Notable San Francisco: 10/3–10/9


Wednesday 10/3: What was it like growing up in the shadow of Steve Jobs? Join Lisa Brennan-Jobs as she reads from Small Fry. This event is co-sponsored by Books Inc. and Palo Alto High School. Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto at 7 p.m. ($10 donation required for entry).

How does fake news affect our reading? Former LA Times book critic David L. Ulin will be discussing The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time. Ulin will be in conversation with ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar Villalon. Mechanics’ Institute Library in San Francisco at 6:30 p.m. (free for Mechanics’ Institute members, Alta Magazine subscribers, and friends of ZYZZYVA. All others, $15).

Join Reyna Grande for the San Francisco launch of her new memoir, A Dream Called Home. Grande’s newest book documents her story as a first-generation Latina university student and aspiring writer. Grande will be in conversation with Carolina De Robertis. The Bindery in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday 10/4: Join writer, conceptual artist, and activist John Sims as he releases his multimedia poem chapbook, A Blazing Grace and the AfroDixieRemixes: The San Francisco Session. City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

Don’t miss a chance to meet both author and translator! Join Man Booker International Prizewinners Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft as they discuss Flights. Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Friday 10/5: Curious about the future of nature conservation? Come for a talk by Heather Tallis, Global Managing Director and a lead scientist for strategy innovation for The Nature Conservancy. Stanford University (Hopkins Marine Station, Boat Works Lecture Hall) in Pacific Grove at 12 p.m.

Poet and former Stegner Fellow Ari Banias will be reading from Anybody. Banias will be joined by Pushcart Prize nominee Cyrus Armajani, who will be reading from Benefits of Doubt. BAMPFA in Berkeley at 6 p.m.

Saturday 10/6: It’s the Napa Valley Bookfest!

The event begins with a book fair. Join authors Kelly E. Carter, Craig Smith, Kimberley Lovato, Jill Robinson, and Lisa Mattson, alongside Rancho Gordo Press, the St. Helena Library Friends and Foundation, Copperfield’s Books, and Napa Bookmine. NSGW in Napa at 12 p.m. (admission free, RSVP required).

The Napa Valley Book Fest continues with a talk by Norma Quintana. Quintana will be discussing her Forage from Fire photograph series and how her art has grappled with the loss from last year’s fires. NSGW in Napa at 1 p.m. (admission free, RSVP required).

Next, join four amazing authors as they discuss stories of starting new after a calamity. Ingrid Rojas Contreras (Fruit of the Drunken Tree), Lydia Kiesling (The Golden State), Nicole Gulotta (Eat This Poem), and Robin Sloan (Sourdough) will be sharing stories about calamities both big and small. NSGW in Napa at 2 p.m. (admission free, RSVP required).

The Napa Valley Book Fest will end with an after party! Join Conrad and Elizabeth Bishop as they read from Galahad’s Fool. Stephen Evans Jordan will also be reading from Tatiana and the Russian Wolves. Napa Bookmine in Napa at 6 p.m.

Sunday 10/7: Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned pie contest? Join middle-grade author Hillary Homzie as she releases her new book, Apple Pie Promises. Homzie will be both reading from her new book as well as judging the pie contest! All entreats will get 10% off her book. Napa Bookmine in Napa at 3 p.m.

How is anti-Muslim rhetoric rooted in the American legal system? Join critical race theorist and law professor Khaled A. Beydoun as he discusses American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear. Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m.

Monday 10/8: Gary Nabhan, biocultural conservationist and Kellogg Endowed Chair at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center, will be discussing his two newest books: Food from the Radical Center and Mesquite: An Arboreal Love Affair. Point Reyes Books in Point Reyes Station at 7 p.m.

We all have stories about how tech has changed San Francisco. Writer and filmmaker Cary McClelland spent several years interviewing everyone from venture capitalists to protestors to capture the city in Silicon City: San Francisco and the Long Shadow of the Valley. The Bindery in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday 10/9: Join Micah Perks, co-director of UCSC’s Creative Writing Program and this week’s local book pick, as she launches True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape! Perks will be joined by Tobias Wolff and Molly Antopol. Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park at 7:30 p.m.

In a landscape of outsized egos and scams, Elizabeth Holmes’s Theranos stands tall amongst them all. Join John Carreyou as he presents Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Hillside Club in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m. ($12–$48, tickets required).


LOCAL BOOK PICK: This week’s local book pick is Micah Perks’s True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape (Outpost19, October 8, 2018)! Don’t miss her launch alongside Tobias Wolff and Molly Antopol at Kepler’s Books on Friday, 10/9!


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 →