San Francisco Events

Tom Brokaw - The Fall of Richard Nixon (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Friday, November 29, 2019 - 4:00pm

Free to Attend • Event will include a speaking portion followed by a signing

In August 1974, after his involvement in the Watergate scandal could no longer be denied, Richard Nixon became the first and only president to resign from office in anticipation of certain impeachment. The year preceding that moment was filled with shocking revelations and bizarre events, full of power politics, legal jujitsu, and high-stakes showdowns, and with head-shaking surprises every day. As the country’s top reporters worked to discover the truth, the public was overwhelmed by the confusing and almost unbelievable stories about activities in the Oval Office.

Tom Brokaw, who was then the young NBC News White House correspondent, gives us a nuanced and thoughtful chronicle, recalling the players, the strategies, and the scandal that brought down a president. He takes readers from crowds of shouting protesters to shocking press conferences, from meetings with Attorney General Elliot Richardson and White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, to overseas missions alongside Henry Kissinger. He recounts Nixon’s claims of executive privilege to withhold White House tape recordings of Oval Office conversations; the bribery scandal that led to the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew and his replacement by Gerald Ford; the firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox; how in the midst of Watergate Nixon organized emergency military relief for Israel during the Yom Kippur War; the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court that required Nixon to turn over the tapes; and other insider moments from this important and dramatic period.

The Fall of Richard Nixon allows readers to experience this American epic from the perspective of a journalist on the ground and at the center of it all.

Tom Brokaw is the author of seven bestsellers: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, A Long Way from Home, Boom!, The Time of Our Lives, and A Lucky Life Interrupted. A native of South Dakota, he graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science. He began his journalism career in Omaha and Atlanta before joining NBC News in 1966. Brokaw was the White House correspondent for NBC News during Watergate, and from 1976 to 1981 he anchored Today on NBC. He was the sole anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw from 1983 to 2005. In 2008 he anchored Meet the Press for nine months following the death of his friend Tim Russert. He continues to report for NBC News, producing long-form documentaries and providing expertise during breaking news events. Brokaw has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including two duPonts, two Peabody Awards, and several Emmys. In 2014, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He lives in New York and Montana.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai - The Mountains Sing (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 12:30pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the BanyanThe Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English. Born into the Viet Nam War in 1973, Nguyen Phan Que Mai grew up witnessing the war’s devastation and its aftermath. She worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. She is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction published in Vietnamese, and her writing has been translated and published in more than 10 countries, most recently in Norton’s Inheriting the War anthology. She has been honored with many awards, including the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Ha Noi Writers Association, as well as many grants and fellowships. Married to a European diplomat, Que Mai is currently living in Jakarta with her two teenage children. For more information about Nguyen Phan Que Mai, visit her at www.nguyenphanquemai.com.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Shea Serrano - Movies (And Other Things) (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 6:00pm

Movies (And Other Things) is a book about, quite frankly, movies (and other things).

One of the chapters, for example, answers which race Kevin Costner was able to white savior the best, because did you know that he white saviors Mexicans in McFarland, USA, and white saviors Native Americans in Dances with Wolves, and white saviors Black people in Black or White, and white saviors the Cleveland Browns in Draft Day?

Another of the chapters, for a second example, answers what other high school movie characters would be in Regina George's circle of friends if we opened up the Mean Girls universe to include other movies (Johnny Lawrence is temporarily in, Claire from The Breakfast Club is in, Ferris Bueller is out, Isis from Bring It On is out...). Another of the chapters, for a third example, creates a special version of the Academy Awards specifically for rom-coms, the most underrated movie genre of all. And another of the chapters, for a final example, is actually a triple chapter that serves as an NBA-style draft of the very best and most memorable moments in gangster movies.

Many, many things happen in Movies (And Other Things), some of which funny, others of which are sad, a few of which are insightful, and all of which are handled with the type of care and dedication to the smallest details and pockets of pop culture that only a book by Shea Serrano can provide.

Shea Serrano's most recent book, Basketball (And Other Things), was, among other things, a #1 New York Times bestseller and selected by President Barack Obama as one of his favorite reads of the year. His previous book, The Rap Year Book, was also a New York Times bestseller, and is being turned into a documentary that will air on AMC in 2019. Currently, he is a staff writer for The Ringer.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Lawrence Ingrassia - Billion Dollar Brand Club (San Francisco Ferry Building Store/Shack 15)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 6:30pm

Doors open at 6:30pm, event begins at 7:00pm • This event is being held in partnership with Shack 15. Please visit Book Passage's Ferry Building store to receive a free pass for the event and directions to Shack 15's location on the second floor of the Ferry Building.

A leading business journalist takes us inside a business revolution: the upstart brands taking on the empires that long dominated the trillion-dollar consumer economy.

Dollar Shave Club and its hilarious marketing. Casper mattresses popping out of a box. Third Love’s lingerie designed specifically for each woman’s body. Warby Parker mailing you five pairs of glasses to choose from. You’ve seen their ads. You (or someone you know) use their products. Each may appear, in isolation, as a rare David with the bravado to confront a Goliath, but taken together they represent a seismic shift in a business model that has lasted more than a century.

As Lawrence Ingrassia--former business and economics editor and deputy managing editor at the New York Times--shows in this timely and eye-opening book, a growing number of digital entrepreneurs have found new and creative ways to crack the code on the bonanza of physical goods that move through our lives every day. They have discovered that manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and customer service have all been flattened—where there were once walls that protected big brands like Gillette, Sealy, Victoria’s Secret, or Lenscrafters, savvy and hungry innovators now can compete on price, value, quality, speed, convenience, and service.

Billion Dollar Brand Club reveals the world of the entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and corporate behemoths battling over this terrain. And what fun it is. It’s a massive, high-stakes business saga animated by the personalities, flashes of insight, and stories behind the stuff we use every day.

Lawrence Ingrassia is a former business and economics editor and deputy managing editor at the New York Times, having previously spent twenty-five years at the Wall Street Journal, as Boston bureau chief, London bureau chief, money and investing editor, and assistant managing editor. He also served as managing editor of the Los Angeles Times. The coverage he directed won five Pulitzer Prizes as well as Gerald Loeb Awards and George Polk Awards. He lives in Los Angeles.

 
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

P. Carl - Becoming a Man (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 3:00pm

Renowned artist and activist P. Carl uncovers the intricacies of transitioning and finding himself anew in his memoir, Becoming A Man. Carl is an award-winning producer and dramaturg, and co-founder of Howlround, a free and open platform for theater-makers worldwide. When working with Claudia Rankine on her new play “The White Card,” Carl was transitioning, and this book came from that experience. “On March 16 of 2017 I become a man, a white man,” writes Carl, just months after Trump’s election, two months shy of Carl’s fifty-first birthday, and just a few more months away from the eruption of the #MeToo movement.

Against the backdrop of our pivotal political moment, Carl’s personal journey interweaves with a broader mission: Carl delivers a cutting, clear-eyed dissection of gender and identity in America. Carl has a unique vantage point—having moved through the world for decades as a woman before walking those same streets as a man. And he uses his first-hand experience to shine a light on the subtle double standards and injustices that run through daily the daily lives of millions in America. Even as Carl is finally able to celebrate his arrival in the world as the man he has always known himself to be, he must reimagine masculinity and challenge it. “To construct that man,” he writes, “knowing what I know as a woman, is my work now.”

Carl delivers a singular, heart-baring story—about what it’s like to transition at age fifty, to become oneself after waiting a lifetime, and how this transformation ripples through all the habits and relationships (including his roles as spouse and sibling) he has built over half a century.

P. Carl is a Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston and was awarded a 2017 Art of Change Fellowship from the Ford Foundation, the Berlin Prize fellowship from the American Academy for the Fall of 2018, the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Research Residency at the University of Washington, and the Anschutz Fellowship at Princeton for spring of 2020. He made theater for twenty years and now writes and teaches. He resides in Boston and lives with his wife of twenty-one years, the writer Lynette D’Amico, and their dogs.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Craig Fehrman - Author in Chief (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm

In the tradition of The Gatekeepers and The Presidents Club, historian Craig Fehrman offers a surprising new look into both the public and private lives of America’s presidents.

Most Americans are familiar with Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped win him the presidency: his published collection of speeches entitled Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln labored in secret to get his book ready for the 1860 election, tracking down newspaper transcripts, editing them carefully for fairness, and hunting for a printer who would meet his specifications. Political Debates sold fifty thousand copies—the rough equivalent of half a million books in today’s market—and it reveals something about Lincoln’s presidential ambitions. But it also reveals something about his heart and mind. When voters asked about his beliefs, Lincoln liked to point them to his book.

In Craig Fehrman’s groundbreaking work of history, Author in Chief, the story of America’s presidents and their books opens a rich new window into presidential biography. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, the first presidential book to influence a campaign, and John Adams’s Autobiography, the first score-settling presidential memoir, Author in Chief draws on newly uncovered information—including never-before-published letters from Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to offer insights into the aspirations and inner lives of our nation’s presidents. We see Teddy Roosevelt, known today for his rugged adventures and bulletproof self-confidence, as a vulnerable first-time author, struggling to write the book that would become a classic of American history. We see Ronald Reagan painstakingly revising Where’s the Rest of Me?, a forgotten memoir in which he sharpened his sunny political image. We see Donald Trump negotiating the deal for Art of the Deal, the volume that made him synonymous with business savvy—and decades later boosted him again on his way to the White House.

Combining the narrative skill of a journalist with the rigorous scholarship of a historian, Fehrman presents hundreds of new stories, scenes, quotations, and telling details to create an entirely fresh take on our highest leaders. Author in Chief is a feast for history lovers, book lovers, and everybody curious about a behind-the-scenes look at our presidents.

Craig Fehrman is a journalist and historian who’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Elena Schwolsky - Waking in Havana (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:00pm

Compelled by her anti-war work with returning Vietnam veterans and her passion for social justice, Elena Schwolsky traveled to the then-forbidden island of Cuba in 1972 with a brigade of youthful volunteers to help build houses for workers and support the still young Cuban Revolution; a decision that would shape her life and ultimately lead her back to Cuba twenty years later—as she shares in her beautifully narrated new book Waking in Havana: A Memoir of AIDS and Healing in Cuba.

Elena returns to the island––a pediatric AIDS nurse weary from the constant loss and sorrow surrounding her work, a grieving widow dealing with the death of her husband—himself a victim of the disease, and a lifelong activist hoping to reconnect with the resilient spirit she felt as a young ‘brigadista’. The author takes readers along through her humorous attempts to navigate this very different culture—into Havana’s controversial AIDS sanatorium and the lives of the generous, opinionated and passionate Cubans who become her family and help her to heal.

Elena Schwolsky, RN, MPH, is a nurse, community health educator, activist, and writer who spent a decade as a pediatric nurse at the height of the AIDS epidemic. She has trained AIDS educators in Cuba and Tanzania and currently teaches community health workers in diverse urban neighborhoods in New York City. Her essays have appeared in The American Journal of Nursing and The Veteran, and her work has been included in the anthologies Storied Dishes: What Our Family Recipes Tell Us About Who We Are and Where We’ve Been and Reflections on Nursing: 80 inspiring stories on the art and science of nursing. A chapter she co-wrote appears in the textbook Children, Families and AIDS: Psychosocial and Therapeutic Issues. Schwolsky is the recipient of a writing award from the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund and is proud to be recognized as the madrina (godmother) of Proyecto Memorias, the Cuban AIDS Quilt project.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Karen Sherman - Brick By Brick (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 6:00pm

Karen Sherman, author of Brick By Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere moved her family from Bethesda, Maryland to Kigali for a year in 2012 after a 25-year career working on women’s issues in developing countries and embattled parts of the world. More than a memoir of that year, the book is a tribute to the women she met, and how their stories profoundly impacted her own life. “In many ways, our time in Rwanda surprised me.” says Sherman, “It deepened my sense of perspective for what it takes to be a woman almost anywhere in the world today, even when that womanhood is threatened or diminished by one’s family, culture or society. There is much that women in the developed and developing worlds can learn from each other, especially in this era of mass shootings and #MeToo.” Sherman and her three sons arrived in Rwanda after a tumultuous year in which her bid to become CEO of Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives, had failed. She had worked there for close to a decade.

“Like so many people in our modern, success-driven society, the job defined me,” she writes. “But this work was much more than a job. Helping women who had survived war move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency resonated powerfully with me, given my background and experiences. It felt right, like what I was supposed to be doing. This failure felt personal. It was devastating.” So, she took a one-year posting to Rwanda, hoping it would distance her from the crises in her career and marriage and put her back in touch with the work on the ground. Throughout her career, she had heard hundreds of personal stories from women who had endured war. The common thread was that all had managed to survive. "Now that we were living in Rwanda,” she writes, “I thought maybe, if I could sit and talk with some of these women, learn more about their perspectives and choices, it might help to bring me back to myself." For the rest of 2012 and into 2013, Sherman oversaw the completion of a new Women’s Opportunity Center in Kayonza and the transitions of leadership in three of the four African countries where Women for Women worked. Each of the five hundred thousand bricks used to construct the Center were hand made by Rwandan women. “The architects of the Center would often talk about the process of building as ‘brick by brick.’ But I always thought of it as woman by woman,” Sherman writes in the book’s prologue. “These women, and so many of the survivors I worked with, each in their own way, had been able to build or rebuild their lives one step, one small change, in some cases, one brick at a time,” she realizes. “They’d held onto their dreams, forged their own paths, taken risks, and led change in their families, communities, and countries. They had fully embraced their choices. In that moment I vowed to fully embrace mine.”

Karen Sherman brings more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, strategist, and executive level manager to her role as President of the Akilah Institute. Throughout her career, Sherman has combined her expertise, passion, and transformative leadership skills to affect lasting change for women in conflict-affected countries and those in transition. She has global and sectoral experience in: Women and girls’ education around the world, Women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, Women in conflict-affected countries. Across her different roles, Sherman has worked with stakeholders at all levels, from community groups to corporate leaders and heads of state, to take programs from concept to scale. Most importantly, her work has resulted in measurable impacts on women’s income, health, decision-making, and social networks. Sherman serves as a thought leader and spokesperson on global women’s issues through the media, public appearances, and diverse social media platforms. She has been featured in multiple publications and was Executive Producer of The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope, published by National Geographic.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Small Business Saturday: Lou Bustamente - The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 3:00pm

Click here for the full list of Small Business Saturday events!

Timed to coincide with the much anticipated Downton Abbey movie, The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book celebrates the characters, customs, and drinking way of life at Downton Abbey.

Cocktails were introduced in the drawing rooms of Downton Abbey in the 1920s, when US prohibition inspired the insurgence and popularity of American-style bars and bartenders in Britain. This well-curated selection of recipes is organized by the rooms in the Abbey in which the drinks were served and spans everyday sips to party drinks plus hangover helpers and more. In addition to classic concoctions like a Mint Julep, Prince of Wales Punch, and Ginger Beer, this collection features character-specific variations such as Downton Heir, Turkish Attaché, The Valet, and The Chauffeur. The recipes reflect drinks concocted and served upstairs and down, as well as libations from village fairs, cocktail parties, and restaurant menus typical of the time. Features 40+ color photographs, including drink images photographed on the set of Downton Abbey.

Lou Bustamante is a bar, spirits, and cocktail writer who has done everything from recipe and product development and distillery work to bartending and teaching cocktail classes. He covers the local and national spirits scene for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Bold Italic, 7x7, Wine & Spirits Weekly, and many others.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Dan Kurtzman - San Francisco on Instagram (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 12:00pm

Meet & Greet!

From the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts to Salesforce Tower and the Transbay Transit Center's elevated rooftop park, from Point Reyes and Muir Woods to Napa and Sonoma wine country, the San Francisco Bay Area has long been celebrated as the most photogenic region in the United States. Nowhere has that magic glittered brighter than on Instagram, where a community of dedicated photographers has captured and shared some of the most stunning images ever seen of the Bay Area.

Following the runaway success of New York City on Instagram, this collection encapsulates the San Francisco Instagram experience with fresh takes of familiar icons and fascinating glimpses of the city's newest landmarks and the natural beauty of the Bay Area's most scenic destinations. Complementing the spectacular photography is a list of "Most Instagram-Worthy Spots" — the perfect guides for both photo enthusiasts and adventurers seeking to explore the sights featured in the book. For anyone with a love of the San Francisco Bay Area and Instagram, San Francisco on Instagram will be both the perfect keepsake and a source of inspiration.

Dan Kurtzman is a travel and landscape photographer based in San Francisco. He has been a leader and organizer on Instagram since its early days, where he curates the beautiful and inspiring work of some of Instagram's most talented artists.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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