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

Mark Arax - The Dreamt Land (College of Marin)

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 1:00pm

Friday Afternoon Author Series • College of Marin, Kentfield Library
Sponsored by Emeritus Students College of Marin, College of Marin Community Education and Lifelong Learning, and Book Passage

Other Friday Afternoon Author Lectures: Michael Shapiro - The Creative SparkLouise Aronson - Elderhood


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.


Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth. This is a heartfelt, beautifully written book about the land and the people who have worked it--from gold miners to wheat ranchers to small fruit farmers and today's Big Ag. Since the beginning, Californians have redirected rivers, drilled ever-deeper wells and built higher dams, pushing the water supply past its limit.

The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the "Golden State" myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation's biggest farmers--the nut king, grape king and citrus queen--tell their story here for the first time. This is a tale of politics and hubris in the arid West, of imported workers left behind in the sun and the fatigued earth that is made to give more even while it keeps sinking. But when drought turns to flood once again, all is forgotten as the farmers plant more nuts and the developers build more houses.

Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it.

Mark Arax is an author and journalist whose writings on California and the West have received numerous awards for literary nonfiction. A former staffer at the Los Angeles Times, his work has appeared in The New York Times and the California Sunday Magazine. His books include a memoir of his father's murder, a collection of essays about the West, and the best-selling The King of California, which won a California Book Award, the William Saroyan Prize from Stanford University, and was named a top book of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Fresno, California.

Kentfield Library
College of Marin
Kentfield, CA 94904

Class: Lynn Ryder - Reinvent Yourself After 50

Sunday, May 3, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Sunday, May 3 * 1:00-5:00 pm * $110

In our 50s, 60s and 70s, we begin a new phase of life – a new chapter.  Are you wondering: What’s next? Am I living the life I want to live - my best life?  How do I create a joyful and meaningful future?  Working with an exercise book, we’ll engage in discussions, journaling and short lectures to create a vision and a plan for your happy, healthy, fulfilling future.  Lynn Ryder, a personal coach for people over 50, is a former human resources consultant and trainer She is the author of Road to Fulfillment.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Anne Lamott - On Writing 2020

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 1:00pm
photo of author Anne Lamott

Saturday, May 9 • 1:00 - 4:00 pm • $175

Give the writer in your world (or yourself) a memorable and inspiring afternoon with Anne Lamott. Anne conducts this class the way she writes - openly and honestly, never shying away from difficult topics. Learn from, laugh with, and be motivated by this talented, humorous, and daring writer as she shares her insights on the process, techniques, challenges and joys of successful writing, followed by Q&A.

Anne Lamott is the author of 15 bestselling books including Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, Hard Laughter, and Operating Instructions. Her newest book is Almost Everything: Notes on Hope.

**If you reserve a space and need to cancel before May 1, you will be issued a store credit - not a refund. No refunds or store credits will be given for cancellations that occur after April 31.** 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Mike Robbins - We're All in This Together (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 7:00pm

What makes a great team? Author, leadership expert, and corporate consultant looks at how businesses can build trust and achieve high performance.

Have you ever been on a team where the talent was strong, but the team wasn't very good? On the flip side, have you ever been on a team where not every single member was a rock star, but something about the team just worked?

We've all had these types of experiences. And yet, it can be difficult to understand what makes one team successful and another one not.

In this book, Mike Robbins dives deep into the ways great teams build trust, collaborate, and perform at the highest level. As an expert in teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence, Mike draws on more than 18 years' experience working with top teams and organizations like Google and Microsoft, as well as his athletic career for the Kansas City Royals.

The book's core principles include fostering an environment of psychological safety, honoring diversity and inclusion, addressing and navigating conflict, building trust, and a maintain a balance of healthy expectations and empathy.

Also features interviews with high-level business leaders and thought leaders to provide insights into an ever-changing workplace culture.

Mike Robbins is the author of four books: Focus on the Good Stuff, Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken, Nothing Changes Until You Do, and Bring Your Whole Self to Work. An expert in emotional intelligence, leadership, teamwork, and company culture, Mike works with a diverse group of clients throughout the world, including: Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Dow Jones, the Houston Astros, Airbnb, and many more. He's a sought-after speaker and consultant who delivers keynotes and seminars for these and other organizations. He and his work have been featured in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, as well as on ABC News. He was a regular contributor to the Huffington Post for a decade and his books have been translated into 15 different languages.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Ying Compestine- How to Write & Sell Children's Books

Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 10:00am

Saturday, May 16, 10:00 am- 12:30 pm $75

This workshop will introduce you to the different genres of children’s books: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult.  You will learn the basic skill of writing and publishing books for children as well as how to find a good agent, creating a winning book proposal, selling your manuscript to a reputable publisher, and marketing your book.  

Ying Compestine  is the award winning author of 20 books including the acclaimed The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes and Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. Revolution has received over 30 international awards and is being adapted into an animated feature film. Her books are included in school syllabi globally.    

You may also register for this class combined with Ying's PM workshop "How to Edit Your Work Into a Bestselling Book" for a combined discounted price here.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925