Notable San Francisco: 8/22–8/28


Wednesday 8/22: Award-winning sociologist and director of the Rutgers University Institute for Research on Women Arlene Stein discusses her new book, Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Books Inc. in Berkeley at 7 p.m.

It’s the last Perfectly Queer East Bay at Laurel Bookstore! Come hear Natasha Dinnerstein, Gar McVey-Russell, Anand Vedawala, Vernon Keeve III, and Luiza Flynn-Goodlett read from their favorite Queer authors. Laurel Book Store in Oakland at 7 p.m.

Thursday 8/23: Dawn Raffel reads from The Strange Case of Dr. Couney. Raffel’s newest book examines the life of a doctor who revolutionized neonatal care over one hundreed years ago and in the process saved nearly seven thousand babies. Book Passage in the SF Ferry Building at 6 p.m.

Novelist and KQED book columnist Ingrid Rojas Contreras will read and discuss her debut novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree. Rakestraw Books in Danville at 7 p.m.

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is this year’s On the Same Page pick for UC Berkeley Undergraduates. Atwood will be delivering a lecture to discuss her book and kick off this year’s program. Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley at 7 p.m. (admission for the general public will open at 6:45 p.m.)

Philosopher and celebrated scholar Martha Nussbaum discusses her newest book, The Monarchy of Fear, in which she finds that “the political is always emotional.” St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m. ($13.41, tickets required).

Friday 8/24: It’s the Feral Fourth Friday Square Dance at Alley Cat Books! Come for the books, stay for the hootenanny. Alley Cat Books in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

Watch a screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Beyond the Clouds. Antonioni’s film features four vignettes set in France and Italy, and is based on stores from his book, That Bowling Alley on the Tiber: Tales of a Director. BAM/PFA in Berkeley at 8:45 p.m. ($5–13, ticket purchase required).

Saturday 8/25: After four years in downtown and seventeen years in Oakland, Laurel Book Store will be closing down. Come celebrate the last day of a wonderful bookstore at its thank you and goodbye party. Laurel Book Store in Oakland at 4 p.m.

Join the launch party for James Cagney’s first full-length poetry collection, Black Steel Magnolias. The evening will feature readings, live music, and light refreshments. Nomadic Press in Oakland at 7 p.m.

Sunday 8/26: Writer and San Francisco Chronicle weekly columnist Vanessa Hua will be discussing her debut novel A River of Stars with Janine Kovac. Kovac is a founding member of the nonprofit writing group Write on Mamas and the founder of Moxie Road Productions. Copperfield’s Books in San Rafael at 2 p.m.

Have you ever wanted a book club without any assigned reading or discussion? Come on over to The Bindery for the Silent Book Club’s last Silent Summer Read! The Bindery in San Francisco at 4 p.m.

Monday 8/27: Curious about the plants in your backyard? Herbalists from Wild Child Apothecary come to the El Cerrito Library to reveal how common Bay Area plants have healing and medicinal uses. El Cerrito Library in El Cerrito at 6:30 p.m.

Laura Van Den Berg discusses her new novel, The Third Hotel, with Anthony Marra. Green Apple Books (9th Ave. location) in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday 8/28: Do you or anyone you know need answers to their immigration questions? The Pleasant Hill Library offers free and confidential workshops with an attorney to help answer immigration law questions. Pleasant Hill Library in Pleasant Hill at 6 p.m. (sign-ups begin at 5:30 p.m.)

Mara Altman discusses her new book Gross Anatomy with Becca Andrews, Assistant News Editor at Mother Jones. Altman’s essay collection explores her relationship with her body to see “what it’s like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.” The Bindery in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Come join the Spanish Language Book Club at Adobe Books to discuss Jose Saramago’s La Balsa de Piedra! Adobe Books in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. (advanced notification required to join book club).


LOCAL BOOK PICK: Each week, I’ll try to feature a recently published book from a local author. This week, it’s Vanessa Hua’s A River of Stars (Ballantine Books, August 14, 2018)!


If you have a Bay Area event listing you’d like us to consider for Notable SF, please contact [email protected] as far in advance as possible, and include the date of the event in the subject line.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Nishant Batsha's fiction and essays have been published in TriQuarterly, The Offing, and The Caribbean Review of Books, among other publications. He is currently revising his debut novel trilogy: Washed Ashore, All That Floats, and The Tideline. He can be found at or on Twitter @nishbatsha. More from this author →