Zombies continue to stagger around everywhere. Locally, they were spotted recently at the Running Dead Zombie Mud Run at Gibson Ranch Regional Park.
More broadly, zombies were encouraged to come out of their crypts in the groundbreaking "Night of the Living Dead," horror- meister George Romero's 1968 movie. It was the template for all the zombie movies that have followed.
Zombies have shown up in books ("I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, published in 1954, "World War Z" by Max Brooks, "Zombie Trailer Park" by William Bebb), movies ("28 Days Later," "Dawn of the Dead," "Zombieland," "I Am Legend," starring Will Smith), video games ("Resident Evil," "The House of the Dead") and, of course, the popular AMC cable series "The Walking Dead."
In that one adapted from the comic book series of the same name a sheriff's deputy leads a band of survivors in a world taken over by zombies.
Now comes the premier issue of the magazine "The Walking Dead," $9.99 at newsstands and comic book stores.
Thumbing through it, we found interviews with the TV series' key players, a preview of the third season, behind-the-scene takes on the production set and lots of advertising for "Walking Dead" merchandise.
"This magazine will be your one-stop destination for all the news pertaining to the comic, TV show, video games, toys and whatever else exists in the ever- expanding 'Walking Dead' universe," said series executive producer Robert Kirkman in a promotional email.
It's enough to animate any fan.
Titles worth seeing
A sampling of titles that caught the eye:
"The Century of Travel" is a collection of Sacramento-centric poems by Tim Kahl, who teaches English at Sacramento City College (CW Books, $18, 97 pages). The book will sell for $10 when Kahl appears at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St.; (916) 714-5401.
One poem in particular is especially moving. "At the Estate Sale for Captain Sacto," a nostalgia-tinged visit to a local estate sale, also appears in the recently released "Late Peaches." That collection features the works of 117 area poets (Sacramento Poetry Center Press, $20, 226 pages).
One of the most catchy books to cross the desk this year is "Safari: A Photicular Book," created by Dan Kainen and written by Carol Kaufmann (Workman, $24.95, 16 pages). Move the pages to make color photos of African animals come alive in 3-D motion. An elephant snaps its ears, a lion charges, a gazelle races across the plains. Each photo is accompanied by text that details the habits and natures of the eight animals pictured.
Chris Enss of Grass Valley specializes in non- fiction books about women of the Old West, as shown by her two new titles: "Bedside Book of Bad Girls: Outlaw Women of the Midwest" (Farcountry, $14.95 160 pages), and "Object Matrimony: The Risky Business of Mail-Order Matchmaking on the Western Frontier" (Two Dot, $14.95, 168 pages).
In "Bad Girls," she introduces 11 not-so-nice heroines, including Flora Mundis, who disguised herself as a man whenever she ventured out to steal horses; con artist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman presidential candidate; and Ma Barker, matriarch of the legendary Barker Gang.
"Object Matrimony" explores the mail-order bride business, in which lonely frontiersmen connected to single women willing to relocate to the West and wed virtual strangers. It was nothing like speed-dating.
Given the upcoming presidential election, Southern California-based author Bernard Fernandez offers a timely scenario in "Inauguration Day 2013" (BeachHouse, $14.95, 132 pages). The question is posed: "Who is the right man to lead our country in these most difficult times?" The answer may surprise you. Hint: It's a gender issue.
Jukebox in a library ...
We like to explore book- related websites, such as www.smalldemons.com. Its home page announces, "Welcome to the Storyverse the people, places and things from books, and everywhere they can take you."
One of its cool offerings is a list of song titles most referenced by authors in their books. The top 10:
1. "Hey Jude" by the Beatles
2. "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley
3. "We Are the World," originally by USA for Africa
4. "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
5. "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis Presley
6. "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
7. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles
8. "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
9. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
10. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
Two for Mantel's mantel
Amid the thousands of thrillers and romances that flood the marketplace, readers will occasionally find must-read titles of a more literary bend, such as two by British author Hilary Mantel.
Both historical fiction novels won the prestigious Man Booker Prize. "Wolf Hall" took it 2009, followed recently by "Bring Up the Bodies." Mantel is the first woman and the first British writer to twice win the prize.
The titles are the first two entries in the author's trilogy about the life and times of Thomas Cromwell. This is top-tier literature set in Tudor times, depicting King Henry VIII as self- absorbed and nearly psychopathic, and his chief minister, Cromwell, as a secretly insecure manipulator.
The Man Booker committee called the series "one of the greatest achievements of modern literature."
It doesn't matter that we know the ending; getting there is all the fun.
In her acceptance speech, Mantel said, "You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize, then two come along at once. This is an act of faith and a vote of confidence."
Mantel is working on the third book, "The Mirror and the Light."
"Wolf Hall" and "Bodies" are being "adapted for the stage" into two productions being considered by the Royal Shakespeare Company, as reported by the London Daily Telegraph.
"I went to a first reading last week," Mantel was quoted in the newspaper. "There's still a great deal of work to do."
With two separately owned Avid Reader bookstores in our area, keeping up with special events can get confusing.
Avid Reader at Tower is at 1600 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 441-4400. Its upcoming author appearances are:
Tim Palmer for "California Glaciers," 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Ruth Miller for "As We Think, So We Are," 2 p.m. next Sunday.
Eric Butow for "Blogging to Drive Business," 2 p.m. Nov. 11.
Avid Reader in Davis is at 617 Second St.; (530) 758-4040. Its upcoming author appearances are:
Tim Palmer for "California Glaciers," 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Professors R. Michael Davis and Robert Sommer for "Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America," 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Dylan Tomine for "Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table," 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9.
More author appearances
A.K. Buckroth for "My Diabetic Soul" and Laurie Hoirup for "I Can Dance," 2 p.m. Saturday in the Market Place in the Commonwealth Shopping Center, 1325 Riley St., Folsom; (916) 984-4220.
Andy Thomas for "The Artful Journey," 4 p.m. Saturday at American Visions Art Gallery, 705 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 351-1623.
Brian and Larry Tom for "Sacramento's Chinatown," 3 p.m. Thursday in Sacramento State's University Library, 6000 J St.; (916) 278-5954.
With the 16th annual Sandhill Crane Festival in Lodi taking flight Friday and Saturday (800-581-6150, www.cranefestival.com), we're reminded that naturalist Nina Faust has a related event.
Her presentation and video, "Raising Kid Colt: A Story of a Young Sandhill Crane," will be featured at 7 p.m. Thursday at REI, 1790 Expo Parkway, Sacramento; (916) 924-8900. The video takes viewers to the cranes' Alaskan summering area a nice complement to their winter stay in the nearby Delta.
Sashka Lilley for "Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth," 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at Sol Collective, 2574 21st St., Sacramento; (916) 369-5510.