Book TalkSUMMER SOIREE ... As a kick-off to the Oct. 5-13 San Francisco Litquake, four authors will mingle and chat at the Sunny Sunday Summer Soiree at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19, at an author's home in Los Altos Hills. On hand will be Annie Barrows, co-author of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and author of the "Ivy and Bean" series of children's books; Jane Smiley, author of "Horse Heaven" and "Private Life"; Katie Crouch, author of "Girls in Trucks," "Men and Dogs" and the "Magnolia League" series; and Ellen Sussman, author of "French Lessons" and "On a Night Like This," and editor of the anthologies "Bad Girls" and "Dirty Words." Tickets are $125, which includes drinks plus food prepared by French chef Silvia Gregori, who owns Citron et Vanille personal chef services. Information: litquake.org
FESTIVAL OF BOOKS ... Litquake, a day-long celebration of books, ideas and community, will take place on Aug. 26, beginning at 3 p.m., at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Afternoon events, including author readings and appearances, writer panels, kids' events and one literary salon spoken in Hebrew, are free. Local authors represented include Leslie Berlin, Sheila Himmel, Alan Kaufman, Michael Krasny, Keith Raffel, Matt Richtel, Ellen Sussman and Ellen Ullman. Participants are asked to bring new or gently used books (ideally, picture books and dictionaries, easy chapter books and Spanish-language books) for children age 5 to 8, which will be collected for Jewish Coalition for Literacy. That night, at 8 p.m., Michael Krasny will present "An Evening of Jewish Humor." Tickets are $23-30, plus service fee. Information: litquake.org or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/234482
MEET THE AUTHORS ... Kepler's Books in Menlo Park is still closed as the iconic bookstore continues its renovations. Plans are to re-open the store by Labor Day, according to keplers2020.com. Kepler's will host several authors at the store despite the ongoing renovations. Upcoming authors at Kepler's Books at 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park include Suzanne Lazear, "Innocent Darkness" (Aug. 18, 7 p.m.); Nancy Mullane, "Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption" (Aug. 23, 7 p.m.); Louise Penny, "The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel" (Aug. 31, 7 p.m.); Judith Horstman, "The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain: The Neuroscience of Making the Most of Your Mature Mind" (Sept. 9, 2 p.m.); Geoffrey Nunberg, "Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism in Modern Life-The First Sixty Years" (Sept. 12, 7 p.m.); and Bernie Krause, "The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places" (Sept. 13, 7 p.m.). Upcoming authors at Books Inc. at 74 Town & Country Village in Palo Alto include Jill Geisler, "Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know" (Aug. 23, 7 p.m.); Rayme Waters, "The Angel's Share" (Sept. 5, 7 p.m.); Amanda Coplin, "The Orchardist" (Sept. 6, 7 p.m., at the Palo Alto Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto); Mike Lupica, "True Legend" (Sept. 12, 6 p.m.); Erin Ann Thomas, "Coal in Our Veins" (Sept. 13, 7 p.m.); and Adam Lazarus, "Best of Rivals" (Sept. 14, 7 p.m.). Information: www.keplers.com and 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 emailed to email@example.com by the last Friday of the month.