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Arts & Culture

Written on the Dock of the Bay: Love, the Library

Cal Tabuena-Frolli

Written on the Dock of the Bay is your weekly guide to literary and bookish happenings in the pleasantly literary and bookish Bay Area.



Breaking Reading Records, Together 

This past Thursday, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, eleven of the Bay Area’s libraries joined forces for the 10th annual Read for the Record Day. The local mission is a part of a global campaign led by Jumpstart, a national early education organization. This year’s book was Not Norman by Kelly Bennett, a book about a boy who learns to love his goldfish. As of Tuesday, more than 1 million people pledged online to read the tale of eventual goldfish acceptance.

Love, the San Francisco Public Library

If you didn’t see it, you may have read about it: the Airbnb ads planted around San Francisco that have caused a bit of controversy. One ad read, "Dear Public Library System, Please use the $12 million in hotel taxes to keep the library open later." Martha Kenney posted a rebuttal on Facebook we thought we’d share:

Out of your $12 mil of hotel tax, only 1.4% percent goes to the SF Public Libraries. So that's $168,000. Divided by the 868 library staff, we have $193 per person. Assuming each employee works 5 days per week minus holidays, this is $0.78 per employee per day. Since that's significantly under San Francisco minimum wage ($12.25/hr), I doubt that your hotel tax can keep the libraries open more.


MONDAY, 10/26 - SUNDAY 11/1

Monday, 10/26

Sarah Vowell and Daniel Handler Get Talking


Sarah Vowell is a historian who makes fun of history in books like Assassination Vacation and her latest, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. Daniel Handler is the ‘handler’ for Lemony Snicket, the cynical teller of A Series of Unfortunate Events, except for the days when he’s back to being Daniel Handler again, writing about love and life and high school horror in books like Adverb, Why We Broke Up, and The Basic Eight. What happens when these two talents sit down and talk? In this City Arts & Lectures series, come eavesdrop on them and find out.

DETAILS: Nourse Theater // 275 Hayes St., San Francisco // 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 10/27

Storytime and Halloween-themed Punch Horrors at Pegasus

For adults, storytime at Pegasus means gathering round to listen to grotesque and creepy tales while drinking hot cider and “Halloween-themed” punch (just what Halloween-themed punch means exactly remains to be seen, but perhaps, it’s blood!). It’s the last Happy Hour Stories in the bookstore for 2015, and Pegasus staff warn, “Don’t miss it! Or else…

DETAILS: Pegasus Books // 1855 Solano Ave., Berkeley // 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 10/28

Monster Poetry at Rebound Bookstore

San Rafael's Rebound Bookstore is bringing out the monster poetry, featuring the darkest of dark poetry from Roy Mash and Catherine Clark Sayles. Also, there's food, provided from neighborhood restaurants! Whipper Snapper is bringing the Sangria, Cafe Arrivederci and Lotus Chaat and Spices are providing 10 percent discounts off dinner, and the Mayflower Pub dinners come with a 25 percent discount.

DETAILS: Rebound Bookstore // 1611 4th St., San Rafael // 7 p.m.

Thursday, 10/29

Welcome to Night Vale 


Features from the fictional town called Night Vale, made popular by the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, include: regularly disappearing community radio interns, Old Woman Josie - who houses angels - and a library with a biography section that contains nothing but 33 copies of the official biography of Helen Hunt. Things often happen in the Welcome to Night Vale podcast that require a quick trip to the pause button. But now, Welcome to Night Vale is a book, a book you can read, and pause with your eyes! Creators Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink will be at the Castro Theater to talk about this odd creation.

DETAILS: Castro Theater // 429 Castro Street, San Francisco // 6:30 p.m.

Friday, 10/30

Listen to My Horror

This All Hallow’s Eve, you could sit down in front of Saw, munching on Trader Joe’s pumpkin cereal bars and shaking under your covers. Or, you could get more personal, and listen to strangers tell you about the times they’ve been horrified. Technically, there might be more options than those two, but either way, BustingOut Storytelling is sure to turn what could be a creepy Saturday into a fun time.

DETAILS: Geoffrey's Inner Circle // 410 14th St, Oakland // 8 p.m.

Saturday, 10/31

Everyone Loves an Open Mic

The debauchery that will occur this Saturday is, if the Facebook description is to be believed, set to be deadly. In this open mic, there will be killer costumes, cheap champagne prizes, and the “scary but loving community of writers that is the Bay Area.” Poets, writers, and performers of all sorts are invited to, basically, do whatever they want on stage as long as it takes 3 minutes. Then, the disco lights come on.

DETAILS: Nick’s Lounge // 3218 Adeline St, Berkeley, California // 7 p.m.