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Monday

January 14

7 PM

James Rollins

Crucible

In the race to save one of their own, Sigma Force must wrestle with the deepest spiritual mysteries of mankind in this mind-expanding adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, told with his trademark blend of cutting edge science, historical mystery, and pulse-pounding action.

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend's wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what happened. But the injured woman is in a semi-comatose state and cannot speak--until a brilliant neurologist offers a radical approach to "unlock" her mind long enough to ask a few questions.

What Pierce learns from Kat sets Sigma Force on a frantic quest for answers that are connected to mysteries reaching back to the Spanish Inquisition and to one of the most reviled and blood-soaked books in human history--a Medieval text known as the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. What they uncover hidden deep in the past will reveal a frightening truth in the present and a future on the brink of annihilation, and force them to confront the ultimate question: What does it mean to have a soul?

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Thursday

January 17

7 PM

Adam Plantinga

Police Craft

What Cops Know About Crime, Community and Violence

A veteran police officer gives his thoughtful, balanced views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing―and he'll change what you think about the police.

From the author of the acclaimed 400 Things Cops KnowPolice Craft is a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a working police officer. Adam Plantinga, a 17-year veteran sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, gives an inside view of the police officer's job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger, violence, and death. Not hesitating to confront controversial issues, Plantinga presents the police officer's views on police shootings, racial profiling, and relationships between police and the community―and offers reasoned proposals on what the police and the public can do better.

Hard-boiled, humorous, and compassionate, Plantinga wrestles with the complexities and contradictions of a job he loves in which he witnesses so much suffering. Transcending today's strident pro-cop/anti-cop rhetoric, Police Craft will give every reader a greater respect for the police and greater understanding of the job they do.

Adam Plantinga holds a B.A. in English with a second major in Criminology/Law Studies from Marquette University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in 1995. He has been a police officer for 17 years, and is currently a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. Plantinga's first book, 400 Things Cops Know, received rave reviews from star crime writers such as Lee Child, Edward Conlon, and Joseph Wambaugh and was hailed as "the new bible for crime writers" in the Wall Street Journal. Plantinga lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughters.

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Tuesday

January 29

7 PM

Terry Gamble

In Conversation with Martha Conway

The Eulogist

From the author of The Water Dancers and Good Family, an exquisitely crafted novel, set in Ohio in the decades leading to the Civil War, that illuminates the immigrant experience, the injustice of slavery, and the debts human beings owe to one another, witnessed through the endeavors of one Irish-American family.

Cheated out of their family estate in Northern Ireland after the Napoleonic Wars, the Givens family arrives in America in 1819. But in coming to this new land, they have lost nearly everything. Making their way west they settle in Cincinnati, a burgeoning town on the banks of the mighty Ohio River whose rise, like the Givenses' own, will be fashioned by the colliding forces of Jacksonian populism, religious evangelism, industrial capitalism, and the struggle for emancipation.

After losing their mother in childbirth and their father to a riverboat headed for New Orleans, James, Olivia, and Erasmus Givens must fend for themselves. Ambitious James eventually marries into a prosperous family, builds a successful business, and rises in Cincinnati society. Taken by the spirit and wanderlust, Erasmus becomes an itinerant preacher, finding passion and heartbreak as he seeks God. Independent-minded Olivia, seemingly destined for spinsterhood, enters into a surprising partnership and marriage with Silas Orpheus, a local doctor who spurns social mores.

When her husband suddenly dies from an infection, Olivia travels to his family home in Kentucky, where she meets his estranged brother and encounters the horrors of slavery firsthand. After abetting the escape of one slave, Olivia is forced to confront the status of a young woman named Tilly, another slave owned by Olivia's brother-in-law. When her attempt to help Tilly ends in disaster, Olivia tracks down Erasmus, who has begun smuggling runaways across the river--the borderline between freedom and slavery.

As the years pass, this family of immigrants initially indifferent to slavery will actively work for its end--performing courageous, often dangerous, occasionally foolhardy acts of moral rectitude that will reverberate through their lives for generations to come.

Terry Gamble is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan. She lives in Sonoma and San Francisco, California.

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Wednesday

January 30

7 PM

John Lescroart

The Rule of Law

In "master of the legal thriller" (Chicago Sun-Times) John Lescroart's electrifying new novel, attorney Dismas Hardy is called to defend the least likely suspect of his career: his longtime, trusted assistant who is suddenly being charged as an accessory to murder.

Dismas Hardy knows something is amiss with his trusted secretary, Phyllis. Her out-of-character behavior and sudden disappearances concern Hardy, especially when he learns that her convict brother--a man who had served twenty-five years in prison for armed robbery and attempted murder--has just been released.

Things take a shocking turn with Phyllis is suddenly arrested at work for allegedly being an accessory to the murder of Hector Valdez, a coyote who'd been smuggling women into this country from El Salvador and Mexico. That is, until recently, when he was shot to death--on the very same day that Phyllis first disappeared from work. The connection between Phyllis, her brother, and Hector's murder is not something Dismas can easily understand, but if his cherished colleague has any chance of going free, he needs to put all the pieces together--and fast.

Proving that he is truly "one of the best thriller writers to come down the pike" ( USA TODAY), John Lescroart crafts yet another whip-smart, engrossing novel filled with shocking twists and turns that will keep you on your toes until the very last page.

John Lescroart is the author of over twenty-eight novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Ophelia CutThe KeeperThe Fall, and Fatal. His books have sold more than ten-million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages. He lives in Northern California.

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Thursday

 

February 7

7 PM

Mike Chen

Here and Now and Then

To save his daughter, he'll go anywhere--and any-when... Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career...as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler's brain. Until one afternoon, his "rescue" team arrives--eighteen years too late.Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he's only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can't remember.Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter's very existence is at risk. It'll take one final trip across time to save Miranda--even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process. A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father's heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Tor) and covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets. A member of SFWA and Codex Writers, Mike lives in the Bay Area, where he can be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @mikechenwriter