Virtual Events

Conversations with Authors - Thomas Keller and David Breeden with Ruth Reichl (Virtual Event)

Monday, November 16, 2020 - 4:00pm

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

A portion of the proceeds of every signed copy of The French Laundry, Per Se purchased at Book Passage will be donated to San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Chef Thomas and Chef David:



Thank you for attending our talk last evening — it was our great pleasure to support both Book Passage and the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. If you’d like an excuse to buy another book from Book Passage, here are some of our favorites to round out your culinary bookshelf:

From Chef Thomas Keller:

  • Ma Gastronomie was the first cookbook that made me more conscious of the entire dining experience. It made me think of the guest; the culture surrounding food and restaurants. More importantly, Fernand Point’s cookbook was not a cookbook in the traditional sense. He only gave ideas—more like a narrative; it is not about weights and measurements of recipes but their flavor profiles so a finished dish could become your own.

From Chef David Breeden:

—Thomas and David


Thomas Keller and David Breeden's newest release, The French Laundry, Per Se is filled with meticulously detailed recipes for 70 beloved dishes that will change how young chefs, determined home cooks, and dedicated food lovers understand and approach their cooking.

Thomas Keller is the author of Bouchon, Under Pressure, Ad Hoc at Home, and Bouchon Bakery and has six restaurants and five bakeries in the United States. He is the first and only American chef to have two Michelin Guide three-star-rated restaurants, the French Laundry and Per Se, both of which continue to rank among the best restaurants in America and the world. In 2011 he was designated a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, the first American male chef to be so honored. He has received countless accolades, including The Culinary Institute of America’s “Chef of the Year” Award and the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” Awards.

David Breeden is chef de cuisine of The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, where he began as the kitchen’s butcher. Born and raised in East Tennessee, David grew up exposed to a wide range of culinary styles including traditional Appalachian, low-country, and French cuisines. He attended culinary school and began his restaurant career in Charleston, South Carolina. David’s career took him to California and later to New York City, where he spent six years working at Per Se before returning to The French Laundry.

Ruth Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published Mmmmm: A Feastiary. She moved to Berkeley, California in 1973, and became co-owner and cook at The Swallow Restaurant. In1978 she became restaurant critic for New West and California magazines, and went on to be the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times. From 1993-1999 she served as restaurant critic for the New York Times. In 1999 she moved to Gourmet Magazine, where she was Editor in Chief for ten years.

She has authored five memoirs, Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, For You, Mom, Finally, and Save Me the Plums, which was published in 2019. Her novel, Delicious! was published in 2014, and her cookbook, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life in 2015. She edited Best American Food Writing 2018, and The Modern Library Food Series, which currently includes ten books. She was Executive Producer and host of the public television series, Adventures with Ruth and a judge on Top Chef Masters. She is the recipient of six James Beard Awards. At the moment she is working on a novel. Her most recent project is a documentary, with Laura Gabbert, director of City of Gold, about the ways the current pandemic is altering the food landscape.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Naomi Wolf (Virtual Event)

Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, November 14th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Johanna Baldwin

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Naomi Wolf‘s latest book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love, explores the history of state-sponsored censorship and violations of personal freedoms through the inspiring, forgotten history of one writer’s refusal to stay silenced.

Naomi made a sensation with her landmark international bestseller The Beauty Myth in 1991. She’s lectured widely on the themes in Outrages, presenting lectures on John Addington Symonds at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, at Balliol College, Oxford, and to the undergraduates in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. Naomi has written eight nonfiction bestsellers about women’s issues and civil liberties, including Vagina: A New Biography, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries. She is also the cofounder and president of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. She lives in New York City.

Johanna Baldwin is a writer and producer whose work includes film, television, theatre and short stories. All (Wo)men Desire To Know is her debut novel. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications from The New York Times to The London Evening Standard. One of those stories, “Her Private Serenade,” is featured in the book More New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of The New York Times.

Her body of work is influenced by her travels and many homes over the years—from her birthplace in Dallas to Kansas City, Los Angeles, Paris, London, and now New York City. Her greatest inspiration however comes from individuals and their true stories. Baldwin began her career as a literary agent at Creative Artists Agency.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Mindy Uhrlaub - Unnatural Resources (In-Person/Virtual Event)

Friday, October 30, 2020 - 6:30pm

Friday, October 30, 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET
In-Person Event at Deer Park Villa, Fairfax & Virtual Event Simulcast via YouTube Live

When her Congolese village is destroyed by an invading militia group, eleven-year-old Therese is injured and outcast. Stranded with only her little brother’s best friend in a war-torn jungle, she is forced to make a choice: lie down and become another victim of the war or stand up and survive. Desperate to find her mother and beloved brother, Felix, she uses her greatest gift, her knowledge of English, to navigate the vast web of humanitarian aid groups. Along the way, she meets the charismatic one-legged teenager, Robert, who takes her on an adventure with a film crew which becomes her lifeline back home.

Luna, Therese’s mother, has been taken as a slave and concubine to the handsome and evil leader of the militia, The General. In a harrowing act of bravery, she uses her own knowledge of languages to make the difficult choice to escape into the mountainous jungle. In her struggle to reunite with Therese and Felix, some of the least likely people become her friends. With its themes of women’s empowerment, Unnatural Resources is a stunning and unflinchingly brutal redefinition of the meaning of family. This book tells the story of a young Congolese girl who becomes a symbol of hope in the worst place in the world to be female.

Deer Park Villa
367 Bolinas Road
Fairfax, CA 94930

Conversations with Authors - Michael J. Sandel with Pete Buttigieg (Virtual Event)

Monday, October 12, 2020 - 5:30pm

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Online • Live • 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Michael J. Sandel’s new book, The Tyranny of Merit, offers an alternative way of thinking about success—a view more attentive to the role of luck in human affairs, more conducive to an ethic of humility and solidarity, and more affirming of the dignity of work.

Michael teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His writings―on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets―have been translated into 27 languages. His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where Sandel was named the “most influential foreign figure of the year.” His books relate enduring themes of political philosophy to the most vexing moral and civic questions of our time. They include What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets; Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering; Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics; Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy; and Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.

Pete Buttigieg served two terms as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and was a Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2020. A graduate of Harvard University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, He served for seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, taking a leave of absence from the mayor’s office for a deployment to Afghanistan in 2014. In April 2019 he announced his candidacy for president and in February 2020 won the Iowa Caucuses, becoming the first openly gay person to ever win a presidential primary or caucus. He is the author of Trust, an urgent call to foster an “American way of trust” at this painfully polarized juncture in our nation’s history, as well as the memoir, The Shortest Way Home.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.


Conversations with Authors - Jamie Ritchie (Virtual Event)

Sunday, November 22, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Avram Kosasky

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Jamie:


Thank you so much for joining Avram and me to talk about a life in the world of wine and The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. Avram brought out so many interesting topics from the evolution of wine styles to sustainability to the global demand for wine to the launch of Sotheby's Own Label Collection. Wine is a complex subject that is intimidating for many people and the Encyclopedia really breaks down each area and is written in a way that makes it very easy to understand.

There has never been a better time to enjoy and explore the world of wine, as $20 we spend on a bottle today is buying us a much better wine than it would have 5, 10, or 15 years ago.

I enjoy talking about our business and am continually interested in reading a wide variety of publications, e-newsletters, and books. My most recent favorite books are:


Food, Cocktails & Restaurants

  • Table Talk by A.A. Gill — Stories and a unique perspective that will have you laughing out loud
  • Dirt by Bill Buford — Bill tells the story of working in restaurants in France
  • The Third Plate by Dan Barber — A great chef lays out his thoughts on the food system
  • The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan — A huge influence in bar tending
  • The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale Degroff — A master of the cocktail
  • Pour Me, A Life by A.A. Gill — A memoir about alcoholism told by a brilliant raconteur
  • My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Camara — Chef of one of my most favorite restaurants in the world


  • Lead and Disrupt by Charles O’Reilly & Michael Tushman — How to embrace change
  • Collective Genius by Hill, Brandeau, Truelove & Lineback — How to lead innovation
  • Luxury Wine Marketing by Peter Yeung & Liz Thach — How to think about marketing in the luxury wine market

If you are interested in Sotheby’s, please email or follow on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Best wishes,


Jamie Ritchie, head of Sotheby’s wine, is proud to present The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, an essential reference for oenophiles—long used as the go-to text for the prestigious Master Sommelier examination—and the most comprehensive guide to the world of wine, featuring authoritative information on the history, culture, geography, and taste of vintages around the globe.

Jamie became head of Sotheby’s global wine business in May of 2016. He joined Sotheby’s in London in 1990 and was responsible for launching Sotheby’s wine auctions in New York in 1994 and in Hong Kong in 2009. More recently, Mr. Ritchie was responsible for launching Sotheby’s Wine, a retail store and online wine business, becoming the only major global auctioneer offering fine wines at retail. He is also a respected authority in the wine market and has been regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and Wine Spectator Magazine.


A note from Avram:

Thank you all for joining Jamie and me for this conversation. I so enjoyed getting to hear his insight and stories from the highest echelons of our business, and I am so grateful you could share it with us. The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia is an indispensable resource. I cannot think of another publication that compares in its breadth of information and clarity, and I encourage each of you to further your journey into wine with your own copy.


Food + Thought

  • Drinking French by David Lebovitz — We all want to live his life.
  • My Last Sigh by Luis Buñuel — A fascinating memoir from the film director, including a multi-page treatise on the perfect martini.
  • Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins — A document of a special couple, and how their hospitality set the table for culture.


Avram Kosasky lives and works in New York City selling natural and terroir driven wines to the city’s best restaurants and retailers. Raised in the rolling hills of Marin County, wine country was never far away. After studying conceptual art and working in magazines and industrial design, he found himself always drawn back to the many and exquisite expressions of the vine. He devotes himself to seeking out new wines and producers and sharing them with his community and friends.


Below, please find links to purchase his book.



Conversations with Authors - Deborah Madison (Virtual Event)

Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, November 21st, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Jane Hirshfield

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Deborah:

Dear Conversation Watchers,

I so appreciate your watching my conversation with Jane Hirshfield about An Onion in My Pocket and your support of Book Passage. It’s so important to support our wonderful independent book stores!

And I just want to add that for Thanksgiving, my husband and I will probably enjoy a good lasagna with homemade pasta—his request and my pleasure.

Books I’ve read and am reading:

Starting last March I was rereading books on my shelf:

My best to you all,
—Deborah Madison

Deborah Madison’s An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables is a warm, bracingly honest memoir that gives us an insider’s look at the vegetarian movement.

Deborah is the author of fourteen cookbooks and countless articles on food, cooking, and farming. She is revered for bringing vegetarian cooking to a wide audience, including non-vegetarians, via Greens restaurant and her cookbooks. A bestselling author, her first cookbook was The Greens Cookbook and her recent books include The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Vegetable Literacy, which was awarded both a James Beard award and an IACP award. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, painter Patrick McFarlin.

Jane Hirshfield is one of our most celebrated contemporary poets and the author of nine collections of poetry, including Ledger; The Beauty, long-listed for the National Book Award and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015; Come, Thief; After, named a Best Book of 2006 by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Financial Times, and a finalist for England’s prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize; Given Sugar, Given Salt, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award; The Lives of the Heart; The October Palace; Of Gravity & Angels, winner of the Poetry Center Book Award; and Alaya.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Deborah Tannen (Virtual Event)

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 4:00pm

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Amy Tan

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Deborah:


What a great pleasure and privilege it was to connect across the continent with Amy Tan, a dear friend with whom I share so much history and affection—and to connect with you as well.

I missed seeing you all in person. At in-person events, seeing nodding, smiling, and sometimes laughing faces keeps me going. But even though I couldn’t see you, knowing you were there made all the difference, and I’m grateful that going virtual meant more of you could attend.

Thank you for coming. And thank you to Book Passage for bringing us together, and for bringing readers and writers together day after day, connecting us with each other, and with books—and, through books, with the ideas and emotions swirling around us, and within us, in these surreal times.

Here are some books published this year that I really enjoyed:

I’m especially pleased to mention Richard Ford’s new story collection. Here’s why: As a member of the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation (a unique literary organization that Amy introduced me to), I co-chair the committee that administers the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and Ford is a past winner of that prize. I’ll also mention other story collections recently published by PEN/Malamud winners:

And a wonderful novel soon to be published by another PEN/Malamud prize winner:

Finally, I’ll mention The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, who will receive this year’s PEN/Malamud prize on Dec. 4. The award ceremony will be online, so you’re all welcome to attend.


Deborah Tannen’s newest work, Finding My Father: His Century-Long Journey from World War I Warsaw and My Quest to Follow, traces her father’s life from turn-of-the-century Warsaw to New York City in an intimate memoir about family, memory, and the stories we tell.

Deborah is University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and author of many books and articles about how the language of everyday conversation affects relationships. She is best known as the author of New York Times bestseller You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. This is the book that brought gender differences in communication style to the forefront of public awareness. In addition to her eight books for general audiences, Deborah is author or editor of sixteen books and over one hundred articles for scholarly audiences. She is also a frequent guest on television and radio news and has been featured in and written for most major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, HuffPost, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, People, and The Harvard Business Review. She lives with her husband in the Washington, D.C., area.

Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club remains a classic examination of the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. Her other novels are The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, and The Valley of Amazement, all New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of two memoirs, The Opposite of Fate and Where the Past Begins, two children’s books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, and numerous articles for magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, and National Geographic.


Below, please find links to purchase their books, as well as Deborah's recommended titles.



Conversations with Authors - Andrea Bemis (Virtual Event)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 4:00pm

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Erin Gleeson

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Andrea Bemis’ second cookbook, Local Dirt: Seasonal Recipes for Eating Close to Home, is a dazzling collection of inventive recipes using farm-fresh ingredients, inspired by her commitment to supporting the local food movement.

Andrea is the writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind the cookbook Dishing Up The Dirt and the food blog of the same name. Andrea’s recipes focus on using whole, locally-sourced foods—incorporating the philosophy of eating as close to the land as possible. Her recipes have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Well and Good NYC, and Eating Well Magazine. She lives and runs a sixty-acre organic farm outside of Portland, Oregon with her husband and their dog.

Erin Gleeson is the author, illustrator, and photographer behind the New York Times bestselling cookbooks The Forest Feast, The Forest Feast for Kids, The Forest Feast Gatherings, and The Forest Feast Mediterranean, as well as the popular blog by the same name. Erin teaches Photography in Continuing Studies at Stanford University and lives in a cabin in the woods in Northern California.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Mikel Jollett (Virtual Event)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 4:00pm

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Tom Barbash

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Mikel:


Thank you all so much for spending an hour with us to talk about my book, family, music, addiction, the masks we wear, and the writing of details which argue for their existence! I truly enjoyed this.

Tom’s pointed question about This Boy’s Life and Stop-Time got me thinking about all the wonderful books that I had at my fingertips when writing Hollywood Park. (They weren’t all memoirs). I believe the best books answer the question, “What was this world like for you?” And it was probably the question I thought about most when writing. Anyway, if you don’t already have them, I highly recommend that you consider picking up one of these incredible books from Book Passage:


Mikel Jollett‘s remarkable new memoir of a tumultuous life, Hollywood Park, is both the story of a man born into one of the country’s most infamous cults and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse; and the story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer

Mikel is the frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event. Prior to forming the band, he graduated with honors from Stanford University. Mikel was an on-air columnist for NPR’s All Things Considered, an editor-at-large for Men’s Health and an editor at Filter magazine. His fiction has been published in McSweeney’s.

Tom Barbash is the author of the novels The Dakota Winters and The Last Good Chance and the non-fiction book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11; A Story of Loss and Renewal, which was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts series. He currently teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts. He grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and now lives in Marin County, California


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Conversations with Authors - Marilyn Chase (Virtual Event)

Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Jan Yanehiro

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Marilyn:

Dear Book Passage Community,

Thank you so much for inviting me into your community of engaged book lovers. What a treat!

I so appreciate all the engaged viewers—905!—asking great questions at my talk about Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa.

As a longtime journalist, and writer of narrative nonfiction books—steeped in research, citations, and the world of facts—I love to read fiction for pleasure while I'm writing. So my reading this year includes lots of novels, including:

  • The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante. This tour of a teen's psyche darkens as she learns her ideal academic parents are dissemblers, living in a world of secrets. As a fan of Ferrante's Neapolitan quartet, beginning with My Brilliant Friend, I love the window she opens onto Italian society, female friendships, and gender politics.
  • The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. I marvel at her rendering of Native American experience with steel and heart. My favorite remains LaRose, and I will be haunted forever by the sacrifice made by a loving couple to heal their neighbors' loss.  Nobody can touch the way she seamlessly weaves the tragic and comical elements of family life.
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. He beguiled me with his magical realist take on the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railway.
  • The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel. We waited so long for this capstone to her trilogy beginning with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Nonfiction exceptions to my fiction-only diet:

  • >Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel, which explored female painters of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Their lives and choices were the antithesis of the artist I wrote about, Ruth Asawa.  Their style throws into relief all of Ruth's rare, if not unique, qualities as an artist and public citizen that I wanted to document.
  • The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson's portrait of the leader everyone thought they knew but didn't—Winston Churchill—has pride of place on my nightstand among 18 books.

This spring I'll be reading lots more nonfiction narrative for a class I'll be teaching at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism called, "Telling Life Stories: Biography and Social Justice."  Inspired by five years of research on Ruth Asawa, the class will build on the notion that telling a single life story is a way to address great themes of social justice in a personal, palpable and fully-fleshed way. I'm looking forward to diving into biographies of John Lewis, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and many more change-makers with my graduate students!

Again, heartfelt thanks for hosting me.

Stay safe,

Marilyn Chase’s compelling new biography, Everything She Touched, recounts the life of WWII prison camp survivor Ruth Asawa, who broke barriers of race and gender to become an artist of genius.

Marilyn is an author, journalist, and teacher at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. After more than two decades as a reporter and columnist for The Wall Street Journal focusing on health science, she returned to independent writing and teaching. She has taught narrative writing at her alma mater Stanford, as well as news, health, business, and narrative writing as a Continuing Lecturer for her grad school at U.C. Berkeley. She is also the author of The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco, which tells the story of a young public health doctor treating patients during an outbreak of bubonic plague in the city’s Chinatown in 1900.

Jan Yanehiro is a well renowned broadcast journalist who has won several Emmys for her work. She has also co-authored three books including This is Not The Life I Ordered.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.




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