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  • ERHARDT E. KRAUSE / Sacramento Bee

    Fairytale Town will be the site of a Dr. Seuss party March 2.

  • Scanned cover

    “The Days of Anna Madrigal” by Armistead Maupin

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    If you have information on author appearances or other book-related special events, email it to bookmarks@sacbee.comat least two weeks before the event. To read the online calendar, go to Questions? Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.

Between the Lines: Dr. Seuss party at Fairytale Town

Published: Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 - 12:00 am

How about a heaping plate of green eggs and ham, or an introduction to a cat wearing a silly hat?

You’ll find those metaphorical fancies and more at Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Celebration next Sunday at Fairytale Town, the theme park that has thrilled children since 1959.

Highlights will include readings from some of Theodor Geisel’s classic books (he wrote 46) by Sacramento Bee publisher Cheryl Dell, Sacramento Bee community affairs director Pam Dinsmore, Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, Sacramento City Council member Kevin McCarty, Sacramento River Cats mascot Dinger, Capital Public Radio host Donna Apidone and emcee Mike on the Mic.

Also, look for Dr. Seuss-themed hands-on projects, including “Cat in the Hat” hat-making and planting “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” flowers. Runaway Stage Productions will perform excerpts from “Seussical: The Musical” in the Children’s Theater at 11:15 and 11:45 a.m.

The book-centric celebration marks the start of the STAR Readers Book Drive, sponsored by United Way of California’s Capital Region. It benefits the STAR Readers project, whose goal is to “increase graduation rates by improving early reading skills.” Donate a new or gently used children’s book at the United Way booth and get a discount coupon for a future visit to Fairytale Town;

The bash will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 2 at 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento. It’s free with paid admission of $5.50. The park is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Information: (916) 808-7462,

Speaker series lineup

Celebrity chef-restaurateur-cookbook author Alice Waters, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and journalist-author-TV host Anderson Cooper head the lineup for the Sacramento Speaker Series’ 2014-15 program.

Mitchell Ostwald, managing principal of the series, announced the lineup Tuesday. The series brings top-tier professionals from the arts, sciences, media and other fields to Sacramento to speak about their careers and issues of the day, and answer questions from the audience.

Each of the six events will start at 8 p.m. at the Community Center Theatre, 1301 L St., Sacramento. Subscriptions to the community lecture series are priced at four levels, from $210 to $450. For tickets and more information: (916) 388-1100,

Here’s the lineup:

• Sept. 23: Alice Waters founded the Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse and has been credited with pioneering and promoting “California cuisine,” which emphasizes fresh, local ingredients.

• Oct. 28: Robert M. Gates’ recently published his memoir “Duty,” which caused a firestorm of controversy.

• Dec. 9: Yo-Yo Ma has been called the world’s greatest cellist.

• Jan. 20: Anderson Cooper published his memoir, “Dispatches From the Edge,” in 2006.

• March 3: Diany Nyad is a long-distance swimmer who became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida.

• April 7: David Brooks is a cultural and political columnist for The New York Times.

For your bookshelf

Recently,this column mentioned a terrific read, “The Homesman” by Glendon Swarthout (Simon & Schuster, $15, 256 pages): The award-winning 1988 novel was reissued in anticipation of the upcoming film co-starring Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank and John Lithgow. It’s the Old West story of a pioneer woman and a drifter who partner to escort three women driven mad by frontier life to an asylum back East.

Along those lines, try this trio:

“The Son” by Philipp Meyer (Ecco, $16.99, 592 pages): Released last month in paperback, it’s a riveting story of a pioneer family in Texas and their struggles over multigenerations. It opens with a raid and kidnap by a band of Comanches, and takes readers along from there. Epic.

Moving to nonfiction is “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend” by Glenn Frankel (Bloomsbury, $18, 432 pages): In 1956, director John Ford made the landmark movie “The Searchers,” starring John Wayne. It was based on the kidnap by Comanches of 9-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, who was “reclaimed” by the Texas Rangers 24 years later. The author writes insightfully about the film and the real-life abduction and subsequent search.

Back to fiction, but set in a more contemporary West: C.J. Box’s latest Joe Pickettt adventure, “Stone Cold,” (Putnam, $26.95, 384 pages), finds the Wyoming game warden-troubleshooter investigating the mysterious goings-on at a sprawling ranch possibly owned by a killer for hire.

Three disparate titles worth a look are “Three Souls” by Janie Chang (William Morrow, $16.99, 496 pages), “Bone Deep” by Randy Wayne White (Putrnam, $26.95, 384 pages) and “The Days of Anna Madrigal” by Armistead Maupin (Harper, $26.99, 288 pages). In “Souls,” set in 1930s China, the ghost of a young woman must revisit her life to find redemption and understanding. “Bone Deep” is the 21st entry in the adventure series starring Doc Ford, a “retired” black-ops specialist working as a marine biologist in Florida. White appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2004. “Madrigal” continues the characters from the serial “Tales of the City,” which took San Francisco by storm in 1976. As a reminder, Anna is the transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane. Maupin appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2010.

We’re not too sold on self-help books, but this one looks well-grounded, “What’s Next? The 7 Steps to Discover Your Big Idea and Create a Wildly Successful Business” by Joy Chudacoff (Wheatmark, $14.95, 146 pages). The step-by-step is clear and demonstrative, with insightful, hands-on exercises.

Upcoming author appearances

• Cathy A. Kurtz for “ Living Through the Pain: The Lonely Me” (Healing Hart, $24.95, 143 pages), 4 p.m. March 1 at the Blue Line Art Gallery, 405 Vernon St., Roseville; (916) 783-4117. The book launch will include appetizers, beverages and door prizes. More at

• Raymond Leo Blain, a retired Roseville pediatrician-turned-author, has written a cautionary tale with lessons for children and teens and their parents. It’s concerned with the subject of bullying, a major issue in our school system and online (“There Is a Dragon in My Closet,” Tate, $18.99, 240 pages). Blain says he is willing to “participate at fund-raisers and for PTAs and schools. The more organizations that profit from my book, the happier I will be.” Reach him at or (916) 472-8696. Meanwhile, catch him at:

2 p.m. Saturday at Dimple Books, 2499 Arden Way, Sacramento; (916) 16) 239-3760; 8:30 p.m. March 21 for a fundraiser at Barrett Ranch Elementary School, 7720 Ocean Park Drive, Antelope; (916) 770-8839

•  Barbara Lazar for “The Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai,” 3 p.m. Saturday at the Avid Reader at Tower, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 441-4400

•  Artis Henderson for “Unremarried Widow,” 7 p.m. March 6 at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St, Sacramento; (916) 447-5696

•  Peter Linebaugh for “Stop, Thief!,” 7 p.m. March 20 at Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St., Sacramento; (916-369-5510).

•  At the Central Library, 828 I St., Sacramento: Garrett McCord for “ Melt: The Art of Macaroni & Cheese,” 6:30 p.m. March 11

•  At Face in a Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills (916-941-9401):

Jim L’Etoile for “Little River,” 6 p.m. March 7; Roxanne Langer for “The 60-Minute Wine MBA,” 6:30 p.m. March 20 at the inaugural Third Thursday, a series of wine and book events; Brenda Novak for “Come Home to Me” and Allison Brennan for “Notorious,” 6:30 p.m. March 25.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleoni@sacbe

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