A funny thing happened to former Santa Cruz Sentinel columnist Claudia Sternbach when she was making the dreary rounds of agents trying to get her novel published. Just for fun, she started writing short-story snippets of memoir, snapshots from her own life very loosely grouped around a common thread: each story contained a kiss. With no thought of publication or "the marketplace," she delved into every aspect of her life's experience: comedy, tragedy, pain, laughter, and every gradation in between. Imagine her surprise when the first publisher she showed it to offered her a book contract.
The result is "Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses" (Unbridled Books, 224 pages, $12.95), a slim volume that builds gracefully in both chronology and impact, from childhood whimsy to complex emotional maturity. It's a wonderful book, full of insight, humor and honesty. Find out for yourself when Claudia reads from and signs copies of her book Thursday (April 14) at the Capitola Book Cafe, 7:30 p.m. (Read more)
JAMES DURBIN UPDATE
The good news is, James Durbin survived another elimination round last Thursday night. He'll be back on American Idol this week, singing up a storm.
The weird news is the one who won't: Pia. Yes, incredibly, Pia Toscano, the gorgeous diva with the huge voice, that most consistent competitor, the one contestant out of all of them who I'd have thought mainstream America (ie: the voting public) totally gets, Pia didn't make the cut. Nobody could believe it. The studio audience booed strenuously. The judges were ready to mutiny. How could this happen? (Read more)