Vroman’s Live

Bookstore boasts stellar lineup for September
By Arroyo Staff

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

The “Vroman’s Live” events are held virtually and in person. Register through vromansbookstore.com. Anyone with questions is asked to email email@vromansbookstore.com.

Vroman’s Virtual events will be presented through Crowdcast. Registration link below.

The Gathering Dark Group Event

6 p.m. Wednesday, September 7

The event features Aden Polydoros, Alex Brown, Olivia Chadha, Shakira Moise and Tori Bovalino.

A cemetery full of the restless dead. A town so wicked it has already burned twice, with the breath of the third fire looming. A rural, isolated bridge with a terrifying monster waiting for the completion of its summoning ritual. A lake that allows the drowned to return, though they have been changed by the claws of death. These are the shadowed, liminal spaces where the curses and monsters lurk, refusing to be forgotten.

Hauntings, and a variety of horrifying secrets, lurk in the places everyone once called home. Written by New York Times bestselling and other critically acclaimed authors, these stories shed a harsh light on the scariest tales.

Crowdcast virtual event link: https://bit.ly/GatheringVroman

In-person events

Vroman’s in-person events generally do not require tickets and are free and open to the public. Masks are strongly encouraged for those attending the events. 

Most in-person events will all be held at Vroman’s, located at 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit vromansbookstore.com or email@

Margaret Kerrison, in conversation with Nancy Seruto, discusses “Immersive Storytelling: For Real and Imagined Worlds”

7 p.m. Friday, September 9

How do you take an idea from inspiration to manifestation? How do you move from telling a story to creating a world? In this richly illustrated book, the first of its kind written specifically for writers, Margaret Kerrison lays out the craft of immersive storytelling. She uses case studies to show what works and highlights the essential role of the writer on a complex creative team. This book provides the blueprint. 

Rasheed Newson discusses “My Government Means to Kill Me”

4 p.m. Saturday, September 10

A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s New York City, from the television drama writer and producer of “The Chi,” “Narcos” and “Bel-Air.”

Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Earl “Trey” Singleton III leaves his overbearing parents and their expectations behind by running away to New York City with only a few dollars in his pocket. 

In the city, Singleton meets up with a cast of characters who change his life forever. He volunteers at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients and, after being put to the test by gay rights activists, becomes a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Along the way Singleton attempts to navigate past traumas and searches for ways to maintain familial relationships — all while seeking the meaning of life amid so much death.

Susan Branch discusses 

“Distilled Genius: A Collection of Life-Changing Quotations”

11 a.m. Sunday, September 11

“Distilled Genius: A Collection of Life-Changing Quotations” is from Susan Branch, the New York Times bestselling author of 16 books since 1986. 

This is a 40-year curated collection of quotes from Mark Twain to the Bhagavad Gita, from Anne Frank and George Patton to Marcus Aurelius and Louisa May Alcott, and from Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln and Maya Angelou to the Bible. 

Susan Coll, in conversation with Cynthia D’Sprix Sweeney, discusses “Bookish People”

7 p.m. Thursday, September 15

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight — with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie — but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Bernstein wants to cancel Chaucer’s appearance. 

Vroman’s presents Craig Johnson discussing
“Hell & Back: A Longmire Mystery”

7 p.m. Monday, September 19

In “Hell & Back,” the 18th installment of the Longmire series, author Craig Johnson takes the beloved sheriff to the very limits of his sanity to do battle with the most dangerous advisory he’s ever faced — himself. 

This ticketed event will take place at All Saints Church located at 132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena. Masks are required. 

Tickets include a copy of “Hell & Back,” which will be handed out at check-in. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.

Patricia Schultz discusses
“Why We Travel: 100 Reasons to See the World”

7 p.m. Tuesday, September 20

For years, Patricia Schultz has been telling readers where to travel. Now, she reveals what makes her such a compelling guide and what makes travel such a richly rewarding experience. 

The comedy of mishaps that she and friends endured on a canal trip through Southern France — and how it brought them together in an unexpected way. She quotes favorite authors and luminaries on the importance of travel and, in a series of memorable aphorisms, gets to the essence of why to travel. And gives us a few travel hacks, too. 

Sandra Cisneros, in 

conversation with Cherrie Moraga, discusses
“Women Without Shame: Poems”

7 p.m. Wednesday, 

September 21

It has been 28 years since Sandra Cisneros published a book of poetry. “Woman Without Shame” is a moving collection of songs, elegies and declarations that chronicle her pilgrimage toward rebirth and the recognition of her prerogative as a woman artist. 

These bluntly honest and often humorous meditations on memory, desire, and the essential nature of love blaze a path toward self-awareness. For Cisneros, “Woman Without Shame” is the culmination of her search for home — in the Mexico of her ancestors and in her own heart. 

Javier Zamora, in conversation with Yesika Salgado, discusses
“Solito: A Memoir”

7 p.m. Thursday, September 22

Javier Zamora’s adventure is a 3,000-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks.

At 9 years old, all Zamora can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him, nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.

“Solito” provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. 

Luis I. Reyes discusses “Viva Hollywood: The Legacy of Latin
and Hispanic Artists in American Film”

7 p.m. Tuesday, September 27

Through an authoritative narrative and lavish photography, this is an in-depth history of the stars, films, achievements and influence of the Hispanic and Latino community in Hollywood history from the silent era to the present day.

Overcoming obstacles of prejudice, ignorance and stereotyping, this group has given the world some of its most beloved stars and told some of its most indelible stories. “Viva Hollywood” examines the stars in front of the screen as well as the people behind the scenes who have created a rich legacy across more than 100 years.

World War II saw an embrace of Latin culture as the “Good Neighbor Policy” made it fashionable and patriotic to feature stories set south of the border. Social problem films of the 1950s and ’60s brought fresh looks at the community, with performances like Katy Jurado in “High Noon,” the cast of “West Side Story,” and racial inequality depicted in George Stevens’ “Giant.” Civil rights, the Chicano movement, and the work of activist actors such as Ricardo Montalban and Edward James Olmos influenced further change in Hollywood in subsequent decades and paved the way for modern times and stars the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Illustrated by more than 200 full-color and black-and-white images, “Viva Hollywood” is a celebration of the legacy of some of the greatest art and artists captured on screen. 

Char Miller discusses “Natural Consequences:
Intimate Essays for a Planet in Peril”

7 p.m. Thursday, September 29

Living in Southern California, Char Miller walks readers through the environmental touchstones of his backyard, through his neighborhood, into the widely varied ecospheres of California, and then the world beyond.

The essays encourage readers to look for themselves at the meaning behind environmental disasters and injustices. 

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