The Beatles in archive, the Stones in turmoil

There are a couple of major things going on for fans of the Beatles and/or the Rolling Stones, or for music historians curious about the world’s once-greatest rock ’n’ roll bands.

“The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970” by Kevin Howlett shows the Fab Four unplugged via archival photos and documents, memorabilia, correspondence, unedited and previously unpublished broadcast transcripts and much more from their years of association with BBC radio and TV (Harper Design, $60, 336 pages).

Part of the book’s backbone is showing the artistic and business-savvy progression of the band over those years. As Paul McCartney said to a BBC interviewer in 1969, “It’s (called) growing up. You’ve got to do it one time in your life.”

The only thing missing is the music – a couple of CDs with the band’s hits from the 1960s would have made for the perfect package.

Meanwhile, “Beatles vs. Stones” by John McMillan examines the rivalry (real or manufactured?) and grudging mutual respect between the “cute” Beatles and the “dangerous” Rolling Stones, which split rock-music fans into two camps (Simon & Schuster, $26, 320 pages). The divisive effect prompted author-journalist-cultural observer Tom Wolfe to remark, “The Beatles want to hold your hand, but the Stones want to burn down your town.”

But consider what Keith Richards said when the Beatles broke up: “We could never have gone to America without them. They made it wide open for us.”

Janet Evanovich sold out

Tickets for Janet Evanovich’s free appearance Nov. 21 for the Bee Book Club have all been claimed. They were available last Tuesday but were taken within hours of posting.

As a reminder to ticket holders, the best-selling romantic-adventure novelist will appear for the Bee Book Club at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.

Evanovich is on tour for her new Stephanie Plum book, “Takedown Twenty” (Bantam, $28, 320 pages; on sale Nov. 19). It’s the 20th title in her series starring the plucky New Jersey-based bounty hunter.

Barnes & Noble will be at the event to sell pre-autographed copies of “Takedown Twenty” for 30 percent off the list price.

Books galore

The books are stacking up here at Reading Central, so let’s move some of them along:

• “Spider Woman’s Daughter” by Anne Hillerman (Harper, $26.99, 320 pages): Through 18 mystery novels in his “Navajo Series,” late author Tony Hillerman wrote the award-winning adventures of Navajo Nation tribal cops Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Now his daughter continues the series, introducing a new character, police officer Bernadette Manualitoa, Chee’s wife.

• Candy Chang traveled all over the world to ask people to fill in the blank to the question, “Before I die I want to ...” The result is the graphically delightful “Before I Die” (St. Martin’s, $24.95, 304 pages; with color photos). A sampling of answers: “Be tried for piracy,” “Have a student come back and tell me it mattered,” “Own a small pig,” “Learn to be brave,” “Stare at the stars with the people I love,” “Give everything and fear nothing,” “Love like my dog.”

• “The Heart of Everything That Is” by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (Simon & Schuster, $30, 432 pages): History has given a back seat to the Sioux chief-statesman Red Cloud, turning its light instead on other Sioux warriors such as Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. Two historians dug deep for this biography of “the only American Indian to defeat the U.S. Army in a war.”

• “Pinkerton’s Great Detective” by Beau Riffenburgh (Viking, $32.95, 400 pages; on sale Nov. 14): James McPartland joined the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1873 and quickly became its top undercover operative. This biography tracks his most thrilling cases, which were so impressive that Arthur Conan Doyle included McPartland as a character in a Sherlock Holmes story.

• “The Best American Comics 2013,” edited by Jeff Smith (Houghton Mifflin, 425, 400 pages): If you’re not into “graphic novels,” you may well become a fan after looking at this cutting-edge sampling.

• In “Crime of Privilege” (Ballantine, $26, 432 pages), attorney George Becket is beholden to the politically connected Gregory family, which is trying to cover up the rape and subsequent suicide of a young woman at the family’s Cape Cod compound. When he investigates, he learns that great power can be deadly.

•  Walt Brown of Carmichael worked as a radio and TV sportscaster, talk-show host and interviewer for decades, meeting and chatting with Hollywood celebrities, sports stars and politicians.

In his memoir, “A Fly On the Wall,” he recalls highlights with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Dan Marino, Jesse Owens, Willie Mays, Wilt Chamberlain and others (Authorhouse, $16.95, 204 pages).

‘Outlandish’ series

The Sacramento Public Library will close its 12-part “How Outlandish” series on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling “Outlander” novels at 3 p.m. today with an introduction to the finer points of Scotch whisky. “Touring Scotland One Glass At a Time” will be led by Stephen Beal, one of the world’s 15 “masters of whisky.” The library is at 828 I St., Sacramento. Attendees must be 21 or older. Information: (916) 264-2920,

Upcoming author appearances

• Bill Steigerwald for “Dogging Steinbeck” and Ethan Casey for “Home Free” (both nonfiction), 1 p.m. today at Avid Reader, 617 2nd St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.

• Arthur Haarmeyer for “Into the Land of Darkness: A Bombardier-Navigator’s Story,” 2 p.m. Saturday at Avid Reader at Tower, 1600 Broadway, (916) 441-4400. A third of book-sale proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

• Cindy Sample (“Dying For a Daiquiri”) and six other area authors will be at two events for the anthology “The Best of Capitol Crimes Mystery.” 1 p.m. Nov.16 and 6 p.m. Nov. 22 at Barnes & Noble, 1256 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; (916) 788-4320. Information:


• Ann Kirschner for “Lady At the O.K. Corral,” a biography of Wyatt Earp’s wife, Josephine; 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the KOH Library and Cultural Center, 2300 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento. (916) 485-4143.

Face in a Book has events at 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 941-9401:

• John Agee for “Little Santa” and Loren Long for “An Otis Christmas,” 4 p.m. Nov. 23.

• Erin Dealey for “Deck the Walls: A Wacky Christmas Carol,” 11 a.m. Nov. 30.

SPCA book sale

The annual Sacramento SPCA Fall Book Sale returns to offer hundreds of new and gently used titles in most genres at bargain prices.

It’s a fundraiser for the organization, which cares for 11,000 homeless animals yearly.

The sale will be from 10a.m. to 6p.m. Nov. 14-16 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 at Country Club Plaza, 2310 Watt Ave., Sacramento; (916) 383-7387,


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