When I was a kid, my mom had a Best of Judy Collins record that I listened to obsessively, playing “Send in the Clowns” and “Both Sides Now” on repeat. Yes, even at the age of eight I was already prepping for a life of constant sorrow. It wasn’t until years later that I learned my favorite childhood folk singer was actually the inspiration for “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Turns out that Judy Collins had a two-year relationship with Stephen Stills that ended tragically when she left him for future Sgt. Stedenko Stacy Keach. No doubt, this will be discussed in her new book Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music, and in person when Judy Collins appears on Saturday, April 7, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1pm. 415.927.0960.
In local author Bart Schneider’s novel Nameless Dame, a mysterious murder is the talk of the town in Guerneville. Without giving too much away, this gripping mystery travels around Sonoma County in search of information linked to the crime. It’s just like getting in the middle of a real police investigation in the local neighborhood, without having to deal with the actual life-risking danger that’s involved. It’s up to Minnesota private investigator Augie Boyer to uncover the strange schemes happening up and down the coast before it’s too late. Get even closer to the action when Schneider reads and discusses his book on Thursday, March 15, at Readers’ Books (130 E. Napa St., Sonoma; 7:30pm; free; 707.939.1779) and Thursday, March 22, at Guerneville’s own River Reader (16355 Main St., Guerneville; 7pm; free; 707.869.2240).
How can corporations seemingly show up everywhere? Why can they get away with virtually everything? This Saturday, Jeff Clements answers those questions—and takes on Mitt Romney’s “corporations are people, my friend” comment—with his book Corporations Are Not People, informing readers of current corporate rights and their effect on the environment and the public at large. Clements’ book even provides some solutions to the issue. Yes, this book is going to be the survival kit in the case of a corporation apocalypse. Drive away from Wal-Mart and head down to Marin this Saturday, March 3, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1pm. $17.95. 415.927.0960.
Books on the political atmosphere are often smart, or at least smartly written. So when a weirdly penned but sensational “tell-all” comes down the publishing pipe and hits the bestseller list, it’s cause for amusement. In 200 years, no doubt, people will still be reading Dreams from My Father. Could we say the same for ‘Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime’? Basically a tabloid-like retelling of the 2008 election unworthy of the journalistic experience behind authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, the book boasts such turns of phrase as Hilary Clinton corralling “plenty of surrogates ready to sink their canines into Obama’s keister,” she having “never exactly been a buoyant Hubert Humphrey on the stump. . . .” Huh? If you’re lost as to what a “semiotician’s fantasia” is and you want an explanation “vomited verbally” (actual phrase from the book!), be there when Heilemann and Halperin appear on Sunday, March 14, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 2pm. 415.927.0960.Gabe Meline