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Written on the Dock of the Bay: June 13, 2013


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


Lego Gun Book's controversial success // San Francisco's Bill Pollock's No Starch Press has just released BrickGun Book, a guidebook by Texas-based Jeff Boen on how to build guns out of Lego blocks. While the book's timing might seem insensitive, Boen credits its skyrocketing sales with each models' precise details as well as with the country's unquenchable fascination with guns. 

Oakland resident Northern California Book Award finalist // When she was 13, Lucille Lang Day took her father's car to drive from Piedmont to Los Angeles. With…a boy. You know what's coming next: she gets married, and then she has a kid. It's definitely true because her memoir is called Married at 14: A True Story. Looks like her life turned out okay because her new memoir is now a finalist in the Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. 


Friday, June 14 

Lip Service West // Pegasus Book's Lip Service West is a literary event for the downtrodden and the ugly of the literary world. You won't find anyone talking about the elegance of trees or the rich scent of flowers here - it's all about bank robbery, genocide survival, the real, and the gritty // DETAILS: Friday, June 14, 7:30pm. Pegasus Books. 2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley 

Saturday, June 15

Charm & Strange launch party // Berkeley-based author Stephanie Kuehn's Charm & Strange is about one person, who is also two people. One is Win, who goes to a Vermont boarding school and wants to be left alone. Then there's Drew. He's violent. What happens when you're two people? I don't know. Ask Kuehn when she comes to speak at  Mrs. Dalloway's // DETAILS: Saturday, June 15, 7:30pm. Mrs. Dalloway's. 2904 College Avenue, 

Sunday, June 16

Irish soda bread and James Joyce's Ulysses. That is all. In honor of Bloomsday, the celebratory James Joyce Day where Ulysses is annually read in Dublin and now at Mrs. Dalloway's, poets Thomas Lynch and George Davis will be reading Ulysses to us. // DETAILS: Saturday, June 15, 4pm. 2904 College Avenue, Mrs. Dalloway's

Monday, June 17

Lit Slam // Lit Slam is back. Lit Slam is described by the Lit Slammers as "the best combination to arise from smashing ‘Norton's Anthology’ with ‘American Gladiator’.” Before the unmasked show, poets are asked to submit their poetry to Lit Slam through Youtube videos. Then Lit Slam picks editors from the audience to determine which performance piece will transform into print and be published in Tandem, the Lit Slam anthology. Come on down for the latest round. // DETAILS: Saturday, May 18, 8pm. Every third Monday. $10. Viracocha. 998 Valencia Street, San Francisco

 Tuesday, June 18

Bennett Sims literary conversation // A Questionable Shape by Bennett Sims can be described as a zombie story for those who aren't zombies - for those who like to use their brains more than they like to eat them.  The novel follows Matt, who is fond of English class and weight lifting, as he searches for his father who is fond of candy and fast food, during the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Join the folks at City Lights for a conversation with Sims and San Francisco writer Susan Steinberg to discuss what to do in the event of a zompocalypse.  // DETAILS: Tuesday, June 18, 7pm. City Lights Bookstore. 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco

Wednesday, June 19 

Leaving Tulsa and Ceiling of Sticks reading // In Leaving Tulsa by Jennifer Foerster, readers start off in Oklahoma and go cross country traveling  in search of America. It's oddly hard to find - because Foerster is capturing a vanished one. Once you're done with that national journey, pick up Ceiling of Sticks by Shane Book, who has a nice last name, and wander to Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Trinidad, and Canada for a vision of atrocity and suffering. It sounds slightly unappealing, but that's the stuff poems are made of. Join Foerster and Books at Diesel this Wednesday for a reading. // DETAILS: Wednesday, June 19, 7pm. Diesel Bookstore. 5433 College Ave, Oakland