The Buzz: Dave Eggers, Diane Keaton and “The Sacred Feminine”

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JACKIE SPEIER, DAVE EGGERS TO APPEAR IN PETALUMA: The successful collaboration forged last year between Petaluma’s LiteracyWorks and Copperfield’s Book Stores continues to bear intellectual fruit. Right at the beginning of the new year, the 2019 Literacyworks Lecture series will bring a pair of heavyweight author/activists to Petaluma in two separate events.

On Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m., Congresswoman Jackie Speier will be here to talk about activism, the Jonestown massacre and her new book “Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage and Fighting Back.” The free event will take place at Copperfield’s Book Store (140 Kentucky St.), and will focus on the recent 40th anniversary of the People’s Temple killing in November of 1978. Speier, who was present that day with the late Senator Paul Ryan (killed on an airstrip just outside of Jonestown), says she wrote the “Undaunted” to address the real-life nightmare that radically molded her personal and professional perspectives.

Later in the month, on Sunday, January 13, at 3 p.m., bestselling author Dave Eggers will appear at the Petaluma Veteran’s Memorial Hall for a conversation with Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the subject of Eggers’ new book, “Monk of Mokha.” Dubbed by Eggers the “Horatio Alger of Yemenite coffee,” the Yemen-born Alkhanshali is the founder of Bluebottle Coffee in San Francisco. His journey from barely-employed drifter to world-travelling entrepreneur is the stuff of serial adventures, now captured in Egger’s highly readable new work of “narrative nonfiction.” Tickets come with a copy of the book. $25 for a book plus a single ticket, and $35 for a book plus two tickets. Seats can be reserved at or at Copperfeld’s Book Store.

ACTRESS DIANE KEATON DROPS BY HOTEL PETALUMA: There’s just something about downtown Petaluma’s vintage (and recently restored) Hotel Petaluma that keeps drawing people in for a look around. Last Wednesday afternoon, according to the hotel’s front desk agent Heather Westcott, it was actress Diane Keaton (“The Godfather,” “Annie Hall,” “Something’s Gotta Give”) wo suddenly popped in for an im-promptu visit. Before departing, the Hollywood legend, described as being “incredible,” posed for a quick snapshot with Westcott. The encounter, not surprisingly, made Westcott’s day.

PETALUMA’S KAREN R. CLARK TO SING AT SF’S GRACE CATHEDRAL: As founder of the choral ensemble known as Vajra Voices, Petaluma’s Karen R. Clark has performed in her share of gorgeous locales. On Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30, Clark and the chorus will be joining the acclaimed ensemble Kitka for a concert at San Francisco’s architecturally stunning Grace Cathedral. The event is timed to coincide with the annual Women’s Marches planned nation-wide that weekend. The concert, titled The Eve of the March, will see the two renowned women’s choruses performing medieval and contemporary songs written to explore the power of the divine feminine. Tickets range from $10-$45, and can be reserved at

(Have a good idea for a BUZZ item? Drop Community Editor David Templeton a line at

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