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Thursday

October 10

7 PM

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz & Kathryn Bowers

Wildhood

The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals

"It blew my mind to discover that teenage animals and teenage humans are so similar. Both are naive risk-takers. I loved this book!" --Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation

 

A revelatory investigation of human and animal adolescence and young adulthood from the New York Times bestselling authors of Zoobiquity.

 

With Wildhood, Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers have created an entirely new way of thinking about the crucial, vulnerable, and exhilarating phase of life between childhood and adulthood across the animal kingdom.

 

In their critically acclaimed bestseller, Zoobiquity, the authors revealed the essential connection between human and animal health. In Wildhood, they turn the same eye-opening, species-spanning lens to adolescent young adult life. Traveling around the world and drawing from their latest research, they find that the same four universal challenges are faced by every adolescent human and animal on earth: how to be safe, how to navigate hierarchy; how to court potential mates; and how to feed oneself. Safety. Status. Sex. Self-reliance. How human and animal adolescents and young adults confront the challenges of wildhood shapes their adult destinies.

 

Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers illuminate these core challenges through the lives of four animals in the wild: Ursula, a young king penguin; Shrink, a charismatic hyena; Salt, a matriarchal humpback whale; and Slavc, a roaming European wolf. Through their riveting stories--and those of countless others, from adventurous eagles and rambunctious high schooler to inexperienced orcas and naive young soldiers--readers get a vivid and game-changing portrait of adolescent young adults as a horizontal tribe, sharing behaviors and challenges, setbacks and triumphs.

 

Upending our understanding of everything from risk-taking and anxiety to the origins of privilege and the nature of sexual coercion and consent, Wildhood is a profound and necessary guide to the perilous, thrilling, and universal journey to adulthood on planet earth.

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD, is a Visiting Professor at Harvard University in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. She is also Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at UCLA where she co-founded the Evolutionary Medicine program. She is the coauthor of Zoobiquity and Wildhood.

Kathryn Bowers is a science journalist who has taught medical narrative and comparative literature at UCLA. She's a Future Tense Fellow at New America in Washington, DC, and was an editor at Zócalo Public Square in Los Angeles. She is the coauthor of Zoobiquity and Wildhood.

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Thursday

October 17

7 PM

Leslie Carol Roberts

Here Is Where I Walk

Episodes From A Life In The Forest

It is in the Presidio of San Francisco, California, that Leslie Carol Roberts walks. The Presidio, America's only residential national park tucked wholly into an urban setting, is a fading historic forest. Here is where Leslie's memories of other places, people, and travels emerge. Here is where the author's home has been for more than a decade, and here is the place she raised her two children as a single mother.

In layered stories of her life and travels, Leslie turns her daily walks into revelations of deeper meaning. From Maryland to Iowa to Tasmania, we follow a fierce and keenly observant walker through places of exquisite beauty and complexity. Her daily walks inspire Leslie to accept the invitation of the beckoning trees where she finds herself colliding with the urban coyote, the peculiar banana slug, and the manzanita. She also notes both ridiculous and poignant aspects of human ecosystems in pursuit of what it means to live a life of creativity and creation from scientist-activists battling to save environments to the tragic realities of ordinary life.

In this finely crafted eco-memoir, each place provides Leslie with exactly the scaffolding needed to survive, with nature serving as the tonic. Here is Where I Walk provides a vivid answer to how we can find our place, not only in nature but within ourselves and the world we walk.

Leslie Carol Roberts is an author, journalist, and essayist. She is also professor and chair of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California.

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Thursday

October 24

7 PM

Rhonda Magee

The Inner Work of Racial Justice

Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness

An essential mindfulness and compassion-based approach to confront racial injustice and work towards healing

 

Law professor and mindfulness practitioner Rhonda Magee shows that the work of racial justice begins with ourselves. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of our own tribe, and to blame others. The practice of embodied mindfulness--paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way--increases our emotional resilience, helps us to recognize our unconscious bias, and gives us the space to become less reactive and to choose how we respond to injustice.

 

For victims of injustice, embodied mindfulness calms our fears and helps us to exercise self-compassion. Magee shows us how to slow down and reflect on microaggressions--to hold them with some objectivity and distance--rather than bury unpleasant experiences so they have a cumulative effect over time. She helps us develop the capacity to address the fears and anxieties that would otherwise lead us to re-create patterns of separation and division.

 

It is only by healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection that we develop the ability to view others with compassion and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints. Incorporating mindfulness exercises, research, and Magee's hard-won insights, The Inner Work of Racial Justice offers a road map to a more peaceful world.

Rhonda V. Magee is a professor of law at the University of San Francisco. Also trained in sociology and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), she is a highly practiced facilitator of trauma-sensitive, restorative MBSR interventions for lawyers and law students, and for minimizing the effects of social-identity-based bias. Magee has been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society and a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Tuesday

October 29

7 PM

Meg Waite Clayton & E.R. Ramzipoor

        

The Last Train To London and The Ventriloquists

From the New York Times bestselling novelist Meg Waite Clayton comes a powerful novel, set in the pre-World War II era, based on the true story of the Kindertransport rescue of ten thousand children from Nazi-occupied Europe--and of one brave woman who helped them escape.

In 1936, the Nazis are little more than brutish boors to fifteen-year-old Stephan Neuman, a budding playwright and the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. Stephan's best friend and companion is the brilliant Zofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents' carefree innocence is shattered when Hitler's forces advance.

There is hope in the darkness, though. Truus Wijsmuller, a childless Dutchwoman, risks her life to smuggle children out of Nazi-occupied lands to the nations that will take them. It is a mission that becomes even more dangerous as countries across Europe close their borders to the growing number of refugees desperate to escape after the Anschluss, Hitler's annexation of Austria.

Tante Truus, as she is known, is determined to save as many children as she can. After Britain passes a measure to take in young refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Truus then sets off in a race against time to lead hundreds of children on a perilous journey to freedom.

 

In Ramzipoor's triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.

 

The Nazis stole their voices. But they would not be silenced.

 

Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country's most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene's world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network that publishes dissident underground newspapers.

 

The Nazis track down Aubrion's team and give them an impossible choice: turn the resistance newspapers into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway public opinion against the Allies, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea. While pretending to do the Nazis' bidding, they will instead publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin--daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.

 

The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.

 

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters and stunning historical detail, E.R. Ramzipoor's dazzling debut novel illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by time. It is a moving and powerful ode to the importance of the written word and to the unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.

 

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Saturday

November 2

11 AM

Wendy Gorton

50 Hikes With Kids: California

A Love of Nature Starts Here!

California kids live in a magnificent natural playground, and 50 Hikes with Kids California helps them explore its beaches, deserts, mountains, and forests. Scavenger hunts for every hike make it fun for families to learn about the region's geology, flora, and fauna. For successful adventures with even the youngest trekkers, award-winning author Wendy Gorton includes a detailed map, trustworthy and intuitive directions, a difficulty rating, restroom info, and places to grab a snack nearby for every trip.

Wendy Gorton holds a master's degree in learning technologies and is a former classroom teacher. She has worked as a National Geographic Fellow in Australia researching Tasmanian devils, a PolarTREC teacher researcher in archaeology in Alaska, an Earthwatch teacher fellow in the Bahamas and New Orleans, and a GoNorth! teacher explorer studying climate change via dogsled in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Today, she is a global education consultant who has traveled to more than fifty countries to design programs, build communities, and train other educators to do the same.

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Tuesday

November 5

7 PM

Joan C. Williams

 

White Working Class

Overcoming Class Cluelessness In America

Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite--journalists, managers, and establishment politicians--are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having "something approaching rock star status" by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite's analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

Williams explains that many people have conflated "working class" with "poor"--but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. They often resent the poor and the professionals alike. But they don't resent the truly rich, nor are they particularly bothered by income inequality. Their dream is not to join the upper middle class, with its different culture, but to stay true to their own values in their own communities--just with more money. While white working-class motivations are often dismissed as racist or xenophobic, Williams shows that they have their own class consciousness.

White Working Class is a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force. For anyone stunned by the rise of populist, nationalist movements, wondering why so many would seemingly vote against their own economic interests, or simply feeling like a stranger in their own country, White Working Class will be a convincing primer on how to connect with a crucial set of workers--and voters.