Start: 6:00 pm
Politicians have talked endlessly about the economic devastation wrought by the recent financial crisis, but what about the damage it’s done to our bodies and minds? In The Body Economic ($27.99), pioneering public health researchers David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu mine data from around the globe and throughout history to demonstrate that bad fiscal policy—particularly cuts to social service spending—can have disastrous consequences for human health. While some nations have seen suicide rates, HIV transmissions, alcoholism, and heart disease spike during the Great Recession, not everyone has suffered—or needs to, so long as governments make health and well-being a priority.Dr. Sanjay Basu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and an epidemiologist at the Prevention Research Center of Stanford University. A former Rhodes Scholar, he lives in San Francisco.
Start: 7:00 pm
The legend behind such songs as “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire” and “Hallelujah” and the poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life—sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ladies’ man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk whose name, Jikan—“ordinary silence”—is quite the appellation for a writer and singer whose life has been anything but ordinary.I’m Your Man ($16.99) is the definitive account of that extraordinary life. Acclaimed music journalist Sylvie Simmons crafts a portrait of Cohen as nuanced as the man himself, drawing on a wealth of research that includes Cohen’s personal archives and more than a hundred exclusive interviews with those closest to Cohen—from his lovers, friends, monks, professors, rabbis and fellow musicians to his muses, including Rebecca De Mornay, Marianne Ihlen, Suzanne Elrod and Suzanne Verdal—and most important, with Cohen himself, whose presence infuses these pages. Sylvie Simmons is an award-winning writer and one of the foremost music journalists working today. Born in London, she moved to Los Angeles in the late seventies and started writing about rock music for magazines such as Sounds, Creem, Kerrang! and Q. She is the author of acclaimed fiction and nonfiction books, including the biography Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes and the short-story collection Too Weird for Ziggy. She lives in San Francisco, California, where she writes for MOJO magazine and plays the ukulele.