Premier Events presented by Peninsula Arts & Letters

 


Credit: Elenna Loughlin 

 

 

Diana Gabaldon

Thursday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Foothill College - Smithwick Theater, 12345 El Monte Rd., Los Altos Hills

 

Peninsula Arts & Letters is so pleased to welcome Diana Gabaldon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels.

In Outlander, Diana Gabaldon told the story of Claire Randall, an English ex-combat nurse who walks through a stone circle in the Scottish Highlands in 1946, and disappears . . . into 1743. The story unfolded from there in seven bestselling novels, and CNN has called it "a grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries]." Now the story continues in Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington's troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie's wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family's secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

Tickets are available at Kepler's or click HERE to order them online. 



Credit: Lynn Grady

 

Christopher Moore

Wednesday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.


New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic that brings back the Pocket of Dog Snogging, the eponymous hero of Fool, along with his sidekick, Drool, and pet monkey, Jeff.

Venice, a long time ago. A trio of cunning plotters-the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago-have lured the rascal-Fool Pocket, the erstwhile envoy of Britain and France, and widower of the murdered Queen Cordelia, to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of spirits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio's beautiful daughter, Portia.

But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn't even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he's got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.

Tickets are available at Kepler's or click HERE to purchase tickets online.


Credit: Peter Abzug 

 

Barbara Ehrenreich in conversation with Angie Coiro

Friday, April 25, 7:30 p.m. 

Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything


Please join us for a wonderful evening with Barbara Ehrenreich, the bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch.

In middle age, Ehrenreich came across the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence and set out to reconstruct that quest, which had taken her to the study of science and through a cataclysmic series of uncanny-or as she later learned to call them, "mystical"-experiences. A staunch atheist and rationalist, she is profoundly shaken by the implications of her life-long search. 

Part memoir, part philosophical and spiritual inquiry, LIVING WITH A WILD GOD brings an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's uninhibited musings on the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all.

Angie Coiro is an American talk radio host. She is host and senior producer of "LIVE FROM THE LEFT COAST with Angie Coiro" (formerly known as "The Green Show") on WPWC-AM We Act Radio in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she was the host of Mother Jones Radio on Air America Radio. She is a founder and co-owner of Internet TV channel MixTV, based in Berkeley, CA.

Tickets: $10 ($15 at the door.)

They will be available soon at Kepler's. To purchase them online, click HERE.


Credit: Andrea Brizzi 

 

 

Michio Kaku

Sunday, March 2, 2:00 p.m. 

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

Fox Theater, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City


Please join us for a fascinating afternoon with renowned theoretical physicist and noted author, Michio Kaku who will present his latest book, The Future of the Mind.

Dr. Kaku holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, where he has taught for over 25 years. He is a co-creator of string field theory, a branch of string theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Hyperspace, Beyond Einstein, Physics of the Impossible, and Physics of the Future

Dr. Kaku hosted “The Universe” on the History Channel and has appeared on Discovery, BBC, ABC, the Science Channel, and CNN. He has written for Discover, Wired, and New Scientist, been featured in the documentary Me & Isaac Newton, and hosted many of his own including BBC’s recent series on Time.

In The Future of the Mind, Dr. Kaku gives us a look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist.

Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about "consciousness" and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness.

Tickets are available at Kepler's or click HERE to order them online.


Credit: Rick Smolan, Against All Odds Productions 

 

 

Premier Event: Amy Tan in conversation with Jan Yanehiro

Tuesday, January 7, 7:00 p.m.

The Valley of Amazement


Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged fourteen-year-old daughter of the American madam of the city’s most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a “virgin courtesan.” 

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal moments of the past: the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty; the beginning of the Republic; the explosive growth of both lucrative foreign trade and bouts of antiforeign sentiment, which would have ramifications into the future.

This deeply evocative narrative exposes the profound connections between mothers and daughters, which returns readers to the compelling territory Amy Tan so expertly mapped in The Joy Luck Club.

Jan Yanehiro pioneered the magazine format on television as co-host of “Evening Magazine,” a nightly program in San Francisco that ran for 15 years on KPIX TV-CBS5. Currently she is the Director of the School of MultiMedia Communications at Academy of Art University, San Francisco. She has hosted 6 documentaries on the redress and relocation issues of Japanese Americans during World War II. Jan has won multiple awards including an Emmy and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. She is the mother of six (three of her own and three step-children), holds seats on several boards including the Kristi Yamaguchi Always Dream Foundation and The Bank of Marin. Her latest book is titled, This Is Not The Life I Ordered: 50 Ways To Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down.


PAST EVENTS - 2013


  

 

Premier Event: Richard Dawkins

Saturday, October 5, 7:30 p.m.

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist 


Richard Dawkins has been central to the debates surrounding creationism, intelligent design and religion. He coined the word meme, and his gene-centric view of evolution helped popularize the radical new understanding of Darwinism.

His new book is a memoir covering his early life in colonial Kenya, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and the creation of his books and philosophy.

 


 

 

James Franco

Sunday, October 27, 2:00 p.m.

 

Menlo-Atherton Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton High School

555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

Academy Award Nominated actor James Franco will be discussing his debut novel Actors Anonymous. The actors in the novel include a McDonald’s drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers and Midwestern transplants; a vampire flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor gone AWOL; and the ghost of River Phoenix. Then there’s Franco himself, who prowls backstage, peering out between the lines—before taking the stage with fascinating meditations on his art, along with nightmarish tales of excess.

James Franco was born at Stanford Hospital and spent the first 18 years of his life in Palo Alto. He is an actor, director, author, and visual artist. His film appearances include Milk, Pineapple Express, Howl, and 127 Hours, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He is the author of the collection Palo Alto, and his writing has been published in Esquire, Vanity Fair, N+1, The Wall Street Journal, and McSweeney’s. Franco’s art has been exhibited throughout the world including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s PS1 in New York, the Clocktower Gallery in New York, and the Peres Projects in Berlin.

   

 

Credit: Setsuko Sato Winchester  

  

Simon Winchester

Monday, October 28, 7:30 p.m.

Kepler's Books


Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author ofAtlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.

How did America become "one nation, indivisible"? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators. Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.


Courtesy of IDEO 

  
 

Premier Event: Tom Kelley and David Kelley

Wednesday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.

Kepler's Books 

IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation, have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the "creative types." But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative. In an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, the Stanford d.school, and with many of the world's top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives, and allow us to innovate in terms of how we approach and solve problems. It is a book that will help each of us be more productive and successful in our lives and in our careers. 


Credit: Suzannah Gilman 

  
 

Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins

Saturday, November 9, 7:00 p.m.

Kepler's Books

In partnership with the Stanford Humanities Center

From the two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins comes his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years. Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. By turns playful, ironic, and serious, Collins’s poetry captures the nuances of everyday life while leading the reader into zones of inspired wonder.

Billy Collins is the author of ten collections of poetry and is also the editor of Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds. A Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, and Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute of Rollins College, he was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and Poet Laureate of New York State from 2004 to 2006.


 
Credit: Michael Lionstar 

 

 

Alexander McCall Smith

Thursday, November 14, 7:00 p.m.

Kepler's Books

 

In the latest book in the beloved best-selling series of mysteries set in Botswana, Mma Ramotswe is asked to help the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, who is having trouble with her business. The salon has suffered some unfortunate events. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business? Meanwhile, on the home front, Mma Makutsi is going to have a baby. But in Botswana this may be cause for as much controversy as celebration.

Alexander McCall Smith has written more than 60 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. Referred to as our new P.G. Wodehouse, he is best known for his internationally acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which rapidly rose to the top of the bestseller lists throughout the world.

 


 

Mitch Albom

Wednesday, November 20, 7:00 p.m.


 Kepler's Books

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief—and a page-turner that will touch you.

Mitch Albom is a best-selling author, screenwriter, playwright and nationally-syndicated columnist. The author of five consecutive No.1 New York Times bestsellers, his books have collectively sold more than 33 million copies in forty-two languages worldwide.Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four straight years atop the New York Times list, is now the bestselling memoir of all time.

Four of Albom's books, including Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day and Have A Little Faith, have been made into highly acclaimed TV movies for ABC. Oprah Winfrey produced Tuesdays with Morrie, which claimed four Emmy awards including a best actor nod for Jack Lemmon in the lead role.

Albom has founded six charities in and around Detroit, including the first ever 24-hour medical clinic for homeless children in America. He also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, dedicated to the safety, education and spiritual development of impoverished children who were victims of the 2010 earthquake.



Kepler’s Arts & Lectures programs are produced by Peninsula Arts & Lectures, a project of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF).  SVCF is a nonprofit charity exempt from federal income tax under IRS section 501(c)(3).