Corte Madera Events

Class: Julie King - How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen (Corte Madera)

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 7:00pm

Monday September 11, 2017 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm • $75

Are you getting worn down by bedtime challenges, morning-rush madness, dawdling, whining, and other challenging behaviors? Do you find yourself too often resorting to threats, bribes, or raised voices? Learn practical strategies to improve cooperation and discipline, strengthen character, and enhance your relationships at home. Based on the bestseller by Faber and King, this entertaining workshop consistently receives rave reviews. Here’s what one participant said: “… immensely helpful, practical, and insightful.” Q & A session included.

Julie King has been educating and supporting parents since 1995. In addition to her work with individual parents and couples, she is a highly regarded parenting workshop leader and public presenter. Julie is co-author, together with Joanna Faber, of How To Talk So LITTLE Kids Will Listen:  A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2 – 7.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Patricia Ravasio - The Girl from Spaceship Earth (Corte Madera)

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 7:00pm

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius. 

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky's archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world. 

The Girl from Spaceship Earth is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you've probably never heard of.

Patricia Ravasio has won awards as a radio reporter and advertising copy writer and has also been a top selling residential real estate agent and community volunteer. She was named Citizen of the Year in 2004 by her small northern California town of Corte Madera for her activism and for co-founding her town’s Beautification Committee and annual Oktoberfest, now in its 24 th year. Her concept for a new community café and plaza is now a reality. A nature-inspired pedestrian bridge is her latest project, and she continues working to protect the local environment from outsized development projects. She and her husband of thirty years live in Marin County, California.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Albert Flynn DeSilver - Writing as a Path to Awakening (Corte Madera)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 7:00pm

Bestselling author Dani Shapiro calls Writing as a Path to Awakening a "lucid, erudite, and compassionate guide." For both writers and non-writers alike, this exciting new book is a mixture of engaging storytelling, dynamic meditations, and innovative writing exercises. Writing as a Path to Awakening invites you on a journey of growth and discovery—to enhance your writing through the practice of meditation, while using the creative process to accelerate your spiritual evolution. 

Join us for a unique and dynamic event featuring a brief talk, writing experience, and book signing.

Albert Flynn DeSilver is an internationally published poet, memoirist (Beamish Boy), novelist, and speaker. He served as Marin County's very first poet laureate from 2008-2010 and now teaches his "Writing as a Path to Awakening" program at Spirit Rock, Esalen, the Omega Institute and at writing conferences nationally. More at

Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Year to Becoming an Excellent Writer and Living an Awakened Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781622039111
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Sounds True - September 2017

The best writers say their work seems to come from a source beyond the thinking mind. But how do we access that source? "We must first look inside ourselves and be willing to touch that raw emotional core at the heart of a deeper creativity," writes Albert Flynn DeSilver.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Graciela Pera - Beginning Continuing Spanish (Corte Madera)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 10:00am

7 Wednesdays; Sept. 13-Oct. 25, 2017 • 10:00am-12:00pm • $235

Graciela Pera was born in Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and has been teaching Spanish for over 35 years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Martha Conway - The Underground River (Corte Madera)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 7:00pm

May Bedloe has always lived in the shadow of her older cousin, the famous actress Comfort Vertue. May works as her seamstress—until 1838 when their steamboat explodes on the Ohio River. Though they both survive, May and Comfort must seek new employment. Comfort comes under the protection of noted abolitionist, Flora Howard, and May stumbles upon a jack-of-all-trades job on a small flatboat, Hugo and Helena’s Floating Theatre as it cruises the border between the northern states and the slave-holding southern states.

The job proves difficult at first—May’s strict compulsion to be honest is tested when she must learn to stretch the truth to promote shows—but she becomes indispensable to the troupe and Hugo, with whom she shares a deepening affection. All goes well until May sees her cousin again. Comfort and Mrs. Howard are also traveling down the Ohio River, speaking out against slavery at riverside towns. May owes Mrs. Howard a debt, and Mrs. Howard uses the opportunity to enlist May in her network of anonymous activists who ferry babies given up by slave mothers across the river to freedom. May is forced to break the law, deceive her new-found friends on the showboat, and deflect the suspicions of Dr. Early—a slave hunter who captures “ranaways” and facilitates the arrest of anyone helping them.  

As May’s involvement in the Underground Railroad expands, her secrets become more tangled and harder to keep—just as the Floating Theatre gears up for its biggest performance yet. May’s predicament could mean doom for all her friends on board, including her beloved Hugo, unless she can figure out a lie to trap those who know her best.
Though it is first-rate, entertaining fiction, The Underground River is also steeped in history and is a thought-provoking portrayal of life on the Ohio River, the often dangerous and precarious natural division between the North and the South—the free and the slave-holding states—in antebellum America.
Martha Conway grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, the sixth of seven daughters. Her first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award, and she has won several awards for her historical fiction, including an Independent Book Publishers Award and the North American Book Award for Historical Fiction. Her short fiction has been published in the Iowa Review, Massachusetts Review, Carolina Quarterly, Folio, Epoch, The Quarterly, and other journals. She has received a California Arts Council Fellowship for Creative Writing, and has reviewed books for the Iowa Review and the San Francisco Chronicle. She now lives in San Francisco, and is an instructor of creative writing for Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension.


The Underground River Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501160202
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone Books - June 20th, 2017

Set aboard a nineteenth century riverboat theater, this is the moving, page-turning story of a charmingly frank and naive seamstress who is blackmailed into saving runaways on the Underground Railroad, jeopardizing her freedom, her livelihood, and a new love.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Graciela Pera - Intermediate Spanish (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 10:00am

6 Thursdays; September 14-Oct. 26 (no class Oct. 12), 2017 • 10:00am-12:00pm • $225

Graciela Pera was born in Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and has been teaching Spanish for over 35 years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Special Faculty - Our Experimental Constitution (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

 8 Thursdays; September 14 - November 2, 2017 • 7:00 - 8:30pm • $250

“Our Experimental Constitution”
That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.” -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Special note: All proceeds from this class will go towards the purchase of Khizr Kahn’s book This Is Our Constitution for distribution to students in local schools Faculty: The faculty for this extraordinary course is being assembled under the gracious leadership of David Faigman, Chancellor & Dean of the U.C. Hastings College of Law 

Sept. 14 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“The Constitution is the Guide:”Founding Principles and the Original Meaning of “Original Intent”
“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.” -- George Washington The historical context for the founding of the United States, including the circumstances preceding the Constitutional Convention of 1787. This includes the Articles of Confederation, Washington’s reluctant agreement to participate, the ratification debates, the commitment to a Bill of Rights, and the early federalist structure of the American government.

Sept. 21• 7:00—8:30 pm
“If Men Were Angels”: Checks & Balances of American Government, from Separation of Powers to Federalism
“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” -- James Madison We will look at both the theory and practice of checks and balances built into the federal government—from the founding through the Civil War and until today. We look at the doctrines of Separation of Powers (i.e. the division of power between the branches of the federal government) and at Federalism (i.e. the division between the States and the Federal government).

Sept. 28 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“In Giving Freedom to the Slave”: The Civil War and the Changes Wrought by the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments
 “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free –honorable alike in that we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” -- Abraham Lincoln We look at the events that led to the South’s succession and the constitutional battles that followed the Union victory. We’ll include the political debates preceding the Civil War (e.g., Missouri Compromise, Fugitive Slave Act), and judicial precedents (e.g., Dred Scott). We look at the major principles embedded in the reconstruction amendments, with particular emphasis on the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of due process and equal protection.

Oct. 5 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“The Equal Rights of Others”: The Principle and Promises of Equality, from the Declaration of Independence to Same-Sex Marriage
 “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. “ -- Thomas Jefferson The principle of equality before the law was stated in the 14th Amendment, but it was not really realized until Brown v. Board of Education. Constitutional guarantees of equality were applied to women in the 1970s and to marriage in 2015. The remedies for inequality are complex, however, as shown by the debate over affirmative action to cure historical inequality.

Oct. 12 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“Not Agreed Upon a Definition of Liberty”: Identifying the Line Dividing the Individual’s Right to Act and the Majority’s Right to Forbid
 “The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.” – Abraham Lincoln We explore the many difficult ways in which “liberty” can be defined—looking at the fine distinctions between the rights of an individual to act against the legitimate reasons the government advances to forbid that act. Contemporary debates—like abortion and physician-assisted suicide—present these problems. How does a Supreme Court guarantee that liberty will not be deprived without “due process of law?”

Oct. 19 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“The Function of Speech”: The Many Expressions of Free Speech in American Constitutional Jurisprudence
“Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” —Louis D. Brandeis What are the boundaries of “free speech?” We look at the modern doctrine, developed in the 1920s by Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes, and consider it in terms of modern issues. Some of the issues we consider are speech in the age of terrorism, use of the internet (child pornography?), and corporate speech.

Oct. 26 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“If Tyranny and Oppression Come to this Land”: The Limits of Executive Authority, Both Foreign and Domestic
 “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison We examine the vast expansion of executive authority in the modern age, which arguably began in the 1930s with FDR’s intervention to deal with the Depression and, in the 1940s, to fight World War II. The modern presidency is marked by extraordinary power, but its limits are not well defined. This session will consider both informal and formal limits on executive authority.

Nov. 2 • 7:00—8:30 pm
“It is a Constitution We Are Expounding”: The Future of the Constitution, Our Shared Experiment
 “We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding.”—John Marshall (McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)) This session explores the issues likely to confront the Supreme Court in the years ahead, ranging from the battle against terrorism, affirmative action, changing understanding of the death penalty, States’ Rights (and the future of federalism), and so forth.


A Few Corners of American History
While thinking about the Constitution, it may be a good time to look at a few books about American history. These books all have one thing in common: they shed light on periods of American history that we thought we knew but maybe really didn’t.

• Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence
• The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1788-1789
-Joseph J. Ellis: These two captivating books set the stage for the birth of the United States. 1776 follows the crucial moments for the war and the political steps towards independence. But in 1788 the political leadership had to sit down and write a Constitution, seemingly needing to create America all over again.

A Wicked War - Amy S. Greenberg
According to Ulysses S. Grant, there was never “a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico.” Wicked or not, the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-48) is one of the most understudied events in our history. Greenberg captures all of the ominous overtones for future conflicts over slavery and imperialism.

The Fall of the House of Dixie - Bruce Levine
As Levine describes the ante-bellum South “Of the more than twelve million souls who resided there, almost one out of every three was enslaved . . . [their value] exceeded the value of all the farmland in the states of the South, a sum fully three times as great as the construction costs of the railroads that then ran throughout all of the United States.” The collapse of this formidable economic empire in the Civil War makes for compelling reading. Levine puts the issue of slavery at the center of the conflict —a place where it belongs but is sometimes forgotten.

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 by Eric Foner
What did you learn about Reconstruction in school? Probably as little as I did — and most of it was wrong. Foner provides an exhaustive look at one of the tragically missed opportunities in American history.

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot
Under the bland facade of the early ‘60s there were forces at work undermining the Kennedy administration and our constitutional government. This story has been hinted at before, but it has never been told in such riveting fashion as David Talbot (The Season of the Witch) does in this haunting book.

*A Big Leap!*
This is one of the most ambitious things we’ve ever tried. Many thanks to our good customer David Zeff for coming up with the idea and helping us organize it. We are excited about the idea of people coming to Book Passage to debate the meaning of the Constitution and just as excited about getting Khizr Khan’s inspiring words into the hands of local students.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Hamid Emami - Beginning German (Corte Madera)

Friday, September 15, 2017 - 9:00am

7 Fridays; Sept. 15-Oct. 27, 2017 • 9:00 - 11:00 am • $235

This class is for beginners and those who have previously had some exposure to German. You'll learn greetings, introductions, carrying on a simple conversation, basic grammar, and proper pronunciation.

Hamid Emami has a master's degree from the University of Hamburg, and is fluent in German, English, French, Spanish, and Farsi. He has taught German for many years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Kerrin Meis - Russian Avant Garde

Friday, September 15, 2017 - 10:00am

2 Fridays; Sept. 15 & 22, 2017,  • 10:00am - 12:00pm • $75

In the early years of the twentieth century Russian Artists were at the forefront of innovation and exciting new forms. The October Revolution of 1917 ushered in a government concerned with art in the service of propaganda. As a result artists like Goncharova, Larionov, Popova and Exeter left Russia, others were exiled. One man, Igor Savitsky, collected paintings from artists in Moscow and made many trips to Nukus, a village in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan. There he saw to the founding of large museum. Kerrin Meis visited the museum in 2010 and will discuss many of its works as well as  the art of the pre-Revolution, now  gaining favor with Russian Collectors.

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years, and she currently teaches for the OLLI programs at Dominican University and UC Berkeley. She leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Stephen Hinshaw - Another Kind of Madness (Corte Madera)

Friday, September 15, 2017 - 7:00pm

Parallel to An Unquiet Mind and The Glass Castle, a deeply personal memoir calling for the destigmatization of mental illness.

Families are riddled with untold secrets. But Stephen Hinshaw would have never thought that in his family a profound secret had been kept under lock and key for 18 years. From the moment his father revealed his long history with mental illness and involuntary hospitalizations, Hinshaw knew his life would be changed forever.

Hinshaw terms these insights from his father as a “psychological birth." After years of experiencing the ups and downs of his father’s illness without knowing it existed, watching him disappear for weeks at a time only to return as the loving father he had always known, everything he experienced as a child now made a strange sense. He learned as much as possible about his father’s illness, and what began as an exploration into his father’s past and mental health turned into a full-fledged career as a clinical psychologist.

In Another Kind of Madness, Hinshaw explores the burden of living in a family “loaded” with mental illness and debunks the stigma behind it, explaining that in today’s society, mental health problems can result in a loss of a driver’s license, inability to vote or run for office, ineligibility for jury service, or automatic relinquishment of child custody. With a moving personal narrative and shocking facts about how America views mental health conditions in the 21st century, Another Kind of Madness is a passionate call to arms regarding the importance of destigmatizing mental illness.

Stephen Hinshaw is a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the Vice-Chair for Psychology at UC San Francisco. Hinshaw is the author The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change, the first book in the U.S. on mental illness stigma. His research has been covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, among others. He lives in Berkeley, CA.

Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250113368
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 20th, 2017

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925