Vroman’s Live

Bookstore boasts stellar lineup for October
By Arroyo Staff

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

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@vromansbookstore.com.

Vroman’s Live

Rep. Adam Schiff, in conversation with Jason Alexander, discusses “Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could”

4 p.m. Saturday, October 16

Vroman’s presents Rep. Adam Schiff, in conversation with Jason Alexander, discussing “Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.” Vaccinations and masks are required for all audience members attending this event.

In the years leading up to the election of Donald Trump, Schiff had already been sounding the alarm over the resurgence of autocracy around the world and the threat this posed to the United States.

But as he led the probe into Trump’s Russia- and Ukraine-related abuses of presidential power, Schiff came to the terrible conclusion that the principal threat to American democracy now came from within.

This ticketed event will take place at Pasadena Presbyterian Church at 585 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena. Ticket includes one entry plus one copy of “Midnight in Washington.”

Sutton Foster discusses “Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life”

7 p.m. Wednesday, October 20

Vaccinations and masks are required for all audience members attending this event. 

From the two-time Tony Award winner and the star of TV’s “Younger,” funny and intimate stories and reflections about how crafting has kept her sane while navigating the highs and lows of family, love and show business — and how it can help others, too.

Whether she’s playing an “age-defying” book editor on television or dazzling audiences on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster manages to make it all look easy. How? Crafting. From the moment she picked up a cross stitch needle to escape the bullying chorus girls in her early performing days, she was hooked. Cross stitching led to crocheting, crocheting led to collages, which led to drawing and so on.

This ticketed event will take place at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, located at 585 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena. Ticket includes one entry plus one signed copy of “Hooked.” 

Vroman’s Presents

Kate Bowler, in conversation with Lori Gottlieb, discusses
“No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear)”

6 p.m. Monday, October 4

It’s hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward good, better, best. But what happens when the life you hoped for is put on hold indefinitely?

Kate Bowler believed that life was a series of unlimited choices, until she discovered, at age 35, that her body was wracked with cancer. “In No Cure for Being Human,” she searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today’s “best life now” advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born.

With dry wit and unflinching honesty, Bowler grapples with her diagnosis, her ambition and her faith as she tries to come to terms with her limitations in a culture that says anything is possible. She finds that we need one another if we’re going to tell the truth: Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope and despair and everything in between — and there is no cure for being human. 

Alexandra Leigh Young, in conversation with Lauren Gibaldi and Eric Smith, discusses “Idol Gossip”

6 p.m. Thursday, October 7 

Every Friday after school, 17-year-old Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong to sing karaoke. Back in San Francisco, when she still had friends and earthly possessions, Alice took regular singing lessons. But since their diplomat mom moved them to Seoul, her only musical outlet is vamping it up in a private karaoke booth to an audience of one: her loyal sister. Then, a scout for Top10 Entertainment, one of the biggest K-pop companies, hears her and offers her a spot at their Star Academy. Can Alice navigate the culture clashes, egos and extreme training practices of K-pop to lead her group onstage before a stadium of 50,000 chanting fans — and just maybe strike K-pop gold? Not if a certain influential blogger and the anti-fans get their way . 

Ryan Hampton, in conversation with Gerald Posner, discusses “Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis”

6 p.m. Friday, October 8

In September 2019, Purdue Pharma — the maker of OxyContin and a company controlled by the infamous billionaire Sackler family — filed for bankruptcy to protect itself from 2,600 lawsuits for its role in fueling the U.S. overdose crisis. 

Author and activist Ryan Hampton served as co-chair of the official creditors committee that acted as a watchdog during the process, one of only four victims appointed among representatives of big insurance companies, hospitals and pharmacies. He entered the case believing that exposing the Sacklers and mobilizing against Purdue would be enough to right the scales of justice. But he soon learned that behind closed doors, justice had plenty of other competition — and it came with a hefty price tag.

“Unsettled” is the inside story of Purdue’s excruciating Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the company’s eventual restructuring, and the Sackler family’s evasion of any true accountability. It’s also the untold story of how a group of determined ordinary people tried to see justice done against the odds — and in the face of brutal opposition from powerful institutions and even government representatives.

Myriam J. A. Chancy, in conversation
with Zinzi Clemmons, discusses
“What Storm, What Thunder”

6 p.m. Monday, October 11

At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster — Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonné, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, witness is given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man.

Joshua Lurie, in conversation with Minh Phan,
discusses “History is Delicious”

6 p.m. Thursday, October 21

From well-known cultures to those just being rediscovered, “History is Delicious” explores the history of different dishes, cultural traditions and even a few great recipes. What does Ethiopian cuisine look and taste like? Find out for yourself with each beautifully illustrated page that makes learning about food fun. Discover the role cuisine plays in the fabric of unique cultures from around the world and enjoy some great-tasting food along the way. Featured sections include History of European Cuisine; Dining Do’s and Don’ts; and Dumplings of the World, Recipes from Around the World.

Vroman’s Local Author Day featuring Jared Seide and José L. Recio

6 p.m. Monday, October 25

Jared Seide presents “Where Compassion Begins.” Compassion is sometimes confused with empathy, or even sympathy. It is neither, though it includes some aspects of both. Compassion begins when we allow ourselves to really hear and attune to suffering, that of others, as well as ourselves. And hearing and perceiving this anguish, we are moved to do something about it. What takes compassion beyond sympathy or empathy is that it includes action, action that is considered, skillful and beneficial.

Council is a foundational practice that builds our capacity to perceive the experience of others and invites us to pay attention. When we listen differently to someone’s story, without judging, we create the conditions for compassion to arise. Council asks us to lean in, to learn ways we can skillfully attend to the pain we recognize in ourselves and others, and to do something helpful in response. This book is an invitation to build the muscle of compassion, through exercises and practices that enhance our capacity to listen from the heart and, in so doing, take care of ourselves and those around us.

José L. Recio presents “Transitions.”

“Transitions” is a book of mainstream fiction, written in the tradition of the short stories classics. Recio puts fictional characters in situations different from his own experiences but suitable to trigger the same or very similar set of emotions when dealing with those situations.

Vroman’s Local Author Day: Kids Edition featuring
Louise Wannier, Cecilia Caballero and Dr. Antoinette Corley-Newman

11 a.m. Saturday, October 30

Louise Wannier presents “Tree Spirits.”

“What do you see when you look up at this tree?” “Tree Spirits” is a book written in rhyme which encourages children to develop their imagination, creativity and emotional intelligence. “How do you imagine they/he/she is feeling today?” For parents and grandparents and friends and family, it is a fun book to read with the children in their lives. It includes an interactive drawing section.

Cecilia Caballero presents “Lavender Little Girl.”

An ode to love of a darling daughter. A celebration of the love for a clever, strong and compassionate girl. A cherished book by little girls everywhere. Parents will snuggle and read this every night to their daughters. A book for all women, sisters and mothers who were also little girls once. 

Dr. Antoinette Corley-Newman presents “Trick or Treat.”

Every year on October 31, the witch and warlock children of Transylvania jump on their magic brooms and fly into town to take part in the mortal’s harvests celebration. Although she enjoys the festivities, Abigail wishes to bring back enough mortal treats to share with all of Transylvania to enjoy all year long. One day, after accidentally slipping into her mother’s brewing pot, Abigail comes up with a brilliant plan.

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