Talk about disparate characters …
Jamie Ford is half Anglo and half Chinese, an American who lives outside of Great Falls, Mont., with his wife and their combined “brood” of teenage children.
Bill Bryson is an Anglo American who has shuttled back and forth between the United States and Britain most of his adult life, and lives in the English village of Wramplingham.
Ford, 45, is a former graphics artist whose 2009 debut novel, “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” spent two years on the New York Times best-seller list.
Bryson, 61, is a travel writer, humorist, journalist, authority on the English language, chronicler of history and science, and the author of 17 nonfiction books, many of them best-sellers.
The two writers literally and figuratively live in different worlds, but have at least one thing in common: They both will appear for the Sacramento Bee Book Club.
Ford’s second novel, “Songs of Willow Frost,” is set in Seattle in the 1920s and 1930s, and follows the journey of desperate orphans and fast friends William and Charlotte. On an orphanage-sponsored field trip to a movie theater, William becomes convinced that one of the actresses onscreen is his supposedly deceased mother. The two children run away from the orphanage in a quest to find her — and the truth. Ultimately, it’s a story of love, loss and second chances, a continuation of Ford’s cultural narrative of Asian America.
Bryson’s new book is “One Summer: America, 1927,” a fascinating telling of the astounding events and curiosities that took place in the United States over five short months in one year — sea changes in sports, politics, invention, film, literature and finance that coincided to help shape our national character and launch us into the world arena.
Both authors will appear at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. Their presentations are free and open to everyone, but tickets are required. To get them, go to www.beebuzzpoints.com, click on “Bee Events” and scroll down in the “Bee Events Calendar.”
Barnes & Noble will be at both events, offering 30 percent discounts on “Songs of Willow Frost” (Ballantine, $26, 352 pages; on sale Tuesday) and “One Summer: America, 1927” (Doubleday, $28.95, 528 pages; on sale Oct. 1).
From Tuesday through Sept. 26, these bookstores will offer a 30 percent discount on “Willow Frost” and Oct. 1-8, , they will offer a 30 percent discount on “One Summer”: Barnes & Noble, Avid Reader at the Tower in Sacramento, Avid Reader in Davis, Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills, Time Tested Books, Underground Books, Carol’s Books, Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento, the UC Davis Bookstore and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.
For information: (916) 321-1128.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter: @apierleoni@sacbe.