Tested Books, Face in a Book in Eldorado Hills, Underground Books, the Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento, the UC Davis Bookstore and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.
For information on the Bee Book Club: (916) 321-1128
Sac Speakers Series
If you're ready for some first-rate live entertainment, the Sacramento Speakers Series' eighth season looks to be an impressive one.
Five of the six engagements will start at 8 p.m., at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento. Bill Clinton's presentation will be at 8 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., Sacramento. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for all events.
Subscriptions to the 2012-13 community lecture series are priced at four levels, from $205 to $420. For tickets and more information: (916) 388-1100, www.sacramentospeakers .com.
Oct. 23: Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon, author and Emmy-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN.
Dec. 4: Clinton is a former U.S. president, author and creator of the philanthropic William J. Clinton Foundation.
Jan 8: Thomas Friedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, New York Times columnist and documentary filmmaker.
Jan 29: Michelle A. Rhee is an education activist (and wife of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson).
Feb. 27: Louise Leaky is a paleontologist, conser- vationist, educator and National Geographic explorer-in-residence.
April 2: Robert Ballard is a maritime archaeologist, geophysicist and educator.
Read what you want
How about a big round of applause for the freedom to read what we choose, without having the prejudices of others stand in our way?
Honoring that concept is Banned Books Week (today through Saturday), sponsored by the American Library Association.
The observation is part of the ALA's 30-year crusade against literary censorship (www.bannedbooksweek.organd www.ala.org). Some locations of the Sacramento Public Library system will sponsor related events (www.saclibrary.org).
The ALA monitors "hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from library shelves and classrooms."
Ironically, many of the titles included in the Library of Congress' exhibit "Books That Shaped America" are on the banned- or challenged-books lists, including:
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain (1884)
"The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Malcolm X and Alex Haley (1965)
"The Call of the Wild" by Jack London (1903)
"Catch-22" by Joseph Heller (1961)
"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger (1951)
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury (1953, set in a dystopian society that burns books)
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway (1940)
"Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
"Howl" by Allen Ginsberg (1956)
"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair (1906)
"Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman (1855)
"Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" by Alfred C. Kinsey (1948)
"Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert A. Heinlein (1961)
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak (1963).
For, ahem, gift-giving
E.L. James the pseudonym of British TV executive Erika Leonard struck it rich with her amateurish, much-panned "Fifty Shades of Grey" bondage trilogy.
There's more for non- discerning readers where that came from. Skyhorse Publishing is coming out with two titles that are erotic treatments of classic novels. "Jane Eyrotica" by Charlotte Bronte and Karena Rose, and "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde and Audrey Ember, are due in November just in time for holiday gift-giving.
Upcoming author appearances include:
Tuesday: "Queen of Bargain Shopping" Jo Anna Philips for "The Savvy Shopper's Guide to Thrift & Consignment Stores," 10 a.m. at Eco Thrift, 7305 Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights; (916) 729-8474.
Saturday: Annette Kassis for "Weinstock's: Sacramento's First Department Store," 10 a.m. at the Center for Sacramento History, 551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 808-7072.
Saturday and next Sunday: Jack Parker for "Belizean Adventure" and three other novels in the "Adventure" series, 11 a.m. both days at the Orvis Store in the Fountains center, 1017 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; (916) 783-9400.
Oct. 10: Sandy Lerner for "Second Impressions," noon in the Memorial Union on the UC Davis campus; (530) 752-9072.
Oct. 13: William Nikkel for "Murrieta Gold" and three other novels in the Jack Ferrell series, 1 p.m. at Trent's Bookshelf, 8139 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 683-2665.
Oct. 18: Steven Roby for "Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters With Jimi Hendrix," 7 p.m. at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St., Sacramento; (916) 447-5696.
Sylvia Federici for "Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle," 7 p.m. at Sol Collective, 2574 21st St., Sacramento; (916) 369-5510.
LET US KNOW
If you have information on author appearances or other book-related special events, email it to bookmarks @sacbee.com at least two weeks before the event. To read the online calendar, go to www.sacbee.com/books. Questions? Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.