Jeff RaimundoJeff Raimundo

Longtime political watchdog and journalist Jeff Raimundo, who was #MadeAtSacState, will kick off the Friends of the Library’s 2016-17 Author Lecture Series with a talk Tuesday, Sept. 13.

All lectures in the series – two this fall and two next spring – are free, open to the public, and begin at 3 p.m. at the University Library Gallery. A book-signing will follow each lecture.

Raimundo is a co-author of Game Changers: Twelve Elections That Transformed California, which he wrote with Steve Swatt, Suzie Swatt, and Rebecca LaVally, a lecturer in Sacramento State’s Communication Studies Department.

The book won the 2014 California Historical Society Book Award. It explores some of the most monumental elections in California’s history, including Leland Stanford’s gubernatorial race, the initiative that mandated term limits, and the Los Angeles Aqueduct bond issue.

Raimundo served as editor of the State Hornet, Sac State’s student newspaper, before graduating in 1973 with a journalism degree. He went on to spend 24 years as a political reporter and editor for The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, McClatchy. More recently, he worked as a public relations and political consultant.

Also coming up in the 2016-17 Author Lecture Series:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 – Sacramento native Eleni Kounalakis, the first Greek American woman to serve as a U.S. ambassador, will discuss her memoir, Madam Ambassador: Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties, and Democracy in Budapest. Kounalakis was a land developer in Sacramento in 2010 when President Barack Obama asked her to take the ambassadorship under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Kounalakis is the daughter of Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopolous, for whom the Hellenic Collection at the University Library is named.
  • Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 – In the inspirational coming-of-age book The Distance Between Us: A Memoir, Reyna Grande recounts her life before and after illegally entering the United States from Mexico at age 9. She will talk about her difficult childhood, when she was torn between two countries and two parents. Grande also is the author of the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies. In 2015, she won a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature.
  • April 13, 2017 – Sasha Abramsky, who lives in Sacramento and teaches in the University Writing Program at UC Davis, recalls his extraordinary grandfather in The House of Twenty Thousand Books. Chimen Abramsky was a liberal thinker, professor, and manuscripts expert for Sotheby’s auction house. He amassed a vast collection of socialist literature and Jewish history books, and he and his wife hosted some of the world’s greatest thinkers in their house of books. Kirkus Reviews named The House of Twenty Thousand Books one of 2015’s best nonfiction books.

Friends of the Library is a volunteer group that supports the University Library by raising money for books, equipment, and materials. The Friends run the Book Bin, a small retail shop that sells used books, on the Library’s lower level.

The Author Lecture Series also is sponsored by the University Library, the Hornet Bookstore, and the University Library Gallery. The 2016-17 series is dedicated to the memory of Peter H. Shattuck, an emeritus professor of history at Sacramento State and a longtime Friends of the Library board member.

For a parking pass or more information about the Author Lecture Series, contact Sally Hitchcock: (916) 278-5954, – Dixie Reid