In case you missed the announcement in The Bee on Oct. 26, and online at www.sacbee.com, it was this:
"With much regret, the Nov. 29 Sacramento Bee Book Club event presenting novelist Janet Evanovich has been canceled due to an illness in her family."
Taking her place will be award-winning mystery-thriller novelist Lee Child. He will be onstage to participate in an "in conversation with"-style question-and- answer session.
If you have a question for Child, send it to email@example.com. We will ask him a sampling of your questions.
Child's appearance is a free event, but tickets are required. To get them, go to www.beebuzzpoints.com and click on "Fall Events." Tickets are limited to two per person. Printed, hard-copy tickets will be required for entry to the event.
Those holding tickets to the Janet Evanovich event cannot use them for the Lee Child event. You must register anew.
Child's new novel, the New York Times No. 1 best-selling "A Wanted Man," is the 17th entry in the phenomenally popular Jack Reacher series (Delacorte, $28, 416 pages). Child's books have sold 60 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 40 languages.
The Reacher character a West Point graduate, Army veteran and former MP is likable but deadly, a loner who operates by his own code of honor. He makes his living as a "problem-solver," largely helping those who can't help themselves.
Tom Cruise will play Reacher in the upcoming movie "Jack Reacher," adapted from Child's 2005 book "One Shot." It's scheduled for release Dec. 21.
In "A Wanted Man," Reacher is hitchhiking through Nebraska when a car stops for him. He looks inside and sees two men and a woman. Hmmm. Something's not right, but he climbs in anyway.
Big mistake. Reacher is caught up in a vortex of kidnapping, murder and betrayals at the highest levels.
Another book by Child, due out Tuesday, is "Jack Reacher's Rules," a compilation of quotes and advice from Reacher during his 17-book odyssey (Delacorte, $16, 160 pages).
Child will appear for the Sacramento Bee Book Club at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Doors will open at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, visit him at www.leechild.com.
Barnes & Noble will be on site to sell preautographed copies of the title for 30 percent off the list price (Bantam, $28, 320 pages).
Through Nov. 29, these bookstores will offer a 30 percent discount on "A Wanted Man": 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.
Merger still months off
The merger of publishing giants Random House and Penguin is momentous news in the industry. But, for the the record, the deal won't be inked until "the second half of 2013," after government approval, said Random House CEO Markus Dohle in a letter to booksellers, as reported in Publishers Weekly magazine.
Meanwhile, Dohle said, "Random House and Penguin remain competitors."
Belly up to the library
So many Californians are obsessed with food, from its history and sourcing to its preparation and consumption. And cookbooks we can't get enough of them.
The California State Library knows this, and has joined the table with its "Culinary California," the new entry in its "A Night at the State Library" series.
The free archival exhibit is open to everyone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through November. It offers a range of memorabilia "from California's eating and drinking appetites, from the Gold Rush to present day."
Included are cookbooks, menus, bartenders' guides, wine labels and more.
The California State Library is at 900 N St., Sacramento. Information: (916) 654-0261, www.library.ca.gov.
Authors' favorite dishes
Journalist-foodie Nicole Villeneuve maintains a cool website called www. paperandsalt.org, where she reveals the favorite dishes of famous authors (recipes included).
For instance, Agatha Christie liked fig and orange scones with Devonshire cream very tea time in the drawing room. Contrast that with Ernest Hemingway's manly go-to of bacon-wrapped trout with corn cakes, maybe his lunch after a morning of fly-fishing.
Other pairings: Nora Ephron and frozen key lime pie; Jack London and baked bacon-tomato risotto; and John Steinbeck and pork-filled posole. Enjoy the meal.
Audiobooks are a growing segment of the multimedia market, and good company on the daily work commute and long road trips. Here's a sample trio from an audiobook leader, Macmillan:
"Rogue" by Mark Sullivan, read by Jeff Gurner: Professional thief and former CIA agent Robin Monarch travels the world, surviving narrow escapes and villains to keep new weapons technology out of the wrong hands. A fast-moving thriller with a compelling narrator.
"Salvation of a Saint" by Keigo Higashino, read by David Pittu: An inexplicable murder brings Detective Manabu Yukawa to the case. Higashino is one of Japan's top mystery writers, author of the best-selling "The Devotion of Suspect X."
"The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days" by Ian Frazier, read by Cynthia Nixon: The author's "desperate housewife" character, who first appeared in the New Yorker magazine, attempts to offer other stay-at-home moms various household and parenting tips. But she has a penchant for disaster, red wine and swearing. Very funny.
On the local front
Retired English professor emeritus Mary Mackey is a novelist (14 titles), poet and screenwriter who taught English and film for 36 years at California State University, Sacramento. One of her courses was "Fiction Into Film," focused on turning books into movies.
Recently, her 62-poem anthology "Sugar Zone" won the PEN Oakland Award for literary excellence (Marsh Hawk, $15, 82 pages). One description calls the poems "fierce, surreal, ecstatic and passionately transcendent."
"The award is a great honor and a great surprise, and the culmination of a long literary career," Mackey said.
The awards ceremony will be Dec. 1 in Oakland. Meanwhile, Mackey will perform a reading and sign "Sugar Zone" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St.; (916) 714-5401.
Last year, Granite Bay financial planner Bradley DeHaven published a very personal book. In "Defining Moments," he told the story of how he saved his oldest teenage son from addiction to the painkiller OxyContin.
DeHaven has published a sequel, "The Addict Among Us" (CreateSpace, $9.99, 218 pages), a drug-addiction awareness guide that offers advice and "counseling" to concerned families.
Upcoming author events include:
Sina Grace for "Not My Bag" graphic novel, 7 p.m. Friday at Barnes & Noble, 1725 Arden Way, Sacramento; (916) -565-0644
Donalyn Miller for "The Book Whisperer," 4 to 8 p.m. (includes appetizers) Nov. 13 in the Del Oro High School auditorium, 3301 Taylor Road, Loomis; (916) 208-2537. Admission is $25; $10 for teacher- education students. Register at www.placerareareading-council.org.
LET US KNOW
If you have information on author appearances or other book-related special events, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.