Kepler's Events Coming Soon
Kepler's events are FREE to the public unless otherwise noted.
To request a signed copy of the book from any in-store event, please click HERE
Credit: Chris Hardy
EAT, DRINK, TALK AND SWAP BOOKS: An Evening at Kepler's
Saturday, May 3, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Come at 6:30 to mingle over drinks and munchies. We'll start the book discussions at 7pm and we'll wrap up the Book Swap festivities around 9pm.
If you're interested in spending an evening with fun, smart, creative and lit-minded souls, Kepler's has put together an event for you: a Book Swap. If not tempted by the good company and great atmosphere, be tempted by delicious food and free-flowing wine. Bring a book you love, one you can talk about all night and are willing to part with at the end of the evening.
You'll go home with a book highly recommended by another BookSwapper, a free Advanced Reader's Edition of a book from Kepler's, and some great suggestions to add to your never-ending 'Must Read' list. There are also rumors of surprise giveaways.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL! Because we're featuring TRACY GUZEMAN and her debut novel The Gravity of Birds. Yes, Tracy will be joining us to discuss her book about which the San Francisco Chronicle said, "With its deft interweaving of psychological complexity and riveting narrative momentum, with its gorgeous prose and poetic justice, Guzeman's book is about sibling rivalry, tragedies and resurrections. And it's irresistibly exquisite." The Gravity of Birds was selected by independent booksellers as an Indie Next pick for August 2013.
Tickets are available now at Kepler's or online at Brown Paper Tickets Online
"Think cocktail party, with a bookish twist." - Litquake
Ed Catmull in conversation with CHM's JOHN HOLLAR
Thursday, May 8, 6:00 p.m.Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View
As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to be an animator and an artist. When he learned that he lacked the natural talent for hand-drawn animation, he turned to his other passion: physics, and then computing. That pivot eventually drove a desire within Catmull to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D student at the University of Utah, where many computer graphics pioneers got their start. He eventually forged a partnership with George Lucas—an alliance that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar Annimation Studios with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Pixar released Toy Story, the first feature-length film created entirely on computers. It changed animation forever.
Pixar has gone on, as of early 2014, to win 27 Academy Awards® for animated filmmaking. When The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Catmull became the President and CEO of the combined Walt Disney Animation Studios. Thus, through his chosen route of physics, mathematics and computing, Ed Catmull realized his dream to be a Disney animator.
In his new book, Creativity, Inc., Catmull reveals some of the secrets of Pixar's success and describes his own approach to inspiring excellence in a very large organization over the long term.
YA Event: Jennifer Donnelly
Thursday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.
We're excited to welcome Jennifer Donnelly, the award-winning author of A Northern Light and Revolution, with Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga.
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.
The Mid-peninsula Community Media Center, Palo Alto Library, and Kepler's present NoViolet Bulawayo
Thursday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto
A remarkable literary debut, We Need New Names tells the unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. The novel won the 2014 PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. It was also selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of NPR Radio's Great Reads of 2013.
In Bulawayo’s engaging and often disturbing semiautobiographical novel, 10-year-old Darling describes, with childlike candor and a penetrating grasp of language, first, her life in Zimbabwe during its so-called Lost Decade and then her life as a teenager in present-day America. What is at once delightful and disturbing is the fact that young Darling and her friends are so resilient amidst chaos.
NoViolet Bulawayo was born in Tsholotsho. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship, and she is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford.
Credit: Dennis Cowley
Friday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.
In this richly detailed novel about the quest for an unknown father, Julia Glass brings new characters together with familiar figures from her first two novels, immersing readers in a panorama that stretches from suburban New Jersey to rural Vermont and ultimately to the tip of Cape Cod.
“Glass explores the pain of family secrets, the importance of identity, and the ultimate meaning of family . . . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Although Glass borrows characters from her National Book Award–winning Three Junes, it is not necessary to have read that previous book to enjoy this lovely, highly readable, and thought-provoking novel.” —Booklist, starred review
Julia Glass graduated from Yale. Intending to become a painter, she moved to New York City, where she lived for many years, painting in a small studio in Brooklyn and supporting herself as a free-lance editor and copy editor, including several years in the copy department of Cosmopolitan magazine. Her debut novel, Three Junes, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2002. She followed with a second novel, The Whole World Over, in 2006, set in the same Bank Street–Greenwich Village universe, with three interwoven stories featuring several characters from Three Junes. Her third novel, I See You Everywhere, was published in 2008, and her fourth, The Widower’s Tale, was published in 2010.
Monday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.
Washington, D.C., might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of big politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation’s capital, just millionaires.
In This Town, Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, presents a blistering, stunning—and often hysterically funny— examination of our ruling class’s incestuous “media industrial complex.” Through his eyes, we discover how the funeral for a beloved newsman becomes the social event of the year. How political reporters are fetishized for their ability to get their names into the predawn e-mail sent out by the city’s most powerful and puzzled-over journalist. How a disgraced Hill aide can overcome ignominy and maybe emerge with a more potent “brand” than many elected members of Congress. And how an administration bent on “changing Washington” can be sucked into the ways of This Town with the same ease with which Tea Party insurgents can, once elected, settle into it like a warm bath.
Tuesday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.
Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club’s loyal denizens, including the rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi.
“Brilliant and wicked and funny and right on-never has Europe been done with such savage precision…Every bit funny and appalling, at the end especially, of course. There’s not a French affectation, hypocrisy or depravity left untouched. I love it!” (Diane Johnson, author of LE MARIAGE and L'AFFAIRE)
Francine Prose is the author of twenty works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. She's recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright.
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.
Thursday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.
50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission Into the Heart of Nazi Germany
In early 1939, few Americans were thinking about the darkening storm clouds over Europe. Nor did they have much sympathy for the growing number of Jewish families that were increasingly threatened and brutalized by Adolf Hitler's policies in Germany and Austria.
But one ordinary American couple decided that something had to be done. Despite overwhelming obstacles--both in Europe and in the United States--Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus made a bold and unprecedented decision to travel into Nazi Germany in an effort to save a group of Jewish children.
Drawing from Eleanor Kraus's unpublished memoir, rare historical documents, and interviews with more than a dozen of the surviving children, and illustrated with period photographs, archival materials, and memorabilia, 50 Children is a remarkable tale of personal courage and triumphant heroism.
Steven Pressman was a magazine and newspaper journalist for more than thirty years. He is the author of Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile, and the writer, director, and producer of the HBO documentary film "50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus".
Tuesday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.
From the acclaimed and award-winning author of Anywhere But Here and My Hollywood, a powerful new novel about a young boy’s quest to uncover the mysteries of his unraveling family. What he discovers turns out to be what he least wants to know: the inner workings of his parents’ lives. And even then he can’t stop searching.
“Ensnaring, witty, and perceptive . . . This exceptionally incisive, fine–tuned and charming novel unfolds gracefully as [Simpson] brings fresh understanding and keen humor to the complexities intrinsic to each stage of life and love.”––Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“This is a story about a son’s love for his mother, and Simpson’s portrayal of utter loyalty is infectious.”––Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Mona Simpson studied poetry at Berkeley and attended graduate school in Columbia's MFA program. She has also written The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road. Her work has been awarded several prizes: a Whiting Prize, a Guggenheim, a grant from the NEA, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Prize, a Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, a Pen Faulkner finalist, and most recently a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Credit: Sven Wiederholt
Wednesday, May 21, 7:30 p.m.
The stories in Tom Barbash's wondrous and evocative collection explore the myriad ways we try to connect with one another and with the sometimes cruel world around us. The newly single mother in "The Break" interferes in her son's love life over his Christmas vacation from college. The anxious young man in "Balloon Night" persists in hosting his and his wife's annual watch-the-Macy's-Thanksgiving-Day-Parade-floats-be-inflated party while trying to keep the myth of his marriage equally afloat. "Somebody's Son" tells the story of a young man guiltily conning an elderly couple out of their home in the Adirondacks, and the narrator in "The Women" watches his widowed father become the toast of Manhattan's midlife dating scene, as he struggles to find his own footing in life.
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.
Thursday, May 22, 7:30 p.m.
Early studies of the functions of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike-strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, lobotomies, horrendous accidents-and see how the victim coped. In many cases survival was miraculous, and observers could only marvel at the transformations that took place afterward, altering victims' personalities. But a few scientists realized that these injuries were an opportunity for studying brain function at its extremes. With lucid explanations and incisive wit, Sam Kean explains the brain's secret passageways while recounting forgotten stories of common people whose struggles, resiliency, and deep humanity made modern neuroscience possible.
Sam Kean is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and New Scientist, and has been featured on NPR's "Radiolab" and "All Things Considered."
Rob Baedeker and Chris Colin
Wednesday, May 28, 7:30 p.m.
Homo sapiens have been speaking for hundreds of years—and yet basic communication still stymies us. We freeze up in elevators, on dates, at parties, under Dumpsters. We stagger through our exchanges merely hoping not to crash, never considering that we might soar. We go home sweaty and eat a birthday cake in the shower.
But no more. With What to Talk About you'll learn to speak—fluently, intelligently, charmingly—to family, friends, coworkers, lovers, future lovers, horse trainers, children, even yourself. This hilarious manual, written by two award-winning authors and illustrated by legendary cartoonist Tony Millionaire, is tailor-made for anyone who might one day attend a dinner party, start a job, celebrate a birthday, graduate from school, date a human, or otherwise use words.
Rob Baedeker is a writer, performer, and co-founder of the Kasper Hauser comedy group. He lives in Oakland. Chris Colin is an author and journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wired, and McSweeney's Quarterly. He lives in San Francisco.
Wednesday, June 4, 7:30 p.m.
From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize—comes the extraordinary, unexpected debut tale of three generations of Chinese-American women in a San Francisco family who must confront their past and carve out a future.
“Kathryn Ma’s first novel is electrified by the enraged tenderness of its alienated young protagonist. Part mystery, part odyssey, The Year She Left Us heralds the arrival of a fierce, subtle new American voice.” (Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad)
“A sweeping success-a standout from the many novels about Chinese assimilation and the families of Chinese immigrants-with a fascinating protagonist with a troubling past. This is a family saga of insight, regret, and pathos, and it is not to be missed.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kathryn is the daughter of parents who emigrated from China. Kathryn was a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. In 2011, she was a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California.
Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction and a master’s degree in history from Stanford. She earned a JD from UC Berkeley and practiced law for a number of years in San Francisco. She is an active volunteer in the arts and education, serving previously as the founding board chair of the San Francisco Friends School and currently on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
Senia Maymin, Ph.D.
Thursday, June 5, 7:30 p.m.
You're constantly challenged to grow your business, increase productivity, and improve quality—all while reducing or keeping budgets flat. So what's a manager to do?
You've streamlined processes. You've restructured. You’ve sought customer and employee feedback. You've tried everything. Now, try something that works. Profit from the Positive is a practical, groundbreaking guide for business leaders, managers, executive coaches, and human resource professionals.)
Featuring case studies of some of the most forward-thinking and successful companies today—Google, Zappos, and Amazon, to name a few—Profit from the Positive provides over two dozen evidence-based tools you can apply immediately.)
Senia Maymin, PhD, is an executive coach to entrepreneurs and CEOs. Maymin runs a coaches network and is the founder and editor in chief of the research news site PositivePsychologyNews.com. She holds a BA in math and economics from Harvard University, a MAPP from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA and PhD in organizational behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Tuesday, June 10, 7:30 p.m.
It’s 1938 in San Francisco: a world’s fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub.
The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.)
“This is one of those stories I’ve always wanted to tell, but Lisa See beat me to it, and she did it better than I ever could. Bravo! Here’s a roaring standing ovation for this heartwarming journey into the glittering golden age of Chinese nightclubs.”—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Songs of Willow Frost
Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Dreams of Joy, Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year.
Wednesday, June 11, 7:30 p.m.
Tom Rachman—the author of The Imperfectionists and celebrated for humanity, humor, and wonderful characters—has produced a stunning novel that reveals the tale not just of one woman but of the past quarter-century as well, from the end of the Cold War to the dominance of American empire to the digital revolution of today. Leaping between decades, and from Bangkok to Brooklyn, this is a breathtaking novel about long-buried secrets and how we must choose to make our own place in the world.
Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers.
Tom Rachman was born in London and raised in Vancouver. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Columbia School of Journalism, he has been a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, stationed in Rome, and worked as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris.
Credit: Elenna Loughlin
Thursday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.
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: Mats Rudels
Monday, June 16, 7:30 p.m.
How Not to Be Wrong presents surprising revelations using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon.
Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.
Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.”.
Jordan Ellenberg is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has lectured around the world on his research in number theory and delivered one of the plenary addresses at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, the largest math conference in the world. His writing has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Believer, and he has been featured on the Today show and NPR’s All Things Considered. He writes a popular column called “Do the Math” for Slate.
Credit: Rainer Hosch
Wednesday, June 25, 7:30 p.m.
Paris, 1938. As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, on the eve of World War II.
“Though set in a specific place and time, Furst’s books are like Chopin’s nocturnes: timeless, transcendent, universal. One does not so much read them as fall under their spell.”—Los Angeles Times
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is also the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw, Spies of the Balkans, and Mission to Paris. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris, and now lives on Long Island.
Ninja Story Time with Arree Chung
Sunday, June 29, 11:00 a.m.
Do you want to know more about ninjas? Join us as Arree Chung introduces us to his new book, Ninja! We'll find out that a ninja must be strong, courageous, and silent! He creeps through the house on a secret mission. There may be obstacles! But have no fear—a true ninja can overcome all challenges.
Arree Chung has worked in video games as a designer and art director. He received his ninja training at Art Center College of Design. When he is not practicing his ninja moves, you can find him playing basketball or riding his bike. Ninja! is the first book he has written and illustrated.