Lit, Lectures and Flicks
An educated guide to the most stimulating speakers and screen options coming to town.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Following a summer of reading trashy novels on the beach and watching inane Hollywood blockbusters, fall is the time for more serious endeavors – whether it’s finally cracking open that neglected copy of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov or playfully bantering with a pal about the true nature of existentialism. Luckily, there are many events – most literary – in Monterey County this fall that will get those brain cells firing once again.
The Super Bowl of local literary events is the Carmel Authors & Ideas Festival, taking place at the Sunset Center (626-6243) Sept. 24-26. Though tickets start at $550 a pop, the festival will feature 35 of the country’s biggest authors discussing their works. This year’s crop includes journalist and New York Times bestselling author Po Bronson, This Boy’s Life memoirist Tobias Wolff, Fast Food Nation scribe Eric Schlosser and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who wrote Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family.
The Carmel Public Library Foundation is also bringing some heavy hitters to Carmel this fall. On Sept. 7, they present Tatjana Soli at the Sunset Center’s Carpenter Hall (624-2811). Soli’s recently released novel The Lotus Eaters, which is about a female wartime photographer, was gushed about in a New York Times book review. Later, on Oct. 10, Virginia based writer Phyllis Theroux comes to the Harrison Memorial Library (624-2811) to discuss her latest, The Journal Keeper: A Memoir.
For a kid-friendly lit event, “Family Story Times” – which includes short stories, rhymes and music – led by Miss Judy Peiken takes place Sept. 11, Oct. 2 and Dec. 4 at the Harrison Memorial Library’s Park Branch (624-4664) with a Meet the Author event with children’s book author Kathryn Otoshis on Sept. 24 at Salinas’ National Steinbeck Center (775-4738).
Local authors will also get a little love at two events. First up, Salinas-based writer G.M. Weger will be heading to the Steinbeck Center (796-3833) on Sept. 3 to discuss her novel East Garrison, which is set on the former Fort Ord. Down in Big Sur, former Esalen Institute chef Robin Burnside will unveil her new cookbook, The Homesteader’s Kitchen: Recipes From Farm to Table on Oct. 10 at the Henry Miller Library (located on Highway One a quarter mile south of Nepenthe Restaurant, Big Sur, 667-2574).
Every Monday night, get the brain humming by joining high-minded discussions happening at the Literary Circle within the Monterey Public Library (646-2093). This fall’s reading list includes J.G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, Louise Erdrich’s Shadow Tag and Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of Hedgehog.
Also, local writer Michael Hemp will continue hosting the Wave Street Studios Author’s Show (655-2010) on the last Tuesday of every month.
A FALL SCHEDULE OF AUTHORS IS PENDING. CHECK OUT THE NEW LOCAL AUTHORS LIBRARY, A SEARCHABLE DATABASE OF 60-PLUS LOCAL AUTHORS, INCLUDING THEIR PUBLISHED BOOKS AND UPCOMING WORKS, AT WWW.MONTEREYCOUNTYWEEKLY.COM/LOCAL-AUTHORS
For young readers, celebrate the genius of Dr. Seuss with The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That!, a Sept. 18 event for preschoolers at Borders (899-6643).
In addition, a couple of events will stimulate the mind though they are not local literature events. CSUMB’s superb President’s Speakers Series kicks off on Sept. 28 when actor Ed Begley Jr. comes to talk about environmental issues at CSUMB’s World Theater (582-4580). Best known for his Emmy-nominated role on St. Elsewhere, Begley can currently be seen on Living With Ed, a reality TV program that follows the actor as he attempts to reduce his carbon footprint.
Put on by the Monterey Bay Chapter of the United Nations Association, The 11th Annual International Film Festival returns to the Golden State Theatre (372-4555) this Nov. 4-7 to screen a handful of documentaries that illuminate struggles across the globe.
And last but not least, a newcomer to the county’s film events is the Monterey Animation Festival that takes over the Cannery Row IMAX (372-4629) on Sept. 25 and 26. Though the event is still being developed, its website promises 2D and 3D animation, artists, comics and DJs.