Book research can't replace personal experience when it comes to bringing life to a novel, and Pompano Beach author Mark Jacoby's debut effort, Path to Arequipa, is a prime example. The travel writer has toured extensively in the Peruvian Amazon, where during one trip he and his wife, Susanne, stayed at an Indian encampment in the jungle. "I noticed that there were a couple of natives staring at my wife," Jacoby recalls. "I thought, 'What if they kidnapped her?' And the story flew from there." In the book Susanne's character is linguist and state department employee Ann Kalish, who's sent to the Amazon to work undercover and assess the safety of an "adventure tour" that places visitors face to face with the savage Jivaro Indians. Kalish herself is kidnapped by the tribe but manages to survive in the jungle under remarkable circumstances and walks away from the ordeal a changed woman. Happily for the Jacobys, everything but the setting is fictional. Jacoby will talk about and sign copies of his book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Liberties Fine Books, 309 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Admission is free. Call 561-368-1300.
People who tend to have acid flashbacks should definitely sit this one out. Lasers, strobe lights, fog, neon lighting, and rock music make for a trippy night of Cosmic Bowling every Friday, Saturday, and Monday at Brunswick Margate Lanes (2020 N. State Rd. 7, Margate). The staff takes requests for tunes (they have more than 200 CDs) and turns out the house lights. Neon lights above the pins help guide bowlers, while lasers shoot across the alleys. If all this sounds a little distracting, at least bowlers don't have to keep score; an automatic scorer does that for them. Cost is $3.50 per game (three games for $10 every Monday) plus $2.25 for shoe rental. Hours are 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 9:30 p.m to 1 a.m. Monday. Kids' sessions are also available. Call 954-972-4400.
Once known as "Rod the Bod" to fans, Rod Stewart may be using a bit more Ben-Gay on his aging muscles these days, but he's still shakin' his groove thang. Backed by a straight-ahead rock band on his current tour, Stewart evokes the Rod of old, dumping lavish production for gritty guitar rock. The title of his new album, When We Were the New Boys, brings back memories of his early days with bands like the Jeff Beck Group and the Faces, which were part of the British rock invasion of the '60s. But on the album, Stewart taps today's new boys, covering tracks by Oasis, Primal Scream, and others. He also belts out tunes penned by fellow old-timers Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Graham Parker. Stewart performs tonight at 8 p.m. at Coral Sky Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Ticket prices range from $22.75 to $65. Call 561-793-0445.
The cartoonish drawings used in circus advertisements since the turn of the century aren't exactly what you'd call fine art. But, over the past 20 years, poster collecting and gallery shows have been growing in popularity. "Posters American Style" is now on view at the Norton Museum of Art (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach) and focuses solely on American artists. Its 120 posters represent the rich variety of design in U.S. poster art in the last 100 years, including the refined magazine-cover images of the 1890s, psychedelic '60s works, and futuristic graphic designs by contemporary artists. Among the artists whose works are on display are Roy Lichtenstein, Peter Max, and Patrick Nagel. The show runs through October 25. Admission is $2 to $5. Call 561-832-5194.
The American obsession with Britain's royal family is ridiculous, when you think about it. Our founders fled England to get away from monarchic rule, yet our fascination with the royals stems solely from the fact that, centuries ago, people deemed themselves superior to others because of their blood lines. These days, members of the monarchy aren't even sure they want to carry such a burden, yet the tabloids -- American and British -- feed on all things royal. At least with Diana, the late Princess of Wales, the attraction was understandable. More than a princess, she was a virtual living saint to many, one who used her royal clout to help the poor and afflicted -- especially children. Today, on the one-year anniversary of her death in a Paris auto accident, Florida Atlantic University Professor of Women's Studies Jane Caputi will present the lecture "B-Coming Diana: Princess/Prostitute, Redeemer/Goddess." She'll explain the parallels between the ancient goddess Diana, a deity once revered throughout Europe as a champion of the underprivileged, and the modern princess. The free presentation, illustrated with slides, will take place at noon at FAU, General Classroom South Building, Room 208, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Call 561-297-3865.
As if working out isn't tough enough already, the Body Squad fitness club wants you to join its members every Tuesday for a Walk and Cross-Training Workout on the Beach. If you think about it, it makes sense: Beachgoers trying to find a place to put their coolers and beach chairs are always in for a workout, the sand beneath their feet making every step a chore. So the Body Squad figures, why not make the sand part of an intense workout? The squad's Kim Pace notes, however, that the workout can be adjusted to fit any fitness level. During the 90-minute session, lengths of surgical tubing are wrapped around palm trees or other stable objects, so that walkers may perform resistance exercises, such as chest presses and bicep curls, at various points along the three-mile walk. "If they work in an office all day, it gives them a chance to get out and enjoy the scenery and meet other people," Pace says. The group meets on Fort Lauderdale Beach at Las Olas and Ocean boulevards at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per month for members; $25 for nonmembers. Call 954-563-6774.