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Written on the Dock of the Bay: August 2, 2013


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


Back in 2011, 15 Oakland libraries were threatened with closure, leading many to stop and think, "Woah, Oakland has a lot of libraries." All 19 libraries in Oakland have since remained open, but the question remains: How did they get there? Six of those libraries are thanks to Andrew Carnegie, the billionaire steel tycoon man who was rejected from a library as a youngster. When he hit it big, he decided to buy the world a book. Actually, a lot of books.  1,689 libraries worth of books. Check out "How Carnegie Turned his Fortune into a Library Legacy" from Morning Edition for the whole story.


Friday, August 2

There is No God and He is Always With You discussion // The title of Brad Warner's new book, There is No God And He is Always With You, evokes the image of first an angry atheist rolling his eyes and announcing, "There is no God!" before a wave of dust transforms him into a man in priest garb who smiles mischievously, winks, and says somewhat creepily, "And he's always with you, you know." But what Warner is getting at is the Buddhist concept that says that God is a creation of the mind, but something spiritual exists in the process. Discuss this and much more, if you'd like, at Diesel Books this Friday. // DETAILS: Friday, August 2, 7pm. Diesel Books. 5433 College Avenue,

Saturday, August 3

Catcher in the Rye discussion // It generally goes like this: either The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield has been the mirror to your soul, or, inversely, he really, really makes your soul itch, in a really bad way. Maybe you had a strong opinion about the kid, but were afraid to raise your hand in the 10th grade. Now's your chance. Don't be shy. Let the Books Inc. First Saturday Book Club know how you feel. // DETAILS: Saturday, August 3, 9:30am. Books Inc. 1760 4th Street, Berkeley

Sunday, August 4

Poet Laureate picnic // At the Benicia City Park Gazebo this Sunday, you'll find 18 poet laureates sitting together on a picnic blanket, totally at random, with no pre-planning or anything. The best poets of the Bay Area just happened to end up at Benicia City, and, if you're smart, you'll just happen to be there, too. // DETAILS: Sunday, August 4, 12 - 4pm. First St. and Military West, Benicia

Sundays in Kerouac Alley // North Beach's City Lights is famous for free speech advocacy, Allen Ginsberg, and the Beat Movement, and Beats, and any other way of saying "Beats" you can think of. But it's also 2013, and City Lights is getting younger, or at least more current, the older it gets. To show that City Lights is in with the in and hip to the jive, the bookstore  is hosting a Sunday reading series with San Francisco's premier literary organizations, like ZYZZYVA, Sister Spit, and Quiet Lightning in honor of its 60th birthday. // DETAILS: Sunday, August 4, 2 - 4pm. Jack Kerouac Alley. 255 Columbus Ave, San Francisco

Monday, August 5

City of Stairways // We like to read about ourselves. That's why poetry and fiction about the Bay Area has the habit of making a Bay Area resident smile and say,  possibly egotistically, "Hey, I know that hill!" or  "Hey, that's me! That's me and my city and my mom and my life they're writing about!" Through WritersCorps, a joint project of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Public Library, professional writers teach 16,000 San Francisco writers to write about themselves and their city. Their most recent collection, City of Stairways: A Poet's Field Guide to SF  takes you to places that, interestingly, don't even have stairs. // DETAILS: Monday, August 5, 7pm. The Green Arcade. 1680 Market Street, San Francisco