Written on the Dock of the Bay is your weekly guide to literary and bookish happenings in the pleasantly literary and bookish Bay Area.
Bay Area Book World Breaking News
Last Monday, library patrons and staff helped detain a man believed to be responsible for stabbing another man in the face with a kitchen knife inside a San Francisco Public Library restroom, according to the San Francisco Examiner. When the attack began, Christian Klotz, one of the library’s health and safety associates, “Immediately jumped into it.”
Comic books are changing, says Contra Costa Times columnist Tammerlin Drummond. Around the Bay Area, comic book writers are increasingly re-imagining beloved classics. In recent works, for example, characters like Wolverwine are re-imagined as women, Spider-Woman is an awaiting mother, and Midnighter is openly gay and a Grindr fan.
A new Berkeley-based app called Bookselves allows users to casually peruse through the libraries of a stranger. When book hunters discover a book they like among the digital shelves, they can meet up in person to swap books.
Girls Who Code is a nonprofit on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and engineering sectors. And now they’ve announced plans for a book series to help turn young girls into coders. The first book already has a name: Girls Who Code: Tip, Tricks, and Inspiration for Taking Over Tech.
Check out this article from the Chronicle about a service offered by the San Francisco Public Library that lets people earn high school diplomas — for free. That’s a pretty big deal in San Francisco, considering 13.7% of the city’s residents have not graduated high school.
MONDAY, 12/7 - SUNDAY 12/13
Quick, quiet that lightning
Since Quiet Lightning was founded six years ago, the series has taken over bars, art galleries, a music hall, a bookstore, nightclubs, a greenhouse, a ballroom, a theater, a mansion, a sporting good store, a cave, and more. That's more places than most of us have ever been, we’re not even literary events! Celebrate Quiet Lightning’s sixth year run at the Smash Gallery this Monday.
DETAILS: Smash Gallery // 210 Golden Gate Ave., SF // 7pm
Jonathan Franzen is in the house
Come eavesdrop on a conversation between Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom, and short story novelist Ann Packer, this Tuesday. The Huffington Post has described the Franzen's latest novel, Purity, thusly: "It's about encroachment of techno-fascism, a false utopia that leads inevitably to corruption and violence. Also, moms." Wowzer.
DETAILS: Nourse Theater // 275 Hayes St., SF // 7:30pm
Man v. Nature
Want to know what Ira Glass thinks about Man V. Nature, Diane Cook's debut short story collection? Sure you do. He says: "What I like most about these stories is that many of them are dispatches from the end of the world, and it turns out to be a surprisingly familiar place.” *Dramatic music swell here.* As the title suggestions, these stories are all about humans lost in the uncivilized world of nature. Cook will be at Green Apple Books to talk with Anisse Gross more about man and nature.
DETAILS: Spice Monkey // 1628 Webster Ave., Oakland // 6:45pm
Hi, Charles Dickens!
Christmas carolling isn’t dead, and apparently, neither is Charles Dickens. Two blocks in Union Square have been transformed into a pedestrian-only holiday pop-up plaza. This Thursday, the Dickens Fair Coventry Carolers will be there to help Christmas-carol passersby into Christmas cheer and Dickens-love.
DETAILS: 120 Stockton St., SF. // 4-8pm
In anticipation of the 6th annual zine invasion
Excited zinesters will gather at E.M Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore the night before the 6th annual East Bay Alternative Press Book Fair even officially hits Berkeley to read some of their work. The lineup looks good, angry, and original, including the likes of Nia King from the Angry Black-White Girl zine and Andrew Goldfarb, author of "Bucket O-Leeches."
DETAILS: E.M Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore // 410 13th St., Oakland // 7pm
And then, the zine festival arrives
Come to Berkeley City College this Saturday to come get some actually-pleasant-and-not-soul-sucking holiday shopping done at the East Bay Alternative Press Book Fair. Aside from hundreds of zines at the ready, there will be bookbinding workshops, a chat with writers of Rad American Women A-Z, and a Bay Area Trans Writing Workshop.
DETAILS: Berkeley Community College // 2050 Center St., Berkeley // 10-5pm
The history of a bridge
Bridges are pretty big deals around the Bay Area. Labor historian Harvey Schwartz has put together an oral history of nine workers who helped build the Golden Gate Bridge. He'll be at Book Passage in Corte Madera to talk more about this collection.
DETAILS: Book Passage // 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera // 1pm.
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