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Quick Scan

A short round-up of appearances and hosannas

By Gretchen Giles

Columbian native Patricia McCausland-Gallo has such a passion for coffee that she's written a cookbook describing some 204 different ways to incorporate the caffeinated beverage into everything from filet mignon to tres leche. Recently translated from the Spanish, Passion for Coffee uses McCausland-Gallo's training as a pastry chef and coffee aficionado to trace the bean's history and impact on our history as well as to offer sly suggestions for ensuring that hundreds of foodstuffs are, indeed, good to the last drop. She appears on Sunday, April 13, at the Copperfield's Books in Napa. 3900-A Bel Aire Plaza, Napa. 3pm. Free. 707.252.8002. . . .

The Kitchen Library in the new Oxbow Public Market hosts Gourmet magazine contributing editor Alexander Lobrano as he reads from and discusses his newest book, Hungry for Paris: The Ultimate Guide to the City's 102 Best Restaurants. Lobrano has lived in the City of Light since 1986 and has, of necessity, occasionally found himself in a public dining room. He appears on Sunday, April 20, at the Kitchen Library, in the Oxbow, 610 First St., Napa. 1pm. Free. 707.253.1894. . . .

Marin County student poets have reason to be proud, as the Marin Poetry Center announces the winners of its 19th annual high school poetry contest. Some 700 students submitted work with Alexander Lin (Redwood High) winning first place for his "Waiting for a Response." Stephen Siegel (Redwood High) won second place for "Religion," while Paige Ogden (Tam High) placed third for "Where I Am From." Award-winning San Francisco poet and teacher Tom Centolella served as the judge. The winning work is to be compiled into an anthology available at the awards ceremony, slated for Monday, May 5, at the Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley. 7pm. Free. 415.388.5200. Congrats! . . .

Amy Goodman and brother David Goodman are slated to discuss their newest work, Standing Up to the Madness, in a benefit for KRCB public media on Wednesday, April 16, at the Sebastopol Veteran's Hall, 282 S. High St. 6:30pm. $20. 707.584.2000. . . .

Other noteworthy Copperfield's events include poet and activist Susan Griffin (April 25 in Sebastopol; she appears April 10 at Book Passage in Corte Madera and May 13 at Readers Books in Sonoma), discussing her Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy: On Being an American Citizen, and teacher Jack Kornfield on The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology (April 29 in Petaluma). . . .

Book Passage hosts chef Mario Batali at its store (May 5) and novelist Amy Tan at Dominican's Angelico Hall in conversation with KQED Forum host Michael Krasny (May 6). Tan will discuss her newest work, Saving Fish from Drowning. . . .

Mary Roach discusses her Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (May 11), Dr. Gabriel Cousens asserts that There Is a Cure for Diabetes (May 15) and Barbara Walters swings through with Audition: A Memoir (May 16). 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. Corte Madera. 415.927.0960. . . .

Readers' Books in Sonoma sees novelist Louise Erdrich at the Community Center's Andrews Hall speaking on The Plague of Doves (May 8) and our own Jonah Raskin at Burlingham Hall on The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution (May 15). . . .

Germaine Greer has cancelled all North Bay appearances.

Hail the Albanians!

Girls and guns? Books, babes and baskets of flowers? Albanian rifle squads in Healdsburg? Intriguing, yes; Albanian, no. The New Albanians is a group of 10 quirky yet civic-minded women—none of Albanian descent—who gather in Healdsburg every other Tuesday at the Arboretum clothing store to discuss books, riflery training and town-beautification projects. Inspired by Healdsburg's circa 1880 Albanian and Literary Society, a group of women who focused on physical health, rifle marksmanship and literary appreciation—a decidedly wild yet wonderful mix—the Albanians rise again. Who would have thought these women were responsible for the town's streetlights, the central Plaza drinking fountain (a temperance gesture) and Upton's military drills in the town square?

Today's ladies have formed a book club and are looking into hanging decorative flower baskets from the lamp posts as a nod to their mentors. "I was intrigued by this group of women that self-formed, and were so robust. They did a lot for the community and were outspoken," says Andrea Barrett, founder of the revived club. "They were focused yet fun; it's a great way to pay homage to them and do something for the community." For more information, contact [email protected]

Suzanne Daly

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