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Authors in L.A. this week: Eli Broad, John Sandford, Sherlock Holmes tribute

May 21, 2012 | 11:46 am

Eli Broad’s “The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking” doesn’t just advertise being unconventional in the title. The book itself is unconventional too. On the surface, it promises what many management books by enormously successful individuals promise: insights into leadership gleaned from a lifetime’s worth of experiences.

It definitely has that – there are plenty of rules on, say, doing one’s homework before committing to a business decision – but there is much that’s unexpected. If readers go beyond that surface, they find something else: the kinds of personal revelations usually contained by a memoir. Like this one, on failing to strike the right balance between work and family, especially with regard to Broad’s two sons:

I missed too many moments, and I regret it. I know it from watching the way other parents are with their children… Although I am proud of my accomplishments, I sometimes wonder whether I should have chosen differently.

Not your typical book—and Tuesday’s appearance by the billionaire philanthropist, in a conversation with Times editor-at-large Jim Newton as part of the Central Library’s Aloud series, promises not to be typical either.

Also this week is a visit to Vroman’s by thriller writer John Sandford and a Hammer Readings event dedicated to the great detective Sherlock Holmes. Led by untiring Holmes annotator Leslie Klinger, and including mystery writer Denise Hamilton, filmmaker Nicholas Meyer and private eye Sarah Alcorn, this evening – like Broad’s – will surely be more than just …. elementary.

As always, check with individual venues for any cancellations or time/event changes.

* * *  

May 21  7 p.m. Imran Ahmad discusses and signs "The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West." Vroman's Bookstore.

May 21  7 p.m. Deborah Michel discusses and signs "Prosper in Love." Book Soup.

May 21, 7:30 p.m. Gideon Lewis-Kraus ("A Sense of Direction") and Tom Bissell ("Magic Hours") discuss and sign their books. Skylight Books.

May 22  7 p.m. Lama Marut discusses and signs "A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life." Vroman's Bookstore.

May 22  7 p.m. Brian Doherty discusses and signs "Ron Paul's rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired." Book Soup.

May 22, 7  p.m. Eli Broad in conversation with Jim Newton, editor-at-large, Los Angeles Times, on "The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking." Aloud Series presented by the Central Library.

May 22, 7 p.m. UCLA's Hammer Readings series presents a discussion, led by Leslie Klinger, of "Some Favorite Writers: An Evening with Sherlock Holmes and Friends."

May 22, 7:30 p.m. Cecil Castellucci reads and signs her young adult novel "The Year of the Beasts." Skylight Books.

May 23 7 p.m. John Sandford discusses and signs "Stolen Prey." Vroman's Bookstore.

May 23  7 p.m.  J.R. Helton discusses and signs "Drugs: A Novel" with guest Joseph Mattson. Book Soup.

May 23, 7:30 p.m. Richard Jewell reads and signs "RKO Radio Pictures." Skylight Books.

May 24 7 p.m. Lizz Winstead discusses and signs "Lizz Free or Die: Essays." Vroman's Bookstore.

May 24 7 p.m. Leni Zumas discusses and signs "The Listeners." Book Soup.

May 24, 7 p.m. Arlie Hochschild in conversation with Amy Parish, biological anthropologist and primatologist at USC, about "The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times." Aloud Series presented by the Central Library.

 -- Nick Owchar 

Photo: Philanthropist Eli Broad earlier this year with a design behind him of his new art museum for downtown L.A. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times