A few weeks ago in the pages of this paper, our own Rachel Dovey spotlighted Tom Cooper, a man fascinated with chronicling in book form the tankhouses of Sonoma County. We are enamored of those with idiosyncratic relationships to the minute details of their own terrain, and consequently we love Robert Sandberg and his single-focus book ‘Steps, Lanes and Paths of Mill Valley.’ Of course, these are no ordinary steps, lanes and paths; created around the turn of the century as shortcuts in town, they were abandoned with the advent of car travel, only to be unearthed and rebuilt in the 1990s. Sandberg is the premier authority on these small thoroughfares; he appears on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 2pm. Free. 415.927.0960.
Redemption for the long-vilified Wicked Witch of the West finally came in 1995, at the compassionate hands of writer Gregory Maguire. His book Wicked reintroduced the witch as an easily relatable, misunderstood and recklessly teased youth just trying to find her footing as the outcasted “green girl”—to say nothing of the immensely popular Broadway musical it inspired. Maguire’s newest novel, Out of Oz, concludes the magical, heartfelt saga following the Wicked characters. Maguire reads and discusses on Friday, Nov. 11, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. Free. 415.927.0960.