Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 14: Kevin Smokler at Copperfield's Books Petaluma

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Of all the novels I read in high school, I remember only a handful. I loved Lord of the Flies, A Tale of Two Cities and Catcher in the Rye. I hated The Scarlet Letter and I was baffled by Ethan Frome. But I’ve only re-read one of these books as an adult (hint: it involves a pig’s head on a stick). In his new book Practical Classics, Kevin Smokler uses the essay form to persuade readers to pick up and read again 50 books commonly assigned in high school English class. Pride and Prejudice, Cannery Row, Animal Farm and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” all make Smokler’s list, as does my old snore-inducing nemesis The Scarlet Letter in an essay titled “I Don’t Like It Either.” Kevin Smokler appears on Tuesday, May 14 at Copperfields's Books. 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma. 7pm. 707.762.0563.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jan. 22: Tracy Kidder at Book Passage

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Biographies are a dime a dozen, but Pulitzer Prize—winning nonfiction writer Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains—the story of renegade physician and Partners in Health cofounder Paul Farmer—stands out. Kidder is the type of writer that can teach the rest of us writers something real and, luckily, he’s written a new book, along with magazine and book editor Richard Todd, that does just that. Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction distills the stories and advice that developed from years of practice. Tracy Kidder talks about good prose on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. 415.927.0960.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dec. 2: "Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up" Reading at Book Passage (Featuring Pam Houston)

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Come on, ladies, it’s time to admit it. We all have a drinking story or two, or 20. What about the New Year’s Eve you got so drunk that you made out with the wrong boy and lost your red heels in the bushes next to 7-Eleven? Or the time you gulped down a pint of Jägermeister like it was soda, followed by too many slugs of cheap whiskey, only to end up puking outside the venue while the raddest lineup of the year was just getting started? Enter Caren Osten Gerszberg and Leah Odze Epstein, who created their Drinking Diaries blog as a forum for women to “share, vent, express and discuss their drinking stories without judgment.” Now those stories are available in book form with ‘Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up.’ In a celebration of the book’s release, contributors Joyce Maynard and Pam Houston share their drinking tales on Sunday, Dec. 2, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. Free. 415.927.0960.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nov.1: Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) at Copperfield's Petaluma

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Fans of Lemony Snicket will be overjoyed (though the author himself would probably argue that they should be dismayed and very afraid) to find out that he’s got a new series on the horizon. Who Could It Be at This Hour?, the first in the four-book series All the Wrong Questions, acts as a prequel to the Series of Unfortunate Events, which told the story of the doomed Baudelaire family. In this particular book, 12-year-old Lemony Snicket has completed his “unusual education” and joined a secret society. His first clandestine assignment is to recover a statue of the mythical Bombinating Beast. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt (and someone always gets hurts in these dastardly tales). See Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) in the flesh when he appears on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Copperfield’s Books. 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma. 7pm. Free. 707.762.0563.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oct. 25: Daniel Coshnear at the River Reader

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Learning about the closing of another independent bookstore is one of the most heartbreaking things to hear as a book lover. So it’s with heavy heart that we watch the River Reader, Guerneville’s only independent bookstore, shut its doors at the end of October. “Despite my best efforts and your support, I am going to have to close,” says Susan Ryan, the store’s proprietor. Fortunately, October events will go as planned, including a reading by Daniel Coshnear, award-winning Guerneville writer whose latest collection, Occupy and Other Stories, is out this month on Kelly’s Cove Press. Coshnear reads Thursday, Oct. 25, at the River Reader. 16355 Main St., Guerneville. 7pm. Free. 707.869.2240.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oct. 7: Doris Bailey Murphy Book Celebration at Occidental Center for the Arts

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Doris Bailey Murphy was a beloved figure around Occidental when she died in 2011. But before moving out West, Murphy lived a life of adventure from early on. Amazingly, Occidental’s late grand dame began keeping diaries when she was just 15 years old—by her own account, a wild, skirt-raising, boy-chasing child of the Roaring Twenties. Murphy’s grand-niece, journalist and blogger Julia Park Tracey, has taken on the task of preserving her aunt’s legacy by collecting those early journals, along with commentary, footnotes and original photos from Murphy’s fun-filled days of yore during the prime years of the Jazz Age. The result is the book I’ve Got Some Lovin’ to Do: The Diary of a Roaring Twenties Teen 1925—1926. Celebrate the launch of volume one of the Doris diaries on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Occidental Center for the Arts. 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental. 4pm. Free. 707.874.9392.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sept. 14: Daedalus Howell at Copperfield's Books

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM

After a “middling” career in Hollywood, writer Daedalus Howell returned to Sonoma County, expecting the “rural, rolling hills of his youth.” What he found instead was a viticultured, grape-drunk wine country. I Heart Sonoma is the collection of personal essays that resulted from his journey to rediscover his childhood home, filled with much satire and laughter that even the most jaded Sonoma natives and residents will enjoy. Enjoy the words off the author himself—a longtime contributor to this very paper—during a reading on Friday, Sept. 14, at Copperfield’s Books. 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma. 7pm. Free. 707.762.0563.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sept 8: Geoffrey Nunberg at Book Passage

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Jerks these days throw the a-word around like an overplayed One Direction song so often that the vulgar profanity has lost its 60 years of glory. Why, when I was your age, we called each other cads, bounders, heels; “asshole” was just for that one special person in life. Regardless of who it’s applied to—Todd Akin or the driver that cut you off this morning—we can all agree the word has earned its rightful place in the dictionary. Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg’s Ascent of the A-Word explains the colorful history of this indispensable curse. Insults aside, let’s all be wiseasses and discuss the true definition of America’s favorite seven-lettered word on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1pm. 415.927.0960.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 19: Dave Eggers at Book Passage

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Dave Eggers. Good writer guy. Writes in complete sentences. Author of some books. One’s a memoir. One’s a novel. Dude runs a tutoring center. Also a publisher! Seems nice. Gets good reviews, anyway. Likes telling jokes and literary characters that like jokes. Lives in the Bay. Does some graphic design; a bit ended up on album covers. Coming to Marin. To Corte Madera! Dave Eggers is gonna sign some books. His latest is “A Hologram for the King,” maybe he’ll sign it for you or something. Hang out with Dave Eggers, writer good writing guy, on Thursday, July 19, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Free. 12:00pm. 415.927.0960.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 18: Terry Tempest Williams at Book Passage in Corte Madera

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 5:30 PM

When President Bill Clinton dedicated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996, ending a battle between mining interests and environmental activists, he held up Terry Tempest Williams’ anthology Testimony: Writers Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness and said, “This made a difference.” Both as an activist and a prolific writer, Williams, a sixth-generation Utah Mormon, has become a leading voice for the desert West. Williams presents her latest work, When Women Were Birds, on Monday, June 18, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Free. 5pm. 415.927.0960.

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