Kepler's Events Coming Soon

Kepler's events are FREE to the public unless otherwise noted. 

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Credit: Jeff Cottenden

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Tom Barbash

Thursday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.

The Buried Giant

Menlo-Atherton High School Center for Performing Arts, 555 Middlefield Rd., Atherton  

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

Student tickets are available! 


Join us for a very special evening with Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction writers in the English-speaking world. We’ll be celebrating the release of The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade, following international bestsellers Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day.

We were lucky enough to receive some Advanced Reader Copies of the novel, and we have to say that we love the book, and so much of our enjoyment of it stemmed from the less you know the better. Meaning, we don't want to give anything away here. Not yet. Not until you've had a chance to read it yourself. All the publisher will say about the book is that it is "sometimes savage, often intensely moving," and is about "lost memories, love, revenge and war."

We can tell you that this new novel is like nothing he has ever written. It is an adventure fable that integrates a familiar ancient British civilization tale with a fantastical element. And all of the familiar trademarks of Ishiguro are present: his expert prose, his characters' search for meaning, an exploration of the limitations of memory, and Ishiguro's incredibly vast imagination.

Called an original and remarkable genius by the New York Times, Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, both of which were adapted into highly acclaimed films. He has received four Man Booker Prize nominations, was ranked 32nd on the New York Times list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945," was awarded the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize, and received an OBE for Services to Literary and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de L'Orde des Arts et des Lettres. Born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954, Ishiguro moved to Britain at the age of 5.

Tom Barbash is the author of the award-winning novel The Last Good Chance and the non-fiction book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11; A Story of Loss and Renewal, which was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney's, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public Radio's Selected Shorts series. He currently teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts.


Credit: Elena Seibert
 
 

 

 

Launch: Ann Packer in conversation with Anthony Marra

Tuesday, April 7, 7:30 p.m. 

The Children's Crusade


From the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier comes a masterful new novel that explores the secrets and desires, the remnant wounds and saving graces of one California family over the course of five decades. Ann Packer has an incredible eye for detail and is genius at evoking an era with such faithfulness. In addition, you will identify with and deeply care for her characters in her most deeply affecting book yet.

Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he might create there, Bill buys the property and proposes to Penny Greenway, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life appeals to him. In less than a decade, they have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife, overwhelmed and under-satisfied at a time when women chafed at the conventions confining them. And Penny will sacrifice anything – her marriage, her children – to become an artist.

Years later, the three oldest Blair children, adults now and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and troubles force a reckoning with their history and set off a struggle over the future.  

Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction and two bestselling novels, Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which received the Kate Chopin Literary Award, among many other prizes and honors.

Anthony Marra is the winner of a Whiting Award, Pushcart Prize, and the Narrative Prize. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena won the National Book Critics Circle's inaugural John Leonard Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, as well as the inaugural Carla Furstenberg Cohen Fiction Award. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, where he is the Jones Lecturer in Fiction.




 

Bruce Henderson

Thursday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.

Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II

 

From the bestselling author of Hero Found comes the incredible true story of one of the greatest military rescues of all time, the 1945 World War II prison camp raid at Los Baños in the Philippines. Combining personal interviews, diaries, correspondence, memoirs, and archival research, Rescue at Los Baños tells the story of a remarkable group of prisoners—whose courage and fortitude helped them overcome hardship, deprivation, and cruelty—and of the young American soldiers and Filipino guerrillas who risked their lives to save them.

In February 1945, as the U.S. victory in the Pacific drew nearer, the Japanese army grew desperate, and its soldiers guarding U.S. and Allied POWs more sadistic. Starved, shot and beaten, many of the 2,146 prisoners of the Los Baños prison camp in the Philippines—most of them American men, women and children—would not survive much longer unless rescued soon.

Deeply concerned about the half-starved and ill-treated prisoners, General Douglas MacArthur assigned to the 11th Airborne Division a dangerous rescue mission deep behind enemy lines that became a deadly race against the clock. The Los Baños raid would become one of the greatest triumphs of that war or any war; hailed years later by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell: “I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los Baños prison raid. It is the textbook operation for all ages and all armies.”

Bruce Henderson is the author or coauthor of more than twenty nonfiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell (with Vincent Bugliosi) and Down to the Sea. A former newspaper and magazine writer, Henderson has taught nonfiction writing at several major universities.

Check out the fascinating new book trailer and Bruce's beautifully redesigned website: http://brucehendersonbooks.com/books/rescue-at-los-banos/overview/



Credit: Benjamin Benschneider


 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Erik Larson

Monday, April 13, 7:30pm

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania 

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets


On the 100th anniversary of the Lusitania disaster, comes the enthralling story of the sinking ship from Erik Larson.

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship--the fastest then in service--could outrun any threat.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small--hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more--all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. 

It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

Erik Larson is the author of four national bestsellers: In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm, which have collectively sold more than 5.5 million copies. His books have been published in fourteen countries.



 

 

Francisco Jiménez

Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.

Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University

 

We are honored to host Francisco Jiménez to discuss this fourth book in his award-winning memoir series, which includes The Circuit, Breaking Through, and Reaching Out. In Taking Hold, Jiménez leaves everything behind in California—a loving family, a devoted girlfriend, and the culture that shaped him— to attend Columbia University in New York City.

With few true accounts of the Latino experience in America, Francisco Jiménez’s work comes alive with telling details about the warmth and resiliency of family and the quest for identity against seemingly impossible odds.

Francisco Jiménez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received both his Master’s degree and his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is now the chairman of the Modern Languages and Literature Department at Santa Clara University.



 
 
 

 

Skip Horack

Wednesday, April 15, 7:30 p.m.

The Other Joseph

 

We're excited to introduce you to Skip Horack who is emerging as a novelist in full command of his craft. In The Other Joseph he masterfully depicts a life driven off the rails by tragedy and sin —a man now summoned by the legacy of a beloved, lost brother to embark on a journey in search of understanding, happiness, and redemption. The New York Times Book Review hailed Skip's writing as, “…luminous, clean prose… He has a poet’s tuned attentiveness.” 

Haunted by the disappearance of his older brother Tommy in the first Gulf War, the tragic deaths of his parents, and the felony conviction that has branded him for a decade, Roy Joseph has labored in lonesome exile—and under the ever-watchful eyes of the law—moving between oil rigs off the coast of Louisiana and an Airstream trailer he shares with his dog.

Then, on the cusp of his thirtieth birthday, Roy is contacted by a teenage girl from California claiming to be his lost brother’s biological daughter. Yearning for connection and the prospect of family, Roy embarks on a journey across America, visiting childhood haunts in the South to confront his troubled memories and history, and making a stop in Nevada to call on a retired Navy SEAL who may hold the answer to Tommy’s fate. The ultimate destination is San Francisco, where a potential Russian bride and his long-lost niece await, and Roy may finally recover the Joseph line.

Skip Horack is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. His story collection The Southern Cross won the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Fiction Prize, and his novel The Eden Hunter was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. A native of Louisiana, he is currently an assistant professor at Florida State University.


Credit: Kris Krüg
 

 

Beth Shapiro

Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.

How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of de-Extinction

 

The astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction makes possible bringing extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, back to life. Once seen as science fiction, the very real and compelling science behind de-extinction redefines conservation's future. Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used today to resurrect the past - from deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild.

Along with practical benefits, Shapiro explores de-extinctions ethical challenges, using her own research, including her travels to Siberian locales in search of ice age bones, as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter. Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selections over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem.

Beth Shapiro is associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Nature and Science, and she was a 2009 recipient of a MacArthur Award.



 
 

 

Jennifer Jacquet

Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.

Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool

 

"In the age of Anthony Weiner and Miley Cyrus, shame seems an antiquated concept--a quaint tool of conformity-obsessed collectivist societies, replete with scarlet letters and loss of face. In this thought-provoking, wonderfully readable book, Jennifer Jacquet explores the psychology and sociology of shame. In the process, she argues that shaming is far from obsolete, and can be an effective weapon wielded by the weak against the strong." -Robert Sapolsky, author of Monkeyluv.

In our culture of individuality, guilt is advertised as the cornerstone of conscience. Yet while guilt holds individuals to personal standards, it seems impotent in the face of corrupt corporate policies. In recent years, we have been asked to assuage our guilt about these problems as consumers, by buying organic foods or fair trade products, for example. But does the impact of individual consumer consciousness make a difference or is it too microscopic?

Jacquet persuasively argues that the solution to the limitations of guilt can be found in shame, retrofitted for the age of democracy and social media. She demonstrates how shaming can function as a nonviolent form of resistance that, in turn, challenges institutions, organizations, and even governments to actuate large-scale change. She argues that when applied in the right way, the right quantity, and at the right time, shame has the capacity to keep us from failing other species in life's fabric and, ultimately, ourselves.

“Shame is no longer unfashionable, thanks to Jennifer Jacquet. This book describes, in sparkling prose, how important a sense of shame is to civilized life, and provides some fascinating insights as to the role of social media in providing a new tool to moderate shameless behavior.” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow

Jennifer Jacquet is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University. She works at the intersection of conservation and cooperation.



 

 

 

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LAUNCH: Sabaa Tahir

Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 p.m.

An Ember in the Ashes

 

Please join us as we host a very special launch party for local author, Sabaa Tahir.

"I was so engrossed with this book that I missed a connecting flight. If that doesn't convince you to read An Ember in the Ashes, I don't know what will. An explosive, heartbreaking, epic debut that will keep you glued to the pages." –Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. Elias is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When their paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Sabaa will be in conversation with Evelyn Skye.


 

 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Jacqueline Winspear

PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE:

Wednesday, April 29, 7:30pm

A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

 

When Jacqueline visited us in July of 2014, she announced the upcoming publication of the newest book in the Maisie Dobbs series. We are so pleased to announce that we will be celebrating the release of it with a reading by Jacqueline only two days after the publication date.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England; her aging father Frankie Dobbs is not getting any younger.

But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn't ready to return, so she disembarks in Gibraltar. Days after Maisie's arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Jacqueline has won numerous awards, including the Agatha Award for Best Novel, and since An Incomplete Revenge was published in 2008, each of her novels has been an instant New York Times and National Bestseller.


MAY EVENTS


Credit: Elena Seibert
 
 
 

 

Jane Smiley

Tuesday, May 5, 7:30 p.m.

Early Warning

 

Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley brings us the second volume in The Last Hundred Years trilogy, which started with Some Luck, long-listed for the National Book award. Come help us celebrate the publication of Early Warning, the book that chronicles the Langdon's family journey through mid-century America.

Early Warning opens in 1953 with the Langdons at a crossroads. Without spoiling it for those of you who haven't read Some Luck, the five Langdon children are left looking to the future. One remains to work the Iowa farm, while the others scatter to Washington, DC, California, and everywhere in between.

The Langdon children then have children of their own: twin boys who are best friends and vicious rivals; a girl whose rebellious spirit takes her to the notorious Peoples Temple in San Francisco; and a golden boy who drops out of college to fight in Vietnam—leaving behind a secret legacy that will send shockwaves through the Langdon family into the next generation.

The book captures an indelible period in America - the Cold War, the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960s and '70s, and the unprecedented wealth of the early '80s - through the lens of richly drawn characters we come to know and love.

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.


 

Ask a Fodor's Travel Expert with Arabella Bowen, Editor in Chief of Fodor's Travel

Saturday, May 16, 2:00 p.m.

 

Not sure where to go on your next vacation? Want to hear tried-and-true travel tips from the experts? Join us for the rare opportunity to hear from Arabella Bowen, the Editor in Chief of Fodor's Travel and world traveler since the age of five. She will advise you on where to go for your next vacation, how to score deals on hotels and airfare,and top tips for what to pack, when to book, and how to make the most of your trip.

She'll also share her own tales from the road (of which she has many!). And, be sure to bring your travel questions. Fodor's will be bringing fun travel goodies (leather luggage tags, travel journals, etc.) for anyone who attends the event!

Arabella Bowen has been a world traveler since the age of five and a professional travel writer for more than 15 years. A three-month solo trip through South East Asia in 1999 with nothing more than a guidebook for company inspired her to write travel guides herself when she returned home. To date, she has flown more than a million miles, visiting 60+ countries and every continent except Antarctica. Bowen utilizes her extensive travel knowledge to provide the first-hand destination expertise that is synonymous with the Fodor’s name. Fodor’s Travel offers a unique combination of insight and accurate travel information to over 7,500 worldwide destinations across all formats, from print guidebooks to mobile apps and Fodors.com.



 

 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Andrew Keen

Wednesday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.

The Internet Is Not the Answer

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

 

Called the "Christopher Hitchens of the Internet," Andrew Keen describes the ways in which an expanding circle of wealthy "monopolistic" companies like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify and others are disrupting in ways that are hardly as noble as they want us to believe.

Watch the provocative book trailer HERE and prepare for a deluge of intellectual debate and controversy. He has been called the "conscience of the internet" and "the voice of humanity amidst the digitization of our world," and The Internet is Not the Answer is "the best and most readable critique of Silicon Valley yet."

This book traces the technological and economic history of the Internet, from its founding in the 1960s to the creation of the World Wide Web in 1989, through the waves of startups and the rise of the big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity. In this sharp, witty narrative, informed by the work of other writers, reporters, and academics as well as his own research and interviews, Keen shows us the tech world, warts and all - from hoodie-wearing misfit millionaires to the NSA's all-encompassing online surveillance to the impact of the Internet on unemployment and economic inequality.

Andrew Keen is an entrepreneur who founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and built it into a popular first generation Internet company. He is the executive director of the Silicon Valley salon FutureCast, the host of the Techonomy web series "Keen On," a columnist for CNN and has been featured in the national media, including on CNN, NPR and "Colbert Report." He has spoken at LeWeb, DLD, Disrupt, Next Web and TEDx. His books include Digital Vertigo and the Cult of the Amateur, and he lives in San Francisco.


JUNE EVENTS



Credit: William B. McCullough



 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: David McCullough

Tuesday, June 16, 7:30pm

The Wright Brothers

Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway Street, Redwood City

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Fox Theatre Box Office

Join us for a very special evening with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, David McCullough. He is the author of numerous acclaimed books, including 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, and The Greater Journey.

We're so thrilled to celebrate McCullough's new book, The Wright Brothers, in which we'll learn the story-behind-the-story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the brothers who inspired and taught the world to fly. We know all about their achievements and the history of flight, but who were the Wilbur brothers really?

McCullough, drawing on the immense collection of the Wright Papers - including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence - shows us that Wilbur was unquestionably a genius, and Orville had rare mechanical ingenuity. Both brothers had an average public school education, very little money, and no contacts in high places to help them with their "mission" to take to the air. 

These two unknown men of exceptional courage and determination, of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing - a house full of books if without electricity and indoor plumbing - changed history in 1903 in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

This thrilling book tells the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might have gone very differently for them.

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.


JULY EVENTS



 
 

 

Richard Kadrey

Tuesday, July 28, 7:30 p.m.

Killing Pretty (Sandman Slim #7)

 

Join us to hear Richard Kadrey, creator and writer of the Vertigo comics mini-series, Accelerate, a contributing writer for Wired magazine, the SF Chronicle, Discovery Online, who has been immortalized as an action figure for the animated series Blackstar. He'll be sharing the latest installment of the ever-entertaining New York Times-bestselling Sandman Slim series,Killing Pretty.

This time, someone has tried to kill Death-- ripping the heart right out of him-- or rather the body he's inhabiting. Death needs Sandman Slim's help. He believes anyone who can beat Lucifer and the old gods at their own game is the only one who can solve his murder. Stark follows a sordid trail deep into LA's subterranean world, from vampire-infested nightclubs to Weimar Republic mystical societies. Along the way he meets a mysterious girl-- distinguished by a pair of graveyard eyes-- as badass as Slim; she happens to be the only person who ever outwitted Death. But escaping her demise has had dire consequences for the rest of the world... and a few others.