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Events / Vroman's Bookstore (3)

Tuesday, June 2

Victoria Shorr discusses and signs Backlands

Vroman's Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101

7:00pm

Set in the sparse frontier settlements of northeastern Brazil a dry, forbidding, and wild region the size of Texas, known locally as the Sertao Backlands tells the true story of a group of nomadic outlaws who reigned over the area from about 1922 until 1938. Taking from the rich, admired and feared by the poor, they were led by the famously charismatic bandit Lampiao. The gang maintained their influence by fighting off all the police and soldiers the region could muster.  A one-eyed goat rancher who first set out to avenge his father's murder in a lawless land, Lampiao proved to be too good a leader, fighter, and strategist to ever return home again. By 1925 he commanded the biggest gang of outlaws in Brazil. Known to this day as a "prince," Lampiao had everything: brains, money, power, charisma, and luck. Everything but love, until he met Maria Bonita. 

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Wednesday, June 3

Mark Haskell Smith in conversation with David Ulin

Vroman's Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101

7:00pm

Mark Haskell Smith in conversation with David Ulin to discuss and sign Naked At Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World. People have been getting naked in public for reasons other than sex for centuries. But as novelist and narrative journalist Mark Haskell Smith shows in Naked at Lunch, being a nudist is more complicated than simply dropping trou. "Nonsexual social nudism," as it's called, rose to prominence in the late nineteenth century. Intellectuals, outcasts, and health nuts from Victorian England and colonial India to Belle Epoque France and Gilded Age Manhattan disrobed and wrote manifestos about the joys of going clothing-free. From stories of ancient Greek athletes slathered in olive oil to the millions of Germans who fled the cities for a naked frolic during the Weimar Republic to American soldiers given "naturist" magazines by the Pentagon in the interest of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, Haskell Smith uncovers nudism's amusing and provocative past. Naked at Lunch is equal parts cultural history and gonzo participatory journalism. Coated in multiple layers of high SPF sunblock, Haskell Smith dives into the nudist world today. He publicly disrobes for the first time in Palm Springs, observes the culture of family nudism in a clothing-free Spanish town, and travels to the largest nudist resort in the world, a hedonist's paradise in the south of France. He reports on San Francisco's controversial ban on public nudity, participates in a week of naked hiking in the Austrian Alps, and caps off his adventures with a week on the Big Nude Boat, a Caribbean cruise full of nudists.

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Monday, June 8

Jane Porter discusses and signs It’s You

Vroman's Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101

7:00pm

In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she's summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she's not sure she has anything to offer him--or anyone else. What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift--an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren't afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.  As Ali becomes part of her father's community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman's lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

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