Pick five: Gail Collins on Texas, Frank Deford and more author events this week


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George W. Bush may not be commander in chief anymore, but his home state of Texas still figures large in the political landscape -- something New York Times columnist Gail Collins takes on in her latest book, ‘As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.’ She visits L.A. this week to discuss the arguments in her book with essayist and commentator Anne Taylor Fleming.

Here’s the thing: Tuesday night poses some tough choices for book lovers who are equally fascinated by politics and sports. On the same night, Frank Deford will be in Santa Monica talking about his memoir of the sporting life, ‘Over Time.’ Flip a coin, or try to sprint between events -- after all, they are an hour apart -- and good luck. (And if you’re a science fiction fan as well, then you’re really going to have rough going: Add John Scalzi to your dilemma. See below.)


As always, check with venues for additional information about changes or cancellations.

Tuesday, 7 p.m.: Aloud Series at L.A.’s Central Library presents Gail Collins (‘As Texas Goes’) in conversation with novelist, essayist and commentator Anne Taylor Fleming, downtown L.A.

Tuesday, 7 p.m.: Sci-fi author John Scalzi discusses and signs ‘Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas,’ Vroman’s Bookstore.

Tuesday, 8 p.m.: LiveTalks L.A. features veteran sportswriter Frank Deford (‘Over Time’) in conversation with former NBA player John Salley, Track 16 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Thursday, 8 p.m.: Live Talks L.A. presents an evening with Christopher Buckley (‘They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?’), Track 16 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Friday, 7:30 p.m. Carlin Romano signs and discusses his book ‘America The Philosophical,’ Skylight Books.

-- Nick Owchar