Feb 28, 2020
7:30 pm

The Crest Theater
1013 K Street

John Waters brings his one man show to the Crest Theater for one night only


We’re proud to be partnering with the Crest Theater as the bookseller for this event. John Waters presents This Filthy World, his rapid-fire one-man spoken word “vaudeville” act that celebrates the film career and joyously appalling taste of the man William Burroughs once called “The Pope of Trash.”

About Mr. Know It All:

No one knows more about everything—especially everything rude, clever, and offensively compelling—than John Waters. The man in the pencil-thin mustache, auteur of the transgressive movie classics Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, and A Dirty Shame, is one of the world’s great sophisticates, and in Mr. Know-It-All he serves it up raw: how to fail upward in Hollywood; how to develop musical taste, from Nervous Norvus to Maria Callas; how to build a home so ugly and trendy that no one but you would dare live in it; more important, how to tell someone you love them without emotional risk; and yes, how to cheat death itself. Through it all, Waters swears by one undeniable truth: “Whatever you might have heard, there is absolutely no downside to being famous. None at all.”

Studded with cameos, from Divine and Mink Stole to Johnny Depp, Kathleen Turner, Patricia Hearst, and Tracey Ullman, and illustrated with unseen photos from the author’s personal collection, Mr. Know-It-All is Waters’ most hypnotically readable, upsetting, revelatory book—another instant Waters classic.

“Waters doesn’t kowtow to the received wisdom, he flips it the bird . . . [Waters] has the ability to show humanity at its most ridiculous and make that funny rather than repellent.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“Carsick becomes a portrait not just of America’s desolate freeway nodes—though they’re brilliantly evoked—but of American fame itself.” —Lawrence Osborne, The New York Times Book Review

Reserve Mr. Know-It-All for Autographing by John Waters

John Waters will be signing books after his show at the Crest. We’ll be in the lobby with a table. Make sure you reserve a copy below.

Feb 29, 2020
11am – 7:00 pm

We’re Celebrating
Read Across America


We’re getting ready for our first READ ACROSS AMERICA celebration. Dr. Seuss’s birthday is March 2, so we’re celebrating that, too. Stop by Capital Books anytime between 11am – 7pm, Feb 29th for some fun. We’ll have:

🌂A photo booth with Seuss-style props
🐟A craft table for kids
🤹Seuss-inspired snacks
📚Dr. Seuss readings every hour

Mar 7, 2020
11:00 am

Meet Tangled’s Rapunzel!


We’re excited to, once again, be presenting another Disney character for children’s storytime. Join Rapunzel for stories and songs at Capital Books.

If you’re interested in scheduling a princess party with Megan, click the button below. Her schedule fills up quickly, so contact her well before your party date.

Mar 8, 2020
1:00 pm

Meet Dissenter on the Bench author Victoria Ortiz


Victoria Ortiz is an attorney and the former dean of students at several law schools, including the School of Law of the University of California, Berkeley. She is a published translator and the author of a wide variety of nonfiction works for adults, teens, and children. These include a young adult biography of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; a Spanish-language casebook for law students and legal professionals; a young adult biography of Sojourner Truth; translations from French and Spanish into English, as well as English into Spanish, of short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, for adults and children.

Drawing on her fluency in three languages, she has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. She has also worked as a high school French and Spanish teacher; trilingual “greeter” for international travelers for the Travelers’ Aid Society; teacher of humanities subject matter to Spanish-speaking adult trade union members; and trilingual tour guide at the United Nations in New York City. She currently lives with her wife in Berkeley, CA.

About Dissenter on the Bench (Clarion Books, Jun 4, 2019):

This book tells the story of Justice Ginsburg’s life and career. Interspersed with the narrative are compelling accounts of landmark cases focused on human rights issues — racial equality, gender equality for both women and men, same-sex marriage, student rights, privacy — showing Justice Ginsburg, the U.S. legal system, and our Constitution at work. More than a chronological overview, the book offers an in-depth portrayal of an iconic jurist on and off the bench.

Mar 12, 2020
6:15 pm

726 K Street


Author Conor Dougherty

Conor Dougherty is an economics reporter at The New York Times. He previously spent a decade in New York covering housing and the economy for The Wall Street Journal. He grew up in the Bay Area and lives with his family in Oakland.

About the Book:

In Golden Gates Fighting for Housing in America (Penguin Press, Feb 18, 2020), Dougherty chronicles America’s housing crisis from its West Coast epicenter — the San Francisco Bay Area — peeling back the decades of history and economic forces that brought us here, and taking readers inside the activist uprisings that have risen in tandem with housing costs.

This event will be held just down the street from Capital Books at Ruhstaller. We’ll be there to sell the book.

Mar 14, 2020
1:00 pm

Secret Window Book Club

Run by Aleksandra Sasha Byers

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. Capital Books will offer a 10% discount on the club book orders. Book club will meet in our Secret Window Space upstairs.

The book they’ll be reading and discussing on March 14 at 1pm is FROM SCRATCH by Tembi Locke.

Sasha is running attendance through Meet Up.

March 14, 2020
6:00 pm

Student Anthology Readings

At the end of every creative writing program, 916 Ink publishes an anthology of student work—young writers become young authors. 916 Ink has published more than 100 anthologies over the years and are excited to share the diverse stories and experiences with the public.

This reading event will celebrate Capital Books’ inclusion of 916 Ink anthologies in their Local Sacramento Authors display. Youth authors featured in the display will be given the opportunity to read their work and describe themselves as authors and artists.

About 916 Ink:

916 Ink is a local creative writing nonprofit that hosts workshops with underprivileged and at-risk youth in the Sacramento area. Through their programs, youth grades 3-12 discover that their story matters.

March 27, 2020
7:00 pm

CLARA Auditorium
1425 24th St

Stories On Stage
NYT Best-Selling Literary Crime Fiction Author Tod Goldberg and Award-Winning Fabulist/Noirist Author, Anita Felicelli

Join us for a darkly funny, criminally touching story-time for grownups. You’ll hear the work of NYT best-selling literary crime fiction author and MFA program founder/director, Tod Goldberg, and award-winning fabulist/noirist author, Anita Felicelli.

Stories On Stage’s new casting director, Jessica Laskey, is auditioning performers now and soon we’ll share the actors she’s chosen to perform their stories.

Doors will open at The Clara at 7:00 and the performance will begin at 7:30. Please consider donating $10 to register and reserve your spot in advance. (We’ll always accept donations at the door on event night, but our January opening night did sell out!)

Capital Books will be there to sell copies of our authors’ novels and story collections. Sue Staats will bring her homemade cookies and Pushkin’s Bakery will donate gluten-free delights. The Clara will sell wine and beer.

Tod Goldberg

Tod Goldberg is the NYT, national, and international bestselling author of over a dozen books, including the novels Gangster Nation (Counterpoint), The House of Secrets (Grand Central), which he co-authored with NYT bestselling author Brad Meltzer, Gangsterland (Counterpoint), a finalist for the Hammett Prize, Living Dead Girl (Soho Press), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat (Pocket Books/MTV), and the popular Burn Notice series, including The Fix, The End Game, The Giveaway, The Reformed and The Bad Beat (Penguin), which were all named finalists for the Scribe Award.

Tod’s short fiction has also been collected in two acclaimed collections, Simplify (OV Books), a 2006 finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize, and Other Resort Cities (OV Books). His books have also appeared on the USA Today, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, iBooks, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bookscan bestseller lists. Both Gangsterland and Gangster Nation have been finalists for the International Thriller of the Year Award given by VN Magazine in Belgium.

His short fiction has appeared widely, including in Black Clock, The Normal School, and The Sun, and twice received Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize, as well as being named a Distinguished Story of the Year in the 2009 Best American Mystery Stories. His essays, journalism, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Las Vegas Weekly and Salon, among many other publications, and have earned five Nevada Press Association Awards for excellence. His essay “When They Let Them Bleed,” which originally appeared in Hobart, was selected for Best American Essays 2013. For his body of work, Tod was honored with the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Anita Felicelli

Anita Felicelli is the author of Chimerica: A Novel (WTAW Press) and the short story collection Love Songs for a Lost Continent (Stillhouse Press), which won the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Anita’s stories have appeared in The Normal School, Joyland, The Rumpus, Kweli Journal, Eckleburg, and elsewhere. Her essays, reviews, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times (Modern Love), Slate, Salon, SF Chronicle, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Babble, Romper, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She graduated from UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and a Voices of Our Nations alum. Her work has placed as a finalist in multiple Glimmer Train contests and received a Puffin Foundation grant, two Greater Bay Area Journalism awards, and Pushcart Prize nominations. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

June 27, 2020
3:00 pm

Ace of Spades
1417 R St

Local Author Shelley Blanton-Stroud

About the Author:

Shelley Blanton-Stroud grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field. Their stories are at the heart of her debut novel. She teaches college writing at Sacramento State and consults with writers in the energy industry. She co-directs Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors, and serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children.

About the Book:

Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off.

Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.

Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar.

Jane’s got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She’s got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It’s definitely what her dead brother wants.

June 30, 2020
6:00 pm

Ace of Spades
1417 R St

Book signing, pictures, 10-minute talk about Mikel Jollett’s memoir, and a 20-minute Q&A

Capital Books is delighted to offer tickets to an exclusive VIP experience prior to The Airborne Toxic Event’s concert at Ace of Spades.

For Mikel’s fans to gain access to the VIP event, you will need a receipt or online confirmation of the book purchased from Capital Books (1011 K Street, Sacramento) AND a ticket to the concert (purchased through Ace of Spades.

Book Price: $27.99 + fees
On sale May 5, 2020 | Celadon Books
VIP space capacity: 300 people

About the Author:

Mikel Jollett was born in an experimental commune in Southern California called Synanon. Started as a drug rehabilitation program, it later morphed into one of the most notorious cults America has ever seen. When the community became violent, his mother fled the group with Jollett and his older brother. Raised in abject poverty and fighting the lure of drugs and delinquency, Jollett escaped with the help of his estranged father. He went on to attend Stanford University, before becoming an on-air columnist for NPR’s All Things Considered, an Editor-at-Large for Men’s Health and editor of Filter Magazine. After McSweeney’s published his short story “The Crack,” he was accepted to Yaddo artists’ community but ultimately decided to pursue music instead. He named his band Airborne Toxic Event after a section of Don DeLillo’s White Noise and quickly built a loyal fan base.

About the Book:

Hollywood Park is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion …

So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed, narcissistic mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.

Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Sept 13, 2020
12:00 pm

Award-Winning Author and Editor, Robert K Elder

Robert K. Elder is the award-winning author and editor of 12 books, including Hidden Hemingway and Last Words of the Executed. He’s spent the last three years of his life researching and celebrating the life and work of artist Gilbert Wilson.

About the Book:

Movie director John Huston called artist Gilbert Wilson “a brilliant artist and one of America’s foremost painters.” Though Wilson died penniless and in obscurity, his work is being discovered by a new generation of artists.

Moby-Dick became Wilson’s lifetime obsession, for which he produced more than 200 paintings and drawings, and helped inspire Huston’s 1956 film adaptation starring Gregory Peck and Orson Welles. Hat & Beard Press is celebrating Herman Melville’s 200th birthday and honoring Wilson’s singular achievement and life with an illustrated edition of Moby-Dick. Being published in tandem is Edward K. Spann’s biography of Wilson, Unfinished and Unbroken: The Life of Artist Gilbert Wilson, whose family has roots in Sacramento.

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