Class: Alice Acheson - Publishing Choices (Corte Madera)

Saturday, October 7, 2017 - 10:00am

Sat., Oct. 7 • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm • $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 the method that would be most appropriate for your book.

The services provided are quite different, as are 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

Alice B. Acheson, a consultant with decades of experience in publishing, guides clients in marketing and publishing their book, no matter the genre or choice of publisher. She has negotiated book contracts, sold subsidiary rights, and edited and publicized books.  Her work as a publicist was recognized with a Literary Market Place Outside Services Award for Advertising/Promotion/Publicity, and the The New York Times' bestseller list simultaneously has included four recipients of her publicity prowess.

"Armed with all the practical information you provided including how to get past the gate keepers I am now better prepared and ready to do what I need to do to get my book to the market place." -- Nisha Zenoff, former class member

"Before I took your 'Publishing Choices' I was not clear which would be the best for my book. Your course provided the information I needed to make an informed decision."

"Sending you my homework assignment before the first class and knowing you would read it and make comments for each individual helped focus my attention and intentions." 

"Knowing that each member of the class would read my writing and offer comments was a little scary at first. However,  the atmosphere in your classes was supportive and fun while being direct and honest."

"Wow! I loved this! Writing my 30-second verbal pitch and practicing it out loud before the first class was helpful. I went from feeling unclear and intimidated to clarification and excitement." 

"There was enormous value receiving live feed back in class. Your specific comments gave me exactly what I needed to pitch my book in 30 seconds rather than rambling on." 

"I am so glad this was my first course. It gave a strong foundation for the rest of the courses. I continued to practice my pitch and integrate what I learned as the weekend progressed."



51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Andrea Alban - Writers Tribe (Corte Madera)

Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

4 Sundays: Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, & Oct. 29 • 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm • $240

Polish your manuscript in a safe space built on respect and honesty.The focus is on rendering quintessential characters, vivid settings, page-turning plots, and snappy dialog. Andrea guides the group through a powerful revision process and self-editing mastery. Each writer receives a copy of Andrea’s popular mini-book: How to polish your words in 17 easy steps.

Andrea Alban is the author of nine books, including her debut teen novel ANYA’S WAR (an ALA honor book and shortlisted for China’s Panda Award), and bestseller THE HAPPINESS TREE. 

Andrea's Writer's Tribe is a safe and creative space to bring your work in progress. Andrea's skilled facilitation, keen literary eye, and delightful sense of humor make these Sunday afternoon gatherings the highlight of my week. Andrea is a writer's dream come true. Not only do you learn from the invaluable critiques of your own work, but her in-class critiques of your fellow writers' work are richly informative and insightful. I have queried, and had several interested responses for my novel and know that what I have learned in Andrea's Tribal circle has been in large part what I needed to get a foot in the door. 
—Nina Vincent

Thanks to Andrea and the Writer's Tribe, my story is polished and ready to go! Andrea's expertise and superb editing skills alone are worth the price of admission. Andrea guides the Tribe with profound wisdom and gentle humor. Class participants are supportive of one another, and we 'bonded" as a group. None of us wanted the class to end!
—Gailya Magdalena


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Special Faculty - Our Experimental Constitution (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

 8 Thursdays: Sept. 14 - Nov. 2 • 7:00 - 8:30pm • $250

Our Experimental Constitution
“That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.” -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Special note: All proceeds from this class will go towards the purchase of Khizr Kahn’s book This Is Our Constitution for distribution to students in local schools Faculty: The faculty for this extraordinary course is being assembled under the gracious leadership of David Faigman, Chancellor & Dean of the U.C. Hastings College of Law


Sept. 14 • 7:00—8:30 pm
The Constitution is the Guide: Founding Principles and the Original Meaning of “Original Intent”

“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.” -- George Washington

The historical context for the founding of the United States, including the circumstances preceding the Constitutional Convention of 1787. This includes the Articles of Confederation, Washington’s reluctant agreement to participate, the ratification debates, the commitment to a Bill of Rights, and the early federalist structure of the American government.


Sept. 21 • 7:00—8:30 pm
If Men Were Angels: Checks & Balances of American Government, from Separation of Powers to Federalism

“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” -- James Madison

We will look at both the theory and practice of checks and balances built into the federal government—from the founding through the Civil War and until today. We look at the doctrines of Separation of Powers (i.e. the division of power between the branches of the federal government) and at Federalism (i.e. the division between the States and the Federal government).


Sept. 28 • 7:00—8:30 pm
In Giving Freedom to the Slave: The Civil War and the Changes Wrought by the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in that we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” -- Abraham Lincoln

We look at the events that led to the South’s succession and the constitutional battles that followed the Union victory. We’ll include the political debates preceding the Civil War (e.g., Missouri Compromise, Fugitive Slave Act), and judicial precedents (e.g., Dred Scott). We look at the major principles embedded in the reconstruction amendments, with particular emphasis on the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of due process and equal protection.


Oct. 5 • 7:00—8:30 pm
The Equal Rights of Others: The Principle and Promises of Equality, from the Declaration of Independence to Same-Sex Marriage

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. “ -- Thomas Jefferson

The principle of equality before the law was stated in the 14th Amendment, but it was not really realized until Brown v. Board of Education. Constitutional guarantees of equality were applied to women in the 1970s and to marriage in 2015. The remedies for inequality are complex, however, as shown by the debate over affirmative action to cure historical inequality.


Oct. 12 • 7:00—8:30 pm
Not Agreed Upon a Definition of Liberty: Identifying the Line Dividing the Individual’s Right to Act and the Majority’s Right to Forbid

“The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.” – Abraham Lincoln

We explore the many difficult ways in which “liberty” can be defined—looking at the fine distinctions between the rights of an individual to act against the legitimate reasons the government advances to forbid that act. Contemporary debates—like abortion and physician-assisted suicide—present these problems. How does a Supreme Court guarantee that liberty will not be deprived without “due process of law?”


Oct. 19 • 7:00—8:30 pm
The Function of Speech: The Many Expressions of Free Speech in American Constitutional Jurisprudence

“Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” —Louis D. Brandeis

What are the boundaries of “free speech?” We look at the modern doctrine, developed in the 1920s by Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes, and consider it in terms of modern issues. Some of the issues we consider are speech in the age of terrorism, use of the internet (child pornography?), and corporate speech.


Oct. 26 • 7:00—8:30 pm
If Tyranny and Oppression Come to this Land: The Limits of Executive Authority, Both Foreign and Domestic

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison

We examine the vast expansion of executive authority in the modern age, which arguably began in the 1930s with FDR’s intervention to deal with the Depression and, in the 1940s, to fight World War II. The modern presidency is marked by extraordinary power, but its limits are not well defined. This session will consider both informal and formal limits on executive authority.


Nov. 2 • 7:00—8:30 pm
It is a Constitution We Are Expounding: The Future of the Constitution, Our Shared Experiment

“We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding.”—John Marshall (McCulloch v. Maryland (1819))

This session explores the issues likely to confront the Supreme Court in the years ahead, ranging from the battle against terrorism, affirmative action, changing understanding of the death penalty, States’ Rights (and the future of federalism), and so forth.


A Few Corners of American History

While thinking about the Constitution, it may be a good time to look at a few books about American history. These books all have one thing in common: they shed light on periods of American history that we thought we knew but maybe really didn’t.

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence & The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1788-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis
These two captivating books set the stage for the birth of the United States. 1776 follows the crucial moments for the war and the political steps towards independence. But in 1788 the political leadership had to sit down and write a Constitution, seemingly needing to create America all over again.

A Wicked War by Amy S. Greenberg
According to Ulysses S. Grant, there was never “a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico.” Wicked or not, the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-48) is one of the most understudied events in our history. Greenberg captures all of the ominous overtones for future conflicts over slavery and imperialism.

The Fall of the House of Dixie by Bruce Levine
As Levine describes the ante-bellum South “Of the more than twelve million souls who resided there, almost one out of every three was enslaved . . . [their value] exceeded the value of all the farmland in the states of the South, a sum fully three times as great as the construction costs of the railroads that then ran throughout all of the United States.” The collapse of this formidable economic empire in the Civil War makes for compelling reading. Levine puts the issue of slavery at the center of the conflict —a place where it belongs but is sometimes forgotten.

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 by Eric Foner
What did you learn about Reconstruction in school? Probably as little as we did — and most of it was wrong. Foner provides an exhaustive look at one of the tragically missed opportunities in American history.

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot
Under the bland facade of the early ‘60s there were forces at work undermining the Kennedy administration and our constitutional government. This story has been hinted at before, but it has never been told in such riveting fashion as David Talbot (The Season of the Witch) does in this haunting book.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan - Conversation Course in French

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 12:30pm

6 sessions/Tues & Thurs July 27 – Aug. 17 (no class 8/10); 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm • $200

Genevieve Blaise-Sullivan is a graduate of the Sorbonne. She has taught French at College of Marin for over 30 years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Pat Holt - Contemporary Classics (Corte Madera)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:30am

5 Tuesdays: Sep. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12, & Jan. 9 • 10:30 am – 12:30 pm • $125

Sept. 12
Deborah Levy, Hot Milk, Bloomsbury (240 pages)

Oct. 10
Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project, Contraband (300 pages)

Nov. 14
Adam Haslett, Imagine Me Gone, Little, Brown (368 pages)

Dec. 12
Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn, Amistad (192 pages)

Jan. 9
Madeleine Thien, Norton, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (480 pages)


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

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Pamela Feinsilber - Meet the Author (Corte Madera)

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 7:00pm

5 Mondays: Sept. 25, Oct. 23, Nov. 20, & Dec. 18 • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm • $95

We’ll have intimate conversations with the authors entertaining yet deep novel featuring a reluctant bride, squirrels, and the military-industrial complex; an adventure, retracing the steps of two men who found a buried civilization in Central America, that "makes Indiana Jones seem tame"; an "intricately plotted" novel, narrated by two women linked by a family mystery, that "builds to a terrifying climax"; and the translator of "sublime, subversive and original" stories by a "Brazilian legend."

Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen

William Carlsen, Jungle of Stone

Heather Young, The Lost Girls

Katrina Dodson (translator), The Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector


Pamela Feinsilber is a book editor and writing consultant and blogs about the arts for Huffington Post.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Carol Benet - Potpourri of Literary Prizes (Evening) (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, September 17, 2018 - 7:00pm

5 Mondays: Sep. 17, Oct. 22, Nov. 19, Dec. 17, & Jan. 21 • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm • $130

This fall we will read 5 novels whose authors have won literary prizes including the Mann Booker Prize, Premio Internazionale Nonino, Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, and “Economist" Best Book


September 17

“I Married a Communist”, Philip Roth, Man Booker International Award

October 22 

”Memed, My Hawk”, Yasar Kemal, Premio Internazionale Nonino 

Nov. 19 

“Lincoln in the Bardo”, George Saunders, Man Booker Prize

December 17

“Aliss at the Fire,” Jon Fosse, Nordic Council’s Literature Prize

January 21, 2019 

“War and Turpentine”, Stefan Hertmans, “Economist" Best Book


This group reads authors that have won literary prizes including the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle. In addition to reading award-winning novels, participants develop literary perceptual and critiquing skills. Carol Benet received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley where she won an Outstanding Teaching Award.

I Married a Communist: American Trilogy (2) (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375707216
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - November 2nd, 1999

I Married a Communist is the story of the rise and fall of Ira Ringold, a big American roughneck who begins life as a teenage ditch-digger in 1930s Newark, becomes a big-time 1940s radio star, and is destroyed, as both a performer and a man, in the McCarthy witchhunt of the 1950s.

Memed, My Hawk Cover Image
By Yashar Kemal, Yashar Kemal (Introduction by), Edouard Roditi (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781590171394
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - June 30th, 2005

A tale of high adventure and lyrical celebration, tenderness and violence, generosity and ruthlessness, Memed, My Hawk is the defining achievement of one of the greatest and most beloved of living writers, Yashar Kemal. It is reissued here with a new introduction by the author on the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication.

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812985405
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 6th, 2018


The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

Aliss at the Fire (Norwegian Literature) Cover Image
By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator)
ISBN: 9781564785732
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - September 16th, 2010

In her old house by the fjord, Signe lies on a bench and sees a vision of herself as she was more than twenty years earlier: standing by the window waiting for her husband Asle, on that terrible late November day when he took his rowboat out onto the water and never returned.

War and Turpentine: A Novel Cover Image
By Stefan Hertmans, David Mckay (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781101872116
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - July 25th, 2017

Longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize

New York Times Top 10 Best Book of the Year

An Economist Best Book of the Year

Longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Carol Benet - Potpourri of Literary Prizes (Afternoon) (Corte Madera)

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 1:00pm

Five Mondays: Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20, Dec. 18, & Jan. 15 • 1:00 – 3:00 pm • $130

This fall we will read 5 novels whose authors have won literary prizes including the Mann Booker Prize,  Kirkus Prize, German International Literature Prize, Camões Prize and Goncourt Prize. 

September 18
António Lobos Antunes, The Land at the End of the World (Camões Prize)

October 16
Lucia Berlin, A Manual for Cleaning Women (Kirkus Prize)

November 20
Ohran Pamuk, Snow (Nobel Prize-winning author)

December 18
Paul Beatty, The Sellout (Mann Booker Prize)

January 15
Amos Oz,  Judas (German International Prize)


This group reads authors that have won literary prizes including the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle. In addition to reading award-winning novels, participants develop literary perceptual and critiquing skills. Carol Benet received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley where she won an Outstanding Teaching Award.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Melanie Vetter - Deepening Connections: Legacy Letter Writing Workshop (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 10:00am

Sat., February 3 • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm • $75

**Class closed, please call 415 927-0960 with any questions**

Legacy Letters allow you to share wisdom, traditions, values, blessings and love with people special to you. They are tangible objects, things people can return to again and again—and they do. If you hear Legacy Letters and think of wills or estates, there’s more to it than that. Legacy Letters don’t have to be connected to wealth or even end of life. Legacy Letters are for any time you want to deepen a connection with someone special in your life. With Legacy Letters, you can pass on special family stories and traditions, recognize major milestones such as a wedding, a birthday or a graduation in a meaningful way, share the stories and reasons behind gifts to others, and know you have said what is important. In this workshop, I will show you how to write your own Legacy Letters in four easy steps and you will have the opportunity to write one your self.

Melanie Vetter is the founder of Wellfleet Circle. Melanie's life’s work is dedicated to teaching and empowering others to celebrate, document and share a purposeful life using fun and joyful tools and techniques.  She helps others preserve and share  their intangible wealth—traditions, wisdom, values, stories and love. Melanie is a Harvard Law School trained attorney and business professional and a certified Legacy Advisor. She holds a certificate in Guided Autobiography Instruction from the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies, and is also a Certified Senior Advisor®.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Kathy Freschi - Advanced Italian Literature (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 11:45am

Five Wednesdays; Sep. 5 - Oct. 3 • 11:45 am - 1:45 pm • $160

FOR INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED students of Italian
Le Tre del Mattino, Gianrico Carofiglio’s most recent novel, is a departure from mafia related crimes and investigations. Rather, it portrays the resolution of a previously distant and troubled father-son relationship, in the unexpected backdrop of a city outside of Italy. We will read and discuss this book in Italian.

Kathy Freschi has been teaching Italian for over 40 years at UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley and College of Marin. In 1987, she founded the Credit Program of Italian at College of Marin, for which she was awarded La Stella d’Italia by the Republic of Italy.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925


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