Upcoming Events: Good Lit

Wed 9/10

Image - James Ellroy

James Ellroy

Date: Wed, September 10, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Come hear the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."

James Ellroy, Author, L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and Perfidia

In conversation with Eddie Muller, Author; Founder and President, Film Noir Foundation

In Perfidia, his latest work, Ellroy delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives. But it has the full-strength, unbridled story-telling audacity that has marked all the acclaimed work of the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."

From "one of the great American writers of our time" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) comes a brilliant crime/historical novel, and his largest, most accessible novel yet: a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles over 23 days beginning on December 6, 1941. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide?

The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroy-ian tangle: a brilliant Japanese American forensic chemist; an unsatisfiably adventurous young woman; one police officer based in fact (William H. "Whiskey Bill" Parker, later to become the groundbreaking chief of the LAPD), the other the product of Ellroy's inimitable imagination (Dudley Smith, arch villain of The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz). As their lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing exposé of the Japanese internment and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation.

Wed 9/24

Image - Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley

Date: Wed, September 24, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
The real story of Martin Luther King Jr's final year

Tavis Smiley, TV Host, Public Broadcasting Service; Radio Host, Public Radio International; Author, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Final Year
Judge LaDoris H. Cordell (ret), Independent Police Auditor, City of San Jose - Moderator

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations in U.S. history, but little is remembered about the trials and tribulations he faced in his final year. Award-winning television and radio broadcast host Smiley chronicles the final 365 days of Dr. King’s life. Despite assaults on his character and ideology, Dr. King remained committed to ending racial inequality and segregation in our country. Hear more about his story of leadership and perseverance.

Thu 9/25

Image - Daring: My Passages

Daring: My Passages

Date: Thu, September 25, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
An iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all.
Gail Sheehy, Literary Journalist; Author, Daring: My Passages
 
Hear Gail Sheehy, author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages, discuss her unguarded memoir, a thrilling tour of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist starting in the 1960s, her growth into an iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all and one of the premier political profilers of modern times.

Mon 9/29

Image - Charles Blow - New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist

Charles Blow - New York Times Visual Op-Ed Columnist

Date: Mon, September 29, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
A powerfully redemptive memoir.

Charles Blow, Visual Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Author, Fire Shut Up in My Bones; Twitter @CharlesMBlow
Ian F. Haney-López, Professor, UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law; Author, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class - Moderator

Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time African-American Louisiana town where he grew up – a place where slavery's legacy felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders' stories and in the near-constant wash of violence. Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a powerfully redemptive memoir that both fits the tradition of African-American storytelling from the South and gives it an indelible new slant.

Fri 10/10

Image - Tony Serra: The Green, Yellow, and Purple Years in the Life of a Radical

Tony Serra: The Green, Yellow, and Purple Years in the Life of a Radical Lawyer

Date: Fri, October 10, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Hear Serra's quest for "confinement escapism"

J. Tony Serra, Criminal Defense Attorney; Author, The Green, Yellow, and Purple Years in the Life of a Radical Lawyer

Serra will speak and read from his book The Green, Yellow, and Purple Years in the Life of a Radical Lawyer, a chromatic, metaphoric account of Serra’s defense of groups such as the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the New World Liberation Front, Nuestra Familia, Earth First!, the Hells Angels, and the Mafia. He wrote it while in federal prison for refusing to pay taxes. Serra explains in his foreword, “Forgive my romanticized and self-indulgent propositions in the forthcoming pages. Recall that such were written at Lompoc Federal Prison camp during my incarceration for U.S. tax resistance. I was not purporting to document case histories. You can find those references on the internet. Mine is not a quest for accuracy. Mine is a flight into whimsy and caprice, a retrospective twinkle in the eyes of memory: In short, confinement escapism.”

Thu 10/16

Image - Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta

Date: Thu, October 16, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Former Director, CIA; Former U.S. Secretary of Defense

Leon Panetta, Former Director, CIA; Former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Author, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President & CEO of The Commonwealth Club – Moderator

Leon Panetta has had two distinct and consequential careers as an American public servant. His first lasted 35 years and culminated in his role as President Clinton’s budget director and White House chief of staff. He stepped back from his public life to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife, Sylvia. In 2009 he again stepped into the role of CIA director, eventually leading the campaign to kill Osama Bin Laden. Following that victory, Panetta became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

In his new book, Worthy Fights, Panetta is frank about the current state of affairs. Suffused with its author’s stubborn common sense, the book is an epic American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the great figures and events of our time.

Fri 10/17

Image - Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

Date: Fri, October 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Actress, singer, author and Hollywood survivor

Rita Moreno, Actress; Singer; Author, Rita Moreno: A Memoir
In conversation with Jan Yanehiro, Director, School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University

An extraordinarily talented star of stage and screen, Moreno is a force of nature. The Puerto Rican-born entertainer is one of the few artists to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony as well as the National Medal of Honor.

Now, Moreno shares her story. From her Oscar-winning turn as Anita in West Side Story to her challenging role as a prostitute in Carnal Knowledge; from her stint on the children’s television classic “Electric Company” to her late-career triumph in HBO’s controversial series “Oz,” she will share tales of being a Hollywood survivor.
Learn about her tumultuous childhood, her career rise from “utility ethnic” to award-winning star, her explosive romance with Marlon Brando (and less-than-explosive romance with Elvis Presley), the ups and downs of her relationships and career, and finally finding peace with her choices and her life.

Fri 10/24

Image - California’s Contributions to Culinary Publishing

California’s Contributions to Culinary Publishing

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
An explosion of culinary publishing and speculation about cookbook publishing's future.

Bill LeBlond, Former Editorial Director of Food and Wine, Chronicle Books
Michael Carabetta, Creative Director, Chronicle Books
Margo True, Food Editor, Sunset Magazine
Jenny Wapner, Senior Cookbook Editor, Ten Speed Press
Joyce Goldstein, Author, California Food Revolution – Moderator

Our expert panel discusses California’s contributions to culinary publishing and distinct impact on cookbook writing and design in the United States. Early in the 20th century, Sunset magazine began publishing articles about California food and continues to focus on ingredients and local flavors of the West. In the 1970s, Ten Speed Press published The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, introducing meatless eating to multiple generations of Americans. Major developments in cookbook design also were pioneered at Chronicle Books, where food editor LeBlond began working with cookbook author James McNair. They launched a series of cookbooks that would redefine categories and become known for photography across multiple subjects, offering a feast for the eyes as well as the table. The panel will review factors influencing an explosion of culinary publishing, evolving cookbook design, and speculation about cookbook publishing's future.

Tue 11/4

Image - Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (MLF)

Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln

Date: Tue, November 04, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers.

Richard Brookhiser, Historian

Abraham Lincoln turned to Washington, Paine and Jefferson for knowledge, guidance, inspiration and purpose. He brought their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. In Founders' Son, celebrated historian Richard Brookhiser presents Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers. From Lincoln’s humble origins in Kentucky to his assassination in D.C., Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend and visionary.

Mon 11/17

Image - John Cleese - Monty Python Actor and Comedian

John Cleese - Monty Python Actor and Comedian

Date: Mon, November 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
A grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world.

John Cleese, Actor; Writer; Producer; Author, So, Anyway…

Join Cleese as he takes us on a grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town to the pinnacle of comedy and worldwide success.

With his signature characters – the Minister of Silly Walks and the owner (and would-be returner) of a dead parrot – Cleese's work with Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers has become legendary. His hit films Monty Python and the Holy GrailLife of Brian and A Fish Called Wanda, and his memorable roles in James Bond and Shrek have put him in a class of his own. From his hilarious tweets and new memoir, hear more from this towering comedic genius.