In Marin / READING LIST
MM: Is there a shift in tone between
Somebody’s Someone and this book?
RL: Yes. I feel the tone was more confessional in my first memoir, laying out
the occurrences in such a way as to tell
on the people who failed to care for me
in the ways they’d signed up for, and tell
on myself for the not-so-desirable ways
in which I responded to the adverse
experiences that seemed to plague my
MM: What is one thing that you
believe every American should know
about the U. S. foster care system?
RL: I want people to know that the U. S.
foster care system is a business, and like
every business built upon the values of
capitalism, foster care is a for-profit business. It is run on an annual budget of $65
billion a year. And yet, still, every year
in California alone, 20,000 young people
age out with no place to go, no skills to
rely on and no one to call home.
MM: What is one thing you would
like to tell a child who is currently
living within the system?
RL: Learn how to make the system,
your experiences in it and your attitudes about it your own. Be creative in
your endeavors; the sky is the limit. Ask
for 100 percent of what you dream of
from your social worker and find ways to
make her/him say yes to your ask. The
system is a business; learn the secrets of
it, and use it to your advantage.
MM: In your opinion, what is the
inherent value of people sharing their
stories, whatever they may be?
RL: From the day I decided to make
that “pact with God” (I was 11 years
old) that should I be beaten — yet again
— that it would be a sign from Him to
leave the only home I’d known, I knew
that I had something in me worth protecting, holding on to and worthy of a
chance. The day I ran, I promised to
one day tell my story. I knew the way I
was being reared was not based on right
and loving action. I not only knew this,
but I had a strong felt-sense about it.
Having our say and telling our stories
are actions that are validating for the
preservation of selfhood. It’s the one
thing we have that no one can take
from us. CALIN VAN PARIS
Author Talk Someone Has Led This Child to Believe by
Regina Louise (Walnut Creek), Agate Bolden,
$16. This book is the beautiful follow-up to
Somebody’s Someone, Regina Louise’s debut
memoir about growing up in the U.S. foster care
system. In this book, Louise once again draws on
her experience as one of society’s abandoned
children to tell how she emerged from the harsh and dehuman-
izing system, not only to survive, but to flourish. Appearing at Book
Passage Sausalito August 28, 7 p.m.
No Complaints: How to Stop Sabotaging
Your Own Joy by Cianna Stewart (Berkeley), No
Complaining Project, $17.99. About 10 years ago,
documentary filmmaker and author Cianna
Stewart reached a breaking point when she real-
ized that she was complaining all the time. Over
the decade that followed she moved from being a
passive complainer who saw herself as powerless to actively taking
control of her life and getting more out of all aspects of it along the
way. No Complaints is a workbook for people who believe they’re
too negative and are ready to change but don’t know where to start.
Appearing at Book Passage Sausalito August 4, 4 p.m.
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by
Rhys Bowen (Bay Area), Berkeley Books, $26. In
the days leading up to her wedding to Darcy
O’Mara, Lady Georgiana Rannoch takes on the
responsibilities of a grand estate, but proving
she can run a household just may be the death
of her. This is the latest Royal Spyness mystery
from Rhys Bowen, the New York Times best-
selling writer and the author of the Molly Murphy and Constable
Evans mysteries series. Appearing at Book Passage Corte Madera
August 14, 7 p.m.
The Healing by Saeeda Hafiz (San Francisco),
University of Nebraska, $18.95. In this memoir, a
young woman signs up for lessons in yoga and
clean eating as signifiers of her new middle-class
status, not realizing that her chosen lifestyle will
bring her face-to-face with the inner demons
created by the domestic violence, addiction and
poverty of her youth. Saeeda Hafiz gives a frank account of the
anxiety and rewards of becoming “middle class” through a com-
plete change of diet and adopting habits such as traveling and doing
yoga. Appearing at Book Passage Sausalito August 15, 6 p.m.
Local Page Turners
Reviews by Book Passage Marketing Manager Zack Ruskin.
We sat down with Regina
Louise to discuss her
book Someone Has Led
This Child to Believe, a
follow-up to her debut
Someone, which centers
on her experience of
growing up in the U.S.
foster care system.