Left Coast Writers

Left Coast Writers® Salon: David Downie - A Taste of Paris (Corte Madera)

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 7:00pm

In-conversation with Laurie McAndish King

From the critically acclaimed author of Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris, comes a delectable culinary history of the gastronomic capital of the world.

In his trademark witty and informative style, David Downie embarks on a quest to discover “What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise?” in A Taste of Paris. Long before Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake!” (actually, it was brioche), the Romans of Paris devoured foie gras, and live oysters rushed in from the Atlantic; one Medieval cookbook describes a thirty-two part meal featuring hare stew, eel soup, and honeyed wine; during the last great banquet at Versailles a year before the Revolution the gourmand Louis XVI savored thirty-two main dishes and sixteen desserts; yet, in 1812, Grimod de la Reynière, the father of French gastronomy, regaled guests with fifty-two courses, fifteen wines, three types of coffee, and seventeen liqueurs.

Following the contours of history and the geography of the city, Downie sweeps readers on an insider’s gourmet walking tour of Paris and its environs, revealing the locations of Roman butcher shops, classic Belle Epoque bistros serving diners today and Marie Antoinette’s exquisite vegetable garden that still supplies produce, no longer to the unfortunate queen, but to the legendary Alain Ducasse and his stylish restaurant inside the palace of Versailles. Along the way, readers learn why the rich culinary heritage of France still makes Paris the ultimate arbiter in the world of food.

David Downie, a native San Franciscan, lived in New York, Providence, Rome and Milan before moving to Paris in the mid-80s. He divides his time between France and Italy. His travel, food and arts features have appeared in print publications worldwide including Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Saveur, Epicurious.com, and Gault&Millau, the premier French food guide. He is the author of the several books, including the highly acclaimed Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris.

A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250082930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 26th, 2017

A Taste of Paris is a delectable culinary history of the gastronomic capital of the world, written by David Downie, the critically acclaimed author of Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers® Salon: Susan Alcorn, Erin Byrne, & Lou Ann Granger (Corte Madera)

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 7:00pm

Moderated by Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Want to getaway this Labor Day weekend? Join esteemed travel writers Susan Alcorn, Erin Byrne, and Lou Ann Granger on an exclusive trip around the world at this month's Left Coast Writers Salon! 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: David Hathwell - Between Dog and Wolf (San Francisco)

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:00pm

The French entre chien et loup describes moments at dusk when the eye, no longer to be trusted, can’t distinguish between a dog and a wolf. The poems in David Hathwell’s second collection take place on the threshold between light and darkness: between the familiar and the unknown, the expected and the unforeseen, safety and danger. Erica Dawson calls the poems “sharp and unsettling,” and Between Dog and Wolf “an important book for times like these.”

David Hathwell published Muses, his debut collection, in 2016, to acclaim from, among others, Richard Wilbur, Dana Gioia, and Edmund White. His poems have appeared in more than a dozen literary magazines. A former English teacher, he has degrees in English from Stanford and Columbia, and a degree in music theory from Queens College of CUNY. He has studied piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and sung baritone in the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and the San Francisco Choral Society. 

Between Dog and Wolf Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781625492364
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: David Robert Books - June 11th, 2017

The French "entre chien et loup" describes those moments at twilight when the eye, no longer to be trusted, can't distinguish between a dog and a wolf. The poems in David Hathwell's new collection take place on the threshold-unsettling, often perilous-between light and darkness: between the familiar and the unknown, the expected and the unforeseen, safety and danger.


1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Left Coast Writers® Salon: Michael Krasny - Let There Be Laughter (Corte Madera)

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 7:00pm

*Note: This is a Literary Salon for registered Left Coast Writers® members only -- sign-up for a membership online or in-store today*

From the host of NPR affiliate's Forum with Michael Krasny, a compendium of Jewish jokes that packs the punches with hilarious riff after riff and also offers a window into Jewish culture.

Michael Krasny has been telling Jewish jokes since his bar mitzvah, and it's been said that he knows more of them than anyone on the planet. He certainly states his case in this wise, enlightening, and hilarious book that not only collects the best of Jewish humor passed down from generation to generation, but explains the cultural expressions and anxieties behind the laughs.

-What's Jewish Alzheimer's?-
-You forget everything but the grudges.-

-You must be so proud. Your daughter is the President of the United States -
-Yes. But her brother is a doctor -

-Isn't Jewish humor masochistic?-
-No. And if I hear that one more time I am going to kill myself.-

With his background as a scholar and public-radio host, Krasny delves deeply into the themes, topics, and form of Jewish humor: chauvinism undercut by irony and self-mockery, the fear of losing cultural identity through assimilation, the importance of vocal inflection in joke-telling, and calls to communal memory, including the use of Yiddish.

Borrowing from traditional humor and such Jewish comedy legends as Jackie Mason, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers, Larry David, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer, Let There Be Laughter is an absolute pleasure for the chosen and goyim alike.

Book Passage hosts the monthly meetings of Left Coast Writers® at our Corte Madera store. This Literary Salon is led by author/teacher Linda Watanabe McFerrin. The monthly meetings provide an evening of literary connections, support, counsel, provocative readings, writing tips, literary chat, unabashed networking, and great fun. Each meeting also features a presentation by one of several Bay Area literary figures. The fee includes membership in Left Coast Writers®, a group of new and experienced writers. LCW has its own lively newsletter and website at www.leftcoastwriters.com/

Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062422040
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 27th, 2016

From the host of NPR affiliate's Forum with Michael Krasny, a compendium of Jewish jokes that packs the punches with hilarious riff after riff and also offers a window into Jewish culture.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Laurie McAndish King - Your Crocodile Has Arrived (Corte Madera)

Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 7:00pm

"Enchanting.... Each story reads like a veritable treasure in the 'Cabinets of Curiosity' King deftly describes... an antidote to the streak of snark in so much modern travel writing." — Phil Cousineau

Whether your taste runs to crocodiles or chocolate, ancient relics or flying saucers, you’re sure to find entertainment and illumination in this collection of 21 true stories: Your Crocodile Has Arrived. Join in as Laurie McAndish King

  • Makes a pilgrimage to see a 2,500-year-old tooth.
  • Checks out the world’s largest earthworms — some are as much as twenty feet long.
  • Receives a full-body chocolate massage.
  • Participates in a shamanic ayahuasca ritual.
  • Learns the secrets of alien spaceship propulsion — from an Ivy-League astrophysicist.

Laurie McAndish King grew up in rural Iowa, studied science and philosophy at Cornell College, and has traveled to nearly forty countries — observing with an eye for natural science, and writing with a philosopher’s heart and mind. Her award-winning travel essays and photography have appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian magazine, Travel Channel partner site iExplore.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing Travelers’ Tales anthology, as well as other magazines and literary anthologies. 

Your Crocodile Has Arrived: More True Stories from a Curious Traveler Cover Image
By Laurie McAndish King, Jim Shubin (Cover Design by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780998661513
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Destination Insights - April 27th, 2017

Whether your taste runs to chocolate or crocodiles, ancient relics or flying saucers, you're sure to find entertainment and illumination in this collection of 21 true travel stories. Join in the author's adventures
as she:


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Christine Evelyn Volker - Venetian Blood (Corte Madera)

Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 7:00pm

To escape a failing marriage, Anna Lucia Lottol goes to Venice to visit an old friend—and becomes a suspect in a brutal murder echoing a gruesome homicide that happened decades ago. Fearful of foreign justice and hoping to prove her innocence, she gathers clues before the real murderer comes for her. At the climax of her journey, she discovers a secret that will change her life. 

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend—but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears? A mysterious tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth —before it’s too late.

Christine Evelyn Volker became intrigued by foreign cultures at an early age, which propelled her to study Spanish, German, and Italian. After pursuing an MLS and an MBA, she was drawn to international banking and became a senior vice president at a global financial institution. Her career brought her to Italy, where she immersed herself in the language and made frequent visits to Venice. A native New Yorker, she resides with her husband in Richmond, California, where she heads a local library non-profit organization and writes about environmental sustainability. She is currently at work on her second international mystery, this one set in the rainforest of Peru.
 

Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781631523106
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - August 8th, 2017

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend--but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Tommie W. Whitener - Mother Earth (San Francisco)

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 6:00pm

The personal development world was new to Alex, Roberta and Marie when they joined twenty or so others (the “Stars”) for a series of residential “leadership” courses at a retreat center deep among the redwoods in Sonoma County. The fact that they had left their spouses behind should have been the first harbinger of trouble.

As the “Stars” did their ropes courses and told their innermost secrets to each other as part of their development, they experienced changes not shared by their husbands and wives at home. Thus, the spouses were often not ready for the “evolved” person who came back to them with new ideas of honesty, life purpose and, sometimes, deep and growing spirituality. A period of adjustment was the norm. Most of the couples were successful. All were changed by the experience.

It is this nexus between individual personal development and the marital relationship that Mother Earth: Three Couples explores with candor and insight. 

Tommie W. Whitener has practiced Family Law in Marin County and the Bay Area for many years. As he winds down his law practice, he is now putting his extensive knowledge of people and relationships gained during that time to work in his new career as a writer. After having handled thousands of divorce cases, he believes he is particularly well qualified to write on the marital connection and the effect on it when one of the spouses “develops” and the other does not. Currently he is working on a collection of short stories and memoirs to be published later this year and a volume of historical fiction concerning two remarkable generations of his ancestors who were Arkansas farmers. He lives in Novato with his wife Svetlana, who is an executive coach. He is often found in Seattle with new grandchildren and in his beloved Los Angeles, where he grew up.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Left Coast Writers®: Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli - Colored Edges (Corte Madera)

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 7:00pm

For midlife journalist and designer Aarona Iris Miller, adrift in the west coast singles world, life is a tense survival dance. Nothing hangs together now at the end of the 20th century, and her time in Northern California and the world is starting to compress.
 
Iris was raised in the frank-speaking east coast vernacular, and here in the social circles of the far western edge, her intensity is perceived as pushy. Her overblown dreams of becoming a peacemaker, great artist, and partner of a great man keep leading her up blind alleys.
 
Iris's grand vision, to save the world while enveloped in an art-filled union with the right man, dangles tantalizingly beyond her reach. Distorting the dream is her obsession with a string of mover-and-shaker men whose worldly power exudes for her a heady aphrodisiac. Meanwhile, her hidden ambition remains muted. She wants to achieve greatness as a peacemaker and cross-cultural bridge. She wants to matter and have a choice of matter, to be something new under the sun. And she wants to frame the tapestry of her soul with light.
 
The outer forces that straightjacket Iris mirror an inner war. Pushed and pulled, she travels back into her past to find core reasons for her ongoing inside battle, and then further back, into her mother's early story in pre-WWII Poland. And she travels forward, into the contemporary American Indian world and the seething core of Israel/Palestine.
 
Iris comes to understand that any international peacemaking effort she could make would be a mockery unless her inner confrontations can resolve and green her soul's battlefield. Once she manages to wrestle herself down, she starts to recognize her struggle in others' stories and then discovers color therapy, a shortcut to her own salvation. While playing with paints, Iris sees that each of her inner conflicts carries its own color. Identifying the hidden emotional link to colors and using opposite hues to paint out her pain helps to heal her soul.
 
With her desire for peace and a nurturing union as a loaded brush and the globe as her undulating canvas, Iris paints the spectrum of herself, reclaiming her colored edges one by one. When she is finally able to fill in her missing colors, Aarona Iris Miller becomes more than a sketch, and the luminous rainbow painted inside can finally pour a healing elixir into the world.

Including a look into the therapeutic uses of color, Colored Edges explores one person's search for inner peace and peace in the world. Here is a fictional quest for healing that travels across continents and into the human heart, tracking a journey by one embattled artist who ultimately learns that a peace treaty with your own soul is a vital step before your ideas for international peace can be heard by the world. 

Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli is a graphic designer and editor who loves designing books. Distilling the author-clients intent while pulling together manuscript, illustrations, and formatting, she helps the author manifest his or her book as conceptualized. Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and raised in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland, Sharon graduated from Pratt Institute in NYC with a bachelors degree in industrial design. At the University of Hawaii, she earned a masters degree in educational technology. She has worked in industrial design and graphic design, and has produced and hosted community radio and TV shows and series. She is the author (and designer) of three books of her own: Dreams of Tamalpais, Shiny Objects, and Colored Edges.

Colored Edges: Full Color 2nd Edition Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780965053068
Availability: Backordered
Published: Spaceframe Press - April 18th, 2017

While attending a Native American peyote ceremony in northern California, embattled artist Iris Miller is given a vision of a way to achieve peace in the Middle East. She frames her unexpected vision within a short story and submits it to Israel's first annual Jerusalem Post peace literature contest.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Cheryl Krauter - Suriviving the Storm (Corte Madera)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 7:00pm

Surviving the Storm presents a humanistic psychological perspective on how to support cancer survivors by offering an individualized narrative structure designed to help them tell their stories. This is a book for people who need to tell the story of how they've been touched by cancer. It doesn't tell what to eat, or how much to exercise, or what to think and feel. Instead, it introduces a contemplative perspective and gives readers a pragmatic structure to help them tell their unique story of surviving or living with cancer. It helps them discover their authentic voice, giving them a way to speak in their own words. Workbook sections are the core of this book and offer a narrative structure created for patients, partners, families, and friends with an emphasis on the different needs and questions of each group.

This book focuses on the whole person, their potential, and their natural drive toward authenticity. A contemplative perspective emphasizes shared human needs such as love, belonging, and personal meaning, and expands beyond the learning-based behavioral and psychosocial resources that are currently available to cancer patients and their families. The book provides options that differ from the support group and medical models of treatment, opening up an alternative to the mode of managing or tolerating the issues of cancer into the realm of awareness, exploration, acceptance, and transformation. While it is tempting to find solutions and try to" there is much to be gained from learning how to live with uncertainty and from delving more deeply into the emotional residue of cancer.

Included are definitions of the different phases of cancer survivorship, material that gives survivors a viewpoint that normalizes the challenges they face, and current research and literature. Personal stories of cancer survivors are highlighted, and poetry and writings related to cancer are interspersed throughout the book to make it more personal.

Cheryl Krauter, MFT, is an existential humanistic psychotherapist with over thirty-five years of experience in the field of depth psychology and human consciousness. She integrates her years of experience as a depth psychotherapist with her personal journey as a cancer survivor, working with clients in her private practice, presenting talks and workshops on living with the uncertainty of life-threatening illness, and guiding people in telling their cancer stories. She strongly believes that there is a need to bring attention to emotional healing in survivorship and is committed to making quality survivorship care accessible to all people who have suffered from cancer.

 

Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780190636166
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - March 27th, 2017

Surviving the Storm presents a humanistic psychological perspective on how to support cancer survivors by offering an individualized narrative structure designed to help them tell their stories. This is a book for people who need to tell the story of how they've been touched by cancer. It doesn't tell what to eat, or how much to exercise, or what to think and feel.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Betsy Fasbinder - Filling Her Shoes (Corte Madera)

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 7:00pm

On the day that she decided to marry a widower ― also a long-time friend ― Betsy Graziani Fasbinder knew that she wasn’t only gaining a husband, she was inheriting a son. Unlike many stepmothers, Betsy didn’t have to struggle with an ex, or court battles, or the weekend shuffle between houses ― but she did have to navigate living in the shadow of a young mother taken too soon, to honor the memory of her son’s first mother, and to become the kind of parent and partner she herself wanted to be. In Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family, Fasbinder chronicles how, over time, this family would learn how love’s roots were formed in their shared losses, and how the new family love and joy they created together would become the richest kind of inheritance.

Betsy Graziani Fasbinder became a second wife when she married a widower with a young son. Their family fashioned itself with loss and love as their foundation, and with tenderness and commitment as their guides. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Fire & Water and the founder of The Morning Glory Project, which celebrates those who have not only survived tragic loss and trauma but who have turned their heartbreak into heroism and their history into inspiration. Betsy has been a licensed psychotherapist in California since 1992. She lives with her husband in their recently empty nest in Marin County, California.

 

Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781631521980
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - May 9th, 2017

On the day that she decided to marry a widower--also a long-time friend--Betsy Graziani Fasbinder knew that she wasn't only gaining a husband, she was inheriting a son.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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