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Sunday August 24, 2014
Start: 08/24/2014 12:00 pm

Please note: this event has been cancelled.

In Cooking with an Asian Accent: Eastern Wisdom in a Western Kitchen ($29.99), award-winning author Ying Compestine  reveals how to make delicious home-cooked meals that nourish the senses and the soul using accessible ingredients, simple preparations, and thrilling flavors. Melding Eastern philosophy with Western-style efficiency, Ying's recipes offer a balanced approach to cooking everything from quick and healthy soups, salads, and stir-fries to sauces, condiments, and desserts. Accompanied by beautiful full-color photography and inspirational personal stories, this accessible, engaging book is ideal for anyone who aspires to home cooking that is simple, delicious, and revitalizing.

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: 08/24/2014 4:00 pm
The Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour ($19.95) guide book is a colorful and informative excursion revealing the diverse and historical path through this famed waterfront. Created as an accompaniment to the walking tour itself, it was first published in 2003 by Victoria Colella, owner and operator of the Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour and is now celebrating the publication of its third limited edition. 

Encompassing a collection of stories about the various vessels that flank the piers, this book is an insight into the bygone times of local characters and lore and includes color photos and the illustrative works by the author. The Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour guide book will educate and  delight Sausalito locals and visitors as they “Stroll the Docks of the Bay.”

Start: 08/24/2014 7:00 pm

The Tale of Hun Shim & Sun Mung ($19.95) begins as Mother Nature declares a grand new plan, devised to bring the world’s people closer together beyond their differences, to a very confused and skeptical crane. Hun Shim & Sun Mung, both born in Korea, are destined to travel to America where they will find their true parents according to Mother Nature’s design. With each trial and tribulation the girls face, the crane questions Mother Nature’s decision to have them move so far away to a family and community where so few people look like the girls. Each time the curious crane questions her decision Mother Nature reassures the crane that all of the difficulties the girls face will ultimately mold them into their true selves. As Mother Nature foretells, Hun Shim and Sun Mung grow to be great peacemakers, spreading charity throughout the world, which ultimately teaches the questioning crane to have faith in the ways of Nature.

The Tale of Hun Shim & Sun Mung is the debut novel of Michele Maleville.


Monday August 25, 2014
Start: 08/25/2014 7:00 pm
A tale of fathers and sons, the ties that bind, and the barriers of class that even love cannot break, Three Bargains ($25.95) is a stunning first novel, as potent, heart-stopping, and epic as Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner

By the banks of the River Yamuna in northern India, where rice paddies of basmati merge into fields of sugarcane, twelve-year-old Madan lives with his impoverished family in the town of Gorapur. Madan's father works for Avtaar Singh, a powerful and controlling man who owns the largest factory in town and much of the land around it. Madan's sharp mind and hardened determination catch Avtaar Singh's attention. When Madan's father's misdeeds jeopardize his sister's life, Madan strikes his first bargain with Avtaar Singh to save her. Drawn into Avtaar Singh's violent world, Madan becomes his son in every way but by blood. Suddenly it looks as if everything will change for Madan and his family until a forbidden love affair has brutal consequences and he is forced to leave behind all that is dear to him. On his journey toward redemption, Madan will have to bargain, once, twice, three times for his life and for the lives of those he loves.
Tania Malik was born in New Delhi, educated in boarding schools in the Himalayas, and raised in India, Africa, and the Middle East. She received her degree from the University of Delhi and currently lives in northern California with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Tuesday August 26, 2014
Start: 08/26/2014 10:30 am
End: 08/26/2014 12:30 pm
Eight Tuesdays: Aug. 26-Oct. 21 (no class Sept. 9) • 10:30-12:30pm • $250
The class will discuss and debate current issues, and students will also read a contemporary French novel.  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: 08/26/2014 1:00 pm
End: 08/26/2014 3:00 pm
Eight Tuesdays: Aug. 26-Oct. 21 (no class Sept. 9) • 1:00-3:00pm • $250
Selections from French authors and the French press, review of grammar, and a contemporary French novel. 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: 08/26/2014 7:00 pm
A grieving mother draws on her storied heritage to find her daughter in the afterlife.
When Sukey Forbes lost her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to a rare genetic disorder, she felt as if her life had shattered irreparably. As the scion of two distinguished New England families, Forbes was raised in a rarefied—if eccentric—life of privilege. Yet, Forbes’s family history is also rich with spiritual seekers, including her great-great-great-grandfather Ralph Waldo Emerson. On Naushon Island, the family’s private enclave off Cape Cod, apparitions have always been as common as the servants who once walked the back halls. But the “afterlife” took on new meaning once Forbes dipped into the world of clairvoyants to reconnect with Charlotte.
With a mission to help others by sharing her own story, Forbes chronicles a world of ghosts that reawakens us to a lost American spiritual tradition. Filled with rare and candid glimpses into the lives of the Forbes clan, The Angel in My Pocket ($27.95) is a moving and utterly unique tale of one mother’s undying love for her child.
Sukey Forbes currently splits her time between Mill Valley and Boston, where she runs an art, antiques, and interior design company.

Wednesday August 27, 2014
Start: 08/27/2014 7:00 pm

In the vein of Mary Roach’s Stiff comes Working Stiff, the true, frank, and funny account of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner. Judy Melinek and her husband T.J. Mitchell lay bare the fascinating truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on such shows as CSI.



Thursday August 28, 2014
Start: 08/28/2014 2:00 pm
End: 08/28/2014 4:00 pm
Eight Thursdays: Aug. 28-Oct. 23 (no class Sept. 11) • 2:00-4:00pm • $250
The class will include a review of grammar and a reading of a French play. 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.

Saturday August 30, 2014
Start: 08/30/2014 10:00 am
End: 08/30/2014 4:00 pm
Sat., Aug. 30 • 10:00-4:00 • $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, was a Bram Stoker Award finalist.
Start: 08/30/2014 4:00 pm
How the Poor Can Save Capitalism ($24.95) has a simple message for business leaders: your primary goal must be to serve and raise the poor. The poor need to enter the economic system to buy products, put money in banks, and move into the middle class. This is the only approach that can possibly save the American Dream.
John Hope Bryant, successful self-made businessman and founder of the nonprofit Operation HOPE, says business and political leaders are ignoring the one force that could truly re-energize the stalled American economy: the poor. If we give poor communities the right tools, policies, and inspiration, he argues, they will be able to lift themselves up into the middle class and become a new generation of customers and entrepreneurs.

Raised in poverty-stricken, gang-infested South Central Los Angeles, Bryant saw firsthand how our institutions have abandoned the poor. He details how business loans, home loans, and financial investments have vanished from their communities. After decades of deprivation, the poor lack bank accounts, decent credit scores, and any real firsthand experience of how a healthy free enterprise system functions.

Bryant radically redefines the meaning of poverty and wealth. (It's not just a question of finances; it's values too.) He exposes why attempts to aid the poor so far have fallen short and offers a way forward: the HOPE Plan, a series of straightforward, actionable steps to build financial literacy and expand opportunity so that the poor can join the middle class.

Fully 70 percent of the American economy is driven by consumer spending, but more and more people have too much month at the end of their money. John Hope Bryant aspires to "expand the philosophy of free enterprise to include all of God's children" and create a thriving economy that works not just for the 1 percent or even the 99 percent but for the 100 percent. This is a free enterprise approach to solving the problem of poverty and raising up a new America.

John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, author, and advisor and one of the nation's most recognized empowerment leaders. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies. Recognized as one of Time magazine's "50 for the Future" leaders, Bryant is the author of Love Leadership and is the only African-American bestselling business author. He served as chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, and was appointed by President Obama in 2014 as a member of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. He is also cofounder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the United States.
Tuesday September 02, 2014
Start: 09/02/2014 3:30 pm
End: 09/02/2014 5:30 pm
8 Tuesdays: Sept. 2-Oct. 21 • 3:30-5:30pm • $250
This is a Japanese Beginning I class that covers basic sentence structure, pronunciation, greetings, numbers, and conversation with polite form. We will learn about Japanese customs and etiquette. Our focus will be on conversation, but writing can be taught upon request.

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: 09/02/2014 6:00 pm
End: 09/02/2014 8:00 pm
Eight Tuesdays: Sept. 2-Oct. 21 • 6:00-8:00pm • $250
Kate Rider studied Italian at Stanford, Middlebury College, and in Florence. She earned a master’s degree in Italian Literature at S.F. State University and completed a course in Italian pedagogy in Genoa. She teaches Italian at Dominican University of California.

Start: 09/02/2014 7:00 pm

Where did the ideas come from that became the cornerstone of American democracy? Not only the erudite Thomas Jefferson, the wily and elusive Ben Franklin, and the underappreciated Thomas Paine, but also Ethan Allen, the hero of the Green Mountain Boys, and Thomas Young, the forgotten Founder who kicked off the Boston Tea Party—these radicals who founded America set their sights on a revolution of the mind. Derided as “infidels” and “atheists” in their own time, they wanted to liberate us not just from one king but from the tyranny of supernatural religion. The ideas that inspired them were neither British nor Christian but largely ancient, pagan, and continental: the fecund universe of the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius, the potent (but nontranscendent) natural divinity of the Dutch heretic Benedict de Spinoza. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic pursues a genealogy of the philosophical ideas from which America’s revolutionaries drew their inspiration, all scrupulously researched and documented and enlivened with storytelling of the highest order.

Matthew Stewart is the author of the books The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World and The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business. He lives in Boston, Massachuset

Wednesday September 03, 2014
Start: 09/03/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/03/2014 12:00 pm
Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 3-Oct. 22 • 10:00-12:00pm • $250
Josette Charbit Schwartz has taught at the Lycée Français, the Branson School, and French American International. “Josette makes us feel comfortable with asking questions or stumbling on new words, and that openness is absolutely essential to learning,” said one student.

Start: 09/03/2014 6:00 pm
End: 09/03/2014 8:00 pm
Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 3-Oct. 22 • 6:00-8:00pm • $250
Kate Rider studied Italian at Stanford, Middlebury College, and in Florence. She earned a master’s degree in Italian Literature at S.F. State University and completed a course in Italian pedagogy in Genoa. She teaches Italian at Dominican University of California.

Start: 09/03/2014 6:30 pm
End: 09/03/2014 8:30 pm
This class is cancelled. Please contact the Classes department with any questions! 415-927-0960 ext. 1
Three Wednesdays: Sept. 3-17 • 6:30-8:30pm • $120

Dive deeply into the world of travel literature and improve your writing by studying the masters. We’ll discuss work by Bill Bryson, Pico Iyer, Paul Theroux, Jan Morris, Peter Matthiessen and Tim Cahill. Michael Shapiro interviewed each of these renowned authors for his book, A Sense of Place. Shapiro’s travel stories appear in National Geographic Traveler, Islands, American Way, Washington Post and S.F. Chronicle

Start: 09/03/2014 7:00 pm

Marin Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Robert Currier lectures on “The Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde.” Wilde’s An Ideal Husband will be mounted by Marin Shakespeare from August 23 through September 27. The play focuses on a respected politician who’s spotless reputation is threatened by a dark secret.

Robert Currier co-founded Marin Shakespeare Company and is its original Artistic Director. He holds a B.A. in Drama and an M.F.A. in Directing from U.C. Irvine, where he helped establish the Objective Drama Project with the legendary theatrical guru Jerzy Grotowski in the early 1980's. An actor, director, writer and designer, Robert co-founded Encounter With the Theatre at the Woodstock Illinois Opera House (artistic home of the young Orson Welles) in 1971 and the still thriving Ukiah Players Theatre in 1977. He and Lesley initiated Baja Shakespeare, Baja del Sur's only live classical theatre company in Los Barriles, Mexico in 2001. At Marin Shakespeare Company, he has been nominated for "Best Director" and his productions for "Best Production" numerous times by the Bay Area Critics Circle, Choice Awards, and others. His 1994 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for "Best Overall Production".

Thursday September 04, 2014
Start: 09/04/2014 11:15 am
End: 09/04/2014 1:15 pm
Seven Thursdays: Sept. 4-Oct. 23 (no class Sept. 25) • 11:15-1:15pm • $220
Josette Charbit Schwartz has taught at the Lycée Français, the Branson School, and French American International. “Josette makes us feel comfortable with asking questions or stumbling on new words, and that openness is absolutely essential to learning,” said one student.

Start: 09/04/2014 6:00 pm
End: 09/04/2014 8:00 pm

8 Thurs., Sept. 4-Oct. 23 • 6:00-8:00pm • $250



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: 09/04/2014 6:30 pm
End: 09/04/2014 8:30 pm
Four Thursdays: Sept. 4-25 • 6:30-8:30pm • $160
Have you always wanted to write but weren't sure where to begin? Do you think you don't have the time or discipline? Leslie Keenan has 28 years' experience in helping people uncover and release their ideas. She has worked on over 80 published books and knows what it takes to get a book from the first glimmer of an idea into its published form.
Start: 09/04/2014 7:00 pm
It’s the rule—always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.

Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine’s life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger.

Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture—from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries—is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country.

Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them. A debut both transcendent and rooted in the flesh, Fives and Twenty-Fives is a deeply necessary novel. - See more at:
Michael Pitre is a graduate of LSU, where, as a double major in history and creative writing, he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans - See more at:

It’s the rule—always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead. In Fives and Twenty-Fives, Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture—from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries—is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country. In this "deeply moving" book, Pitre conveys "the harrowing consequences that the war had not only for the American soldiers who served there, but also for the ordinary Iraqis, who found that the United States government’s vows to keep them safe were among the many promises not kept."

Michael Pitre is a graduate of LSU, where, as a double major in history and creative writing, he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans.


Michael Pitre is a graduate of LSU, where, as a double major in history and creative writing, he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans - See more at:
Michael Pitre is a graduate of LSU, where, as a double major in history and creative writing, he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans - See more at:
Michael Pitre is a graduate of LSU, where, as a double major in history and creative writing, he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans - See more at:
Friday September 05, 2014
Start: 09/05/2014 12:00 pm
End: 09/05/2014 2:00 pm

8 Fri., Sept. 5-Oct. 24 • 12:00-2:00pm • $250

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: 09/05/2014 7:00 pm

Rosetta doesn't want her new husband, Jeremiah, to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father's side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair and signs up as a Union soldier. Inspired by more than two hundred documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War, I Shall Be Near to You is the intimate story, in Rosetta's powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman's amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life's challenges side by side.

Erin Lindsay McCabe studied Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught high school English before completing her MFA at St. Mary's College of California in 2010. She has taught Composition at St. Mary's and Butte College and resides in Northern California with her husband and son and a small menagerie that includes one dog, four cats, two horses, ten chickens, and two goats.

Six months before her execution date, Noa is visited on Pennsylvania's death row by high-powered attorney Marlene Dixon, who initiates a clemency petition on her behalf. Marlene also happens to be the mother of Noa's victim, Sarah, and ten years earlier, she helped cement Noa's fate on the witness stand. What unfolds is the haunting account of Noa P. Singleton, an insular, acerbic thirty-five-year-old woman who agrees to entertain this last-minute appeal because Marlene has unexpectedly reversed her belief in the death penalty. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is a character-driven story about two women whose lives are inextricably linked through the law, through shared sentiments of guilt, and through irreversible mistakes, Noa and Marlene's motivations become increasingly nebulous, and in the end they must accept that they are both, in fact, a blurred spectrum of good and evil.

Elizabeth L. Silver grew up in New Orleans and Dallas and currently lives in Los Angeles.  She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and a JD from Temple University Beasley School of Law. She has taught ESL in Costa Rica, writing and literature at several universities in Philadelphia, and worked as a research attorney for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. 

Saturday September 06, 2014
Start: 09/06/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/06/2014 4:00 pm
This class has been cancelled. If you have any questions, please contact the Classes dept. at 415-927-0960 ext. 1
Sat., Sept. 6 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105

Has your writing practice gotten a little flabby? Get back in shape with this one-day intensive session. Our exercises and explorations will help you tone the core muscles of fiction: plot, character, setting, and description. Perfect for both the veteran who wants a refresher and the novice who is just learning the ropes. Eli Brown is the author of Cinnamon & Gunpowder

Start: 09/06/2014 12:30 pm
End: 09/06/2014 4:30 pm
Sat., Sept. 6 • 12:30-4:30pm • $75
You want to see your work in print, but you are blocked. How do you write a good query letter, find markets for your stories, or make agents fall in love with your book? In this class, I will show you where to find markets and how to edit your query, cheer you on as you click send and get your work into the hands of editors and agents.
Elizabeth Stark Powers is the author of a novel, Shy Girl, and two distributed films. She blogs at

Start: 09/06/2014 1:00 pm
Bring the indoors outdoors with these inspiring design ideas. Gardens should be spaces that invite gathering, entertaining, and relaxing-gardens are for living. This is the philosophy behind Judy Kameon's design, and it reflects a shift in the way people today relate to the areas around their homes. Kameon has developed a unique style of creating rooms outside. By extending interior design to the exterior, she shows how to expand effectively the space of the home. What's more, gardens provide opportunities to engage with our surroundings and with each other in new ways.

In Gardens Are For Living ($50.00) Kameon shares insights for making dynamic outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and usable. Inspired by the midcentury-modern ethos that introduced the idea of everyday outdoor living, she shares strategies for making complete environments-what to look for when choosing the paths, walls, and plants but also the lighting, furniture, and accessories. The goal is to create a linked series of warm settings for different purposes to suit different occasions-whether it is a patio for cocktails around the fire pit, a large table for dinner parties, or a cozy hangout nook for curling up with a book. She also shows how to use elements like mats, pillows, lanterns, and benches to carve out individual retreats. It is an inspiring lifestyle with deep roots in California, but one that can be created anywhere.

Judy Kameon has twenty years of experience as a landscape designer in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in Garden Design, House & Garden, Dwell, The New York Times, Vogue, and Sunset. Jonathan Adler is an interior decorator and author of 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life.

Start: 09/06/2014 4:00 pm

Why would someone sell nearly everything he owns, then pack up and travel for three years, alone, on a motorcycle? One day Allan Karl woke up to discover that he was unemployed and his marriage had ended in divorce.
Allan looked at these forks in the road of his life as an opportunity to both follow a life-long dream and pursue his passions. He hopped on his motorcycle and traveled around the world. After three years and 62,000 miles of riding, through 35 countries on 5 continents, he returned home only to set out on another journey--to share the truths he'd uncovered and the lessons learned during his adventure around the world. Through stories, color photos, and the flavors of real local food, Forks brings his adventure to life and the world to your table: the kindness of strangers, the beauty of humanity, the colors of culture, and the powerful gift of human connection.

Allan Karl is an author, photographer, marketing entrepreneur, professional keynote speaker, and committed adventurer. He is also principal of WorldRider Productions where he focuses on speaking, publishing, coaching, and creating content that brings to life his stories and experiences around the world.

Sunday September 07, 2014
Start: 09/07/2014 4:00 pm

In conversation with William C. Gordon

An epic tale of love, loyalty, and war from the acclaimed author of Monkey Bridge.

Half a century after it began, the Vietnam War still has a hold on our national psyche. Lan Cao’s now-classic debut, Monkey Bridge, won her wide renown for “connecting . . . the opposite realities of Vietnam and America” (Isabel Allende). In her triumphant new novel, The Lotus and the Storm ($27.95), Cao transports readers back to the war, illuminating events central to twentieth-century history through the lives of one Vietnamese American family.

Minh is a former South Vietnamese commander of the airborne brigade who left his homeland with his daughter, Mai. During the war, their lives became entwined with those of two Americans: James, a soldier, and Cliff, a military adviser. Forty years later, Minh and his daughter Mai live in a close-knit Vietnamese immigrant community in suburban Virginia. As Mai discovers a series of devastating truths about what really happened to her family during those years, Minh reflects upon his life and the story of love and betrayal that has remained locked in his heart since the fall of Saigon.

Lan Cao is a novelist and a renowned expert in international law, trade, and economic development. A professor at Chapman Law School, she lives in Huntington Beach, California.


Start: 09/07/2014 7:00 pm

Call From Paris, 2007 Washington Prize winner, in a fully revised second edition: Song, incantation, and a disarming but everyday mysticism infuse the poems of Prartho Sereno. She creates a universe that is both exotic and familiar. Says acclaimed poet Bruce Smith, "...radiant energy... a book that enters the mind and the body and lives there." And Dorianne Laux, "There is a spark and swing in these poems, a touch of the surreal, and a great gust of soul...a joy to read. Ecoutez!"

Life-time advocate for poetry in everyday life, Prartho Sereno has taught the popular course Poetic Pilgrimage: Poetry Writing as Spiritual Practice at the College of Marin for the past 8 years, and as a California Poet in the Schools for 15. Her illustrated poetry collection Causing a Stir: The Secret Lives & Loves of Kitchen Utensils was awarded an IPPY in 2008 and a Mom's Choice Gold in 2010 

With the help of psychedelic drugs, Jashanananda turned away from academia and began an inner quest to find what’s real. This journey led him to Eastern religions and down the path of yoga, which carried him through a twenty-year marriage, a job in corporate America, and raising three children in the mountains of Colorado.

Then, one day, in the midst of his middleclass suburban life, he had an awakening and everything changed. He was back on his journey in search of his true self, the source of love, and the true nature of existence. Out of the Sixties is the story of his journey.



Monday September 08, 2014
Start: 09/08/2014 8:30 am
End: 09/08/2014 10:15 am

Eight Mondays: Sept. 8- Oct. 27 • 8:30-10:15am • $250




Gisella Petrone has a Master’s degree from the University of Calabria. She has taught Eng­lish, Italian, Latin, Roman History, and Italian cooking.

Start: 09/08/2014 9:00 am
End: 09/08/2014 11:00 am
Eight Mondays: Sept. 8-Oct. 27 • 9:00-11:00am • $250
Continuation of grammar and language immersion. Graciela Pera was born in Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and has been teaching Spanish for over 35 years.

Start: 09/08/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/08/2014 12:00 pm
Seven Mondays: Sept. 8-Oct. 20 • 10:00-12:00pm • $220
Josette Charbit Schwartz has taught at the Lycée Français, the Branson School, and French American International. “Josette makes us feel comfortable with asking questions or stumbling on new words, and that openness is absolutely essential to learning,” said one student.

Start: 09/08/2014 12:40 pm
End: 09/08/2014 2:25 pm
Nine Mondays: Sept. 8- Nov. 3 • 12:40-2:25 pm • $280
Wendy Walsh has a Ph.D. in Italian Literature from UCB. She has been teaching Italian language, literature, and cooking since 1979. Join Wendy after class in the café for informal Italian conversation.

Start: 09/08/2014 7:00 pm
Kate Murphy first encounters Jake Bloom as her patient in a hospital emergency room, but it is only later, when she experiences his sculptures on Ocean Beach that she is forever changed. Jake reveals beauty Kate has never noticed and exposes her to spontaneity, sensuality, and love deeper than she’d imagined it could be. Beneath Jake’s brilliance lies the menace of his profound and trecherous mental illness that Kate has yet to discover. Fire & Water is Kate’s story of navigating the treacherous territory of passionate love, friendship, and family devotion. It is the story of how love is always a matter of life and death.
In both her works of memoir and fiction, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder explores the unending complications of people living, working, and loving one another. She has been awarded the Floyd Salas Award, a Jack London award and two East of Eden awards for both fiction and memoir pieces.  Four of her pieces have been produced as Readers’ Theater works in the historic Nevada Theater in Nevada City, California.  She is the also co-producer of The Women’s Writing Salon in Nevada County.

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
Tuesday September 09, 2014
Start: 09/09/2014 8:30 am
End: 09/09/2014 10:15 am

Eight Tuesdays: Sept. 9- Oct. 28 • 8:30-10:15am • $250




Gisella Petrone has a Master’s degree from the University of Calabria. She has taught Eng­lish, Italian, Latin, Roman History, and Italian cooking.

Start: 09/09/2014 9:00 am
End: 09/09/2014 10:45 am
Nine Tuesdays: Sept. 9-Nov. 4 • 9:00-10:45 am • $280
Wendy Walsh has a Ph.D. in Italian Literature from UCB. She has been teaching Italian language, literature, and cooking since 1979. Join Wendy after class in the café for informal Italian conversation.

Start: 09/09/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/09/2014 12:00 pm
Eight Tuesdays: Sept. 9-Oct. 28 • 10:00-12:00pm • $250
Graciela Pera was born in Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and has been teaching Spanish for over 35 years.

Start: 09/09/2014 10:30 am
End: 09/09/2014 12:15 pm

Eight Tuesdays: Sept. 9- Oct. 28 • 10:30-12:15pm • $250




Gisella Petrone has a Master’s degree from the University of Calabria. She has taught Eng­lish, Italian, Latin, Roman History, and Italian cooking.

Start: 09/09/2014 10:30 am
End: 09/09/2014 12:30 pm
Five Tuesdays: Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Dec. 9, & Jan. 13 • 10:30-12:30pm • $105
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.
September: Schroder, Amity Gage
October: We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo,
November: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra
December: Young God, Katherine Faw Morris
January: All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Start: 09/09/2014 6:00 pm
In her masterful second book, Anne Germanacos gets right down to the elemental: the single line. Tribute ($16.00) is a work of prose--novel, essay, experiment in narrative?--created from distinct lines, a work of continual shape-shift and exhilarating motion. Tribute chronicles the daily life of a woman whose mother is dying and who begins to see a psychoanalyst, a woman who lives among lovers, sisters, and children, across continents and their conflicts (New York, San Francisco, Crete, Cyprus, Israel/Palestine). The book that results offers us both her story--forcefully sensual, vibrantly lived--and, through its bold form, her complex relationship to story.

Germanacos's restless relationship to form is born of that most essential restlessness: desire. In Tribute she documents desire's manifold incarnations, the body's and the mind's; she pays beautiful tribute to the force of desire and to those who have been bold enough to try to comprehend it--gentle echoes remind us of H.D. and her Freud. In the tradition of Clarice Lispector, David Markson, and Marguerite Duras, Tribute takes us deep into the borderlands where fiction and nonfiction meet. The first book in Rescue Press's new series of innovative prose, this is a work of profound ambition and rare urgency.

Anne Germanacos is the author of the short-story collection In the Time of the Girls. Together with her husband, Nick Germanacos, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Studies Program on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete. She now runs the Germanacos Foundation in San Francisco.
Start: 09/09/2014 7:00 pm
In this stunning and important work, the prominent critic, poet, and memoirist Sandra M. Gilbert explores our relationship with food and eating through discussions of literature, art, and popular culture. Focusing on contemporary practices, The Culinary Imagination ($29.95) traces the social, aesthetic, and political history of food from myth to modernity, from ancient sources to our current wave of food mania.
What does it mean to transform raw stuff into cooked dishes, which then become part of our own bodies; to savor festive meals yet resolve to renounce gluttony; to act as predators where in another life we might have become prey? Do the rituals of the kitchen have different meanings for men and women, for professional chefs and home cooks? Why, today, do so many of us turn so passionately toward table topics, on the page, online, and on screen? What are the philosophical implications of the food chain on which we all find ourselves?

In The Culinary Imagination, Gilbert addresses these powerful questions through meditations on myths and memoirs, children's books, novels, poems, food blogs, paintings, TV shows, and movies. Discussing figures from Rex Stout to Julia Child and Andy Warhol, from M. F. K. Fisher and Sylvia Plath to Alice Waters and Peter Singer, she analyzes the politics and poetics of our daily bread, investigating our complex self-definitions as producers, consumers, and connoisseurs of food. The result is an ambitious, lively, and learned examination of the ways in which our culture's artists have represented food across a range of genres.

Sandra M. Gilbert has published numerous volumes of criticism, including, most recently, Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve, as well as eight collections of poetry and a memoir. She is coeditor (with Susan Gubar) of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. A Distinguished Professor of English emerita at the University of California, Davis, she lives in Berkeley, California.
Wednesday September 10, 2014
Start: 09/10/2014 8:30 am
End: 09/10/2014 10:15 am

Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 10- Oct. 29 • 8:30-10:15am • $250




Gisella Petrone has a Master’s degree from the University of Calabria. She has taught Eng­lish, Italian, Latin, Roman History, and Italian cooking.

Start: 09/10/2014 9:00 am
End: 09/10/2014 11:00 am
Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 10-Oct. 29 • 9:00-11:00 am • $250
Continuation of grammar and language immersion. Graciela Pera was born in Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and has been teaching Spanish for over 35 years.

Start: 09/10/2014 11:30 am
End: 09/10/2014 1:15 pm

Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 10- Oct. 29 • 11:30-1:15pm • $250




Gisella Petrone has a Master’s degree from the University of Calabria. She has taught Eng­lish, Italian, Latin, Roman History, and Italian cooking.

Start: 09/10/2014 7:00 pm

In conversation with Tom Barbash

"For the past twelve years, since his lauded Esther Stories, Peter Orner has been engaged in a strange, quiet, and wonderful experiment...Every story in Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge is excellent, incisive, moving." —Lauren Groff, The New York Times Book Review

"Taken as a whole, as the sum of its parts, this is a stirring and important book, one that will wash over readers and create a sensation similar to that of moving slowly through a museum, encountering masterpiece after masterpiece.” —Skip Horack, San Francisco Chronicle

“Mr. Orner packs remarkable pathos into his condensed dramas.” —Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

“This is an ideal moment to appreciate a master of his form.” —John Williams, New York Times

Peter Orner zeroes in on the strange ways our memories define us: A woman's husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor of Illinois and loses much more than an election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick. Employing the masterful compression for which Orner has been widely praised, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in startling, intimate close-up. Whether writing of Geraldo Rivera's attempt to reveal the contents of Al Capone's vault or of a father and daughter trying to outrun a hurricane, Orner illuminates universal themes. In stories that span considerable geographic ground--from Chicago to Wyoming, from Massachusetts to the Czech Republic--he writes of the past we can't seem to shake, the losses we can't make up for, and the power of our stories to help us reclaim what we thought was gone forever.

Peter Orner is the author of Esther Stories, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and Love and Shame and Love. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney's, Best American Stories, and other periodicals. Orner has received the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Bolinas, California.

Start: 09/10/2014 7:00 pm
A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life

In her lyrical coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández, the daughter of a Colombian mother and Cuban father, chronicles what the colorful women in her community taught her about race, sex, money, and love. On the outskirts of New York City, Daisy starts out in English-as-a-second-language classes and ends up writing for the New York Times. In between, she struggles to come out as a bisexual and rebels against her family's expectations that she become white-like the Italians. A touching and heartfelt exploration of family and identity, A Cup of Water Under My Bed ($24.95) is about sexuality, immigration, race, and class, but it is ultimately a daughter's story of shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life.

Daisy Hernández is the coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism and former executive editor of ColorLines magazine. She speaks at colleges and conferences about feminism, race, and media justice, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, NPR's All Things Considered, and Ms. magazine. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.
Thursday September 11, 2014
Start: 09/11/2014 9:00 am
End: 09/11/2014 11:00 am
Nine Thursdays: Sept. 11-Nov. 13 (no class Nov. 6) • 9:00-11:00 am • $280
Wendy Walsh has a Ph.D. in Italian Literature from UCB. She has been teaching Italian language, literature, and cooking since 1979. Join Wendy after class in the café for informal Italian conversation.

Start: 09/11/2014 9:30 am
End: 09/11/2014 11:30 am
Eight Thursdays: Sept. 11-Oct. 30 • 9:30-11:30 am • $250
This class is for beginners or those who have previously had some exposure to German.Hamid Emami has a master’s degree from the University of Hamburg, and he is fluent in German, English, French, Spanish, and Farsi. He has taught German for many years.
Start: 09/11/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/11/2014 12:00 pm
Eight Thursdays: Sept. 11-Oct. 30 • 10:00-12:00pm • $250
A basic introduction for students just beginning to study Spanish. Graciela Pera was born in Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and has been teaching Spanish for over 35 years.

Start: 09/11/2014 12:45 pm
End: 09/11/2014 2:30 pm

Eight Thursdays: Sept. 11- Oct. 30 • 12:45-2:30pm • $250




Gisella Petrone has a Master’s degree from the University of Calabria. She has taught Eng­lish, Italian, Latin, Roman History, and Italian cooking.

Start: 09/11/2014 6:00 pm

In 2009, journalist Samuel Fromartz was offered the assignment of a lifetime: to travel to France to work in a boulangerie. So began his quest to hone not just his homemade baguette—which later beat out professional bakeries to win the “Best Baguette of D.C.”—but his knowledge of bread, from seed to table. For the next four years, Fromartz traveled across the United States and Europe, perfecting his sourdough in California, his whole grain rye in Berlin, and his country wheat in the South of France. Along the way, he met historians, millers, farmers, wheat geneticists, sourdough biochemists, and everyone in between, learning about the history of breadmaking, the science of fermentation, and more. The result is In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey, an informative yet personal account of bread and breadbaking, complete with detailed recipes, tips, and beautiful photographs.

Samuel Fromartz is a business journalist who began his career at Reuters in 1985. His first job was writing the "news ticker" that ran in New York City's Grand Central Station. He then covered virtually every aspect of business, working as a correspondent and editor in New York and Washington, D.C. He left Reuters in 1997 to pursue a freelance career. His work has since appeared in Fortune Small Business, Inc., Business Week, The New York Times, and many other publications. His story on a bankrupt restaurant chain was published in the anthology, Best Business Stories of the Year 2002. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he currently lives in Washington D.C., with his wife and daughter and works from home, a situation that affords him time to cook dinner for the family.

Friday September 12, 2014
Start: 09/12/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/12/2014 12:00 pm
Four Fridays: Sept. 12-Oct. 3 • 10:00-12:00pm • $140

Join Kerrin Meis on a virtual tour of St. Petersburg, Moscow, and the Cities of the Golden Ring to study their architecture, moving from medieval times to the Italian contributions of the 18th century, from 11th-century icons to Malevich and beyond. We’ll include the paintings, sculpture, and artifacts of the Kremlin, the incomparable Hermitage, the Pushkin Gallery, the Russian Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery. A coda to the course will be a look at the thousands of works of avant-garde art smuggled out of Russia by Norman Dodge, now at Rutgers University.
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and now lectures for the College of Marin and Dominican University and leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years. 
Start: 09/12/2014 10:30 am
End: 09/12/2014 12:30 pm
Five Fridays: Sept. 12, Oct. 17, Nov. 14, Dec. 12, & Jan. 16 • 10:30-12:30pm • $105
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.
September: Schroder, Amity Gage 
October: We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo,
November: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra
December: Young God, Katherine Faw Morris
January: All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Start: 09/12/2014 7:00 pm
A cookbook-slash-handbook to help anybody make plant-powered eating a habit and enjoy lasting, vibrant health-the fun way!

Researchers agree: The best foods for health are whole-plant foods. But for veg-curious omnivores and junk-food vegans alike, it's not easy to move away from the standard American diet toward eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other minimally processed plants.

In Plant-Powered for Life ($18.95), Sharon Palmer, RD, presents a straightforward, delicious way to meet the challenge. She urges readers to set a personal goal and take one step closer to it every week. Each chapter-from "Aim for at least 6 servings of veggies" to "Give sprouted grains a try"-includes a call to action, a clear, concise explanation, and two to three globally inspired recipes, which cover every meal, course, and season.

With this guide, anyone can forge new habits, cook great food, and enjoy a healthy plant-powered life-one tasty step at a time.
Sharon Palmer, RD, is a registered dietitian, editor of the award-winning health newsletter Environmental Nutrition, and a nationally recognized nutrition expert who has personally impacted thousands of people’s lives through her writing and clinical work. She lives outside of Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.

Saturday September 13, 2014
Start: 09/13/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/13/2014 2:00 pm
This class is cancelled. If you have any questions, please contact the Classes Dept at 415-927-0960 ext 1. 
Sat., Sept. 13 • 10:00-2:00 pm • $60

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: 09/13/2014 10:00 am

Two is best friends with One. Whenever they'd get the chance, they'd dance. She'd sing and snap. He'd tappity-tap. What a pair they made. At the end of each day, they'd always say, "ONE, TWO, I'll count on you, 'til the end, we'll be best friends." Until Three jumps in between them . . . Suddenly, One only wants to play with Three. "ONE, THREE, odds we'll be " they chant. Two feels left out. But what can she do? Another character-building counting book by award-winning author Kathryn OtoshiTwo is a powerful story of friendship, loss, letting go, and self-discovery.

Kathryn Otoshi is an award-winning writer & illustrator living in the Bay Area. Books she's written & illustrated include: What Emily Saw, Simon & the Sock Monster, One - winner of 10 nationwide awards -and her upcoming bookZero. Books she has illustrated only include: Marcello the Movie Mouse, The Saddest Little Robot, and Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat. 



Start: 09/13/2014 12:30 pm
A playful and delicious cookbook, from the host of ABC’s Food for Thought with Claire Thomas and creator of the much loved food blog The Kitchy Kitchen.
Every cook needs an arsenal of staples, whether for the perfect dinner party entrée to wow a crowd, or throw-it-together lunches for lazy afternoons…but we all know that the real fun comes in making basic recipes your own. The Kitchy Kitchen ($26.00) is tastemaker Claire Thomas’s solution for amping up your everyday culinary routine, introducing her approach to her own kitchen: loose, personal, unfussy, and most of all, fun.

With new takes on classic favorites—think adding farmer’s market peaches to upgrade a BLT, spicing up tempura cauliflower with a zesty harissa sauce, or transforming basic red velvet cupcakes into decadent pancakes—this cookbook is filled with fresh, produce-driven recipes for every skill set and occasion. It’s your best friend and personal chef, all rolled into one. Gorgeously illustrated and peppered with stylish entertaining tips and quirky essays that will inspire you to take the recipes you love and make them new, The Kitchy Kitchen will make your life in the kitchen a little easier, a little more fabulous, and positively delicious.

Claire Thomas is an unabashed food enthusiast and the host of Food for Thought with Claire Thomas, part of Litton’s Weekend Adventure on ABC. She works as a nationally recognized commercial director, food photographer, and writer, with her blog, The Kitchy Kitchen, as her experiment and much beloved playground. Born and raised in LA, Claire has turned food into an intellectual and grumbling stomach–driven passion.
Start: 09/13/2014 1:00 pm
From licking a Monet in Paris, to pushing an abusive macho honeymooner off his sailboat in the shark-infested Galápagos, to saving her toddler son from a charging bull elephant in Africa, these delightful tales will inspire readers to follow the call of a wild life and leave home with their doors unlocked. The 14 captivating woman’s adventure stories in Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman ($14.95) by Lisa Alpine span the savanna of the Masai Mara to the ski resorts of Switzerland. Tales of taking it too far in foreign countries are woven together with stories of sadness and joy, from hitchhiking with her son in New Zealand to the sorrow of her last meal with her mother suffering from dementia. Initiations, dreams, and visions illuminate the exotic landscapes in which these journeys take place, pulling the reader along to experience the far-off places and share in the personal evolution of the author as she lives the “Wild Life”.
Lisa Alpine is the author of Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman and Exotic Life: Travel Tales of an Adventurous Woman ($12.95) (Best Women's Adventure Memoir BAIPA Book Awards). She is the winner of many awards including Best Travel Story of the Year 2014 Solas Silver for Fish Trader Ray.
Start: 09/13/2014 4:00 pm

France, 1940: Nazi forces march towards Paris. Lili Rosenswig's wealthy and eccentric family is ensconced in their country chateau with their sumptuous collection of arts and antiques. The beloved Matisse portrait of Lili's mother has been brought from their Paris salon for safety. It is the day before young lovers Lili and Paul are to be married that they are forced to flee and their fortunes change irrevocably. Lili and her family escape but Paul must stay behind to defend his country. In their struggle to adapt to changing circumstances in an unpredictable world, all are pushed to reinvent themselves. When top Nazi Herman Goring loots their Matisse portrait, their story is intertwined with the fate of the painting. Portrait of a Woman in White is a moving family saga, an obsessive search for lost love and lost art and how far we will go to survive.

Susan Winkler is the author of four editions of The Paris Shopping Companion. A former print journalist for Fairchild Publications in New York, she studied French literature at Bennington College (BA), Stanford University (MA), L'Academie in Paris, and the University of Geneva, and has a lifelong interest in art. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.

Start: 09/13/2014 7:00 pm

A Sleuth in Sausalito takes place in California during the wild and free-living days of Sausalito. Poets, painters and philosophers dotted this artsy town, as well as a community of people living on houseboats. The river rats vs. the hill people continue an ongoing battle.

After ten years of not knowing what happened to her mother when she disappeared, Gwen Harris is notified that recently discovered remains might be those of her mother. Leaving the University of Michigan to find out what she can in Sausalito, where her mother disappeared, Gwen begins a long and arduous journey of discovering what happened, and who is responsible. Her trust in several people is shattered by secrecy, betrayal and deception. She begins to feel she can trust no one. Ultimately, she must decide who her real friends are, and who she will be able to forgive.

Carol Sheldon is the author of Mother Lode and Driven to Rage. Sheldon studied at the University of Michigan, where she earned a BA and MA in creative writing and education.

Sunday September 14, 2014
Start: 09/14/2014 11:30 am
Louise loves art more than anything. It's her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece—her pièce de résistance! Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story. 

Join us in welcoming Kelly Light to Book Passage as she reads from her stunning debut picture book Louise Loves Art! This is an irresistible story about the importance of creativity in all its forms; and a celebration of the brilliant artist who resides in all of us. 
Kelly Light lives in New York but grew up down the shore in New Jersey surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped. Kelly has illustrated Elvis and the Underdogs and Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service by Jenny Lee, and the Quirks series by Erin Soderberg. This is her first picture book. 
This is a free event. 
Start: 09/14/2014 12:00 pm

It's time to fly home for dinner! In Telephone, the latest witty picture book from award-winning and bestselling author Mac Barnett, a mother bird gives the bird next to her a message for little Peter. But passing messages on a telephone line isn't as simple as it sounds. Each subsequent bird understands Mama's message according to its own very particular hobbies. Will Peter ever get home for dinner? This uproarious interpretation of a favorite children's game will get everyone giggling and is sure to lead to countless rereads.

Mac Barnett is the New York Times bestselling author of several picture books, including Extra Yarn, which won a Caldecott Honor, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award. Mac lives in Berkeley, California.


Start: 09/14/2014 12:30 pm

 Please note: This Event is Cancelled. Please contact the Events department with any questions at 415-927-0960 

Left Bank in Larkspur • Single $105; Couple $165 (one book)



Alice Waters describes Tanya Holland’s food as “...robust, soulful recipes that use seasonal and local ingredients. This book is a wonderful reflection of the spirit she has fostered at Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland.” If you haven’t yet been to eat at Brown Sugar Kitchen, executive chef and owner Tanya Holland has created a delicious outpost of soul food and a common gathering spot for locals at her popular restaurant. Brown Sugar Kitchen features recipes for 80 restaurant favorites including her famous chicken and waffles dish as well as sides, salads, and desserts like Caramel Layer Cake with Brown Butter Caramel Frosting. The foreword is by Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and a regular at her restaurant.

The ticket includes the meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book.


Start: 09/14/2014 1:00 pm

In conversation with Andy Ross

A generational saga of romance, lust, friendship, hatred, enduring loyalty, and sudden betrayal, All Our Yesterdays follows a small group of friends and lovers in Berkeley, California from their student days in 1968 to the present. Along the way, they deal with revolutionary changes in politics and sexual mores, personal crises and historical upheavals. In the tradition of Flaubert’s Sentimental Education and Updike’s Rabbit cycle, with a nod to The Big Chill, this coming of age story is an engaging tale of love and friendship.

Erik Tarloff is the author of the national bestseller Face-Time, and a screenwriter with a list of credits that includes episodes of M*A*S*H, All in the Family, the Bob Newhart Show, the Jeffersons, and many others. He has contributed reviews and articles to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate and is currently a blogger at Atlantic Online.

Andy Ross is a literary agent and former owner of Cody’s Books in Berkeley. He represents authors of narrative nonfiction, science, history, essays, and travel.


Start: 09/14/2014 4:00 pm
Photographer and food blogger Kimberley Hasselbrink looks at ingredients differently, regarding them in terms of what colors inspire her: the shocking fluorescent pink of a chard stem, the deep reds and purples of baby kale leaves, the bright shades of green that emerge in the spring, and even the calm yellows and whites of so many winter vegetables. Thinking about produce in terms of color has reinvigorated Hasselbrink's relationship with food, and in the collection of recipes contained in Vibrant Food ($25.00), she employs color, flavor, and texture to build gorgeous yet unfussy dishes. From Pasta with Nettle Pesto and Blistered Snap Peas in spring to Broiled Figs with Za'atar and Pecans in autumn, this beautiful celebration of the colors, flavors, and moods of each season create a delicious picture of healthy eating.
Kimberly Hasselbrink is a food photographer, writer, and creator of the acclaimed site The Year in Food, which was a finalist in Saveur's 2012 and 2013 Best Food Blog Awards. Her work appears regularly in the Etsy blog, and her photography clients include Williams Sonoma, Bon Appetit, Harvard Common Press, Kinfolk magazine, Edible San Francisco, Foodzie, Rewinery, Grist, and CUESA. The Year in Food has been praised by The Kitchn, Food52, Gourmet Live, Anthology magazine, Refinery 29, Spry Living, and Babble. Bon Appetit named Kimberley's Instagram account one of the fifteen Best Accounts for Food Lovers.
The first gluten-free cookbook so enticing that it transcends the genre, Yummy Supper ($24.99) is about bounty, flavor, and fun. Based on Erin Scott's award-winning blog of the same name, it has the same clean, gifty visual aesthetic. These are recipes that emphasize naturally gluten-free ingredients and, like her blog, will appeal not only to gluten intolerants and celiacs but also to anyone just looking for a great recipe. 
Erin Scott writes and photographs the award-winning blog Yummy Supper. After working at Elle, she contributed to numerous places, from Kinfolk and Glamour to, TasteSpotting, Foodgawker, and Fine Cooking. Her upcoming cookbook Yummy Supper is full of simple, seasonal, gluten-free recipes.She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her husband and children. 
Start: 09/14/2014 4:00 pm
End: 09/14/2014 6:00 pm

Single Session: Sunday Sept. 14th • 4:00-6:00pm • $50



All Sessions: 4 Sundays, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, and Dec. 14 • 4:00-6:00pm • $180








Writer's Tribe™ 

A Feedback Forum for Children’s Writers 

$180 for 4 sessions or $50 per class drop-in

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect, clarity and honesty. The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, page-turning plots, and snappy dialog. Andrea Alban guides the group through a powerful revision process. Writers cultivate self-editing mastery. The group is highly interactive. The mission of this university-level workshop is to inspire and deepen craft. Each member receives a Manuscript Feedback Form featuring revision strategies and literary vocabulary.




Your class is terrific -- not just your knowledge and rich understanding of how good writing works, but how you draw people along growing their own skills, and your deep presence and welcoming kindness. 

— Ann Gronvold


Your edits are remarkable.  The flow and crispness of the sentences are much improved (even with the little changes). You are magical.  — Bob Healey


Great class! I learn something valuable at every meeting. (From all the discussions, not just mine.) I really love the way you put out your thoughts, but also bounce off and expand on our thoughts. You have created more than a class. You have created a community. — Travis Darcy

Start: 09/14/2014 7:00 pm

Dogs Rule Nonchalantly appeals to dog lovers of all ages. The intuitive, colorful paintings communicate a depth of understanding of the quips and quirks of our canine companions that will bring a smile to the faces of children, while the sophistication and nuance of Mark Ulriksen's artistic expertise and his acute observations, will resonate with anyone who has ever had a dog.

Mark Ulriksen is a San Francisco-based artist and illustrator whose instantly recognizable portraits and whimsical take on life have led to projects for a variety of major clients. He specializes in figurative work that blends humor and darkness with psychological insight. After initially working for 13 years as a graphic designer and magazine art director, Mark went through a relatively early mid-life crisis and gave up a world of monthly deadlines for a world of weekly ones, pursuing a new career as a freelance illustrator and artist. Ulriksen is best known for his work for The New Yorker, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993, with more than 30 magazine covers to his credit.


Monday September 15, 2014
Start: 09/15/2014 1:00 pm
End: 09/15/2014 3:00 pm
Five Mondays: Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, & Jan. 19 • 1:00-3:00pm • $105
This group reads authors that have won literary prizes including the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award and the Asturias Literary Prize. Carol Benet has an M.A from Michigan and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley.
September: Troubles, J.G. Farrell (Man Booker Prize)
October: Dear Life, Alice Munro (Nobel Prize for Literature)
November: Shroud, John Banville (Asturias Literary Prize)
December: The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner (National Book Award)
January: The Garlic Ballads, Mo Yan (Nobel Prize)

Start: 09/15/2014 6:00 pm

Games between the Dodgers and Giants are never just another day at the ballpark.

Dating back to the late nineteenth century--when the teams embodied the competitive spirit of rival metropolises of New York and Brooklyn--the Giants-Dodgers rivalry gained intensity throughout the early twentieth century. The venue had changed but the venom remained, and the rivalry became author Joe Konte's obsession.

A longtime newspaper editor and baseball fiend, Konte understands what is so special about what is one of the most significant rivalries in American sports. And so--via statistical analysis, game summaries, roster scrutiny, manager matchups, season recaps, and more--he has put together a rivalry bible. Focusing primarily on the California years, but also providing background on the origins and the New York years, The Rivalry Heard 'Round the World captures the spirit and intensity of one of the greatest rivalries in American sports.

Start: 09/15/2014 7:00 pm
Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch and his family would like to mourn the passing of his mother, Rachela, with modesty and dignity. But Rachela, a famous Polish émigré mathematician and professor at the University of Wisconsin, is rumored to have solved the million-dollar, Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize Problem. Rumor also has it that she spitefully took the solution to her grave. To Sasha’s chagrin, a ragtag group of socially challenged mathematicians arrives in Madison and crashes the shiva, vowing to do whatever it takes to find the solution—even if it means prying up the floorboards for Rachela’s notes.

Written by a trained geophysicist, The Mathematician's Shiva ($16.00) is a hilarious and multi-layered debut novel that brims with colorful characters and brilliantly captures humanity’s drive not just to survive, but to solve the impossible.
Stuart Rojstaczer was raised in Milwaukee and has degrees from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois, and Stanford. For many years, he was a professor of geophysics at Duke University. He lives in Northern California.
Start: 09/15/2014 7:00 pm
End: 09/15/2014 9:00 pm
Five Mondays: Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, & Jan. 19 • 7:00-9:00pm • $105
This group reads authors that have won literary prizes including the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award and the Asturias Literary Prize. Carol Benet has an M.A from Michigan and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley.
September: Troubles, J.G. Farrell (Man Booker Prize)
October: Dear Life, Alice Munro (Nobel Prize for Literature)
November: Shroud, John Banville (Asturias Literary Prize)
December: The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner (National Book Award)
January: The Garlic Ballads, Mo Yan (Nobel Prize)

Start: 09/15/2014 7:00 pm

The Bay School of San Francisco
Moderated by Dr. Louann Brizendine

Eventbrite - Dr. Julianna Deardorff & Dr. Louise Greenspan Discuss The New Puberty



The New Puberty is a reassuring, empowering guide for millions of parents-as well as teachers, coaches, pediatricians, and family members-by two notable experts in the field. Compiling original research and clinical experience, this text offers practical strategies for supporting girls entering this complex stage of their lives. Louise Greenspan, MD is a board-certified endocrinologist focusing on puberty. Julianna Deardorff, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in adolescence.


Tuesday September 16, 2014
Start: 09/16/2014 5:30 pm

Culled from the popular blog Waffleizer, Will It Waffle?: 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron expands "the frontiers of waffling" by finding alternative uses for your waffle iron (while also exploring more conventional waffling).

Dan Shumski is an author, journalist, and cook. His food writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. His first waffle iron was a 1985 Kensmore nicknamed Sparky. He now owns six waffle irons. 

Start: 09/16/2014 6:00 pm

Destined to be a classic, We Are Not Ourselves is a "powerfully moving" (Chad Harbach, "The Art of Fielding), multigenerational novel about an Irish-American family that is being hailed as nothing short of a "masterwork" (Joshua Ferris, "Then We Came to the End"). Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she's found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn't aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream. Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, this debut novel heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.

Matthew Thomas was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he received the Graduate Essay Award. He lives with his wife and twin children in New Jersey.


Start: 09/16/2014 7:00 pm

Please note: this event has been cancelled.

F is the story of Arthur Friedland, who one day piles his three sons into the car and drives them to see the Great Lindemann, Master of Hypnosis. Protesting that he doesn't believe in magic even as he is led onto the stage, Arthur nevertheless experiences something. Later that night, while his family sleeps, he takes his passport, empties all the money from his bank account, and vanishes. In time, still absent from his family, he beings to publish novels and becomes an internationally famous author. His sons grow into men who manifest their inexplicable loss—Martin becomes a priest who does not believe in God; Ivan, a painter in constant artistic crisis; Eric, a businessman given to a fear of ghosts and hallucinations—even as they struggle to understand their father's disappearance and make their own places in the world.

Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 and lives in Berlin and New York. His works have won the Candide Prize, the Doderer Prize, the Kleist Prize, the Welt Literature Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize. Measuring the World was translated into more than forty languages and is one of the greatest successes in postwar German literature.

Wednesday September 17, 2014
Start: 09/17/2014 3:30 pm
End: 09/17/2014 5:30 pm

6 Wed., Sept. 17-Oct. 22 • 3:30-5:30pm • $185





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: 09/17/2014 4:00 pm
End: 09/17/2014 6:00 pm
Please note that this class is cancelled. Feel free to contact the Classes Dept. with any questions or concerns at 415-927-0960. 
Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 17-Nov. 8 • 4:00-6:00pm • $250
The course will equip the students with basic abilities to speak and understand Hebrew, including grammar, conversational skills, and vocabulary. Flora Tsapovsky is a journalist, blogger and media scholar with an M.A in Communications. She lived in Israel for 22 years before moving to Sonoma County and developing a fun, interactive, and culturally rich system of learning Hebrew for both kids and adults.

Start: 09/17/2014 6:00 pm

Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know. Thirteen chapters evoke the joy and discovery of reading a menu dotted with the sharp-eyed annotations of a linguist.

Dan Jurafsky is a Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science at Stanford University. His studies concern natural language processing, speech processing, dialogue, Chinese, and the applications of computational linguistics to the behavioral and social sciences. He is the former recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, an honor colloquially known as a "Genius Grant." 

Start: 09/17/2014 6:30 pm
End: 09/17/2014 8:30 pm
Eight Wednesdays: Sept. 17-Nov. 5 • 6:30-8:30pm • $250
The course will equip the students with basic abilities to speak and understand Hebrew, including grammar, conversational skills, and vocabulary. Flora Tsapovsky is a journalist, blogger and media scholar with an M.A in Communications. She lived in Israel for 22 years before moving to Sonoma County and developing a fun, interactive, and culturally rich system of learning Hebrew for both kids and adults.

Start: 09/17/2014 7:00 pm

In conversation with Kathryn Ma

Set in the shifting landscape of contemporary China, The Dog explodes the country’s cultural and social fault lines, revealing a nation accustomed to rations, bitter struggle, and the stranglehold of communism as it confronts a generation rife with the promise of unforeseen prosperity.

Jack Livings’ stories have appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, StoryQuarterly, Tin House, The New Delta Review, Best American Short Stories, and have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. Livings received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He is at work on a novel.



Thursday September 18, 2014
Start: 09/18/2014 12:00 pm
Ticket: $55 (includes lunch & signed book)
In The Human Age ($27.95), a landmark new book by Diane Ackerman, she confronts the unprecedented fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet. Humans have "subdued 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness." We now collect the DNA of vanishing species in a "frozen ark," equip orangutans with iPads, create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. Ackerman takes us on an exciting journey to understand this bewildering new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating-perhaps saving-our future. The Human Age is a beguiling, optimistic engagement with the earth-shaking changes now affecting every part of our lives and those of our fellow creatures-a wise book that will astound, delight, and inform intelligent life for a long time to come.

Diane Ackerman has been the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the best-selling The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses
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: 09/18/2014 6:00 pm

City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran travels up and down Vali-Asr Street, Tehran’s pulsing thoroughfare, from the lavish shopping malls of Tajrish through the smog that lingers over the humbler alleyways and bazaars of the city’s southern districts. This fearless first book from Emmy-Award winning journalist and reporter Ramita Navai candidly exposes the passions of ordinary Iranians forced to live extraordinary lives; the porn star, the aging socialite, the assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, the volunteer religious militiaman who undergoes a sex change, the dutiful housewife who files for divorce, and the old-time thug running a gambling den—all of whom Navai got to know when she lived as an undercover journalist in Tehran. This is a shocking, backstreet glimpse of modern Tehran: the gritty, dizzying city in which—if you want to survive—you have to lie.

Ramita Navai is an international journalist who has reported from some of the most dangerous places in the world including Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, El Salvador, and Zimbabwe, and earned an Emmy for her undercover report from Syria. She has also worked as a journalist for the United Nations in Pakistan, northern Iraq and Iran, and was the Tehran correspondent for The Times from 2003 to 2006.


Start: 09/18/2014 6:30 pm

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity. Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. The Infinite Sea: The Second Book of the 5th Wave finds Cassie Sullivan in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others' ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race. Cassie and her friends haven't seen the depths to which the Others will sink nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate. 

Rick Yancey is the author of the New York Times bestseller The 5th Wave, several adult novels, and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn't writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.

*To preordered an autographed copy of The Infinite Sea, be sure to mention "autographed" in the Comments section of check out!

Start: 09/18/2014 7:00 pm

Island of a Thousand Mirrors is an emotionally resonant saga of cultural heritage, heartbreaking conflict, and deep family bonds. Narrated in two unforgettably authentic voices and spanning the entirety of the decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka, it offers an unparalleled portrait of a beautiful land during its most difficult period.

Before violence tore apart the tapestry of Sri Lanka and turned its pristine beaches red, there were two families. Yasodhara tells the story of her own Sinhala family, rich in love, with everything they could ask for. As a child in idyllic Colombo, Yasodhara’s and her siblings’ lives are shaped by social hierarchies, their parents’ ambitions, teenage love and, subtly, the differences between Tamil and Sinhala people; but the peace is shattered by the tragedies of war. Yasodhara’s family escapes to Los Angeles. But Yasodhara’s life has already become intertwined with a young Tamil girl’s…

Saraswathie is living in the active war zone of Sri Lanka, and hopes to become a teacher. But her dreams for the future are abruptly stamped out when she is arrested by a group of Sinhala soldiers and pulled into the very heart of the conflict that she has tried so hard to avoid – a conflict that, eventually, will connect her and Yasodhara in unexpected ways.

Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka, and grew up in Nigeria. She emigrated with her family to the United States in her early teens, and now lives in Oakland, CA. Island of a Thousand Mirrors won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for the Asian Region and was longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. It is her first novel.


Friday September 19, 2014
Start: 09/19/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/19/2014 1:00 pm
Fri., Sept. 19 • 10:00-1:00 pm • $60
Pre-class assignment required.
What makes you and your book truly compelling to potential readers, reviewers, and media?  A writer's first step to market his book is to talk to "everyone."  You never know who the listener might be: an agent, publisher, bookseller, future reader.  They ask about your book, you respond "Uh, well, it's about so many things...."  Stop!  You've already blown it!

Acheson shares what works, what doesn't -- and why.  The pre-class assignment is to write that 30-second pitch, practice it out loud -- many times -- and memorize it so it sounds like conversation.  (Instructions provided upon registration.)

Learn the tools to create a well-honed, ever-useful, selling description.  You'll leave the workshop with some essential sentences that can be expanded after you've won the audience's attention.  

"[The class] gave me an easy way to talk to my friends, booksellers, the media and new readers.  But I also use what I learned as a way to shape everything I'm writing.  Chances are, if I can't describe my story idea concisely (even to myself) then I need to keep thinking.  I need to make sure I'm clear about what I'm writing.  For me, it's the starting, not ending point of publishing a book.  It's been the most valuable bit of wisdom I've learned."
    --     Jennifer Solow, bestselling author of THE ARISTOBRATS and THE BOOSTER
Start: 09/19/2014 2:00 pm
End: 09/19/2014 5:00 pm
Fri., Sept. 19 • 2:00-5:00 pm • $60
Publishing Choices: Print-On-Demand, Self-Publishing, Traditional Publisher 

What is POD?  How does it differ from self-publishing?  Will either be easier, faster, better than the route to a traditional publisher?

All authors need to investigate the most appropriate method of publication before finishing your books.  You owe it to yourself -- and your pocketbook -- to learn the advantages and pitfalls of each type.  Using decades of working with all three publishing choices, the instructor shares that no method is appropriate for all books and all authors.

For some publishing routes the services provided are quite different; for others the author might pay all the expenses.  Can your book be reviewed and sold in bookstores and will you earn more money with one procedure over the others?  The answers to these crucial questions -- and others -- will determine the appropriate publishing route.

"[Alice Acheson's] knowledge about and reflection upon the reality of the publishing business makes her absolutely credible."
    --     Catherine Conway Honig, Book Passage student
Start: 09/19/2014 7:00 pm
In Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman ($22.95) Jean Shinoda Bolen invites women and girls to discover the tenacity and courage of the Artemis archetype and how it can be tapped to live authentically.

To tell the story, Bolen delves deeply into the myth of Atalanta, the famous hunter and runner in ancient Greek mythology, a mortal woman who is identified with Artemis the Greek Goddess of the Hunt and Moon. Atalanta began life abandoned and left to die because she was born a girl. She faced the Calydon Boar and drew first blood; she was the runner who would demand to be beaten in a footrace by the man who could claim her as his bride. She exemplifies the indomitable spirit in competent, courageous girls and in the women they become. This is grit, the passion and persistence to go the distance, to survive, and to succeed.

She includes many real-life stories as well as mythological and fictional examples of women who are similar to Atalanta, including among others Princess Merida from the animated film Brave and Katniss from The Hunger Games. Artemis and Atalanta are the means through which readers can navigate their own personal exploration to become their authentic selves. Bolen dedicates this book to women and girls who embody the archetype of Artemis, who discover her uncrushable spirit in themselves or others.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst and an internationally known author and speaker. Her books include The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, Ring of Power, Crossing to Avalon, Close to the Bone, The Millionth Circle, Goddesses in Older Women, Crones Don’t Whine, Urgent Message from Mother, Like a Tree, and Moving Toward the Millionth Circle. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, a past board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women and the International Transpersonal Association. 
Saturday September 20, 2014
Start: 09/20/2014 9:00 am

9:00-5:00 pm • Corte Madera store

All Hospice used books will be on sale at 50% off at Book Passage in Corte Madera. This is a chance for some great bargains and to familiarize yourself with our Hospice by the Bay used book collection. Hospice by the Bay provides palliative care in Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma counties. Book Passage sells books from the Hospice collection in both our Marin and San Franciso stores on an ongoing basis. The sales from these books directly benefit the many Hospice programs.


Start: 09/20/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/20/2014 5:00 pm
Sat., Sept. 20 • 10:00-5:00 pm • $150
Pre-class assignment required.
Right!  You love the writing, don't like the marketing.  You don't know what comes next, or how to accomplish what is required, and when to do what.  Publishing has made a quantum shift, and your head is spinning.  Writers more than ever need to know how to interact with the industry.  This class pertains to self-publishing, print-on-demand or the traditional publisher.  A publishing contract doesn't necessarily signal success.  How can you ensure that you and your manuscript receive the deserved recognition?  How do you allot time, energy, and money?  How can you manage the tsunami of marketing tasks?  What about the demands of the digital world?  We begin with a timeline (before the book is published) to guide the entire process. The pre-class assignment is to write a sell sheet, based on instructions received upon registration.  

"Viking/Penguin told me that my author questionnaire [provided in class handouts; explained in class] was one of the best that they received.  I offered to go to New York to make them lunch.  It turned out they do monthly lunch meetings with their big authors, so they slotted me in -- right between Joan Didion and Michael Pollan....As a result of that lunch, the guy who handles the Borders account pestered them to consider me for their "original voices" program, which put my book in the front of all the Borders stores.  I would never have thought of it had it not been for you."    --     Kathleen Flinn: THE SHARPER YOUR KNIFE, THE LESS YOU CRY  
Start: 09/20/2014 11:00 am

Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious tells the story of how one child's search for delicious led to a dream for all children to share the joy of tasty food—the same joy we get from a beautiful song, or a starry sky. This search for good food eventually led Alice Waters to France, and then back home to Berkeley, California, where she started Chez Panisse restaurant and the Edible Schoolyard. For Alice, a delicious meal does not start in the kitchen, but in the fields with good soil and caring farmers.

Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the Caldecott Award winning author of Snowflake Bentley and Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.


Start: 09/20/2014 12:30 pm

Houdan. Nankin. Indian Runner. Naragansett. These may sound like exotic place names or unusual varieties of produce, but each actually refers to one of the many hundreds of lesser-known poultry breeds that tempt the livestock owner who's prepared to venture into less familiar territory. Providing an alternative to commercial breeds and hybrids, heritage breeds each boast their own unique set of characteristics and personality traits, and are a valuable (and entertaining) addition to a sustainable food system.

Pure Poultry is the first book in nearly a hundred years to focus specifically on heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, and ducks and their role in a self-reliant lifestyle. It's an immensely readable "how-to and why-to" based entirely on personal experience--including plenty of lessons learned the hard way. Pure Poultry shows how heritage-breed poultry can enhance and deepen anyone's quality of life, whether you have a farm, a small backyard, or a neighbor with space to share.

Victoria Redhed Miller is a writer, photographer, and off-grid homesteader who raises heritage poultry in the foothills of Washington’s Olympic Mountains.

Start: 09/20/2014 1:00 pm

Kristin Newman spent her 20s and 30s dealing with the stresses of her high-pressure job as a television comedy writer, and the anxieties of watching most of her friends get married and start families while she wrestled with her own fear of both. Not ready to settle down and yet loathe to become a sad-sack single girl, she instead started traveling the world, often alone, for a few months each year, falling madly in love with attractive locals who provided moments of the love she wanted without the cost of the freedom she needed.  What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding introduces readers to the Israeli bartenders, Argentinian priests, Finnish poker players, and sexy Bedouins who helped transform Newman into "Kristin-Adjacent" on the road—a quieter, less judgmental, and, yes, sluttier version of herself at home.

Kristin Newman is a television comedy writer, having earned credits on shows such as That 70s Show, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck. She currently writes for ABC's The Neighbors.



Start: 09/20/2014 3:00 pm

Chef and cooking teacher Becky Selengut's Shroom feeds our enduring passion for foraged and wild foods by exploring 15 types of mushrooms, including detailed how-to's on everything home cooks need to know to create 75 inventive, internationally-flavored mushroom dishes. In a voice that's informed, but friendly and down-to-earth, Selengut guides the home cook through 15 species-specific chapters on mushroom cookery with the same levity and expertise she brought to the topic of sustainable seafood in her IACP-nominated 2011 book Good Fish. Selengut's wife and sommelier April Pogue once again teams up to provide wine pairings for each of the 75 recipes.


Start: 09/20/2014 4:00 pm
Co-Sponsored by 10,000 Degrees
While education reformers and policy makers grapple with big fixes and the politics of national initiatives, most teachers and parents share the simple and urgent desire for students -- especially those from low-income communities -- to be on the road to college and ultimately to develop into people who will be equipped to thrive in the unpredictable future ahead of them. Nevertheless, the great majority of American schools do not respond to this urgent need. And just what this sort of education looks like, day to day, remains elusive.

In Deeper Learning ($26.95), education strategist Monica R. Martinez and sociologist Dennis McGrath take us inside eight schools that have set out to transform the experience of learning. In these schools, we meet teachers and students who show us just what "Deeper Learning" looks like. The examples from these pages-from high school kids developing energy-saving solutions alongside engineers to young people discovering the complexities of sustainability on an oral history expedition to Appalachia-offer an inspiring and expanded vision of what's possible in schools today.

An accessibly written showcase of schools and practices designed to empower educators and students alike, here is a book for all who are concerned with the dual need for American schools to be genuinely innovative and to embrace what works. Deeper Learning demonstrates how students in their teen years can become passionate learners and global citizens ready to take on a world increasingly defined by new technologies, economic shifts, and profound social challenges.
Monica R. Martinez, PhD, is a former president of the New Tech Network and was previously vice president of Knowledge Works. In 2011 she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. A Colorado native, she currently lives in the Bay Area.
Dennis McGrath, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the Community College of Philadelphia where he won the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. He is the author of The Collaborative Advantage: Lessons from K-16 Educational Reform, among other works. He lives in Philadelphia.
Sunday September 21, 2014
Start: 09/21/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/21/2014 4:00 pm
Please note that this class is cancelled. Feel free to contact the Classes department with any questions at 415-927-0960 ext 1.  
Sun., Sept. 21 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105
Whatever you have lost—your first taste of ice cream, your desire to climb Mount Everest, your marriage, parents, or empathy in the face of loss—find it again in words. In this class, we’ll explore how memory works, reading excerpts from fabulous writers and learning techniques to coax out even our shyest memories. Monica Wesolowska is the author of the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life which was named a “Best Book” of 2013 by both The Boston Globe and Library Journal. She has taught creative writing for over a decade. 

Start: 09/21/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/21/2014 1:00 pm
Sun., Sept. 21 • 10:00-1:00 pm • $60
"I have never heard anyone give so much great information as Alice Acheson." 
-- Kate Wright, who found an agent.

Avoid Book Proposal Agita!  It's time for the first edit of your book -- and time to begin collecting information for your book proposal.  What kind of information?  In class we will discuss what makes a selling proposal and which elements of your book should be highlighted.  Here you will learn how to convince an agent or editor to read your book proposal, how to craft that all-important marketing paragraph, how to avoid pitfalls that stop the reading, the difference between the query letter and the synopsis, and other insights into impressing the reader. 
Start: 09/21/2014 1:00 pm

Once considered a fringe practice of raw-food zealots, juicing has gone mainstream. The founders of the wildly successful LA-based Pressed Juicery explain how juicing and juice cleansing can be used as a tool to create a fit and healthy life. Requiring only a juicer or blender, Juice features seventy-five recipes from the shop’s most popular juices including greens, roots, citrus, fruits, aloe and chlorophyll waters. Readers will learn all the ins and outs of juicing from its benefits and how-to’s to cleansing and testimonials. Pressed Juicery and it’s founders believe that the real secret to a healthy life shouldn’t be a secret at all, which is why they’ve created this book and are giving all their recipes to you!

Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores, and Hayden Slater are the founders of Pressed Juicery, a Los Angeles–based chain of juice shops that feature more than forty organic, cold-pressed juices and a simple series of multi-day juice cleansing regimens. With nearly twenty locations in Northern and Southern California (and many more opening soon), Pressed Juicery has been featured in Vanity Fair, InStyle, Details, Natural Health, Marie Claire, Vogue, the Los Angeles Times, and Entrepreneur, among many others.


Start: 09/21/2014 4:00 pm
In conversation with Melissa Cistaro
From the bestselling author of The Little Stranger and Fingersmith, an enthralling novel about a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home in 1920s London.

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize three times, Sarah Waters has earned a reputation as one of our greatest writers of historical fiction, and here she has delivered again. A love story, a tension-filled crime story, and a beautifully atmospheric portrait of a fascinating time and place, The Paying Guests ($27.95) is Sarah Waters’s finest achievement yet.

Sarah Waters is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Little Stranger, The Night Watch, Fingersmith, Affinity, and Tipping the Velvet. She has three times been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, twice been a finalist for the Orange Prize, and was named one of Granta’s best young British novelists, among other distinctions. Waters lives in London.
Melissa Cistaro is a writer and event host at Book Passage.  Her memoir Pieces of My Mother will be published in spring of 2015. 
Monday September 22, 2014
Start: 09/22/2014 6:00 pm
Ted Rall traveled deep into Afghanistan—without embedding himself with U.S. soldiers, without insulating himself with flak jackets and armored SUVs—where no one else would go (except, of course, Afghans). He made two long trips: the first in the wake of 9/11, and the next ten years later to see what a decade of U.S. occupation had wrought. On the first trip, he shouted his dispatches into a satellite phone provided by a Los Angeles radio station, attempting to explain that the booming in the background—and sometimes the foreground—were the sounds of an all-out war that no one at home would entirely own up to. Ten years later, the alternative newspapers and radio station that had financed his first trip could no longer afford to send him into harm’s way, so he turned to Kickstarter to fund a groundbreaking effort to publish online a real-time blog of graphic journalism (essentially, a nonfiction comic) documenting what was really happening on the ground, filed daily by satellite. The result of this intrepid reporting is After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan—a singular account of one determined journalist’s effort to bring the realities of life in twenty-first-century Afghanistan to the world in the best way he knows how: a mix of travelogue, photography, and award-winning comics.
Ted Rall is the author and illustrator of many graphic novels and books of political criticism and travel writing, including The Year of Loving DangerouslySilk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?, and The Book of Obama: How We Went from Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt. He lives in East Hampton, New York.
Start: 09/22/2014 7:00 pm
The inspiring memoir of a young woman who is slowly losing her sight and hearing yet continues to live each day with grace and purpose

Thirty-four-year-old Rebecca Alexander is a psychotherapist, a spin instructor, a volunteer, and an athlete. She is also almost completely blind, with significantly deteriorated hearing. Not Fade Away ($27.00) is a deeply moving exploration of the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical. Like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Rebecca’s story is an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.

When Rebecca was twelve, her parents were told that she would be completely blind before she turned thirty.  At eighteen, she fell through a window, shattering her body. In college, she found out that due to a rare genetic disorder—Usher Syndrome Type III—she was losing her hearing as well. Since then, she has earned two Master’s degrees from Columbia University, ridden a six-hundred-mile bike race, hiked the Inca Trail, and established a thriving career—all while maintaining a vibrant social life.

In Not Fade Away, Rebecca charts her journey from a teenager who tried to hide her disabilities, to a woman who is able to face the world exactly as she is. She meditates on what she’s lost—the sound of laughter and skies full of stars, which she can now only imagine (though, she quips, “It’s not like anyone can see stars in New York anyway”)—and what she’s found in return: an exquisite sense of intimacy with family and friends who’ve stuck by her, and a profound appreciation for everything she still has. Even though Rebecca inhabits a gradually darkening world, she refuses to let that stop her from living life with joy and enthusiasm. 
Rebecca Alexander, thirty-four, is a psychotherapist, spin instructor, volunteer, and an extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, she currently lives in New York City.
Tuesday September 23, 2014
Start: 09/23/2014 6:00 pm
The trailblazing film Forks Over Knives exposed an entirely new generation to the whole-food, plant-based nutrition revolution and inspired thousands to want to transform their diets, and their lives. With so many people looking for change, the outstanding question became, “How can we put these dietary ideas into practice?” That’s what authors Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman reveal in The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet ($24.99)—a clear, easy-to-follow plan that outlines the steps to take each week to transform your diet by cutting out animal-based and processed foods.

Forks Over Knives is a leading authority in the “food as medicine” movement, showing how simple dietary changes are proven to prevent, and even reverse, chronic disease such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease and improve your overall health. This is no fad diet; the Forks Over Knives program is backed by original research and has received rave reviews from physicians like Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Mehmet Oz, to athletes like Tony Gonzalez and pro basketball player Steve Nash, to healthy lifestyle pioneers like Alicia Silverstone, to name a few. Whether you’re already a convert and just want a dietary reboot, or you are trying a plant-based diet for the first time, The Forks Over Knives Plan makes it easier than ever to transition into this new way of eating.

Alona Pulde, MD, is a family practitioner specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Alona developed the Lifestyle Change Program used for patients in the film Forks Over Knives and in her clinic, Transition To Health. She is the author of the book Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health. Alona joined Whole Foods Market in 2010 as a health and wellness medical expert.

Matthew Lederman, MD, is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Matt has lectured for the eCornell T. Colin Campbell Certificate Program in Plant-Based Nutrition and appeared in the films Healing Cancer From the Inside Out and Forks Over Knives. With Alona, he cofounded Transition To Health and coauthored Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole. Matt joined Whole Foods Market in 2010 to help direct various health and wellness projects.
Start: 09/23/2014 7:00 pm
Gutenberg's Apprentice is an enthralling literary debut that follows the birth of printing in medieval Germany—a story of invention, intrigue, and betrayal, rich in atmosphere and historical detail, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible.    

Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corrupt, feud-plagued Mainz to meet “a most amazing man.”  

Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary—and to some, blasphemous—method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg’s workshop and he orders Peter, his adopted son, to become Gutenberg’s apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the “darkest art.” 

As his skill grows, so, too, does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: copies of the Holy Bible. But mechanical difficulties and the crushing power of the Catholic Church threaten their work. As outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures: the generous Fust, who saved him from poverty after his mother died; and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery. 

Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles—a battle that will change history . . . and irrevocably transform them.

Alix Christie is an author, journalist and letterpress printer. She learned the craft of letterpress printing as an apprentice to two master California printers and owns and operates a 1910 Chandler & Price letterpress. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from St Mary’s College of California. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, she lives in London with her husband and two children. 

Wednesday September 24, 2014
Start: 09/24/2014 12:00 pm
Ticket: $55 (includes lunch & signed book)
From David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon Cloud Atlas, comes The Bone Clocks, a vast, intricate piece that weaves together six narratives spanning from 1984 to the 2030s about a secret war between a cult of soul-decanters and the small group of vigilantes who try to take them down. It's an up-all-night thriller that fluently mixes the supernatural, sci-fi, horror, social satire, and heartbreaking realism.

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2007.
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: 09/24/2014 7:00 pm
The highly anticipated return of Tony Earley, celebrated author of Jim the Boy.

Two decades after his debut collection Here We Are in Paradise heralded Tony Earley as one of the most accomplished writers of his generation, the rueful, bittersweet, and riotous stories of Mr. Tall ($25.00) reestablish him as a mythmaker and tale spinner of the first rank. These stories introduce us not only to ordinary people seeking to live extraordinary lives, but also to the skunk ape (a southern variant of Bigfoot), the ghost of Jesse James, and a bone-tired Jack the Giant Killer. Whether it's Appalachia, Nashville, the Carolina Coast, or a make-believe land of talking dogs, each world Earley creates is indelible.

Tony Earley is the author of the novels Jim the Boy and The Blue Star. His fiction has earned a National Magazine Award and appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Best American Short Stories. Earley was chosen for both The New Yorker's inaugural best "20 Under 40" list of fiction writers and Granta's "20 Best Young American Novelists." He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is the Samuel Milton Fleming Chair in English at Vanderbilt University.
Thursday September 25, 2014
Start: 09/25/2014 6:00 pm

The Sexton family's long love affair with the Dalmatian began in Linda Gray Sexton's childhood. There, on a snowy morning in the family home just outside Boston, Linda heard a whimpering coming from the basement. She discovered their first family dog giving birth to a litter. Witnessing the intimate act of birth had a profound effect on the family. Her mother, Anne, used the experience to complete the poem "Live," part of her third collection, titled " Live or Die ," which would be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. For Linda, the boundless joy of both breed and breeding triggered in her a lifelong love of Dalmatians. All told, thirty-eight Dalmatians will move through her life: the ones that cheer and support her through difficulty, divorce, and depression; the ones that stay with her as she enters the world of professional breeding and showing of Dals; and, of course, the one true dog of her heart, Gulliver, her most stalwart of canine champions. Bespotted: My Family's Love Affair with Thirty-Eight Dalmations is a page-turning and compelling look at the unique place dogs occupy in our lives. It captures another piece of this literary family's history, taps into the curious and fascinating world of dog showing/dog fancy.

Linda Gray Sexton is the daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton. She has written four novels and two memoirs, Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide and Searching for Mercy Street, both published by Counterpoint. She lives in Redwood City, California. 

Start: 09/25/2014 7:00 pm
This can’t-put-it-down coming of age memoir is dramatic and heart wrenching, as young Patsy Lou takes us on a journey through the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma and Texas at the time of out nation’s greatest environmental disaster. You will keep reading to find out what more could happen to this sweet child of the Great Depression after she endures severe burns down there at age seven when she pees on hot coals. As a result she suffers a type of genital mutilation that affects her entire life. And with it all, her delicious sense of humor is evident throughout Peeing On Hot Coals ($26.98). We laugh at the vivid description of her preacher dad, and a straight from the Bible Belt Mama and her eight siblings. From such humble beginnings and with little formal education Patsy Lou’s attitude of It Can be Done instilled in her the fearlessness to organize substantive meetings with world leaders in twenty-six countries.
Pat Montandon grew up in Oklahoma and Texas as the daughter of a Hell fire and brimstone preacher and a mother who demanded strict obedience to her and to religious strictures. Pat was a child of the Great Depression with a house full of siblings and an equal amount of fine brown sand from the Black Blizzards of the Dust Bowl. Eventually, with only a high school education, Pat used her agile mind and willingness to work and belief in herself to become a best selling author of five books. Later, she launched the International Children As The Peacemakers Foundation. That concept and the resultant journeys earned her the United Nations Peace Messenger Award and nominations for a Nobel Peace Prize. 
Start: 09/25/2014 7:00 pm

Lewis Buzbee was a self-proclaimed “average student,” one whose parents did not go to college. After the death of his father he began to spiral downward, but was saved from failing high school by attentive teachers—teachers who had ample resources thanks to a well-funded California school system. But now, schools have been devastated by funding cuts, and Buzbee wonders if it’s still possible to save at-risk students when “the public will to fund public education remains pallid, timid, hypocritical.” Blackboard: A Personal History of the Classroom looks to the origins of kindergarten, muses on the architecture of schools, and organizing principles and objects of the classroom like the blackboard and the desk, to discover what those spaces and objects tell students about the importance of learning. Buzbee adds insight not only as student, but also as a teacher and a father as he contrasts his daughter’s experiences with his own. This unique and refreshing approach to the subject makes for a warm and accessible read, and his story stands as a testament to what school can achieve in the life of a student.

Lewis Buzbee is the author of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, After the Gold Rush, and Fliegelman’s Desire, as well as three award-winning novels for younger readers, Steinbeck’s Ghost, The Haunting of Charles Dickens, and Bridge of Time. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.



Friday September 26, 2014
Start: 09/26/2014 12:00 pm
Greens Restaurant, San Francisco • Single $115; Couple $175 (one book)
Online registration is now closed. To inquire about waitlist availability, please call (415) 9270960 ext. 1.
Rising star and chef-activist, Bryant Terry draws from African, Caribbean, and Southern food to create 100 enticing vegan dishes. They include Jamaican Patties Stuffed With Maque Choux, Bereberre-Spiced Black-Eyed Pea Sliders, and Cornmeal Dumplings. He explores popular African ingredients and traces their history, offering a cultural context. Terry is also the author of The Inspired Vegan, Vegan Soul Kitchen, and Grub.
The ticket includes the meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book. 
Start: 09/26/2014 1:00 pm

The author of Passages, a book that changed millions of lives, now lays bare her own life passages in a captivating memoir that reveals her harrowing and ultimately triumphant path from groundbreaking 1960s "girl" journalist to fearless bestselling author who made a career of excavating cultural taboos--from sex, menopause, and midlife crisis to illness, caregiving, and death. Daring to blaze a trail in a "man's world," Gail Sheehy became one of the premier practitioners of New Journalism at the fledgling New York magazine, along with such stellar writers as Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, and Jimmy Breslin. Daring: My Passages is also the beguiling love story of Sheehy's tempestuous romance with Clay Felker, the charismatic creator of New York magazine and the mentor who inspired her to become the fearless journalist who won renown for her penetrating character portraits of world leaders, including Hillary Clinton, both Presidents Bush, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev, among others.

World-renowned author of 17 books, journalist, and popular lecturer, Gail Sheehy has changed the way millions of women and men around the world look at the stages of their lives. Her revolutionary book Passages was named by the Library of Congress one of the ten most influential books of our times. Sheehy is one of the founding writers of New York and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984. She has written about presidential candidates from Robert Kennedy to Hilary Clinton and world leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein.


Start: 09/26/2014 7:00 pm

In The Future, Declassified:  Megatrends That Will Undo the World Unless We Take Action, Mathew Burrows expands the most recent Global Trends report into a full length narrative that zeros in on the key global issues that will change our world in the coming decades. In the ten years Burrows spent at the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), he analyzed the biggest and most pressing challenges facing our world.  Most of his work remains classified, but this crucial study, which the NIC produces every four years, is not. Delivering a forthright critique on the risks of weak U.S. leadership in the face of such massive changes, Burrows details how the report’s findings can help our world face these impending challenges proactively and productively.

Mathew Burrows is the director of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative. He has served as the National Intelligence Council’s counselor and director of analysis and production for the last decade. He served as the intelligence advisor to Richard Holbrooke when he was the US Ambassador to the UN. After 9/11, he became deputy national security advisor to US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. He lives in Washington, DC.


Saturday September 27, 2014
Start: 09/27/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/27/2014 4:00 pm
Please note that this class is cancelled. Please contact the Classes Dept. if you have any questions at 415-927-0960 ext 1.  
Sat., Sept. 27 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105

How do you create tension on every page? As literary agent Donald Maass says, a constant stream of tension engages readers. Using published works as a jumping off point, we will spend the day making conflict happen by playing with diction, reader and character expectations, suspense, delay, and characters' conflicting emotion. The class is suitable for nonfiction and fiction writers. Nina Schuyler is the author of the novels The Translator and The Painting, and many short stories. She teaches creative writing in the graduate program at USF.

Start: 09/27/2014 10:00 am
End: 09/27/2014 12:00 pm
Sat., Sept. 27 • 10:00-12:00pm • $55
What’s the difference between a page turner and a clunker that disappears without a trace? It’s the story, characters, pacing, literary style, dialogue, sensory description, and narrative voice. Learn specific techniques for improving your writing, then navigating the turbulent waters of today’s book business. Alan Rinzler has edited and published Toni Morrison, Tom Robbins, Hunter S. Thompson, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, Shirley MacLaine, Jerzy Kosinski, Bob Dylan, and Andy Warhol in executive positions at Simon & Schuster, Bantam, Grove Press, Rolling Stone, and Straight Arrow Books.

Start: 09/27/2014 1:00 pm

As the world demands that more and more polluters pay for carbon emissions, a financial mystery unfolds: What are the costs? Who is responsibe to pay for them? Who do you pay? How do you pay? And what are the potential impacts? In Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy,   veteran journalist Mark Schapiro attempts to answer these questions as he illuminates the struggle to pinpoint carbon's true costs, all while bumping up against the vagaries of the free market, the lobbying power of corporations, the political maneuverings of countries, and the tolerance of everyday consumers buying a cup of coffee, a tank of gas, or an airplane ticket. Along the way, Schapiro tracks the cost of carbon through the drought-ridden farmland of California, where higher temperatures are driving up the price of the food we eat, the prices farmers pay for crop insurance, and the impact on taxpayers.

Mark Schapiro explores the intersection of the environment, economics, and political power, most recently as a correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting. His work has been published in Harpers, The Atlantic, Yale 360, and other publications. He has reported stories for the PBS newsmagazine Frontline/World, NOW with Bill Moyers, and public radio’s Marketplace, and is the author of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.


Sunday September 28, 2014
Start: 09/28/2014 1:00 pm

A Future for Cheetahs is a simple and elegant large-format book of incredible photography that provides insight on the past and present, and future of cheetahs in the wild. It features commentary by Dr. Laurie Marker, world renowned authority on cheetahs, and illustrated through imagery captured by renowned wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas. Through the eyes of the cheetah, this picture book story will bring the reader face to face with some of the rarest and most beautiful images taken of wild cheetahs. Equally as powerful, compelling stories and photos weave a story of the conservation initiatives that are the key to their very survival.

Dr. Laurie Marker is the founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). Having worked with cheetahs since 1974, Marker set up the not-for-profit Fund in 1990 and moved to Namibia to develop a permanent Conservation Research Centre for the wild cheetah. Suzi Eszterhas is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in California. Best known for her work documenting family life on the African savanna, Eszterhas has undertaken commissions and led instructional photography tours and workshops everywhere from Antarctica to the Arctic and Alaska to Montana.



Start: 09/28/2014 2:00 pm
End: 09/28/2014 4:00 pm

Nina Schuyler’s first novel, The Painting, (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004), was a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards. It was also selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Best Books of 2004, and dubbed a “fearless debut” by MSNBC and a “great debut” by the Rocky Mountain News. It’s been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Serbian.

Her short story, “The Bob Society,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems, short stories and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Santa Clara Review, Fugue, The Meadowland Review, The Battered Suitcase, and other literary journals. She reviews fiction for The Rumpus and The Children’s Book Review. She’s fiction editor at Able Muse.

She attended Stanford University for her undergraduate degree, earned a law degree at Hastings College of the Law and an MFA in fiction with an emphasis on poetry at San Francisco State University. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco.

Her second novel, The Translator, was published by Pegasus Books in July 1, 2013.


Start: 09/28/2014 4:00 pm

Jeff Greenwald's classic travelogue follows his quest for the "perfect" Buddha statue. At turns hilarious and moving, his quest features a cast of amazing characters — from a passionate palmist to a flying lama —who provide unforgettable glimpses into the daily life and culture of the former kingdom (including a wild ride on Kathmandu’s very first escalator). Greenwald doesn't shy away from Shangri-la’s darker side. Along with colorful descriptions of Hindu and Buddhist mythology, the book tells of the rampant corruption, art smuggling, assassination attempts and human right abuses that would ignite Nepal’s violent "People Power" Revolution in April 1990. A new afterword by the author recounts Nepal's tumultuous recent history — including the massacre of the royal family — in vivid detail. And a new preface introduces this 25th anniversary edition with some thoughts about how Nepal, and travel writing, have evolved since the book’s first publication. Shopping for Buddhas: An Adventure in Nepal remains a must-read for anyone who has visited, or plans to visit, Nepal.

Jeff Greenwald is a writer, photographer, and performer. He is the author of six books, including The Size of the World, for which he created the first Internet travel blog. His work has appeared in Wired, Salon, Smithsonian, Afar, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. Jeff serves as the executive director of the nonprofit Ethical Traveler. He has also created a critically acclaimed solo show, Strange Travel Suggestions, which draws from his tales as a travel journalist. Jeff's most recent book, Snake Lake, is set during Nepal's 1990 Democracy revolution. He lives in Oakland, CA.

Start: 09/28/2014 7:00 pm
These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler's youth. There, shockingly, Kotler comes face-to-face with the former friend whose denunciation sent him to the Gulag almost forty years earlier.

In a whirling twenty-four hours, Kotler must face the ultimate reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed, including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own moral dilemma in the Israeli army, and the wife who once campaigned to secure his freedom and stood by him through so much.

Stubborn, wry, and self-knowing, Baruch Kotler is one of the great creations of contemporary fiction. An aging man grasping for a final passion, he is drawn inexorably into a crucible that is both personal and biblical in scope.

In prose that is elegant, sly, precise, and devastating in its awareness of the human heart, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness. The Betrayers ($26.00) is a high-wire act, a powerful tale of morality and sacrifice that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page.

David Bezmozgis is an award-winning writer and filmmaker whose fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Zoetrope, and Best American Short Stories. He was named one of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" writers in 2010. He lives in Toronto.
Monday September 29, 2014
Start: 09/29/2014 7:00 pm
End: 09/29/2014 9:00 pm
Four Mondays • Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 24, and Dec. 15 • 7:00-9:00 pm • $95
We’ll have an intimate conversation with the authors of…insightful, resonant stories by “a true craftsman” (New York Times); a Chechen War-set first novel whose author hoped to “combine the tension of a character-driven thriller with the richness of a historical epic” and succeeded; the tale of a Japanese novelist, the tortured actor who inspired his work, and the translator who “sabotaged” it; and sensitive fact-based fiction in which a young Argentine woman who knows her father played a part in her country’s recent, terrible past learns more from a mysterious stranger.
Sept: Stay Up with Me, Tom Barbash
Oct: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra
Nov: The Translator, Nina Schuyler
Dec: Perla, Carolina De Robertis

Start: 09/29/2014 7:00 pm

In conversation with Malcolm Margolin

In an age of big box stores and media conglomerates, how can an independent publishing house survive—and even thrive? Kim Bancroft's The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin takes us into Heyday, a small press that for forty years has spotlighted California’s best stories. Drawing from the words of founder Malcolm Margolin, this compelling portrait recounts the making of Heyday, from its roots in the do-it-yourself/change-the-world clime of 1970s Berkeley to its present-day status as the “cultural linchpin for the state” (Northern California Book Booksellers Association). A chorus of friends, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Hass, and Kevin Starr, enriches our understanding of a vibrant literary community and its one-of-a-kind leader. Funny and provocative, The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin reveals the workings of a courageously unconventional enterprise run on beauty, passion, friendship, and joy.

Kim Bancroft is a longtime teacher turned editor and writer. She has taught at various high schools and community colleges in the Bay Area, at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico, and at Sacramento State. Kim has edited several books, including Ariel: A Memoir by Ariel Parkinson; The Morning the Sun Went Down by Darryl Wilson; and Ruth’s Journey: A Survivor’s Memoir, by Ruth Glasberg Gold.


Tuesday September 30, 2014
Start: 09/30/2014 7:00 pm
Gratitude & Trust ($27.95) is a book designed to apply the principles of the recovery movement to those countless people who are not addicts but nevertheless need effective help with their difficulties and pain. Paul Williams, an award-winning songwriter, actor, and performer, has embraced a traditional alcoholism recovery plan for more than two decades of sobriety. Tracey Jackson, a well-known TV and film writer – and veteran of many years of traditional therapy—has never been a drunk nor a drug abuser, but realized that many of the tenets of Williams’ program could apply to her.  In Gratitude & Trust, Williams and Jackson ask: What happens to those who struggle with vexing problems but are not full-blown addicts? Are there any lessons to be learned from the foundational and time-tested principles of the recovery movement?

Whether you’re tethered to your phone or turn to food for comfort; whether you’re a perfectionist and can’t let things go or are too afraid to fail to even try; whether you can find intimacy only on the Internet or you’ve been involved in a string of nasty relationships—the first step toward feeling better about yourself and your life is the realization that you are what’s standing in your way. Williams and Jackson have designed a new, positive program, based on a half dozen new affirmations, that can help conquer your vices, address personal dysfunctions and start to brighten the darkest moods. Gratitude & Trust is an essential, inspirational, and uplifting guide to identifying and changing maladaptive behaviors in order to uncover your most productive and healthiest self.
Paul Williams is an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter and President of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He is a major public force in the recovery movement, a graduate of UCLA's Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certification Program and has served as a member of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Board of Directors. He was a founding board member and counselor for the Musicians Assistance Program (MAP), now the treatment wing of MusiCares. He has been a passionate public advocate for the recovery movement for the past twenty-four years.

Tracey Jackson wrote the films Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Guru, and The Other End of the Line among others. She has also written twelve TV pilots, and created the series BABES for Fox TV. Tracey wrote, directed, and starred in the controversial documentary Lucky Ducks. Her first book, Between a Rock and Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty, came out in 2011 and was optioned for a TV movie by Lifetime.
Wednesday October 01, 2014
Start: 10/01/2014 6:00 pm

Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great-and utterly unusual-So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel's hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby's surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a "classic," and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender.

With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to re-experience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, "borne back ceaselessly" into its thrall. Along the way, she spins a new and fascinating story of her own.

Maureen Corrigan is the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, the Critic-in-Residence at Georgetown University, and winner of the Edgar Award for Criticism. She is the author of Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading.


Start: 10/01/2014 7:00 pm
The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's heartbreaking account of the life and shocking death of the toughest man in hockey. 

Derek Boogaard lived an almost mythic sports story: from pond-hockey on the prairies of Saskatchewan to a first NHL contract in Minnesota to the storied New York Rangers as the most feared enforcer in the league. A gentle young man, he was a brutal fighter on ice skates, capable of delivering career-ending punches and intimidating entire teams. But his death at age twenty-eight from an overdose of painkillers in the wake of a series of concussions helped shatter the silence about violence in professional sports. Boy on Ice ($26.95) is New York Times reporter John Branch's chronicle of Boogaard's tragic life and death. A human story in the tradition of Friday Night Lights and The Blind Side, it's a book that raises deep and disturbing questions about the systemic brutality of contact sports-from peewees to professionals-and damage that reaches far beyond the game.

John Branch is a reporter for the New York Times. His "Snow Fall" won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. He lives near San Francisco.
Thursday October 02, 2014
Start: 10/02/2014 12:30 pm

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Long dead former residents linger within in the house's claustrophobic walls. Though their voices cannot be heard, they speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

Lauren Oliver is the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novel Before I Fall and the international bestselling Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Lisel & Po, which was a 2012 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. 



Start: 10/02/2014 6:00 pm

Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty weaves a story of our world told through beautifully crafted animal figures and startlingly simple words packed with overwhelming truth. It show us on the edge of our world’s two potential futures: one of great violence and waste, and one of peaceful coexistence and growth.  This book makes us realize the power in our actions. It makes us realize that we create our world through random acts—acts such as planting a garden and making music with those around us. Random Kindness teaches that it is up to us to give sense to beautiful acts of creation instead of acts of destruction. We have the power to be good to one another, and to create a world of good.

Margaret Paloma Pavel is an international advocate of healthy, just, and resilient urban communities. She is founder and president of Earth House of Oakland, CA, founder of the Eco-Justice film series in the San Francisco Bay Area, and editor of Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis. Dr. Pavel holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard University as well as degrees in psychology and economics.


Start: 10/02/2014 6:30 pm
End: 10/02/2014 8:30 pm
This class is cancelled. If you have any questions, please contact the Classes dept. at 415-927-0960 ext. 1.  
Six Thursdays: Oct. 2 - Nov. 6 • 6:30-8:30pm • $240

Have you started a book but haven't been able to finish it? Leslie Keenan has 30 years of experience helping writers get their books done. She knows the most reasons writers get stuck and can help them get back in flow again. Students will leave with a strategy for completing their book. Also covered is advice on the best way to get a book published, including suggestions for agents, editors, publishers, and printers. 
Start: 10/02/2014 7:00 pm

Whether stealing scenes on the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, or starring on the stage in her recent Tony award winning role as Berthe in Pippin, Andrea Martin has long entertained audiences with her hilarious characterizations and heartwarming performances. Martin has worked stages, sets and even trapezes across North America, playing to houses packed with adoring fans, all of whom instantly recognize the star who has entertained us for nearly forty years.

In Andrea Martin’s Lady Parts, Martin, for the first time, shares her fondest remembrances of a life in show business, motherhood, relationships, no relationships, family, chimps in tutus, squirrels, and why she flies to Atlanta to get her hair cut. Martin opens up her heart in a series of eclectic, human, always entertaining and often moving essays. These stories will make you giggle and may make you cry. This is a powerful collection by a woman with a truly storied life.


Friday October 03, 2014
Start: 10/03/2014 7:30 pm

Learning to honor these four desires is the key to happiness, and to a complete and balanced life. But how can you discern what will truly satisfy your desires? How can you increase your capacity to achieve them? What if your desires seem to conflict with one another? Is it really possible to live a spiritual life while also wanting material pleasures and success? For more than three decades, master teacher Rod Stryker has taught yoga in the context of its deepest philosophy. His course, called The Yoga of Fulfillment, has helped thousands recognize their soul’s call to greatness and to achieve their dreams. Now, in The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom, he has distilled those broad teachings into a roadmap for becoming the person you were meant to be. It is filled with revealing true stories, provocative exercises, and practices for unlocking your inner guidance.

Rod Stryker is the founder of ParaYoga. Widely considered one of the preeminent yoga and meditation teachers in the United States, he has taught for more than thirty years. A longtime resident and teacher in Los Angeles, he now lives in Colorado with his wife, Gina, and their four children, Jaden, Theo, Asha, and Atreya. 

Don't miss Rod Styker at Yoga Tree
October 3

Saturday October 04, 2014
Start: 10/04/2014 10:00 am
End: 10/04/2014 4:00 pm
This class has been cancelled. If you have any questions, please contact the Classes dept. at 415-927-0960 ext. 1 
Sat., Oct. 4 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105

The body dragged down the hallway. The urgent assignation in the janitor’s closet. The bitter argument in the pick-up truck. While plot and character tend to get most of the credit, setting carries much of a story’s weight. Exploring setting is a surprisingly effective way to develop emotional depth and tension. In this course we’ll make maps, dissect landscapes, and find clues to the heart of our narrative: loose floorboards; the odor of disinfectant; dandelions wilting on the dashboard. Eli Brown is the author of Cinnamon & Gunpowder. 

Start: 10/04/2014 11:00 am

Bread is one of the most fundamental parts of our diet, yet so many of us rely on bland grocery-store offerings when flavorsome breads can easily be made at home. Della Fattoria Bread: 63 Foolproof Recipes for Yeasted, Enriched, and Naturally Leavened Breads teaches readers to make the popular breads of this award-winning bakery. More than an instructional guide, the book takes the fear out of bread baking, and encourages bakers to draw on their senses, experiences, and instincts. The book is filled with invaluable bread-baking secrets, including starters and proper techniques, and features recipes for all levels of bakers.

Kathleen Weber co-founded Della Fattoria Cafe in 1996 with the building of their first wood-burning oven outside the kitchen door of the family ranch in Petaluma, California. What was thought of as a hobby for Kathleen blossomed over the next several years into a thriving artisanal bread business. Today, artisanal products of Della Fattoria reach clients in Sonoma, Napa, Marin and San Francisco counties including the San Francisco and Marin farmers markets.


Start: 10/04/2014 1:00 pm

Part of our special Children's Book Day events! 

Having mastered ballet in Flora and the Flamingo, Flora takes to the ice and forms an unexpected friendship with a penguin in Flora and the Penguin. Twirling, leaping, spinning, and gliding, on skates and flippers, the duo mirror each other's graceful dance above and below the ice. But when Flora gives the penguin the cold shoulder, the pair must figure out a way to work together for uplifting results. Artist Molly Idle creates an innovative, wordless picture book with clever flaps that reveal Flora and the penguin coming together, spiraling apart, and coming back together as only true friends do.

Molly Idle began her career as an artist working for DreamWorks Animation, and from there she leapt into the world of children's books. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.


Other authors visiting for Children's Book Day include Ian Lendler (The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth) and Shirin Bridges, Janie Havemeyer, and Gretchen Maurer (A Treasury of Glorious Goddesses Series)!  

Start: 10/04/2014 2:30 pm
Part of our special Children's Book Day events! 

The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo... until the gates shut at night. That's when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare's greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they've got what counts: heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails, in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth

When Ian Lendler was younger, he really enjoyed acting in the theater. He was, however, extremely terrible at it. So he became a writer of children's books (An Undone Fairy Tale and Saturday) and non-fiction. But in order to support his family, he took a day job de-worming animals at the Stratford-on-Avon Zoo. He immediately recognized the talents of the troupe and began working with them on diction, dialect, and not eating the audience. When not working with his talented cast and crew, Ian sells lemonade on the sidewalk and plays the ukulele in San Rafael, CA. 
Other authors visiting for Children's Book Day include Molly Idle (Flora and the Penguin) and Shirin Bridges, Janie Havemeyer, and Gretchen Maurer (A Treasury of Glorious Goddesses Series)! 
Start: 10/04/2014 4:00 pm

Part of our special Children's Book Day events! 


Meet authors Shirin Yim Bridges, Janie Havemeyer and Gretchen Maurer as they discuss their lively middle grade novels that bring world mythologies to life! Each story is told through the eyes of a goddess, in a fun and intimate first-person voice. In addition, each book provides fascinating cultural context and details on the mythology, customs, history and geography encountered in the story. 


Other authors visiting for Children's Book Day include Ian Lendler (The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth) and Molly Idle (Flora and the Penguin)!  



Sunday October 05, 2014
Start: 10/05/2014 10:00 am
End: 10/05/2014 1:00 pm
Sun., Oct. 5  • 10:00-1:00pm •  $50
Countless writers dismiss the outlining process as something far too left-brained and linear, as something that interrupts their creative flow or puts boundaries on their characters or story. In this workshop, Brooke Warner offers a new way of thinking about outlining, and structure in general. Whether you're writing a prescriptive book, memoir, or novel, outlining will (a) provide support; (b) keep you on track; and (c) help you see the forest through the trees when you're in that murky middle place. Brooke is a champion of the outlining process, and helps writers who think that structure is their enemy understand why it must be treated more like a wise sage, with something important to give. Reframing our relationship with outlining not only contains the writing process in ways that can and do feel like a warm embrace, but it also serves writers down the road when they're ready to pitch their book to agents and editors because the work of the chapter summaries---and by extension the overview and the pitch---is largely complete. If you've ever felt stuck in your writing, outlining as a way of roadmapping your book, is one of the first things that can help you break free.

Start: 10/05/2014 1:00 pm
Reclaiming the Wild Soul ($15.95) takes us on a journey into Earth's five great landscapes - deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands - as aspects of our deeper, wilder selves. Where the inner and outer worlds meet we discover our own true nature mirrored in the Earth's wild beauty and fierce challenges.

A powerful archetypal model for transformation, the "soulscapes" return us to a primal terrain rich in knowing, healing, and wholeness. To guide our path, each soulscape offers up wisdom in the form of soul qualities the modern world often undervalues and even undermines. We see how deserts model simplicity and silence, how forests help us make peace with uncertainty, how rivers and oceans reveal the power of flow, how mountains inspire our highest purpose, and how grasslands teach us about giving back.

Weaving personal story with poetry, imagery, and explorations, Reclaiming the Wild Soul is simultaneously self-help and a courageous call to action. It is written for all those disillusioned with our hyper-paced, high-tech world, who decry what we are doing to the Earth, who feel the tug of their own wild souls longing for discovery and mystery - a new, yet ancient, way of being human.

Mary Reynolds Thompson is a certified life coach and facilitator of poetry and journal therapy. Mary is the founder of "Write the Damn Book" and the creator of the Write the Damn Book coaching process. She serves on the faculty of the Therapeutic Writing Institute and the Council for the International Association for Journal Writers.

Lorraine Anderson grew up on a free-range chicken ranch in Cupertino, CA, in the days when the Santa Clara Valley was still known as the Valley of Heart's Delight. (It's now known as Silicon Valley.) She freelances as a writer and editor and teaches writing as an adjunct professor at Linn-Benton Community College in Corvallis, OR.
Start: 10/05/2014 4:00 pm
If half of all cars bought in America each year broke down, there would be a national uproar. But when people suggest that maybe every single marriage doesn't look like the next and isn't meant to last until death, there's nothing but a rash of proposed laws trying to force it to do just that.

In The New I Do ($17.00), therapist Susan Pease Gadoua and journalist Vicki Larson take a groundbreaking look at the modern shape of marriage to help readers open their minds to marrying more consciously and creatively. Offering actual models of less-traditional marriages, including everything from a parenting marriage (intended for the sake of raising and nurturing children) to a comfort or safety marriage (where people marry for financial security or companionship), the book covers unique options for couples interested in forging their own paths.

With advice and quizzes to help readers decide what works for them, The New I Do acts as a guide to thinking outside the marital box and the framework for a new debate on marriage in the 21st century.

Susan Pease Gadoua is the author of the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller Contemplating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go, as well as Stronger Day by Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce and The Top Ten Misguided Reasons to Stay in a Bad Marriage. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is a licensed therapist with an expertise in marriage and divorce. She earned her BA in psychology from Drew University and her master's in social work from NYU and San Francisco State University.

Gadoua has appeared on television and radio programs, including The CBS Early Show, and in print publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, and Divorce Magazine. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post's "Divorce" page and

In addition to providing marriage and divorce counseling to clients throughout the world, Gadoua trains therapists on how to help clients through divorce using a program she developed called the Phoenix Method for Divorce Recovery™. Passionate about her work, she's a dynamic presenter and is available for consultations, public speaking, or trainings.

Vicki Larson is a longtime journalist, freelancer, columnist, and blogger. She works as the lifestyles editor and writer at a San Francisco Bay Area newspaper, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, Mommy Tracked, Modern Mom, Divorce 360, and the anthologies Knowing Pains: Women on Love, Sex and Work in Our 40s and Nothing But The Truth: Women on Life's Transitions. She has been a guest on radio shows, including Minnesota Public Radio's "The Daily Circuit," and is the proud mother of two extraordinary young men.
Start: 10/05/2014 7:00 pm

 In this beautifully rendered literary memoir, Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, tells the intimate story of her marriage to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, one of the great men of our time. After Lucinda interviewed Bob for the New York Times in 1973, the two took a while to understand that they had fallen in love. Franks was a self-styled radical who marched with protesters and chained herself to fences. Morgenthau was a famous lawyer, a symbol of the establishment, who could have helped put her in jail. She was twenty-six. He was fifty-three. Now, thirty-six years into a marriage that was never supposed to happen, one between two people as deeply in love as they are different, they are living proof that opposites can forge an unbreakable life bond.

In Timeless, Franks offers a confidential tour of their unconventional years together, years that are both hilarious and interlaced with suspense. At the same time, she takes us behind the scenes to reveal the untold stories behind some of Morgenthau’s most famous cases, many of which she helped him brainstorm for.

Lucinda Franks is the author of a memoir, My Father’s Secret War. A former staff writer for The New York Times, she has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the life and death of Diana Oughton, a member of Weatherman. A graduate of Vassar College, Franks lives in New York City with her husband, the former longtime District Attorney for New York County Robert M. Morgenthau.


Monday October 06, 2014
Start: 10/06/2014 7:00 pm

Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom, steps fully formed from her father's head into the already established world of the Olympians. A motherless newcomer, she has to find her own place and purpose. Her adventures bring her down to Earth, where she forms close bonds with the Greek Heroes. Her attachment to three in particular—Diomedes, Odysseus, and Achilles—draws her into the Trojan War. How will she protect her friends and end the conflict? What are the ramifications on Olympus? Where does Athena finally find herself at home—and where can you find her now?

Told by Athena in the first person, Call Me Athena gives young readers a unique entry into the world of Greek mythology, and provides interesting cultural and historical context in a nonfiction section illustrated with a family tree of the Olympians, maps, and photographs.

Shirin Yim Bridges’ first book Ruby's Wish was a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book and won the Ezra Jack Keats Award. The Umbrella Queen made Time/CNN’s Top 10 Lists and was named a Best Children’s Book by the Bank Street College of Education. Horrible Hauntings made it onto the IRA/CBC Children's Choices List, and Mary Wrightly So Politely launched in April 2013 to starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness.

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


Tuesday October 07, 2014
Start: 10/07/2014 6:00 pm
End: 10/07/2014 9:00 pm

To Register Please Visit Here

Japantown was named “Best Debut of 2013” no less than three times, has been nominated for a Barry Award for Best First Novel, selected as a Best Debut of Year both by Suspense Magazine and renowned mystery critic Oline Cogdill, and optioned by J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions (with Warner Bros) for a TV drama. To date, foreign rights have been sold to eight countries.

Fresh off this exciting debut, and with the second book in the series, Tokyo Kill, just out, author Barry Lancet will talk about Japanese culture, his long tenure as an American in Tokyo, how he parlayed his inside information about Japan into a popular mystery-thriller series, and more.

Barry Lancet moved from California to Tokyo in his twenties, where he has lived for more than two decades.  He spent twenty-five years working for one of the country’s largest publishers, developing books on dozens of Japanese subjects—from art to Zen—all in English and all distributed in the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world.  

Start: 10/07/2014 7:00 pm
For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism, until finally three—Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour—broke through, definitively remaking America’s nightly news. Drawing on exclusive interviews with their colleagues and intimates from childhood on, bestselling author Sheila Weller crafts a lively and eye-opening narrative, revealing the combination of ambition, skill, and character that enabled these three singular women to infiltrate the once impenetrable “boys club” and become cultural icons.

Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane Sawyer was a driven, elegant young woman in a time of societal upheaval. Her fierce intellect, almost insuperable work ethic, and mysterious emotional intelligence would catapult Sawyer from being the first female on-air correspondent for 60 Minutes to presenting heartbreaking specials on child poverty in America while anchoring the network flagship, ABC World News Tonight.

Katie Couric, always conveniently underestimated because of her girl-next-door demeanor, brazened her way through a succession of regional TV news jobs until she finally hit it big in New York. In 1991, Couric became the Today show cohost, where over the next fifteen years she transformed the “female” slot from secondary to preeminent. Couric’s greatest triumph—and most bedeviling challenge—was inheriting the mantle of Walter Cronkite at CBS Evening News, as the first woman ever to anchor a prestigious nighttime network news program.

A glamorous but unorthodox cosmopolite—the daughter of a British Catholic mother and Iranian Muslim father—Christiane Amanpour made a virtue of her outsider status. She joined the fledgling CNN on the bottom rung and then became its “face,” catalyzing its rise to global prominence. Her fearlessness in war zones and before presidents and despots would make her the world’s witness to some of its most acute crises and television’s chief advocate for international justice.

The News Sorority ($29.95) takes us behind the scenes as never before to track Sawyer’s, Couric’s, and Amanpour’s ascendance to the highest ranks of the media elite, showing that the compelling desire to report the news—a drive born of curiosity, empathy, and humanity—must be matched by guts, awesome competitive fervor, and rare strategic savvy.

Sheila Weller is the author of the acclaimed memoir Dancing at Ciro’s and the New York Times bestseller Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation, among other books. She is a contributor to Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, and Glamour, and has written for many other magazines, winning numerous awards for her articles.
Wednesday October 08, 2014
Start: 10/08/2014 12:00 pm

Ticket: $55 (includes lunch & signed book)



For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She's finishing college, raising precocious three-year-old Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents.Then she gets caught in the middle of a stickup at a gas station and falls instantly in love with William Ashe, when he steps between the armed robber and her son. Now, in Someone Else's Love Story, William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Joshilyn Jackson is the author of five novels: gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, twice been a #1 Book Sense Pick, twice won Georgia Author of the Year, and twice been shortlisted for the Townsend prize.



Start: 10/08/2014 6:30 pm

Intimate Meals with Famed Authors at The Spinster Sisters Restaurant in Santa Rosa

Spinster Sisters Restaurant • Santa Rosa

Please note this event is now Sold Out. For waitlist availability please call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1.



A narratively rich cookbook of French and Californian recipes from longtime Chez Panisse executive chef Jean-Pierre Moullé and his wife, Denise Moullé. French Roots spans 60 years and two continents, following the lives of its authors through food. Beginning with the dishes of old-world France, the couple’s birthplace, the book focuses on the simple, pared-down preparations of French food common in the postwar period. Their story then travels to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, where Jean-Pierre was appointed executive chef at Chez Panisse when California cuisine was just emerging as a distinctive and important style, and where Denise began importing French wine. Finally, the journey returns to France, where the couple revisit the classic dishes of their native country and forgotten skills of foraging, hunting, and preserving at their home in Bordeaux. So much more than a collection of 100 elegant recipes, French Roots is the story of an adventure of two people and two cuisines.

Until his retirement in April 2012, Jean-Pierre Moullé was the executive chef at Chez Panisse, where he began working in 1975. Denise Moullé comes from the Bordeaux wine-making empire of the Lurton family. She worked as a wine distributor in California for many years before starting Two Bordelais in 1987, which offers guided tours through France.

Start: 10/08/2014 7:00 pm

The world fell in love with swimming canines in Seth Casteel's first book, Underwater Dogs. Now, in more than 80 previously unpublished portraits, Underwater Puppies shows off man's best friends at their most playful and exuberant. Each vibrant and colorful underwater image shows off the wild and sublime range of emotions of puppies, cute and irresistible to the very last.

Seth Casteel is an award-winning photographer with a passion for working with animals and an established member of the animal rescue community. He lives in New York and Los Angeles. His two dogs, Nala and Fred, have accepted the fact that they will be photographed every single day.



Thursday October 09, 2014
Start: 10/09/2014 12:30 pm

Jessica Merchant, creator of the popular food blog How Sweet Eats, has now created her first cookbook, Seriously Delish. Her playfulness jumps off the page in her inventive and incredibly delicious recipes, such as Amaretto-Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Toast Croutons, Mini Crab Cakes with Sweet Corn and Blueberry Salsa, and Fleur de Sel Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milk Shakes. Her sense of humor, which brings millions of visitors to her site, shows through in chapter titles like "Breakfast (. . . for Dinner?)" and "Salad, Soups, and Vegetable-like Things (Ugh, if We Must)." Merchant makes food that people get excited about, nothing run-of-the-mill or expected. As an added bonus, all of the photographs in the book were taken by Merchant herself, giving her cookbook the personal touch that her fans love and newcomers will appreciate. Seriously Delish features imaginative recipes that are tasty and original and bring readers to a place where cooking becomes adventurous and food becomes fun.

Jessica Merchant founded the popular food blog How Sweet Eats in 2009. A self-proclaimed food fanatic, she shares her ramblings with millions, creating a community on her site that brings in over 100,000 readers every day.

Start: 10/09/2014 7:00 pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University
Tickets: $30 (includes a complimentary signed book)

Online registration is now closed for this event, but tickets will be available at the door. Doors open at 6:00pm.


Fourteen years before Kirsten Gillibrand succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as senator from New York, she heard her future mentor say these life-changing words: “Decisions are being made every day in Washington, and if you are not part of those decisions, you might not like what they decide, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.” A young corporate lawyer at the time, Gillibrand felt as if she’d been struck by lightning. She instantly knew that her voice—all women’s voices—were essential to shaping the future of this country, and that she had a greater purpose in life: to speak up and effect change. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, the senator, wife, and mother of two recounts her personal journey in public service and galvanizes women to reach beyond their busy lives and make a meaningful difference in the world around them.

Off the Sidelines is a playbook for women who want to step up, whether in Congress or the boardroom or the local PTA. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them: affordable daycare, paid family medical leave, and equal pay. Pulling back the curtain on Beltway politics, she speaks candidly about her legislative successes (securing federally funded medical care for 9/11 first responders, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and her crushing disappointments (failing by five votes to pass a bill protecting survivors of sexual assault in the military).

Gillibrand also shares stories of growing up the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family in Albany, New York, and retraces her nonlinear path to public office. She lays bare the highs and lows of being a young (pregnant!) woman in Congress, the joys and sacrifices every working mother shares, and the support system she turns to in her darkest moments: her husband, their two little boys, and lots of girlfriends. She explains why “ambition” is not a dirty word, failure is a gift, listening is the most effective tool, and the debate over women “having it all” is absurd at best and demeaning at worst. In her sharp, honest, and refreshingly relatable voice, she dares us all to tap into our inner strength, find personal fulfillment, and speak up for what we believe in.


Start: 10/09/2014 7:00 pm

Jake Kaida sponsors his way across the land as a farmhand, cook, organic gardener, landscape artist, writing instructor, mentor to at-risk youth and his favorite tasks---picking apples and gleaning grapes in the autumn. Blue Collar Nomad is a compendium of his North American travel and place-based pieces, which he composed between 23-35 years of age.  These atmospheric poems, travel stories, and spiritual vignettes blend genuine working class ethics with jazzy intuitive language in order to rouse hidden emotions and knead spiritual nerves within the reader’s psyche.

Wandering is a collection of deeply moving travel/place compositions that form the soundtrack for Jake Kaida’s book. These musical pieces evoke the emotional fluidity as well as the various psychological nuances and changing ambiances that a nomad encounters in various locations. Matthew Tavis Johnson deftly captures the unencumbered rhythm and transitory openness that occurs during the transitional phases of traveling from place to place.  Overall, the composer was able to delve into the intuitive vitality of each specific poem, travel narrative or spiritual vignette and render its musical heart.

Jake Kaida is an itinerant worker and spiritual pilgrim who has spent time in all forty-eight continental United States and several Canadian provinces. He has done this without the use of cell phones or any handheld technological devices.  

Matthew Tavis Johnson is an accomplished pianist and musical composer who has released several beautiful albums over the years, including Reach for the Sky, Walk With Me, Light and Dark.  He is also a member of the experimental indie rock band Evening Shades.


Friday October 10, 2014
Start: 10/10/2014 10:00 am
End: 10/10/2014 12:00 pm
Four Fridays: Oct. 10-31 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140
What exactly was Modernism?  From our vantage point a century later we shall be examining the avant-garde movements in the visual arts in Europe from 1900 to 1940.   Modernism had its roots in the late nineteenth century when artists began a move toward abstraction albeit in very different ways.  Increasingly less reliant on nature they were interested in art for art's sake.  We shall see that in the high period of modernism, art divorced itself from its societal moorings and withdrew, supposedly to save its creative essence, from the real world.  There were certain artists who bucked this trend toward abstraction: the Surrealists, whose notion of reality fell entirely outside traditional views of the world and the artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit who addressed the problems of Weimar society.  One of the major debates during the period was about the role of art in our society. Arnold Schoenberg once declared that nothing done for a purpose could be art, whereas Picasso remarked that art was not something to hang on a wall but a weapon with which to attack an enemy,  We will begin with the Austrian Secession; Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka and move on to Germany : The artists of Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter. We'll encounter the Fauves in France: Matisse, Derain, et al. The pioneers of Cubism: Braque and Picasso, Orphism and the Delaunays will be followed by a study of the Italian Futurists. We will pay special attention to the Women artists of the Russian Avant-Garde as well as the enigmatic, colorful visions of Marc Chagall.  We will return to Germany to see what Kandinsky and Klee are teaching at the Bauhaus, to Holland, then Paris for the artists of de Stijl: Mondrian and Van Doesburg  and at the artists of Die Neue Sachlichkeit-- Then to Paris to see what was happening between the wars.  We conclude with Dada and the beginnings of Surrealism in the work of de Chirico, Miro, and Dali.
Recommended Reading:
Italian Futurism 1909-1944, by Guggenheim Museum 
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and now lectures for the College of Marin and Dominican University and leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years. 

Start: 10/10/2014 6:30 pm

This event will take place during the children's book group, INK. Everyone is welcome!

To join INK, our 9-13 year old children's book group, or for more information, please contact Brittany at or Melissa at 


In this gem of a novel, Franny Katzenback, who’s recovering from polio in Pittsburgh in 1952, reads and falls in love with the brand-new book Charlotte’s Web. Bored and lonely and yearning for a Charlotte of her own, Franny starts up a correspondence with an eloquent flea named Fleabrain, who lives on her dog’s tail. Fleabrain Loves Franny is multifaceted and has something to offer every reader. It’s a love story . . . It’s an homage to one of the greatest children’s books of all time . . . It’s historical and personal, fantastical and truthful.

Fleabrain Loves Franny is a touching, funny story set in the recent past, told with Joanne Rocklin’s signature wit and thoughtfulness. While Franny struggles with physical therapy and feels left out of her formerly active neighborhood life, Fleabrain is there to take her on adventures based on his extensive reading.

This beautiful story also offers its own take on social justice. Before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, children in wheelchairs were sometimes prohibited from attending school with their peers. Franny protests this treatment—and becomes a beacon of hope against injustice.

Start: 10/10/2014 7:00 pm

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years. Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghostsA Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the ‘70s, to the crack wars in ‘80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the ‘90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.

Marlon James was born in Jamaica. He is the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He teaches at Macalester College.


Saturday October 11, 2014
Start: 10/11/2014 1:00 pm

Baptist de Pape, a young lawyer, was mired in anxiety and fears about his future when he felt the call to investigate the incredible power of the heart and how it can lead us to our true purpose in life. On a quest that took him around the world, de Pape interviewed eighteen living icons—all on cameraincluding Isabel Allende, Jane Goodall, Marci Shimoff, Marianne Williamson, and Gary Zukav. Generously sharing their touching personal stories as well as profound guidance, these leaders co-created with de Pape a multidimensional, illuminating portrait of the heart as an inexhaustible source of love and wisdom that far surpasses that of the mind.

With exciting spiritual and scientific insights, The Power of the Heart presents fascinating evidence that the heart is more than a physical organ. It possesses its own intelligence, capable of transforming your views of money, health, relationships, and success. Mindfulness exercises and contemplations guide you to activate the heart’s special powers—including intuition, intention, gratitude, forgiveness, and love.

Baptist de Pape is a lawyer turned author and filmmaker.


Start: 10/11/2014 4:00 pm
In contemporary Havana, "Do I stay or do I go?" is always the question, and love doesn't necessarily conquer all. In the wake of her mother's recent death, Marian has been keeping to herself. A cautious, reserved professor of Spanish Literature, she has no idea that her quiet life is about to be turned upside down. When she's asked to review the work of a young, ambitious first-time novelist, she meets Daniel, and their love affair leads her to question both the choices she's made so far in her life and the opportunities she might yet still have. A Corner of the World is the story of an intense and impossible love, set in today's Havana, a city where there can be no plans, where chance is the order of the day and a fierce sense of loyalty and pride coexists with the desire to live beyond the island's isolation. 
Mylene Fernández-Pintado is the winner of a David Award (1998) from the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba for her book Anhedonia. Her novel Otras Plegarias Atendidas won the Italo Calvino Prize in 2002 and the Critics’ Award in 2003. The novel was published by Editorial Marco Tropea in Italy. Her short stories appear in anthologies in Cuba and abroad, and have been translated into English, French, Italian and German. She lives between Havana and Lugano, Switzerland.

Dick Cluster is the author of the novels Return to Sender, Repulse Monkey, and Obligations of the Bone. He landed in Havana’s José Martí airport for the first time in 1969 and has been fascinated by the city ever since, exploring it by foot, bicycle, city bus, tour bus, camel bus, car, and other means. He is a translator of Cuban literature and teaches courses on Cuban history, culture, and politics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Start: 10/11/2014 7:00 pm

The Coconut Latitudes begins with the story of an American family attempting a new life on a Caribbean island after World War II.  Leaving a successful career in the U.S., a father makes a fateful decision to move his family to an isolated beach in the Dominican Republic.  He plants ten thousand coconut seedlings, transplants his wife and two young daughters and declares they are the luckiest people alive. In reality, the family is in the path of hurricanes and in the grip of a brutal dictator.  The children are additionally under the thumb of an increasingly volatile father and a mother who loses her bearings along the way.  Set against a backdrop of shimmering palms and kaleidoscope sunsets, a crisis causes the family, already fragile, to further implode. This memoir is about surviving a reality far from the envisioned Eden and the terrible cost of keeping secrets.

Rita M. Gardner grew up on her expatriate family’s coconut farm in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Living in a remote coastal village, she was home-schooled and began writing, reading and painting at an early age. She returned to the U.S. to attend high school and later moved to California. Her essays, articles, poetry, and photographs appear in literary journals, travel magazines, and newspapers and she is the recipient of writing residencies at Hedgebrook and Lit Camp.  Rita lives by the San Francisco Bay and follows her childhood passions – writing, traveling, hiking, and photography. She continues to dream in Spanish, dance the merengue, and gather inspiration from nature and the ocean. Her favorite color is Caribbean blue.


Sunday October 12, 2014
Start: 10/12/2014 4:00 pm
End: 10/12/2014 6:00 pm

Single Session: Sunday Oct. 12th • 4:00-6:00pm • $50



Writer's Tribe™ 

A Feedback Forum for Children’s Writers 

$180 for 4 sessions or $50 per class drop-in

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect, clarity and honesty. The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, page-turning plots, and snappy dialog. Andrea Alban guides the group through a powerful revision process. Writers cultivate self-editing mastery. The group is highly interactive. The mission of this university-level workshop is to inspire and deepen craft. Each member receives a Manuscript Feedback Form featuring revision strategies and literary vocabulary.




Your class is terrific -- not just your knowledge and rich understanding of how good writing works, but how you draw people along growing their own skills, and your deep presence and welcoming kindness. 

— Ann Gronvold


Your edits are remarkable.  The flow and crispness of the sentences are much improved (even with the little changes). You are magical.  — Bob Healey


Great class! I learn something valuable at every meeting. (From all the discussions, not just mine.) I really love the way you put out your thoughts, but also bounce off and expand on our thoughts. You have created more than a class. You have created a community. — Travis Darcy

Start: 10/12/2014 4:00 pm
Loire Valley, 1895. When seventeen-year-old Sara Thibault's father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family whose eldest son marries Sara's sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels Sara and her sister to flee to New York, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father's footsteps as a master winemaker. Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa by 1900. When he receives word of his brother's death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has travelled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe in a Napa vineyard, they are instantly drawn to one another, but Sara knows he is the one man who could return her family's vineyard to her, or send her straight to the guillotine. This riveting tale of betrayal, retribution, love, and redemption, Kristen Harnisch's debut novel, The Vintner's Daughter ($16.95), immerses readers in the rich vineyard culture of both the Old and New Worlds, the burgeoning cities of late nineteenth-century America and a spirited heroine's fight to determine her destiny.
“One of the novel’s highlights is its rich history of the wine-making process through the eyes of a woman who is passionate and meticulous about each step.... In the beginning, [Sara] endures nonstop pain and loss, but these tragedies transform her from a smart, hardworking girl into an independent, resourceful woman. At its core, The Vintner’s Daughter is a story of perseverance and transcending one’s past.”—Booklist
Kristen Harnisch drew upon her extensive research and experiences living in the San Francisco Bay Area and visiting the Loire Valley to create the story for The Vintner's Daughter, her debut novel. The Vintner's Daughter is the first in a series about the changing world of vineyard life at the turn of the century. Ms. Harnisch has a degree in economics from Villanova University, and currently resides in Connecticut.
Monday October 13, 2014
Start: 10/13/2014 6:00 pm

Climbing the Sacred Ladder: Your Path to Love, Joy, Peace and Purpose is a soul guide to building spiritual muscle, for gaining benefit and meaning for your life, as well as giving you tools for coping with life's unending challenges.  Learn to cope with the increasing tensions of contracting economies and growing political unrest by focusing your attention on your inner riches.  Gain a new point of view, develop skills and techniques for living a more satisfying life. Carefully designed anecdotes, exercises and meditations provide readily applicable techniques for implementing and integrating the book’s concepts.

Shulamit Sofia is the President of Soul Strength Seminars and The Sacred Ladder, which she founded to give spiritual seekers a practical way to build spiritual muscle for coping with life’s challenging circumstances. Her Psycho-Spiritual method based on the Kaballah allows participants to shed emotional and mental baggage as they build soul strength.




Start: 10/13/2014 7:00 pm
The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba provides a vivid and unprecedented look into the daily lives and future prospects of young people in contemporary Cuba. Weaving together stories of those she encountered, Julia Cooke artfully illuminates the last generation of Cubans raised under Castro: waiting out hurricanes at rummy storm parties, asking ancestors for advice during living room Santería ceremonies, attending raucous drag cabarets, and reconciling an undefined future with the urgency of today.

Julia Cooke is a freelance journalist and teacher who has lived in and reported from Mexico City and Havana. She has received fellowships from the Norman Mailer Center and Columbia University, where she completed her master of fine arts in creative nonfiction writing. Her essays about Cuba have been published in Conde Nast Traveller, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing anthology, among numerous newspapers and magazines. She is fluent in Spanish.




Tuesday October 14, 2014
Start: 10/14/2014 7:00 pm

The Wonder of All Things starts on an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear. Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava's unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she's willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.

Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals.  He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch.

Start: 10/14/2014 7:00 pm

Introduction by Dave Eggers

Kit, Zander, and M. K. West are settling into their new lives as students at the Academy for the Exploratory Sciences when Kit finds another mysterious map left for him by their father, the brilliant, famous -- and presumed dead -- explorer Alexander West. Why did Alexander leave the maps behind, and why are government agents so determined to seize them? What is really going on in a mysterious and unknown stretch of the Caribbean, famous for its violent storms and shipwrecks? And what is the huge contraption M. K. is building in her workshop? As two world powers come to the brink of war, Kit must find a deadly hidden island and unlock its secrets, hoping he has the courage to follow the trail of maps, wherever it may lead.

S. S. Taylor has a strong interest in books, expeditions, old libraries, mysterious situations, long-hidden secrets, maps, and exploring known and unknown places. The author of O’ Artful Death, she lives in Hartland, VT.


Wednesday October 15, 2014
Start: 10/15/2014 7:00 pm

Please note, this event has been moved to our Ferry Building store.

Ticket: $42 (includes complimentary signed book) • Ferry Building store



Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson's revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.

What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It's also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative

Walter Isaacson is the author of Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.

Start: 10/15/2014 7:00 pm

Elizabeth Rosner pulls double-duty with a new poetry collection/memoir and a new novel.

Ensconced in Electric City, Sophie is coming of age just as the town is gasping its last breaths. The town, and America as a whole, is on the cusp of great instability: blackouts, social unrest over Vietnam, and soon the advent of the seventies. Into her orbit drifts Henry Van Curler, the favored son of one of Electric City's founding Dutch families, as well as Martin Longboat, grandson of Joseph Longboat. This new generation of Electric City will face both the history of their town and their own uncertain future, struggling to bridge the gap between the old world and the new. Electric City is a vital, pulsing, epic novel of America, of its great scientific ingenuity and its emotional ambition; one that frames the birth and evolution of its towns against the struggles of its indigenous tribes, the immigrant experience, a country divided, and the technological advancements that ushered in the modern world

Composed over a period of some twenty years, the poetry collection Gravity is Rosner’s profoundly searching account of her experience as the daughter of Holocaust survivors. In these direct and revealing pages, Rosner traces the earliest remembered resonances of her parents’ past and her own dawning awareness of the war history that colored her family home during her youth in Schenectady, New York.

Elizabeth Rosner is the author of The Speed of Light and Blue Nude.

Thursday October 16, 2014
Start: 10/16/2014 6:00 pm

Litquake Event!

A woman cultivates a knack for walking on water, but is undermined by her husband’s brain, which he removes each night when he returns home from work; a repeat divorcee struggles with the irksome habit of eating her husbands’ arms; a very skeptical dragon wonders what sex is all about: these are the stories of Kristiina Ehin, Estonia’s literary star. Walker on Water gathers a collection of unforgettable folktales and reimagines them for the 21st Century. Combining elements of surrealism and the fantastical, she prods at the idiosyncrasies of modern relationships, and creates new mythologies for the likes of love, desire, and fidelity.  Ilmar Lehtpere's translation renders Ehin's distinctive narratives--always occurring just below the surface of waking life --with confidence, humor and intelligence.

Kristiina Ehin is an internationally renowned poet. Her collection The Drums of Silence was awarded the British Poetry Society Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation in 2007, and her collection 1001 Winters has been nominated for the same prize in 2013.  In her native Estonia, Ehin has published six volumes of poetry, three books of short stories, and a retelling of South-Estonian folk tales. She has written plays, as well as poetic radio broadcasts. She has won Estonia’s most prestigious poetry prize for Kaitseala—a book of poems and journal entries written during a year spent living as a nature reserve warden on an otherwise uninhabited island off Estonia’s north coast.



Friday October 17, 2014
Start: 10/17/2014 2:00 pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University
Tickets: $40 (includes a complimentary signed book)

Online ticketing is no longer available for this event, but tickets can still be purchased at the door.

It could be said that Leon Panetta has had two of the most consequential careers of any American public servant in the past fifty years. His first career, beginning as an army intelligence officer and including a distinguished run as one of Congress's most powerful and respected members, lasted thirty-five years and culminated in his transformational role as Clinton's budget czar and White House Chief of Staff. He then "retired" to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife of fifty years, Sylvia; to serve on the Iraq Study Group; and to protect his beloved California coastline. But in 2009, he accepted what many said was a thankless task: returning to public office as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, taking it from a state of turmoil after the Bush-era torture debates and moving it back to the vital center of America's war against Al Qaeda, including the campaign that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. And then, in the wake of bin Laden's death, Panetta became the U.S. Secretary of Defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

Like his career, Worthy Fights is a reflection of Panetta’s values. It is imbued with the frank, grounded, and often quite funny spirit of a man who never lost touch with where he came from: his family’s walnut farm in beautiful Carmel Valley, California. It is also a testament to a lost kind of political leadership, which favors progress and duty to country over partisanship. Panetta is a Democrat who pushed for balanced budgets while also expanding care for the elderly and sick; a devout Catholic who opposes the death penalty but had to weigh every drone strike from 2009 through 2011. Throughout his career, Panetta’s polestar has been his belief that a public servant’s real choice is between leadership or crisis. Troubles always come about through no fault of one’s own, but most can be prevented with courage and foresight.

Leon Panetta served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009–2011, and as secretary of defense from 2011–2013. An Italian American Democrat, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977–1993, the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993–1994, and President Clinton’s chief of staff from 1994–1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, and has served as professor of public policy at his alma mater, Santa Clara University.


Start: 10/17/2014 6:00 pm

Co-Sponsored by Amoeba Music 

This event is a book signing only.

In the tradition of the mega-bestseller Life by Keith Richards, Aerosmith's Joe Perry opens up for the first time about the wild, inside story of his life in the legendary band he cofounded in 1970--which is still going strong today.
Before the platinum records or the Super Bowl half-time show or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Joe Perry was a boy growing up in small-town Massachusetts. He idolized Jacques Cousteau and built his own diving rig that he used to explore a local lake. He dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. But Perry's neighbors had teenage sons, and those sons had electric guitars, and the noise he heard when they started playing would change his life.

The guitar became his passion, an object of lust, an outlet for his restlessness and his rebellious soul. That passion quickly blossomed into an obsession, and he got a band together. One night after a performance he met a brash young musician named Steven Tyler; before long, Aerosmith was born. What happened over the next forty-five years has become the stuff of legend: the knockdown, drag-out, band-splintering fights; the drugs, the booze, the rehab; the packed arenas and timeless hits; the reconciliations and the comebacks.

Rocks is an unusually searching memoir of a life that spans from the top of the world to the bottom of the barrel--several times. It is a study of endurance and brotherhood, with Perry providing remarkable candor about Tyler, as well as new insights into their powerful but troubled relationship. It is an insider's portrait of the rock and roll family, featuring everyone from Jimmy Page to Alice Cooper, Bette Midler to Chuck Berry, John Belushi to Al Hirschfeld. It takes us behind the scenes at unbelievable moments such as Joe and Steven's appearance in the movie of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (they act out the murders of Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees).

Full of humor, insight, and brutal honesty about life in and out of one of the biggest bands in the world, Rocks is the ultimate rock-and-roll epic. In Perry's own words, it tells the whole story: "the loner's story, the band's story, the recovery story, the cult story, the love story, the success story, the failure story, the rebirth story, the re-destruction story, and the post-destructive rebirth story.



Start: 10/17/2014 6:00 pm
End: 10/17/2014 8:30 pm

Join us at the Corte Madera store for a celebration of the arts, featuring presentations by Marin School of the Arts students, including jazz and rock band ensembles, a multi-media art exhibit, creative writing presentations, entertainment in dance and theater, and vocal works.

Founded in 2003, MSA is a specialized program embedded in Novato High School, offering talented and motivated students an award-winning arts education within a larger program of academic and college-prep courses. Students of diverse socioeconomic, cultural and geographic backgrounds come from all over the Bay Area to be part of this unique experience that focuses on studies in film and video, dance, digital arts, photography, creative writing, visual arts, music, and theater arts.

Start: 10/17/2014 7:00 pm

Sausalito Library • Russian Tea Provided

Two Russian Bicycles: A Fictional Journey into the Past on Two Novellas consists of two curiously related novellas, both prophetic of the future course of Russian and world history.  Based in historical fact, both reveal how the small battles of the hearth, friendship, and love shape history and underlie the effort to remain human in times bedeviled by a brutal destiny. The first novella, Tolstoy’s Wife, depicts Sonya Tolstoy’s struggle for the love of her husband, Leo Tolstoy—a struggle intimately shaped by her belief in the values that inform Tolstoy’s great novels. The second, The Sphynx of Kiev, focuses on the importance of Lenin's character and personal life in shaping the distinctive properties of the two Russian Revolutions at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Bill Broder is the author of A Prayed for the Departed, Crimes of Innocence, Esau's Mountain, What Rough Beast?, Taking Care of Cleo, and The Sacred Hoop, among other books. Broder has also acted as member, Executive Director and Artistic Director of a playwrights workshop, California On Stage, and has completed a number of full-length plays. Abalone! was produced in Carmel, California. His other plays have received staged readings in the Bay Area by Equity actors at the Upstart Stage, The Plays in Progress Series at A.C.T., The Western Stage Theater Company, the New Playwrights Festival, and New Visions Festival. Two of his plays were presented as staged readings at The Second and Third Annual California Studies Conference in Sacramento, California.Professionally, Broder has worked extensively as a free-lance writer, specializing in the writing, design, and production of educational materials for museums, schools, exhibitions, and publishing companies.


Saturday October 18, 2014
Start: 10/18/2014 9:30 am
End: 10/18/2014 11:30 am

Please note this class has been canceled. Please contact the Classes Dept. if you have any questions at 415-927-0960 ext 1.  


Saturday Oct. 18 • 9:30-11:30 am • $40


This workshop is for women ready to re-launch their careers after staying out of the workforce for a while. Whether you want a job while the kids are in school or you are already an empty

nester, you’ll need to reassess your skills and experience (both work and volunteer). Learn how to present yourself in a positive and marketable format. Alison Berka has an MBA in marketing and has successfully built a second career in development and communications.





Start: 10/18/2014 10:00 am
End: 10/18/2014 2:00 pm
Sat., Oct. 18 • 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: 10/18/2014 1:00 pm

Crazy Horse's Girlfriend is Erika T. Wurth's portrait of Margaritte, a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.

Set in mid-1990s Florida, Losing in Gainsville hilariously explores what failure means in a culture where everyone is supposed to win. With an ensemble cast of slackers, burn-outs, musicians, and dreamers, who are all losing something—their youth, their ambitions, their careers, their children, their former identities—Brian Costello builds a sun-bleached world of people struggling to understand what it means to succeed on their terms.

Where To?: A Hack Memoir is Dmitry Samarov's illustrated memoir capturing encounters with drunken passengers, overbearing cops, unreasonable city bureaucracy, his fellow cabdrivers, a few potholes, and other unexpectedly beautiful moments. Accompanied by dozens of Samarov's original artworks—composed during traffic jams, waits at the airport, and lulls in his shifts—these stories provide a street-level view of America from the perspective of an immigrant painter driving a cab for money.

The Game We Play features ten of Susan Lanier's riveting, emotionally complex stories examine the decisions we make when our choices are few and courage is costly. A young couple faces disease and commitment with the same sharp fear, a neglected woman battles her worsening condition of a very real invisibility, and a father makes a split-second decision that puts his child's life at risk.

Erika T. Wurth is an Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee raised on the outskirts of Denver, which she describes as crossroads for many, many Native Americans. She holds an MA in English from University of Toledo, and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from University of Colorado. She was a writer-in-residence at the Institute of American Indian Arts and teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University.

Start: 10/18/2014 2:00 pm
End: 10/18/2014 4:00 pm
Saturday, October 18th • 2:00 - 4:00pm
$20 (Path to Publishing Members) or $40 (General Public)  

It’s a fundamental and strategic task for you, the author, no matter how you decide to publish your work: Promote Yourself! 
Path to Publishing will host a workshop on book promotion featuring Kat Engh, Communications Manager & Social Media Strategist at Berrett-Koehler Publishers, and Alexandra Watkins, author of Hello, My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick. There will be an informal reception following the workshop.  
Start: 10/18/2014 4:00 pm

In The Caver, Claire, an American writer, returns to the island of Kithera, “for answers,” but certainty is difficult in the land of myth and “trickster” light. Even her new tutor, who possesses a "strange consonance" with the island, becomes for her, an object of intrigue. When an amiable new neighbour extends an invitation on the day they meet, Claire declines, indicating that she needs to be alone for a while, but subsequently is persuaded to attend a dinner party. There she meets George, a caver from Malta, and falls inexplicably in love. She travels to Crete and ventures alone up a mountain to the remote village where she can be with him near his project. Then the unexpected occurs. Claire comes to Greece in search of answers and finds, instead, a stubborn but beautiful mystery.

Carol Burnham has a master’s degree in English literature and has taught at colleges in the San Francisco Bay area.

Start: 10/18/2014 7:00 pm

Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, ''didn't suffer in the exact way'' he needs to have suffered to qualify for the reparations the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has--as a Jew in the war, as a second-class citizen in the USSR, as an immigrant in America. So? Isn't his grandson a ''writer''?

High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant-scraping behind him. Only the American dream is not panning out for him: Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American--but he wants to be a lionized writer even more.

Slava's turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is a truth and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention at which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America--but not before collecting a lasting price from his family.

A Replacement Life
is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.

Boris Fishman was born in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, the London Review of Books, and other publications. He is the editor of Wild East: Stories From the Last Frontier, an anthology about Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, and the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center, among others. A Replacement Life is his first novel.

Sunday October 19, 2014
Start: 10/19/2014 10:00 am
End: 10/19/2014 4:00 pm

Please note this class is canceled. Feel free to contact the Classes Dept. at 415-927-0960 ext 1. 

Sun., Oct. 19 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105


Everyone has a life story, but how do we shape that story to make it compelling? Through inclass exercises, we will consider the art of the interview, life history methods, performance, and writing techniques to bring your life story alive. Please bring samples of interviews or works-in-progress to class. Tressa Berman, Ph.D., is an anthropologist and writer who has collected life histories and interviews as a fieldworker and oral historian for more than 25 years.





Start: 10/19/2014 4:00 pm

Whether she is a die-hard Francophile or simply dreaming of Paris, a woman will discover France, her way, in 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go. With her eye trained towards the feminine, award-winning author Marcia DeSanctis draws on years of traveling and living in France to lead women into the City of Light, along the Cote d’Azur, and through vineyards, cooking classes, lavender fields and architectural treasures. These 100 entries capture art, culture and jaunts along France's many beaches, and include not only most-visited attractions such as the Chateau de Versailles and the Musee d'Orsay, but many places to be discovered. Wander around the Art Nouveau city of Nancy, make a pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the Camargue, try thalassotherapy in St. Malo, or discover the Cathar Cathedral of St. Cecile in Albi. From sexy to literary, from spiritual to simply gorgeous, the range of this book proves that the allure of France for women goes beyond food and fashion.

Marcia DeSanctis spent years traveling the world as a network news producer and is now writing a memoir. Her work has been in Vogue, Departures, The New York Times Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, More, Princeton Alumni Weekly, and the Huffington Post. She loves to travel alone and her idea of heaven is arriving at a new place, opening the hotel room door, checking out what candy is in the mini-bar, and then heading outside to explore her new temporary neighborhood. She lives in Bethlehem, CT.

Start: 10/19/2014 7:00 pm

In The Golem of Hollywood, Detective Jacob Lev of the LAPD, a Harvard dropout burnt out from years of investigating ghastly homicides, has just been assigned the most gruesome and baffling one of his career. High in the Hollywood hills, a severed head has been found in an empty house, with no sign of the body, no blood, and the Hebrew word for “justice” burnt into a kitchen counter nearby. As the mystery deepens, it starts to challenge every aspect of Lev’s twenty-first-century rationality. His investigation leads him to Prague, where Lev—chosen for this case partly because of his Jewish background—runs headlong into the legend of the Golem, a mud-creature supposedly conjured up by a sixteenth-century rabbi to protect the Jews. Could it possibly be more than a myth that scared him as a child?

Father and son co-authors Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman are joined in conversation by fellow best-selling mystery novelist Faye Kellerman.

Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world’s most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to three dozen New York Times–bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, and True Detectives.

Jesse Kellerman is the author of five novels: Sunstroke, Trouble, The Genius, The Executor, and Potboiler. He has won several awards for his writing, including the 2003 Princess Grace Award, given to America’s most promising young playwright, and the 2010 Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle, for The Genius.

Faye Kellerman is the author of Murder 101. She has over twenty million copies of her novels in print, which include Sacred and Profane, Milk and Honey, Day of Atonement, False Prophet, Grievous Sin and Sanctuary

Monday October 20, 2014
Start: 10/20/2014 10:00 am

Unfortunately, Katherine Applegate has to cancel her fall tour, but we hope to reschedule in January! If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the Children's Events Dept. at 415-927-0960 ext. 1 


Special Children's Event! 

Newbury medalist Katherine Applegate presents the extraordinary true story of a special gorilla who was captured as a baby in the Congo and brought to a mall in America to attract shoppers. After public pressure mounted to find a better way of life for him, Ivan became a fixture in the hearts of many, while his story became a national symbol of animal welfare. 

Start: 10/20/2014 6:00 pm
When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, The Art of Racing in the Rain.
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

A Sudden Light ($26.95) is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and his rare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all.

Garth Stein is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, published in thirty-five languages. He is also the author of two previous novels, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets and Raven Stole the Moon. He lives in Seattle with his family.
Start: 10/20/2014 7:00 pm

The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. The riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, The War of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.

Dan Jones is an award-winning historian of the Middle Ages. His four-part television series based on The Plantagenets is currently in production and will be broadcast in 2015. He lives in London.


Tuesday October 21, 2014
Start: 10/21/2014 1:00 pm

Here's a book that will surely kick up heated commentary: Nation columnist Katha Pollitt, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for her poetry and two National Magazine awards for her essays and criticism, reclaims women's abortion rights, arguing in Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights that abortion must be seen as a common aspect of a woman's reproductive life—one in three American women terminate a pregnancy before menopause—and that in today's complex world it can be a source for social good.

Katha Pollitt is well known for her wit and her keen sense of both the ridiculous and the sublime. Her "Subject to Debate" column, which debuted in 1995 and which the Washington Post called "the best place to go for original thinking on the left," appears every other week in The Nation; it is frequently reprinted in newspapers across the country. In 2003, "Subject to Debate" won the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary. She is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute.


Start: 10/21/2014 6:00 pm

In conversation with Kelly Anneken

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride, a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

Cary Elwes is an actor best known for his roles in The Princess Bride, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Quest for Camelot, and the Saw films. 

Kelly Anneken is a standup comedian and co-host of the internationally popular Downton Abbey podcast “Up Yours, Downstairs” and official third chair of Game of Thrones recap “Boars, Gore & Swords.”  She is also artistic director for feminist sketch troupe Femikaze.


Start: 10/21/2014 7:00 pm

Penguin Drop Caps is a series of twenty-six collectible hardcover editions of fine works of literature, each featuring on its cover a specially commissioned illustrated letter of the alphabet by type designer Jessica Hische. A collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, whose series design encompasses a rainbow-hued spectrum across all twenty-six books, Penguin Drop Caps debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia, and continues with more perennial classics from Penguin.

Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine's "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others



Wednesday October 22, 2014
Start: 10/22/2014 6:30 pm

Bottega Restaurant, Yountville • Ticket: $140 (includes book)
Wine for the meal provided by Trione Winery

This event is now SOLD OUT. For wait list availability, please call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1.

For years, Dana Cowin, the longtime editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine kept a dark secret: from meat to vegetables, broiling to baking, breakfast to dinner, she ruined literally every kind of dish she attempted. Now, in Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes, the vaunted “first lady of food” finally comes clean about her many meal mishaps. With the help of friends—all-star chefs, including Mario Batali, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Tom Colicchio, among many others—Cowin takes on over 100 recipes dear to her heart. Ideal dishes for the home cook, each recipe has a high “yum” factor, a few key ingredients, and a simple trick that makes them special. With every dish, she attains a critical new skill, learning invaluable lessons along the way from the hero chefs who help her discover exactly where she goes wrong. Hilarious and heartwarming, encouraging and instructional, this book will inspire anyone who loves a good meal but fears its preparation. Featuring gorgeous full color photography, it is an intimate, hands-on cooking guide from a fellow foodie and amateur home chef, designed to help even the biggest kitchen phobics overcome their reluctance, with delicious results.

Dana Cowin, Food & Wine’s Editor-in-Chief since 1995, has been covering the world of food, wine, style, and design for over 30 years. In 2012, she was an inductee into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America.

The ticket includes the meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book. 

Start: 10/22/2014 7:00 pm

Co-sponsored by the Marin County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force.

"What had happened to my baby brother? How did a tiny little pill shatter our family? When did we first begin losing Pat?" These are the harrowing questions that plagued journalist Erin Marie Daly after her youngest brother, Pat, an OxyContin addict, was found dead of a heroin overdose at the age of 20. In just a few short years, the powerful prescription painkiller had transformed him from a fun-loving kid to a heroin addict so hell-bent on getting his next fix that he was willing to lie, steal, and hurt everyone he loved. In Generation Rx: A Story of Dope, Death, and America’s Opiate Crisis, Erin set out on a painful journey to learn what really happened to her little brother. As a senior pharmaceutical journalist for Law360, she was startled to discover a new twist to the ongoing prescription drug epidemic. That kids are hooked on painkillers is nothing new; what is new is the rising number of young heroin junkies whose addiction began with pills in suburban bedrooms, and how a generation of young people playing around with today’s increasingly powerful opioids are finding themselves in the frightening grip of heroin.

Erin Marie Daly was a senior reporter for Law360, a New York City-based legal newswire where she covered the pharmaceutical industry and product liability litigation for the past five years. In 2007, she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Daly has also reported in countries such as India, Bosnia, and Russia. She holds an MA in cultural reporting and criticism from New York University. Her feature writing has appeared in a myriad of publications.

Start: 10/22/2014 7:00 pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University
Tickets: $30 (includes a complimentary signed book)

Online ticketing is closed for this event, but tickets will be available to purchase at the door. Doors at 6:00pm.

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can improve not only life but also the process of its ending. Gawande asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end.

Gawande is the author of The Checklist Manifesto, Better, and Complications. He is also a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a staff writer at The New Yorker.




Thursday October 23, 2014
Start: 10/23/2014 6:00 pm

Arlene was twice divorced, a once-widowed copper miner’s daughter who raised six kids single handedly and went back to college at forty so she could support her family. In her late fifties, she started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease—and in nearly two decades that followed, her children were forced to stand helplessly by as their mother’s once-beautiful brain slowly suffocated.

In this poignant memoir, Ann Hedreen gives shattering insight into what it is to watch your mother—a woman you once thought of as invincible—begin to disappear. From Seattle to Haiti to the mine-gouged Finntown neighborhood in Butte, Montana where Arlene was born and raised, Her Beautiful Brain tells the heartbreaking story of a daughter’s love for a mother lost in the wilderness of an unpredictable and harrowing illness.

Ann Hedreen is a writer, filmmaker, teacher and voice of the radio podcast and blog, The Restless Nest. Ann and her husband own White Noise Productions. Together they have made more than 100 films including the award winning 2004 documentary, Quick Brown Fox: An Alzheimer’s Story.


Start: 10/23/2014 7:00 pm

In response to the contemporary life stressors and distractions that leave so many suffering depression, anxiety, and exhaustion, best-selling psychotherapist and creativity coach Eric Maisel offers an alternative to years in therapy or a meaningless life. Life Purpose Boot Camp: The 8-Week Breakthrough Plan for Creating a Meaningful Life is an eight-week intensive program that breaks through barriers and offers insights for living each day with purpose. An army veteran and former drill sergeant, Maisel uses the boot camp metaphor to encourage readers to show up for themselves, just as new recruits are compelled to show up for basic training. Paralleling the boot camp processes of drilling, exercising, and digging deep, Maisel helps readers identify their life purposes and then align every action with those purposes. The psychological heavy-lifting Maisel outlines, including Upgrading Your Personality, Dealing with Your Circumstances, and Creating Your Life Purpose Statement, leaves readers self-aware, self-confident, and fully living their best possible lives.

Eric Maisel has written more than 40 books on a wide variety of subjects, from the challenges of living the creative life to natural psychology, the new psychology of meaning.


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