The Sacramento region is well-populated with retired and active military personnel, who happen to be well-read fans of military-centric literature and fiction.
This trio recently came our way:
"Trident K9 Warriors" by Mike Ritland (St. Martin's, $25.99, 288 pages): Impassioned by watching military working dogs in action in Iraq, the former Navy SEAL founded a highly specialized firm that finds, trains and supplies canines to the military. Ritland introduces readers to a world of canine heroics, detailing the exploits of dogs that serve the national interest.
"Time To Kill" by retired Marine Corps gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin, with Donald A. Davis (St. Martin's, $25.99, 304 pages): The duo continues the series of novels featuring American sniper Kyle Swanson. This time out, Swanson and his Trident team deal with a double agent called the Pharoah, whose goal is to gain control of the Suez Canal and the world's oil supply.
"Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World" by James Lacey and Williamson Murray (Bantam, $30, 496 pages): The military historians argue that these 20 battles throughout the ages had the most far-reaching effects on world civilization and history. Included are the battles of Midway and Dien Bien Phu.
Bookmarks and suntans
We're approaching the summer reading season, and novels by A-list authors are starting to show up.
"Silken Prey" by John Sandford (Putnam, $27.95, 416 pages): Edgy lawman Lucas Davenport is a formidable (and ironic) lawman in Sandford's 23rd entry in the "Prey" series.
Sociopathic billionaire Taryn Grant is running for office and nothing is going to stand in her way; her hired guns will see to that.
One of the best "Prey" books.
"The Broken Places" by Ace Atkins (Putnam, $26.95, 368 pages): The reporter-turned-novelist brings out the third title in his Quinn Colson series, filling it with his trademark humor, action and realistic characters. The small-town Mississippi sheriff and former Army Ranger goes up against a paroled killer and his gang. BTW: Atkins writes the continuation of late author Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" thrillers.
"Choke Point" by Ridley Pearson (Putnam, $26.95, 416 pages): The veteran author's bibliography shows 16 titles in three adult-thriller series, 15 titles in four young-adult series, and 10 stand-alone thrillers. Now comes book two in a four-title thriller series starring Chinese national Grace Chu and lethal American agent John Knox.
Their mission: Rescue young girls held hostage as laborers in an Amsterdam sweatshop. Pearson appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2012.
"And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $28.95, 416 pages): The Afghan-born American physician and writer knocked the literary world sideways with his best-selling "The Kite Runner," followed by "A Thousand Splendid Suns."
This one is also dramatically emotional, taking readers into multigenerational circles of families living around the globe.
"We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" by Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood, $26.95, 320 pages): The Santa Cruz-based author is at her bizarre best in her sixth novel.
As an adult, Rosemary has issues with childhood memories of growing up with a chimpanzee in the household.
Now she faces another problem the FBI wants to bust her brother for domestic terrorism.
Fowler wrote "The Jane Austen Book Club" and appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2008.
Let's remember that not all good reads are fiction.
This sampling proves it:
"Superman" by Larry Tye (Random House, $27, 432 pages): Seventy-five years after "America's most enduring hero" was created and, not coincidentally, just before the June 14 release of the movie "Man of Steel" comes journalist Tye's history of the former Kryptonian and the real earthlings who have sustained his fame.
"Extra Sensory" by Brian Clegg (St. Martin's, $25.99, 320 pages): Telekinesis, ESP, telepathy, remote viewing fact or fraud?
The British physicist separates the two in this well-researched pop-science look at the "other side of the brain."
"The Beauty Experiment" by Phoebe Baker Hyde (Da Capo, $16, 248 pages): To prove her theory that women possess inner beauty, the cultural anthropologist conducted an experiment, giving up makeup, jewelry, au courant fashion and trips to the beauty parlor and spa.
Did anyone notice?
"When Will My Grown-up Kid Grow Up?" by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel (Workman, $23.95, 352 pages): The scenario: The nest is empty and retirement is getting close. Suddenly, your 20-something boomerang son/daughter has moved back in and everything changes.
What are boomer parents to do? The experts offer advice.
"18 in America" by Dylan Dethier (Scribner, $25, 272 pages): The golfing student postponed his first year of college to travel and play a round of golf in every state. Along the way, he discovered America and himself.
Davis-based legal-thriller writer John Lescroart recently published his 24th title, "The Ophelia Cut" (Atria, $26.99, 432 pages).
He will give a presentation and sign books at 7 p.m. May 27 at Avid Reader at the Tower, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 441-4400.
Tech whiz Harry Leman will appear at 9 a.m. June 7 for a breakfast sponsored by the Sacramento branch of the California Writers Club, to present the step-by-step how-to "Marketing With a Facebook Business Page."
Free, but buy your own breakfast at IHOP, 2216 Sunrise Blvd., Rancho Cordova; (916) 213-0798.
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.
Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.