Column: Silent Book Club chapters launch (softly) in IE

Silent Book Clubs are spreading around the world. Designed to avoid assigned reading and small talk, you bring your own book, read silently and afterward can discuss your book, or not. I attended the first meeting of the Twentynine Palms chapter last Sunday while up there for a getaway. A Redlands chapter started the same day and a chapter in Rancho Cucamonga began last December. I write about the concept (and my book choice) in my Sunday column.

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Column: Rachel Stark talks about her first novel, ‘Perris, California’

Writer Rachel Stark talked about her debut novel, “Perris, California,” at Riverside’s Culver Center for the Arts on Wednesday with fellow writers Susan Straight and Alex Espinoza. All three talked about setting fiction in the IE, a long way from the consciousness of New York publishing houses. Stark grew up in Perris and incorporates real places into her novel. Also: the Mission Inn gets (more) recognition. That’s my Friday column.

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Column: Readers share ‘great memories’ of 1956 Covina Bowl

Readers remember the Covina Bowl, the 1956 bowling center whose main architectural features have been preserved as part of a housing development. Also, readers comment on Millard Sheets and his Home Savings murals; the New York Times’ “What You Get” real-estate column features $900,000 residences in Riverside, Pasadena and Long Beach; and Metrolink offers free rides for Earth Day on Monday. All this is in my Sunday column.

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Column: Fans of Zacatecas Cafe feast on stories, buy books to go

People turned out to the library in droves for a recent talk about Zacatecas Cafe, an icon of Riverside’s eastside, in business for six decades. Also: a Riverside man’s 90th birthday was marked in a nationally syndicated jumble puzzle. And a notable Ontario native returns for an estate sale at his childhood home. Read all about it in my Sunday column.

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Column: Council meeting includes ‘Muppet Show’ guests

I attend a Riverside City Council meeting, during which outgoing council members popped off at the public, new members were sworn in (and immediately undid the previous council’s last action), and Councilmember Chuck Conder participated remotely while using a “Muppet Show” background. Also: an IE-wide history festival takes place Saturday in San Bernardino, I personally vouch for a problem detailed in our On the Road traffic column and Claremont shows up as a “Jeopardy” clue. All this is in my Friday column.

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