Class: Steve Stein - Food and Culture Book Group

Monday, October 14, 2019 - 3:00pm
photo of Steve Stein

Four Mondays: Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Dec. 9, 2019 & Jan. 13, 2020 • 3:00 – 5:00 pm • Tuition: $100

Three of our four fall  books take us to foreign lands in search of answers to the familiar question: how shall food and dining enhance life’s enjoyment? The third book - by Alice Waters - addresses the same matter, but more locally.

(Note that the book list has changed since the July/August newsletter was published.)

  • October:      The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist
                        Who Transformed What America Eats
    - Daniel Stone 
  • November:  Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India - Jeffrey Madhur
  • December:  Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook - Alice Waters
  • January:      Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the
    (National Geographic Anthology)

The moderator, Steve Stein, The moderator, Steve Stein, worked in the food and lodging industry for many years. He now spends more time reading and writing than booking room reservations or planning events.

The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101990599
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - February 5th, 2019

The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapesand thousands more—to the American plate.

Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078202
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 9th, 2007

The enchanting autobiography of the seven-time James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and acclaimed actress who taught America how to cook Indian food.

Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307718297
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - May 22nd, 2018

The New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America's most influential restaurant.

Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe Cover Image
ISBN: 9781426205071
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: National Geographic - October 20th, 2009

For pure pleasure, few experiences are as satisfying as a chance to explore the world’s great culinary traditions and landmarks—and here, in the latest title of our popular series of illustrated travel gift books, you’ll find a fabulous itinerary of foods, dishes, markets, and restaurants worth traveling far and wide to savor.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Pamela Feinsilber - Meet the Author Book Group

Monday, September 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
photo of Pamela Feinsilber

Four Mondays: Sep 23, Oct 21, Nov 18 & Dec 16, 2019 • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm • Tuition: $100

We’ll have intimate conversations with the authors of... a life-affirming novel about an obese parent who wants to make his son's suicide "mean something" by losing 200 pounds; ten powerful, subtle stories—"imagine [Elena] Ferrante telling a family's story from prismatic perspectives"—spanning 30 years; a bold, "often bleak but poignant" tale of a woman who tries to escape terrible wartime events in a San Francisco bookstore; and an acclaimed, "keenly observed" debut novel in which a frazzled new mother flees to the high desert with her baby. Pamela Feinsilber is a Path to Publishing editor, book editor, and freelance writing consultant.

  • September: The Weight of Him - Ethel Rohan
  • October:      My Old Faithful: Stories - Yang Huang
  • November:  Through the Bookstore Window - Bill Petrocelli
  • December:  The Golden State - Lydia Kiesling

Pamela Feinsilber is a Path to Publishing mentor, book editor, and freelance writing consultant.

The Weight of Him: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250092120
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 14th, 2017

"Deeply moving and memorable." —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

"First-time novelist Rohan shows impressive acuity in portraying the many facets of Billy's and his family's grief." --Booklist

My Old Faithful (Juniper Prize for Fiction) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625343369
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Massachusetts Press - March 23rd, 2018

Showing both the drama of familial intimacy and the ups and downs of the everyday, My Old Faithful introduces readers to a close-knit Chinese family. These ten interconnected short stories, which take place in China and the United States over a thirty-year period, merge to paint a nuanced portrait of family life, full of pain, surprises, and subtle acts of courage.

Through the Bookstore Window Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945572906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Book - March 13th, 2018

"I don't know if I sought out bookselling, or whether bookselling sought me out. But when you are hiding from a past that can blow up in your face at any minute, immersing yourself in the stories of others may be a good place to hide."

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Golden State: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250238115
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Picador - September 3rd, 2019


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Lynn Ryder - Reinvent Yourself After 50

Sunday, November 3, 2019 - 1:00pm
photo of personal coach Lynn Ryder

Sunday, November 3, 2019 • 1:00 - 5:00 pm • Tuition: $110

In our 50s, 60s and 70s, we begin a new phase of life – a new chapter.  Are you wondering:

  • What’s next?
  • Am I living the life I want to live - my best life?  
  • How do I create a joyful and meaningful future?  

Working with an exercise book, we’ll engage in discussions, journaling and short lectures to create a vision and a plan for your happy, healthy, fulfilling future.  

Lynn Ryder, a personal coach for people over 50, is a former human resources consultant and trainer She is the author of Road to Fulfillment.

What Students Say about Lynn Ryder

"I feel EMPOWERED! I didn't know how much I needed or would enjoy Lynn's class." - Morna

"The class exceeded my expectations. Lynn was skilled at allowing enough individual commentary without losing control of the class. She kept on point and kept moving us forward - but the sharing really helped make the class." - Mary

"I loved the class! It gave me a spark and clarity I needed to get back in the game and plan a fun and exciting future." - Linda


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Tim Lea - Writing for Television – A View From the Inside and How to Get There

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 10:00am
photo of playwright, director, television writer Tim Lea

Saturday, October 26 • 10-2 pm • Tuition: $110

Playwright, director, television writer and producer Tim Lea provides insights on a wide variety of topics from finding an agent, sample script writing, staffing, pitching stories and shows, and what to expect in your career trajectory. The class will consist of two sections – an overview of the state of the industry and the process of breaking in, and an introduction to a hands-on process for getting your first script written, read, and produced in Hollywood.

Tim Lea has worked on numerous television shows including CSI:NY, Law and Order, Criminal Intent, and Flash Forward.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Laura Deutsch - Writing from the Senses

Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 1:00pm
photo of author and writing instructor Laura Deutsch

Saturday, Oct 19 • 1:00 – 4:00 pm • Tuition: $95

The sensory details that infuse our everyday experience—the smell of a favorite dish cooking, the texture of a well-worn coat, hearing a song that reminds us of a time in our lives—can add richness and spark to what we write. Using sensory prompts, Laura will show you how to tap into your best material, enriching memory and story with imagery and detail. With her book, Writing from the Senses, as your guide, you’ll never have to stare at a blank page or computer screen again. For writers at all levels.

Laura Deutsch leads writing workshops from Tassajara to Tuscany and has taught writing at UC Berkeley and SFSU. Her writing has appeared in the LA Times, SF Chronicle, Eating Well, and other publications and has aired on public radio.

What Students Say about Laura Deutsch

"Laura was terrific — organized and original, a generous and talented teacher. This is one of the best classes I’ve taken." -- Book Passage student 

“I loved this class and am eager for more.” -- Book Passage student 

Writing from the Senses: 59 Exercises to Ignite Creativity and Revitalize Your Writing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611800449
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Shambhala - May 13th, 2014

Break through writer's block using your five senses!

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Corey Fischer - Telling Your Story

Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 6:45pm
photo of actor, storytelling teacher Corey Fischer

Five Thursdays: Oct 3 - Oct 31 • 6:45-8:45 pm • Tuition: $225

Creating on your feet, out loud, is a powerful way to explore and expand your “voice” as a writer or a storyteller. Award-winning actor/writer/director Corey Fischer uses free-writing exercises, theatre games, and prompts for group sharing in a safe and supportive setting as he guides each student in discovering, shaping and performing a particular personal story. In the final class, participants will share their stories with a small, invited audience. This class is for anyone who wants to tell their own stories – on the page or on the “stage.”

Corey Fischer, co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre (1978-2012), has been creating and teaching theatre over 50 years. He views autobiographical storytelling as a much-needed way to open imagination and memory and to nurture community.

What Students Say About Corey Fischer

“Corey Fischer is an amazing teacher.  I took his workshops in storytelling, performance, and improvisation whenever I could. Each time my mind opened, my body became more energized and limber, my spirit and imagination expanded – always in an atmosphere of safety, human connection, and enjoyment. I highly recommend Corey as an extraordinary teacher for anyone seeking to express their creativity, find their storytelling voice, and have a lot of fun along the way.” -- Jonathan D. Greenberg, Executive Director, Gandhi King Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Stanford Law School

“With humor and heart, Corey guides you to the wild, unknown parts of your creativity.  He is a teacher not to be missed: a man with a lifetime of experience, an insightful perspective, and a gentle and supportive approach. He grounds you as you leap into the unknown, and expertly helps you shape what you bring back from your explorations.” – Naomi Stein, writer, performer

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Melissa Cistaro - The Memoir Writer’s Survival Kit

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 10:00am
photo of author and writing teacher Melissa Cistaro

Saturday: Sept 21 • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm • $95

How does a writer survive the long journey of writing a deeply personal story? How do we handle the stages of rejection and self-doubt? Memoirist and industry insider, Melissa Cistaro will share her circuitous path to publication and the lessons she learned along the way. In this workshop, you will wrangle some new survival skills as a writer, flex your writing muscles, gather insider tips about the memoir market – and discover ways to thrive as you travel the path toward publication.

Melissa Cistaro is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother. Melissa mentors writers and teaches memoir writing workshops in the Bay Area and internationally.

What Students Are Saying about Melissa Cistaro

"Melissa’s compassionate feedback as a writing coach along with her generosity in sharing her years of experience, greatly enhanced my journey from manuscript to book signing. Her passion for mentoring writers is an absolute blessing." - Nisha Zenhoff, Author of The Unspeakable Loss

"Melissa is everything you would hope for in a teacher. She creates a safe learning and sharing space that facilitates valuable give and take and seems to know how to nudge students just the right way. She created a wonderful learning atmosphere, provided great writing exercises to get the creative juices flowing and provided encouraging feedback that kept us on track. I can't wait to take another class with her and highly recommend her to any aspiring writer." - S. Mirfattah

"I could not have asked for a better first time memoir writing class. Melissa was great and really set the mood for a safe and supportive workshop environment. The feedback she gave during class was always encouraging and helpful. I understand now how to go about writing my memoir and, most importantly, I feel very proud and courageous for attempting to share my story." - Nina Meechoonuk

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: David Corbett - The Final Polish

Sunday, September 29, 2019 - 10:00am
photo of author and writing teacher David Corbett

Sunday: September 29 • 10:00 am - 4:00 pm • $150

You’ve finished and revised your manuscript and believe it’s ready to send it out. But in today’s competitive marketplace, you may get only one chance to impress agents and editors. In this workshop, David Corbett will review your first ten pages and a one-to-two-page synopsis to determine: How unique is the voice? How compelling are the story questions? How engaging are the main characters? How high are the stakes?

After registering, your manuscript and synopsis must be submitted to by Sept. 22.

David Corbett is the award-winning author of The Art of Character and five novels, including The Mercy of the Night and Blood of Paradise.

What Students Say about David Corbett

"To learn from David Corbett is to be in a safe space with a wise, patient teacher. David allows you room to make mistakes and learn from them; his feedback is exhaustive and extremely helpful...  With David, I have learned to create complex, real characters, define character arcs, and let them lead me into a well-knit plot. Thanks to his advice over the years, I now partner with a very good agent, and have landed a publishing deal." —Damyanti Biswas, author of You Beneath Your Skin 

"David is an insightful, passionate, supportive teacher and writing coach. He is attuned to the needs of his students and meets them wherever they are in their writing careers. He pushed me (nicely) to understand my characters deeply, to discover what made them tick, and to let them breathe on their own. That turned out to be the first book in a series and I'm still listening to David's advice as I head into the third one." —Susan C. Shea, author of Love & Death in Burgundy 

"David Corbett's teaching style should be measured by the success of his students. I and two of my classmates (see below) have progressed greatly since studying with him in 2015. My novel was published in 2016. Another classmate's novel is now with the publisher and will soon be in bookstores. A third classmate got an agent just a year after working with David. You can't argue with results!" —Rick Pullen 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Gelfand - You Can Be a Winning Writer: the 4 C’s of Successful Authors

Monday, September 9, 2019 - 6:45pm
photo of writing instructor Joan Gelfand

Four Mondays: Sep 9, Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 9 • 6:45 – 8:45 pm • Tuition $150 (includes book)

Not all writing careers are created equal. Why are some authors quickly catapulted to publishing success while others seem to take forever? Learn the secrets of how you can become a successful author: What are the four C’s and how can you make them work for you? What are your writing challenges? What is a book proposal, and who needs one? What is the difference between non-fiction and fiction proposals? Does a poetry book need a proposal? Learn about cover letters, finding the right agent (or publisher) and what to do once your book is published.

A copy of Joan's book, You Can Be a Winning Writer: The 4 C's Approach of Successful Authors - Craft, Commitment, Community & Confidence, is included in the class tuition.

Joan Gelfand wrote You Can Be a Winning Writer, three volumes of poetry, and an award-winning chapbook of short fiction. Her novel, Fear to Shred, will be published in September. Photo credit: ilaBrightPhotographyStudio/Lisbon/2018

What Students Are Saying about Joan Gelfand

"Attendees went home with new excitement, inspiration, and tools to build their writing've been mentioned by name in five star reviews." - Lisa Provost, San Francisco Writer's Conference

"You are a fantastic presenter, very dynamic and straightforward. You expertly answered their deepest questions and helped guide them to a fuller understanding of the publishing world." - Suzanne Lyons, Events Managers, Oaxaca Lending Library

"Joan presented to our audience at the National Association of Memoir Writers a hands-on, popular, and very useful tutorial on how to get published." - Linda Joy Meyers

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: John Hart - Poetry, Anyone?

Monday, September 9, 2019 - 7:00pm
photo of poet and poetry teacher John Hart

Eight Mondays: Sep 9 – Oct 28, 2019 • 7:00 - 9:00 pm • $225

Let’s admit it: Not all poetry is equally interesting. Some poems grab the reader right away and don’t let go. Others are tricky but have their hidden rewards. Still others just lie there. But which is which? We read a handful of poems, old and new, each week and then have fun disagreeing about them. “If you like poetry,” a repeat participant says, “you’ll enjoy this class. If you don’t know if you like poetry, you’ll enjoy this class." If you think you don't know anything about poetry, you are likely to be very surprised. Widely published local poet, author, and editor of the poetry journal Blue Unicorn,

John Hart is a seasoned teacher with deep knowledge and love of poetry from every era. 

What Students Are Saying about John Hart

"Minimum effort; maximum benefit. Nothing serious, yet mentally engaging.” – Rick Holderness   

“Whether we are a lifelong readers of poetry or remember only [a poem] memorized in third grade, this class is a delightful way to read poems together. John Hart is the ideal leader. There is never a sense that any poet or poem is something we “should” like. John encourages our honest reactions to whatever we find baffling or captivating, whatever we find beautiful, moving, or downright irritating.” – Penny Wright

“There is no other place where I feel so deeply nourished by the esthetic experience of hearing and appreciating poetry. John provides a wealth of biographical and historical background and encourages our own analysis and appreciation, which allows us to “dig deep” and bring to awareness important aspects of our own experience of life.” – Nani Ranken

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925


Subscribe to RSS - Classes