POSTPONED: Anne Evers Hitz - Lost Department Stores of San Francisco (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 3:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In the late nineteenth century, San Francisco's merchant princes built grand stores for a booming city, each with its own niche. For the eager clientele, a trip downtown meant dressing up—hats, gloves and stockings required—and going to Blum's for Coffee Crunch cake or Townsend's for creamed spinach. The I. Magnin empire catered to a selective upper-class clientele, while middle-class shoppers loved the Emporium department store with its Bargain Basement and Santa for the kids. Gump's defined good taste, the City of Paris satisfied desires for anything French and edgy, youth-oriented Joseph Magnin ensnared the younger shoppers with the latest trends. Lost Department Stores of San Francisco looks back at the colorful personalities that created six major stores and defined shopping in San Francisco.

Anne Evers Hitz is a fifth-generation San Franciscan and a great-great-granddaughter of one of the Emporium department store's founders, F.W. Dohrmann. She is the author of Emporium Department Store and San Francisco's Ferry Building. A graduate of UC-Berkeley, Hitz is a writer, editor and project manager who has had her own communications consulting firm in San Francisco for more than twenty-five years. She is a guide for SF City Guides, a group of local volunteers who give free walking tours of San Francisco.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Lisa Alpine - Dance Life: Movin' & Groovin' Around the Globe (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In Dance Life: Movin’ & Groovin’ Around the Globe, Lisa Alpine combines her three all-encompassing passions—writing, travel, and dance—into a bouquet of stories that span her lifetime and the globe. From twerking with a nun in an Albanian orphanage to salsa-ing with a hottie under the burning sun in Cuba to braving an attempt at flamenco on a Parisian tabletop, these toe-tapping tales will inspire you to follow the call of a wild life, leaving home with your passport in hand and your dance shoes stuffed into the suitcase.

Lisa Alpine is a well-known dance teacher, travel writer, and author. Her Life Series book titles include: Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman (Foreword Reviews’ Gold Medal Travel Book of the Year Award) and Exotic Life: Travel Tales of an Adventurous Woman (1st place North American Book Awards). Her award-winning, dynamically delicious stories grace the pages of many anthologies, including Travelers’ Tales Best Travel Writing. Read her monthly online magazine about travel, dance, writing, culture, and inspiration at

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: Elizabeth Wetmore - Valentine (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 1:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

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

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

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

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

POSTPONED: Sixteen Rivers Press Poetry Event - Patrick Cahill, Terry Ehret & Eliot Schain (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Please join us for a special poetry event featuring three authors from Sixteen Rivers Press!

Sixteen Rivers Press is a shared-work, nonprofit poetry collective dedicated to providing an alternative publishing avenue for Northern California poets. Founded in 1999 by seven writers, the press is named for the sixteen rivers that flow into the San Francisco Bay. Since 2001, they have produced forty-six outstanding books of poetry, sharing our commitment to excellence with the poetry world.

Patrick Cahill
Patrick Cahill’s prose and poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His poems have twice won the Central Coast Writers Award. A cofounder and editor of Ambush Review, a San Francisco–based literary and arts journal, he was also a contributing editor for the Sonoma County anthology Digging Our Poetic Roots. He received his Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz and wrote a study of Whitman and visual experience in nineteenth-century America. Portions of this work have appeared in The Daguerreian Annual and Left Curve. Patrick lives in San Francisco, where he volunteers with San Francisco Recreation & Parks in habitat restoration.

The Machinery of Sleep
The Machinery of Sleep’s compressed, imagistic verse offers the reader an Objectivist’s eye (keen, but, with Cahill, never cold) and jazz-infused prose poems that demand attention and command respect. He speaks of “There where the story and desire begin,” reaching toward the ineffable and consistently arriving there—from an astonishingly beautiful poem to his young son to another articulating the very mysteries of childhood (“The dragon in the house he dreams / remembers the language even the child / crossing this field / no longer
knows, / though he sang it once.”) to postmodern near-surrealist riffs that keep the reader’s synapses firing. This book holds you in its grip and seems to take you apart, to deconstruct you word by word, image by image, in poems that are unexpected, sometimes unsettling, and always deeply energizing.

Terry Ehret
Terry Ehret, one of the founders of Sixteen Rivers Press, has published four collections of poetry, most recently Night Sky Journey from Kelly’s Cove Press. Her literary awards include the National Poetry Series, the California Book Award, the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, a nomination for the Northern California Book Reviewer’s Award, and five Pushcart Prize nominations. From 2004–2006, she served as the poet laureate of Sonoma County, where she lives and teaches writing.

Plagos/Plagiarisms — Ulalume González de Leόn
A Bilingual Edition with an Introduction by Octavio Paz, Translated by Terry Ehret, John Johnson, and Nancy J. Morales

Poet, essayist, and translator Ulalume González de Leόn believed that “Everything has already been said,” and thus each act of creation is a rewriting, reshuffling, and reconstructing of one great work. For this reason, she chose the title Plagios (Plagiarisms) for her book of collected poems. Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz called González de León “the best Mexicana poet since Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,” recognizing the visionary quality of her work. This first of three bilingual volumes presents several short collections of poems González de Leόn produced from 1968 to 1971, each of which explores the ephemeral nature of identity and its dependence on the ever-shifting ground of language and memory.

Eliot Schain
Eliot Schain’s poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Santa Monica Review, Another Chicago Magazine, and Miramar, among other journals, as well as in two anthologies: The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed, and Christopher Buckley and Gary Young’s Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California. Schain’s books include American Romance from Zeitgeist Press and Westering Angels from Small Poetry Press. He has served as the program director for the Poetry Society of America, has taught high school, and now works as a psychotherapist. A member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, he lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Mary.

The Distant Sound
The Distant Sound is a prismatic meditation on what it means to be human, especially when the body and mind seek their own paths to heaven. The poems employ the long Whitmanian breath and are often narrative, but with mysterious syntax whose goal is to bypass reason and activate the heart. Various themes are woven through first- and third-person accounts of the land, the divine, the dynamics between men and women, of humanity’s limits versus our imagination, and of poetry itself.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 6:30pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

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.


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