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    Raffles was the popular resident cat at Beers Books. She died Jan. 13 with store workers nearby.

  • Associated Press file

    Short stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe will be the focus of the ninth annual One Book Sacramento program, starting in September.

Between the Lines: It's Poe for One Book Sacramento 2013

Published: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 12AANDE
Last Modified: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 - 11:51 am

This year, the Sacramento Public Library isn't waiting until its annual fundraising gala, Authors on the Move (March 9), to announce its choice for its annual One Book Sacramento program.

The short stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe will be the centerpiece of the ninth annual project.

"Poe's writings offer broad appeal to our diverse community," said library director Rivkah Sass. "Fans of mystery, poetry, suspense and the macabre will all be attracted. Most importantly, it will be a great deal of fun."

One Book Sacramento asks the community to read the same book and participate in events that include arts and crafts, book discussions, films, poetry readings and more. Experts on Poe's writings will be part of the lineup. One Book Sacramento will begin in September and continue through October.

New to One Book Sacramento is the Poe Project, a short-film and screenplay-writing competition co-sponsored by the Capital Film Arts Alliance.

A workshop with all the details will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Art Institute of Sacramento, 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive.

For more information, contact Mary Beth Barber at (916) 429-5105 or Laurie Pederson at (916) 600-6477, or email to

In the coming months, the library will announce more details on One Book Sacramento and the Poe Project.

While we're there, here's more library news:

A new 3M Cloud Library kiosk will be unveiled at noon Tuesday at the Sacramento Central Library, 828 I St. That means thousands of downloadable titles will join the library's existing electronic library of 7,500-plus e-books.

For more information: (916) 264-2920 or visit

Rest in peace, Raffles

Sad news came Monday when Bill Senecal sent word that Raffles the cat had passed away. Senecal recently retired from his job as manager for 43 years of the venerable Beers bookstore. Raffles was the store mascot.

Let Senecal tell it:

"We originally got Raffles from an animal shelter 11 years ago (when she was 6). Right from the start, she made herself at home in the bookstore with her calm demeanor, quickly earning the reputation as 'the world's best bookstore cat.' Many customers came by just to visit with Raffles.

"She'd been in declining health the past few months, and 10 current and former staff members were with her when she died peacefully around 6:30 (the night of Jan. 13).

"Raffles is being cremated and her remains will be on display at Beers, for those wishing to pay their respects."

Beers is at 915 S St., Sacramento; (916) 442-9475.

Four for history, travel buffs

Four new nonfiction titles worth a look:

• "The Things They Cannot Say" by Kevin Sites (Harper, $15.99, 336 pages; on sale Jan. 28): The journalist and author of "The Hot Zone" interviews 11 battle- hardened veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In each case, the soldiers share the experiences that changed their lives.

• "Undaunted" by Tanya Biank (NAL, $26.95, 368 pages; Feb. 5): The journalist and author of "Army Wives" takes a hard look at the issues facing women in the military, who "make up 14 percent of the total active-duty forces."

• "Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America" by Sam Roberts (Grand Central Publishing, $30, 320 pages; Tuesday): The New York City train terminal turns 100 this year, and this words-and- pictures homage to an American landmark is an absorbing tribute, filled with vintage photos and great anecdotes.

• "Here, There, Elsewhere" by William Least Heat-Moon (Little, Brown, $29.99): Fans will be pleased with this collection of the travel writer's shorter pieces, which took him on eclectic explorations around the U.S. and abroad over the years.

National Book Critics Circle finalists

Literary kudos can serve as signposts to readers looking for their next book adventures. The National Book Critics Circle has released its list of finalists for its prestigious award.

Winners will be announced Feb. 28.

For the full list, go to

Meanwhile, here's a sampling:


• "HHhH" by Laurent Binet and Sam Taylor

• "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain.

• "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson, who appeared for the Bee Book Club in September.

• "Magnificence" by Lydia Millet

• "NW" by Zadie Smith


• "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" by Katherine Boo

• "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power" by Steve Coll

• "Why Does the World Exist?" by Jim Holt

• "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic" by David Quammen

• "Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity" by Andrew Solomon


• "The Distance Between Us" by Reyna Grande

• "My Poets" by Maureen N. McLane

• "House of Stone" by Anthony Shadid

• "Swimming Studies" by Leanne Shapton

• "In the House of the Interpreter" by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Book fans set up a helpful website

"My husband, Josh, and I are huge fans of libraries and books," emailed Kandra Staiger. She explained that she and her husband, who live in the Bay Area, wanted to help libraries and promote reading, so they set up to help readers find library book sales around Northern California. Libraries can list their upcoming sales there for free.

"We basically just built a site that we wanted to use ourselves," she explained.

Nielsen Bookscan lists 2012 best-sellers

Lists are revealing, so here's another one – the top 15 best-selling books of 2012 as compiled by Nielsen Bookscan, "a global leader in information."

1. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James

2. "Fifty Shades Darker" by E.L. James

3. "Fifty Shades Freed" by E.L. James

4. "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

5. "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins

6. "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins

7. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel" by Jeff Kinney

8. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen

9. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly

10. "Fifty Shades Trilogy Box Set" by E.L. James

11. "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly

12. "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young

13. "The Mark of Athena" by Rick Riordan

14. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

15. "Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin

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