The seasonal tsunami of summer-book releases is calming to a light chop as publishers prepare to promote and release their most prestigious titles by their biggest names for the fall season. That’s when half the year’s book sales occur. Which is no surprise, as the coming weeks are the walk-up to the holiday gift-giving season.

How do mystery-thriller-paranormal writers do what they do? Find out at two free presentations featuring members of Sisters in Crime, a national organization of women mystery writers. They’ll discuss their craft, answer questions and reveal some of their writing secrets.

The 20th anniversary re-issue of “The Bone Garden,” a book by former Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney William P. Wood, details what may be the most macabre murders in Sacramento’s history.

Actor Ruby Sketchley will read from the award-winning novel.

Grass Valley nonfiction Western writer Chris Enss and co-author Howard Kazanjian tell a remarkable, little-known and scandalous story in “Death Row All Stars: A Story of Baseball, Corruption, and Murder.” The two will be at Raley Field for a meet ’n’ greet and book-signing from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, before the Sacramento River Cats take on the Reno Aces at 7:05 p.m.

In the 1870s, in the midst of the Gilded Age, America’s sense of Manifest Destiny still prevailed. So it was predictable that the nation would turn its collective imagination to one of the last uncharted regions on the planet, the North Pole.

The Audio Publishers Association reports that the audiobook segment of the $27 billion books industry continues to grow. Further, it cites the results of a survey about why people like them: “I can listen in my car,” “They’re portable” and “They help me multitask.” Toward the bottom of the list is, “I like being read to.”

Todd Borg lives at one of the world’s great destinations – Lake Tahoe – and writes about the adventures of his P.I. character, former SFPD homicide inspector Owen McKenna, who also lives on the lake (of course). In the 12th title of the series, “Tahoe Ghost Boat,” McKenna goes up against a gang of killers to save the life of a teenage girl “with a $2 million price on her head.”

Author Cheryl Anne Stapp can’t get gold off her mind.

The Sacramento Bee Book Club has been around the literary block and back. Since 1997, its agenda has been to bring A-list authors to Sacramento and invite the public to attend their presentations and book signings.

A Sacramento man has donated 13,000 books to the Friends of the Arden-Dimick Library, the largest donation the organization has ever received and one that includes works spanning topics from the Civil War to women’s studies.

My annual sampling of summertime reading appeared in this space June 24, with this introduction: “Summer means travel, relaxation and the companionship of a can’t-put-it-down book or two, or more likely several.” The key word here is several, as my inventory of worthwhile page-turners – both fiction and nonfiction – continues to grow. Look at this as Part 2 and counting.

The Rise Guys, a longtime fixture on Sacramento radio, are returning to the local airwaves on ESPN 1320 beginning July 28.

William T. Vollmann is most relaxed when he’s in residence at his writing studio, a former Mexican restaurant in Sacramento’s Alkali Flat neighborhood. The walls are plastered with his paintings and wood block prints, and with dramatic pictures he’s shot during decades of global research for his eclectic, multi-award-winning body of nonfiction and fiction.

William T. Vollmann, the National Book Award-winning novelist-journalist-essayist-moralist who lives in Sacramento, has just published his first fiction in nine years, following a half-dozen nonfiction titles.

Four Northern California mystery writers will appear onstage in conversation with each other. It will be a “panel discussion,” of sorts, in which the authors will collectively answer questions about how they do what they do, talk about their main character and explain why the mystery-thriller genres are so enduringly popular.

When Jack Gavron built a miniature house and filled it with books for his senior project at C.K. McClatchy High School this spring, he joined a community of about 15,000 Little Free Library stewards worldwide and nearly 30 registered in the Sacramento area.

The season isn’t slowing down with titles or author appearances throughout the Sacramento area.

Summer means travel, relaxation and the companionship of a can’t-put-it-down book or two, or more likely several. The landslide of summer titles will continue into September, when the multibillion-dollar publishing industry will begin releasing its marquee titles in time for the holiday gift-giving season.

Al Pierleoni has two titles to suggest for summer.

In a coup for Sacramento, the 51st annual Western Writers of America convention will ride into town June 24 and stay until June 28, and the public is invited. The posse will make camp in the Doubletree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way.

For the first time in years, the Sacramento Public Library isn’t trying to figure out how to do more with less.

Diana Gabaldon lives in two worlds. In the real one, she’s the internationally best-selling author of the eight-title multigenre “Outlander” series, and resides mostly in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Outlander” is a publishing phenomenon translated into 34 languages across 38 countries, with 25 million copies in print (including the three “Lord John” spinoff novels).

The San Francisco-based Commonwealth Club of California, the oldest public-affairs forum in the United States, has announced the winners of its 83rd annual California Book Awards.

Before Brooklyn became a hipster haven with pricey real estate and the Bronx became the poster child for urban blight, neighborhood life in those outer boroughs was pretty much the same.

In our contemporary era of digital everything, the idea of having a book fair with actual books could be considered naively antiquated or refreshingly daring. Either way the first Sacramento Black Book Fair kicks off this weekend in Oak Park with hopes of becoming an annual event celebrating reading and the written word.

Let’s see if this logic works: Father’s Day is June 15. Dad is a manly guy who has been known to crack the cover of a book or two. This column is all about books. Ergo: Any of the Western- and military-centric titles on this list of manly books would make a thoughtful Father’s Day gift. If not, let him read the Sunday funnies.

New York Times best-selling author Joyce Maynard talked with Sacramento Bee Book Club members about her life with “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger, her divorce and her love of pie-making.

The concept was inspired: Get together a group of A-list authors – members of the International Thriller Writers association – and pair them into 11 “teams.” Ask each team to write a short story starring the writers’ main characters, and have those characters interact in head-to-head and collaborative ways. The result is “FaceOff,” edited by New York Times best-selling author David Badacci (Simon & Schuster, $27, 320 pages; on sale June 3).

The big news for Tom Robbins’ legion of true believers is next Tuesday’s appearance of his long-anticipated autobiography, “Tibetan Peach Pie” (Ecco, $28, 384 pages).

CBS apparently has not picked up the pilot for “How I Met Your Dad,” a spinoff from “How I Met Your Mother” creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and starring Sacramento native Greta Gerwig.

“When I was 15, I was picking out the clothes I would wear when I became a successful writer,” Mary Higgins Clark once told an interviewer. “I was sure I’d make it, but you first have to learn how to tell the story.”

A debut novel follows Reichl’s four food-related memoirs.

Joyce Maynard is funny, multitalented and generous with her time, but also thrives on drama, is startlingly frank and doesn’t back off from her opinions. All those elements will be part of her presentation when she appears for the Sacramento Bee Book Club.

Anne Perry was a bit jet-lagged. One of many long days, as she constantly roams the world on book tours. Jet lag is her travel companion, so how does she deal with it? “I just keep going,” she said in a prim English accent in a voice brimming with intelligence. “On the plane I drink plenty of water, eat sensibly and take cat naps. I can go right out for 10 minutes and wake up feeling better. Some people wake up wishing they were dead.”

Author Ben Tarnoff links Twain’s greatness to his hobnobbing with the likes of Bret Harte and Ina Coolbrith.

Self-published authors are legion, but not many of them are as young as Sara DuToit of Fair Oaks. The 16-year-old El Sereno High School independent-studies student, singer and fan-fiction writer devoted two years to writing and editing “Hoodview,” available at and ($13.91 to $14.37).

From a small trailer near an exercise yard full of honking geese, the men of the San Quentin News put out a paper they hope will reach beyond the gates of the prison where many of them are serving life sentences.

The public telling of young Ben Underwood’s inspirational life and untimely death began with a series of stories by Sacramento Bee reporter Cynthia Hubert, published between May 2006 and January 2009. His story now continues in “Echoes of an Angel: The Miraculous True Story of a Boy Who Lost His Eyes But Could Still See,” written by his mother, Aquanetta Gordon, and co-writer Chris Macias, The Bee’s food and wine writer.

Arguably the most famous line from “Jerry Maguire” – the movie that took super agent Leigh Steinberg from sports-famous to dinner table-famous – is “Show me the money!” But in his meandering one-hour talk to UC Davis law students Wednesday, Steinberg spoke more about finding the “kwan,” a concept from the movie meaning love, respect, community – and dollars.

For a growing number of Protestant churches around the country, programs that encourage congregants to embark on Bible-reading curricula have become a steady trend.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is traumatic, but the loss of a child can be unimaginably wrenching. Sometimes, though, inspiration can come from tragedy, as was the case with Aquanetta Gordon and her teenage son, Ben Underwood.

This miniature book measures only 2 inches by 2 inches and contains 55-word stories.

We’ve been avalanched with phone calls and emails since announcing that Anne Perry will be here May 1 for the Sacramento Bee Book Club.

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