Book Talk: Comedy sci-fi and more

This month's book news

Local authors publish comedy sci-fi, memoir, biography, teen lit and more.

DOING IS EVERYTHING ... Stanford professor of engineering Bernard Roth has penned "The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life." Published HarperCollins, the book extols the virtues of taking action and advises readers to "build resiliency by reinforcing what you do rather than what you accomplish." The book is available on amazon.com. Info: theachievementhabit.com

COMEDY SCI-FI ... Funny, suspenseful and a little spooky, "A Second Coming and Other Stories" is a new collection of humorous science fiction stories from Silicon Valley-based writer, E.A. Moore. Among the four tales are a revenge-of-the-machines saga, "I, Car," and the book's title story in which a meteor shower heralds a new era of human-animal relations. The book is available on amazon.com. Info: eamoore.com

GREETINGS FROM BOARDING SCHOOL ... Alan Holmes, a resident of retirement community Vi at Palo Alto, has released a new memoir. "A Serious and Proper Education" chronicles the author's experience as a 9-year-old boy whisked from his home in Paris, France, in 1939 and shipped off to an English boarding school. The book follows Holmes' prior memoir, "In the Moon." The book is available on amazon.com.

A TRILOGY LAUNCHES ... Immortality, time travel and cross-generational friendship are among the themes of Palo Alto-based teen author Anna Caltabiano's new book. The first in a trilogy of novels, "The Seventh Miss Hatfield" was released in the U.S. earlier this week. The book is Caltabiano's second; her first, "All That is Red," was released in 2013. "The Seventh Miss Hatfield" is published by HarperCollins/Epic Reads and is available on amazon.com. Info: annacaltabiano.com

ERADICATING POLIO ... His polio vaccine changed the history of world health. Now, Stanford professor emeritus of medicine Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs has written the first full account of the life of medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk. The author will give a reading from "Jonas Salk: A Life" at Stanford Bookstore on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m. The book is published by Oxford University Press and is available on amazon.com. Info: charlottejacobs.net

LOVE, FRIENDSHIP AND WAR ... Bay Area-based author Janis Cooke Newman has written "A Master Plan for Rescue," a historical novel set against the backdrop of World War II that explores an unlikely friendship between a Manhattan boy and a German Jewish refugee. The book is available at local bookstores and at amazon.com. Info: janiscookenewman.com

PLAYING WITH FIRE ... Urban fantasy meets pyrotechnics in "Liquid Fire," the new book by Silicon Valley author Anthony Francis. The book is the third installment in the "Skindancer" series featuring magical tattoo artist Dakota Frost. Francis will speak at Books, Inc. in Mountain View on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. Copies of the book will also be for sale. Info: booksinc.net or dakotafrost.com

Items for Book Talk may be sent to Arts & Entertainment Editor Elizabeth Schwyzer, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 93202 or emailed to eschwyzer@paweekly.com.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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