Off-Site Events

Cooks with Books: Ruth Reichl - Save Me The Plums (Left Bank)

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 12:30pm

Left Bank, Larkspur
Tickets: $120 per person; $180 per couple

*Registration is now closed. 

When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. And yet...Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?

This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media—the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.

Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.

Ruth Reichl is the bestselling author of the memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me With Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You, Mom, Finally; the novel Delicious!; and, most recently, the cookbook My Kitchen Year. She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years. Previously she was the restaurant critic for The New York Times and served as the food editor and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. She has been honored with six James Beard Awards for her journalism, magazine feature writing, and criticism. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two cats.

 

Left Bank Brasserie
507 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

Kamala Harris - The Truths We Hold (Curran)

Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 6:30pm

 

Presented by Book Passage at The Curran
In Conversation with San Francisco Mayor London Breed

This event is now sold out. Thank you!

Join Senator Kamala Harris for an inspiring discussion about the core truths that unite us and the big challenges we face together.

In her new book, The Truths We Hold, Senator Harris draws on her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her to offer a master class in problem-solving, crisis management, and leadership in challenging times.

Known for being a voice for the voiceless, Senator Harris will explore the themes of The Truths We Hold and share her vision of our shared struggle, purpose, and values.

 

Curran
445 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Melinda Gates with Mandy Moore - The Moment of Lift (Dominican University)

Monday, May 6, 2019 - 7:00pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California
Tickets: $35 (includes book)
In Conversation with Mandy Moore

Please note: This event is currently sold out. There is no waitlist, but limited seats may become available at the door prior to the event.

For the last twenty years, Melinda French Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.

In The Moment of Lift, Melinda traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge” change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.

Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether and when to have children, Melinda took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning. That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family and medical leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.

Throughout, Melinda introduces us to her heroes in the movement towards equality, offers startling data, shares moving conversations she’s had with women from all over the world―and shows how we can all get involved.

A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Melinda’s journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world’s foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equity is the lever that lifts everything.

Melinda will be donating all the amounts she receives from this book to charity.

Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States. Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Duke University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, Bill. They have three children, Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe.

A Grammy® and Golden Globes® nominated actress, singer and songwriter—Mandy Moore continues to enjoy versatility in a career marked by memorable performances in family-friendly fare, independent features, and studio films. Moore appeared as Rebecca Pearson in the critically acclaimed NBC series, This Is Us, which earned Moore a Golden Globe Award nomination while the show received acclaim with Emmy nominations, Golden Globe nominations, and SAG Awards for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series”. Moore also voiced the lead character ‘Rapunzel’ in Disney’s animated film Tangled. On the big screen, Moore will next be seen alongside Woody Harrelson in Roland Emmerich’s Midway. The film is based on the true story of the Battle of Midway, a turning point in the pacific in World War II, and chronicles the exploits of soldiers and aviators involved in the battle. The film will be released in late 2019.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

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

David Brooks - The Second Mountain (Dominican University)

Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 6:00pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California
Tickets: $45 (includes book)

Please note: This event is currently sold out. There is no waitlist, but limited seats may become available at the door prior to the event.

Every so often, you meet a person who radiates joy. Who seems to know exactly why they were put on this earth, and glows with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness.

But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view…unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn’t my mountain after all. There’s another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain.

And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment.

In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose.

In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it’s also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, and binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme—and, in the process, we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.

David Brooks is one of the nation’s leading writers and commentators. He is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and appears regularly on PBS NewsHour and Meet the Press. He is the bestselling author of The Road to Character, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement; Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There; and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

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

Valerie Jarrett - Finding My Voice (Dominican University)

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 7:00pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California
In Conversation with Elaine Petrocelli
Tickets: $45 (includes book)

Tickets available at the door

When Valerie Jarrett interviewed a promising young lawyer named Michelle Robinson in July 1991 for a job in Chicago city government, neither knew that it was the first step on a path that would end in the White House. Jarrett soon became Michelle and Barack Obama’s trusted personal adviser and family confidante; in the White House, she was known as the one who “got” him and helped him engage his public life. Jarrett joined the White House team on January 20, 2009, and departed with the First Family on January 20, 2017, and she was in the room—in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and everywhere else—when it all happened. No one has as intimate a view of the Obama Years, nor one that reaches back as many decades, as Jarrett shares in Finding My Voice.

Born in Iran (where her father, a doctor, sought a better job than he could find in segregated America), Jarrett grew up in Chicago in the 60s as racial and gender barriers were being challenged. A single mother stagnating in corporate law, she found her voice in Harold Washington’s historic administration, where she began a remarkable journey, ultimately becoming one of the most visible and influential African-American women of the twenty-first century.

From her work ensuring equality for women and girls, advancing civil rights, reforming our criminal justice system, and improving the lives of working families, to the real stories behind some of the most stirring moments of the Obama presidency, Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.

Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Before joining the White House, she served as the chief executive officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, commissioner of Planning and Development, and deputy chief of staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Jarrett has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Time’s “100 Most Influential People.” She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. She is currently a senior adviser to the Obama Foundation and Attn and a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

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

Jason Rezaian with W. Kamau Bell - Prisoner (Dominican University)

Monday, January 28, 2019 - 7:00pm

Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California
Tickets: $45 (includes book)

Online ticket sales are now closed. Tickets available at the door.

In July 2014, Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian was arrested by Iranian police, accused of spying for America.

The charges were absurd. Rezaian’s reporting was a mix of human interest stories and political analysis. He had even served as a guide for Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. Initially, Rezaian thought the whole thing was a terrible misunderstanding, but soon realized that it was much more dire as it became an eighteen-month prison stint with impossibly high diplomatic stakes.

While in prison, Rezaian had tireless advocates working on his behalf. His brother lobbied political heavyweights including John Kerry and Barack Obama and started a social media campaign—#FreeJason—while Jason’s wife navigated the red tape of the Iranian security apparatus, all while the courts used Rezaian as a bargaining chip in negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal.

In Prisoner, Rezaian writes of his exhausting interrogations and farcical trial. He also reflects on his idyllic childhood in Northern California and his bond with his Iranian father, a rug merchant; how his teacher Christopher Hitchens inspired him to pursue journalism; and his life-changing decision to move to Tehran, where his career took off and he met his wife.

Written with wit, humor, and grace, Prisoner brings to life a fascinating, maddening culture in all its complexity.

Jason Rezaian served as Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post and is now an opinion writer for the paper and contributor to CNN. He was convicted—but never sentenced—of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife.

W. Kamau Bell is a socio-political comedian and the host of the Emmy Award-winning CNN docu-series United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. He recently made his Netflix debut with the stand-up comedy special, Private School Negro. Kamau has a book with the easy-to-remember title The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. He is the director of the critically-acclaimed documentary Cultureshock: Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain. Kamau has hosted three critically acclaimed podcasts: Kamau Right Now!, Politically Re-Active, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

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

Tom Barbash - The Dakota Winters (College of Marin)

Friday, March 29, 2019 - 1:00pm

College of Marin, Kentfield Library

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Other College of Marin ESCOM Lectures:

Jasmin Darznik - Song of a Captive Bird

Cara Black - Murder in Saint-Germain

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ESCOM is delighted to partner with Book Passage in bringing a free series of interesting authors to the community. ESCOM, the Emeritus Students College of Marin, is a unique organization of 1500 senior students within the Community Education Department at the College of Marin. The organization fosters lifelong learning through classes, clubs, special events and a reading room. They publish a newsletter of original writing and commentary. ESCOM is sustained by memberships, gifts and bequests. Leadership is through a Council and various committees.

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It’s the fall of 1979 in New York City when twenty-three-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton’s father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter, is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long, Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy’s stalled career, a mission that takes him from the gritty streets of New York, to the slopes of the Lake Placid Olympics, to the Hollywood Hills, to the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and brings him into close quarters with the likes of Johnny Carson, Ted and Joan Kennedy, and a seagoing John Lennon.

But the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father’s professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.

Tom Barbash grew up in New York and is the author of three books as well as numerous reviews, stories essays, and articles for publications including McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Believer, Narrative Magazine, One Story, StoryQuarterly, Zyzzyva, the Missouri Review, Story Magazine, Men’s Journal, ESPN the Magazine, BookForum, and the New York Times. His short story collection, Stay Up With Me, was nominated for the Folio Prize, and was picked as a Best Book of the Year by the Independent of London, NPR, Amazon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. British GQ, British Vogue, and British Harper’s Bazaar selected it for their summer book clubs. His novel, The Last Good Chance, was awarded The California Book Award, was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year, and was short listed for the Great Lakes Book Prize and the Saroyan International Prize. He has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The James Michener Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

College of Marin
Kentfield Library
Kentfield, CA 94904

Jasmin Darznik - Song of a Captive Bird (College of Marin)

Friday, April 26, 2019 - 1:00pm

College of Marin, Kentfield Library

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Other College of Marin ESCOM Lectures:

Cara Black - Murder in Saint-Germain

Tom Barbash - The Dakota Winters

..........................................................................................................................

ESCOM is delighted to partner with Book Passage in bringing a free series of interesting authors to the community. ESCOM, the Emeritus Students College of Marin, is a unique organization of 1500 senior students within the Community Education Department at the College of Marin. The organization fosters lifelong learning through classes, clubs, special events and a reading room. They publish a newsletter of original writing and commentary. ESCOM is sustained by memberships, gifts and bequests. Leadership is through a Council and various committees.

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In Song of a Captive Bird, whether gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, or sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glace, Forugh Farrokzhad was always a rebel. Though Iran was Westernizing in the 1940s, during Forugh’s childhood, most of the country still believed that women were not to be heard from. Yet, at age eleven, young Forugh began writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father—and a passion for words lodged deeply within her. When she ended up in a suffocating marriage at sixteen, she ran away and fell into a passionate love affair which only increased her creative wingspan, leading her to seek freedom and independence.

Her poems were considered both scandalous and brilliant; Forugh was at once a national treasure and the devil too. She persevered, living by her own rules, at the cost of love, friendship, and eventually her own life, cut tragically short at the age of 32, amid the violent upheaval of the budding Iranian revolution.

In subsequent years, Forugh’s poetry was banned, the presses that printed her work burned to the ground, and citizens forced to hide away their treasured collections of her verses. To this day, Forugh Farrokhzad represents the birth of feminism in Iran, and Jasmin Darznik uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and ecstatic turmoil of this iconic woman’s story.

Jasmin Darznik’s debut novel Song of a Captive Bird was selected as a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” book as well as one of 2018’s “Best Books” by Vogue, Ms. and Newsweek.  Jasmin is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her books have been published and are forthcoming in seventeen countries, and her next book, a historical novel set in 1920s San Francisco, is forthcoming from Random House. She received a PhD in English from Princeton University and now teaches in the MFA creative writing program at California College of the Arts.

College of Marin
Kentfield Library
Kentfield, CA 94904

Cara Black - Murder on the Left Bank (College of Marin)

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 1:00pm

College of Marin, Kentfield Library

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Other College of Marin ESCOM Lectures:

Jasmin Darznik - Song of a Captive Bird

Tom Barbash - The Dakota Winters

..........................................................................................................................

ESCOM is delighted to partner with Book Passage in bringing a free series of interesting authors to the community. ESCOM, the Emeritus Students College of Marin, is a unique organization of 1500 senior students within the Community Education Department at the College of Marin. The organization fosters lifelong learning through classes, clubs, special events and a reading room. They publish a newsletter of original writing and commentary. ESCOM is sustained by memberships, gifts and bequests. Leadership is through a Council and various committees.

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As Murder on the Left Bank opens, a dying man drags his oxygen machine into the office of Éric Besson, a lawyer in Paris’s 13th arrondissement. The old man, an accountant, is carrying a dilapidated notebook full of meticulous investment records. For decades, he has been helping a cadre of dirty cops launder stolen money. The notebook contains his full confession—he’s waited 50 years to make it, and now it can’t wait another day. He is adamant that Besson get the notebook into the hands of La Proc, Paris’s chief prosecuting attorney, so the corruption can finally be brought to light. But en route to La Proc, Besson’s courier—his assistant and nephew—is murdered, and the notebook disappears.

Grief-stricken Éric Besson tries to hire private investigator Aimée Leduc to find the notebook, but she is reluctant to get involved. Her father was a cop and was murdered by the same dirty syndicate the notebook implicates. She’s not sure which she’s more afraid of, the dangerous men who would kill for the notebook or the idea that her father’s name might be among the dirty cops listed within it. Ultimately that’s the reason she must take the case, which leads her across the Left Bank, from the Cambodian enclave of Khmer Rouge refugees to the ancient royal tapestry factories to the modern art galleries.

Cara Black is the author of eighteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, and her books have been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently. 

College of Marin
Kentfield Library
Kentfield, CA 94904

Cooks with Books: Janet Fletcher - Wine Country Table (Insalata's Restaurant)

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 6:30pm

 

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

Please note: This event is currently at capacity

A luxurious guided tour of breathtaking farms and wineries with a garden-to-table cooking class from a prominent Napa Valley chef -- Wine Country Table showcases the spirit and dishes that make wine country entertaining an evergreen trend from coast to coast. Fifteen renowned producers whose sustainable practices show the future of responsible farming and winegrowing are profiled, including Cakebread Cellars, Domaine Carneros, Handley Cellars, and Tablas Creek Vineyard, along with Lodi Farming (cherries), Hilltop & Canyon Farms (avocados and citrus), and Henderson Orchards (pears).

Award-winning author Janet Fletcher's recipes turn any gathering into a celebration. Wine pairings and recommendations add sophistication to everyday meals. Wine Country Table shows readers firsthand how responsible growing practices and careful technique result in delicious dishes you'll be proud to share with family and friends.

Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of nearly 30 books on food and beverage, including Cheese & Wine, Cheese & Beer, Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, and Sur la Table's Eating Local: Recipes Inspired by America's Farmers. She publishes the weekly Planet Cheese blog and is the cheese columnist for Specialty Food and Somm Journal magazines. Fletcher's journalism has received three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award, and her food writing has appeared in numerous national publications, including the New York Times, Saveur, Fine Cooking, and Food & Wine.

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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.

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Can’t make the event? Need a gift? Click below to purchase the book now.

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

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