2021 Programs


California: Of Peril and Stewardship

March 17, 2021
7:00 – 8:30PM

Obi Kaufmann, author of The Forests of California and The California Field Atlas, explores the transformation of California’s resource landscape from its ancient origins through its modern challenges to its future possibilities. Utilizing a unique and exciting brew of convergent ideas between art and science, Obi tells a story of how the road through geographic literacy leads to a new era of conservation, one that we will usher in together. By addressing the profound changes our distinctive landscape has undergone and continues to go through, Obi explores what those experiences might mean for the future of humanity in this most beautiful and perilous of all places, our lovely California.

An avid conservationist and intrepid explorer of California ecology and the natural world, Obi Kaufmann is a native Californian, based in Oakland, who would regularly journey into the mountains, spending more summer nights without a roof than with one. His most recent book is The Forests of California (Heyday/2020), the first volume of his ambitious new California Lands Trilogy. Obi is also the author of the heralded The California Field Atlas (Heyday/2017) and The State of Water: Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource (Heyday/2019). Obi presents his work and vision of ecological preservation and restoration to environmental centers and groups across the state. His artistry, research, and reverence for the natural world have been covered in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Sunset Magazine. For more information, visit Obi on Instagram: @coyotethunder #trailpaintings.

Through a special partnership with Walnut Creek’s Flashlight Books (flashlightbooks.com), autographed bookplates will be included with every book purchase. The Forests of California can be ordered by using this direct link: https://flashlightbooks.handseller.com/home/bookdetailsin/1597144797. Obi Kaufmann’s other books can also be found on Flashlight Books’ website for purchase.


Presenting Sponsor: SIMPSON FAMILY
Masterpiece Sponsor:
Classic Sponsors:  
Cindy & Bob Brittain
Cynthia & Mark Jordan  
Bestseller Sponsor: Judy Whelan & Robert Simmons

Art & Algae: Journey Into The Curious World of Seaweed

April 14, 2021
7:00 – 8:30PM

In an art & science salon, author Josie Iselin will share seaweed stories from her newest book, The Curious World of Seaweed, describing how these foundational organisms succeed in their ocean niche and highlighting some cool women scientists. She explores both the artistic and the biological presence of sixteen seaweeds and kelps that live in the thin region along our Pacific Coast. Historical botanical illustrations and Iselin’s signature portraits of each specimen reveal their vibrant colors—whether rosy, “olivaceous,” or grass-green—and whimsical shapes.

The Curious World of Seaweed (Heyday, 2019), has been shortlisted for both the Northern California Book Awards and the Alice Award honoring illustrated books. Josie holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University. Through art, design, and research, Iselin celebrates the marine flora and brings thoughtfulness and stewardship to this realm of our oceans.

Through a partnership with Flashlight Books (flashlightbooks.com), a copy of The Curious World of Seaweed can be ordered on their website or by calling 925-278-1797. Autographed book plates will be included with every book purchase.

Thank you to our sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible. Presenting Sponsor: the Simpson Family. Masterpiece Sponsors: Ray and Kristin Abraham; and Robin Kokemor Rangel and Arthur Rangel. Classic Sponsors: Cindy and Bob Brittain; Lynn and Gregory Nerland; and Lisa Wrenn and Peter Magnani. Bestseller Sponsors: Cindy and Gary Darling. 


You are invited to receive a free one-year subscription to Diablo magazine, our media sponsor. Subscribe HERE 


2021 Past Events 

Scary Technology, Cybersecurity, and Thrillers

February 17, 2021

SUCCESSFUL AGING: The Power and Potential of Our Lives
NYT Bestselling author Dr. Daniel Levitin in conversation with musician and founding Grateful Dead member Bob Weir

January 13, 2021

2020 Past Events 

Classical Guitar Performance, 16th-20th Centuries

December 9, 2020

The Great Escape: Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure with Mark Jordan

PART ONE: October 21, 2020 

PART TWO: October 22, 2020 

Summer Fun with Historical Fiction

July 20, 2020 

In Conversation with Mary Ladd, Author of The Wig Diaries

June 24, 2020 

Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era 

March 2, 2020

The Life of Robert Noble Burgess

February 12, 2020


Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library

January 15, 2020

2019 Past Events 


Mount Diablo Book Launch with Stephen Joseph

November 16, 2019



D. Leah Steinberg, Author of “Raised in the Shadow of the Bomb: Children of the Manhattan Project”

October 16, 2019

1969: One Giant Year

June 12, 2019


Adventures in Produce: The Rewards of Growing and Cooking Weird Fruit and Veggies with authors Emily Murphy and Laura McLively

March 13, 2019


Elise Hooper, Author of “Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, The Woman Who Revealed the Real America”

February 13, 2019


Brave Little Nell—The Eleanor Roosevelt Story

January 16, 2019

Live from the Library

Live! From the Library, produced by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation, features free public lectures, literary events, and cultural programs at the Walnut Creek and Ygnacio Valley libraries. Program sponsors are the East Bay Times, Friends of the Walnut Creek Library, and Minuteman Press, Lafayette. Programming is also made possible by donations to the Foundation’s Annual Fund. View past programs on our Video page.  Contra Costa TV airs past programs Sundays at 8 p.m. Visit their website for channel info.

The views and opinions expressed in any program are those of the speaker/persons and do not reflect the views of the Walnut Creek Library Foundation.

Thank you to our print sponsors:

Visit our video page for past Live! from the Library videos.

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