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« Week of August 3, 2014 »
Start: 10:30 am
End: 1:00 pm

Sun. Aug. 3 • 10:30-1:00 pm • $60




A summer creative-writing workshop for adult kids who want to loosen the grip of the critic and have some fun. With the tried and true methods that Karen Benke has used for decades writing with children, the secrets of playing on the page will be revealed to you too. We’ll experiment accessing the imagination you had as a child (yes, you still have it) and leave with a piece of writing you’ll be eager to share.

Start: 11:00 am
End: 4:00 pm

Sun., Aug. 3 • 11:00-4:00 pm • $105



We have multiple ways of building our characters— their appearance, their actions, their thoughts, and of course their words. The writer Robert Boswell once said that dialogue “is like neon: too much of it and you end up seeing none of it—it is all flash and no content.” How do we write dialogue that appears realistic but is uncluttered, that conceals and reveals, seduces, protects, and rejects? Come explore what a powerful tool and weapon dialogue can be. Natalie Serber’s short story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, was named one of 100 Notable Books of 2012 by the New York Times. She has taught writing in several universities.

Start: 1:00 pm
Inspire personal growth, creativity, and community involvement through daily activities that explore four personality pathways
Living life in full bloom means living with hope and purpose, with imagination and vision—in a way that honors the Earth, the spirit, and one another. Elizabeth Murray encourages and nurtures each person to explore four personality attributes (Gardener, Artist, Lover, and Spirit Weaver), or pathways, that create a framework for practicing mindfulness, unleashing potential, and reviving communities. As Gardeners, readers will learn to observe and grow; as Artists, they’ll discover creativity and new possibilities; as Lovers, they’ll lead with the heart and commit to things they’re passionate about; and as Spirit Weavers, they’ll create rituals and express gratitude.

Accented with Murray’s exquisite nouveau vintage photography in a beautiful gift format, Living Life in Full Bloom ($21.99) includes 30 guided activities for each pathway help readers take small but powerful action steps to define the purposes of busy lives and help them remember who they really are. Murray also includes profiles of "bloomers," inspiring individuals who exemplify this life and are in partnership with their local communities and international organizations focused on people and causes. A step-by-step exercise on life mapping helps to identify passions, skills, and community needs and offers specific actions to serve the greater good.
Elizabeth Murray is a writer, photographer, and motivational speaker, and she’s best known for assisting in the restoration of Monet’s gardens and photographing them annually for the past 28 years. In 2012, Murray’s photography was shown alongside Monet’s paintings at the New York Botanical Garden. She has an active lecture and class schedule and is invited to speak and teach around the world. 
Start: 4:00 pm
Moving into Meditation ($19.95) is a practical yet fresh guide to integrating mindful yoga and embodied meditation, in a 12-week format.

One week at a time, Moving into Meditation lays out a plan for exploring body-based practices to get you more in tune with not only your limbs and core but your mind and heart. Anne Cushman's curriculum integrates asana with mindfulness meditation to help practitioners turn "embodiment" from a concept into a tangible reality. Her delightful mixture of practices, yoga history, and Buddhist philosophy are made relevant to your present-day life. Personal stories from the "trenches" of decades of practice and teaching add color; Cushman's characteristic poetic and funny voice makes all readers feel that much more human. Cushman believes-and experience proves-that by becoming better attuned to and acquainted with the body, the physical forms become a vehicle for becoming more intimate with yourself and your world. From there, we can explore and embody the teachings of the Buddha for a more awakened life.

In recent years, "mindfulness" has blasted into mainstream culture much as yoga did two decades ago, making "mindful yoga" an appealing trend. But how does mindful yoga evolve from a buzz-worthy concept to a lived experience? How do yoga asanas and pranayama support and express the practice of meditation? How do you explore the teachings of the Buddha through the vehicle of your own living, breathing, human body?

As we quickly learn, the practices are inherently entwined. Experienced yoga and meditation teacher Anne Cushman answers all these questions and more in Moving into Meditation, teaching us to deepen our asana practices with mindfulness meditation and enhance our meditation practice with asana. With compassion, humor, and deep intelligence, Moving into Meditation guides us through integrating mind, body, and spirit practices for a wide-awake life.

The book is presented in a systematic, week-by-week format for ease of use and accessibility, and because the author is also developing an online course for which the book will be a central text. The program progresses through the Buddha's four foundations of mindfulness as well as the koshas.
Anne Cushman has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1983 and yoga since 1986 and teaching their integrated practice since 1997. Her essays on the intersection of spiritual practice with daily life have been widely published, appearing in the New York Times, O magazine, Yoga Journal, Tricycle, and the Shambhala Sun. A former editor at both Yoga Journal and Tricycle, she has presented at and directed multiple conferences at Kripalu, including "Yoga and Buddhism" and "The Yoga of Parenting." Since 2000 she has taught yoga and meditation on close to fifty retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she is the codirector of the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training Program.
Start: 7:00 pm

Includes a live performance of music from the book, by acclaimed cellist Miriam Perkoff and violinist Michael Grossman. 

Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations is a powerful memoir about resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy, an inspiring and poignant tale of how one man transformed his heartache into a legacy of joy for his students. His students knew Jerry Kupchynsky as "Mr. K"-the fierce Ukrainian-born music teacher who made them rehearse until their fingers almost bled and, in turn, better than they ever expected to be. Away from the classroom, though, life seemed to conspire against him at every turn. This account takes you on his remarkable journey, from his childhood on the run in Nazi Germany, to his life in America caring for his disabled wife while raising their two small daughters, to his search for his beloved younger daughter after she mysteriously disappeared. Jerry Kupchynsky unforgettable story is lyrically told in alternating chapters by two childhood friends who reconnected decades later: Melanie Kupchynsky, his daughter, and Joanne Lipman, a former student. Heartbreaking yet ultimately triumphant, this memoir is a testament to the astonishing power of hope-and a celebration of the profound impact one person can have on the lives of others.

Joanne Lipman is one of the nation's most prominent journalists and commentators. She was a Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal and she founded and was Editor-in-Chief of Portfolio. Currently, she is a Newsweek columnist and advisor to news organizations such as CNN and New York Public Radio. She is a frequent television commentator, appearing on CNN, CBS, and CNBC, among others.


Start: 7:00 pm

This is the story of how the FBI broke its own rules to catch the notorious Unabomber who had randomly killed and maimed people while leaving a cold trail of terrorism for sixteen years. When a new team of hand-picked investigators devised a different strategy to crack the genetic code that protected the Unabomber’s anonymity, the first task was to begin blasting away the layers of bureaucratic constraints that had plagued the earlier efforts to retrace the trail of crimes. As the rules broke and the bureaucratic restraints crumbled, the puzzle pieces of earlier bombings that the terrorist left behind were found and the puzzle collapsed around the Unabomber like a deck of cards. Unabomber ($27.95) is the story, told in the narrative by the three FBI Agents who led the chase, of how they broke the Bureau’s own rules and finally captured the notorious Unabomber who had led the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the longest chase in its century-old history.

Jim Freeman who was designated by then FBI Director Louis Freeh to be the SAC, the Special Agent in Charge of the national pursuit; Terry Turchie a counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence expert who directed the task force; and Max Noel the Special Agent in the street who succeeded in placing Mr. Kaczynski under arrest. The three collaborated to bring the definitive work on the man long considered to be the most notorious lone wolf terrorist in American history.


Start: 6:00 pm

When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she’s about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why—in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.

Unflinching in its portrayal of Emma’s darkest days, yet full of hope and humor, Rachel DeWoskin’s brilliant Blind is one of those rare books that utterly absorbs the reader into the life and experience of another.

Rachel DeWoskin spent her twenties in China as a consultant, writer, and the unlikely star of a nighttime soap opera called "Foreign Babes in Beijing." Her memoir of those years, Foreign Babes in Beijing, has been published in six countries and is being developed as a television series by Sundance. She is the author of two other adult novels, Repeat After Me and Big Girl Small, which received the ALA’s Alex Award. Rachel has a BA in English from Columbia and an MFA in poetry from Boston University. Rachel lives with her husband, playwright Zayd Dohrn, and their two little girls in Chicago, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago. Blind is her first YA novel.


Start: 7:00 pm

 Join the Left Coast Writers for a travel writing salon featuring a special guest (TBA)! 

Left Coast Writers provides literary connections, support, readings, writing tips, literary chat, unabashed networking, and great fun. LCW hosts a variety of activities to launch the books of members and explore publishing alternatives. See


Start: 10:30 am
End: 12:30 pm

Tuesday: Aug. 5 • 10:30-12:30pm • $20



Pat Holt leads a discussion of books that have captured the contemporary imagination. Holt is the former book review editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and publisher of Holt Uncensored.

Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

Start: 12:30 pm
End: 3:00 pm

Four Tues./Thurs.: Aug. 5- 14 • 12:30-3:00 pm • $160



This class will focus on becoming comfortable conversing in French. 

Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan has taught French at College of Marin for over 30 years. She graduated from the Sorbonne with degrees in French, Russian, and Bulgarian.

Start: 3:30 pm
End: 5:30 pm
Four Tuesdays: Aug. 5-26 • 3:30-5:30pm • $125
This class is a short introductory Japanese class for someone travelling to Japan or someone who wants to learn a little bit about Japanese language and culture. We will learn basic greetings, basic structure of Japanese sentences, vocabulary, necessary phrases during your trip: at the airport, hotel, etc., along with an introduction to customs and culture.

Yoko Hara received her B.A. in French from Tamagawa University in Tokyo and studied at the Pana Lingua Institute of Japanese Language before coming to the US. She has taught Japanese for all age groups in Marin and San Francisco, and currently teaches at the East Bay Japanese School.

Start: 7:00 pm
Queen of Hearts ($25.95) follows Lady Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, who knows how to play the part of an almost royal. Now, though, she’s off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene…
My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.
Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony—especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.
Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!
Mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead—as if there wasn’t enough drama already…
Rhys Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author and has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar®, and has won many, including both the Agatha and Anthony awards. She is also the author of the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Wales. She was born in England and now divides her time between Northern California and Arizona.
Start: 12:00 pm
End: 2:00 pm

5 Weds., Aug. 6-Sept. 3 • 12:00-2:00pm • $160



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: 12:00 pm

Ticket: $55 (includes lunch & signed copy of Lucky Us)



Two sisters-one the star, the other the sidekick-make their way in 1930s Hollywood and Long Island in the 1940s and 50s in this brilliant, funny novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Away.

When Eva's mother abandons her on her half-sister Iris's front porch, the girls don't seem to have much in common-except, they soon discover, a father. Thrown together with no mothers to care for them and a father who could not be considered a parent, Eva and Iris become one another's family. Iris wants to be a movie star; Eva is her sidekick. From scandal in Hollywood to the carriage house of a wealthy Long Island family, the sisters look out for each other through good and bad, until unexpected events send Iris to London, leaving Eva with a responsibility she could never have imagined.

Full of colorful characters and irresistible settings-a lavish, sensual Hollywood party; an unforgettable cross-country road trip; a Brooklyn beauty parlor where Eva reads Tarot cards; high and low life in Great Neck, Long Island, Lucky Us is a stunningly imagined novel about the longing to connect with others over self, the quest for a mother, and the meaning of family, in 1930s-50s America.

Amy Bloom is the author of Away, Where the God of Love Hangs Out, Come to Me (National Book Award finalist), A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist); Love Invents Us; and Normal. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Granta, and Slate, among other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award.

Book Passage hosts literary luncheons with celebrated authors at our Marin store. These events are catered by the outstanding Insalata’s Restaurant of San Anselmo. The price includes lunch and an autographed book.

Start: 7:00 pm
Everybody knows her smile, but no one knows her story: Meet the flesh-and-blood woman who became one of the most famous artistic subjects of all time—Mona Lisa.
A genius immortalized her. A French king paid a fortune for her. An emperor coveted her. Every year more than 9 million visitors trek to view her portrait in the Louvre.Yet while everyone recognizes her smile, hardly anyone knows her story. Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered ($28.00), a blend of biography, history, and memoir, truly is a book of discovery—about the world’s most recognized face, most revered artist, and most praised and parodied painting. Who was she, this ordinary woman who rose to such extraordinary fame? Why did the most renowned painter of her time choose her as his model? What became of her? And why does her smile enchant us still?

Lisa Gherardini (1479-1542) was a quintessential woman of her times, caught in a whirl of political upheavals, family dramas, and public scandals. Her life spanned the most tumultuous chapters in the history of Florence—and of the greatest artistic outpouring the world has ever seen. Her story creates an extraordinary tapestry of Renaissance Florence, with larger-than-legend figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli.

Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua, became obsessed with finding the real Mona Lisa on repeated trips to Florence. In Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered, she takes readers with her to meet Lisa’s descendants; uncover her family’s long and colorful history; and explore the neighborhoods where she lived as a girl, a wife, and a mother. In the process, we can participate in Lisa’s daily rituals; understand her personal relationships; and see, hear, smell, and taste “her” Florence. Hales brings to life a time poised between the medieval and the modern, a vibrant city bursting into fullest bloom, and a culture that redefined the possibilities of man—and of woman.

Dianne Hales is a prize-winning, widely published journalist and author. The President of Italy awarded her an honorary knighthood in recognition of her bestselling book, La Bella Lingua. Her other works include Just Like a Woman; Caring for the Mind; and the leading college health textbook, An Invitation to Health. She has served as a contributing editor for Parade, Ladies Home Journal, Working Mother, and American Health and has written for many national publications, including Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, and Woman’s Day.
Start: 6:00 pm
Tony Serra: The Green, Yellow and Purple Years in the Life of a Radical Lawyer ($15.00) is a Chromatic, metaphoric autobiography of Tony Serra’s defense of Black Panthers, S.L.A., New World Liberation Front, Nuestra Familia, Earth First, Hells Angels, Mafia and Native Americans, intertwined with his anti-establishment ideology: written by Tony Serra while in Federal Prison for tax resistance.

“Forgive my romanticized and self-indulgent propositions in the forthcoming pages. Recall that such were written at Lompoc Federal Prison camp during my incarceration for U.S. tax resistance. I was not purporting to document case histories. You can find those references on the internet,. Mine is not a quest for accuracy. Mine is a flight into whimsy and caprice, a retrospective twinkle in the eyes of memory: In short, confinement escapism.” - J. Tony Serra

“Watching Tony in action is one of the reasons I became a public defender. As a new trial lawyer, I tried to emulate Tony. I had heard that he used to lick the railing at the Hall Of Justice (or “Injustice” as it is sometimes called) between the first and second floor so he could absorb the souls of all of those defendants who have walked that stairway to meet their legal destinies. I couldn’t bring myself to do it and whenever I lost a case, I would think to myself, ‘Tony Serra would have won that case.’” - Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender

Start: 6:30 pm

Special Event for Teens!

Join us in welcoming three talented young adult authors! Ann Aguirre presents Mortal Danger, a novel of revenge and demonic deals. Ann is joined by Veronica Rossi, author of the thrilling Under the Never Sky trilogy, and Corinne Jackson, author of If I Lie.

Ann Aguirre is the author of the New York Times– and USA Today–bestselling Razorland Trilogy (Enclave, Outpost, and Horde).

Veronic Rossi's Under the Never Sky has sold in twenty-six countries and been optioned for film by Warner Bros.

Corrine Jackson lives in San Francisco, where she works at a top marketing agency, managing campaigns for several Fortune 500 clients. She has bachelor and master degrees in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University.


Start: 10:00 am
End: 2:00 pm

Sat., Aug 9 • 10:00-2:00 pm • $60



48-hour advance registration • Limit of six

You’ve written a brilliant children’s story and can’t wait to hear what others think, or you’re stuck and need a critique. Bring your manuscript or idea to this on-the-spot workshop, and we’ll critique it. Amy Novesky is a children’s book editor, author, and experienced workshop leader.


Start: 10:00 am
End: 4:00 pm

Sat., Aug. 9 • 10:00-4:00 pm • $105


Hone up your observation skills to make your writing unforgettable. Whether your writing is literary, journalistic, humorous, or quirky, you still need to catch readers’ attention. Writers accomplish this by using specific detail, and the way to amp up detail is to hone your skills of observation. Through playful exercises, ferocious editing, and lively discussion, Molly Fisk shows how to notice more of what’s in front of you and gracefully add it to your sentences. Molly Fisk is the author of Blow-Drying a Chicken, a collection of her weekly commentary for community radio stations She’s written three poetry collections.


Start: 1:00 pm

Authors, Carol Benson and Paul Benson met over a decade ago and it was a dream partnership from the beginning. Life was exciting, easy and a lot of fun. They felt confident they would be able to eventually retire in the style of their parents.

At the height of the country's economic meltdown their entire financial foundation crumbled. They watched as their savings dwindled, businesses vanished and they lost their home. But, guess what? They never fought; never blamed each other and never let the fears get in the way of their bond. In fact, they stayed alive, still in love and motivated to prosper!

They used 5 Steps to get through the chaos and confusion of their financial circumstances changing. People kept asking what they were doing to stay happy while losing most everything they had counted on. So they decided to show how in the book 5 Steps to Thrive: Reveal Any Crisis as Opportunity.

Carol Benson’s background is heavy on what it takes to actually accomplish effective communication, team building and forming sustainable alliances and relationships. In addition to coaching, she’s worked as a Speech Language Pathologist and as a writer. Paul Benson, as a successful entrepreneur for over thirty years, has a background immersed in business and all that it takes to create multimillion-dollar businesses. He’s also received training in somatic, body-centered therapy and a variety of personal coaching styles,

Start: 4:00 pm
An Unplanned Encounter: Two Lives Forever Changed ($38.34) is an unforgettable heart-rending novel set against the backdrop of World War II England. The main characters are involved in a fifteen-minute unintended sexual event that has lasting ramifications in their lives for the next thirty years.

Jonathan Husband, a first-time author, has written a touching, intense, complex story that is all the more striking because it is based on real events. He perceptively describes people dealing with emotions that have spiraled out of control and consumed their ordinary lives. Readers may very well imagine what their reactions might be if they found themselves in similar circumstances to the protagonists.

Within the main story are other spin-off stories, ranging from a Jewish family fleeing to Shanghai to escape the Nazis, to the San Francisco hippie scene in the 1960s complete with a graphic description of an acid trip, and insight into a mental hospital’s treatment of suicidal patients.

Mary Louise, the 20-year-old girl at the heart of the story, struggles to keep her illegitimate baby and support him in the face of her family’s disapproval. Jock is the father of the son he does not acknowledge, support, or have any involvement with. The third main character is Michael, an American who worked at an airfield in England with Jock during the War, and who, years later, connects the lives of Mary Louise and Jock.

Simultaneously tragic and uplifting, An Unplanned Encounter is an unforgettable story about relationships, acceptance, determination, sacrifice, and generosity.
Start: 7:00 pm

Laurie McAndish King’s adventures may have seemed like a good idea at the time: Tracking lions on foot, without a gun, in Botswana. Taste-testing the world’s most expensive coffee—which happens to be made from the excrement of a small Balinese mammal. Marrying a Maasai warrior in Kenya, searching the Irish countryside for an erotic goddess, and attempting to eat a horse in southern Italy. Whether she is lost in Melbourne, kidnapped in Tunisia, or eaten alive in Queensland, King’s travel adventures tend toward the quirky. And her retelling in Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive! ($14.95) is poignant, thoughtful, occasionally unsettling, often funny, and always appealing.

Laurie McAndish King grew up in rural Iowa, the pulmonary artery of the American Heartland. She has traveled to nearly forty countries and published award-winning travel essays and photography in Smithsonian magazine, Travel Channel affiliate, the San Francisco Chronicle, Travelers’ Tales’ The Best Women’s Travel Writing, and other magazines and literary anthologies. Her mobile app about the San Francisco waterfront received a five-star rating on iTunes. She is an avid photographer—one of her photos was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution—and enjoys gardening, taxidermy, and chasing the cosmic serpent. Laurie lives in northern California with her husband and two cats. They all study philosophy together in front of the fireplace. 


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