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« Week of May 19, 2013 »
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19
Start: 11:00 am

Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein were all brilliant scientists. Each made groundbreaking contributions to his field—but each also stumbled badly. These five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth itself, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains in Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein ($26.00) that the scientific process advances through error, and why mistakes are essential to progress.

Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of The Golden Ratio, a highly acclaimed book about mathematics and art for which he received the International Pythagoras Prize and the Peano Prize; The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved; Is God a Mathematician?; and The Accelerating Universe. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

Start: 1:00 pm

When author and newspaper columnist Amy Friedman walked into a federal penitentiary to research and write about prison life, she never expected to fall in love with a man serving a life sentence for second degree murder. No one, Friedman included, imagined she would ultimately marry him. Desperado’s Wife ($25.95) follows the couple’s love story, from their wedding in a prison chapel to struggles with prison officials and newspaper bosses, from the blossoming love for the daughters she helped to raise to conjugal visits with her husband in prison trailers and ultimately to her husband’s release on parole and the dissolution of the marriage.

Amy Friedman is the author of the popular syndicated newspaper feature Tell Me A Story, as well as a former columnist in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She has written several memoirs and hundreds of essays and short stories. She teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension. She is also an editor and ghostwriter. www.amyfriedman.net 

 

 

Start: 4:00 pm

Women Writing Their Lives
A conversation with three memoir writers

Join three award-winning memoir writers as they read from their new books and talk about their personal writing journeys. Topics will include writing about secrets and truth, family and identity, and the complex decisions that must be made when we write memoir. They will open the group to a lively discussion about memoir writing and answer questions about their books.

Linda Joy Myers
Founder and President of the National Association of Memoir Writers
Author of Don’t Call Me Mother ($16.95)

Accompany Linda Joy Myers as she uncovers family secrets, finds solace in music, and begins her healing journey. Learn how she transcends the prison of childhood to discover light in the darkness of strife, abuse, and undiagnosed mental illness. Originally published in 2005, this revised edition includes a new introduction and afterword, with new insights about memoir writing.

Judith Newton
Author of Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen ($16.95)

In this food memoir, Judith Newton shares the unforgettable story of a life on the front lines of activism and in the kitchen. Having discovered during a difficult childhood that food and cooking were sources of comfort and emotional sustenance, in the decades to come, through her marriage to a gay man, her discovery of feminism, her life in a commune, and her career in a university, she learned how deeply food is tied to identity, love, community, and political engagement.

Judy L. Mandel
Author of Replacement Child: A Memoir ($16.00)

Judy Mandel is the replacement child for her sister who was killed in a tragic accident. It would be years before she would understand how the event, that happened before she was born, shaped her life. In this powerful story of love and lies, hope and forgiveness, Mandel discovers the truth that changes her life forever and forces her to confront the complex layers of her relationships with her father, mother, and sister. When she has her own child, her epiphany comes full circle.
 

Start: 7:00 pm

Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.

What Theobald couldn't have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice ($24.95) a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

 

20
Start: 6:00 pm

Worried about waning enrollment, the head counselor of the world's worst summer camp leads his campers on a series of increasingly dubious escapades in an effort to revive their esprit de corps. A young boy on a sailing vacation with his father comes face-to-face with a dangerous stranger, and witnesses a wrenching act of violence. Parents estranged from their disturbed son must gird themselves for his visit, even as they cannot face each other. And in the dazzling title story, the beleaguered crew of the first Confederate submarine embarks on their final, doomed mission during the closing days of the Civil War. Alternately funny, menacing, and deeply empathetic, the wildly inventive stories in Ethan Rutherford's The Peripatetic Coffin ($13.99) mark the debut of a powerful new voice in contemporary fiction.

Ethan Rutherford received his MFA in fiction from the University of Minnesota, and has taught creative writing at Macalester, the University of Minnesota, and the Loft Literary Center. A former bookseller at Three Lives & Co. as well as Magers & Quinn, he lives in Minneapolis, where he is the guitarist for the band Pennyroyal.

 

Start: 7:00 pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University
Tickets: $35 (includes signed book)

Online registration is now closed. To register, call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1

 

In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook. 

Michael Pollan is the author of six previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times best-sellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
 
Start: 7:00 pm

A bittersweet novel filled with longing and hope, Jennie Shortridge’s Love Water Memory ($26.00) explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity. Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can’t answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiancé, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.

Jennie Shortridge has published five novels: Love Water Memory, When She Flew, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe, Eating Heaven, and Riding with the Queen. When not writing, teaching writing workshops, or volunteering with kids, Jennie stays busy as a founding member of Seattle7Writers.org, a collective of Northwest authors devoted both to raising funds for community literacy projects and to raising awareness of Northwest literature.

 Erica Bauermeister presents The Lost Art of Mixing ($25.95). In prose to be savored, Bauermeister brings back some of the most engaging characters from School and introduces intriguing new personalities as she follows them around the seasons of a year.  At the heart of her story once again is Lillian, the chef and restaurant owner with a remarkable ability to bring out the hidden essence of people as well as ingredients, and to combine both in surprising, delightful new ways  

Erica Bauermeister, the bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy for Beginners, is also the coauthor of 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14.  She has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Washington, from which she holds a Ph.D. in literature, and is a graduate of Occidental College. 

 

 

21
Start: 6:00 pm

Journalist Jon Mooallem has watched his little daughter’s world overflow with animals—butterfly pajamas, appliquéd owls—while the actual world she’s inheriting slides into a great storm of extinction. Half of all species could disappear by the end of the century, and scientists now concede that most of America’s endangered animals will survive only if conservationists keep rigging the world around them in their favor. So Mooallem ventures into the field, often taking his daughter with him, to move beyond childlike fascination and make those creatures feel more real. Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America ($27.95) is a tour through our environmental moment and the eccentric cultural history of people and wild animals in America that inflects it—from Thomas Jefferson’s celebrations of early abundance to the turn-of-the-last-century origins of the teddy bear to the whale-loving hippies of the 1970s.

Jon Mooallem has been a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 2006 and is a writer at large for Pop Up, the “live magazine” in San Francisco. He’s also contributed recently to the New Yorker, Harper’s, Wired, Radiolab, and This American Life. His magazine stories have twice been included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and he’s been interviewed about his work on a wide range of radio and television shows, including Fresh Air and The Colbert Report.

 

Start: 7:00 pm

Introduction by Kelly Corrigan!

From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls ($26.99), a new book of essays taking his readers on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.

David Sedaris is the author of the books Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and Public Radio International's This American Life. He lives in England.

 

Start: 7:00 pm

Fairfax Library • Free & Open to the Public

Author Josh Hanagarne will be joined by Fairfax librarian Shereen Ash for a conversation about his new book, The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family ($26.00). Hanagarne’s memoir traces his journey from being a teenager struggling with Tourette’s syndrome to his current position as a popular blogger and a librarian for the Salt Lake City public library.

Join Josh Hanagarne and Book Passage's Calvin Crosby for a Twitter Interview on Monday, May 20 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. Use hashtag @strengthandbooks to participate!  

 

22
Start: 6:00 pm

Nathaniel Philbrick, the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower, brings his prodigious talents to Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution ($29.95), the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution. Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents  have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.  In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.

Nathaniel Philbrick is the New York Times bestselling author of National Book Award winner In the Heart of the Sea, Pulitzer Prize finalist Mayflower, Sea of Glory, and The Last Stand. He is also the author of Why Read Moby-Dick? and Away Off Shore. He lives on Nantucket.

 

Start: 7:00 pm

When a brutal rapist is murdered, a loving father stands accused of the crime. Defense attorney Dismas Hardy must defend his brother-in-law and old friend Moses McGuire in a thrilling case that hits far too close to home. For the first time since 2009, Dismas Hardy, the author’s most beloved protagonist, returns in The Ophelia Cut ($26.99), a masterful novel that showcases John Lescroart’s extraordinary story-telling gifts: a cast of flesh-and-blood characters, morally complex situations, and relentless, nail-biting suspense.

John Lescroart is the author of more than twenty previous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Damage, Treasure Hunt, and The 13th Juror.  He lives in Northern California.

 

Start: 7:00 pm
Angelico Hall, Dominican University
Tickets: $30 (includes signed book)
 
Online ticketing is now closed. To register, call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1 

 
From Eve Ensler, the bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues and one of Newsweek’s 150 Women Who Changed the World, comes In the Body of the World, a visionary memoir of separation and connection—to the body, the self, and the world. As a playwright, author, and activist, Ensler has devoted her life to the female body: how to talk about it, how to protect and value it. Yet she spent much of her life disassociated from her own body.  While working in the Congo, Ensler is shattered to encounter the horrific rape and violence inflicted on the women there. Soon after, she is diagnosed with uterine cancer, and undergoes months of harrowing treatment. It is then that all distance is erased. As she connects her own illness to the devastation of the earth, her life force to the resilience of humanity, she is finally, fully—and gratefully—joined to the body of the world.

Eve Ensler is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright whose works include The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, Insecure at Last, and I Am an Emotional Creature, since adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature. She is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than $90 million for local groups and activists, and inspired the global action One Billion Rising. Ensler lives in Paris and New York City.
 
"As you may recall, Ensler is the author of the episodic play The Vagina Monologues and the founder of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. In this memoir Ensler incarnates the pain of the women in Congo, victims of rape and torture, and of the Earth, also a victim of so much desecration. She writes as though her heart and body are broken, but her anger is like fire, and the passion of her writing rattles your soul. This is true literature and true activism. Don’t miss this book!" - Isabel Allende
 
23
Start: 10:00 am

Join Bitsy Bee as she journeys to a faraway land in Princess Bugs ($12.99), a touch-and-feel Bugs adventure!

Bitsy Bee loves reading about her favorite princesses in fairy tales. One night, Bitsy dreams that she has been transported to a magical land far away. Bitsy Bee has become part of her very own fairy tale! Join Bitsy as she discovers Flower Bugs, Unicorn Bugs, Cotton Candy Cloud Bugs, a handsome prince, and more in this interactive, touch-and-feel Bugs adventure!

David A. Carter
is a master paper engineer and creator of the Bugs series, which has sold more than 6 million copies. Also the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed Color series, featuring One Red Dot, Blue 2, 600 Black Spots, Yellow Square, and White Noise, he lives in Auburn, California, with his wife and two daughters.

 

Start: 6:00 pm
End: 8:00 pm

Five Thurs.: May 23 - June 206:00-8:00 pm • $150

 

 

This course is for students who are interested in practicing their language skills by reading and reviewing a short, modern Italian novella in class. All lessons will be conducted in Italian and students must be conversant at an Intermediate-Advanced level.


Silvia Iannelli is a private Italian tutor who was born and raised in Rome. She creates a fun and welcoming environment for her students, motivating them through activities and exercises. Her personal quote is: “La traduzione della parola e’ nel cuore ~ The translation of a word is in the heart.”

 

 

Start: 6:00 pm

Authors Joanna Hershon and Hilary Reyl come together to share their latest respective novels in an evening of readings and discussion.

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Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, Joanna Hershon's A Dual Inheritance ($26.00) asks this question, as it follows not only these two men, but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely—even surprisingly—connected.

Joanna Hershon is the author of The German Bride, The Outside of August, and Swimming. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Edward Albee Foundation. An adjunct assistant professor in the creative writing department at Columbia University, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the painter Derek Buckner, and their twin sons.

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It’s 1989, the Berlin Wall is coming down, and Kate has just graduated from Yale, eager to pursue her dreams as a fledgling painter. When she receives a job offer to work as the assistant to Lydia Schell, a famous American photographer in Paris, she immediately accepts. It’s a chance not only to be at the center of it all, but also to return to France for the first time since she was a lonely nine-year-old girl, sent to the outskirts of Paris to live with cousins while her father was dying. In compelling and sympathetic prose, Hilary Reyl perfectly captures this portrait of a precocious, ambitious young woman struggling to define herself in a vibrant world that spirals out of her control. Lessons in French ($24.00) is at once a love letter to Paris and the story of a young woman finding herself, her moral compass, and, finally, her true family.

Hilary Reyl has a Ph.D. in French literature from NYU with a focus on the nineteenth century and has spent several years working and studying in France. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.

 

Start: 7:30 pm

San Francisco magazine celebrates its June "Authors Issue" with a mega-reading featuring some of the Bay Area's most exciting writing talent. Authors contributing to the issue include Dave Eggers, Daniel Handler, Michelle Tea, John Lescroart, Yiyun Lee, Andrew Sean Greer, Helene Wecker, Robin Sloan, Chinaka Hodge, Joshua Mohr, Jennifer Kahn, Doug McGray, Peter Orner, Leath Tonino, and Scott Hutchins, many of whom will be on hand to read selections from the magazine's writers-on-writers anthology.

Magazines will be available for purchase. Wine, soft drinks, and light snacks will be served.

 

24
Start: 1:00 pm

As the host of the hugely popular “The Wendy Williams Show,” Wendy Williams is not afraid to tackle tough issues. But life is filled with all kinds of drama, and there is only so much advice Wendy can dish out during her show’s signature “Ask Wendy” segment. Wendy’s latest book, Ask Wendy ($25.99) is a no-nonsense, guilt-free guide to life’s ups and downs. Honest, vivacious, and full of Wendy’s inimitable attitude, it covers important life topics such as relationships, body image, work, sex, parenting, style and beauty. Wendy also reveals for the first time never-before-heard stories from some of the challenges she’s had to overcome in her own life. This is the perfect book for Wendy’s fans and anyone who needs “a friend in their head.”

After an enormously successful 23-year career in radio, mother, wife, and bestselling author Wendy Williams burst onto the national talk show scene in July 2009 with the launch of the nationally syndicated daytime talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show.” Called a “breakthrough in daytime” by The New York Times, “The Wendy Williams Show” airs in 52 countries and has been renewed on Fox through 2014. Williams is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Wendy Williams Experience, as well as several novels including Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood.

 

25


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