A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Rio Theater salutes horror film director William Castle

Sebastopol author Joe Jordan vividly remembers the day he found out about the work of classic low-budget horror film director William Castle. “The date was Oct. 31, 1999. ‘House on Haunted Hill’ was being aired on television as part of a Halloween showcase. Two days earlier the Geoffrey Rush remake had been released in theaters nationwide,” Jordan said. Jordan went on to study Castle’s colorful career, which including directing 56 mostly low-budget films between 1946 and 1975. On Saturday, March… Read More »

Author speaks on Dylan in Sonoma

The title of San Francisco writer Dennis McNally’s new book sounds scholarly and serious — “On Highway 61: Race, Music and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom.” But the subject matter is lively. As the author of “Desolate Angel,” about Beat era icon Jack Kerouac, and “A Long Strange Trip,” about The Grateful Dead, McNally has made a specialty of American music and pop culture, stemming from his 25 years as publicist for the Grateful Dead. For his latest book, McNally,… Read More »

Sonoma County Book Festival ends its 14-year run

After 14 years of presenting local and big-name authors, the annual Sonoma County Book Festival has ended. The Literary Art Guild, the festival’s sponsor, is disbanding due to lack of funds, said its president, Karen Petersen. “We had a fabulous run,” Petersen said. “Things come to an end. Support for arts organizations in general is waning.” The guild was founded to stage the first Sonoma County Book Festival in 2000. The festival was held yearly in Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse… Read More »

‘Erotic Literary Soiree’ planned in Sebastopol

For starters, the name “Steamy Sonoma County” does not refer to the weather forecast. It’s a local organization devoted to the art of erotic literature, and it’s planning a public gathering to present erotic poems and stories by local authors. Titled “Hot August Nights: An Erotic Literary Soiree,” it runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave., Suite 300, Sebastopol. Speakers include: — Joan Price, editor of the “Ageless Erotic” anthology and author… Read More »

Author runs to book signing, from Petaluma to Sebastopol

Jaimal Yogis is an author and journalist who believes in facing his fears. So it’s no surprise he plans a 17-mile run, from Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma to the Copperfield’s in Sebastopol, where he will speak at at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. He invites others to run along with him. “This run makes me nervous, because it’s a long distance, but it’s in overcoming these controlled physical fears that can help us better manage the unexpected stress of daily… Read More »

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and ‘Hunger Games’ top sellers of 2012 at Copperfield’s Books

Wondering what the people around you have been reading this year? Vicki DeArmon, marketing and events director for  Copperfield’s Books, has an answer. “For the first time ever, erotic romance dominated the list of the bestselling books of 2012 at Copperfield’s Books,” she said. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E.L. James, took the number one spot for books sold this year, claiming 25 percent of the sales for the top 10 books of the year. Add the sequels, “Fifty Shades… Read More »

Artist Zak Zaikine sets signing for his new children’s book

  Sebastopol painter, poet and author Zak Kaikine is out talking about his new children’s book, “Eugene and His Magical Dreams.” He’ll appear at a book signing from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Share Exchange, 531 Fifth street, Santa Rosa. The 40-page book includes illustrations taken from large paintings on canvas created by Zaikine in his studio. “Over the last several years I have been asked by friends and art patrons to continue writing and illustrating… Read More »

Greg Sarris to speak at Santa Rosa Junior College

Greg Sarris, author and current chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, will speak at  2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Sarris’ appearance will be part of the college’s observance of November as Native American Heritage month. He’ll talk about his 1998 novel, “Watermelon Nights.” A native of Santa Rosa, Sarris holds the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Endowed Chair in Native American Studies within the School of Arts and Humanities at Sonoma… Read More »

Two Kings and a Kingsolver

Vicki DeArmon, marketing and events director for Copperfield’s Books, suggests that fall is Sonoma County’s prime time  for royal visitors. Royalty? Qui, three kings. Blues guitarist and singer B.B. King, with more than half a century of blue classsics to his credit, performs at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $45-$85. 546-3600, wellsfargocenterarts.org. Laurie R. King, author of the bestselling series of suspense novels about Mary Russell and… Read More »

A new store, selling used books, open in Sebastopol

Mention books, and it’s likely someone will smugly declare, “Nobody reads anymore.” Clearly, Brandy Mow and Mark Weigle don’t believe that. Last month, they opened Mockingbird Books, a used book store, at 6932 Sebastopol Ave. (Highway 12), next to the Toyworks store. Mockingbird Books is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Information: 824-0389. For those who like to drive or ride a bike (via the Joe Rodota Trail)… Read More »