An Evening with Dr. Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 ▪ 7:00 pm

Dr. Atul Gawande, The New York Times bestselling author of Better and Complications reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple ninety-second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third. Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a staff writer for The New Yorker.


An Evening with Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 ▪ 7:00 pm

Elizabeth Gilbert presents her new work Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. Told with Gilbert's trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to "turn on all the lights" when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities. Gilbert's memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.

An Evening with Dr. Louann Brizendine

The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 ▪ 7:00 pm

An article about Dr. Louann Brizendine and her research in her first book The Female Brain in a July 2006 issue of Newsweek started a media frenzy that led to appearances on GMA’s “20/20” and “Good Morning America, NBC’s “The Today Show” and “News with Brian Williams,” CNN’s “American Morning,” NPR’s “Weekend All Things Considered,” “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” along with national print reviews and features in USA Today, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Elle, More, Discover, Health, and the coverage has not abated.

Now, Brizendine, founder of the country's first clinic to study gender differences in brain, behavior, and hormones, turns her attention to the male brain, showing how the “male reality” is fundamentally different from the female’s in every phase of life, from babyhood to old age. In THE MALE BRAIN: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think, Brizendine overturns the stereotypes about men and boys. Impeccably researched and at the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, this is a book that every man, and especially every woman bedeviled by a man, will need to own. 

An Evening with Bill McKibben

EARTH: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet 

Thursday, April 22, 2010 ▪ 7:00 pm

Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Earth.

The hope for our planet depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, and Deep Economy.  A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper’s, the Atlantic, and the New York Review of Books, among other publications.

An Evening with Craig Robinson

A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago’s Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 ▪ 7:00 pm

Most American’s first met Craig Robinson when he introduced his sister, Michelle Obama, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Within minutes, he won the hearts of the nation by sharing highlights of their childhood on Chicago’s Southside, where they were raised by exemplary and devoted parents. Fraser and Marian Robinson instilled the values of education, hard work, and courage in their children and always encouraged them to reach far beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

In A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago’s Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond, Craig Robinson takes readers behind the scenes to meet his family and the other important influences in his life who have contributed to his success both on and off the basketball court. The result is a stunning tribute to his parents, coaches, and other mentors who have contributed to his ongoing search for what it truly means to have character.

An Evening with Michael Chabon

Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

One Book One Marin 2010 Award Celebration

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

With this brilliant novel, the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us an exhilarating triumph of language and invention, a stunning novel in which the tragicomic adventures of a couple of boy geniuses reveal much about what happened to America in the middle of the twentieth century. Like Phillip Roth's American Pastoral or Don DeLillo's Underworld, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a superb novel with epic sweep, spanning continents and eras, a masterwork by one of America's finest writers.

The brilliant writing that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to John Cheever and Vladimir Nabokov is everywhere apparent in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Chabon writes "like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader," wrote Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times about Wonder Boys - and here he has created, in Joe Kavalier, a hero for the century. 

An Evening with Rosanne Cash

Composed: A Memoir

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 7:30 p.m.Angelico Hall

For 30 years as a musician, Rosanne Cash has enjoyed both critical and commercial success, releasing a series of albums that are as notable for their lyrical intelligence as for their musical excellence. Now, in her memoir, Cash writes compellingly about her upbringing in Southern California as the child of country legend Johnny Cash, and of her relationships with her mother and her famous stepmother, June Carter Cash.

An Evening with Robert B. Reich

Friday, October 1, 2010 ▪
7:00 p.m. ▪ Angelico Hall
Watch the video of the event.

Robert B. Reich is one of our most trenchant and informed economy experts. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton.

His most recent novel, Aftershock, is a brilliant new reading of the economic crisis and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath.

When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown. The real problem is structural, he argues. There is an increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, while the middle class has to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.

An Evening with Marlo Thomas

Growing Up Laughing
Monday, October 18, 2010 ▪
7:00 p.m.
Guzman Lecture Hall

Marlo Thomas was born into comedy royalty and, throughout her remarkable career, has captured hearts, enriched minds and always kept us laughing. A star of stage, film and television—with five bestselling books, four Emmys, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and a Peabody Award—Marlo Thomas has been a vibrant part of the American culture.

Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny is a compelling autobiographical journey—hilarious and heartfelt, intimate and inspiring. It includes more than 20 personal interviews with, among others, Alan Alda, Joy Behar, Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Jay Leno, George Lopez, Elaine May, Conan O’Brien, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Ben and Jerry Stiller, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams and Steven Wright.

In a voice that is curious, generous and often gleeful, Thomas opens the doors on the funny in her own life, as she asks these comedy all-stars how they found the funny in theirs—from their comic influences to the anatomy of the perfect joke.

An Evening with Rick Steves

Travel as a Political Act

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 ▪ 7:00 p.m. ▪  Angelico Hall
Watch the video of the event: Part I and Travel writer, PBS-TV host, and Seattle businessman Rick Steves shares what he has learned in 30 years of travel: why India is his favorite country, why trains are pulling into European stations with birds squished onto their windshields, and how travel challenges truths we’ve always just assumed were “self-evident and God-given.” From Kurdish wood carvers proudly holding up their chisels to teary-eyed Germans atop their new parliament building, the world is changing and America is challenged. Today’s travel writer can be much like the medieval court jester—he can bring home the truth and not get killed.

FREE EVENT. Preferred seating with advance book purchase from Book Passage. To purchase Travel as a Political Act, call Book Passage at 415-927-0960.