Cyclone on the Prairies: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the Arts and Crafts of Publishing — The best-loved American children’s fantasy, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, expanded the concept and design of children’s books in America when it first appeared in 1900. The author, L. Frank Baum, was just finding his stride as a writer of children’s books, and the illustrator, W. W. Denslow, worked closely with him to create a book so lavishly produced that it would become an instant bestseller. Baum specialist Peter E. Hanff will share his lifelong passion for Baum and Oz in an illustrated presentation that will show off the remarkable design and production of a book that transformed the American concept of how children’s books should look. The Central Library’s Fireside Room will provide the perfect setting for this stimulating afternoon.
Sunday, March 26, 1:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
Memoir Workshop — Tamim Ansary was born in Kabul and lived there until high school, when he won a scholarship to Colorado Rocky Mountain School, an American boarding school. Thus began his bicultural journey that has engendered several acclaimed books, including West of Kabul, East of New York and Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes. In addition, for 22 years Mr. Ansary directed the San Francisco Writers Workshop, hoping to give back to younger writers what was given to him when young. This 2 ½ hour workshop is a special opportunity for people interested in writing a memoir or short, memoir-based pieces. You will discuss how to get started, keep the words flowing, zero in on a story and rediscover the forgotten. Your host for the afternoon will be the Berkeley City Club, Julia Morgan’s serene and beautiful masterpiece.
Saturday, April 15th from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
Setting the Scene: The Importance of Place in Mystery Writing — For fans of mystery writing, this event is a rare and exciting opportunity! Award-winning local mystery writers Cara Black, Joe Clifford and Terry Shames will be joining forces for a spirited discussion of the importance of place in their writing and how they create the unique and vibrant environments that bring their stories to life. While all three do their writing locally, their books are set in places as far-flung as Texas (Terry), New Hampshire (Joe) and Paris (Cara). How do they make these distant locales so real? Come on down to Tupper & Reed and find out. Although you might remember Tupper & Reed as a music store, the quaint, 100+ year old building is now a classy place to sip cocktails. We’ll be serving up a light supper from Phil’s Sliders in a mysterious private room on the second floor. How perfect!
Discover the Quirky Side of Berkeley — Tom Dalzell is back to lead another AfterWORDS walking tour, this time focusing on all that is quirky on Berkeley’s South Side. Last year’s tour of the North Side was fun and informative, and this year more of the same awaits all who join this group! The group will meet at Adeline and Emerson, and from there will branch out along the Ashby corridor, ending at The Beanery on College Avenue. At The Beanery you can rest your feet and enjoy the camaraderie of the group as well as a cup of tea and a sweet treat. No matter how long you’ve lived in Berkeley, it’s guaranteed that you will see something quirky and new on this tour! Participants should wear comfortable shoes and be capable of walking 2-3 miles/2 hours. The tour is appropriate for children who have the stamina for a walk of this nature.
Sunday, April 23rd at 3:00 p.m. SOLD OUT
Intimate Poetry Salon with Four Local Poets — As a culmination to National Poetry Month, join us on April 30 for a poetry salon at Longbranch, guaranteed to inspire and delight! Rachel Richardson will emcee a showcase of four local poets, two of them Poets Laureate of our neighboring cities El Cerrito and Albany. Chiyuma Elliott, Rebecca Black, Maw Shein Win, and Matt Shears will read from new original work celebrating life and language in our complex and challenging time. This intimate event will include further inspirations and fortifications, such as light appetizers and drink, a chance to talk with the poets about their work, and time for book signing.
Film Screening with Director Matt Ross — The 2016 hit film Captain Fantastic has won multiple awards at film festivals around the world. Berkeley-based director, Matt Ross, won the award for Best Director and a ten minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and, as of this writing, the film has pending nominations for the prestigious Screen Actors Guild awards, as well as the Golden Globes. His film tells the story of a widowed father, played by Viggo Mortensen, raising his six children in the wilderness of western Washington after their mother’s death. Ross has said that the idea for the film arose as he and his wife questioned the decisions they were making in raising their own children in Berkeley. Matt Ross will join us for a pre-screening reception and a talk with the audience after the showing of his prize-winning film. The event will be held at the cutting-edge Meyer Sound Pearson Theater, a sensory environment that redefines the concept of what a theatre can be. Light refreshments, featuring delicacies from Grace Street Catering.
Mindful Money — Is it possible to be a conscientious citizen of the world and grow wealth? Author Jonathan DeYoe, a Buddhist and a financial planner, says yes and explains exactly how in his new book, Mindful Money. Mr. DeYoe will read from his book and discuss how to save, invest, pay off debt, fund your retirement, and create a financial plan guided by your deepest beliefs, no matter your income level or spiritual perspective. As the author emphasizes in Mindful Money, money is merely a tool you can utilize to support your lifestyle, reach your goals, and earn “the happiness dividend” we all deserve. This event will take place in the Community Room of the library’s internationally recognized West Branch, the first Zero Net Energy public library in California. Enjoy a glass of wine at the presentation’s end.
Wednesday, May 10, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.