Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

July 17, 2013
New book chronicles 42 years of Folsom executions


Ninety-three men were hanged at Folsom State Prison from 1895 to 1937, and a new book tells their stories for the first time.

April Moore will discuss "Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men" on Saturday at the Folsom Prison Museum and July 24 at Time Tested Books in Midtown. The Folsom Prison Museum entrance fee is $2, but the Time Tested Books reading is free.

"Folsom 93" is based on records Moore's great-great-uncle somehow acquired in the 1940s. When Moore discovered the material in 2008, she researched the lives, crimes, trials and executions of the 93 men.

Moore, a Colorado-based writer, blogged through her research and included anecdotes that weren't included in her finished book. Get a taste here.

Retired Correctional Peace Officers Museum at Folsom State Prison, 312 Third St., Represa, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Time Tested Books, 1114 21st Street, Sacramento, 7 p.m. July 24

July 14, 2013
Screen on the Green offers free kids' films at Sacramento parks


Bring the kids, blankets and lawns chairs to Screen on the Green, the Sacramento outdoor movie series presented by Councilman Steve Cohn's office.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, Screen on the Green will show "How to Train Your Dragon" at South Natomas Community Park, 2901 Truxel Road. The beautifully animated, action-packed 2010 movie follows a boy and his favorite fire breather. It's rated PG.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, "101 Dalmatians" -- offering lots of cute puppies and Glenn Close as a puppy coveter with distinct mean and silver streaks -- will show at Glenn Hall Park at Sandburg and Carlson drives. "Dalmatians" is rated G.

Shows start at sunset, or around 8:15 p.m. For information, see the Screen on the Green site or call (916) 808-5240.


May 20, 2013
'Miracle Shine' launches with two poetry performances

Bob Stanley is one of the most active participants in the local poetry scene. He is Sacramento's former poet laureate and president of the Sacramento Poetry Center. He's the editor of "Late Peaches," a collection of works by 117 area poets, and he teaches English at California State University, Sacramento.

Now Stanley is celebrating the arrival of his own poetry book, "Miracle Shine" (WordTech, $18, 88 pages). He's ready for the launch party and reading at 7 p.m. next Monday (May 27) at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St.; (916) 240-1897,

That will be followed by his appearance in the spoken-word program "Poetry Unplugged," 8 p.m. May 30 at Luna's Cafe & Gallery, 1414 16th St., Sacramento; (916) 441-3931,

In my March story on Sacramento's poetry scene, Stanley said, "So many times I've heard the same answer to the question, 'Why do you write?' It's because I have to. Words are always bubbling in my head."

May 9, 2013
Sacramento author Marci Nault will launch 'The Lake House'

Sacramento author Marci Nault will host the launch of her novel "The Lake House" as part of "A Night of the Arts." The event will be 7 to 10 p.m. Friday May 10 at the Sacramento Art Complex/Gallery 2010, 2210 K St., Sacramento; (916) 476-5500,

Enjoy wines and bites, and performances by Pam Metzger (Stories on Stage), comedy, music and a reading-book signing by Nault.

"The Lake House" is set in Massachusetts. Fifty years earlier, teenage friends made a pact to remain in their lakeside town, but one of them left for Hollywood. Now she's returned to Nagog to find healing; instead, she discovers resentment - and an unlikely friend.

April 30, 2013
Davis-based novelist John Lescroart launches his 24th title

New York Times bestselling legal-thriller novelist John Lescroart will host a launch party for his new novel, "The Ophelia Cut," at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St., Davis; (530) 297-2108.

The centerpiece will be his onstage conversation with "Morning Edition" host Donna Apidone. The evening will include a reading and book-signing; music; wine and catered food will accompany. The public is invited.

"I may even sing a song or two," Lescroart said.

Visit him at

April 4, 2013
Tonight in Davis: Prom, poetry and pink wine

time_.jpgPeople Magazine staff writer Oliver Jones will be at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis tonight (April 4) for a reading of his essay "The Last Time I Had Zinfandel," part of the book "The Time of My Life: Writers on the Heartbreak, Hormones and Debauchery of the Prom."

Jones, who was written for magazines including Details and Premiere and is a past winner of the Glasscock Poetry Prize, will be joined by poet and UC Davis English and creative writing professor Joe Wenderoth, whose work has been widely anthologized.

Language and topics might be not be suitable for some listeners. Time permitting, there will be a Q&A after the event (an open mic at the gallery begins at 9 p.m.).

John Natsoulas Gallery is located at 521 First St. in Davis. Event starts at 8 p.m.

-- Tim Swanson

January 22, 2013
Stories On Stage brings short fiction to an 'out loud' venue

Stories On Stage is a monthly program that presents short fiction by "established and emerging authors," introduced by the writers of the pieces and read by actors.

Catch the works of two writers at 7:30 p.m. Friday (doors open at 7 p.m.) at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St., Sacramento ($5 donation). Featured will be Erica Lorraine Scheidt, author of the novel "Uses for Boys," and emerging writer Megan Cummins. Both are alumni of the UC Davis creative-writing graduate program.

Stories On Stage is held the last Friday of each month. For more information, and to see videos of past performances, go to Also: (916) 442-4778,

August 15, 2012
Mystery-suspense novelist Laura Lippman at the Bee Book Club

Add a touch of mystery to your life - and some tips on how to write your own book - when New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman appears Thursday night for the Sacramento Bee Book Club.

The multi-award-winning mystery and psychological-suspense writer is a former Baltimore Sun journalist who traded her daily 9-to-5 job to become a novelist.

Lippman's new title is "And When She Was Good." In it, a suburban soccer mom leads a double life as the owner of an escort service. Her past catches up with her, and murderous evil comes knocking. The book received a starred review in Publishers Weekly magazine.

This is Lippman's seventh stand-alone novel, though the reading public identifies her more readily with the 11-title Tess Monaghan series. That character is a former reporter who becomes a "reluctant P.I." with the closure of her newspaper, the fictional Baltimore Star. Monaghan made her debut in 1996's "Baltimore Blues."

Lippman will give a presentation, answer questions and autograph books at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. The event is free.

Barnes & Noble will be there to sell "And When She Was Good" for 30 percent off the retail price (William Morrow, $26.99, 314 pages).
Other books by Lippman also will be available. Visit her at

Through Thursday, these stores will offer a 30 percent discount on the title: Barnes & Noble, Avid Reader at the Tower in Sacramento, Avid Reader in Davis, Time Tested Books, Underground Books, Carol's Books, Hornet Bookstore at California State University, Sacramento, the UC Davis Bookstore and the Bookseller in Grass Valley.

For information about the Bee Book Club: (916) 321-1128.

July 11, 2012
Fairgoers will have the chance to talk with 37 California authors

The California State Fair opens Thursday and run through July 29. For the 15th year, the Golden State's literary side will be on display, offering fairgoers chances to chat about writing and publishing with 37 California writers at the Authors Booth.

Each day throughout the run of the fair, at least a half-dozen authors (representing a variety of genres) will staff the booth. They will be on the first floor of the California Building (Building A).

Among the Sacramento-area authors will be Naida West ("California Gold" trilogy), Brenda Novak ("Bulletproof" trilogy), Martha Dunne ("Wait, What Do You Mean? Asperger's Tell and Show"), Cindy Sample ("Dying for a Dance"), Bud Gardner ("Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul"), Kevin W. Hecteman ("Sacramento's Southern Pacific Shops") and Elaine Macko ("Armed").

For the young ones, Hazuki Kataoka and David Battino will present their "Storycard Theater" storytelling programs of traditional Japanese culture and art.

For a complete list of authors and the dates and times of their appearances, go to or call (916) 985-7411.

June 28, 2012
Mondavi Center adds dates for Elvis Costello, David Sedaris


If this world is killing you, take heart: The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts has added three potentially mood-lifting performances to its 2012-13 season.

Elvis Costello, David Sedaris and the modern dance troupe Pilobolus Dance Theatre will appear in the Mondavi's Jackson Hall in separate performances.

Singer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Costello will perform an intimate solo show on Friday, Sept. 28. Author, NPR commentator and longtime Paris resident Sedaris will appear Friday, Nov. 16. Pilobolus, a company known for its fluid, inventive movements, will take the Jackson Hall stage on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

Tickets are $35/$55/$65 for Costello, and $25/ $37/$49 each for the Sedaris and Pilobolus shows. Tickets are on sale now to Mondavi Center subscribers. They go on sale Sunday to the general public.

For tickets and information, call (530) 754-2787 or (866) 754-2787 or visit the Mondavi's site.


June 21, 2012
Best-selling author Ridley Pearson to host a free event tonight

Catch New York Times best-selling author Ridley Pearson tonight at 6. He will give a presentation, answer questions and autograph books for the Bee Book Club at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. The event is free.

Pearson's latest book is "The Risk Agent" (Putnam, $26.95, 432 pages), the first entry in a new series. The action is set in Shanghai, the world's most populous city. When a Chinese national employed by an American company is kidnapped, two operatives must team to rescue him. The thrills are nonstop, the cultural insights into a foreign country are fascinating.

Pearson has written 16 titles in three adult-thriller series, 15 titles in four young-adult series, and 10 stand-alone thrillers. His book sales are in the millions, in 22 languages throughout 70 countries.

Barnes & Noble will be on site to sell "The Risk Agent" for 30 percent off the retail price. Other books by Pearson also will be available.

Information: (916) 321-1128. Visit the author at at

June 19, 2012
"Dancing in the Streets" with author Steven Unger of Elk Grove

In 2010, Steven P. Unger of Elk Grove published "In the Footsteps of Dracula," a recounting of his travels in search of the infamous count (World Audience, $20, 258 pages; with 185 black-and-white photos).

After visiting a parish church cemetery in Whitby, England - a key setting in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula" - Unger says he became obsessed with "traveling to every site in England and Romania related to either the fictional Count Dracula or his real historical counterpart, Prince Vlad the Impaler."

Unger has followed that book with something completely different. "Dancing in the Streets" (Anaphora, $20, 210 pages) is partly his memoir of key events in the riotous 1960s, and partly a mystery involving Unger's alter ego in the book, Steven Strazza. That adventure begins after "a deathbed revelation that leads to the discovery of long-buried secrets of murders."

Unger will appear at 1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 6111 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights; (916) 853-1511.

June 18, 2012
Dusk-to-dawn reading of 'The Odyssey' at Fairytale Town

In the world of literature, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" - epic poems attributed to the Greek poet Homer - endure as classics. After all, scholars think they were written in the 8th century BC.

"The Iliad" tells the story of the Trojan War. "The Odyssey" follows Greek hero Odysseus on his adventure-filled, 10-year post-war voyage home.

Families have a chance to hear Homer's words, as Fairytale Town and the Readers of Homer have teamed to present a dusk-to-dawn reading of "The Odyssey."

More than 200 people - children, military veterans, teachers and poets among them - will take turns reading aloud pre-assigned passages of the story. Three of the readers will be Sacramento poet laureate Bob Stanley, Sacramento Opera general director Rod Gideons, and Sacramento Bee community-affairs director Pam Dinsmore.

The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and end around 7 a.m. Saturday. Food and beverages will be catered by the Greek restaurant Opa! Opa! Families are encouraged to bring sleeping bags and lawn chairs.

Fairytale Town, which opened in 1959, is at 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento. The Readers of Homer is a "literary-event company that produces audience-participation readings of 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey.'"

Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $25 day-of. The event is free for veterans, active military, students with ID, and children 12 and younger.

To register and buy tickets:, (916) 808-7462.

June 13, 2012
Avid Reader in Davis will host two authors

The independent bookseller Avid Reader in Davis is all about books, of course, but it's also about author appearances. Here are two:

Neil Abramson, author of "Unsaid" (Center Street, $23.99, 368 pages) will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. A review in Parade magazine said, "Rarely has a novel captured so movingly the deep bonds between people and the animals that share their lives."

Beth McMullen of Davis, author of "Spy Mom" (Hyperion, $14.99, 624 pages), will speak at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Readers get a bonus, as the book is really two novels in one - last summer's "Original Sin" and the new "To Sin Again." Heroine Sally Sin is a San Francisco-based mom with a secret life as an international spy.

The Avid Reader is at 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.

May 9, 2012
Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi will be the subject at book-signing

Author and Davis Enterprise columnist Derrick Bang has done a terrific job with his biography of San Francisco-born jazz artist Vince Guaraldi, "Vince Guaraldi at the Piano" (McFarland, $45, 400 pages). Catch Bang at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.

The late Guaraldi was perhaps better known among fellow musicians and the jazz cognoscenti than he was by the public. Still, it was Guaraldi who helped pioneer bossa nova and other Latin music in this country, and who charmed children and their parents with his bright and bouncy scores for 18 "Peanuts" TV specials.

What fianally put him in the public consciousness was his Grammy Award-winning "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." Though that 1963 single was popular, it wasn't until the British group Sounds Orchestral covered it in 1965 that it hit the Billboard Top 10.

May 4, 2012
Sac State's One Book Selection Revealed
Sacramento State University's "One Book" program selection for 2012-13 has been announced -- and it's "One Amazing Thing," a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The story involves nine people trapped in an India visa office in the United States during an earthquake. In the aftermath, they learn to cope and survive by telling their personal stories."
Divakaruni will give a lecture on the Sacramento State campus on Oct. 25 and also meet with students throughout the day and do a book signing. 
More information here.   
May 2, 2012
'California Kid' Urijah Faber's new book has plenty of moves

Sacramento's own "California Kid" has broadened his style and published an inspiring yet straightforward book of wise advice.

Mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighting Championship ( bantamweight warrior Urijah004.jpgUrijah Faber's "The Laws of the Ring" hits bookshelves May 22. The self-help/memoir "gives readers a sense of life inside the cage and how to take those rules into their own world," says promotional material (William Morrow, $25.99, 240 pages). For visuals, it includes a 16-page photo album.

Try this soundbite from page 55: "Conscious competence is the act of possessing the knowledge that you excel at something, and also the knowledge of why you excel at it."

Faber coaches fighters on the FX Network reality show "The Ultimate Fighter Live. "

April 17, 2012
Read all about it: Thousands of books at warehouse sale

How about a deal you can read?

The Friends of the Sacramento Public Library will hold a fund-raising warehouse sale of more than 70,000 gently used books, audiobooks and video cassettes, along with a special section of Chinese-language books.

The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 8250 Belvedere Ave., south of 14th Avenue between Power Inn Road and Florin-Perkins Road.

The Book Den bookstore at the warehouse will be open during the warehouse sale, as well as Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information: (916) 731-8493.

April 11, 2012
Mystery novelist Cara Black will be in Woodland tonight

San Francisco-based mystery writer Cara Black will be in Woodland tonight, giving a free presentation, fielding questions from the audience and autographing books.

Black is the author of the 12-title Aimee Leduc series, set in Paris. Her latest is "Murder At the Lanterne Rouge" (Soho, $25, 320 pages).

Leduc is a tall, spiky-haired private investigator very much into knockoff couture and Chanel No. 5. She's partners in a computer security business with Rene Friant, a "little person" who drives a 1964 Citroën. Their investigations usually lead to mayhem of one sort or another.

"Aimee does a lot of things I would like to do but never will," Black said. "I wouldn't climb over roofs while wearing high heels, but she can." Black appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2008.

The author will appear at 6:30 tonight at the Woodland Public Library, 250 First St.; (530) 666-2976,

March 21, 2012
Antiquarian Book Fair the ideal place to browse and buy

Browse the thousands of rare and collectible wares on offer from 60 exhibitors at the 20th annual Spring Antiquarian Book Fair. Included will be books in multiple genres (including children's, California and world history, science, nature, art, cookbooks and literature), photographs, maps, postcards, art and advertising graphics, bookends, ephemera and more. Asking prices will range from $5 to $20,000. Free appraisals will be offered.

The fair will be from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is $5.

Note: A second book fair will be held at the center on Sept. 15.

Information: (916) 849-9248, Mention the website and get $1 off admission.

September 10, 2011
Victim of Rwandan genocide to speak for peace, forgiveness

By Dante Geoffrey

It is unlikely you have ever heard of Immaculee Ilibagiza, but if you take the time to learn her story, it is unlikely you will ever forget her.

Ilibagiza will be speaking at the Truckee Community Recreation Center on Sept. 17, telling her personal account of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Ilibagiza lost 60 pounds in the 91 days she spent in refuge with seven other women in a cramped bathroom. When she emerged, she learned that she also had lost most of her family.

June 21, 2011
Want to hear 'Dog Whisperer?' Tickets go on sale Friday

MILLANCESAR_300x300.jpgBy Max Ehrenfreund

Tickets will be available Friday for dog psychologist and pop culture idol Cesar Millan's visit to Sacramento this September.

Millan is the star of "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan" on National Geographic WILD, now in its seventh season. He is also the author of several books, including two bestsellers. He has appeared on "Oprah" and on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and has been parodied by "South Park."

He will speak at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11. There's no word yet on how many members of his pack will be traveling with him.

Photo of Cesar Millan, courtesy of Mills Entertainment

May 11, 2011
Mystery writers will share some of their secrets in West Sacramento

By Cathy Locke

Four Sacramento-area mystery writers will talk about their work and read from their new books during a presentation at 6:30 p.m. June 8 at the Arthur F. Turner Community Library in West Sacramento.

The authors, Pat Canterbury, L.F. Crawford, Nan Mahon and Cindy Sample will discuss the writing process and the reasons they chose the murder mystery as their genre.

All four writers are members of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime International. They will read from their books and answer questions.


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