Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Signing with Sandra Harper

Sandra Harper will be signing copies of Over the Holidays on Saturday December 5th from 1-3 p.m.

It's only December 1, and Vanessa Clayton has been dreading Christmas since she spotted tinseled trees at her local mall in September. Thankfully, she and her husband, JT, can't afford to drag their twin boys across the country to New England for the annual celebration at her stuffy sister-in-law Patience's home. Not that Vanessa has prepared a proper Christmas for her family in years, and she has less time than ever since she agreed to consult on the script of a local play. Her older sister, Thea, is no help -- she'd rather make art and flirt with surfers than babysit her nine-year-old nephews. Then Patience drops a holiday stress bomb: Her family will come to California instead.

In between "baking" cinnamon rolls for the school potluck and overbearing Patience testing her patience, Vanessa can't stop thinking about the difficult but charming playwright at work. Meanwhile, Patience's teenage daughter, Libby, obsesses over a college boy she has met by the pool, and Thea searches desperately for the meaning of Christmas -- for her latest installation, of course. As their holiday plans go comically awry, these four women discover the true spirit of the season is hidden in every festive surprise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Signing with Barbara A. Mahler

Barbara A. Mahler will be signing copies of The Hole in the Sky on Saturday, November 28th, from 1-3 p.m.

About the book: Does her mother's butterfly pendant really have magic powers? After yet another miserable day, Kaela Neuleaf decides she can't wait one more minute to find out the truth. While her cousin Shawn watches, she sneaks the necklace out of a locked cabinet in her father's office.

A surprising visitor soon appears and whisks Shawn and Kaela through the hole in the sky to Muratenland, a land inhabited by magical and wonderful beings. But a curse binds the people to a vengeful warlord who has kidnapped the king's baby and is bent on conquering the land.

Kaela and Shawn are brought before the King and Queen and learn of an ancient prophecy about a red-haired girl from far away who can break the curse. The people of Muratenland are certain that Kaela is the red-haired girl.

Assisted by Shawn, Kaela soon learns that in order to succeed on her journey she will have to face her deepest fears and embrace her hidden strengths, but she has less than 48 hours to discover the key and rescue the baby or all will be lost...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keith Stern brings his one-man-show "Queers in History" to Chevalier's Books

This Sunday November 22nd at 11 a.m., local author Keith Stern will present his new one-man-show at Chevalier's Books. The 30-minute presentation is based on his new book Queers in History and will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

In the course of the show, Stern reads from letters and writings of prominent historical people who were LGBT, including Abraham Lincoln, Baron von Steuben, Greta Garbo, and Leonard Bernstein. Renowned dialect coach Andrew Jack (Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes) worked with Stern to develop the presentation.

As Stern explains, "In late September 2009, my friend Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Tintin, The Hobbit) was in Los Angeles for the Emmy Awards -- he was nominated as Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his wonderful work in Little Dorrit. I inscribed a copy of my book for him and his wife, the actress Lorraine Ashbourn. We talked about my plans to go around to bookstores for presentations and signings. He suggested it might be more interesting for me to perform a short one-man show instead of a lecture -- Andy is an eminently sensible man. He told me if I wrote a script, he would direct the show -- an offer I would not refuse. Thus was born Queers in History: The Show.

It should be a lot of fun. Stern tried it out in October at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for a small group of students, faculty, and alumni. Stern recently appeared at Powell's Books on Portland, Oregon. Now he's bringing his show closer to home, to Chevalier's Books here on Larchmont!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chevalier's Book of the Month Club

Remember Book of the Month Club? Well, Chevalier’s has had a book of the month club for many years, devoted to grandparents who want to sent their grandchildren books. The big difference is that when you order books from Chevalier's, the service is personalized.

Sue Otto, co-owner, and expert on children’s lit, picks the books. Her choices are age appropriate, and chosen to fit the interests of the children, as provided by the gift-giver, whether it be grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, friends. Some kids have grown up on Sue’s picks. Some are teenagers now and still look forward to Sue’s picks.

You can send books monthly, or every two or three months, as you wish. Chevalier's wraps the books, encloses a card with your personal note, and sends the books via UPS.

We are also starting a Book of the Month Club for everyone. If you have a friend who loves cookbooks, we can send a new cookbook every month. Same with fiction, bios, self help, nonfiction, memoirs, poetry, classics, mysteries -- whatever appeals to your friend or family member. Each of our booksellers specializes in different areas, and would be happy to choose the perfect book.

Imagine the joy of receiving a gift every month that you can treasure throughout your life.

Please tell all your friends and family about Chevalier's Book of the Month.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Signing with Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie will be signing copies of Bending Toward the Sun on Saturday November 21st from 1-3 p.m.

A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror. Weaving together the voices of three generations of women, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie, provide powerful—and inspiring—evidence of the resilience of the human spirit, relevant to every culture in every corner of the world. By turns unimaginably devastating and incredibly uplifting, this firsthand account of survival and psychological healing offers a strong, poignant message of hope in our own uncertain times.

Rita Lurie was five years old when she was forced to flee her home in Poland to hide from the Nazis. From the summer of 1942 to mid-1944, she and fourteen members of her family shared a nearly silent existence in a cramped, dark attic, subsisting on scraps of raw food. Young Rita watched helplessly as first her younger brother then her mother died before her eyes. Motherless and stateless, Rita and her surviving family spent the next five years wandering throughout Europe, waiting for a country to accept them. The tragedy of the Holocaust was only the beginning of Rita's story.

Decades later, Rita, now a mother herself, is the matriarch of a close-knit family in California. Yet in addition to love, Rita unknowingly passes to her children feelings of fear, apprehension, and guilt. Her daughter Leslie, an accomplished lawyer, media executive, and philanthropist, began probing the traumatic events of her mother's childhood to discover how Rita's pain has affected not only Leslie's life and outlook but also her own daughter, Mikaela's.

A decade-long collaboration between mother and daughter, Bending Toward the Sun reveals how deeply the Holocaust remains in the hearts and minds of survivors, influencing even the lives of their descendants. It also sheds light on the generational reach of any trauma, beyond the initial victim. Drawing on interviews with the other survivors and with the Polish family who hid five-year-old Rita, this book brings together the stories of three generations of women—mother, daughter, and granddaughter—to understand the legacy that unites, inspires, and haunts them all.

Photos from Jessica Kehinde Ngo's signing

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pamela Augsust Russell Signing November 14th

Pamela August Russell will be signing copies of B is for Bad Poetry on Saturday, November 14th, from 11 - 1 p.m.

Forget Shakespeare. Don’t count on Donne. Shelley and Keats: banished! And there’s absolutely no poet laureate from the golden or any other age. So fawning PhDs in love with little-understood verses by long-dead writers should go elsewhere. This is poetry for the rest of us—bad poetry!

Pamela Russell’s unexalted (but thoroughly hysterical) poems mock, chide, accuse, tease, joke, undermine, point, and laugh at the world around us—and at anything that takes itself too seriously. Her non-canonical oeuvre includes: Tea For Two (A Tragedy); Nietzsche And The Ice-Cream Truck; Capitalism Can Fall Not Like I Fell For You; Inappropriately Touched By An Angel; Love Is Like A Toilet Bowl; and many more.

Who knew bad poetry could be so good!

About the author: Pamela August Russell started off her writing career in third grade when she won a statewide short-story contest. Sometime later, she moved west to San Francisco where she created the Better Off Dead Poets Society with her partner Alison Gallant. Together, they made their way through the spoken word circuit and garnered a cult-like following. Russell was also a regular reader and host at the infamous Sister Spit in San Francisco. She has published short stories and poetry in several anthologies, including Virgin Territory and Nothing Moments. This is her first book of poetry.

Jessica Kehinde Ngo Signing on November 15th

Jessica Kehinde Ngo will be signing Second Twin, First Twin on Sunday, November 15th, from 12 - 2 p.m.

When 24-year-old Jessica Kehinde Ngo decided to research and write about the meaning of her middle name for her master’s degree graduation thesis, she had unsuspectingly embarked on a journey to discover her fascinating Yoruba tribal heritage in Nigeria. The USC graduate student and identical twin learned that all twins in her culture have preordained names – the firstborn is called ‘Taiwo’ or ‘The Taster of the World,’ and the second twin is called ‘Kehinde’ or ‘The Late Arrival.’

The first generation Nigerian-American admits that she initially had a scant knowledge of her roots.“My dad didn’t talk much about it. There were snippets of things about when he grew up there, but that’s it,” Ngo says.

As she scoured for more information, she soon realized that the Yoruba tribe is still a largely unexplored subject. Ngo recalled her surprise when she found out a twin-study expert in Irvine was unaware of the Yoruba twins, despite the tribe having the highest twinning rate in the world.“I thought it is my job to write about it,” she says.

The thesis then evolved to become Ngo’s book, Second Twin, First Twin. Ngo is confident that her book will find a large audience base. She says that many people are fascinated with the twinning phenomenon, pointing out that there are many famous twins such as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Ngo also believes the book will educate people about Nigerian traditions and superstitions surrounding twins.