San Diego Bookshelf

THE COLONIZED AND THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA: LA MESA AUTHOR’S TRUE STORY DEPICTS STRUGGLES IN KENYA

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

Author to hold book signing at Julian Library on May 10 at 1 p.m.

 

May 5, 2022 (La Mesa) -- The Colonized and the Scramble for Africa, the first of The Colonized series, provides true stories of how the author, Wanjirũ Waramaher family and community lived in abject poverty on British colonial farms in Kenya.

Warama, a resident of La Mesa, is a member of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. She will host a book signing in Julian at the County Library on May 10 at 1 p.m.


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EXCITING NEWS FROM THE SUNBELT CREW

Source:  Sunbelt Publications

April 28, 2022 (San Diego) - Sunbelt Publications founders Diana and Lowell Lindsay are retiring. The new owners of Sunbelt are long time employees Lisa Gulick and Maria Groschup-Black and Maria's wife, Nichole.


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PROMINENT AUTHORS TO APPEAR AT 26TH ANNUAL LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE APRIL 25

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

April 20, 2022 (El Cajon) - The 26th annual Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival returns April 25 for a week of virtual events featuring acclaimed authors and poets from around the nation who will read their work, teach their craft, and discuss sources of their inspiration.


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COUNTY LIBRARY BRANCHES EXPAND HOURS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 12, 2022 (San Diego) - All of the County of San Diego’s 33 community branch libraries are expanding their hours starting Monday, April 11.

The six largest County libraries will now be open seven days a week. That includes the branch libraries in El Cajon, Encinitas, La Mesa, Poway, San Marcos and Vista. All 33 branches will include evening hours.
 
The new hours are posted on signs at each of the libraries and can be found online on sdcl.org.
 
Here’s a list of the new expanded hours at each branch:

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VISIT STATE PARKS FOR FREE WITH PASS FROM LOCAL LIBRARY

East County News Service

April 8, 2022 (San Diego) -- Starting this week, California State Parks will be distributing the California State Library Parks Pass to public libraries across the state for checkout by library patrons. The new pass will allow free vehicle day use entry at more than 200 participating state parks.


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REGISTRATION OPENS FOR AAUW 20TH ANNUAL AUTHOR’S LUNCHEON MAY 21 AT SYCUAN FEATURING BEST SELLING WRITER SHILPI SOMAYA GOWDA

Source: AAUW

April 7, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Shilpi Somaya Gowda is the featured author for the La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of the American Association of University Women’s annual Author’s Luncheon fundraiser. The event is open to the public and will be held at Sycuan Casino Resort, 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA on May 21 beginning at 11:00 a.m.


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THE GENIUS UNDER THE TABLE: GROWING UP BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

March 28, 2022 (San Diego) – The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain was written by Eugene Yelchin, who is a member of the San Diego Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The topic is relevant at a time when Russia has launched a war in Europe threatening freedom of neighboring Ukraine, rekindling memories of the iron curtain, an invisible barrier which separated free nations from others in Europe until the Soviet Union collapsed.

In Leningrad, Russia, Yevgeny grows up in an apartment. Except for the kitchen and bathroom, each room is occupied by a separate family. One room has a government spy. Every apartment is like this.


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BETTER READ THAN DEAD: MYSTERY BOOK CLUB IN ALPINE TO FOCUS ON “THIN ICE” MARCH 15

East County News Service

March 2, 2022 (Alpine) - Do you like whodunits, creepy psychological thrillers, or even cozy detective tales? Join your fellow mystery fans in a relaunch of the mystery and thriller book discussion group at the Alpine library on Tuesday, March 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 


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AUTHORS OF BOOK ON ANZA-BORREGO NATURAL HISTORY TO VISIT JULIAN LIBRARY MARCH 18

East County News Service

March 18, 2022 (Julian) – Mike Wells and Marie Simovich will speak and sign copies of their book, A Natural History of the Anza-Borrego Region, Then and Now, at the Julian branch of the San Diego County Library.

The event is slated for Friday, March 18 at 2 p.m. The Julian library is located at 1850 Highway 78 in Julian.


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SANTEE INKS AGREEMENT FOR NEW TROLLEY SQUARE HOTEL ON SITE ONCE DESIGNATED FOR LIBRARY

By Mike Allen

February 12, 2022 (Santee) -- Santee’s grand plan to turn part of Trolley Square into an arts and entertainment district took a big step forward on February 9 when the City Council approved the sale of a parcel for a four-story, 89-room hotel.


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ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA SAN DIEGO TRANSITIONS TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROMANCE WRITERS

By Kathy Carpenter

Photo: CC via Bing

January 31, 2022 (La Mesa) - Forty years ago, in February 1982, Romance Writers of America was introduced to San Diego. With five founding members, local chapter RWA San Diego was established. Through championing the romance genre, the national organization brought romance to the forefront, legitimizing romance writing throughout the writing industry.


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COUNTY LIBRARY EVENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Images via Bing

January 19, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Libraries aren't just about books anymore! The San Diego County library branches across our region have a variety of events and activities coming up in late January and early February, from book clubs to writers' groups to crafts classes and Zumba workouts. There's also lunches for seniors, laser tag for teens and much more.

Below are highlights in East County; find details on these plus a full list countywide at https://sdcl.bibliocommons.com/events/search/index.


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‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery (a parody based on the poem by Clement Clark Moore)

 

Twas the night before Christmas and all through East County

Not a creature was stirring, from Borrego to El Monte.

Hiking boots were hung by chimneys with care

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

 

From Barona to Ramona, Jacumba to Jamul

East County residents this 2021 Yule

Celebrate the season with favorite dishes

And send Santa Claus these holiday wishes:


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BOOK DISCUSSION AND SIGNING DEC. 12 WITH AUTHOR REINA MENASCHE, HOST OF EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S BOOKSHELF RADIO PROGRAM, ON HER NEW NOVEL, THE SPIRIT OF SHY MOON LAKE

East County News Service

December 11, 2021 (San Diego) – Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore will host an in-store book discussion and signing on December 12 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. with award-winning author Reina Menasche, host of the “Bookshelf” program on East County Magazine’s radio show. Her newest book, The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake, has received a rave review from San Diego Writers and Editors Guild:

“This novel casts a spell. It’s mystery grabs a reader by the spirit and does not leg to. An ordinary family: a teacher, a poet and a curious son, expect summer vacation, but then enter a deep mental, emotional and spiritual struggle. Be ready for a novel that effectively disrupts the peace with its power to contemplate historical accounts that unsettle us…”


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"THE GUILDED PEN – THE POWER OF TEN" OFFERS WRITINGS FROM LOCAL AUTHORS

East County News Service

December 6, 2021 (San Diego) – For the past 10 years, the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild has published collections of short stories, poems and imaginative essays by its members.  This year’s edition, titled The Guilded Pen – The Power of Ten is now available for sale through major outlets such as Bookshop, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. 

According to the SDWEG website, “Authors drew inspiration from the title, colored their writing with imagination and true-grit life experiences, and crafted it into stories, essays and poetry that chronicle the real, glimpse the surreal, or inspire visions of what lies ahead.”


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THE AFTERMATH OF THE JANUARY 6, 2021 INSURRECTION

 

PAMELA BOUTE’ – KILLER D.A. by Darryl Littleton (Independently Published, Inglewood, CA., 2021, 89 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

November 21, 2021 (San Diego) - Pamela Boute’ – Killer D.A.is the story of a Department of Justice employee who issues out her own justice when the system fails to put away the guilty. Her latest list of victims – the insurrectionists of January 6, 2021.

This fictional story by renowned comedian Darryl Littleton resonates with me, for I know full well of the challenges faced in federal government employment. If there was a movie to be made about this book, and I could see it happening, Pam Grier comes immediately to mind.


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9/11 FROM DUST TO DECEIT, FROM BUSH TO BUTCHERY

 

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: What the September Eleventh Families Asked and the 9/11 Commission Ignored, by Ray McGinnis (NorthernStar Publications, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2021, 421 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

November 14, 2021 (San Diego) - Having been a juror in the “San Diego Citizens Grand Jury – Presenting the Evidence of the Crimes of 9/11” on April 14th, 2007 at San Diego State University, this book by Ray McGinnis resonates with me on so many levels.

Unanswered Questions is a brutally persuasive book for  those who want answers to the real origins of the Afghanistan war. Ray McGinnis’ book digs deeper and hammers harder for the unvarnished truths, Ex-President Bush, currently on a good-guy speaking tour speaks without remorse or responsibility for the unmitigated catastrophe he set in motion 20 years ago, according to many. President Bush famously said, in another of his statements that everyone seemed to relish; “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” But he rejected an offer by the Taliban to hand over bin Laden in exchange for the U.S. to stop bombing their country.


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“DASHA ON THE TRAIL” CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR AT MISSION TRAILS NOV. 13

Source: Sunbelt Publications

October 29, 2021 (San Diego) – You’re invited to meet Gwynne Margaret Bruck, author of the children’s book Dasha on the Trail,  at Mission Trails Regional Park on November 13 at 10 a.m. She will read and sign copies of her book in the amphitheater next to the visitor center, where you can also enjoy sights and sounds of the park.


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"HOW DUMB CAN A NATION GET AND STILL SURVIVE?"

 

Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2021, 482 pages)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

          “We have much to do in this winter of peril.” -- President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in his inaugural address, January 20, 2021, at the United States Capitol

October 12, 2021 (San Diego) -- Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa is the scariest book that I have read among my more than 400 book reviews, for it portends the destruction of our democracy as we once knew it. The publishers of this well written book, Simon & Schuster, states: “The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history.”

This book is scary for all the revelations made in it about the former president, which is ongoing in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 attempt at a coup at the Capital Building in Washington, DC, and the ties between former President Trump and his supporters. The co-author of this book, Robert Costa, gives a riveting audio presentation to NPR, which readers can listen to by clicking here.


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BARNES AND NOBLE LA MESA HOSTS VIRTUAL EVENT WITH HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON AND LOUISE PENNY OCTOBER 11 ON THEIR THRILLER NOVEL

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Former Secretary of State, First Lady, and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton will appear in a virtual event Monday, October 11 at 4 p.m. along with best-selling author Louise Penny to discuss their new international thriller novel, State of Terror.

Secretary Clinton brings her insider’s expertise to bear in crafting plot twists in the book, which has been named one of the most anticipated novels of the season by People, Associated Press, TimeLos Angeles TimesParadeSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe Guardian, and Publishers Weekly

In the novel, a new president surprisingly chooses Ellen Adams, a political enemy for the vital position of secretary of state. With this appointment, he silences one of his harshest critics, since taking the job means Adams must step down as head of her multinational media conglomerate.


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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH REINA MENASCHE, "SPIRIT OF SHY MOON LAKE" AUTHOR

By Miriam Raftery

August 31, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Reina Menasche, host of East County Magazine's Bookshelf segment on our radio show on KNSJ, was the guest this week. ECM show producer Miriam Raftery interviewed Reina about her new paranormal suspense novel, The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake

In the interview, Reina talks about how she dreams up her complex characters and creative plot, as well as what it was like to launch and market a book during the pandemic. She also shares insights into her upcoming projects and more.

Audio: 


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AUGUST 24: SAN DIEGANS INVITED TO PROVIDE INPUT ON THE LONG-TERM VISION OF SAN DIEGO PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Public presentation to showcase findings from community members, focus groups, library staff and library use data.  Input from public to help inform next stages of Library Master Plan development

 

East County News Service

 

August 21, 2021 (San Diego) -- With data from nearly 7,500 San Diegans and over 15 focus groups with people from underrepresented communities, the preliminary findings of the first phase of the Library Master Plan are now ready to be shared with the public. San Diego Public Library Director Misty Jones will host a public presentation on August 24 to showcase these findings. 


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LIBRARY EXPANSION ON AGENDA FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

Agenda also includes proposal to create a task force to promote arts and culture in La Mesa

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – A proposal to form a task force to look at options for an expanded library will be on the agenda for the La Mesa City Council on Tuesday, July 27.   You can submit comments up to 300 words  to be read aloud at the Council meeting by the City Clerk; comments must be received by 4 p.m. Tuesdy at comments@cityoflamesa.us. Live public comments can also be made via Zoom.

The current La Mesa Library was originally intended as an interim step, after the old library was torn down to make way for a new police station. But the cash-strapped city never raised the anticipated funds for a larger, contempoary library and county matching funding evaporated. But many residents are advocating for the city to live up to its promises to residents.

The issue has sparked lively discussion on the La Mesa Happenings forum on Facebook.


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A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ANZA-BORREGO REGION WINS GOLD AT CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARDS

East County News Service

July 20, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- A Natural History of the Anza-Borrego Region: Then and Now by Marie Simovich and Mike Wells, published by Sunbelt Publications in El Cajon, has been named a Gold Medal winner in the Contribution to Publishing category at the 90th Annual California Book Awards.


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ARTIST KATHLEEN STRZELECKI’S WORKS ON DISPLAY NOW THROUGH JULY 23 AT THE LEMON GROVE LIBRARY

By Helen Ofield, Lemon Grove Historical Society

 

May 31, 2021 (Lemon Grove) - “Art is a voyage of discovery and there is no telling what one might bring home from such a journey.” With those words, Kathleen Strzelecki brings her art to the Lemon Grove Library. 


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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH CAITLIN ROTHER, AUTHOR OF DEATH ON OCEAN BOULEVARD: INSIDE THE CORONADO MANSION CASE

By Miriam Raftery

May 14, 2021 (San Diego) – True crime author and Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist Caitlin Rother discussed her new book, Death on Ocean Boulevard: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case, in an interview airing  today on the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  The show airs at 5 p.m.; Rother's interviews airs in the second half of the program.

The book explores one of San Diego’s most infamous and intriguing cases, the death of Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanged in the Coronado mansion of her millionaire boyfriend, Jonah Shacknai. The Sheriff ruled the death a suicide, but a civil jury found Jonah’s brother, Adam Shacknai, responsible.

In her book, Rother raises serious questions about the Sheriff’s investigation, though her findings raise as many questions as they answer.

Audio: 


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FATHER JOE CARROLL'S MEMOIR

 

Update: Hear our interview with Kathryn Cloward: The author of Father Joe: Life Stories of a Hustler Priest"  provided an interview aired in June on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/au...

Father Joe: Life Stories of a Hustler Priest, as shared with and written by Kathryn Cloward (Kandon  Unlimited, Inc., San Diego, 2021, 277 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

April 21, 2021 (San Diego) - I consider it a privilege and an honor to write this review of Father Joe: Life Stories of a Hustler Priest, Father Joe Carroll’s Memoir, as shared with and written by Kathryn Cloward, for some very profound reasons. This book is replete with humorous anecdotes that will lift your spirits, as well as being motivational and inspirational.

The story of this man, Father Joe Carroll, needs to be told and shared with everyone, for it borders on Sainthood. His story told by the author reveals a man who has possibly done more for San Diego than anyone that I could imagine, and I actually had a bird’s eye view of his accomplishments as I once lived in the St. Vincent de Paul Villages homeless shelter for a short period of time after coming here to San Diego from Chicago about 15 years ago – not knowing a soul and with 2 bags of possessions in my hands!

Audio: 


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25TH ANNUAL GROSSMONT COLLEGE LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL APRIL 26-29

Source: Grossmont College

April 18, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival has special reasons to celebrate its April 26-29 run: its 25th anniversary and its return after a one-year COVID hiatus.


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HOW TO CREATE A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY AND NATURE

 

Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide To Wellness In The Digital Age, by Sebastian Slovin & Sonya Mohamed (Nature Unplugged, Encinitas, California, 2021, 240 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

March 30, 2021 (San Diego) - Sebastian Slovin and Sonya Mohamed has written a thought provoking book that resonates with me, and may very well change the trajectory of my life going forward, Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide To Wellness In The Digital Age.

Sebastian Slovin and Sonya Mohamed  founded Nature Unplugged in 2012 with the mission of inspiring wellness in the digital age.  Basically, this book is about nature and improving on mental health. As a matter of fact, throughout this well written book the central theme seems to be about mental health, and how to optimize it. It should be noted that the authors are actually husband and wife.


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HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG UNGER, AUTHOR OF AMERICAN KOMPROMAT

 

“It had been the worst of times—like in Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, but without the hope and light,” says Craig Unger in his  New York Times bestselling book, American Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery.  Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery.

Journalist Reina Menasche interviewed Unger on the East County Magazine Radio show, originally aired on KNSJ radio. 

Listen to the perspective of this experienced investigative journalist as he follows the clues to one of America’s most important and disturbing questions: Was the former president, Donald J. Trump, a Russian asset?  

Audio: 


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