Elizabeth Wetmore - Valentine (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 1:00pm

Mercy is hard in a place like this . . .

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, one of the town’s women decides to take matters into her own hands, setting the stage for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the reader’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, darkly funny, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.

Elizabeth Wetmore is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Epoch, Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Baltimore Review, Crab Orchard Review, Iowa Review, and other literary journals. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, as well as a grant from the Barbara Deming Foundation. She was also a Rona Jaffe Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf and a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and one of six Writers in Residence at Hedgebrook. A native of West Texas, she lives and works in Chicago.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Emily Gould - Perfect Tunes (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:00pm

It’s the early days of the new millennium, and Laura has arrived in New York City’s East Village with the hopes of recording her first album. A songwriter with a one-of-a-kind talent, she’s just beginning to book gigs when she falls hard for Dylan, a troubled but magnetic musician whose star is on the rise. Their time together is stormy and short-lived—Dylan dies a few months into their relationship—but will reverberate for the rest of Laura’s life.

Flash forward fourteen years: Laura’s daughter, Marie, is asking ques­tions about the father she never knew, questions that Laura does not want to answer. Laura has built a quiet life that bears little resemblance to the one she envisioned when she left Ohio all those years ago, and she’s taken pains to close the door on what was and what might have been. But Marie won’t let her, and when she attempts to track down Dylan’s family, both mother and daughter are forced to confront the heartbreak at the root of their relationship.

Funny, wise, and utterly immersive, Perfect Tunes explores the fault lines between parents and children, and asks whether dreams deferred can ever be reclaimed.

Emily Gould is the author of the novel Friendship and the essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever. With Ruth Curry, she runs Emily Books, which publishes books by women as an imprint of Coffee House Press. She has written for the New York TimesNew YorkThe New YorkerBookforum, and many other publications. She lives in New York City with her family.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Cooks with Books: Melissa Clark - Dinner in French (Left Bank, Larkspur)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 6:30pm

Presented by Book Passage at Left Bank Brasserie, Larkspur
Tickets: $130 (includes meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of Dinner in French)

Just as Julia Child brought French cooking to twentieth-century America, so now Melissa Clark brings French cooking into the twenty-first century. She first fell in love with France and French food as a child; her parents spent their August vacations traversing the country in search of the best meals with Melissa and her sister in tow. Near to her heart, France is where Melissa's family learned to cook and eat. And as her own culinary identity blossomed, so too did her understanding of why French food is beloved by Americans.

Now, as one of the nation's favorite cookbook authors and food writers, Melissa updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today. With recipes such as Salade Nicoise with Haricot Vert, Cornmeal and Harissa Soufflé, Scalloped Potato Gratin, Lamb Shank Cassoulet, Ratatouille Sheet-Pan Chicken, Campari Olive Oil Cake, and Apricot Tarte Tatin (to name a few), Dinner in French will quickly become a go-to resource and endure as an indispensable classic.

Melissa Clark is the author of Dinner, Dinner in an Instant, and Comfort in an Instant, and is a staff writer for the New York Times Food section, where she writes their wildly popular food column, “A Good Appetite.” The winner of multiple James Beard and IACP awards, Melissa is the host of the “Weeknight Kitchen” podcast on The Splendid Table. Melissa earned an MFA in writing from Columbia, and her work has been selected for the Best American Food Writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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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.

 

Left Bank Brasserie
507 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

Julia Phillips - Disappearing Earth (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, April 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls—sisters, eight and eleven—go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.

Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty—densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska—and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.

In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.

Julia Phillips is a Fulbright fellow whose writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Moscow Times. She lives in Brooklyn.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Julia Flynn Siler - The White Devil's Daughters (Corte Madera Store)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 7:00pm

Beginning in 1874, the Occidental Mission Home on the edge of San Francisco's Chinatown served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of enslaved and vulnerable young Chinese women and girls. Run by a courageous group of female abolitionists who fought the slave trade in Chinese women, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violence directed against its occupants and supporters. With compassion and an investigative historian's sharp eye, Julia Flynn Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists who challenged the corrosive anti-Chinese prejudices of the time and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the home defied contemporary convention--even occasionally breaking the law--by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked or by snatching them off ships as they were being smuggled in--and how they helped bring the exploiters to justice. She also shares the moving stories of many of the girls and young women who sought refuge at the mission, and she writes about the lives they went on to lead. The White Devil's Daughters is a remarkable chapter in an overlooked part of our history, told with sympathy and vigor.

Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her most recent book is Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure. 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. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Eric Nusbaum - Stealing Home (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 6:00pm

Dodger Stadium is an American icon. But the story of how it came to be goes far beyond baseball. The hills that cradle the stadium were once home to three vibrant Mexican American communities. In the early 1950s, those communities were condemned to make way for a utopian public housing project. Then, in a remarkable turn, public housing in the city was defeated amidst a Red Scare conspiracy.

Instead of getting their homes back, the remaining residents saw the city sell their land to Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now LA would be getting a different sort of utopian fantasy — a glittering, ultra-modern stadium.

But before Dodger Stadium could be built, the city would have to face down the neighborhood's families, including one, the Aréchigas, who refused to yield their home. The ensuing confrontation captivated the nation—and the divisive outcome still echoes through Los Angeles today.

Eric Nusbaum is a former sports editor at VICE. In addition to VICE, his work on sports, history, and culture has appeared in ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Outside, The Daily Beast, Deadspin, and the Best American Sports Writing anthology. Eric was born and raised in L.A. He has spent many hours both attending games at Dodger Stadium, and sitting in traffic to reach those games. He has also lived and worked in Seattle and Mexico City.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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