Past #UNBOUND Events

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Young Adult

Wednesday, May 6 – Of Violence and Hope

Wednesday, May 13 – Our Stories, Our Voices

Wednesday, May 20 – Beyond Our World: Shifting Identities and Steady Hearts

Wednesday, May 27 – This Thing Called Love, Part 1

Wednesday, June 3 – Girls, Guts and Gadgets

Wednesday, June 10 – This Thing Called Love, Part 2

Middle Grade

Saturday, May 2 – Ivy and Bean Shelter in Place

Sunday, May 3 – Courage and Heart in Adversity

Saturday, May 9 – Justice for All

Saturday, May 16 – The You You’re Meant to Be

Saturday, May 23 – Lemonade and Stuck-at-Home Startups for Kids

Saturday, May 30 – Book Club for Kids podcast with Anne Nesbet and Kitty Felde

Saturday, June 6 – The First Dinosaur

Picture Book

Saturday, May 2 – We’re All Part of Outside

Sunday, May 3 – Music Makes A Family

Saturday, May 9 – The Fabled Life of Aesop

Saturday, May 16 – A Book for Escargot

Saturday, May 23 – Everyone’s Awake

Saturday, May 30 – In A Garden

Saturday, June 6 – Cat Dog Dog

When?

#UNBOUND launched the weekend of May 1-3. Programs air Tuesday, Wednesday (Young Adult), and Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings for young children and middle-graders. Plus some Saturday night specials! Most programs are FREE.


What?

#UNBOUND presents notable authors in free, stimulating literary conversations highly relevant for our challenging times. Programs debut on YouTube Premiere with live audience chat, then remain as recordings there and on our site. (Some special ticketed programs include live audience questions to the authors —join our mailing list to find out!)



Vote At Home
with Amber McReynolds and Jesse Wegman

Moderated by Ian Haney Lopez
Program debuted on Friday May 1st, 7:00 PM PST




As highlighted by urgent op-eds and leading journalists, the November 2020 election will be disrupted, perhaps severely, by the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a secure and well-studied solution available: voting by mail, which promises to protect public health and the integrity of our democracy. What are the pathways to making vote-by-mail widely available? What are the challenges? Who implements this kind of policy change, and where? And, with the most consequential election of our lifetimes less than six months away, how can citizens organize to push for this bipartisan mandate and actually get results within an urgent timeframe?

Jesse Wegman has written about the Supreme Court and legal affairs for the New York Times editorial board since 2013, and his book Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College was praised by National Book Award winner and MacArthur fellow Annette Gordon-Reed as a “timely and erudite work that should interest all who are interested in the future of the United States.” He’s joined by Amber McReynolds, CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition and co-author of When Women Vote. These nationally recognized experts on voting rights, the Constitution, and electoral law engage in a spirited and forward-looking conversation moderated by Ian Haney Lopez, author of Merge Left, which astutely examines the role of coded racism in contemporary political campaigns.

Want to take action in response to what you hear? Check out our Resources page!

Our series on Voting Rights has been generously supported by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, Guy and Jeanine Saperstein, and Mal Warwick Donordigital.
And a special thank you to our distribution partners, including AJC Decatur Book Festival (Decatur, GA), JLF Colorado (Boulder, CO), Literary Arts (Portland, OR), and the Wisconsin Book Festival (Madison, WI).



Recommended Reading


Amber McReynolds, When Women Vote
Jesse Wegman, et the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College.
Ian Haney Lopez, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




These free programs take many resources to produce. Can you help cover costs?

SPECIAL PROGRAM
Coming Together When Things Fall Apart:
Giving Voice to Emotional Truth in our Times

Featuring Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize winning author of All the Light We Cannot See and The Shell Collector; R.O. Kwon, bestselling author of The Incendiaries; and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees. Moderated by Danielle Evans, Hurston-Wright Award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self and the forthcoming The Office of Historical Corrections



This event was recorded live on May 2 as a ticketed fundraiser, starting at $40. We greatly appreciate the generosity of these authors in lending their time and brilliance to help the festival! While eventually we’ll release this program for free, for just a little longer we’re asking for a donation of $20 to watch it. Not only is this program totally worth it, but you’ll be helping the festival endure to continue to bring you programs like this one.

After you make your donation here, we’ll send you a special viewing link, along with a “literary companion” list of books and articles cited by the authors, their own recent writings on COVID-19, and so on.

This event is for everyone who’s ever been moved by a writer’s uncanny gift for describing the indescribable: a gift that makes us feel seen and understood in all our complexity. It’s a gift we need now, more than ever. A novelist’s stock in trade is plumbing the emotional landscape of characters experiencing freefall, upheaval, uncertainty—just as all of us are experiencing, in some measure, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the overwhelming emotions of this current moment render us speechless, who better to break the silence and put words to complicated feelings than some of contemporary literature’s most groundbreaking, humane, and breathtaking voices?

Acclaimed novelist R.O. Kwon’s transcendent New York Times essay about grief in lockdown was the inspiration for this conversation. Joining her are Anthony Doerr, whose blockbuster World War II novel All the Light We Cannot See illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another; and Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose witty, exquisite The Sympathizer captures the ambivalence and humanity of “a man of two minds” in the midst of a traumatic war. Moderated by award-winning author Danielle Evans, who recently penned a beautiful essay about sheltering-in-place for The Sewanee Review’s “Corona Correspondences” series.

This ticketed live event, a fundraiser for the Bay Area Book Festival, will take us beyond the headlines and tweets into a raw, cathartic conversation about navigating lockdown, loss, and massive change. In the midst of this strange time, an hour of deep connection can bring hope and courage to us all. .

Recommended Reading

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
R.O. Kwon, The Incendiaries
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
Danielle Evans, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Shedding Light, Vanquishing Fear: End-of-Life Planning with the Experts: BJ Miller, MD, Katy Butler, and Shoshana Berger

Moderated by Sunita Puri, MD
Program will air Sunday May 3rd, 7:00 PM PST




In a time where COVID-19 looms over us all, difficult conversations about death have become a very real part of life. But from living rooms to hospital rooms, there’s widespread resistance to delving into this important topic that touches us all. We tend to perceive death as too scary, too ugly, too overwhelming to acknowledge—let alone something to approach in a peaceful, prepared way. In this informative, enlightening, and truly comforting discussion, four remarkable experts show families and individuals how to take a clear-eyed, compassionate approach to mortality, one’s own and that of loved ones. These authors shed light on how medical providers and patients alike can reshape the mentality of fear around the process of dying and create a much better experience for all, one that can be transformative and extremely meaningful. By exercising agency in planning for the “best possible death,” we can create our best possible life.

This revelatory conversation features journalist Shoshana Berger and palliative care physician BJ Miller, co-authors of A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death, praised by The Washington Post as “a gentle, knowledgeable guide to a fate we all share.” They are joined by award-winning journalist and bestselling writer Katy Butler, author of two groundbreaking books about the end of life: Knocking on Heaven’s Door, the Path to a Better Way of Death, and her latest, The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life, hailed as “a roadmap to the end” that “combines medical, practical, and spiritual guidance” (The Boston Globe). Moderated by Dr. Sunita Puri, whose memoir That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour is a “profound exploration for what it means for all of us to live—and to die—with dignity and purpose” (People Magazine). Dr. Puri is currently on the frontlines working with COVID-19 patients as the Medical Director of the Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care Service at the Keck Hospital and Norris Cancer Center of the University of Southern California.



Recommended Reading


Shoshana Berger and BJ Miller, A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death
Katy Butler, The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life
Sunita Puri, MD, That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Your contribution supports the nonprofit festival and keeps these programs free



Queens of Mystery:
Writer to Writer with Meg Gardiner and Rachel Howzell Hall

Moderated by Laurie King
Program will air Tuesday May 5th, 7:00 PM PST




“Suspense is like a woman,” said Hitchcock. “The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement.” Well, these two women are coming for Hitchcock’s crown with some of the most spine-tingling, sophisticated thrillers being written today. Meg Gardiner, bestselling novelist and president of Mystery Writers of America, was fittingly called “Hitchcockian” by USA Today. She specializes in heroines with big brains, from FBI agents to forensic psychiatrists to firecracker journalists (Stephen King called her Evan Delaney novels “the finest crime-suspense series I’ve come across in the last twenty years”). And Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the Detective Elouise Norton series, has created an unforgettable protagonist described by The New York Times as “someone you want on your side.” Hall’s newest, which ABC News calls her “breakout novel,” is They all Fall Down, a wickedly clever mystery set on a pristine—and deadly—island paradise in Mexico.

Listen to these two leading ladies of suspense as they crack the case of how to make readers stay up all night. Moderated by Laurie King, an Edgar Award-winning author of detective fiction and President of the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America.



Recommended Reading


Meg Gardiner, The Dark Corners of the Night
Rachel Howzell Hall, They All Fall Down
Laurie King, Beginnings

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




If you can afford it, contribute a “ticket price” to help cover this program’s real costs



Unrigging the Rules for the Rising American Electorate:
David Daley and Steve Phillips

Moderated by Rebecca Nagle
Program will air Thursday May 7th, 7:00 PM PST




Who holds America’s future in their hands? Who has the potential to dramatically reshape our political landscape, just by exercising the right to vote? The past few years have seen an exciting infusion of political engagement from a diverse electorate as young people, people of color, and single women are mobilizing and making their voices heard. For every victory and milestone, however, there is an equally coordinated—if insidious—attempt to disenfranchise these citizens from turning out to vote. From polling station closures to gerrymandering, from voter ID laws to the purging of voter rolls, suppressive tactics are deliberate, methodical, and ubiquitous.

We’ll learn how to unrig the rules to ensure these rising new voices—and their votes—are counted, with insights from bestselling authorities on voting rights: Steve Phillips, founder of Democracy in Color and author of Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority, and David Daley, author of Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy and the 2016 bestseller Ratf***ed: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count, which has become an urgent reference point for the upcoming post-census round of redistricting. Moderated by indigenous activist and journalist Rebecca Nagle, whose groundbreaking podcast, This Land, won the prestigious American Mosaic Journalism Prize.

Want to take action in response to what you hear? Check out our Resources page!

Our series on Voting Rights has been generously supported by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, Guy and Jeanine Saperstein, and Mal Warwick Donordigital.
And a special thank you to our distribution partners, including AJC Decatur Book Festival (Decatur, GA), JLF Colorado (Boulder, CO), Literary Arts (Portland, OR), and the Wisconsin Book Festival (Madison, WI).



Recommended Reading


David Daley, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy
Steve Phillips, Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Join us in the economy of generosity

Sacred and Profane: Debut Novelist Chelsea Bieker on Godshot

In conversation with Brooke Warner
Program will air Sunday May 10th, 7:00 PM PST




We’re thrilled to welcome debut novelist Chelsea Bieker in conversation with Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress. Bieker’s explosive literary debut Godshot (Catapult/March 2020), praised by bestseller Kristen Arnett as “a beautiful blow to the heart,” is a hymn to the salvation found in hard-won personal rebirth. Stricken with drought, the once-verdant community of Peaches, California clings to a cult leader for salvation, and 14-year-old Lacey, abandoned by her mother, is left to reap a revelatory, fraught harvest of her own. Godshot has won Bieker rapturous comparisons to Margaret Atwood, Emma Cline, and Janet Fitch; but the beauty of her “absolute masterpiece” (T. Kira Madden) lies in Lacey’s incomparable voice: the voice of a brokenhearted believer, by turns darkly funny and achingly tender, who you’ll miss after turning the last page. Go deep with Bieker and Brooke Warner, as they plumb the depths of one unforgettable girl’s miraculous journey to fertile ground.



Recommended Reading


Chelsea Bieker, Godshot
Brooke Warner, Write on Sisters!

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Generosity makes you happy


Sponsored By





Parenting in a Time of Crisis: Christine Carter, Sarah Jaquette Ray and Madeline Levine

Moderated by Dacher Keltner
Program will air Tuesday May 12th, 7:00 PM PST




Parents all over the world are facing a dilemma: what do we tell children about threatening truths, from COVID-19 to climate change? How do we balance their need to be informed and prepared with their equally important right to experience the carefree joy of youth and dream of the future? These questions are more urgent than ever at a time when our kids’ routines, schedules, and ideas of normalcy have been completely upended—and when parents are struggling to answer their children’s questions in a way that doesn’t undermine kids’ baseline of stability and structure.

Author, speaker, and coach Christine Carter, Ph.D. draws on her own parenting experiences, as well as the latest scientific research in psychology, sociology, and neuroscience, to give advice for living, working, and parenting with greater joy and meaning. In her recent book, Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World, New York Times bestselling author and psychologist Madeline Levine seems to have anticipated the needs and struggles of families during this crisis. Environmental pioneer Sarah Jaquette Ray’s A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is an essential toolkit for the climate generation—and the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time: one that, as we’re learning, worsens pandemics. We couldn’t ask for a better trio of guides to empower us with the knowledge and insight to parent well in these trying times. Moderated by Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center.



Recommended Reading


Christine Carter, The New Adolescence 
Madeline Levine, Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World
Sarah Jaquette Ray, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet
Dacher Keltner, The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




These free programs take many resources to produce. Can you help cover costs?



Courts, COVID-19 & Voter Suppression

Moderated by Lala Wu
Program will air Thursday May 14th, 7:00 PM PST




We’ve all seen the images from the recent in-person election in Wisconsin: people lined up wearing masks, some holding signs saying “THIS IS RIDICULOUS,” as they risked deadly COVID-19 illness and violated a shelter-in-place order simply to exercise the right to vote. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this scenario was the fact that it wouldn’t have happened without a last-minute ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that rolled back an absentee ballot extension period that had been put in place expressly to mitigate contagion potential from in-person voting. With less than six months to go until the 2020 Presidential election, and with the COVID-19 pandemic expected to remain in full force, can we expect a repeat of the debacle in Wisconsin—this time, on a national scale? In the aftermath of 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder verdict that shattered the Voting Rights Act, how much can we rely on our courts as the last line of defense in our right to vote?

Three nationally recognized experts will lead us through the role of the courts in ensuring voters’ access to vital options like absentee ballots and early voting, and show us how everyday citizens can act now to shape the judiciary in the short and long term. Featuring legal scholar Richard Hasen, whose Election Meltdown was deemed “required reading for legislators and voters” by Kirkus in a starred review; Constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch, whose A Short History of Presidential Election Crises was praised as “lucid, balanced, and deeply informed” by Elizabeth Kolbert; and renowned civil rights leader Abdi Soltani, executive director of the ACLU of Northern California. Moderated by Lala Wu, whose Sister District Project enlists 40,000 women nationwide in the fight to win crucial state legislative elections.

Want to take action in response to what you hear? Check out our Resources page!

Our series on Voting Rights has been generously supported by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, Guy and Jeanine Saperstein, and Mal Warwick Donordigital.
And a special thank you to our distribution partners, including AJC Decatur Book Festival (Decatur, GA), JLF Colorado (Boulder, CO), Literary Arts (Portland, OR), and the Wisconsin Book Festival (Madison, WI).



Recommended Reading


Richard Hasen, Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy
Alan Hirsch, A Short History of Presidential Election Crises: (And How to Prevent the Next One)

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Your contribution supports the nonprofit festival and keeps these programs free


Sponsored By



Sex, Art and Power:
Writer to Writer with Garth Greenwell and Lidia Yuknavitch

Moderated by Keiko Lane
Program will air Tuesday May 19th, 7:00 PM PST




In our Writer to Writer series, two writers who are fans of each other’s work come together for a conversation. Garth Greenwell’s most recent book, Cleanness, was described in Harpers as “an electrifying portrait of sex’s power to lacerate and liberate, to make and unmake our deepest selves…The book’s sex scenes unfold like revelations, effortlessly braiding inner drama with precisely choreographed intimacy.” And Greenwell, writing in The New Yorker, has called Lidia Yuknavitch’s sex scenes “remarkable among current American novelists, not just for their explicitness but for the way she uses them to pursue questions of agency, selfhood, and the ethical implications of making art.” Come listen in as two of contemporary literature’s most incendiary writers talk about the relationships between queer bodies and sex, language and literary citizenship, and the moral and artistic complexities of desire and power. Moderated by Keiko Lane, writer, poet, and former faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies.



Recommended Reading


Garth Greenwell, Cleanness
Lidia Yuknavitch, Verge

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




If you can afford it, contribute a “ticket price” to help cover this program’s real costs

SUPPRESSED: THE FIGHT TO VOTE
Screening and Talkback

Moderated by John Diaz
Program will air Thursday May 21st, 7:00 PM PDT




The fundamental right to vote is under attack in America: a truth that became glaringly obvious during the fraught midterm elections of 2018. Brave New Films’ “scary and galvanizing” (Variety) documentary Suppressed: The Fight to Vote shines a light on the hotly contested Georgia governor’s race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp: a race that came to stand for the corrupt and systematic oppression of voters’ rights taking place across the nation. Get informed, fired up, and empowered by this searing and necessary short film, and stay for a rousing post-screening conversation between director Robert Greenwald,  Atlanta college student Phoebe Einzig-Roth—whose infuriating struggle to vote for the first time was documented in the film—and moderator John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Want to take action in response to what you hear? Check out our Resources page!

Our series on Voting Rights has been generously supported by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, Guy and Jeanine Saperstein, and Mal Warwick Donordigital.
And a special thank you to our distribution partners, including AJC Decatur Book Festival (Decatur, GA), JLF Colorado (Boulder, CO), Literary Arts (Portland, OR), and the Wisconsin Book Festival (Madison, WI).




If you can afford it, contribute a “ticket price” to help cover this program’s real costs


Sponsored By





How to Raise a Reader
with Pamela Paul of The New York Times

In conversation with Diana Divecha
Program will air Tuesday May 26th, 7:00 PM PST




In a world where so much is competing for a child’s attention, how do you raise a reader? Becoming a reader, at any stage of a child’s development, has huge cognitive, emotional, and social benefits that last a lifetime. But which books to choose? How to help your child turn to books over TV and games, much less carve out time to dive headlong into a book? There’s no one better than New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul to show us how instilling a lifelong love of reading in your child can be easy, fun, and rewarding.

Based on a New York Times article that went viral with its insightful advice, How to Raise a Reader, co-authored with New York Times Book Review children’s books editor Maria Russo, is more relevant than ever now that schools are closed, kids are sheltering in place, and parents are casting about for learning and bonding opportunities that are constructive, comforting, and simple. In a lively conversation with developmental psychologist Diana Divecha of the Yale Child Study Center, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Greater Good Science Center, Paul will show us how to give kids of all ages one of the greatest and most joyful gifts.



Recommended Reading


Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, How to Raise a Reader

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Join us in the economy of generosity



One Person, No Vote:
Carol Anderson in Conversation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Program will air Thursday May 28th, 7:00 PM PST




Carol Anderson is one of our nation’s leading voices on racial justice. In her National Book Critics Circle Award-winning bestseller White Rage, she chronicled the history of systemic injustices that have impeded black progress in America, from Reconstruction to the present day. In One Person, No Vote, longlisted for the National Book Award, she zeros in on the fallout from the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This “impeccably researched, deftly written” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) book offers a whip-smart, riveting analysis of the disenfranchisement of voters of color, with insights that have proven, in the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections, to be resoundingly prescient — and, for the 2020 elections, more urgent than ever.

Anderson will be in conversation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, one of the most well-regarded, outspoken, and trailblazing members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and currently the only African American woman in House Democratic leadership. This empowering and galvanizing conversation will enlighten us about how voter suppression has worked in the past and, most importantly, what we can do now to deny it a future.

Want to take action in response to what you hear? Check out our Resources page!

Our series on Voting Rights has been generously supported by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, Guy and Jeanine Saperstein, and Mal Warwick Donordigital.
And a special thank you to our distribution partners, including AJC Decatur Book Festival (Decatur, GA), JLF Colorado (Boulder, CO), Literary Arts (Portland, OR), and the Wisconsin Book Festival (Madison, WI).



Recommended Reading





Generosity makes you happy




America’s Most Unusual Marriage:
Adam Hochschild
on Rebel Cinderella

in conversation with Monika Bauerlein

Program airs on Tuesday, June 2nd, 7:00 PM PDT




Trust bestselling author and historian Adam Hochschild to unearth one of history’s forgotten heroines and give her story the page-turning treatment it deserves. Russian immigrant Rose Pastor Stokes spent her first twelve years in America in a sweatshop, only to skyrocket to the upper class when she married an heir to a massive mining and real estate fortune. It’s a classic Cinderella story: that is, if Cinderella converted her prince to socialism, became an antiwar and labor activist, caused a scandal by promoting birth control access, and was dubbed “one of the most dangerous influences of the country” by a sitting President.

This tale of a volatile, bright-burning Gilded Age marriage could only exist in the America of Jay Gatsby, bootleggers, and the Lost Generation: an era of glamour and privation, of big dreams and bigger inequities. An era, as Hochschild reveals, with far more parallels to our own than anything in the Brothers Grimm. Only Hochshild could do justice, in words and images, to a crusader who was far ahead of her own time, but strikingly relevant to ours. Hochschild will be joined by Monika Bauerlein, CEO and award-winning editor of Mother Jones.



Recommended Reading






These free programs take many resources to produce. Can you help cover costs?

Unplugging in a Virtual World:
Tiffany Shlain
on 24/6

in conversation with Chloe Veltman

Program airs on Thursday, June 4th, 7:00 PM PDT




At a time when we all rely on technology more than ever to work, connect, and even relax, filmmaker and author Tiffany Shlain instituted a “Tech Shabbat” for her family, and it changed their lives. What began as an experiment turned into a time-honored tradition. Each Sunday for nearly a decade, the Shlain family has let every screen in the house go dark, an act that has relit their connections with each other and made them more productive individually. In 24/6, Shlain shares the story of how her family tuned out in order to tune in, and offers lessons for how you can follow their example, delving into fascinating neurosciencintific, philosophical, and psychological justifications for the benefits of logging off one day a week. Shlain will be joined by KQED reporter Chloe Veltman, whose interactive audio project, “The VoiceBot Chronicles,” just received a Webby nomination.



Recommended Reading


Tiffany Shlain, 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners





Your contribution supports the nonprofit festival and keeps these programs free



The Witness We Bear:
Writer to Writer with Jericho Brown and Nikky Finney

Moderated by Ismail Muhammad

Program airs on Friday, June 5th, 7:00 PM PDT




In our Writer to Writer series, two writers who are fans of each other’s work come together for a conversation. This one couldn’t be more urgent. In “The Witness We Bear,” two extraordinary poets, Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown (The Tradition) and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney (Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry), continue a dialogue that began 20 years ago, when Jericho was Nikky’s student. Much has changed since those days, but what hasn’t is their mutual dedication to bearing witness to hard truths through art.

In this transcendent, thought-provoking, and deeply personal conversation, two of the most prominent poets in America today share their own responses to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, address the protests against police brutality and white supremacy, and describe the revolutionary power of poetry to capture human experience. They discuss what it means to be a teacher and learner, and how “place” and history shape us as people and artists. They offer us their own experiences of finding power and hope, even in the midst of heartbreak. As Jericho says, “One of the ways we know we’re magical people is by how much we manage to do with broken hearts.” Join this magical conversation, moderated by Ismail Muhammad, reviews editor for The Believer, board member at the National Book Critics Circle, and Program Committee member at the Bay Area Book Festival.



Recommended Reading


Jericho Brown, The Tradition
Nikky Finney, Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners





These free programs take many resources to produce. Can you help cover costs?


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International Thrills:
#1 Scandinavian Bestseller Lars Kepler

in conversation with Jesse Kellerman

Program airs on Tuesday, June 9th, 7:00 PM PDT




The blockbuster Swedish suspense phenomenon Lars Kepler, famed for the #1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series, is actually two people: husband-and-wife duo Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their first book, 2009’s mega-bestselling The Hypnotist, stirred up intrigue beyond its own riveting pages, as the media frantically sleuthed to uncover Lars Kepler’s real identity: a secret finally revealed at a press conference that became Sweden’s biggest story of that summer. Both halves of this dynamic duo were already acclaimed authors before they joined forces, but as a crime-fiction team, they’ve sold millions of copies in 40 languages. Come for a rare, fascinating look behind the curtain of this powerhouse literary couple’s creative process, as they share the ins and outs of creating ghoulishly razor-sharp fiction as a team, the origins of their most iconic characters and storylines, and the artistic freedom that comes from collaboration. Moderated by Jesse Kellerman, no stranger to collaboration himself, having co-written New York Times bestselling crime novels—praised as “brilliant, page-turning fiction” by Stephen King—with his father, Jonathan Kellerman.



Recommended Reading


Lars Kepler, The Rabbit Hunter
Jesse Kellerman, Half Moon Bay – forthcoming in July 2020, available now for pre-order

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners





If you can afford it, contribute a “ticket price” to help cover this program’s real costs



Strange Hotel:
Irish Literary Sensation Eimear McBride

in conversation with Brooke Warner

Program airs on Tuesday, June 16th, 7:00 PM PDT




The trajectory of Eimear McBride’s career is an underdog’s dream: she spent six months writing her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, and nine years trying to sell it, only to take the literary scene by storm when it was finally published in 2013 to an avalanche of acclaim, awards (including the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction), and rapturous comparisons to James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Now, McBride is joining Women Lit in a live virtual conversation with Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, in celebration of her eagerly awaited new novel, Strange Hotel, which further cements her singular place in the contemporary canon. As unforgettable as her debut, McBride’s latest book depicts a rootless woman’s exile as she hotel-hops across the globe, seeking to quash her ghosts and escape the dangers that haunt her.



Recommended Reading


Eimear McBride, Strange Hotel
Brooke Warner, Write On, Sisters!

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners





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We’re All Part of Outside

Program debuted Saturday May 2nd, 10:00 AM PST




Celebrated author Deborah Underwood (author of the New York Times best-seller The Quiet Book) and illustrator Cindy Derby collaborate with Outside In, a beautiful, imagination-sparking love letter between the inside and outside worlds. This is the perfect session for kids in the sheltering-in-place era, with its tender message of how we are all connected and part of a larger universe, even if we’re separated from it, and from each other. The School Library Journal called Outside In “a stirring invitation to play.”



Recommended Reading


Deborah Underwood & Cindy Derby – Outside In

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Sponsored By


Ivy and Bean Shelter in Place

Program debuted Saturday May 2nd, 11:00 AM PST




In Book 11 of the wildly popular Ivy + Bean series, our two celebrate One Big Happy Family. But how do you keep your big family happy when you are cooped up inside? In this riveting episode Author Annie Barrows and illustrator Sophie Blackall talk about how to be friends while social-distancing, but also the fun you can have with your grownups (i.e., tricks you can play that won’t wreck anything); what you can do if you’re missing your friends, and how to make some; AND you will get a sneak peek of Book #12 because… Ivy + Bean are not done. Not by far! (Barrows and Blackall will introduce #12 using the cover image, time-lapse-type video of a drawing, and a reading of the first sentence.)



Recommended Reading


Annie Barrows & Sophie Blackall – Ivy + Bean: One Big Happy Family

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Music Makes a Family

Program will air Sunday May 3rd, 10:00 AM PST




Author Michael Genhart and illustrator Priscilla Burris team up with ACCORDIONLY: Abuelo and Opa Make Music, a charming and inspiring tale of two grandfathers in a blended family that must overcome language and cultural barriers in order to live harmoniously together. The young protagonist helps his two beloved grandpas find a common language through music. This wonderful picture book, praised by Kirkus as carrying “an especially important message for multiracial/multiethnic children who can often feel pulled between competing identities,” underscores how we can celebrate difference and find common ground at the same time. An educational and lively session that touches on themes of diversity, finding inventive strategies to communicate and get along while staying at home, and conflict resolution.



Recommended Reading


Michael Genhart and Priscilla Burris – Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Courage and Heart in Adversity

Program will air Sunday May 3rd, 11:00 AM PST




Renee Diop of Cinnamongirl, Inc, an Oakland-based nonprofit that empowers girls of color with mentorship and educational opportunities, will moderate a discussion between two top middle grade authors whose work explores young people’s inner and outer courage. Kate O’Shaughnessy’s The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane, praised by Publishers Weekly as “a lyrical and full of heart road trip story” that “gets to the core of what it means to create family, to be brave, and to accept the flaws of being human,” chronicles the journey of a teen girl, passionate about sounds and music, who takes a huge risk to search for her father, but ends up finding herself. And Ernesto CisnerosEfren Divided, which Sandra Cisneros praised as “a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness,” tells the story of a teen boy, the son of undocumented parents, who must channel his own strength and bravery when his mother is deported.



Recommended Reading



Ernesto Cisneros – Efrén Divided
Kate O’Shaughnessy – The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Of Violence and Hope

Program will air Wednesday May 6th, 7:00 PM PST




Murder, werewolves and guns: oh my! The teen protagonists in these riveting novels by Randy Ribay and Romina Garber are driven to reconcile dangerous mysteries at home and abroad. When Jay, the American teenage protagonist of Patron Saints of Nothing, discovers that his Filiopino cousin has been murdered in the midst of President Duerte’s war on drugs, he travels to the Philippines to investigate, and uncovers dark secrets that he never bargained for. Manuela, the undocumented Argentine teen at the center of Garber’s Lobizona: A Novel (Wolves of No World Book 1), is thrown into chaos when her mother is arrested by ICE, and follows a trail of clues that lead her to a secret and mystical world straight out of Argentine folklore. In a conversation moderated by Madison Harvey, sophomore at Oakland’s Head Royce School and member of Cinnamongirl, Inc, these authors delve into immigration, belonging, and how, in order to emerge into the light, we sometimes have to take a deep dive into the dark.



Recommended Reading



Romina Garber – Lobizona: A Novel – Wolves of No World Book 1
Randy Ribay – Patron Saints of Nothing

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners


The Fabled Life of Aesop

Program will air Saturday May 9th, 10:00 AM PST




We all know the fables “The Tortoise and the Hare,” The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” and “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” But what do we know about Aesop himself? His fables have been told and retold around the world for over 2,500 years; and, now, through Ian Lendler‘s wonderful book The Fabled Life of Aesop, we can learn the real story of the greatest mythmaker of them all. Come listen to Ian and find out how Aesop–and his famous, timeless fables–came to be.



Recommended Reading


Ian Lendler, Pamela Zagarenski – The Fabled Life of Aesop

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Justice for All

Program will air Saturday May 9th, 11:00 AM PST




Moved to action, these two stories speak to the power of ordinary people to inspire change. Design Action Collective founder Innosanto Nagara writes and illustrates progressive and beautiful children’s books “for the 99 percent,” and his latest, M is for Movement, is an essential book for kids about standing up for what’s right. He’s joined by children’s and middle-grade author Nikki Shannon Smith, who writes about “silly, naughty, intelligent, mistake-making kids” while weaving in historical themes about society and justice. Her titles Sarah’s Journey West and Charlotte Spies for Justice are the latest installments in her socially conscious “Girls Survive” series. Don’t miss this wonderful session with two authors who share a gift for bringing themes of justice to life in thrilling and kid-friendly ways, not in the least because they will be interviewed by eleven-year-old Aria Sindledecker, who is a published author herself.



Recommended Reading


Innosanto Nagara – M is for Movement
Nikki Shannon Smith – Charlotte Spies for Justice

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Our Stories, Our Voices

Program will air Wednesday May 13th, 7:00 PM PST




“As a woman I have no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” In 1929 England, Virginia Woolf, in “A Room of One’s Own,” expressed a sentiment of subversion, independence, and integrity that is all too pertinent for female writers in contemporary America. Our Stories, Our Voices, a “truthful and empowering” (Booklist) anthology of exciting YA voices, carries Woolf’s torch for a new and diverse generation across the pond, showcasing essays on experiences of injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America. In this bracing and necessary conversation, Renee Diop, a budding young novelist from Cinnamongirl, Inc, will discuss coming-of-age, rising above bias and obstacles, and fearless creativity with anthology contributors Anna-Marie McLemore, a Latinx virtuoso of magical realism whose books have been lauded in “best of” lists from Kirkus and Booklist and chosen as New York Times Editors’ Choice selections; and #1 New York Times bestselling YA author Ellen Hopkins. Come for a cross-generational conversation filled with solidarity, hope, and inspiration for all young women called to express their best, brightest, and boldest selves.



Recommended Reading


Ellen Hopkins, Anna-Marie McLemore e.o. – Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America
Ellen Hopkins – People Kill People
Anna-Marie McLemore – Dark and Deepest Red

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



A Book for Escargot

Program will air Saturday May 16th, 10:00 AM PST




Escargot is the most cultured snail you’ll ever meet: never without his beret and striped shirt, he’s French to the core, and he has a passion for books. Join New York Times bestselling author Dashka Slater and illustrator Sydney Hanson as they guide Escargot through his latest adventure: finding the perfect book to check out from the library. Say bonjour to a charmingly whimsical story and warm, inviting illustrations, and practice your best French accent along with a popular hero who’s “the cuddliest snail ever” (School Library Journal).



Recommended Reading


Sydney Hanson, Dashka Slater A Book for Escargot

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



The You You’re Meant to Be

Program will air Saturday May 16th, 11:00 AM PST




Ten-year-old Naomi Wilson from Cinnamongirl, Inc. and creative engineer/inventor in the making, will interview two leading Middle Grade authors whose books explore the importance of finding what brings you community and purpose, no matter how alone you may feel. Aimee Lucido’s Emmy in the Key of Code is about a middle-school girl, a misfit in her musical family, who finds her passion in learning to code. According to Publishers Weekly, this debut “champions girls in STEM and delivers a positive message about being ‘always exactly yourself.’” Yamile Saied MéndezOn These Magic Shores is the tale of Minerva, a Latinx teen who is terrified that her mom, after not returning home from work one night, may have been wrongly taken by ICE. Minerva finds a special, mysterious, and magical helper to get to the bottom of her mother’s worrying disappearance. This session promises to be a stirring, moving discussion about finding one’s place in the world.



Recommended Reading


Aimee Lucido – Emmy in the Key of Code
Yamile Saied Méndez – On These Magic Shores

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Beyond Our World: Shifting Identities and Steady Hearts

Program will air Wednesday May 20th, 7:00 PM PST




Bridging divides and unveiling secrets are the name of the game in two fascinating fantasy novels by YA virtuosos. In Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s fantasy debut, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, Florian and Evelyn cross lines of class and identity to fall in love, crossing paths with haunting mythical creatures and double agents along the way to their shared fate. And Rebecca Hanover’s The Pretenders, her thrilling conclusion to The Similars duology, follows troubled, secret-ravaged Emma in her struggle to stop a dangerous vengeful plan, figure out her true identity, and decide between two boys with eerily identical faces. A bracing and magical discussion moderated by brilliant young bookworm Jennifer Leon, junior at Berkeley Highschool and a member of Cinnamongirl, Inc.



Recommended Reading


Rebecca Hanover – The Pretenders
Maggie Tokuda-Hall – The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Sponsored By


Everyone’s Awake

Program will air Saturday May 23rd, 10:00 AM PST




Bestselling children’s author Colin Meloy, who’s also the lead singer of the rock group The Decemberists, brings us a wildly fun read-aloud book for families, one that makes getting ready for bed feel like a hilarious adventure. He’s joined by illustrator Shawn Harris, whose clever and infectious drawings contain easter eggs and references that kids will take great glee in finding. Join us for the most musically fun going-to-bed routine ever.



Recommended Reading


Shawn Harris, Colin Meloy – Everyone’s Awake

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Lemonade and Stuck-at-Home Startups for Kids

Program will air Saturday May 23rd, 11:00 AM PST




Join Brian Weisfeld, author of The Startup Squad book series, as he makes a pitcher of lemonade, while inspiring kids with stories of kidpreneurs who started their own businesses and empowers kids with ideas for startups they can launch while stuck at home. Tune in with six lemons, one cup of sugar, and access to cold water and make lemonade along with him.



Recommended Reading


Brian Weisfeld The Startup Squad: Face the Music

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



This Thing Called Love, Part 1

Program will air Wednesday May 27th, 7:00 PM PST




Laila Butcher, junior at San Leandro High School and member of Cinnamongirl Inc., will have an electrifying conversation with author Rahul Kanakia about self-acceptance, finding love in unconventional places, and deriving confidence from the traits that make you stand out from the crowd. In Rahul Kanakia’s We Are Totally Normal, Nandan, a junior in high school, becomes more than just friends with his longtime bestie, Dave: a journey that leads him to come to terms with his own sexuality and desires. A big-hearted, warmly inclusive session about love, honesty, and courage.



Recommended Reading




In a Garden

Program will air Saturday May 30th, 10:00 AM PST




Nature is a miracle if there ever was one! Plants bugs, birds, mice, snakes, and many other organisms come and go in a garden. Throughout the sesaons of the year, plants grow, flourish, die, and start the process over and over again. Join author Tim McCanna and illustrator Aimée Sicuro as they take us on a tour to discover how plants and bugs help each other grow and give life.



Recommended Reading


Tim McCanna, Aimée Sicuro – In a Garden
Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Book Club for Kids podcast with Anne Nesbet and Kitty Felde

Program will air Saturday May 30th, 11:00 AM PST




In this virtual episode of the popular Book Club for Kids podcast, host Kitty Felde joins book-loving kids from Albany Middle School in a lively conversation with author Anne Nesbet, whose latest, Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen, is an edge-of-your-seat adventure that plunges readers into the silent film era. It’s a do-not-miss discussion that cuts out the middleman between this leading middle-grade author and her passionate, opinionated, and inquisitive readers.



Recommended Reading


Anne Nesbet – Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners




Sponsored By


Girls, Guts and Gadgets

Program debuts Wednesday June 3rd, 7:00 PM PDT




This empowering, exhilarating session is for every young woman who wants to live a life of epic adventure and build the world she wants to see. With Girls Garage, Emily Pilloton, founder and director of the groundbreaking and beloved Berkeley organization of the same name, makes everything from carpentry and welding to fixing things around your house accessible, exciting, and fun for girls 14 and up who want to take power—and power tools—into their own hands. The Girls Garage book invites all girls to speak up, stand out, and join a movement of fearless builder girls everywhere. She’s joined by Caroline Paul, one of the first female firefighters in San Francisco, whose ode to fearless adventure and bravery, The Gutsy Girl, was praised by bestselling memoirist Cheryl Strayed (Wild) as “the book of the year for daredevils, doers, and dreamers of all ages.” Once a young scaredy-cat, Caroline overcame her fears and embraced her passions, and The Gutsy Girl shows a new generation how they can do the same. At a time when feelings of fear and powerlessness may be creeping in, every young woman will be inspired by this conversation celebrating confidence, self-reliance, hope, and audacity.



Recommended Reading


Caroline Paul – The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure
Emily Pilloton – Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



Two Dogs & A Kitty

Program debuts Saturday June 6th, 10:00 AM PDT




Blended families… They’re not always easy, for humans or for pets. Cat and Dog live with their human in a suburban house with a big backyard. Sure, they fight like…. well, cats and dogs, but they’re used to one another. Dog– a different dog– lives a happy only-child life in the city with his dad. He has the bed to himself, he never has to share his toys, and that’s the way he likes it. So what happens when the Dog’s dad and Cat and Dog’s mom move in together? With their laugh-out-loud picture book, Nelly Buchet and illustrator Andrea Zuill take us on quest to find out what it means to settle into a blended family.



Recommended Reading


Nelly Buchet and Andrea Zuill – Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



The First Dinosaur

Program will air Saturday June 6th, 11:00 AM PDT




Dinosaurs existed. That’s a fact that we accept today. But not so long ago, the concept that these giant creatures could have roamed Earth millions of years before humans even existed was unfathomable. People believed that what we now know are dinosaur bones were the bones of giant humans. Or large elephants. Or angels, even. Come join us for a skull-and-bone filled episode with Ian Lendler, author of The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth, and amazing eleven-year-old Aria Sindledecker. Together, they will unearth Earth’s greatest mystery.



Recommended Reading


Ian Lendler – The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth
Aria Sindledecker – Safire & Igneous (Age of Aliens)

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners



This Thing Called Love, Part 2

Program will air Wednesday June 10th, 7:00 PM PDT




Love of all kinds–self-love, romantic love, love of family and heritage–takes center stage in this conversation between two renowned YA authors, moderated by Jasmine Edwards, senior of Bentley School in Lafayette and a member of Cinnamongirl, Inc. Misa Sugiura’s This Time Will be Different introduces us to CJ, who discovers a hidden talent for floral arrangement in her family’s flower shop–only to make another discovery that leads her to fight, for the first time in her life, for what’s important to her. In Abigail Hing Wen’s Loveboat, Taipei, Ever Wong has a summer in Taiwan she’ll never forget, on an anything-goes Loveboat where adult supervision is nil and every student–including Ever herself–has a secret. This coming-of-age conversation grapples powerfully with the truths and milestones of growing up and growing into yourself.



Recommended Reading



Misa Sugiura – This Time Will be Different
Abigail Hing Wen – Love, Taipei

Order your copies from one of our independent bookstore partners