Prime-time Indian

Sacramento State One Book Program with Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie, winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for the genre-changing Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, captures the challenges of modern Native American life like no other author writing today.

Alexie (pictured above) never shies away from brutal reality, but softens its blows with a sly sense of humor. His acclaimed short-story collection Blasphemy is this year’s selection for the annual One Book Program at Sacramento State. He will give two readings to support the event. Thursday, October 16, noon and 7 p.m.; free. Sacramento State University Union Ballroom, 6000 J Street; B.C.

Going to war together

Sacramento Public Library's 2014 One Book

“Combat is like unsafe sex, in that it’s a major thrill with possible horrible consequences,” writes former Marine Karl Marlantes, in the preface of What It Is Like to Go to War. Marlantes drew national attention with his New York Times best-selling Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, and promptly followed it with What It Is Like…, a nonfiction book 40 years in the making. Part memoir and part analysis, the book has three intended audiences: veterans seeking to understand their own combat experiences, young people considering joining the armed forces and, lastly, all the rest of us.

“All conscientious citizens and especially those with the power to make policy will be better prepared to make decisions about committing young people to combat if they know what they are about to ask of them,” Marlantes writes.

The Sacramento Public Library invites all citizens to read What It Is Like to Go to War this October for its annual One Book program. California has the biggest veteran population of any state in the United States, and the library hopes to connect Sacramento’s veterans with the larger community through dialogues inspired by this year’s One Book selection. A Conversation with Author Karl Marlantes, Tuesday, October 7, 6:30 p.m.; free. Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I Street; B.C.

Foodie cycle

Pedal to Plate Culinary Bike Tour

Lace up your tennis shoes, or whatever footwear strikes your fancy, and hop on the rolling party that is Sac Brew Bike. This 15-passenger uni-bicycling experience has joined forces with Local Roots Food Tours to unite the worlds of food, bikes and brews with the Pedal to Plate Culinary Bike Tour—a three-hour tour through Midtown during which participants will get a crash course on the local food and beer scenes. No need to get in shape for this ride, the pace is chill with stops at five different locations where cyclists will partake in farm-to-fork and adult beverage tastings—helmet not required. Thursdays in October, 6 p.m.; $60 per participant. 1912 P Street; L.H.

Sip for the cause

Delta Wine & Art Faire

Grab a glass of wine, or two or, hell, even three while perusing the creativity of Delta-area crafters, artists, writers and musicians on Sunday, October 5, at the fifth annual Delta Wine & Art Faire at the Old Sugar Mill. Channel your inner oenophile as you drink your way through book signings, food trucks and live music. You’ll want a designated driver, of course, but you can feel good about that wine headache the next day, since proceeds support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Sponsored by the award-winning Carvalho Winery, the event is a four-hour romp through all that the river land has to offer. 1-5 p.m.; $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 35265 Willow Avenue in Clarksburg; L.H.

Picnic with the stars

Movie at the Park

Beware: Yogi Bear and crew might be lurking behind one of the trees Friday, October 17, at Howe Park as you unload your picnic basket when the Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District hosts its Movie at the Park: Family Fright Night. But have no fear, this family-friendly screening won’t scare the bejeezus out of the littles—this year’s spooky flick underneath the stars is the raucous Hocus Pocus and some kid-worthy preshow cartoons. Hey, Boo-Boo! 6 p.m.; free. 2201 Cottage Way; L.H.

Magic: the gathering

Old Sacramento Magic Festival

Touted as the West Coast’s first major magic event of its kind, the Old Sacramento Magic Festival will open imaginations and fill them with wonder. The week’s schedule is teeming with events—dazzling one-man shows, galas, lectures and more geared toward professionals and the public alike. Each show has its own ticket fee, but at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 17, skeptical spectators can enjoy a free magic show on the streets—with no do-overs or tricky camera angles. Oct. 17-19, $10-$25 per event, $59 for child all-event pass, $99 for adults. Delta King, 1000 Front Street; (916) 993-8091, J.B.

Happy hippie happenings

Transcendence Festival

If you’ve ever formally greeted someone with the word “namaste”—without then busting out into laughter—then you may want to consider checking out the Transcendence Festival. This is a community gathering intended to be an experience of “growth, expansion and celebration,” according to its planners. That seems kind of ambiguous, but there will also be fire dancers, yoga, meditation, ecology workshops, music, massages, art and comedy. Sounds a bit like a hippie retreat—but at least a pretty fun hippie retreat. Blessings, brothers and sisters. October 3-6, $66 per day or $159 for a three-day pass. Camp Pollock Campgrounds, 467 Del Paso Boulevard; J.M.