Buy Judge* Hoff

Buy Burning Horses

Email Agatha to request her as a speaker or to write a guest blog.



Judge* Hoff, Jesus Loves You but the Rest of Us Think You're an A**hole! is Agatha Hoff 's captivating account of her years as a San Francisco Court Commissioner. The book's title was taken from graffiti left by a disgruntled litigant on the courthouse bathroom wall, much to the amusement of observers, including Agatha herself. From the recurrent parade of prostitutes she recognized on a first-name basis, to the out-of-towners trying to navigate a day in the city, Agatha captures it all with her keen eye for detail and wry sense of humor.

Discussion Topics

Have you ever been to traffic court? If so, did you embellish your story to avoid paying the fine? Did it work?

Do you think out-of-towners should be given more lenience for parking violations?


Sample Text

A section from the essay, "It's the Last Door on the Right"

The cockroach turned his vulnerable belly toward heaven, wiggled his legs in a last attempt to right himself, and gave up the ghost. I sighed as I observed the roach on the linoleum floor of the ladies’ room. The start of another routine Monday, at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco.

The other court commissioners, who act as judges in the various courts, often complained because the court did not provide restrooms in our chambers. However, I considered using the public facilities to be a sort of fringe benefit. The judges of the Superior Court, who had their own toilets, really didn’t know what they were missing by not having had the opportunity to observe the daily goings-on, or to read the graffiti, which often eloquently described them on the restroom walls.

My own ego was kept in check by a daily review of the opinions of those who passed before me. Here’s my all-time favorite:

“Judge Hoff, Jesus Loves You, but the Rest of Us Think You’re an Asshole.”

Some of the great issues of the day played themselves out in that dismal bathroom. I remember the royal debate that raged over whether George, a probation officer who was undergoing a sex change and who had not yet had his penis removed, should be allowed to use the women’s bathroom. 

Memos flew back and forth between various court administrators. This was a problem without precedent and had no easy solution. It puzzled me as to why anyone who still had the proper appendage to sidle up to a urinal would want to stand in line with the women, but there is no accounting for human desires. Eventually, the offending member was removed, and peace once again descended on the ladies’ bathroom.


Burning Horses: A Hungarian Life Turned Upside Down, is a fictionalized account of real-life occurrences chronicles one woman’s amazing survival of the Hungarian Holocaust. Through the author’s creative first-person telling of her mother’s life—based on her mother’s written and oral observations as well as the author’s own childhood memories—a portrait of the remarkable Eva Leopold emerges.

Discussion Topics

Sample Text


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