Books

Schmooze with 40-plus authors over dinner and wine

The 15th annual Authors on the Move will offer a unique chance for readers to chat and dine with 40-plus notable California authors representing a range of styles and genres. Sacramento’s premiere literary gala is the primary fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Library Foundation, also benefiting the library’s Summer Reading Program.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Héctor Tobar, author of “Deep Down Dark,” which recounts the true ordeal of 33 Chilean miners buried underground for 69 days (and ultimately rescued) in 2010.

Among the authors will be Sacramento Bee Book Club alumni John Lescroart (“Fatal”), Shanthi Sekaran (“Lucky Boy”), Cara Black (“Murder on the Quai”), Catriona McPherson (“The Reek of the Red Herring”) and Chris Enss (“Ma Barker: America’s Most Wanted Mother”). Award-winning cookbook author Georgeanne Brennan will also be present (“My Culinary Journey”), and will appear for the Bee Book Club on May 18 with the upcoming “La Vie Rustic: Sustainable Living in the French Style.”

The evening will begin with a champagne reception and book-signing, followed by a four-course dinner with wine. The authors will move from table to table with each course, schmoozing with guests. Look for more autographing after dinner, along with a live auction.

Beth Ruyak, host of Capital Public Radio’s “Insight” program, will be the master of ceremonies.

The event will start at 5 p.m. March 4 at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento. Tickets are $225, with eight-seat tables going for $1,700, at www.saclibraryfoundation.org. Information: 916-836-3556.

Colson Whitehead in Auburn

The international news came in mid-November, when it was announced that Colson Whitehead had won the National Book Award for his novel “The Underground Railroad.” It’s the odyssey of escaped slaves Cora and Caesar as they seek freedom in the North while being pursued by a slave-catcher.

The local news is that he will appear March 13 in a free event as part of the fifth annual Auburn One Book, One Community.

One Book has four related parts:

March 1: The movie “Selma” will be screened at the Auburn State Theater at 7 p.m; free (985 Lincoln Way, 530-885-0156). The “historical drama” recounts the 1965 civil-rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala,, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. Largely because of it, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

March 8: “Unearthing our Histories for a Better Tomorrow” will be the topic of a panel discussion at 7 p.m. at the Del Oro High School Performing Arts Center, free (3301 Taylor Road, Loomis, 916-652-7243). The four panel members will offer perspectives on “how unearthing our respective histories can lead to a better future for all.”

March 13: Whitehead will appear in conversation with Capitol Public Radio host Beth Ruyak at 7 p.m. in the Placer High School auditorium, free (275 Orange St., Auburn, 530-885-4581). Afterward, he will take questions from the audience and sign copies of his book.

March 19: A Night of African Culture will feature a meal of African dishes prepared by Pat and Pete Enoch, formerly of Auburn’s four-star Latitudes restaurant (now closed); music by Kanaga Kystem Krush; and an art presentation by Paula Amerine; 5 p.m. at Flower Farm Inn, 4150 Auburn Folsom Road, Loomis; (916) 652-4200, www.flowerfarminn.com. Tickets are $35 at www.eventbrite.com.

More information: www.auburnoboc.org, (530) 889-5913

New on the page

Looking for a few fresh reads? You could start here:

The plot description sounds over the top, but literary critics agree that short-story writer/essayist George Sanders’ debut novel “Lincoln in the Bardo” will be one of 2017’s biggest books (Random House, $28, 368 pages). The backstory: Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, 11, died in 1862, and his coffin was placed in a vault in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown. Lincoln paid many anguished visits.

In this “hilarious and terrifying” novel, the cemetery ghosts “mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel and enact bizarre acts of penance” while Willie’s spirit is “trapped in (purgatory) by his yearning to keep seeing his father.” Along the way, Lincoln ponders his many self-recriminations. Publishers Weekly magazine calls it “mesmerizing and Dantesque, a haunting American ballad.”

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s resumé includes a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction (“The Sympathizer”), so it’s not surprising that his collection of short stories, “The Refugees,” is getting big buzz (Grove, $25, 224 pages). Of course, given the ongoing global immigration debate, it’s quite timely. In this case, Nguyen spins eight tales of Vietnamese immigrants navigating their rude awakenings in America.

Grief for his deceased wife moves Hunter Cady to embark on a cross-country trip with her cremains in “The Young Widower’s Handbook” (Algonquin, $26, 288 pages). Along the way, he meets fellow wanderers who help show him that great personal loss – and fear of the future – are obstacles to be overcome.

In “Pachinko,” veteran writer Min Jin Lee takes readers on the 80-year, four-generations epic journey of a family who left Korea for Japan, and their challenges and accomplishments (Grand Central, $27, 496 pages).

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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