Our events are typically held upstairs in our Flamingo Lounge. We require that those attending be fully vaccinated and boosted. Masks are required at all times inside the bookstore.

Should you be unable to go upstairs, we’ll be happy to set up the event via live stream to be viewed on our first floor, and the authors will come downstairs to sign books.

January 29
2:00 pm

Jon Chad

January Book



Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.

At first, taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie’s vision be bulwark enough?

Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff’s new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.

January 29
3:00 – 5:00 pm

Jon Chad

Local Author Maggy Krell Book Signing In Front of Capital Books


For almost a decade, Backpage.com was the world’s largest sex trafficking operation. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, in 800 cities throughout the world, Backpage ran thousands of listings advertising the sale of vulnerable young people for sex. Reaping a cut of every transaction, the owners of the website raked in millions of dollars. But many of the people in the advertisements were children, as young as 12, and forced into the commercial sex trade through fear, violence, and coercion.

In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of how she and her team battled against this sex trafficking monolith. Beginning with her early career as a young DA, she shares the evolution of the anti-human trafficking movement. Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with survivors, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains.

My Sister’s House will be joining the event to help raise awareness about local anti-human trafficking efforts. They serve Asian and Pacific Islander and other underserved women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a culturally appropriate and responsive safe haven, job training, and community services.

Maggy Krell is a legal trailblazer who has taken on impactful cases as a criminal prosecutor and human rights lawyer. She was a prosecutor for 15 years, serving as Supervising Deputy Attorney General in California and cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Krell prosecuted high-profile cases including murder, organized crime, human trafficking, domestic violence, and white-collar crime. Her most notable accomplishments stem from her tireless efforts to combat human trafficking and protect and empower survivors, including her ground-breaking prosecution of the sex-trafficking website, Backpage.com.

Krell also served as Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California where she fought to protect and expand reproductive rights and access to healthcare. Krell currently runs her own practice providing legal support and impact strategy for survivors and non-profit organizations. She lives in Sacramento with her family. You can find out more at www.maggykrell.com.

February 5
2:00 pm

Jon Chad

Dillon J. Carroll discusses the hidden history of mental illness and the American Civil War Soldiers


Invisible Wounds explores the previously hidden history of mental illness and the American Civil War. Soldiers in the war were exposed to harsh military discipline, poor rations, virulent disease, brutal marches, and horrifying combat. Some participants suffered from war trauma, resulting from these experiences. But Invisible Wounds explores the complexity and nuance of this period as well. For instance, Black soldiers found participation in the war to be a balm for the trauma of slavery. Moreover, many soldiers practiced a variety of coping mechanisms for war trauma, to self-soothe and successfully integrate their war experience. In the post-war landscape, some veterans struggled to successfully transition into civilian life, in part due to mental illness related to the war. This period saw an intense debate between asylum doctors, the families of veterans, and a new sect of doctors-neurologists-who believed nerves were the source of mental illness. Ultimately, Invisible Wounds tells a sprawling story of trauma, science, community, and memory.

Dillon J. Carroll is a Sacramento resident and an alumnus of California State University, Chico. He teaches history at Butte College.

Visit Dillon J. Carroll’s Website

March 12
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Jon Chad

Explore Pinball Through Comics With Jon Chad


In this dynamic, nonfiction graphic novel, Jon Chad illustrates the little-known story of pinball—how it works and why it all matters in an age of special effects and on-screen gaming.

In 1976, champion player Roger Sharpe stepped up to a pinball machine in a Manhattan courtroom. The New York City Council had convened to consider lifting the city’s ban on pinball—a game that had been outlawed since 1942 for its supposed connections to gambling and organized crime. Sharpe was there to prove that, unlike a slot machine, pinball wasn’t a game of chance designed to fleece its players—it was a game of skill that required a measure of patience, coordination, and control. To prove his point, he proclaimed that he would launch his ball into the center lane at the far end of the playfield—much like Babe Ruth famously pointing to the fences. Sharpe pulled back the plunger and released, and the fate of this industry and art form hung in the balance.

Thus opens Jon Chad’s comprehensive graphic novel to the history of the captivating, capricious—and at times infuriating!—game of pinball. Tracing pinball’s roots back to the Court of King Louis XIV, through the immigrant experience of early 20th century America, the post-War boom and bust, right up to the present day, Chad charmingly ushers readers through the myriad facets of this most American of pursuits—capturing not just the history but also the artistry, cultural significance, and even the physics of the game.

Jon Chad lives in Sacramento, CA, where he is obsessed with giant robots, pinball, and bookmaking. He is the author of Leo Geo, Science Comics: Volcanoes, and the illustrator of Science Comics: Solar System. Along with cartoonist Alec Longstreth, Jon Chad created seven issues of the pinball magazine Drop Target Zine. Jon also drew the art package for The Jetsons pinball machine for The Pinball Company and Spooky Pinball.

The Pinball Preorder Pack includes a new minicomic by Jon Chad that compares his experience of making comics to the experience of designing the art package for a pinball machine. The preorder also includes a vinyl pinball sticker and a hand-printed and signed bookplate!


February 19
2:00 – 4:00 pm

Joy Lanzendorfer

February Book




​​​​In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.

Purchase your Charm Offensive by Feb 15 for bookclub and receive a 10% discount.

How bookclub works: Just show up! It’s that easy. 

Participants must be fully vaccinated + boosted to attend. Masks required.

Stories on Stage 2/25/22

Stories On Stage

Friday, Feb 25


The Auditorium at CLARA
1425 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Contribute $10 at the door or subscribe to the 2022 season

Capital Books will be selling the books at this event.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Performance begins at 7:00 pm

Jess Walter “Before you Blow”

Performed by Julie Anchor

​Naomi Williams “After the Operation”

Performed by Kellie Raines

Jess Walter, a former National Book Award finalist, NYT #1 Bestseller, and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, is the author of seven novels, including The Cold Millions and Beautiful Ruins, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 32 languages, and his fiction has been selected three times for Best American Short Stories as well as the Pushcart Prize and Best American Nonrequired Reading. His stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in Harper’s, Esquire, Playboy, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many others.

Naomi J. Williams is the author of Landfalls (FSG 2015), long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous places, including A Public Space, Zyzzyva, One Story, Zoetrope: All-Story, LitHub, The Rumpus, and the Brevity blog. Honors include a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories honorable mention, a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant, and residencies at Hedgebrook, Djerassi, Willapa Bay AiR, and StoryKnife. Educated at Princeton, Stanford, and UC Davis, she lives in Midtown Sacramento and teaches with the low-res MFA program at Ashland University in Ohio.

Julie Anchor has been an actor for more than 30 years in the Sacramento area. She is a stage actor and company member of Main Street Theatre Works (MSTW) in Jackson, CA, where she has been performing since 1999 and has directed 10 of their productions. Julie has also performed at the B Street Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Capital Stage, as well as The Hapgood Theatre in Antioch. Other work includes film, most recently Pipe Dream, The Unlikely Success of Carol Burnett, and voice-over work for various clients. Julie’s next project is to direct the 2022 summer show, The Outsider, for MSTW. She is honored to be invited back to perform with Stories on Stage Sacramento.

Kellie Raines is a local actor, director, writer, and visual artist. She is an Associate Artist with KOLT Run Creations, for which she directed The Adoration of Dora. Her KOLT performance credits include Escape from Happiness, Vinegar Tom, Antigone, and My Own Stranger. Other local theatre companies where she has worked include Big Idea Theatre, Theater Galatea, and Resurrection Theatre. Her visual art has been shown locally at Archival Gallery in Sacramento. She has read her poetry locally for the Poetry in Davis series hosted by Dr. Andy Jones. She has a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Davis. Kellie can also be seen on-air for PBS KVIE. Up next, Kellie is directing Tipping the Velvet for Green Valley Theatre Company set to open in March 2022. She loves reading for Stories on Stage Davis and Stories on Stage Sacramento.


March 19
2:00 pm

Joy Lanzendorfer

Sacramento Poet Launches First Novel 


In 1969, a girl’s life is not her own. Katya’s parents demand she drop out of school to join a cleaning crew. She runs away instead—but the counterculture isn’t as welcoming as she dreamed. Starry-eyed, barefoot, and in trouble, she turns to widowed Dr. Lewis for help at his women’s clinic, then disappears again. The aging doctor’s rash impulse to save her could rejuvenate his melancholy life. While Katya hunts for freedom and Robert searches for her, they each encounter beauty and chaos as they brave the unknown. A compelling and evocative portrait that speaks to our own complex social times, reminding readers of life before (and perhaps, post-) Roe v. Wade and the #metoo movement.

Anara Guard is a poet and fiction writer in Sacramento. Her short story collection, Remedies for Hunger, was named by the Chicago Book Review as a Best Book of 2015. She received the John Crowe Ransom Poetry Prize from Kenyon College and has attended fiction workshops at Bread Loaf and the Community of Writers. Her work has appeared in Gold Man Review, California Quarterly, Twenty Twenty: 43 Stories from a Year Like No Other, and elsewhere. Like a Complete Unknown is her first novel.


May 6
6:00 pm

Crest Theater

Joy Lanzendorfer

Photo Credit: Steve Babuljak

Capital Books Interviews
Retired Cold Case Investigator


Paul Holes retired as a cold case investigator after spending over 27 years working for the Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices during his tenure in Contra Costa County located in the Bay Area, California. Having experience in both forensic and investigative assignments, Paul throughout his career specialized in cold case and serial predator crimes, developing and applying investigative, behavioral, and forensic expertise in notable cases such as the Golden State Killer and Jaycee Dugard. Paul is frequently sought out by investigators to consult on the most complex and high profile cases and has played a part in putting several serial predators on Death Row such as Darryl Kemp, Joseph Naso, and Joseph Cordova Jr.

As an FBI Task Force Officer while employed with the DA’s Office, Paul teamed with FBI and Sacramento DA personnel to apply innovative technology that identified Joseph DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer. Since the arrest of DeAngelo, Paul has been very involved on the media side continuing to assist law enforcement and victim’s families with their unsolved cases, through the television shows The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes and America’s Most Wanted, and with the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad.


What is it like to stare down humanity’s capacity for evil day after day? What is the personal toll of paying witness to those horrors? And how does one maintain the momentum to spend countless hours, months, years on the difficult cases cast aside while the victims and families of victims suffer?

For a decade, The Golden State Killer stalked and murdered Californians in the dead of night, leaving entire communities afraid to turn out the lights. The sadistic predator disappeared in 1986, hiding in plain sight for the next thirty years in middle-class suburbia. In 1994, when cold case investigator Paul Holes came across the old file, he swore he would unmask the Golden State Killer and finally give these families some closure. Twenty-four years later, Holes fulfilled that promise, identifying a 73-year-old former cop named Joseph J. DeAngelo. Headlines blasted from the U.S. to Europe: one of America’s most prolific serial killers was in custody.

That case launched Holes’s career into the stratosphere, turning him into an icon in the true crime world with television shows like The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes and America’s Most Wanted, and with the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad. Everyone knows Paul Holes, the gifted crime solver with a big heart and charming smile who finally caught the Golden State Killer. But until now, no one has known the man behind it all, the person beneath the flashy cases and brilliant investigations.

In this memoir, Holes takes us through his memories of a storied career and provides an insider account of some of the most notorious cases in contemporary American history, including the hunt for the Golden State Killer, Laci Peterson’s murder and Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapping. This is also a revelatory profile of a complex man and what makes him tick: the drive to find closure for victims and their loved ones, the inability to walk away from a challenge–even at the expense of his own happiness. Holes opens up the most intimate scenes of his life: his moments of self-doubt and the impact that detective work has had on his marriage. This is a story about the gritty truth of crime-solving when there are no flashbulbs and “case closed” headlines. It is the story of a man and his commitment to cases and people who might have otherwise been forgotten.