Tag Archives: events

Feeling Reckless?

Cornelia Funke, author of the Inkheart books, has a new kids’ novel coming out tomorrow!

Order your copy now from our website or by calling our Brentwood store (310.576.9960) and get two free tickets to Funke’s Get Reckless Tour, which will be stopping at the Brentwood Theater on September 18th at 6:30 p.m. This theatrical storytelling event promises to be a real thrill–and much safer than skydiving or base jumping, too.

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Space Oddities

How excited are we to be hosting this lady at our Brentwood store tomorrow?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Mary Roach
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Even more excited than we were when Jon Stewart shaved off that fugly beard! And we were pretty darn excited about that. So come join us to see Mary Roach sign and read from her new book, Packing For Mars, in Brentwood tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Speaking of things we love, see Thomas rave about New Directions as part of our Small Press Celebrations:

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In Space No One Can Hear You Clean

Did you know? America’s astronauts are STINKY.

To learn more fascinating, hilarious, and repulsive facts, check out Mary Roach‘s new book about the space program, Packing for Mars. Roach will also be reading and signing at our Brentwood store August 26th at 7 p.m. So stop by to listen and enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of Tang. We promise to keep our hygiene at a level above NASA’s.

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Go on a Bender

The fantastic Aimee Bender will be reading from and signing her new book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, at both our Oakland store—this Sunday at 3 p.m.—and our Brentwood store—Saturday, July 10th, at 4 p.m. Check out this fascinating interview with Bender, in which she talks about magical realism and the power of transformation narratives from Ovid to…well, herself.

You done? See, now you’re at an advantage over everyone who didn’t read it and can ask the best questions. Sadness banished!

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L.A. Loves Books!

There’s a great little piece in the Huffington Post about the thriving Los Angeles book scene, as exemplified by two events held this past Friday: readings for Jennifer Egan‘s A Visit From the Goon Squad and Jonathan Alter‘s The Promise. We were lucky enough to be the booksellers at both events–yes, we do have magic powers and can be in multiple places at once!–and both were vibrant and fun, tributes to L.A.’s community of readers, as both Egan and Alter attested.


Los Angeles has the reputation on the East Coast of being a place that cares more about movies than books. But in my experience, having read here for all of my books, is that it’s also a city of great bookstores and serious readers. In a way, that’s no surprise – because a city full of people who love film is a city full of people who love great storytelling.


People in L.A. like books a lot more than their reputation would suggest. When people like to stereotype and run down L.A., they say [Angelenos] don’t like to read, but I’ve found nothing to be further from the truth. For instance, I was speaking the night of the Lakers-Celtics sixth game, and I had a full house at the RAND Corporation. That’s how serious certain people in LA are about politics and books.

Does anyone else feel warm and fuzzy right now, or is it just us?

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Who Watches the Watch List?

Here’s some stuff we’re keeping an eye on…

Stieg Watch! Although the fourth volume in Stieg Larsson‘s bestselling Millennium Trilogy is still caught up in the late author’s estate wars, Swedish librarians have dug up some of his early short story efforts, rejected from a sci-fi magazine when Larsson was 17. Is it okay for us to be both excited and sort of embarrassed for him? (Note to the librarians of the future: please don’t publish any of our fiction from age 17 when we die.)

Sloane Watch! Essayist Sloane Crosley‘s new collection, How Did You Get This Number, came out on Tuesday. To further amp up the excitement, she’s teamed up with name-twin Sloane Tanen, whose hilarious chicken dioramas can be found in Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same and Going For the Bronze. Tanen’s given selected scenes from How Did You Get This Number the fuzzy yellow feather treatment—check them out here!

Shirt Watch! These literary tees sure are nifty—and they support a good cause. For every shirt sold, Out of Print Clothing donates a book to Books For Africa. Hey, so now you can look good and feel good at the same time!

And finally:

Saturday Watch! As in, you can come watch bestselling author Jennifer Egan read from and sign her new book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, at our Brentwood store this Saturday at 3 p.m. Check out the rave review Carolyn Kellogg of Jacket Copy gave Goon Squad in the L.A. Times.

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3 Quick Questions With Damon Wayans

We were thrilled to have comedian Damon Wayans signing copies of his debut novel, Red Hats, in our Brentwood store last week. (Pictures or it didn’t happen? Check out Wayans and his buddy Cheryl!) He was kind enough to answer our three quick questions–no kidding.

Presenting Damon Wayans’…

Favorite Book
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Favorite Movie
The Godfather

Favorite Music
Michael Jackson

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Pearl of Brentwood

John Evans reports:

Last week we had one of our most intense author luncheons ever: Anchee Min. Her new book, Pearl of China, is a novel about the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author and activist Pearl S. Buck. It is the latest in a line of seven wonderful, fascinating books by her, from Red Azalea to Becoming Madame Mao.

The luncheon, which was Min’s first event on the six-week tour for this book, was at Chez Mimi, across the street from our bookstore in Brentwood. Min was like a lightning bolt, powerfully weaving story after story about growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, working in a labor camp, emigrating to the U.S., raising her daughter. She delved into the history of China under Mao, feminism in China and the U.S., being an American mother, and wanting to be a martyr as a teenager. She brought so much passion, intensity, and fierce storytelling to her talk that we were totally enthralled. She finished it off with a brief performance of Chinese Opera that was brilliantly accomplished. Our only regret was that more people didn’t get to see her. Afterward, in the store, we quickly asked her what her favorite author, music, and film were, before she whizzed off to her next event at the library that night.

Perhaps our next poetry selection will become one of your favorites. Here’s Grant from Oakland reading Georg Trakl‘s “Destruction”:

Check out the full archive of poetry videos here!

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Some of Your Beeswax

John Peck in Oakland reports:

Beeswax Magazine is an annual literary journal published in Oakland, California, that features prose, poetry, visual art, and comics from new and established contributors. The editors (myself and my wife, Laureen Mahler) come from an eclectic background of printmaking, music, and writing, and the foremost goal in producing the journal is to create a medium that approaches writing and art in a whole new way–a book structure that contextualizes the work within and becomes an art object of its own. Each issue of Beeswax is hand-crafted and unique, and each incorporates different book arts elements, from letterpress and typesetting to printed lino cuts and hand-sewn bindings. Check out this article about Volta Press and Beeswax Magazine, as well as this recent interview. And come see us tomorrow at the Oakland store where we’ll be hosting a reading and release party for the newest issue: a build-it-yourself book complete with letterpressed cover, interior signature, binding thread, and instructions.

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Terminator: Book Report Day

Skynet may eventually bring about the destruction of humanity and loose an army of Arnold Schwarzenegger- and Summer Glau-lookalike robots over the face of the Earth…but will those robotic killing machines be able to relax with a good book? New Scientist‘s CultureLab has a fun interview with Jon Adams, a researcher at the London School of Economics who’s investigating whether computers can read and interpret literature. It may be reassuring to know that as of yet, robots have neither emotions nor a good grasp on symbolism, and thus will not be passing English 101.

If you’re still suffering from future fear, bioengineers and authors Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson will be offering advice from their new book, How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips For Surviving the Biotech Revolution at 3 p.m. this Sunday at our Oakland store.

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