Welcome to

Conversations with Authors

Live sessions with the writers and thinkers most committed to America’s independent bookstores

For more than 40 years, Book Passage has been the welcoming home for readers. And now, together with ExtendedSession, we’re pleased to share live, online conversations with many of our favorite authors well beyond the Bay Area.

Please join us here each week as — together with great authors and thinkers — we explore what it means to be living through these times, and what it means to stay connected to the people and the ideas that bind us.

Register once, and you’re guaranteed a seat at every upcoming Conversations with Authors event. You’ll be invited to help shape each session in advance by prioritizing the issues we discuss, and you’ll have the chance to ask additional questions during each conversation. You can also view the free archive of any event you might have missed, any time you like.

Coming Up Next

SATURDAY, APRIL 24TH

7:00PM EST/4:00PM PST

in conversation with Robin Givhan

Julia Sweig‘s recent release, Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight is a magisterial portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, and a major reevaluation of the profound yet underappreciated impact the First Lady’s political instincts had on LBJ’s presidency.

Julia Sweig is an award-winning author of books on Cuba, Latin America, and American foreign policy. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles TimesForeign AffairsThe Nation, and the National Interest, among other outlets. Her book Inside the Cuban Revolution won the American Historical Association’s 2003 Herbert Feis Award. She served as senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations for fifteen years and concurrently led the Aspen Institute’s congressional seminar on Latin America for ten years. She holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a nonresident senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas–Austin and lives with her family outside of Washington, DC.

Robin Givhan is a fashion critic for the Washington PostThe Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History is her first solo book. In addition to the Post, her journalism has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Essence, New York magazine, The Daily Beast and the New Yorker, among other publications. Robin has contributed to several books including Runway Madness, No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade and the Rights of Garment Workers, and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers. She is also the author, along with the Washington Post photo staff, of Michelle: Her First Year as First Lady.

John Grisham

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Saturday, April 24th

7:00PM est/4:00PM pst

Julia Sweig

in conversation with Robin Givhan

Julia Sweig‘s recent release, Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight is a magisterial portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, and a major reevaluation of the profound yet underappreciated impact the First Lady’s political instincts had on LBJ’s presidency.

Julia Sweig is an award-winning author of books on Cuba, Latin America, and American foreign policy. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles TimesForeign AffairsThe Nation, and the National Interest, among other outlets. Her book Inside the Cuban Revolution won the American Historical Association’s 2003 Herbert Feis Award. She served as senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations for fifteen years and concurrently led the Aspen Institute’s congressional seminar on Latin America for ten years. She holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a nonresident senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas–Austin and lives with her family outside of Washington, DC.

Robin Givhan is a fashion critic for the Washington PostThe Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History is her first solo book. In addition to the Post, her journalism has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Essence, New York magazine, The Daily Beast and the New Yorker, among other publications. Robin has contributed to several books including Runway Madness, No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade and the Rights of Garment Workers, and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers. She is also the author, along with the Washington Post photo staff, of Michelle: Her First Year as First Lady.

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Saturday, May 1st

7:00PM est/4:00PM pst

Senator Mazie Hirono

in conversation with George Takei

Senator Mazie K. Hirono’s memoir, Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story is the intimate and inspiring story of how a girl born in rural Japan went on to become a hero on the left – and of the mother whose courageous choices made her journey possible.

Senator Mazie K. Hirono is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, Manoa and the Georgetown University Law Center. She has served in the Hawaii House of Representatives (1981-1994), as Hawaii’s lieutenant governor (1994-2002), and in the U.S. House of Representatives (2006-2013). She became Hawaii’s first female senator in 2013, winning reelection in 2018. Hirono serves on the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, among others.

George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek. He’s an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, New York Times bestselling author, originated the role of Sam Kimura and Ojii-Chan in the Broadway musical Allegiance, and subject of To Be Takei, a documentary on his life and career.

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Sunday, May 2nd

7:00PM est/4:00PM pst

Alec MacGillis

in conversation with Stacy Mitchell

Alec MacGillisFulfillment: Winning and Losing in One Click America investigates Amazon’s impact on the wealth and poverty of towns and cities across the United States.

Alec MacGillis is a senior reporter for ProPublica and the recipient of the George Polk Award, the Robin Toner prize, and other honors. He worked previously at The Washington PostBaltimore Sun, and The New Republic, and his journalism has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New YorkerThe Atlantic, and other publications. His ProPublica reporting on Dayton, Ohio was the basis of a PBS Frontline documentary about the city. He is the author of The Cynic, a 2014 biography of Mitch McConnell. He lives in Baltimore.

Stacy Mitchell is the Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which produces research and develops policy to counter corporate control and build thriving, equitable communities. Stacy has written extensively about the dangers of monopoly power and her articles and reports have influenced lawmakers, journalists, and advocates. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.  She’s the author of a book, Big-Box Swindle, and several in-depth reports, including  “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” which has drawn wide praise for illuminating the scope of the company‘s power and impact.  In 2020, the New York Times profiled Stacy, describing her as “the strategist of the demise of Amazon as we know it.”  She lives in Portland, Maine.

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