THE TWO-STEP SOLUTION: Drugs, alcohol, gambling, abuse, and mental illness: interventionist Ken Seeley has seen every major destructive behavior in action. Having spent the last two decades helping everyone across the spectrum from destitution to staggering wealth deal with these afflictions, he’s recognized a common habit: denial. In fact, Seeley considers denial to be such an important factor in the process of facing and fixing addictions that he’s written Face It and Fix It, a book that instructs readers how to excise denial from their lives and address their underlying problems. Seeley visits Barnes & Noble (829 State St.) to discuss the book on Friday, July 24, at 6 p.m. For more information, call 962-8509.
BACK TO THE LAND: In this part of the world, it’s easy to find books focused on global peace, and equally common to come across ones offering recipes for healthier, less fattening food. Will Tuttle makes the bold move of unifying these two highly popular subjects with his book The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony. How world peace is to be achieved through watching what one eats is the subject of his talk on Saturday, July 25, at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara (1535 Santa Barbara St.). Beginning at 7 p.m., Tuttle’s lecture covers the physical and spiritual effects of the food choices we make in our everyday lives and how to restore humanity’s deep connection with nature that, Tuttle argues, may have been lost as we’ve dissociated ourselves with the sources of our food. Visit ussb.org for details.
TALES OF IMAGINATION AND ADVENTURE: The delightfully varied summer signing series at Chaucer’s Books (3321 State St.) keeps going strong through the end of this month and the beginning of August. On Thursday, July 30, Ventura-based travel journalist Ken McAlpine will discuss Islands Apart: A Year on the Edge of Civilization, a chronicle of his own Thoreau-esque escape from modern civilization into the relative silence and emptiness of the wilderness. The Channel Islands National Park provided him the mental space to reflect on what civilization does and doesn’t offer humanity, leading him to the experiences that would become chapters on a soup kitchen, a military hospital, and a Catholic monastery.
On Wednesday, August 5, poet Robert Krut stops by to read from his brand new collection, The Spider Sermons. Rooted as much in the subtly fantastical as it is in the ostensibly normal, its text has been called a confrontation of “the extreme significance of our daily lives” by Krut’s colleague in verse, Kazim Ali.
Novelist Alia Yunis appears at Chaucer’s on Thursday, August 6, to discuss her novel The Night Counter. Weaving together threads of mythology, magic realism, current events, and the Arab-American experience, Yunis has created a distinct story indeed. At its center is the elderly Fatima Abdullah, a Lebanese-born great-great-grandmother who happens to receive regular visits from Queen Scheherazade, the legendary storyteller of The Arabian Nights.
Finally, on Tuesday, August 11, comedian Carol Leifer visits in support of her book When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win, her first humorous essay collection that no doubt possesses the same observational zing to be found in her work onstage and as a writer for Seinfeld. All of these appearances begin at 7 p.m. Call 682-6787 or visit chaucersbooks.com for more information.
NUKES BE GONE: Thursday, August 6, happens to be the 14th annual Sadako Peace Day at La Casa de Maria (800 El Bosque Rd.), a free, open-to-the-public event featuring poetry, shakuhachi music, and a lecture from David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. In keeping with the spirit of the day-dedicated as it is to Sadako Sasaki, the young, paper-crane-folding victim of radiation from the Hiroshima bombing-Krieger will speak on New Hope for Nuclear Disarmament and the opportunities for bringing about a nuclear weapon-free world, given President Barack Obama’s stated support of the goal of widespread disarmament. For details, call 965-3443 or visit lacasademaria.org.