Book TalkMEET THE AUTHORS ... Palo Alto author Joan Bigwood will read from her first novel, "Co-opted," a book "about love, friendship and the transforming effect of life at a co-op preschool," as part of the Meet the Authors series at Avenidas, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m. For information, call 650-289-5400 or visit www.avenidas.org. Bigwood (aka Joanie King) will also appear at Books Inc., 855 El Camino Real (Town & Country), Palo Alto, on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.
SILICON VALLEY READS ... Palo Alto City Library is participating in Silicon Valley Reads, where readers throughout Santa Clara County will be reading and discussing the same book — Michel Pollan's "In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto" — during February. The book, which topped the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks in 2008, deals with what's wrong with the American diet. The library is planning three free programs: showing of the film "The Botany of Desire" (Saturday, Feb. 13, 3 p.m., Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium, 1313 Newell Road); P and T Puppet Theatre performing "Goldielocks and the Three Teddybears," with the bears expounding on good food choices (Saturday, Feb. 20, 3 p.m., Mitchell Park Community Center, 3800 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto); and John Jeavons discussing Grow Biointensive mini-farming (Friday, March 12, 7 p.m., Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium).
LOCAL ANGLES ... Coming to Kepler's in February are local authors: Jon Reider, "Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College" (second edition), the book that demystifies the college-application process (Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.); and Eric Puchner, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and current Stanford University lecturer, "Model Home: A Novel," which takes a family from its charmed life in the 1980s to its rudely interrupted California dream played out in an abandoned real-estate development in the desert (Wednesday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.).
AUTHOR, AUTHOR ... Upcoming author talks at Kepler's include: Heather Brewer, "The Chronicles of Vladimir Rod: 11th Grade Burns" (Friday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.); Steven Amsterdam, "Things We Didn't See Coming" (Thursday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.); Kelli Stanley, "City of Dragons: A San Francisco Mystery" (Saturday, Feb. 20, 2 p.m.); Zachary Mason, "The Lost Books of the Odyssey: A Novel" (Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.); Adam Haslett, "Union Atlantic: A Novel" (Thursday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.). At Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View, upcoming authors include Lisa See, "Shanghai Girls" (Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.).
Items for Book Talk may be sent to Associate Editor Carol Blitzer, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 93202 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by the last Friday of the month.