March is Women's History Month, when the nation pays tribute to "the generations of women whose commitments have proved invaluable to society." People like astronaut Sally Ride, artist Frida Kahlo, athlete Wilma Rudolph, novelist Virginia Woolf, aviator Amelia Earhart, and the Rosie the Riveter archetype.
Locally on offer are several related programs:
The Sacramento Public Library will host "Women Trailblazers of California: Pioneers to the Present." Gloria Harris, a lecturer at San Diego State University's department of women's studies, will tell stories of early California suffragists, reformers, environmentalists, architects and entertainers.
It will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd. Information: www.saclibrary.org, (916) 264-2920.
Margo Kaufman will discuss the memoir of her aunt, Lilli Segal, "From Protest to Resistance." Segal was a fighter in the French Resistance during World War II and later escaped from Auschwitz. That will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento; (916) 264-2920, www.saclibrary.org.
At the Yolo County Library branches, photo galleries will highlight notable Yolo County women, along with displays of books reflecting the theme "Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination." A number of branch events are also planned. For details: www.yololibrary.org.
Also in celebration of Women's History Month is a reading by six female poets at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Sacramento Poetry Center Gallery, 1719 25th St. The public is invited to bring and read poetry that honors the women in their lives.
And: Try this sampling of titles appropriate to Women's History Month, all of them published by William Morrow. For more information: www.harpercollins.com.
"The Midwife of Hope River" by Patricia Harman ($14.99, 400 pages): Determined midwife Patience Murphy fights poverty and prejudice in 1930s Appalachia.
"The House Girl" by Tara Conklin ($25.99, 384 pages): The story shifts back and forth in time between antebellum Virginia and present-day New York, connecting the lives and fates of two women – one an escaped slave, the other a lawyer.
"Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline ($14.99, 304 pages): A 91-year-old woman bonds with a troubled teenage girl.
"Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America" by Charlotte S. Waisman and Jill S. Tietjen ($24.99, 268 pages): A survey of 900 women who affected history over four centuries.
TV mines books for ideas
The film industry has long been dependent on the books-to-movies model for a large part of its success. Just look at this year's Oscar nominees and winners.
Though television has done the same to some extent, there's a new push by networks to turn book adaptations (and remakes) into series.
Seeking a piece of the viewership pie created by HBO's "Game of Thrones" (from George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel) and AMC's "The Walking Dead" (from the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman), network executives have ambitious projects for the upcoming pilot season. Featured in the "literary adaptation" genre (with original authors in parenthesis) will be:
At CBS: "Under the Dome" (Stephen King), "Backstrom" (Leif G.W. Persson), "Anatomy of Violence" (Adrian Raine) and "Intelligence" (John Dixon).
At NBC: "Girlfriend in a Coma" (Douglas Coupland), "Undateable" (Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle), "The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives" (Josie Brown) and "To My Future Assistant" (Lydia Whitlock).
At ABC: "The Returned" (Jason Mott).
At Fox: "I Suck at Girls" (Justin Halpern) and "Delirium" (Lauren Oliver).
At CW: "The Hundred" (Kass Morgan) and "The Selection" (Keira Cass).
At FX: "The Strain" (Guillermo del Toro).
Also, expect new twists on such classics as "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare (ABC), "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving (Fox) and "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll (NBC).
Must-read list gets longer
What's next on your reading list? Try ours:
It's being marketed as a book for children ages 7 and older, but it's definitely for adults, too – those who remember comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and the younger ones who need to be introduced to two of comedy's foremost laugh-masters.
"Who's on First?" by Abbott and Costello (QuirkBooks, $16.95, 40 pages; illustrated by John Martz) presents the print version of the duo's hilarious skit, guaranteed to make you laugh. It debuted on radio 75 years ago, and was named by Time magazine "the best comedy sketch of the 20th century." Check it out on YouTube.
The Girls of Atomic City" by Denise Kiernan (Touchstone, $27, 400 pages): In the 1940s, women workers who were hired for a secret government project in Oak Ridge, Tenn., didn't know they were enriching uranium for atomic bombs. History meets science in this biographical revelation.
"The Painted Girls" by Cathy Marie Buchanan (Riverhead, $28, 368 pages): Two down-and-out sisters in 1880s Paris go their separate ways – one as a ballet dancer, the other as a gangster's girlfriend. Ultimately, they must count on each other to save themselves.
Upcoming author appearances
The Avid Reader in Davis continues to book authors for March. The store is at 617 Second St.; (530) 758-4040:
March 22: Joelle Fraser at 7:30 p.m. for her memoir "The Forest House," set in Susanville.
March 30: T.J. Brown at 7:30 p.m. for her "Summerset Abbey" series (shades of "Downton Abbey").
Face in a Book will host Kathy Reichs at 6:30 p.m. March 21 at 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 941-9401. Reichs is a forensic anthropologist and producer of the Fox TV series "Bones," based on her best-selling novels. She will sign her new book, the young-adult "Code," the third in her "Virals" series, with co-author Brendan Reichs.
Also at the bookstore: Joelle Fraser for "The Forest House," March 24.
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.