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Reading with Wright: By Chris Wright
Reading with Wright: By Chris Wright

By Chris Wright

This will be my last column touting Literary Orange, the Orange County Public Libraries’ annual literary festival. Promise. It’s next month on Saturday, April 11 and will feature two keynote speakers, one of whom has crossed an ocean to visit us. Anne Perry has homes in both Scotland and Los Angeles and is known to many of us as a writer of novels and mysteries set in Victorian England. Writing since 1979, none of her books have gone out of print. Perry will be the afternoon speaker at 2:40 p.m. and our event will end with her address, so don’t be in a hurry to leave. Be ready to ask her some good questions about Downton Abbey, Scottish Independence, and yes, about her books.

Our other keynote speaker is Emily St. John Mandel who lives in New York City and has written four books, all of them critically acclaimed, and two, award finalists or winners in the U.S. and France. She will greet attendees with a “welcome to Literary Orange” keynote address at 9 a.m.

Register for Literary Orange online at or you may pick up a registration form at the library.

Looking ahead, some authors we hope to have at our 2016 Literary Orange include two locals, Anita Hughes and John J. Gobbell. Both will be guest speakers at OCPL’s upcoming “Meet the Author” events.

Hughes lives in Dana Point and has written four books: Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, and due out in April, French Coast. This will be a big year for Anita as she has another book releasing in August, Rome in Love. Kirkus Reviews referred to Market Street as “a warm, sparkling and heartfelt novel that explores the power of second chances in life, in love and in following our dreams.” You can meet Hughes, and talk about French Coast, at the Dana Point Library Community Room on Wednesday, April 15, 11 a.m. at our next Meet the Author event.

Gobbell lives in Newport Beach and writes the Todd Ingram series, a historical naval fiction series in the spirit of Edward Beach’s submarine novels and C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower. John served in the U.S. Navy aboard destroyers during the Vietnam War on Yankee Station. His lead character, Todd Ingram, is a surface warfare officer who is at some key battles of World War II. We meet him as a Lieutenant in the first book of five in the series, The Last Lieutenant. Book five, Edge of Valor, released July 2014, has Ingram on hand to witness the surrender in Tokyo Bay, while also engaging in some cloak and dagger ops involving our Russian allies on Sakhalin Island. The story’s events are grooming Ingram for a new career, possibly in espionage. We’ll have to see what the author has in store for Ingram in the next book in the series. Gobbell has also written two other novels with a naval/nautical theme. His most recent book is published by the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland. I seem to remember another author whose first novel was published by them. It was The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. If you want to meet Gobbell, he will be at the Laguna Niguel Library on Sunday, May 24.

For more information about locations and upcoming events across the Orange County Public Libraries system, visit the website at The site also provides access to online databases, digital copies of popular magazines, pdf copies of historical sheet music, eBooks, audiobooks, jobseeker resources and more.

Chris Wright is not sure if he lives to read or if he reads to live. He has been a public librarian with the OC Public Libraries since 2006 and currently works at the Dana Point branch.

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