Book Talk: Silicon Valley design, battling drug addiction and more | News | Palo Alto Online |


Book Talk: Silicon Valley design, battling drug addiction and more

This month's book news

This month, local authors release books on the history of Silicon Valley design, forensic psychology thrillers, true stories of drug addiction and more.

THE CENTRALITY OF DESIGN ... Long before Google and Facebook, even before Jobs and Wozniak, Silicon Valley was positioning itself as the center of the design world. In his new book, "Make It New: The History of Silicon Valley Design," Peninsula resident and professor of design at California College of the Arts Barry M. Katz presents the development of our region's "ecosystem of innovation." The book is available on Info:

FORENSIC-PSYCH THRILLER ... Redwood City resident and former psychologist for the Palo Alto Police, Ellen Kirschman knows her way around the justice system. Now, she has used more than 30 years of expertise to pen a mystery novel. Released earlier this month, "The Right Wrong Thing" tells the story of female officer Randy Spelling and her catastrophic unraveling of her career following the shooting of a pregnant teen. The book is available on Info:

RODENTS TO THE RESUCE ... Never underestimate a mouse. In Stanford University resident and octogenarian Prudence Breitrose's "Mousenet" series, mice have learned to program computers by closely observing Silicon Valley computer geeks. The latest installation, "Mouse Mission," published this month, sees these plucky rodents traveling to England in an effort to stop in effort to stop anti-environmentalists. The book, geared to readers age 8-12, is illustrated by Stephanie Yue and is available on Info:

TOXIC KNOWLEDGE ... "The Hidden Assassin II." That's the compelling subtitle of Palo Alto resident and UCSF professor Alan Wu's new book, "Performance Enhancing Drugs and Adulterants." The collection of short stories based on real events includes tales of elite athletes, drug addicts, and ordinary men and women trying to delay the effects of aging. The book is available on Info:

WRITING WUNDERKIND ... Los Altos High School sophomore Trinity Suh has released her debut novel, "The Revolution," a young adult action-romance that she's been working on since she was in seventh grade. The book's heroine is Juliet, an adolescent girl assassin bound by mysterious employers to kill a series of teenage targets. "The Revolution" is available on and, and its young author is already talking about a sequel.

PUT DOWN THE PHONE AND TALK ... Her opinion piece in The New York Times last month unleashed a maelstrom of responses. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, writer, psychologist and MIT Profesor Sherry Turkle will appear at the Oshman JCC in Palo Alto to discuss her new book, "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age," an investigation into the ways our use of social media is negatively impacting our social and private lives. The book is available at Kepler's and on Info: and

SUPER BOWL STAR SIGNING ... American football wide receiver and pro football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice will make an appearance at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to discuss and sign copies of his book, "50 Years, 50 Moments: The Most Unforgettable Plays in Super Bowl History. The book is available at Kepler's and on [50 Years, 50 Moments: The Most Unforgettable Plays in Super Bowl History Info:

BEYOND JUST SAY NO ... A local mother shares her family's experience grappling with a teenage son's drug addiction in "Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home." Author D'Anne Burwell, who also runs the addiction-resources website, describes how her son, who was raised in a happy and prosperous home, ended up homeless and addicted to prescription drugs. The book is available on Info:

Items for Book Talk may be sent to Arts & Entertainment Editor Elizabeth Schwyzer, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 93202 or emailed to

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