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Sonoma County Book Festival authors have flavorful subjects

  • Ken Weaver, author of the Northern California Craft Beer Guide. 2012

Several of the guest authors appearing at the Sonoma County Book Festival this Saturday have mined California's rich tradition of food and drink in order to create some tasty non-fiction.

Among these are Hank Shaw of Sacramento, author of the cutting-edge cookbook "Hunt, Gather, Cook," aimed at culinary adventurers with a rifle in one hand and a sausage attachment in the other.

Then there's Ken Weaver of Santa Rosa, an amateur hophead whose new book, "The Northern California Craft Beer Guide," whisks readers off to some of the best craft breweries in the land.

We talked to both writers in an effort to provide a taste of the literary feast to come this weekend.

Shaw, who will speak at

1 p.m. at Corrick's store, grew up picking beach plums and digging clams every summer on Block Island, just south of Rhode Island's coast.

"I've been foraging and fishing since I could walk," Shaw said. "It's part of our family's culture."

A journalist for 18 years, Shaw learned to hunt while working as a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 2007, he started a blog called Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (honest-food.net), which was nominated for a James Beard award.

The blog landed him a deal for his first cookbook, "Hunt, Gather, Cook," published in 2011 by Rodale. The cookbook is now in its third printing and is coming out in paperback next month.

"I have a very big readership in California," he said. "All I have to do here is to drive two hours, and I can get into some really interesting habitats."

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