Premier Events presented by Peninsula Arts & Letters




Premier Event: Tim Shriver

Wednesday, December 3, 7:30 p.m.

Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most

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

Remember when you believed you could actually change the world? Perhaps you imagined, as Timothy Shriver did, that the world could be changed “into a place of love and mystery and eternity.” The son of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, and nephew of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy, Timothy was born to families who have spent their lives advocating for people on the margins, inspired largely by Tim’s aunt Rosemary who was born with intellectual disabilities. Join us for an evening with Tim as he reveals how his meetings with world icons and cultural leaders such as Nelson Mandela, and through his own work with the Special Olympics, he changed his life from one focused on power, to a life of humility and vulnerability.

Tim Shriver’s new book, Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most, is at once a memoir and a roadmap for a life that is radically different and inspiring. This new life is inspired by the time he has dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities as chairman of the Special Olympics and co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading research organization in the United States in the field of social and emotional learning. Is disability to be feared or welcomed, pitied or purged? Shriver argues that we all have different abilities and challenges we should embrace. Here we see how those who appear powerless have turned this seeming shortcoming into a power of their own, and we learn that we are all totally vulnerable and valuable at the same time. 

Support the Special Olympics by buying a Premier Ticket; Tim is donating all of his proceeds from the book to the organization.

Credit: Sebastian Mlynarski





PREMIER EVENT: Joshua Davis in conversation with Wired magazine's Mark Robinson

Tuesday, January 13, 7:30pm

Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

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

Student tickets are available! 


Join us for an evening with Joshua Davis, the author of Spare Parts, the book that tells the incredible story of a team of undocumented Mexican American students who win a national robotics competition against all odds.

From Carl Hayden High, a scrappy, underfunded public school in West Phoenix, the newly formed robotics team, under the guidance of two unconventional teachers, took part in a national, NASA-sponsored underwater robotics competition. A seemingly classic underdog story, the Carl Hayden team beat out not only other better funded high schools with top-notch robotics programs, but also college teams, including a team of students from MIT.

Set against the backdrop of urban desert decay, a faltering school system, and our country’s cutthroat immigration policies, this becomes more than a book about triumph, it reveals the startling truth about what it means to be an American and where we will find the next generation of talent.

The book is soon to be adapted into a major motion picture starring George Lopez, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis, and others. We will be holding an exclusive screening of a clip from the movie. Click HERE to view the trailer.

Joshua Davis is an SF-based contributing editor for Wired magazine, a Stanford alum, and the cofounder of Epic magazine ( He is the author of The Underdog: How I Survived the World’s Most Outlandish Competitions, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. In 2014, his work for Wired was nominated for a National Magazine Award for feature writing. He has also written for The New Yorker and other periodicals, and his writing is anthologized in the 2012 edition of Best American Science and Nature Writing, as well as in the 2006, 2007, and 2009 editions of Best Technology Writing.

In more than a decade at Wired, Mark Robinson has served as a senior editor, articles editor, and, now, features editor. Robinson attended Stanford’s master’s program in communication.

Credit: Christopher Turner




PREMIER EVENT: Armistead Maupin

Wednesday, January 28, 7:30pm

The Days of Anna Madrigal (Tales of the City )

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


Think you have to make the trek all the way up to San Francisco to see Armistead Maupin? Think again!! Peninsula Arts and Letters is honored to host Armistead Maupin at Kepler’s Books on Wednesday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m.

It's a rare thing for a book to capture a time and place as beautifully as Armistead Maupin's original Tales of the City series did for 1970's San Francisco. In the era of mood rings and discos, Maupin created a cast of characters he lovingly calls the Logical Family (as opposed to the biological family).

Originally a newspaper serial in the San Francisco Chronicle, Maupin's series started in 1976 and ends in 2013 with his final book, The Days of Anna Madrigal. Whether you are a child of the '70s who wants to reconnect with a bygone era or a first-time reader who wants to experience how the ties of love and friendship transcend decades, you will not be disappointed by tales of Mary Ann Singleton, Michael Tolliver, Mrs. Madrigal, and the rest of the groovy crew that populates Maupin's San Francisco. Gay, straight, bi, or anything else, you will feel like a member of the Logical Family by the end.

The timelessness and popularity of the series lives on in a stage-musical version in May 2011 and Armistead’s continued recognition, including the Lamdba Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award that he received in 2012 and the Visionary Award at the Legacy Gala he received in November 2014 for the first adaptation of the novels. Featuring Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Chloe Webb, Marcus D’Amico and Donald Moffat, the show garnered the highest ratings ever for a dramatic program on PBS.

Come help us celebrate the ninth and final novel in Armistead’s classic Tales of the City series, a triumphant resolution to a saga of urban family life that has enchanted and enlightened readers around the world.





PREMIER EVENT: Jacqueline Winspear

Thursday, March 19, 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.