Book TalkAN AFTERNOON IN PARIS ... Ellen Sussman, who teaches writing through Stanford Continuing Studies and judges the Palo Alto Weekly's annual short-story contest, will discuss her new novel "French Lessons" on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. In her second novel (she also wrote "On a Night Like This," and edited "Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave" and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex"), she depicts a single day in Paris when three Americans learn about language, love and loss. Sussman will also appear at the Downtown Library, Program Room, 270 Forest Ave., Palo Alto, on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. Sponsored by Friends of the Palo Alto Library, the event, which includes book sales by Books Inc., is part of the Palo Alto City Library's Adult Summer Reading Program. Information: www.booksinc.net or www.cityofpaloalto.org/library or 650-329-2436
LOCAL AUTHOR ... Palo Alto residents Nick and Betsy Clinch have co-authored "Through a Land of Extremes: The Littledales of Central Asia," which they will read from and sign on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. at Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Nick is a graduate of Stanford and Stanford Law School who also served as executive director of the Sierra Club Foundation. He led several expeditions to Central Asia. Information: www.keplers.com
AUTHOR AUTHOR ... Upcoming authors at Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, include Chris Haft, "This Is Our Time!" (Aug. 11, 7 p.m.); Jane Fonda, "Prime Time: Making the most of your life" (Aug. 18, 7 p.m.); Lev Grossman, "The Magician King" (Aug. 24, 7 p.m.); Kathleen Baty, "College Safety 101: Miss Independent's Guide to Empowerment, Confidence, and Staying Safe" (Aug. 25, 7 p.m.); Annamarie Pluhar, "Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates" (Aug. 31, 7 p.m.); Ying-Ying Chang, "The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond the Rape of Nanking" (Sept. 8, 7 p.m.). Members may attend free; general admission requires purchase of the event book or a $10 gift card, which admits two. Information: www.keplers.com
MORE TALKS ... Upcoming authors at Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View, include Jafar Yaghoobi, "Let Us Water the Flowers: the Memoir of a Political Prisoner in Iran" (Aug. 17, 7 p.m.). Information: www.booksinc.net
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 email@example.com by the last Friday of the month.