Walker Smith   Saturday, February 9    3 – 5 PM

The Weight of a Pearl

In a war-torn world, a novel so intimate it whispers with feeling... In 1937, a young trumpet player called Doc leaves Harlem with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Eight hundred miles away, a little girl named Pearl is fighting a child's war against poverty and paternal abuse in a Chicago tenement. Spain's defeat leads directly to World War II. For the honor of Spain and self, Doc heads off to fight another war. Meanwhile, Pearl discovers the power of her voice and begins her own odyssey. By 1946, the war is over and New York is sizzling with the sounds of bebop. Doc returns to find peace in the music, but everything changes when the band's new singer walks into the club. Her voice is as deep and arresting as her dark eyes, and her name takes up residence in his mind. Pearl. After a turbulent start, they ease into a healing love and claim Harlem as their small piece of America. But soon a new war is rumbling. As a deadly strain of heroin floods their streets, Doc is targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and Pearl falls under the scrutiny of a stalker with a badge. Doc learns that everything is linked, and must revisit a chilling question he still carries from Spain: What constitutes an act of war? And what is he prepared to do about it?


Dawn Adams Cole   Saturday, February 16   3 – 5 PM

Drops of Cerulean

A story of love, loss, and rebirth… Spanning the years 1930-2014, Drops of Cerulean chronicles the lives of Ilona, the daughter of a Greek restaurateur, who marries into a prominent Houston family; her son, Cadmus, who becomes a professor and then moves into a retirement home after his husband passes away; and Delphina, an anxiety-ridden woman with a mysterious recurring dream. Ilona and Cadmus have a falling out when Cadmus is a young man, and before they are able to reconcile, Ilona dies. Cadmus is plagued with guilt and feels responsible for the death of his mother. Two worlds collide when, years later, Delphina comes to understand that she had been Ilona, Cadmus's mother, in her previous life. Well written and engaging, Drops of Cerulean deals with topics such as socioeconomic class, LGBT rights and acceptance, rebirth, and past-life regression. Set in Houston and revolving around the city's ever-changing skyline, Drops of Cerulean is an amazing debut from a gifted writer.


James Glassman    Saturday, March 16    3 – 5 PM

The Houstorian Calendar: Today in Houston History ( On This Day in )

September 4, 2000, was Houston's hottest day on record, as well as Beyoncé's nineteenth birthday. Sam Houston was elected president on September 5, 1836. The city was awarded a National League baseball franchise on October 17, 1960, and on November 1, 2017, the Astros won their first World Series. On December 13, 1882, the Capitol Hotel became Houston's first public building to get electricity. Tragedy struck on April 16, 1947, when a ship carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded alongside a Texas City dock. James Glassman captures every single day of the year in the prism of Houston history, from the Texas Revolution to the moon landing. James Glassman is the force that powers Houstorian, Houston's loudest preservation group. A fifth-generation Houstonian who works as an architectural project manager, he is also the author of The Houstorian Dictionary: An Insider's Index to Houston. In 2013, he was honored by the Houston Press as one of its 100 Creatives, and his Houston-inspired graphic designs have been featured in Houstonia Magazine, the Houston Chronicle and CultureMap.