Start: 12:00 pm
Left Bank in Larkspur • Single $105; Couple $170 (one book)Please note: online registration for this luncheon is now closed. Please call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1 to inquire about ticket availability. This special lunch will feature seasonal fresh organic produce from Marin Organic's Member Farms and select wines, including the 2013 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé (AOP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence) What Julia Child is to French cooking, Deborah Madison is to vegetarian cooking--a demystifier and definitive guide to the subject. After her many years as a teacher and writer, she realized that there was no comprehensive primer for vegetarian cooking, no single book that taught vegetarians basic cooking techniques, how to combine ingredients, and how to present vegetarian dishes with style. Originally published in 1997, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone was both ahead of its time and an instant classic, and has endured as one of the world's most popular vegetarian cookbooks. Featuring 1,400 recipes suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and everyone who loves fresh produce and good food, New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is as full of practical information as it is inspiring, a treasure from a truly irreplaceable culinary voice. Deborah Madison is the award-winning author of 12 books, including The Greens Cookbook, The Savory Way, Local Flavors, and, most recently, Vegetable Literacy. She received the M.F.K. Fisher Mid-Career Award from Les Dames d'Escoffier in 1994.
Start: 1:00 pm
Dee Williams' life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house she had painstakingly restored—but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? The things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury—time—that would come with downsizing.Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house—on her own, from the ground up—was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It’s left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given her freedom to head out for adventure at a moment’s notice, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch.The lessons Williams learned from her “aha” moment post-trauma apply to all of us, regardless of whether or not we decide to discard all our worldly belongings. Part how-to, part personal memoir, The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir ($26.95), is an utterly seductive meditation on the benefits of slowing down, scaling back, and appreciating the truly important things in life. Dee Williams is a teacher and sustainability advocate. She is the co-owner of Portland Alternative Dwellings, where she leads workshops focused on tiny houses, green building, and community design. Her story has been featured on Good Morning America and NBC Nightly News, and on NPR, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, and CBC. She has also been profiled or featured in hundreds of online blogs and articles, and in print media including Time, The New York Times, and Der Spiegel.
Start: 4:00 pm
In 1945, on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart, New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding the treasure. This responsibility grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman—a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt her.A story of brilliantly drawn characters, Love and Treasure ($26.95), is Ayelet Waldman’s finest novel to date: a sad, funny, richly detailed work that poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the chains that can bind us to the griefs and passions of the past. Ayelet Waldman is the author of the novels Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter’s Keeper, as well as of the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, and the Mommy-Track Mystery series. She lives in Berkeley.--After the death of her beloved twin brother and the abandonment of her long-time lover, Greta Wells undergoes electroshock therapy. Over the course of the treatment, Greta finds herself repeatedly sent to 1918, 1941, and back to the present. Whisked from the gas-lit streets and horse-drawn carriages of the West Village, to a martini-fueled lunch at the Oak Room, in these other worlds, Greta finds her brother alive and well though fearfully masking his true personality. And her former lover is now her devoted husband...but will he be unfaithful to her in this life as well? Greta Wells is fascinated by her alter egos: in 1941, she is a devoted mother; in 1918, she is a bohemian adulteress.In this spellbinding novel by Andrew Sean Greer, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells ($14.99), each reality has its own losses, its own rewards; each extracts a different price. Which life will she choose as she wrestles with the unpredictability of love and the consequences of even her most carefully considered choices?Andrew Sean Greer studied writing at Brown University, where he was the commencement speaker at his own graduation. He later received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana. He soon moved to Seattle, where he wrote for Nintendo and taught community college, then to San Francisco, where he began to publish in magazines such as Esquire, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker before releasing a collection of his stories, How It Was for Me. His novels include The Path of Minor Planets, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, and The Story of a Marriage. He lives in San Francisco with his husband in a house adjoining that of his twin brother.
Start: 4:00 pm
What Are You Waiting For?: Learn How to Rise to the Occasion of Your Life ($15.95) asks the questions: What are you waiting for? Do you find yourself waiting for the right moment? The ideal relationship? The perfect job? Are you waiting for your “real” life to begin? Do think that the gifts of life are right around the corner? That one day you will arrive and everything will be okay? Do you endlessly search, yet never seem to find? Through the sharing of authentic personal stories and profound life lessons, Kristen Moeller explores our pervasive human tendency to wait for life and to look outside ourselves for answers. So we dont try; we give up. We sell out and we forget who we are. We are afraid to succeed, afraid to fail, and afraid to say we are afraid. But as Wayne Gretzky said, “You'll always miss one-hundred percent of the shots you don't take!” Kristen Moeller's mission in life is to inspire you to get on the path, move forward, and take the shot.Kristen Moeller, MS, is a coach, speaker, author, and radio show host. She delights in "disrupting the ordinary" and inspiring others to do the same. Kristen first discovered her passion for personal development in 1989 after recovering from an eating disorder and addiction. After years of struggling with low self-esteem, she realized that recovery and joy is possible. Determined to provide this for others, Kristen immersed herself in the field of personal growth, earning a master's degree in mental health counseling, volunteering and working in treatment centers while continuing to train and develop herself. Now, a highly popular radio personality, TED speaker and author, Moeller is an in-demand workshopper and visionary dedicated to providing people with the tools they need to find and live their passions.
Start: 7:00 pm
The Write On Mamas, a collective of some 40 Bay Area writing moms (and one dad), will debut their first anthology titled Mamas Write ($14.29). The book comprises 29 essays that address how the group writes about parenting in modern families formed through birth, adoption, marriage, surrogacy, and partnership. Mamas Write features a forward by Kate Hopper, author of Use Your Words and Ready For Air. Essays in the anthology include Write On Mamas co-founder Janine Kovac’s “The Next Prompt,” a moving account of the birth of her premature twin sons; and widower Steven Friedman’s “Shine, Shine, Shine,” a loving chronicle of his wife’s passing. Huffington Post blogger and Minnesota resident Leslie Lagerstrom writes with heartfelt honesty about raising a transgender child in “It’s A Boy,” while blogger Jennifer Van Santvoord explores jumping off the conventional career path in “The Write Identity.” Finally, memoirist Jessica O’Dwyer describes finding her calling as a writer through adopting a child in “The Mother in the Square,” set in Antigua, Guatemala.In addition to the essays, Mamas Write includes “Mamas Answer,” funny and heartfelt responses to questions such as: “How does a busy parent make time for writing?” “Why do you write, and where?” “What writing books inspire you?” and “What holds you back from writing?" The roster of monthly speakers has included Christine Bronstein, founder of “A Band of Women”; Brooke Warner, co-founder of “She Writes” publishing; and Caroline Grant, editor-in-chief at Literary Mama. The event will include readings from Steven Friedman, Claire Hennessy, Jessica O'Dwyer, Mindy Urlaub, and Laurel Hilton, who will also act as moderator.