You are here

Upcoming Events - click here for more info- click a date to see the event page!

Tuesday

May 29

7 PM

Obi Kaufmann

The California Field Atlas

This lavishly illustrated atlas takes readers off the beaten path and outside normal conceptions of California, revealing its myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories in exquisite maps and trail paintings. Based on decades of exploring the backcountry of the Golden State, artist-adventurer Obi Kaufmann blends science and art to illuminate the multifaceted array of living, connected systems like no book has done before. Kaufmann depicts layer after layer of the natural world, delighting in the grand scale and details alike. The effect is staggeringly beautiful: presented alongside California divvied into its fifty-eight counties, for example, we consider California made up of dancing tectonic plates, of watersheds, of wildflower gardens. Maps are enhanced by spirited illustrations of wildlife, keys that explain natural phenomena, and a clear-sighted but reverential text. Full of character and color, a bit larger than life, The California Field Atlas is the ultimate road trip companion and love letter to a place.

Growing up in the East Bay as the son of an astrophysicist and a psychologist, Obi Kaufmann spent most of high school practicing calculus and breaking away on weekends to scramble around Mount Diablo and map its creeks, oak forests, and sage mazes. Into adulthood, he would regularly journey into the mountains, spending more summer nights without a roof than with one. For Kaufmann, the epic narrative of the California backcountry holds enough art, science, mythology, and language for a hundred field atlases to come. When he is not backpacking, you can find the painter-poet at his desk in Oakland, posting @coyotethunder #trailpaintings on social media. His website is www.coyoteandthunder.com.

________________________________

Summer Fiction Extravaganza!

Wednesday

June 6

7 PM

Kim Stanley Robinson

with 

Michael Blumlein

 

New York 2140

NOMINATED FOR THE HUGO AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL 2018 
New York Times bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson returns with a bold and brilliant vision of New York City in the next century. 
As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city. 
There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear - along with the lawyers, of course. 
There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building's manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail. Then there are two boys who don't live there, but have no other home - and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine. 

Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all - and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests. 

Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of RainThe Years of Rice and Salt and 2312. In 2008, he was named a "Hero of the Environment" by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.

 

All I Ever Dreamed

In the opening story of this extraordinary collection, "California Burning," a man must come to terms with a strange truth about his dead father, whose corpse refuses to be cremated. In "Snow in Dirt," a man finds the woman of his dreams buried in a state of suspended animation in his garden. The burned-out fashion designer in "Hymenoptera" receives new inspiration when a chest-high, eight-foot-long wasp shows up in his studio. And in stories like "Twenty-two and You," "The Roberts," and "Know How Can Do," Blumlein explores the consequences--sometimes humorous, sometimes horrific--of scientific technologies such as genetic manipulation and the creation of artificial life.

Varying widely in theme and subject matter, these stories showcase the breadth and power of Michael Blumlein's vision and once again reveal him to be one of the most original and fascinating of contemporary writers. They are stories that skirt the boundaries of fantasy, science fiction and horror, existing in a genre uniquely the author's own.

This volume brings together all the short fiction published by Blumlein in the three decades since the original appearance of his award-winning collection The Brains of Rats (1989), including two stories published here in book form for the first time.

____________

Wednesday

June 13

7 PM

Allison Pearson

How Hard Can It Be?

Allison Pearson's brilliant debut novel, I Don't Know How She Does It, was a New York Times bestseller with four million copies sold around the world. Called "the definitive social comedy of working motherhood" (The Washington Post) and "a hysterical look--in both the laughing and crying senses of the world--at the life of Supermom" (The New York Times), I Don't Know How She Does It introduced Kate Reddy, a woman as sharp as she was funny. As Oprah Winfrey put it, Kate's story became "the national anthem for working mothers."

Seven years later, Kate Reddy is facing her 50th birthday. Her children have turned into impossible teenagers; her mother and in-laws are in precarious health; and her husband is having a midlife crisis that leaves her desperate to restart her career after years away from the workplace. Once again, Kate is scrambling to keep all the balls in the air in a juggling act that an early review from the U.K. Express hailed as "sparkling, funny, and poignant...a triumphant return for Pearson."

Will Kate reclaim her rightful place at the very hedge fund she founded, or will she strangle in her new "shaping" underwear? Will she rekindle an old flame, or will her house burn to the ground when a rowdy mob shows up for her daughter's surprise (to her parents) Christmas party? Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?

ALLISON PEARSON is the author of the hugely bestselling I Don't Know How She Does It, which became a major motion picture starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and I Think I Love You. Pearson was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards for her first book. She has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK) , The Daily Mail, Time, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Observer and countless other publications. Pearson has won many awards including Columnist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Interviewer of the Year. She lives in Cambridge, England, with the New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane, and their two children.

__________

Tuesday

June 19

7 PM

Cara Black

Murder On the Left Bank

The eighteenth mystery in the New York Times bestselling Parisian detective series!

A dying man drags his oxygen machine into the office of Éric Besson, a lawyer in Paris's 13th arrondissement. The old man, an accountant, is carrying a dilapidated notebook full of meticulous investment records. For decades, he has been helping a cadre of dirty cops launder stolen money. The notebook contains his full confession--he's waited 50 years to make it, and now it can't wait another day. He is adamant that Besson get the notebook into the hands of La Proc, Paris's chief prosecuting attorney, so the corruption can finally be brought to light. But en route to La Proc, Besson's courier--his assistant and nephew--is murdered, and the notebook disappears.

Grief-stricken Éric Besson tries to hire private investigator Aimée Leduc to find the notebook, but she is reluctant to get involved. Her father was a cop and was murdered by the same dirty syndicate the notebook implicates. She's not sure which she's more afraid of, the dangerous men who would kill for the notebook or the idea that her father's name might be among the dirty cops listed within it. Ultimately that's the reason she must take the case, which leads her across the Left Bank, from the Cambodian enclave of Khmer Rouge refugees to the ancient royal tapestry factories to the modern art galleries.

Cara Black is the author of eighteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, and her books have been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.

___________

Thursday

June 21

7 PM

Michelle Gable

The Summer I Met Jack

"[The Summer I Met Jack] offers an alternate Kennedy family history that will leave readers wondering whether America knew the real JFK at all." --Kirkus Reviews

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark - and the child they may have had.

Based on a real story - in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack's inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other. 

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, MICHELLE GABLE graduated from The College of William & Mary. When not dreaming up fiction on the sly, she currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

_____________

Tuesday

June 26

7 PM

Amy Meyerson

The Bookshop of Yesterdays

A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading. 

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric uncle Billy's bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda's twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda's life. She doesn't hear about him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy, and one final scavenger hunt.When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books--now as its owner--she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store's shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy's last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy's past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda's mother has kept hidden--and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It's a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become.

Amy Meyerson teaches in the writing department at the University of Southern California, where she completed her graduate work in creative writing. She has been published in Reed Magazine, The Manhattanville Review, The Bloomsbury Review, The Fanzine and Obit Magazine, and was a finalist in Open City's RRofihe Trophy Short Story Contest and in Summer Literary Seminars's Unified Literary Contest. She currently lives in Los Angeles. The Bookshop of Yesterdays is her first novel.