Literary Luncheons

Literary Luncheon: Laura Lippman - My Life as a Villainess: Essays (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:00pm

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed copy of My Life as a Villainess: Essays)

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s first book of nonfiction, My Life as a Villainess, is a collection of personal, wry, relatable, often surprising essays that explore childhood, motherhood, friendship, her career as a newspaper reporter, and as a novelist. Lippman's life stories are at once specific and universal, with as many twists as her award-winning crime fiction.

These candid essays offer insights into the experiences that have helped Lippman become one of the most successful writers of her generation.

Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has been recognized as a distinctive voice in mystery fiction and named one of the "essential" crime writers of the last 100 years. Her books have won most of the major awards in her field and been translated into thirty languages. A perennial bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans with her family.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Special Event: Book Club Brunch 2020 (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 11:00am

Tickets: $40 (includes brunch and a book) • Presenters include Michele Sulka and Jenn Ramage

*Please note: Registration is now closed. *

Bring your book group to the Corte Madera store and hear the latest word from publishing representatives! They'll be sharing their picks for new fiction and non-fiction releases, focusing on titles selected especially for book clubs. Your ticket includes a catered brunch and a free copy of a yet-to-be released book, courtesy of our publishing partners. Seating can be reserved for book clubs to sit together on a first-come, first-served basis. This event was quite popular last year, and it is sure to sell out, so call us or come into the store to reserve your space!

Jenn Ramage has been with Penguin Random House for 13 years and in publishing/ bookselling for over 20 years. She currently sells the Knopf/Doubleday side of the list and this will be her 3rd time at the bookclub brunch.

Michele Sulka is a 30-year veteran of the book business, having started as a clerk in independent bookstores in the Midwest, then moved into publishing in 2008. With Random House, she’s worked with great booksellers all over the Rocky Mountains and southwest, and now sells to independent bookstores in the Bay Area (which, as everyone knows, are the best in the country.)

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Julia Alvarez - Afterlife (Corte Madera Store)

Friday, April 17, 2020 - 12:00pm

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed copy of Afterlife)

The first adult novel in fourteen years by the bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents.

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Tracy Chevalier - A Single Thread (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 12:00pm

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed book)

Tickets available at the door*

1932. After the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, Violet Speedwell has become a "surplus woman," one of a generation doomed to a life of spinsterhood after the war killed so many young men. Yet Violet cannot reconcile herself to a life spent caring for her grieving, embittered mother. After countless meals of boiled eggs and dry toast, she saves enough to move out of her mother's place and into the town of Winchester, home to one of England's grandest cathedrals. There, Violet is drawn into a society of broderers--women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.

Violet finds support and community in the group, fulfillment in the work they create, and even a growing friendship with the vivacious Gilda. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war appears on the horizon, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren't expected to grow. Told in Tracy Chevalier's glorious prose, A Single Thread is a timeless story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life.

Tracy Chevalier is the New York Times bestselling author of nine previous novels, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, which has been translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film. Born and raised in Washington, DC, she lives in London with her husband and son.

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Please note that tickets are non-refundable.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Janet Fitch - Chimes of a Lost Cathedral (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 12:00pm

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed book)

After the events of The Revolution of Marina M., the young Marina Makarova finds herself on her own amid the devastation of the Russian Civil War--pregnant and adrift in the Russian countryside, forced onto her own resourcefulness to find a place to wait out the birth of her child. She finds new strength and self-reliance to fortify her in her sojourn, and to prepare her for the hardships and dilemmas still to come.

When she finally returns to Petrograd, the city almost unrecognizable after two years of revolution, the haunted, half-emptied, starving Capital of Once Had Been, she finds the streets teeming with homeless children, victims of war. Now fully a woman, she takes on the challenge of caring for these civil war orphans, until they become the tool of tragedy from an unexpected direction. But despite the ordeal of war and revolution, betrayal and privation and unimaginable loss, Marina at last emerges as the poet she was always meant to be.

Chimes of a Lost Cathedral finishes the epic story of Marina's journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century---as a woman and an artist, entering her full power, passion, and creativity just as her revolution reveals its true direction for the future.

Janet Fitch's first novel, White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film. Her most recent novel, Paint It Black, hit bestseller lists across the country and has also been made into a film. She lives in Los Angeles.

 

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

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51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Sarah Blake - The Guest Book (Corte Madera Store)

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 12:00pm

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed book)
In Conversation with Luisa Smith

The Guest Book is the thought-provoking new novel by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Blake.

No. It is a simple word, uttered on a summer porch in 1936, and it will haunt Kitty Milton for the rest of her life. Kitty and her husband, Ogden, are both from families considered the backbone of the country. But this refusal will come to be Kitty’s defining moment, and its consequences will ripple through the Milton family for generations. For while they summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir.

In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists the times are changing. And in one night, everything does.

So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

Moving through three generations and back and forth in time, The Guest Book asks how we remember and what we choose to forget. It shows the untold secrets we inherit and pass on, unknowingly echoing our parents and grandparents. Sarah Blake’s triumphant novel tells the story of a family and a country that buries its past in quiet, until the present calls forth a reckoning.

Sarah Blake is the author of the novels Grange House and the New York Times bestseller The Postmistress. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two sons.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Lisa See - The Island of Sea Women (Corte Madera Store)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 12:00pm

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed book)

Note: Space is limited. Please call (415) 927-0960x1 for more information

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. See was the recipient of the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Association of Southern California and the History Maker’s Award from the Chinese American Museum. She was also named National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Kate Atkinson - Transcription (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, October 1, 2018 - 12:00pm

In Conversation with Elaine Petrocelli
Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed book)

*Tickets are available for purchase at the door.*

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.

Kate Atkinson's first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named England's Whitbread Book of the Year in 1996. Since then, she has written nine more ground-breaking, bestselling books, most recently A God in Ruins. She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Brunch: Isabel Allende - In the Midst of Winter (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 10:30am

Ticket: $30 (includes continental breakfast + goodies & signed book)

*Registration now closed. Please call 415-927-0960 x1 for waitlist. 

An instant New York Times bestseller, In the Midst of Winter, is about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that offers "a timely message about immigration and the meaning of home" (People).

During the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house, seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant, Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile, for her advice.

As these three lives intertwine, each will discover truths about how they have been shaped by the tragedies they witnessed, and Richard and Lucia will find unexpected, long overdue love. Allende returns here to themes that have propelled some of her finest work: political injustice, the art of survival, and the essential nature of -- and our need for -- love.

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, Stories of Eva Luna, Of Love and Shadows, and The Japanese Lover. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. She lives in California.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Literary Luncheon: Lauren Groff - Florida (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 12:00pm

Tickets: $55 (includes meal & book)

“Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts.”—The New York Times Book Review

In her vigorous and moving new book, Lauren Groff brings her electric storytelling and intelligence to a world in which storms, snakes, and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional, and psychological nature. Among those navigating it all are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character -- a steely and conflicted wife and mother.

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida -- its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury -- the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the celebrated short story collection, Delicate Edible Birds. She has won the PEN/O. Henry Award, and has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, along with several Best American Short Stories anthologies, and she was named one of Granta’s 2017 Best Young American Novelists. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and sons.

 

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

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51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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