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.
The traditions of Burning Man, now one of the best known and least conventional festivals around, quickly gave rise to an entire culture extending beyond the week-long metropolis constructed each year in the Nevada desert. To wise up before this year’s festival, which starts Sept. 3, check out Steve Jones’ new book The Tribes of Burning Man, which explores the festival’s journey to popularity and the leaders who got it there. Find him on Thursday, August 4, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. Free. 415.927.0960.
If you’re not sick of murder cases after the recent Casey Anthony trial, here’s another. Lawyer Marcia Clark, who rose to fame as prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson case—perhaps the only in recent history to top Anthony’s—knows a few things about murder trials and, lucky for us, is willing to share them in fictionalized form. Her novel Guilt by Association was published in April and a sequel is forthcoming. The timing is perfect given the recent reading of the Anthony case verdict, which Clark has publicly denounced. Talk about crime both real and fictitious with Clark on Friday, July 22, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7:30pm. 415.927.0960.
Ladies, grab your gold hoops, hairspray, little black dress or whatever else it takes to make you feel like a star, and don’t forget your attitude. From Beyoncé to Rachel Berry, America has seen the rise and redefinition of the diva—a new role model for girls and women and a confident go-getter with all the sassy self-assurance of Glee’s Mercedes Jones and the fierceness worthy of Tyra Banks herself. Patricia V. Davis’ new book The Diva Doctrine aims to harness that concept and empower women of all ages; find Diva Davis herself at a reading and signing on Saturday, July 9, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Free. 415.927.0960.