How are your New Year’s resolutions working out so far? Did you promise yourself to lose weight, find happiness, take charge of your life and get rid of bad habits?
These goals are big-ticket life items that could require professional guidance to achieve. More convenient and affordable – and certainly more popular – are self-help books. Such as the trio written by “queen of self-help” Gretchen Rubin.
The New York Times best-selling author has written the long-titled “Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives,” the blockbuster “Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life,” and “The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun.” Collectively, they have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide in more than 30 languages. She also records a weekly podcast, “Happier With Gretchen Rubin.”
Rubin is the Sacramento Bee Book Club’s choice for February, in partnership with the Sacramento Public Library and Barnes & Noble. She will give her presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. It’s a free event, but tickets are required. Look for ticketing details in this column on Feb. 8. Visit her at www.gretchenrubin.com.
“Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life,” she has said. “In ‘Better Than Before,’ I talk about the many strategies for habit change, and show readers how various strategies work better or worse for different people. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.”
“Better Than Before” (Broadway, $16, 320 pages) will be offered at a 30 percent discount now through Feb. 11 at 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; Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento; the UC Davis Bookstore; and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.
Other upcoming authors for the 2016 Bee Book Club include:
Thursday, March 17: Sue Grafton’s “Alphabet Mysteries” series starring Southern California P.I. Kinsey Millhone debuted with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982. Her latest entry is “X.” www.suegrafton.com.
Thursday, April 28: John Sandford’s 26-title “Prey” series features maverick police investigator Lucas Davenport. In his eight-title “Virgil Flowers” crossover series, Davenport interacts with investigator Flowers, bringing their fictional worlds together. “Extreme Prey” is his next novel. Sandford is a former journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. www.johnsandford.org.
Thursday, July 21: Ace Atkins took over Robert B. Parker’s popular “Spenser” franchise after the dean of crime fiction died in 2010. His fifth “Spenser” novel, “Slow Burn,” is his next title. Also, the sixth title in Atkins’ “Quinn Colson” series, “The Innocents,” will be released this year. www.aceatkins.com.
Readings by Community of Writers alumni
One of the nation’s most prestigious workshops for aspiring and established writers, screenwriters and poets is the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Five of the program’s prominent alumni authors will gather to read from their books and discuss questions from the audience.
Onstage will be New York Times best-selling author Meg Waite Clayton for “The Race for Paris” (www.megwaiteclayton.com), Natalie Baszile for “Queen Sugar” (www.nataliebaszile.com), Frances Dinkelspiel for “Tangled Vines” (www.francesdinkelspiel.com), Marian Palaia for “The Given World” (www.marianpalaia.com) and Josh Weil for “The Great Glass Sea” (www.joshweil.com).
The event will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4 at Sierra 2 Center for the Arts & Community, 2791 24th St., Sacramento, 916-452-3005, www.sierra2.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance at www.communityofwriters.org, $25 at the door. The evening will be hosted by Beth Ruyak of Capital Public Radio. A reception and book-signing will follow the presentation. Proceeds will benefit the Community of Writers summer workshops.
Stories take center stage
Stories on Stage is a literary series in which local actors perform authors’ short works. Kicking off its seventh season will be writer-painter-UC Davis professor Maceo Montoya for his short-story collection and novella “You Must Fight Them.” His short story “The Twins” will be read by Steve Buri.
Joining him will be journalist-public relations professional Anne Seitz Da Vigo. Her short story “Jerusalem Stone” will be read by Gay Cooper.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R streets, Sacramento. $5 suggested donation. www.storiesonstagesacramento.wordpress.com.