Among the Bay Area’s many bookstores, Book Passage in Corte Madera has one of the most active schedules going of author events, readings, classes and other literary happenings. In fact, it’s not uncommon for more than one or two author talks or other events to take place there just about every day. And what's more, many of these events have a local connection. Looking at the week ahead, here are three events Patch.com readers won’t want to miss.
Group Poetry Reading with Conflux Press poets
-- Sunday, January 29 at 4:00 pm
Various Bay Area writers associated with Conflux Press will present their work. Scheduled to read are poets Karen Benke, Karla Clark, Ed Colettie, CB Follett, Janet Jennings, Melanie Maier, Beverly Momoi, Daniel Polikoff, Susan Terris & Abby Wasserman.
Each is talented, and each is multi-talented. Abby Wasserman, for instance, is a writer and artist and the former editor of the Oakland Museum of California's quarterly magazine. Her publications include The Spirit of Oakland, a multicultural history of the city, Portfolio, essays on 11 Native American artists, and Praise, Vilification & Sexual Innuendo, or How to Be a Critic: The Selected Writings of John L. Wasserman, which she edited. (The late John L. Wasserman, a much loved San Francisco Chronicle critic and entertainment writer, was her brother.) Since 2003, Wasserman has served on the Board of the O'Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley. She facilitates two writing groups at the Center while devoting most of her time to her poetry and her art.
Julia Flynn Siler, in conversation with Liz Epstein, discuss Lost Kingdom
-- Monday, January 30 at 7:00 pm
Only one American state was ever a sovereign monarchy. That state is Hawaii – the subject of a new book by North Bay author Julia Flynn Siler. Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure (Atlantic Monthly Press) chronicles how this Pacific nation – inhabited by a proud but vulnerable Polynesian people, was encountered, annexed and absorbed by a relentlessly expanding world power, the United States.
Siler’s 2007 bestseller, House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, travelled similar ground. It told an epic story of a "takeover proof" family-controlled company which was sold over the objections of several key family members. Siler will be in conversation with Kentfield writer Liz Epstein.
One Book One Marin 2012 Celebration with Michael David Lukas
-- Thursday, February 2 at 7:00 pm
Book Passage, along with The Marin County Free Library, City Public Libraries of Marin County and Dominican University of California, is pleased to announce the One Book One Marin selection for 2012 – The Oracle of Stamboul (Harper Perennial), by Oakland-born author Michael David Lukas. This special event at Dominican University in San Rafael launches a county-wide celebration with a talk and book signing by the author.
Set in 19th-century Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire), beautifully written, passionate, and fragrant with political intrigue, historical upheaval and Eastern mysticism, The Oracle of Stamboul revolves around a girl who changes the course of an empire. The book is now out in soft cover. When first published in hardback, one reviewer called it “a bold portrait of an empire precariously poised on the chasm between an old and a new world.”
Lukas – who teaches in the East Bay – has been a Fulbright scholar in Turkey, a proofreader in Tel Aviv, and a Rotary scholar in Tunisia. He brings a raconteur’s sense of story telling and a traveler’s eye for detail to this, his bestselling debut novel. For more on One Book One Marin visit www.onebookonemarin.org.
MORE INFO: Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., in Corte Madera. Call (415) 927-0960 or visit www.bookpassage.com for details.
Thomas Gladysz is an arts journalist and a longtime bookseller. More at www.thomasgladysz.com