Two early-20th century immigrant families, one a group of western pioneers and one a New York–socialite crowd, find their lives suddenly thrown together in Barbara Baer’s new novel, The Ice Palace Waltz. Stanford-educated Baer is the author of three previous novels, and The Ice Palace Waltz is a well-researched and timely tapestry that touches on mining towns and Manhattan speculators. Baer reads from the novel at a book launch event on Sunday, March 1, at Occidental Center for the Arts, 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental. 2pm. Free admission. 707.874.9392.