Events


Select event terms to filter by
« Week of January 19, 2014 »
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
19
Start: 1:00 pm

What is the purpose of life on earth? In An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth ($15.95), philosopher Jacob Needleman frames man’s role on the planet in a completely new and fresh way, moving beyond the usual environmental concerns to reveal how the care and maintenance of a world is something vital and basic to our existence as authentic human beings.

The acclaimed author of The American Soul, The Essential Marcus Aurelius, Lost Christianity, and Money and the Meaning of Life, Jacob Needleman is a professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University and former director of the Center for the Study of New Religions at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.

 

 

 

 

Start: 4:00 pm

What if there were a single skill that could directly and radically improve our relationships and our emotional lives? Empathy, teaches Karla McLaren, is that skill. With The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill ($18.95), this acclaimed author teaches us how to perceive and feel the experiences of others with clarity and authenticity-to connect with them more deeply and effectively. Informed by current insights from neuroscience, social psychology, and healing traditions, this book teaches readers why empathy is not a mystical phenomenon but a natural, innate ability that we can strengthen and develop, how to identify and regulate our own emotions and boundaries, and so much more.

Karla McLaren is an empath, pioneering educator, researcher, and award-winning author whose empathic approach to emotions revalues even the most “negative” emotions, and opens startling new pathways into the depths of the soul. She is the author of The Language of Emotions, and the online course Emotional Flow (2012). Karla has taught at such venues as the University of San Francisco, Naropa University, Kripalu, and the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and she is currently developing new forms of empathy and social interaction curricula for autistics and other neurologically diverse people. She lives in Sonoma County, California. For more information, visit karlamclaren.com.

 

 

Start: 7:00 pm

Introduced by Don George

Modern budget travel was practically invented by Arthur Frommer a few decades ago with his famous book Europe on $5 a Day. He remains the nation’s foremost authority on leisure travel along with his daughter, Pauline Frommer. They discuss the relaunch of the Frommer Guidebooks, with 30 new travel guides in two formats: EasyGuides, and Day by Day Guides.

 

20
Start: 7:00 pm
Co-Sponsored by the Academy of Sciences 
 
In The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature Is Inspiring Innovation ($26.95), Jay Harman introduces us to pioneering engineers in a wide array of businesses who are uncovering and copying nature's hidden marvels. He shows business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs how we can reconcile creating more powerful, lucrative technologies with maximizing sustainability. He injects a whole new vocabulary and way of thinking into the business sphere that speaks to both small start-ups and corporate giants.

Since the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers have built things by a process known as "heat, beat, and treat." They use enormous amounts of energy to heat raw material, shape it with heavy machinery, and maintain its design, strength, and durability with toxic chemicals. Now, in a world of depleted natural resources, entrepreneurs and scientists are turning to nature to inspire future products that are more energy- and cost-efficient. Biomimicry, the science of employing nature to advance sustainable technology, is arguably one of the hottest new business concepts. At the center of this growing movement has been award-winning inventor and biomimetic entrepreneur Jay Harman.

Jay Harman is a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur dedicated to creating breakthrough technologies through biomimicry that will radically reduce energy consumption worldwide. He continues to conduct field research leading to new biomimetic products. Harman is CEO of PAX Scientific based in San Rafael, CA.

 

 

21
Start: 12:30 pm

Suspenseful, comic, and touching, the ninth and final novel in Armistead Maupin's bestselling "Tales of the City" series follows one of modern literature's most unforgettable and enduring characters -- Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane -- on a road trip that will take her deep into her past in The Days of Anna Madrigal ($26.99)

Now a fragile ninety-two, and committed to the notion of "leaving like a lady," Anna Madrigal has seemingly found peace in the bosom of her "logical family" in San Francisco: her devoted young caretaker Jake Greenleaf; her former tenant Brian Hawkins; Brian's daughter Shawna; as well as Michael Tolliver and Mary Ann Singleton, who have known and loved Anna for nearly four decades.

Some members of Anna's family are bound for the other-worldly landscape of Burning Man, the art community in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada where 60,000 revelers will build a temporary city (Michael calls it "a Fellini carnival on Mars") designed to last only a week. Anna herself has another Nevada destination in mind: a lonely stretch of road outside of Winnemucca where the 16-year-old boy she used to be ran away from the whorehouse he called home. With Brian and his beat-up RV, she journeys into the dusty troubled heart of her Depression childhood, where she will unearth a lifetime of secrets and dreams and attend to unfinished business she has long avoided. 

Armistead Maupin is the author of the nine-volume "Tales of the City" series that includes Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, and Mary Ann in Autumn. The first three books were made into television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney. Maupin's other books include Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener, which was made into a film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette. A stage musical version of Tales of the City premiered at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater in May, 2011. Maupin lives in Santa Fe with his husband, photograher Christopher Turner.

 

Start: 6:00 pm
Following the death of his younger brother in Europe, journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in his loss, to document some part of the growing war that claimed his own flesh and blood. Leaving his wife, Helen, behind in Seattle, he heads to the Territory of Alaska to investigate the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government.

While accompanying a crew on a bombing run, John's plane is shot down over the island of Attu. But surviving the crash is only the beginning of his ordeal in this harsh and unforgiving fury of a wilderness known as "the Birthplace of Winds." In the days ahead, John must battle the elements, starvation, and his own regrets while evading discovery by the Japanese. Alone in their home 3,000 miles to the south, Helen struggles with her husband's absence-a silence that exposes the truth of her sheltered, untested life. Caught in extraordinary circumstances, in this new world of the missing, she is forced to reimagine who she is-and what she is capable of doing. Somehow, she will find John and bring him home, a quest that takes her into the farthest reaches of the war, beyond the safety of everything she knows.

An evocative, richly atmospheric story of life and death, commitment and sacrifice, The Wind Is Not a River ($26.99) is a sweeping story of survival that illuminates the fragility of life and the fierce power of love.

Brian Payton has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe. He is the author of Shadow of the Bear: Travels in Vanishing Wilderness, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Book Club Pick, an NPR Pearl's Pick, and a 2006 U.S. National Outdoor Book Awards Book of the Year. Another work of nonfiction, The Ice Passage, and a novel, Hail Mary Corner, were published to acclaim in Canada. He lives with his family in Vancouver.

 

Start: 7:00 pm

Focusing for the first time on why attorney general Robert F. Kennedy wasn’t killed in 1963 instead of on why President John F. Kennedy was, Mark Shaw offers a stunning and provocative assassination theory that leads directly to the family patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy. Mining fresh information and more than forty new interviews, Shaw weaves a spellbinding narrative involving Mafia don Carlos Marcello; Jack Ruby (Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer); Ruby’s attorney, Melvin Belli; and, ultimately, the Kennedy brothers and their father.

In The Poison Patriarch ($24.95), Shaw addresses these tantalizing questions: Why, shortly after his brother’s death, did a grief-stricken RFK tell a colleague, “I thought they would get one of us . . . I thought it would be me”? Why was Belli, an attorney with almost no defense experience (but proven ties to the Mafia), chosen as Jack Ruby’s attorney? How does Belli’s Mafia connection call into question his legal strategy, which ultimately led to the Ruby’s first-degree murder conviction and death sentence? What was Joseph Kennedy’s relationship to organized crime? And how was his insistence that JFK appoint RFK as attorney general tantamount to signing the president’s death warrant?

For fifty years, Shaw maintains, researchers investigating the president’s murder in Dallas have been looking at the wrong motives and actors. The Poison Patriarch offers a shocking reassessment—one that is sure to alter the course of future assassination debates.

Mark Shaw author of twenty-plus books, is a former criminal defense attorney who has served as a legal analyst for ABC, ESPN, and USA Today. He is a member of the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington, DC, and the Mary Ferrell Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering critical thinking on a range of historical topics, including the assassinations of the 1960s. He lives in Superior, Colorado.

 

22
Start: 7:00 pm

Please note: this event has been cancelled.  

Why is it that some of the greatest works of literature have been produced by writers in the grip of alcoholism, an addiction that cost them personal happiness and caused harm to those who loved them?

In The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking ($26.00) Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six of America’s finest writers: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. All six of these men were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Moveable Feast. Often, they did their drinking together: Hemingway and Fitzgerald ricocheting through the cafes of  Paris in the 1920s; Carver and Cheever speeding to the liquor store in Iowa in the icy winter of 1973.

Olivia Laing grew up in an alcoholic family herself. One spring, wanting to make sense of this ferocious, entangling disease, she took a journey across America that plunged her into the heart of these overlapping lives. As she travels from Cheever’s New York to Williams’s New Orleans, and from Hemingway’s Key West to Carver’s Port Angeles, she pieces together a topographical map of alcoholism, from the horrors of addiction to the miraculous possibilities of recovery. Beautiful, captivating, and original, The Trip to Echo Spring strips away the myth of the alcoholic writer to reveal the terrible price creativity can exert.

Olivia Laing is the author of To the River, published by Canongate to critical acclaim, and shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize. She was deputy books editor of the Observer, and writes for The Guardian, New Statesman, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. She lives in Cambridge.

 

 

23
Start: 7:00 pm

In her masterful new novel, Nancy Horan has recreated a love story that is as unique, passionate, and overwhelmingly powerful as the one between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney depicted so memorably in Loving Frank. Under the Wide and Starry Sky ($26.00) chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children. Stevenson too is escaping from his life, running from family pressure to become a lawyer. And so begins a turbulent love affair that will last two decades and span the world.

Nancy Horan is the author of Loving Frank. She is also a journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications. She has two sons, and lives with her husband on an island in Puget Sound.

 

 

 

Start: 7:00 pm
End: 9:00 pm

6 Thursdays., Jan. 23 - Feb. 27 • 7:00-9:00pm • $150

 

 

 

"To have great poets," Walt Whitman said, "There must be great audiences too." What makes a poem worth reading? This group looks at famous poets from several centuries and from several literatures. Widely-published local poet and author John Hart co-edits the venerable all-poetry journal Blue Unicorn, now in its 36th year. 

 

 

 

 

24
Start: 7:00 pm

Marla Fibish and Bruce Victor are Noctambule.  They take their name from one of the songs on their acclaimed CD Travel in the Shadows, their setting of a Robert Service poem about a nocturnal ramble through the streets and less savory back alleys of Paris.  The recording is centered on the idea of the 'night journey,' as explored in a broad variety of poetry -- the opportunity to see and experience things differently once the usual sources of light have been extinguished.  All the songs are original settings of poetry from a variety of poets-- Tennyson, Neruda, Roethke, St. Vincent Millay, and several from Robert Service. There are two original instrumental pieces as well – a reel and a waltz – as well as one traditional song. The music is rendered with lush beauty, sensitivity and humor on an unusual array of strings - various guitars in varied tunings, mandola, mandolin, bouzouki, tenor guitar, accordion, and their blended voices.

Marla Fibish is a long-time feature of the Bay Area Irish music scene, bringing a musicality and excitement to the tradition that is seldom heard on the mandolin. In addition to the mandolin, Marla brings mandola, tenor guitar, bouzouki, accordion, and her alto voice to the Noctambule sound. 

Bruce Victor is an eclectic and accomplished guitarist and composer, who plays several different guitars in several different tunings. Seemingly resisting any single musical genre, he has been labeled a 'poly-stylist,' and has played with The Sirens of San Francisco, The Triplicates, and as a solo performer. He is also a practicing psychiatrist and was a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

You'll find lots more info about them, and you can hear sample tracks from the album at www.noctambulemusic.com.   

Here is a link to a video of Marla and Bruce playing their setting of Roethke's 'Night Journey': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaLLq9y1imw

 

 

Start: 7:00 pm

In Saints of the Shadow Bible ($26.00), Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. He is investigating a car accident when news arrives that a case from 30 years ago is being reopened. Rebus's team from those days is suspected of helping a murderer escape justice to further their own ends.

Malcolm Fox, in what will be his last case as an internal affairs cop, is tasked with finding out the truth. Past and present are about to collide in shocking and murderous fashion. What does Rebus have to hide? And whose side is he really on? His colleagues back then called themselves "The Saints," and swore a bond on something called the Shadow Bible. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer -- and may also play a role in the present, as Scotland gears up for a referendum on independence.

Allegiances are being formed, enemies made, and huge questions asked. Who are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other? 

Ian Rankin is a #1 international bestselling author. Winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award, he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.

 

25
Start: 9:30 am
End: 3:30 pm

Sat., Jan. 25 • 9:30-3:30pm • $105

 

 

In this workshop, students will study the components of personal essay through lecture and writing exercises and will learn how to structure and craft creative nonfiction in a way that is both joyful and rewarding. Victoria Zackheim wrote The Bone Weaver and has edited five anthologies. She wrote the documentary "Where Birds Never Sang," which aired on PBS.

 

 

Start: 10:00 am
End: 4:00 pm
Sat. Jan. 25 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $105
 
 
 
 
Aristotle called plot “the most important element of storytelling.” But to plot properly, you must have a plan, and the plan must give rise to emotion. Does the plot always seem to elude you? Spend a day planning and plotting and find out what you’re missing. Bring your flat-lining fiction and nonfiction and fix it.
 
Linda Watanabe McFerrin is the founder of Left Coast Writers®. Her latest novel, Dead Love, a global supernatural thriller, was a Bram Stoker Award finalist.
 
Class Credit: Participants in these classes may receive credit at Dominican University: bookpassage.com/dominican-credit
 
 
 
Start: 4:00 pm

In The Last Death of Jack Harbin ($15.95), before the outbreak of the Gulf War two eighteen-year-old football stars and best friends from Jarrett Creek, Texas, signed up for the army. But Woody Patterson was rejected and stayed home to marry the girl they both loved, while Jack Harbin came back from the war badly damaged. The men haven't spoken since. Just as they are about to reconcile, Jack is brutally murdered. With the chief of police out of commission, it's up to trusted ex-chief Samuel Craddock to investigate. Against the backdrop of small-town loyalties and betrayals, Craddock discovers dark secrets of the past and present to solve the mystery of Jack's death.

Terry Shames is the author of A Killing at Cotton Hill, the first Samuel Craddock Mystery. She is the coeditor of Fire in the Hills, a book of stories, poems, and photographs about the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. She grew up in Texas and continues to be fascinated by the convoluted loyalties and betrayals of the small town where her grandfather was the mayor. Terry is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Visit Terry Shames online at www.terryshames.com.

 

 

Start: 7:00 pm
Adrienne Amundsen went to Afghanistan and brought back Reclaiming the Apple: Poems from Afghanistan ($12.95), which describes a country devastated by war. She found the people determined and resilient in impossible circumstances. Both Afghans and American soldiers are depicted here, and tragedy stands next to hope in this modern war zone.
 


Shopping cart

View your shopping cart.

Order a Signed Copy Today!

Can't make it to an event? Want a signed copy?

Order a signed book by adding it to your  cart and noting "Signed Copy" in the comments field at checkout. Signed copies available at no extra charge while supplies last.

WE SHIP GLOBALLY!
Questions?  Email orders@bookpassage.com
or call (415) 927-0960