Saturday, November 23, 2019

Still Another Author Event

I know that I am abysmally behind on my reviews.  But I've got 1 more author event to tell you about.  Then I will DEFINITELY post some reviews.  This was a particularly unusual event for me to attend.  But it turns out that I have a personal connection to the protagonist of the book.  I will get to that in a minute.  First, the book is The Great Pretender:  The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan (author of Brain on Fire).  She was at Kepler's in conversation with Shaili Jain (a local physician/scientist who has written her own book, The Unspeakable Mind).

Susannah's book is about an experiment undertaken by Stanford Professor of Psychology, David Rosenhan, back in 1973.  "Rosenhan's work demonstrated that staff working at psychiatric hospitals, including psychiatrists, could be easily misled to diagnose schizophrenia when individuals were perfectly sane and reported the mistreatment of patients in these facilities." Susannah talks about the experiment and gives her opinion on how it was conducted.  David's article was published back then in the magazine Science.

So here's the personal connection.  We have very close friends, Steve and Diane, who live in NY.  Steve's niece, Sheri, lives in the Bay Area.  We see Sheri and her husband, Jack, socially.  Jack's last name you ask?  Yep, it's Rosenhan.  Jack's father was David, the subject of The Great Pretender.  When we found out about this event, it was a no brainer. We just wanted to be there.

Here are a whole bunch of pictures:

Susannah is on the right.

the Kepler's employee who emceed

Jack Rosenhan, David's son

Monday, November 18, 2019

2 Author Events

A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to see Ruta Sepetys on tour.  She is that rare author who writes historical fiction for young adults.  I loved her WWII books, Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray (which, not surprisingly, has since had a name change!).  Her latest, The Fountains of Silence, takes place in Franco-led Spain in the 50's.  People, Ruta can flat-out write.  If you're going to start reading her, I would recommend Salt to the Sea first.  P.S.  In case you haven't figured it out yet, you do NOT have to be a young adult to enjoy Ruta's books.

And yesterday I had a chance to see Hampton Sides.  For those of you that don't know who Hampton is, he is a writer of historic events.  I read one quite a few years ago.  It's Ghost Soldiers and is the story of the death march to Bataan in the Philippines during WWII.  Although I haven't read any of his other books, Ghost Soldiers is really good.  His latest, On Desperate Ground, is about the Battle of Chosin during the Korean War.  Do you want to know the good part?  The event was at the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in downtown Pleasanton, AND there were several veterans there who were in the military during the Korean Way.  One of them was even in the Battle of Chosin!  The veterans were given a standing ovation.  Very cool.

This is the only time that Douglas McArthur and President Truman ever saw each other in person.

Monday, November 11, 2019

3 New Books and 1 New Bookstore!

Hi all.  I've got 4 intros for you:

1.  You all know how much I liked Alina Sayre's YA series The Voyages of the Legend.   Well, books 1 and 2, The Illuminator's Gift and The Illuminator's Test, are currently in audiobook form.  AND, #3, The Illuminator Rising, will be an audiobook in time for Xmas.

But that's not the biggest news for Alina.  What I wanted to tell you is that Alina HAS A NEW BOOK!  It's a book of poetry.  And it's called Fire By Night.  Take a look at how Alina describes this book:

Fire by Night isn't an easy book. It's raw; dark in places. But as the days shorten and the dark comes early, it's also about the authenticity and hope to be found along the way.

You can buy Fire By Night in e-book or paperback form on Amazon. Here's the link:  e-book and paperback.  In a couple of weeks, the paperback will be available at Books, Inc. in Campbell.

2.  Now we have another debut.  C. Lee McKenzie, whose The Princess of Las Pulgas is certainly one of my favorite YA's ever(!), has a brand new YA.  It's called Not Guilty, and I enjoyed it a lot.  Here are some links so that you don't have to search for ways to buy it.  You can't go wrong with a C. Lee McKenzie book.

3.  Did I mention that there's a new bookstore in town?  Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, where I have seen many great authors, has opened a 2nd store, this one in Livermore.  The address is 2375 Railroad Avenue. P.S.  Hampton Sides, who wrote The Ghost Soldiers, an excellent accounting of the march to Bataan during WWII, will be at Veterans Hall, 301 Main Street, Pleasanton, this Sunday, November 17, at 2:00.  Thank you, Towne Center Books.  I will be there!

4.  And, finally, something I found out today...KRISTIN HARMEL HAS A NEW BOOK COMING OUT JULY 21, 2020.  Yes, I know it's a little bit down the road.  But we can all start getting excited now, can't we?  Of course we can.