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« Week of July 27, 2014 »
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27
Start: 9:00 am
End: 3:00 pm

 

 

We’re excited to announce the 20th Annual Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference. This Conference has a strong tradition of great authors and teachers. Mystery writers learn all the clues to a successful writing career. Editors, agents, and publishers share with participants what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense and point of view. Panels of detectives, forensic experts, and other crime-fighting professionals provide invaluable information that allows writers to put realism into their work. We’re proud of the successful mystery writers who began their careers at this conference.

Questions or concerns? Contact Kathryn Petrocelli at 800-999-7909, ext. 239, or email bpconferences@bookpassage.com. 

2014 Faculty
2014 Schedule
Learning All the Clues
Private Consultations
Accomodations
FAQ

28
Start: 6:00 pm
From Tony Hsieh to Amy Chua to Jeremy Lin, Chinese Americans are now arriving at the highest levels of American business, civic life, and culture. But what makes this story of immigrant ascent unique is that Chinese Americans are emerging at just the same moment when China has emerged - and indeed may displace America - at the center of the global scene. What does it mean to be Chinese American in this moment? And how does exploring that question alter our notions of just what an American is and will be?

In many ways, Chinese Americans today are exemplars of the American Dream: during a crowded century and a half, this community has gone from indentured servitude, second-class status and outright exclusion to economic and social integration and achievement. But this narrative obscures too much: the Chinese Americans still left behind, the erosion of the American Dream in general, the emergence-perhaps-of a Chinese Dream, and how other Americans will look at their countrymen of Chinese descent if China and America ever become adversaries. As Chinese Americans reconcile competing beliefs about what constitutes success, virtue, power, and purpose, they hold a mirror up to their country in a time of deep flux.

In searching, often personal essays that range from the meaning of Confucius to the role of Chinese Americans in shaping how we read the Constitution to why he hates the hyphen in "Chinese-American," Eric Liu pieces together a sense of the Chinese American identity during these auspicious years for both countries in A Chinaman's Chance ($25.99). He considers his own public career in American media and government; his daughter's efforts to hold and release aspects of her Chinese inheritance; and the still-recent history that made anyone Chinese in America seem foreign and disloyal until proven otherwise. Provocative, often playful but always thoughtful, Liu breaks down his vast subject into bite-sized chunks, along the way providing insights into universal matters: identity, nationalism, family, and more.
 
Eric Liu is founder and CEO of Citizen University. His books include The Accidental Asian, a New York Times Notable Book; Guiding Lights, the official book of National Mentoring Month; and The Gardens of Democracy (coauthored with Nick Hanauer). Eric served as a White House speechwriter and policy adviser for President Bill Clinton. He is a correspondent for the Atlantic and a columnist for CNN.com and lives in Seattle with his family.
 
Start: 6:30 pm
End: 8:30 pm
Mon. July 28 • 6:30-8:30 pm • $18 (includes copy of the book)
 
 
 
 
This workshop introduces writers to the Book Architecture Method, a process for organization and revision of fiction and narrative nonfiction that has helped bestselling writers transform their messy manuscripts into polished books. Class will include in-depth exercises; new and experienced writers welcome. A previous long-time Marin resident, Stuart Horwitz’s Blueprint Your Bestseller was named one of 2013’s best books about writing by The Writer magazine.

Start: 7:00 pm
Co-Sponsored by Marin Shakespeare Company
 
Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare's Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return ($14.95). Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!
 
Ian Doescher is a Portland native, and lives in Portland with his spouse and two children.  He has a B.A. in Music from Yale University, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary.  He is currently the Creative Director at Pivot Group LLC, a full service marketing, research and web agency in Portland, Oregon.
 
29
Start: 6:00 pm
Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s Chicago jazz scene, a highly ambitious and stylish literary debut that combines the atmosphere and period detail of Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility with the emotional depth and drama of The Memory Keeper's Daughter, about a talented but troubled singer, her precocious ten-year-old daughter, and their heatbreaking relationship
 
It is the early 1960s, and Chicago is a city of uneasy tensions—segregation, sexual experimentation, free love, the Cold War—but it is also home to one of the country’s most vibrant jazz scenes. Naomi Hill, a singer at the Blue Angel club, has been poised on the brink of stardom for nearly ten years. Finally, her big break arrives—the cover of Look magazine. But success has come at enormous personal cost. Beautiful and magnetic, Naomi is a fiercely ambitious yet extremely self-destructive woman whose charms are irresistible and dangerous for those around her. No one knows this better than Sophia, her precocious ten-year-old daughter.

For Sophia, Naomi is the center of her universe. As the only child of a single, unconventional mother, growing up in an adult world, Sophia has seen things beyond her years and her understanding. Unsettled by her uncertain home life, she harbors the terrible fear that the world could end at any moment, so she compulsively keeps a running list of practical objects she will need to reinvent once nuclear catastrophe strikes. Her one constant is Jim, the photographer who is her best friend, surrogate father, and protector. But Jim is deeply in love with Naomi—a situation that adds to Sophia’s anxiety.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Sophia and Naomi, their powerful and wrenching story unfolds in layers, revealing Sophia’s struggle for her mother’s love with Naomi’s desperate journey to stardom and the colorful cadre of close friends who shaped her along the way. 

Sophisticated yet poignant, Last Night at the Blue Angel ($25.99) is an unforgettable tale about what happens when our passion for the life we want is at sharp odds with the life we have. It is a story ripe with surprising twists and revelations, and an ending that is bound to break your heart.

Rebecca Rotert received an M.A. in Literature from Hollins College, where she was the recipient of the Academy of American Poets prize. Her poetry and essays have appeared in a range of magazines and journals. She’s an accomplished singer and songwriter, and has performed with several bands. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska. This is her first novel.
 
Start: 7:00 pm
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling ($26.99) introduces readers to a world fully-imagined and terrifying, with vivid and intriguing characters and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.
 
Erika Johansen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing. She lives in the Bay Area.
 
30
Start: 12:30 pm

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont, return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
 
With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships.

 

Start: 7:00 pm
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation—and a great friendship.
 
In 2004, with the Lees’ blessing, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next eighteen months there, sharing coffee at McDonalds and trips to the Laundromat with Nelle, feeding the ducks and going out for catfish supper with the sisters, and exploring all over lower Alabama with the Lees’ inner circle of friends.
 
Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their story, Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story—and the South—right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family.
 
The Mockingbird Next Door ($27.95) is the story of Mills’s friendship with the Lee sisters. It is a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women, especially that of Nelle.
 
Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle Harper Lee, to be part of the Lees’ life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, how To Kill a Mockingbird affected their lives, and why Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel.
 
Marja Mills is a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a staff Pulitzer Prize winner for a 2001 series about O’Hare Airport entitled “Gateway to Gridlock". The Mockingbird Next Door is her first book. 
 
31
Start: 7:00 pm
A varied and colorful collection of the best-loved pieces by one of America's most popular travel columnists; these vignettes from Susan Spano's life on the road are like a box of chocolates-once you've tasted one, it's hard to put the book down. 

Susan Spano, America's original Frugal Traveler, explores some of the most romantic, most exotic, and wildest corners of the world in this captivating collection of her best-loved pieces.

French Ghosts, Russian Nights, and American Outlaws: Souvenirs of a Professional Vagabond ($15.95) takes the reader on magical trips, when everything conspired to make a place unforgettable, like a temple in Java at sunrise or an ice hotel in the Artic Circle at sunset. In some of the stories, she finds the kind of enlightenment that only travel can provide by following in the footsteps of luminaries such as Federico Fellini, Julia Child, and Chairman Mao.

Other stories are about travel itself: how it became Spano's passion and calling; how it fed her incurably restless spirit; how it inspired her philosophy of travel and life: Go forth and find meaning. Take a condemned cable car over the Yangtze River or a shared taxi over the Andes with a leaking gas tank and chain-smoking driver. Eat oysters and drink martinis wherever you can. And, as often as possible, come home with a tan.

Susan Spano has journeyed the world reporting on culture, nature, and the curiosities of humankind. She launched the still-running "Frugal Traveler" column for the New York Times, and later joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times, which sent her to the City of Light from 2003 to 2006 to start the popular travel blog "Postcards from Paris." She spent six months in Beijing studying Mandarin and researching stories in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics before moving to Rome-her favorite foreign posting-where she wrote about everything Italian, from Caravaggio to mozzarella. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler and Redbook; she is the co-author of Women on Divorce: A Bedside Companion and Men on Divorce: The Other Side of the Story.
 
1
Start: 7:00 pm

Completed shortly before her untimely death from breast cancer, Kathi Kamen Goldmark’s Her Wild Oats is a honky-tonk road story about two unlikely pals. Join us for an evening of readings and discussion in celebration of Kathi’s new novel. Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), Sam Barry (Write That Book Already!), and Susanne Pari (The Fortune Catcher) will be autographing copies of the book.

Goldmark died of triple negative breast cancer on May 24, 2012. In 2014, Barry oversaw the posthumous publication Goldmark's novel.

In the media:

Husband gets Kathi Kamen Goldmark's novel out to the world
Lee Daniel Kravetz, San Francisco Chronicle (July 22, 2014)

 


 

2
Start: 10:00 am
End: 11:30 am

THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED. For more information, please contact the Classes Department at 415-927-0960 ext. 1

 

 

Join local children’s author and yoga teacher, Andrea Alban Gosline, for a summer of nature discovery and creative expression. Children will play the “I Notice” game (a quiet, noncompetitiveversion of “I Spy”), write poeTREE, make leaf and bark rubbings, and learn amazing tree facts. Andrea inspires children to express their own original ideas and encourages thoughtful observationof the natural world. “Seedlings” (4-5 year olds) and “Saplings” (6-9 year olds) are welcome to join in the forest fun.

 

Start: 12:30 pm

R. A. Dickey was the first knuckleball pitcher to ever win a coveted Cy Young Award--despite spending most of his career in the minor leagues. Terry Landers, also a knuckleballer, is Dickey`s fictional counterpart in The Closer ($14.95). The main difference, aside from winning the Cy Young, is that at age thirty-three, Terry has never played in the majors. Once he finally gets his chance, what follows is the heartwarming story of his impact both on the pitching mound and with a family in distress.

Alan Mindell is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he played varsity center field for three years. More recently, he coached high school baseball and basketball, and won four gold medals as a sprinter in the 2012 edition of the San Diego Senior Olympics. The Closer is his first novel.

Start: 1:00 pm
Mississippi Eyes ($45.00) is the chronicle of the events and the powerful witness of five young photographers in The Southern Documentary Project, working during the pivotal summer of 1964 in the segregated South. Together they captured the sometimes violent, sometimes miraculous process of social change as segregation resisted then gave way to a new beginning toward social justice.

With 160 black-and-white photographs, this chronicle begins in the winter mud of the Mississippi Delta and ends in Atlantic City's convention hall as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation challenged the official Mississippi delegates to the National Democratic Convention. The Southern Documentary Project was the brain child of Matt Herron, a budding photojournalist who had moved with his family to Mississippi in 1963 to work in civil rights and shoot picture stories for Life, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post. Drawing on advice from his friend, the noted documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, he pulled together a shoestring budget, recruited photographers with civil rights experience, and completed the summer with a file of unforgettable photographs.

Along the way, Southern Documentary photographers suffered beatings and nearly died at the hands of a sheriff's posse in Selma, Alabama. They documented a moving service in a sharecropper's church, and captured inspirational encounters between Ivy League student teachers and black children in Freedom Schools. They followed the heartbreaking struggle of a young boy to confront the murder of his older brother by Klansmen. Mississippi Eyes is the only book to provide a firsthand account of what it was actually like to photograph the civil rights struggle in the Deep South.
 
Start: 4:00 pm
Money Anxiety is a behavioral economics book showing readers how money anxiety impacts consumer financial behavior and the economy. The book demonstrates the impact of financial anxiety on retail sales and bank savings. When money anxiety increases, consumers save more and spend less, which pushes the economy into a recession. Conversely, when money anxiety decreases, consumers save less and spend more, which expands the economy. 

Business and financial people will gain from this knowledge by reducing their expenses during times of high money anxiety, and increasing their revenues during times of low money anxiety. 
 
Dr. Dan Geller is an experienced researcher and analyst, and an expert in statistical modeling.  He developed the Money Anxiety concept and index after observing how a combination of economic indicators and factors impacts consumers’ financial behavior. Specifically, he observed how financial anxiety impacts the saving and spending patterns of consumers, and the impact such changes in financial behavior have on the economy. He is frequently featured in national and financial publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg/Newsweek, and has appeared on CNBC, Fox News Radio, and numerous regional programs. Dr. Geller earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration from Touro University, and has published numerous peer-reviewed studies in professional publications.  He resides in San Rafael, California. 
 
Start: 7:00 pm
Tickets: $28.50 (includes complimentary signed book)
 
 
 
 
 
Ralph Nader has fought for over fifty years on behalf of American citizens against the reckless influence of corporations and their government patrons on our society. Now he ramps up the fight and makes a persuasive case that Americans are not powerless. In Unstoppable, he explores the emerging political alignment of the Left and the Right against converging corporate-government tyranny.

Large segments from the progressive, conservative, and libertarian political camps find themselves aligned in opposition to the destruction of civil liberties, the economically draining corporate welfare state, the relentless perpetuation of America's wars, sovereignty-shredding trade agreements, and the unpunished crimes of Wall Street against Main Street. Nader shows how Left-Right coalitions can prevail over the corporate state and crony capitalism.

He draws on his extensive experience working with grassroots organizations in Washington and reveals the many surprising victories by united progressive and conservative forces. As a participator in, and keen observer of, these budding alliances, he breaks new ground in showing how such coalitions can overcome specific obstacles that divide them, and how they can expand their power on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the decisive arena of public opinion.

Americans can reclaim their right to consume safe foods and drugs, live in healthy environments, receive fair rewards for their work, resist empire, regain control of taxpayer assets, strengthen investor rights, and make bureaucrats more efficient and accountable. Nader argues it is in the interest of citizens of different political labels to join in the struggle against the corporate state that will, if left unchecked, ruin the Republic, override our constitution, and shred the basic rights of the American people.
 
Ralph Nader is an author, a lecturer, an attorney, and an American political activist in areas of consumer and worker protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government. He is the best-selling author of many books, including Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers. Nader is a four-time candidate for president of the United States, having run as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.
 


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