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ART: Ventura County | WORDS & IMAGES

Chapter Meetings

Eating-browsing-schmoozing creates a friendly climate that attracts variety of discussion groups to bookstore.

January 08, 1998|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Neighborly camaraderie is becoming the dominant characteristic of chain and independent bookstores. You can grab a meal, schmooze with friends, browse the bookshelves and meet all manner of authors. And in-store book clubs are proliferating.

Borders Books at 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, is one local venue where literary folk meet to talk about books they love. The Artists Way Creative Group meets Fridays during the day and Wednesday evenings. A new discussion group based on Neale D. Walsch's "Conversations With God" meets at 7 p.m. Monday. And two groups will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the prize-winning novel "Cold Mountain" and the children's book "Morning Star." Call 497-8159.

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Gonzalo Lira features CIA and FBI agents in his first novel, "Counterparts," which he will sign at noon Saturday in Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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How are libraries funded and where does the money go? Wendy Penrose, library support services program leader, will, according to Friends of the Oxnard Library, inform and surprise those attending a 2 p.m. Saturday meeting about funding. She will speak at the library, 251 A St., Oxnard. Refreshments will be served and no donations will be solicited.

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The Simi Valley branch of the National League of American Pen Women, an active group of writers, welcomes new members. Their next meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday in the home of Diantha Ain in Simi Valley. Call 526-2246 or 522-7575 for membership details.

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Sheila Benedict, a professional genealogist who specializes in California research, will discuss "Paper Trails, Picking Through the Crumbs" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at a meeting of the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society, Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. Janss Road. The first in a series of beginner classes on genealogy research is scheduled at 6 p.m. For details, call 497-8293.

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Mystery novelist Gary Phillips kicks off the new year for the Ventura County Writers Club by focusing on how to incorporate and research topical issues in setting story and illuminating characters. Phillips is the author of "Violent Spring" and "Perdition, U.S.A." His third novel, "Bad Night Falling," will be published later this year. The meeting is scheduled at 7:45 p.m. at Orchid Professional Building, 816 Camarillo Springs Road, Camarillo. Call 643-6450.

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IN SANTA BARBARA: Publishers, artists, authors, photographers, illustrators, distributors, booksellers and publicists will gather at a round-table discussion to share their specific needs and goals. The event is sponsored by Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network, 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Karpeles Library, 21 W. Anapamu St. Call 962-4680.

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Robert Pinsky, honored recently as the 39th poet laureate of the United States, will speak and read from his work at 8 p.m. Saturday in Campbell Hall at UC Santa Barbara. For details about the free lecture and book signing, call 893-3535.

Frances Halpern and Jon O'Brien are co-hosts of "Beyond Words" at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU-FM (88.3), Ventura County's National Public Radio station.

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