Vroman’s Live

Bookstore boasts stellar lineup for November

By Arroyo Staff

The renowned bookstore Vroman’s is hosting more top-notch virtual programs throughout November. 

The “Vroman’s Live” events are held virtually through Crowdcast. Register through vromansbookstore.com.

All “Vroman’s Presents” events are ticketed and will be held in-person off-site and will have COVID-19 event safety guidelines that need to be followed attend. 

Anyone with questions is asked to contact email@

Vroman’s presents

Blair Imani, in conversation with Andre Henry, discusses “Read This to Get Smarter: About Race, Class, Gender, Disability & More”

7 p.m. Monday, November 1

An approachable guide to being an informed, compassionate and socially conscious person today — from discussions of race, gender and sexual orientation to disability, class and beyond — from critically acclaimed historian, educator and author Blair Imani. Accessible to learners of all levels — from those just getting started on the journey to those already versed in social justice — “Read This to Get Smarter” covers a range of topics, including race, gender, class, disability, relationships, family, power dynamics, oppression and beyond. 

This ticketed event will take place at All Saints Church located at 132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena. Ticket includes one entry plus one copy of “Read This to Get Smarter.”

Father Gregory Boyle discusses
“The Whole Language: The Power
of Extravagant Tenderness”

7 p.m. Thursday, November 4

Over the past 30 years, Gregory Boyle has transformed thousands of lives through his work as the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest and most successful gang-intervention program in the world. In a community struggling to overcome systemic poverty and violence, “The Whole Language” shows how those at Homeboy Industries fight despair and remain generous, hopeful and tender. Boyle’s moving stories challenge our ideas about God and about people, providing a window into a world filled with fellowship, compassion and fewer barriers. 

This ticketed event will take place at All Saints Church located at 132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena. Ticket includes one entry plus one copy of “The Whole Language.”

Christina Diaz Gonzalez, in
conversation with James Ponti,
discusses “Concealed”

6 p.m. Friday, November 5

Katrina doesn’t know any of the details about her past, but she does know that she and her parents are part of the Witness Protection Program. Whenever her parents say they have to move on and start over, she takes on a new identity — until their location leaks and her parents disappear. Forced to embark on a dangerous rescue mission, Katrina and her new friend Parker set out to save her parents — and find out the truth about her secret past and the people that want her family dead.

But every new discovery reveals that Katrina’s entire life has been built around secrets covered up with lies and that her parents were actually the ones keeping the biggest secret of all. Katrina must now decide if learning the whole truth is worth the price of losing everything she has ever believed about herself and her family.

Editor Saraciea Fennell, with
contributors Mark Oshiro, Lilliam
Rivera and Ingrid Rojas
Contreras, discusses “Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed: 15 Voices from the Latinx Diaspora”

5 p.m. Monday, November 8

Edited by “The Bronx Is Reading” founder Saraciea J. Fennell and featuring an all-star cast of Latino contributors, “Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed” is a groundbreaking anthology that will spark dialogue and inspire hope.

In “Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed,” bestselling and award-winning authors, as well as up-and-coming voices, interrogate the different myths and stereotypes about the Latinx diaspora. These 15 original pieces delve into everything from ghost stories and superheroes to memories in the kitchen and travels around the world, to addiction and grief, to identity and anti-Blackness, to finding love and speaking your truth. 

Wil Haygood, in conversation with Peter Gethers, discusses “Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World”

6 p.m. Tuesday, November 9

This unprecedented history of Black cinema examines 100 years of Black movies — from “Gone with the Wind” to “Blaxploitation” films to “Black Panther” — using the struggles and triumphs of the artists, and the films themselves, as a prism to explore Black culture, civil rights, and racism in America.

Beginning in 1915 with D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation,” Wil Haygood gives an incisive, fascinating, little-known history, spanning more than a century, of Black artists in the film business, on-screen and behind the scenes. He makes clear the effects of changing social realities and events on the business of making movies and on what was represented on the screen: from Jim Crow and segregation to white flight and interracial relationships, from the assassination of Malcolm X to the O.J. Simpson trial, to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Patti Davis, in conversation with Max Boot, discusses “Floating in the Deep End: How Caregivers Can See Beyond Alzheimer’s”

6 p.m. Wednesday, November 10

When Patti Davis’ father, the 40th president of the United States, announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in an address to the American public in 1994, the world had not yet begun speaking about this cruel, mysterious disease. Yet overnight, Ronald Reagan and his immediate family became the face of Alzheimer’s, and Davis, once content to keep her family at arm’s length, quickly moved across the country to be present during “the journey that would take (him) into the sunset of (his) life.”

In “Floating in the Deep End,” Davis draws on a welter of experiences to provide a singular account of battling Alzheimer’s. 

She shares how her own fractured family came together. She offers tender moments in which her father, a fabled movie star whom she always longed to know better, revealed his true self — always kind, even when he couldn’t recognize his own daughter.

Jung Yun, in conversation with
Elizabeth McKenzie, discusses
“O Beautiful”

6 p.m. Thursday, November 18

Elinor Hanson, a 40-something former model, is struggling to reinvent herself as a freelance writer when her mentor from grad school offers her a chance to write for a prestigious magazine about the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota. Elinor grew up near the Bakken, raised by an overbearing father and a distant Korean mother who met and married when he was stationed overseas.

After decades away from home, Elinor returns to a landscape she hardly recognizes, overrun by tens of thousands of newcomers.

Elinor experiences a profound sense of alienation and grief. She rages at the unrelenting male gaze, the locals who still see her as a foreigner and the memories of her family’s estrangement after her mother decided to escape her unhappy marriage, leaving Elinor and her sister behind. The longer she pursues this potentially career-altering assignment, the more her past intertwines with the story she’s trying to tell, revealing disturbing new realities that will forever change her and the way she looks at the world.

Andrew Lawler discusses “Under
Jerusalem: The Buried History of
the World’s Most Contested City”

6 p.m. Monday, November 22

In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem’s storied past.

In the century and a half since the Frenchman broke ground, Jerusalem has drawn a global cast of fortune seekers and missionaries, archaeologists and zealots. Their efforts have had profound effects, not only on our understanding of Jerusalem’s history but on its hotly disputed present. The quest to retrieve ancient Jewish heritage has sparked bloody riots and thwarted international peace agreements. It has served as a cudgel, a way to stake a claim to the most contested city on the planet. Today, the earth below Jerusalem remains a battleground in the struggle to control the city above.

Dera White & Joe Bennett
present “I Will Not Die Alone

6 p.m. Tuesday, November 30”

Dera White’s “I Will Not Die Alone” is a hilarious, feel-good story about the end of the world. Featuring illustrations by Joe Bennett, it is a story full of realistic self-love affirmations for those who are just trying to get by, until we die.

It’s funny, it’s dark and there’s a lion wearing pants. If you only read one more book before the world ends, make it this one. “I Will Not Die Alone” is a sweet yet sad, heartwarming yet heartbreaking read.

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