Book Talk

This month's book news

LITQUAKE ... Authors and bookworms will gather for a day of salons, workshops and a literary schmooze-fest on March 13, when San Francisco's famous festival, Litquake, returns to the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. The event will feature salons on such topics as cross-cultural literature, women in politics, historical fiction, cookbooks, Jewish Buddhism and "Men-moirs" (exactly what it sounds). The list of authors participating in the event includes Daniel Handler (of "Lemony Snicket" fame), Bich Minh Nguyen ("Pioneer Girl: A Novel), Nancy Cohen ("The Breakthrough: The Making of the First Female President"), Joyce Maynard ("Under the Influence"), Yangsze Choo ("The Ghost Bride"), Kevin Sessums ("I Left It on the Mountain: A Memoir), J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science"). Festivities for the free festival will take place between 3 and 8 p.m. at the JCC, 3921 Fabian Way. The festival will also include a literary workshop for children 8 and older; a space for teens to meet young-adult writers; various bookish salons and a "Blues Booze and Schmooze" social before the headliner, which is yet to be announced. Event schedule can be viewed at paloaltojcc.org/litquake.

IN HER OWN WORDS ... Local authors will come together in Palo Alto for an evening of stories both factual and fictional as part of a panel presented by She Writes Press and Books Inc. The event will include Diana Y. Paul ("Things Unsaid"); Kate Raphael ("Murder Under the Bridge: A Palestine Mystery"); Constance Hanstedt ("Don't Leave Yet: How My Mother's Alzheimer's Opened My Heart"); Rita M. Gardner ("The Coconut Latitudes: Secrets, Storms and Survival in the Caribbean"); and Donna Stoneham ("The Thriver's Edge: Seven Keys to Transform the Way You Live, Love and Lead"). The event will take place at 7 p.m. on March 2, at Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto.

DIGITAL DARKNESS ... Marc Goodman, author of the acclaimed book, "Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World" will discuss cybercrime and dangers of new and emerging technologies at an appearance in Mountain View on March 10. The free event will begin at 7 p.m. at Books Inc., 301 Castro St.

POWER OF THE PEN ... Top novelists, critics and biographers share their writing secrets, pleasures and pains in "How We Write: The Variety of Writing Experiences," a new book by Stanford University author and professor Hilton Obenzinger. The book is based on a series of public lectures that Obenzinger has been conducting at Stanford since 2002 with speakers including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short-story writer Adam Johnson, physicist Leonard Susskind, novelist Abraham Verghese and historian Ian Morris. The book is available at amzn.to/1XP00zy

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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.

Contest Details