Class: Kerrin Meis - Modernism: Matisse to Mondrian

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 1:00pm
photo of art history teacher Kerrin Meis

Three Fridays: Sep 20, 27 & Oct 4 • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm • $110

(The dates listed in the newsletter - Sep 13, 20, 27 - had to be shifted forward one week due to an unexpected conflict in Kerrin's schedule.)

In the late nineteenth century, artists became less reliant on nature and more interested in art for art's sake. A debate about the role of art in society ensued with Schoenberg declaring that nothing done for a purpose was art, and Picasso claiming that art was a weapon with which to attack the enemy. We will study the ideas behind Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Italian Futurism, the Russian Avant-Garde, de Stijl , and Die Neue Sachlichkeit.

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years, and she leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Lily Bernheimer - The Shaping of Us (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 6:00pm

Spaces we live in define our identity and sense of community. Using international examples of environmental architecture and design, The Shaping of Us reveals the often imperceptible ways that our surroundings influence our behavior and quality of life. Lily Bernheimer explores productivity in work environments, biophilia, and pop culture phenomena such as "the IKEA effect," NIMBYism, and "ruin porn."

From woonerfs and roundabouts to the ubiquity of traffic lights, Le Corbusier's unrealized plan for Paris, and innovations in affordable housing, Bernheimer demonstrates that the environments we inhabit define us, from the earliest moments of our evolution to today. In understanding this, we can better plan and build environments that promote improved productivity, sustainable economies, and increased happiness and well-being.

Lily Bernheimer is a researcher, writer, and consultant in environmental psychology. She is founding director of Space Works Consulting, with offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, which aims to make everyday spaces work for the people and purposes they serve. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Shaping of Us: How Everyday Spaces Structure Our Lives, Behavior, and Well-Being Cover Image
ISBN: 9781595348722
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Trinity University Press - June 15th, 2019

Spaces we live in define our identity and sense of community. Using international examples of environmental architecture and design, The Shaping of Us reveals the often imperceptible ways that our surroundings influence our behavior and quality of life.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Dan Kovalik - The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela (Corte Madera Store)

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 7:00pm

Since 1999 when Hugo Chavez became the elected president of Venezuela, the US has been conniving to overthrow his government and to roll back the Bolivarian Revolution which he ushered in to Venezuela. With the untimely death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, and the election of Nicolas Maduro that followed, the US redoubled its efforts to overturn this revolution. The US is now threatening to intervene militarily to bring about the regime change it has wanted for twenty years.

While we have been told that the US’s efforts to overthrow Chavez and Maduro are motivated by altruistic goals of advancing the interests of democracy and human rights in Venezuela, is this true? The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela answers this question with a resounding “no,” demonstrating that:

  • The US’s interests in Venezuela have always centered upon one and only one thing:  Venezuela’s vast oil reserves;
  • The US has happily supported one repressive regime after another in Venezuela to protect its oil interests;
  • Chavez and Maduro are not the “tyrants” we have been led to believe they are, but in fact have done much to advance the interests of democracy and economic equality in Venezuela;
  • What the US and the Venezuelan opposition resent most is the fact that Chavez and Maduro have governed in the interest of Venezuela’s vast numbers of poor and oppressed racial groups;
  • While the US claims that it is has the humanitarian interests of the Venezuelan people at heart, the fact is that the US has been waging a one-sided economic war against Venezuela which has greatly undermined the health and living conditions of Venezuelans;
  • The opposition forces the US is attempting to put into power represent Venezuela’s oligarchy who want to place Venezuela’s oil revenues back in the hands of Venezuela’s economic elite as well as US oil companies.

The battle for Venezuela which is now being waged will determine the fate of all of Latin America for many years to come. The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela lets readers know what is at stake in this struggle and urges readers to reconsider which side they are on.

Dan Kovalik is the author of critically-acclaimed The Plot to Scapegoat Russia, The Plot to Attack Iran, and The Plot to Control the World and has been a labor and human rights lawyer since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. He has represented plaintiffs in ATS cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. He received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford Law School, has appeared on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, has written extensively for the Huffington Post and Counterpunch, and has lectured throughout the world.

The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil Cover Image
By Dan Kovalik, Oliver Stone (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781510750722
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hot Books - June 25th, 2019

An in-depth look at the US threat to "save" Venezuela

Since 1999 when Hugo Chavez became the elected president of Venezuela, the US has been conniving to overthrow his government and to roll back the Bolivarian Revolution which he ushered in to Venezuela.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Colson Whitehead - The Nickel Boys (Dominican University)

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 7:00pm


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

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. 
The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Colson Whitehead is the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Underground Railroad, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. A recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, he lives in New York City.


Please note: Tickets are non-refundable


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

Class: Melissa Cistaro - The Memoir Writer’s Survival Kit

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 10:00am
photo of author and writing teacher Melissa Cistaro

Saturday: Sept 21 • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm • $95

How does a writer survive the long journey of writing a deeply personal story? How do we handle the stages of rejection and self-doubt? Memoirist and industry insider, Melissa Cistaro will share her circuitous path to publication and the lessons she learned along the way. In this workshop, you will wrangle some new survival skills as a writer, flex your writing muscles, gather insider tips about the memoir market – and discover ways to thrive as you travel the path toward publication.

Melissa Cistaro is the author of the award-winning memoir Pieces of My Mother. Melissa mentors writers and teaches memoir writing workshops in the Bay Area and internationally.

What Students Are Saying about Melissa Cistaro

"Melissa’s compassionate feedback as a writing coach along with her generosity in sharing her years of experience, greatly enhanced my journey from manuscript to book signing. Her passion for mentoring writers is an absolute blessing." - Nisha Zenhoff, Author of The Unspeakable Loss

"Melissa is everything you would hope for in a teacher. She creates a safe learning and sharing space that facilitates valuable give and take and seems to know how to nudge students just the right way. She created a wonderful learning atmosphere, provided great writing exercises to get the creative juices flowing and provided encouraging feedback that kept us on track. I can't wait to take another class with her and highly recommend her to any aspiring writer." - S. Mirfattah

"I could not have asked for a better first time memoir writing class. Melissa was great and really set the mood for a safe and supportive workshop environment. The feedback she gave during class was always encouraging and helpful. I understand now how to go about writing my memoir and, most importantly, I feel very proud and courageous for attempting to share my story." - Nina Meechoonuk

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Salman Rushdie - Quichotte (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 1:00pm

Tickets: $31 (includes a copy of Quichotte)

Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where “Anything-Can-Happen.” Meanwhile, his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.

Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Salman Rushdie's Quichotte takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. And with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of Rushdie’s work, the fully realized lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.

Salman Rushdie is the author of thirteen previous novels—Grimus, Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, Luka and the Fire of Life, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, and The Golden House—and one collection of short stories: East, West. He has also published four works of nonfiction—Joseph Anton, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and Step Across This Line—and coedited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.


Please note that tickets are non-refundable.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925