Oct 6, 2020
5:00 pm

Meet two of 60 contributors to the mighty chorus, sharing truth, courage, and solutions for the climate crisis


Meet two young climate leaders featured in All We Can Save.

Maggie Thomas, a climate policy expert from Sacramento, served as climate policy adviser to Gov. Jay Inslee and then Sen. Elizabeth Warren on their 2020 presidential primary campaigns.

Alexandria Villaseñor is a teenage climate activist, community organizer, and public speaker living in Davis, as well as founder and executive director of Earth Uprising.

About the Book:

Provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.

There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial “table.” More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone.

This book illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the U.S. — scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and races — and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society.

Intermixing essays with poetry and art, this book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on each other or our collective future. We must summon truth, courage, and solutions, to turn away from the brink and toward life-giving possibility. Curated by two climate leaders, this book is a collection and celebration of visionaries who are leading us on a path toward all we can save.

Oct 8
5:30 pm

Local Author Alice Combs, The Lady with Balls

ALICE COMBS is the author of The Lady with Balls. She graduated from Cal State Hayward, where she earned a place on the Dean’s List. After a painful divorce, Alice took a variety of unrewarding jobs. She persevered through every obstacle; she taught herself to be a skilled entrepreneur and expert employer, and slowly developed her startup company, Vulcan Wire, into a thriving business. By Vulcan Wire’s forty-fifth year, it boasted $10 million in annual sales. Now semi-retired, she and her husband live on Mendocino County’s scenic north coast. One of her ongoing missions is to empower women to pursue careers in business, especially in a male-dominated industry.

Alice will be in conversation with Joel Crockett.

About the Book

After her disappointing marriage ended during the 1970s, Alice Combs was determined to support her two young daughters and herself, so she took the advice of a savvy mentor: “Ask prospective customers what they need and can’t get, and then get it for them.”

As a result, Alice, undeterred by a former employer’s condescending pronouncement, “You’re not corporate material,” transformed herself from divorced mother on food stamps to successful entrepreneur. She learned details of the recycling trade and its need for baling wire, and overcame the novice mistakes she made while teaching herself to operate Vulcan Wire, which would grow into a multi-million-dollar business – despite an embezzling partner, cutthroat competitors, and several employees who proved unreliable when they were most needed.

Alice refused to be intimidated and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Her exceptional achievement in a traditionally male arena is an inspiration for all women who aspire to the heights of success in their chosen fields.

Oct 15, 2020
7:00 pm

2,000 Miles in Borrowed Boots: Walking Through History with the Donner Party


Ashley E. Sweeney will be in conversation with popular Sacramento author Shelley Blanton-Stroud this evening. Ashley is the winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for her debut novel, Eliza Waite. A native New Yorker, Sweeney is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. She resides in Tucson and the Pacific Northwest aboard her boat, Polaris. Answer Creek, a fresh re-telling of the Donner Party saga, is her second novel.

About the Book:

Starvation. Desperation. Madness. Following the Donner Party as they trek west on the Oregon-California Trail in 1846, Answer Creek chronicles one young woman’s descent into depravity as she compromises her values, faith, and reputation for the mirage of a better life in California. After walking 2,000 miles, many of them in borrowed boots, Ada Weeks finds herself stranded on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains existing on shoe leather, blankets, and book covers as she spends a harrowing winter huddled in a windowless cabin with a family of nine. As weeks turn into months, and no help has yet arrived, Ada is faced with a bone-chilling choice: walk or die.

Oct 20
7:00 pm

The Secret Window Book Club
October Book Discussion


Because we are holding our book talk with Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist on September 18, we will meet up in October for this highly reviewed novel, The Vanishing Half. So read your current favorites and get your hands on this one. Will post the Zoom meeting as we get closer.

I listened to an interview with author Brit Bennett and really enjoyed her vivid descriptions of Southern culture and her passion for storytelling. She’s a very talented young woman who lives in Southern California. Look forward to seeing you soon this month and next!

About the Book

The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett (Goodreads Author)

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

About the Book Club

The Secret Window Book Club is run by Sasha B. This group is for Women Who enjoy traveling through stories, and books become friends and markers of our lives. This book club is for women who like to escape a bit through reading stories that inspire, encourage, expand, and elevate us. Once it is safe gather together again, we will be hosting this club at Downtown Sacramento’s only Independent Bookstore, Capital Books on K Street. They offer a 10% discount on our club book orders. Buy local with great people!

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