Off-Site Events

Hillary Rodham Clinton & Chelsea Clinton - The Book of Gutsy Women (Congregation Emanu-El)

Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 1:30pm

Tickets: $45 (Includes a copy of The Book of Gutsy Women) • Doors open at 12:30pm

“If history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs more gutsy women.” —The Book of Gutsy Women

Join Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton as they celebrate the women who have inspired them throughout their lives. The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience is the first book that Secretary Clinton and Chelsea have written together, and they are excited to welcome readers into a conversation they began having when Chelsea was a little girl. Join them as they discuss the women throughout history who have had the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.

Inspired by women whose tenacity blazed the trail, the two global leaders lay out a vision for how these stories of persistence can galvanize women and men, boys and girls around the world. There’s Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist whose Asperger’s syndrome has shaped her advocacy. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad, who each kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, historian Mary Beard, who used wit to open doors that were once closed, and activists like Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai, who looked fear in the face and persevered. And so many more.

This groundbreaking celebration of gutsiness is a call to action—not just for women, but for all of us, especially now. The authors write, “Ensuring the rights, opportunities, and full participation of women and girls remains a big piece of unfinished business of the twenty-first century. Finishing it is going to take all of us standing shoulder to shoulder, across the generations, across genders. This is not a moment for anyone to leave the fight, or sit on the sidelines waiting for the perfect moment to join.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman in US history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. She served as the 67th Secretary of State after nearly four decades in public service advocating on behalf of children and families as an attorney, First Lady, and US Senator. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Chelsea Clinton is a champion for girls and women through her advocacy, writing, and work at the Clinton Foundation. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She lives in New York City with her husband, their children, and their dog.


This event is part of Curran’s popular SHOW & TELL series, featuring topical and entertaining events. From the White House to the Great White Way, Curran’s SHOW & TELL all-star lineup has previously featured Former FBI Director James Comey,  Senator Kamala Harris, former White House photographer Pete Souza, the writers and creative minds behind SOFT POWER, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori and Broadway legend Patti LuPone, comedians Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, and Monty Python original member Eric Idle.

The Curran’s official reopening in 2016, following an extensive, two-year, top-to-bottom renovation, became one of the most widely discussed and covered cultural happenings in San Francisco. A key component of the national movement to renovate and revitalize America’s great culture palaces from coast-to-coast, Curran’s impact has resonated far beyond the seven square miles of its hometown. Curran’s impact extends to the Bay Area’s education system, with a strong emphasis on student-focused initiatives and programming, including hosting student performances of HEAD OVER HEELS, ECLIPSED, THE ENCOUNTER, and THE JUNGLE as well as presenting the first ever amateur performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s SCHOOL OF ROCK: THE MUSICAL, which were performed entirely by the students of Oakland School for the Arts.

“With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child occupying our Curran stage starting this fall, we have the great opportunity to expand our canvas beyond the stage and into the Bay Area with Curran About Town,” says Carole Shorenstein Hays. “Keep your eyes peeled for Curran events and activities around the city that complement the programming at the theater—including more SHOW & TELL’s and partnerships with our friends at Book Passage. I’m thrilled to present this conversation between two brilliant female authors as part of this effort.”

Congregation Emanu-El
2 Lake Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships Presents: An Evening with David and Nic Sheff (Angelico Hall, Dominican University)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 7:00pm

Presented by Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships • Moderated by Michael Krasny • This event is free

Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships (MHYP) will host a book reading and discussion with David Sheff and Nic Sheff, authors of the new book High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction. The discussion will be moderated by Michael Krasny, host of Forum, a news and public affairs program on NPR-member radio station, KQED-FM. David and Nic Sheff have authored several New York Times best selling books on the realities of drug and alcohol use, including Beautiful Boy and Tweak. The 2018 film, Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Nic, were adapted from both memoirs. Additionally Nic Sheff is the author of We All Fall Down and David Sheff authored Clean. The Sheff books will be on sale at the event, which is free, in support of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

This is an incredible chance for local parents and youth to understand the risks of experimenting with drugs and how stress, pressure and confusion can trigger adolescent substance use. David and Nic Sheff will share their experiences as father and son and discuss how addiction entered their lives. One in 10 kids will get addicted to substances over their lifetime and the earlier a child starts, the more likely they will have substance use issues later in life. This is also a unique opportunity to hear the realities of substance use specific to Marin County and create a dialogue about its impact on our community.

Marin County has significantly higher rates of alcohol, cannabis, and other drug use, both among youth and adults, when compared to the rest of California and across the county.

  • 67% of Marin County 11th graders report they have been engaged in illicit alcohol and other drug use to get high.
  • 28% of Marin County 11th graders report having been “very drunk, sick or high” seven or more times.
  • 31% of Marin County 11th graders report either that they have either driven a car after using alcohol or other drugs or been driven by a friend who has used alcohol or other drugs.
  • 32% of Marin County 11th graders report using cannabis in the past 30 days. 30% of 11th graders see slight to no harm in daily cannabis use.
  • 28% of 11th graders report using e-cigarettes or other vaping devices in the past 30 days in Marin County, 47% have done so over their lifetime with 32% doing so four or more time. Rates of e-cigarette use has doubled among 7th, 9th and 11th graders in the past two years 2015/16-2017/18.
  • While Marin County has been ranked for the ninth time in 10 years as the number one healthiest county in California (out of 58 counties) it has among the highest binge drinking rates and motor vehicle deaths related to intoxication in California as 20% of adults report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
    (Source: California Healthy Kids Survey, 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings)

In addition to the speaking event, MHYP is working with local libraries, schools and other youth organizations on a community read campaign around the book High. Learn more at

MHYP works to reduce underage substance use including tobacco, cannabis, alcohol and other drugs using data, education and community events to encourage discussion and alter the perceptions that drive use. Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships began with a small, determined and dedicated group of volunteers in Larkspur, Corte Madera and the Ross Valley community focused on the local conditions that lead to underage use in Marin. The Twin Cities Coalition for Healthy Youth, Ross Valley Healthy Community Collaborative and The Coalition Connection are now all working together as Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships.

MHYP work is funded by a federal Drug-Free Communities grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy - monitored and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration and MHYP partners with young people, families, schools and other community organizations to promote a thriving environment. For more information, visit:

High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544644342
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - January 8th, 2019

Just Say Know! With drug education for children more important than ever, this nonfiction book draws on the experiences of the NY Times bestselling father/son team of David and Nic Sheff to provide all the information teens and tweens need to know about drugs, alcohol, and addiction.

From David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy (2008), and Nic Sheff, author of

Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California
20 Olive Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901

The Electric Waste Band featuring Bill Walton (Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley)

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 7:00pm

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. • Signing from 7:00-7:45 p.m. • Show begins at 8:00 p.m. • Tickets required

The Electric Waste Band, featuring NBA legend Bill Walton on percussion and un-mic’d vocals, will be joined by special guests Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Dave Ellis on sax for an extraordinary evening of spectacular Grateful Dead music at the historic Sweetwater Music Hall in downtown Mill Valley, California.

The show tips off at 8:00 p.m. with Paulie Mac (KNBR’S Murph & Mac) “in a rare and different conversation with Bill Walton.” The full band takes the stage immediately thereafter for two powerfully rockin’ sets of the band’s renowned crowd-inspired, high energy, improvisational rock-n-roll featuring the music of the Grateful Dead.

Bill has been playing with the EWB band for years and brings his expertise as a devout and deadicated Deadhead in an effort to elevate the band and the music to new heights. The fans love it when Bill plays the show. “We’re all in good hands when Bill’s calling the tunes.” And with Jeff and Dave joining in, this show has no limits, boundaries or rules. For their part, the EWB has been performing in and around San Diego since 1989. They are currently in their 28th year of weekly Monday night shows at Winston’s in Ocean Beach.

Bill Walton was NCAA player of the year at UCLA from 1972 to 1974, when UCLA set an NCAA record eighty-eight consecutive-game winning streak. A former NBA Champion and MVP, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and selected as one of the NBA’s Fifty Greatest Players ever. He has also had a successful award-winning broadcasting career with ABC, ESPN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, Turner, and Fox, among others. He currently resides in his hometown of San Diego with his family.

Back from the Dead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476716862
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 22nd, 2016

This inspiring memoir from sports and cultural icon Bill Walton recounts his devastating injuries and amazing recoveries, set in the context of his UCLA triumphs under John Wooden, his storied NBA career, and his affinity for music and the Grateful Dead.

In February 2008, Bill Walton suffered a catastrophic spinal collapse—the culmination of a lifetime of injuries—that left him

Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Ian Urbina - The Outlaw Ocean (Estuary & Ocean Science Center, Tiburon)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

Attendance is free • Please click below to RSVP • In conversation with Dr. Karina Nielsen, Executive Director of the Estuary & Ocean Science Center

There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world's oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation.

Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways—drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Ian Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world. Through their stories of astonishing courage and brutality, survival and tragedy, he uncovers a globe-spanning network of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing, oil and shipping industries, and on which the world's economies rely.

Both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé, The Outlaw Ocean is a unique work of reportage that brings fully into view for the first time the disturbing reality of a floating world that connects us all, a place where anyone can do anything because no one is watching.

Ian Urbina is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He has won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News and a George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting. Several of his stories have been developed into major feature films and one was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has degrees in history and cultural anthropology from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago. Before joining the Times, he was a Fulbright Fellow in Cuba and he also wrote about the Middle East and Africa for various outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Magazine. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his family.

The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451492944
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - August 20th, 2019

"A riveting, terrifying, thrilling story of a netherworld that few people know about, and fewer will ever see.... The soul of this book is as wild as the ocean itself."
--Susan Casey, best-selling author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean

Estuary & Ocean Science Center at Romberg Tiburon Campus
3152 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920

National Kidney Foundation - 31st Annual San Francisco Author Luncheon (Marriott Marquis San Francisco)

Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 10:00am

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Tickets: $145 (individual tickets); $1350 (tables)

 The National Kidney Foundation’s 31st Annual Authors Luncheon is the largest literary event of its kind in the Bay Area, bringing together those who are passionate about literature and saving lives through kidney disease research, advocacy, and education.

Welcoming nearly 1,000 guests annually, the event celebrates a group of renowned, bestselling authors, and includes many leading corporate, medical, community, and literary partners.  Attendees have the opportunity to meet each author during book signing sessions.


2019 Presenting Authors (to date)

Pam Jenoff
The author of several novels of historical fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan’s Tale. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

Adam Mansbach
A novelist, screenwriter, humorist, and cultural critic (in addition to having built an obscene fake children's book empire). His books include Rage Is Back, the California Book Award-winning The End of the Jews, and the best sellers Angry Black White Boy and For This We Left Egypt?, cowritten with Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. Mansbach was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his screenplay for the Netflix Original Barry, and is currently adapting his middle-grade novel Jake the Fake Keeps It Real for the Disney Channel. His forthcoming book is F---, Now There Are Two of You.

Gianna Marino
Born in San Francisco, she spent her early years galloping horses through Golden Gate Park. She's made a living as an apprentice to a muralist, a jewelry designer, a product designer, and a horse carriage driver. Addicted to foreign adventure, Marino has traveled worldwide, including Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. Between explorations, she lives and works in Northern California and still gallops on horses. Her latest book is Just Like My Brother.

John McReynolds
The author of the Stone Edge Farm Cookbook (2013), winner of the 2014 Cookbook of the Year and Best First Book awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (a historic first for a self-published cookbook). He was the founding chef and co-owner of Café La Haye in Sonoma, CA for ten years and is the Executive Chef and Culinary Director of Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards and Winery. His recipes have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks. His latest cookbook is the Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook.

Julia Flynn Siler
A New York Times best-selling author and journalist, and most recently the author of The White Devil's Daughters. She is also the author of Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure, and her first book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, was a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting. A veteran journalist, Siler is a longtime contributor and former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and has been a guest commentator on CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.

Tiffany Shlain
Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” she is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and founder of the Webby Awards. Her films and work have received more than eighty awards and distinctions, including being selected for the Albert Einstein Foundation’s Genius: 100 Visions of the Future. NPR names Shlain’s UC Berkeley address on their list of best commencement speeches, and her films have premiered at top festivals, including Sundance. Find out more on and follow @TiffanyShlain.

Monique Truong
Her first novel, The Book of Salt, was a New York Times Notable Book.  It won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the 2003 Bard Fiction Prize, the Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and the 7th Annual Asian American Literary Award, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and Britain's Guardian First Book Award. She is the recipient of the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, and a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her latest book is The Sweetest Fruits.

The Lost Girls of Paris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778330271
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Park Row - January 29th, 2019

A New York Times Bestseller

Pre-Order Now Badge
Fuck, Now There Are Two of You (Go the Fuck to Sleep #3) Cover Image
By Adam Mansbach, Owen Brozman (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781617757600
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Akashic Books - October 2019

"Adam Mansbach, whose breakout book Go the F**k to Sleep was recorded by Samuel L. Jackson to viral acclaim, has completely shaken up the children's lit space with his profane, candid, and deeply hilarious odes to the trials of parenthood."
--Entertainment Weekly

Just Like My Brother Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425290606
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - April 30th, 2019

An entertaining and moving tribute to big brothers by the author/illustrator of Meet Me at the Moon and Following Papa's Song.

Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780847864546
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rizzoli - March 12th, 2019

Focusing on ten ingredients, this book will enliven and inspire the way you harvest, shop, stock your pantry, and cook for everyday meals and special occasions.

The White Devil's Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco's Chinatown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875261
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 14th, 2019

A revelatory history of the trafficking of young Asian girls that flourished in San Francisco during the first hundred years of Chinese immigration (1848-1943) and an in-depth look at the "safe house" that became a refuge for those seeking their freedom

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24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982116866
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Gallery Books - September 24th, 2019

In 24/6, Tiffany Shlain explores how turning off screens one day a week can work wonders on your brain, body, and soul.

Internet pioneer and renowned filmmaker Tiffany Shlain takes us on a provocative and entertaining journey through time and technology, introducing a strategy for living in our 24/7 world: turning off all screens for twenty-four hours each week.

The Sweetest Fruits: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735221017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - September 3rd, 2019

"A sublime, many-voiced novel of voyage and reinvention" (Anthony Marra)

"[Truong] imagines the extraordinary lives of three women who loved an extraordinary man [and] creates distinct, engaging voices for these women" (Kirkus Reviews)

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
780 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Raina Telgemeier - Guts (Palace of Fine Arts)

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 2:00pm

Tickets from $22 - $45 (includes a copy of Guts)

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

In Guts, Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face--and conquer--her fears.

Raina Telgemeier is the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of Smile and Sisters, which are both graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama and Ghosts, and is the adapter and illustrator of four Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at


Each ticket includes a copy of Guts as well as a special signed book plate. Patrons will also have the opportunity to take a photo with Raina after the event, with higher-tier tickets guaranteeing an earlier place in line. Though Raina will not be signing any memorabilia, autographed copies of her other books will be available for sale before and after the event.


Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

Cooks with Books: Erin Gleeson - The Forest Feast Mediterranean (Left Bank Restaurant)

Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 12:30pm

Presented by Book Passage at Left Bank, Larkspur
Tickets: $115 per person; $185 per couple (includes meal & book)

Erin Gleeson, New York Times bestselling author, returns with a gorgeously illustrated cookbook that will transport readers to the Mediterranean coast.

For years, Forest Feast readers have been transported to Erin Gleeson’s picturesque cabin in the woods through her stunning photography of magical gatherings and vibrant vegetarian cooking. Now, Gleeson transports readers to Europe, with recipes inspired by her exploration of the cultures and cuisines of France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy during an extended family trip. Reimagining the flavors and signature dishes of this part of the Mediterranean, Gleeson presents 100 vegetarian recipes for creating effortless, unforgettable meals. Filled with atmospheric images of coastal villages, charming watercolor illustrations, and mouthwatering food photography, The Forest Feast Mediterranean is an irresistible escape from the everyday, no matter where you might live.

Erin Gleeson is the author, illustrator, and photographer behind the New York Times bestselling cookbook The Forest Feast, The Forest Feast for Kids, The Forest Feast Gatherings, and the popular blog by the same name. Gleeson lives in a cabin in the woods in Northern California.


Our award-winning Cooks with Books events are held at outstanding Bay Area restaurants. The meal is inspired by the author/chefs who discuss their cookbooks with guests throughout the meal. These are happy, convivial events that often sell out quickly, so don’t wait to register! Event tickets include the meal, wine, tip, and a signed copy of the book.


Left Bank Brasserie
507 Magnolia Ave
Larkspur, CA 94939

Cooks with Books: Sean Brock - South (Insalata's Restaurant)

Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 6:30pm

Presented by Book Passage at Insalata's, San Anselmo
Tickets: $125 per person; $200 per couple (includes meal & book)

Southern food is one of the most beloved and delicious cuisines in America. And who better to give us the key elements of Southern cuisine than Sean Brock, the award-winning chef and Southern-food crusader. In South, Brock shares his recipes for key components of the cuisine, from grits and fried chicken to collard greens and corn bread. Recipes can be mixed and matched to make a meal or eaten on their own. Taken together, they make up the essential elements of Southern cuisine, from fried green tomatoes to smoked baby back ribs and from tomato okra stew to biscuits. Regional differences are highlighted in recipes for shrimp and grits, corn bread, fried chicken, and more. Includes key Southern knowledge too: how to fry, how to care for cast iron, how to cook over a hearth, and more. This is the book fans of Sean Brock have been waiting for, and it’s the book Southern-food lovers the world over will use as their bible.

Sean Brock is the founding chef of the award-winning Husk restaurants and the chef/owner of a forthcoming to-be-named restaurant in Nashville. His first book, Heritage, was the winner of the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook and the IACP Julia Child First Book Award in 2015 and was called “the blue-ribbon chef cookbook of the year” by the New York Times. Brock won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast in 2010 and was a finalist for Outstanding Chef in 2013, 2014, and 2015. His TV résumé includes Chef’s Table and The Mind of a Chef, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. Raised in rural Virginia, Brock is passionate about preserving and restoring heirloom ingredients. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Find him on Instagram @hseanbrock.


Our award-winning Cooks with Books events are held at outstanding Bay Area restaurants. The meal is inspired by the author/chefs who discuss their cookbooks with guests throughout the meal. These are happy, convivial events that often sell out quickly, so don’t wait to register! Event tickets include the meal, wine, tip, and a signed copy of the book.


Insalata's Restaurant
120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960

Cooks with Books: John Becker & Megan Scott - The Joy of Cooking (Left Bank Restaurant)

Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 12:30pm

Presented by Book Passage at Left Bank, Larkspur
Tickets: $125 per person; $200 per couple (includes meal & book)

One of the 150 most important and influential books of the twentieth century (The New York Public Library), The Joy of Cooking has taught tens of millions of people to cook. Since 1931, the Rombauer-Becker family has revised and updated their bestselling cookbook—a book Julia Child called the “fundamental resource for any American cook.” Eighty-eight years after Irma Rombauer self-published the first edition, her great-grandson, John Becker, and his wife Megan Scott, have translated this comprehensive culinary resource for a new generation of home cooks, bringing the latest version of The Joy of Cooking into the future while drawing on the best of its storied past.

In the 2019 edition of Joy, readers will find many beloved recipes from previous editions retested and updated, as well as over 600 new recipes geared to modern tastes and the way we cook today. From quick, weeknight-friendly recipes and meals you can cook ahead to show-stopping, celebratory dishes and DIY projects such as fermenting foods and making sausages, the new Joy has dishes for every occasion, whim, and skill level. Each chapter has been thoughtfully reconsidered and improved upon, always with an eye to what has made Joy a practical, approachable, indispensable companion in the kitchen.

The 2019 edition features:
—A large selection of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free recipes;
—Baking chapters that include weight measures for greater accuracy and easier clean-up;
—“Streamlined Cooking,” a new chapter devoted to saving time, effort, and money in the kitchen;
—Expanded coverage of new ingredients and cooking techniques;
—A thorough, up-to-date nutrition chapter and food safety guidelines;
—New illustrations and beautiful chapter-opening papercuts that harken back to the artwork in the original Joy.

Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma’s daughter, helped revise and update each subsequent edition until 1951. The 1963 edition was the first after Irma’s death and was completely Marion’s. Her son, Ethan Becker, helped Marion revise the 1975 edition, and then oversaw the 1997 and 75th Anniversary editions. Ethan’s son, John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott are the first of the family to be solely responsible for testing, revising, and updating the book since 1975, ensuring the latest edition is given the same love and attention to detail that made this culinary resource an American classic.

Ethan Becker is the son of Marion Rombauer Becker and the grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but learned how to cook from his mom. An outdoors-man, he is a master of the grill and at cooking game. His outdoor gear and survival and combat knives are sold internationally under the brand Becker Knife and Tool. Ethan and his wife, Susan, a writer, editor, and artist, live in East Tennessee at their home, Half Moon Ridge. His website is

John Becker, great-grandson of Irma Rombauer, grew up surrounded by the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest. Spending his childhood between Portland, Oregon and the Becker family home in Cincinnati, John learned to appreciate a range of approaches to cooking. Influenced by his father Ethan’s improvisational style, and his mother’s love of international foods and spices, John has an insatiable curiosity when it comes to food and cooking. After earning an English degree, he helped publish seventeen collections of literary essays before dedicating himself to the family business and updating Joy for a new generation. John currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Megan.

Megan Scott started worked for the Joy of Cooking in 2010, when she and John Becker met and immediately bonded over a shared love of blue cheese. Megan’s culinary education began in North Carolina, where she learned to cook from a long line of matriarchs. She grew up in a farming family, shucking corn and snapping green beans as far back as she can remember. She has been a cheesemaker’s apprentice, a baker, and an assistant pastry chef, and in addition to her work for Joy she is the culinary director for a marketing agency that specializes in food. Megan lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband John and their two cats, Loki and Kishu.


Our award-winning Cooks with Books events are held at outstanding Bay Area restaurants. The meal is inspired by the author/chefs who discuss their cookbooks with guests throughout the meal. These are happy, convivial events that often sell out quickly, so don’t wait to register! Event tickets include the meal, wine, tip, and a signed copy of the book.


Left Bank Brasserie
507 Magnolia Ave
Larkspur, CA 94939

David Rothenberg - Nightingales in Berlin (Marin Art & Garden Center)

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 3:00pm

A celebrated figure in myth, song, and story, the nightingale has captivated the imagination for millennia, its complex song evoking a prism of human emotions—from melancholy to joy, from the fear of death to the immortality of art. But have you ever listened closely to a nightingale’s song? It’s a strange and unsettling sort of composition—an eclectic assortment of chirps, whirs, trills, clicks, whistles, twitters, and gurgles. At times it is mellifluous, at others downright guttural. It is a rhythmic assault, always eluding capture. What happens if you decide to join in?

As philosopher and musician David Rothenberg shows in this searching and personal new book, the nightingale’s song is so peculiar in part because it reflects our own cacophony back at us. As vocal learners, nightingales acquire their music through the world around them, singing amidst the sounds of humanity in all its contradictions of noise and beauty, hard machinery and soft melody. Rather than try to capture a sound not made for us to understand, Rothenberg seeks these musical creatures out, clarinet in tow, and makes a new sound with them. He takes us to the urban landscape of Berlin—longtime home to nightingale colonies where the birds sing ever louder in order to be heard—and invites us to listen in on their remarkable collaboration as birds and instruments riff off of each other’s sounds. Through dialogue, travel records, sonograms, tours of Berlin’s city parks, and musings on the place animal music occupies in our collective imagination, Rothenberg takes us on a quest for a new sonic alchemy, a music impossible for any one species to make alone. In the tradition of The Hidden Life of Trees and The Invention of Nature, Nightingales in Berlin is a provocative and accessible book to attune us ever closer to the natural environment around us.

David Rothenberg is distinguished professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the author of many books investigating music in nature, including Why Birds Sing, Survival of the Beautiful, and Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise. His writings have been translated into more than eleven languages and among his twenty one music CDs is One Dark Night I Left My Silent House, on ECM.

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