Recently there has been a re-evaluation of popular psychedelic and empathogenic chemicals for therapeutic use. In the mid 1900s psychedelics such as LSD and MDMA were developed as pharmaceuticals. From the late 1960s on these drugs became associated with recreational use and by the 1980s most nations had outlawed them. Here in the Bay Area we have many scientists and clinicians on the forefront of the movement to bring these chemicals out of the clubs and counter-culture to explore their potential to treat a number of mental health conditions, including addiction and PTSD.
In collaboration with Berkeley Public Library North Branch, join us for a free panel discussion on the current cultural, regulatory and medical landscapes around these substances.
· Prof. David Presti, PhD, UC Berkeley Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and author of Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal
presents Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life, an essential, empathetic look at a vital but little respected stage of life.
"In the latter years there are possibilities for joy, transcendence, and meaning, but also for just the opposite. Aronson writes like a memoirist while giving us scientific insight, philosophical wisdom, and wise counsel for a journey and destination we all share. Elderhood is a lovely and thoughtful exploration of this voyage."--Abraham Verghese
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of Elderhood by speaking to a bookseller or ordering through our website.
For more than 5,000 years, "old" has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we've made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, denigrated, neglected, and denied.
reading from Chapter Ten of James Joyce's Ulysses recalling Dublin on June 16, 1904.
Join us for Guinness, Irish soda bread and cheer! Bring Dad!
presents The Apollo Chronicles: Engineering America's First Moon Missions, a uniquely earthbound story of space travel that follows a handful of surviving engineers from the time through their longest days, tightest deadlines, and most confounding challenges.
[Brown] has captured the soul of what was arguably the most challenging and significant engineering accomplishment of the 20th century…a great read for all audiences…I learned things about ‘my era’ that I never knew!”--Gerry Griffin, Former Director of the Johnson Space Center, and former flight director for the Apollo Program
To reserve your seat, purchase a copy of The Apollo Chronicles by speaking to a bookseller or ordering through our website.
The moon landing of 1969 stands as an iconic moment for both the United States and humankind. The familiar story focuses on the journey of the brave astronauts, who brought home Moon rocks and startling photographs. But Apollo's full account includes the earthbound engineers, mounds of their crumpled paper, and smoldering metal shards of exploded engines. How exactly did the nation, step by difficult step, take men to the Moon and back?
returns to present Stronghold: One Man's Quest to Save the World's Wild Salmon, the story of Guido Rahr, a passionate and eccentric environmentalist who has single-mindedly dedicated his life to saving the environment, working to preserve the world's last pristine stronghold for salmon in Russia's Far East--a landscape of ecological richness and diversity that is rapidly being developed for oil, gas, minerals, and timber in the Putin era.
"A powerful and inspiring story. Guido Rahr's mission to save the wild Pacific salmon leads him into adventures that make for a breathtakingly exciting read."--Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of Stronghold by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.
A high school drop-out and rebel more at home in the natural world among animals than among people, Rahr is a passionate fly fisher. His preternatural ability to understand the fish he was catching led him to fear for their future. What he came to understand is that the fate of the salmon is linked with the fate of humanity, as they contribute in essential ways to our own habitat.
reads from his much-anticipated The Lager Queen of Minnesota, a novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
"Warm, whimsical, incredibly well-written and infused with Stradal's signature sympathy for his characters--those everyday heroes we all know and love. . . a thorough delight, from beginning to end."--Nickolas Butler
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of The Larger Queen of Minnesota by speaking to a bookseller or ordering through our website.
Edith Magnusson's rhubarb pies are famous in the Twin Cities--they were named the third-best in the state of Minnesota and St. Anthony-Waterside Nursing Home has quickly become the hottest dinner ticket in town. Still, she lies awake wondering how her life might have been different if her father hadn't left their family farm to her sister Helen, a decision that split their family in two.
discussing Tilney's new novel, The Expectations, "a deeply resonant, brilliantly nuanced meditation on privilege, social ambition, and the folly (and cruelty) of youth."--Kate Walbert
"Alexander Tilney applies supple, panoramic prose to the deep interior of an exclusive Northeastern prep school, with arresting results: at once anthropological and visceral, The Expectations provides an authoritative glimpse into a rarefied world of privilege--and announces a dazzling new voice in American fiction."-- Jennifer Egan
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of The Expectations by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.
St. James is an exclusive New England boarding school known for grooming generations of leaders. Ben Weeks is a true insider--his ancestors helped found the school, his older brother taught him all the slang, and he's just won a national championship in squash.
discussing Adrian's new book, Forever Neverland, a contemporary sequel to J. M. Barrie's timeless classic Peter Pan.
"A magical ode to childhood that updates the classic while keeping its flavor."--Kirkus Reviews
"One of the best representations of autism in middle grade literature. A must purchase for all children who love magic and adventure, especially those who have longed to see someone like Fergus on the page."--Lizzie Huxley-Jones, editor of Stim
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of Forever Neverland by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website. Neurodiversity welcome.
What if Peter Pan wanted to take you to Neverland? Would you go?
Clover and Fergus are the great-great-grandchildren of Wendy Darling (yes, that Wendy). And now Peter Pan wants to take them to Neverland for the adventure of their lives! But Clover is a little nervous--she's supposed to look after her brother. Fergus is autistic, and not everyone makes him feel welcome. What will happen to him in this magical world?
reads from Spin the Dawn, a sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
"Pure magic. Romance, artistry, and deep enchantment."--Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
"What an amazing creation! Every time I thought I knew where it was going, I was wrong. This is a white-knuckle read."--Tamora Pierce, author of Tempests and Slaughter
To reserve your seat, purchase a copy of Spin the Dawn by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
returns to launch The Last Train to London, a beautifully rendered novel centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe--and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.
"Painful and beautiful, absorbing and unforgettable. A wonderful tribute to courage, to a remarkable woman, to the ones she saved, and the ones she could not. Recommend this book to anyone who thinks no single person can make a difference."--Karen Joy Fowler
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of The Last Train to London by speaking with a bookseller or ordering from our website.
In 1936, the Nazi are little more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright whose playground extends from Vienna's streets to its intricate underground tunnels. Stephan's best friend and companion is the brilliant Zofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents' carefree innocence is shattered when the Nazis' take control.
Presenting Circe, just released in paperback. Winner of the 2019 Indie Choice Award, shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction
Named one of the Best Books of 2018 by NPR, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, People, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, Southern Living, and Refinery 29.
"One of the most amazing qualities of this novel [is]: We know how everything here turns out--we've known it for thousands of years--and yet in Miller's lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected. The feminist light she shines on these events never distorts their original shape; it only illuminates details we hadn't noticed before."--Ron Charles, Washington Post
NOTE: This event is expected to sell out, so please purchase a copy of Circe in advance by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother.
launches his delightful new book, Café French: A Flâneur’s Guide to the Language, Lore and Food of the Paris Café.
"L. John Harris's amusing and instructive book distills Parisian flânerie—that unique blend of urban strolling and conversing that fuses literary, spatial and historical life—with playful images, witty narrative and memorable quotations by and about the notorious flâneurs of yore."–W. Scott Haine, author of The World of the Paris Café
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of Café French in advance by speaking to a bookseller.
He has been called Mr. Garlic, the Balzac of Berkeley and now a Neoflâneur: author, artist, cookbook publisher, filmmaker and “pre-foodie” L. John Harris, a founding father of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, is all of the above and more. Join us as we celebrate the publication of his new book of witty texts and whimsical illustrations inspired by his wanderings through the streets and cafés of Paris.
returns to read from her exquisite new novel, Without Her.
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of Without Her in advance by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.
When her old friend Hannah doesn't show up at her house in the south of France, everyone assumes that Claudia, who has known Hannah since their shared years at boarding school, will know where she is, and what has happened. But as Claudia travels from the USA to France to help Hannah's husband and children conduct their search, she is forced to deal with her old jealousy of Hannah, as well as her own relationship in the present with her French lover, Alexandre.