Elena Schwolsky - Waking in Havana (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:00pm

Compelled by her anti-war work with returning Vietnam veterans and her passion for social justice, Elena Schwolsky traveled to the then-forbidden island of Cuba in 1972 with a brigade of youthful volunteers to help build houses for workers and support the still young Cuban Revolution; a decision that would shape her life and ultimately lead her back to Cuba twenty years later—as she shares in her beautifully narrated new book Waking in Havana: A Memoir of AIDS and Healing in Cuba.

Elena returns to the island––a pediatric AIDS nurse weary from the constant loss and sorrow surrounding her work, a grieving widow dealing with the death of her husband—himself a victim of the disease, and a lifelong activist hoping to reconnect with the resilient spirit she felt as a young ‘brigadista’. The author takes readers along through her humorous attempts to navigate this very different culture—into Havana’s controversial AIDS sanatorium and the lives of the generous, opinionated and passionate Cubans who become her family and help her to heal.

Elena Schwolsky, RN, MPH, is a nurse, community health educator, activist, and writer who spent a decade as a pediatric nurse at the height of the AIDS epidemic. She has trained AIDS educators in Cuba and Tanzania and currently teaches community health workers in diverse urban neighborhoods in New York City. Her essays have appeared in The American Journal of Nursing and The Veteran, and her work has been included in the anthologies Storied Dishes: What Our Family Recipes Tell Us About Who We Are and Where We’ve Been and Reflections on Nursing: 80 inspiring stories on the art and science of nursing. A chapter she co-wrote appears in the textbook Children, Families and AIDS: Psychosocial and Therapeutic Issues. Schwolsky is the recipient of a writing award from the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund and is proud to be recognized as the madrina (godmother) of Proyecto Memorias, the Cuban AIDS Quilt project.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Fergus M. Bordewich - Congress at War (Corte Madera Store)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 7:00pm

The story of how Congress helped win the Civil War--a new perspective that puts the House and Senate, rather than Lincoln, at the center of the conflict.

This brilliantly argued new perspective on the Civil War overturns the popular conception that Abraham Lincoln single-handedly led the Union to victory and gives us a vivid account of the essential role Congress played in winning the war.

Building a riveting narrative around four influential members of Congress--Thaddeus Stevens, Pitt Fessenden, Ben Wade, and the pro-slavery Clement Vallandigham--Fergus Bordewich shows us how a newly empowered Republican party shaped one of the most dynamic and consequential periods in American history. From reinventing the nation's financial system to pushing President Lincoln to emancipate the slaves to the planning for Reconstruction, Congress undertook drastic measures to defeat the Confederacy, in the process laying the foundation for a strong central government that came fully into being in the twentieth century. Brimming with drama and outsized characters, Congress at War is also one of the most original books about the Civil War to appear in years and will change the way we understand the conflict.

Fergus M. Bordewich is the author of seven nonfiction books, including The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the GovernmentAmerica's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union; and Washington: The Making of the American Capital. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Jean Parvin Bordewich.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Joshua Hammer - The Falcon Thief (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.

So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globetrotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors for royals in the United Arab Emirates—where falcon races have multimillion-dollar purses and a champion bird might just be worth risking prison for—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s determined to protect the world’s birds of prey from one of the most irrepressible predators of our time.

The Falcon Thief whisks readers from the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, all in pursuit of a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own. It’s a story that’s part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure—and wholly unputdownable until the very last page.

Joshua Hammer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Outside. He lives in Berlin.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Corey Fischer - Telling Your Story

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm
photo of actor, storytelling teacher Corey Fischer

Corey is unable to teach this class.  He was originally scheduled to teach a workshop on January 19 which will now be taught by Nina Wise as a benefit for Corey's medical expenses. To learn more click the link below:

https://www.bookpassage.com/event/class-nina-wise-corey-fischer-finding-your-story

Creating on your feet, out loud, is a powerful way to explore and expand your “voice” as a writer or a storyteller. Award-winning actor/writer/director Corey Fischer uses free-writing exercises, theatre games, and prompts for group sharing in a safe and supportive setting as he guides each student in discovering, shaping and performing a particular personal story. In the final class, participants will share their stories with a small, invited audience. This class is for anyone who wants to tell their own stories – on the page or on the “stage.”

Corey Fischer, co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre (1978-2012), has been creating and teaching theatre over 50 years. He views autobiographical storytelling as a much-needed way to open imagination and memory and to nurture community.

What Students Say About Corey Fischer

“Corey Fischer is an amazing teacher.  I took his workshops in storytelling, performance, and improvisation whenever I could. Each time my mind opened, my body became more energized and limber, my spirit and imagination expanded – always in an atmosphere of safety, human connection, and enjoyment. I highly recommend Corey as an extraordinary teacher for anyone seeking to express their creativity, find their storytelling voice, and have a lot of fun along the way.” -- Jonathan D. Greenberg, Executive Director, Gandhi King Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Stanford Law School

“With humor and heart, Corey guides you to the wild, unknown parts of your creativity.  He is a teacher not to be missed: a man with a lifetime of experience, an insightful perspective, and a gentle and supportive approach. He grounds you as you leap into the unknown, and expertly helps you shape what you bring back from your explorations.” – Naomi Stein, writer, performer

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Craig Fehrman - Author in Chief (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm

In the tradition of The Gatekeepers and The Presidents Club, historian Craig Fehrman offers a surprising new look into both the public and private lives of America’s presidents.

Most Americans are familiar with Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped win him the presidency: his published collection of speeches entitled Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln labored in secret to get his book ready for the 1860 election, tracking down newspaper transcripts, editing them carefully for fairness, and hunting for a printer who would meet his specifications. Political Debates sold fifty thousand copies—the rough equivalent of half a million books in today’s market—and it reveals something about Lincoln’s presidential ambitions. But it also reveals something about his heart and mind. When voters asked about his beliefs, Lincoln liked to point them to his book.

In Craig Fehrman’s groundbreaking work of history, Author in Chief, the story of America’s presidents and their books opens a rich new window into presidential biography. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, the first presidential book to influence a campaign, and John Adams’s Autobiography, the first score-settling presidential memoir, Author in Chief draws on newly uncovered information—including never-before-published letters from Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to offer insights into the aspirations and inner lives of our nation’s presidents. We see Teddy Roosevelt, known today for his rugged adventures and bulletproof self-confidence, as a vulnerable first-time author, struggling to write the book that would become a classic of American history. We see Ronald Reagan painstakingly revising Where’s the Rest of Me?, a forgotten memoir in which he sharpened his sunny political image. We see Donald Trump negotiating the deal for Art of the Deal, the volume that made him synonymous with business savvy—and decades later boosted him again on his way to the White House.

Combining the narrative skill of a journalist with the rigorous scholarship of a historian, Fehrman presents hundreds of new stories, scenes, quotations, and telling details to create an entirely fresh take on our highest leaders. Author in Chief is a feast for history lovers, book lovers, and everybody curious about a behind-the-scenes look at our presidents.

Craig Fehrman is a journalist and historian who’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Madeline Levine - Ready or Not (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

In The Price of Privilege, respected clinician, Madeline Levine was the first to correctly identify the deficits created by parents giving kids of privilege too much of the wrong things and not enough of the right things. Continuing to address the mistaken notions about what children need to thrive in Teach Your Children Well, Levine tore down the myth that good grades, high test scores, and college acceptances should define the parenting endgame. In Ready or Not, she continues the discussion, showing how these same parenting practices, combined with a desperate need to shelter children from discomfort and anxiety, are setting future generations up to fail spectacularly.

Increasingly, the world we know has become disturbing, unfamiliar, and even threatening. In the wake of uncertainty and rapid change, adults are doubling-down on the pressure-filled parenting style that pushes children to excel. Yet these daunting expectations, combined with the stress parents feel and unwittingly project onto their children, are leading to a generation of young people who are overwhelmed, exhausted, distressed—and unprepared for the future that awaits them. While these damaging effects are known, the world into which these children are coming of age is not. And continuing to focus primarily on grades and performance are leaving kids more ill-prepared than ever to navigate the challenges to come.

But there is hope. Using the latest developments in neuroscience and epigenetics (the intersection of genetics and environment), as well as extensive research gleaned from captains of industry, entrepreneurs, military leaders, scientists, academics, and futurists, Levine identifies the skills that children need to succeed in a tumultuous future: adaptability, mental agility, curiosity, collaboration, tolerance for failure, resilience, and optimism. Most important, Levine offers day-to-day solutions parents can use to raise kids who are prepared, enthusiastic, and ready to face an unknown future with confidence and optimism.

Madeline Levine, PhD, is a clinician, consultant, and educator; the author of the New York Times bestseller The Price of Privilege; and a cofounder of Challenge Success, a project of the Stanford School of Education that addresses education reform, student well-being,and parent education. She lives outside San Francisco with her husband and is the proud mother of three grown sons and a newly minted granddaughter.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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