Kiera Butler - Raise: What 4-H Teaches Seven Million Kids & How Its Lessons Could Change Food and Farming Forever

In Raise: What 4-H Teaches Seven Million Kids & How Its Lessons Could Change Food and Farming Forever, when city-dwelling journalist Kiera Butler visits a county fair for the first time, she is captivated by the white-uniformed members of the 4-H club and their perfectly groomed animals. She sets off on a search for a “real” 4-H’er, a hypothetical wholesome youth whom she imagines wearing cowboy boots and living on a ranch. Along the way, she meets five teenage 4-H’ers from diverse backgrounds and gets to know them as they prepare to compete at the fair. Butler’s on-the-ground account of the teens’ concerns with their goats, pigs, sheep, proms, and SAT scores is interwoven with a fascinating history of the century-old 4-H club as it solicits corporate donations from top agribusiness firms such as DuPont, Monsanto, and Cargill. Her quest takes her from California’s cities and suburbs all the way to Ghana, where she investigates 4-H’s unprecedented push to expand its programs in the developing world—and the corporate partnership that is supporting this expansion.

Kiera Butler is a senior editor at Mother Jones.

 

Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925
$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780520275805
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: University of California Press, 11/2014

Alexandra Fuller - Leaving Before the Rains Come

With astounding candor and in the wry, often hilarious prose that her devoted readers have come to expect, Alexandra Fuller takes on the rise and fall of her own marriage and addresses how her father shaped her view of the world in Leaving Before the Rains Come.  In hopes of understanding what went wrong and finding ways to rebuild her life after a painful divorce, Fuller turns to her African past for answers. As she explores the vibrant memories of her childhood, she hunts for clues as to what it means to live life completely and without regret.

Alexandra Fuller has written five books of non-fiction. Her debut, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2002, the 2002 BookSense Best Non-fiction book, a finalist for the Guardian’s First Book Award and the winner of the 2002 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize.

 

 

Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925
$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594205866
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 1/2015

Joshua Davis - Spare Parts

Ten years ago, a team of undocumented Mexican American students from Carl Hayden High, a scrappy, underfunded public school in West Phoenix, took part in a national, NASA-sponsored underwater robotics competition. The school had recently launched a robotics club at the initiative of two unconventional teachers and was going up against not only other high schools, but colleges from around the country, including a team from MIT that was the beneficiary of a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. Improbably and amazingly, the four teens from West Phoenix won.
 
In Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream, Joshua Davis expands on this story, placing the teens’ amazing 2004 accomplishments in the context of the immigration debate and their entire lives. Davis takes us back to their childhoods in Mexico, shows us their daily struggles as they grew up in the United States, and brings their dramatic stories — which, in one case, involves deportation, a job picking beans in Mexico, and a tour with the US military in Afghanistan — up to the present day.

Joshua Davis has been a contributing editor at Wired for a decade and is the cofounder of Epic magazine. He is the author of The Underdog: How I Survived the World’s Most Outlandish Competitions, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador.

 

Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925
$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780374534981
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: FSG Originals, 9/2014

Michael Meyer - In Manchuria

With The Last Days of Old Beijing, Michael Meyer looked at the modernization of China’s ancient city, and with In Manchuria he furthers his fascinating piece on This American Life, charting the much-mythologized region bordered by Mongolia, North Korea and Siberia, now called the Northeast. For three years, Meyer lived in the remote Northeast in the rice-farming community of Wasteland. A quiet village of two dozen homes, one road, and communally farmed rice paddies, where the temperature can reach 20 below and the sun sets before 4 o’clock. There Meyer witnessed Wasteland’s sweeping changes with the arrival of Eastern Fortune Rice, a privately held and governmentally-backed company which began buying up paddies and hiring their farmers as laborers. Wasteland’s saga mirrors the tremendous shift most of rural China is undergoing; Eastern Fortune has built new roads, introduced organic farming, and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. Once a commune, Wasteland is now a company town, a phenomenon happening across China, one that Meyer documents for the first time.

Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. The winner of a Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, Meyer has also won a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

 

Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925
Country:
United States
$28.00
ISBN-13: 9781620402863
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Bloomsbury Press, 2/2015

Class: Alice Acheson - Greatest Marketing Tool

02/27/2015 1:00 pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 10:00-1:00pm • $60 


 
 
Would your verbal book description gain the same success?  True story:  A New York City editor on the subway overheard two women talking, before turning their conversation to the book one of the women was writing.  The editor, still listening, was intrigued, asked for the manuscript to be submitted, and PUBLISHED the book!  This story could have occurred in the cafe at Book Passage or in the check-out line in your local super market.  

A writer's first step to market a book is to talk to "everyone."  You never know who the listener might be: an agent, publisher, bookseller, future reader.  Learn what works, what doesn't -- and why.  Don't blow your golden opportunity!

The pre-class assignment (instructions upon registration) is to write that 30-second pitch, practice it out loud -- many times -- and memorize it so it sounds like conversation.

"[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
 
 
 
Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925

Class: Alice Acheson - Publishing Choices

02/27/2015 5:00 pm
Fri., Feb. 27 • 2:00-5:00pm • $60 
 
 
 
 
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 their 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
 
 
Location: 
Street:
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
City:
Corte Madera
,
Postal Code:
94925


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