Book Talk | January 31, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - January 31, 2014

Book Talk

PALO ALTO READS ... The City of Palo Alto is participating in Silicon Valley Reads, in which the entire community is encouraged to read, think about and discuss the same books. This year's choices are "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains" by Nicholas Carr and "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan. A book discussion of "Mr. Penumbra" — a tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, love and adventure mostly set in a San Francisco bookstore — will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m., at the Downtown Library, 270 Forest Ave., Palo Alto. On Sunday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. author Robin Sloan will appear at the Cubberley Center Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, for a "Meet the Author" event, with books available for purchase. And, a panel discussion, "Sea Change: The ePublishing Transformation," will be offered on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m., at the Downtown Library. Events are free but registration is advised. Information: Use the library's online calendar at or call 650-329-2436.

AROUND THE TABLE ... Palo Alto psychotherapist Lorrie Castellano and her sister Michele Castellano Senac have created "Around the Table: A Culinary Memoir by Two Sisters," a combination life story (dedicated to their grandparents) and Italian recipes. Part One tells the tale of the Cibella and Castellano families of Caposele, Italy, and Newark, New Jersey; Part Two offers recipes — from small bites to pasta, pizza and dolci (sweets) — and stories told around the table. The book is available through

A BOOKSTORE MYSTERY ... John M. Daniel will do a book signing of his "Hooperman — A Bookstore Mystery" on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. at Books Inc., #74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. The book is set in 1972 in a fictional bookstore on University Avenue in Palo Alto. Other upcoming authors at Books Inc. include H.S. Kim, "Waxing Moon" (Feb. 4, 7 p.m.); Michelle Richmond, "Golden State" (Feb. 5, 7 p.m.) and Christina Baker Kline, "Orphan Train" (Feb. 13, 7 p.m.). Information:

RELIVING THE PSYCHEDLEIC ERA ... Former journalist and now Stanford University associate professor Fred Turner will appear at Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View, to talk about his new book, "The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties" at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 12. His book draws parallels between the artistic and social radicalism of the '60s and hopes for digital media today. Information:

PALO ALTO ROOTS ... Janice Strubbe Wittenberg, who grew up in Palo Alto before spending much of her career as a mental health nurse in Santa Cruz County, has written her first novel, "The Worship of Walker Judson." The book poses the questions: What happens when a gifted healer has allegedly gone bad and abused his power, and the hunchback young woman, whom he heals, staunchly defends him? Wittenberg, who currently describes herself as a beekeeper and chicken-whisperer, is also the author of the nonfiction work, "The Rebellious Body: Reclaim Your Life from Environmental Illness or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and the forthcoming, "My Husband is Under Here Somewhere: Clutter, Pack Rats and Pathological Hoarders."

MORE TALKS ... Upcoming authors at Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, include Nate Jackson, "Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile" (Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.); Jennifer Senior, "All Joy and No Fun: the Paradox of Modern Parenthood" (Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.); Barry Eisler, "Graveyard of Memories: A John Rain Novel" (Feb. 14, 7 p.m., Four Seasons Silicon Valley, 2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto); Gary A. Haugen, "The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence" (Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.); and Megan McArdle, "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success" (Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.). Information:

Items for Book Talk may be sent to Associate Editor Carol Blitzer, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 93202 or emailed to by the last Friday of the month.


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