San Francisco Events

Paul Yoon - Run Me to Earth (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 6:00pm

Alisak, Prany, and Noi—three orphans united by devastating loss—must do what is necessary to survive the perilous landscape of 1960s Laos. When they take shelter in a bombed out field hospital, they meet Vang, a doctor dedicated to helping the wounded at all costs. Soon the teens are serving as motorcycle couriers, delicately navigating their bikes across the fields filled with unexploded bombs, beneath the indiscriminate barrage from the sky.

In a world where the landscape and the roads have turned into an ocean of bombs, we follow their grueling days of rescuing civilians and searching for medical supplies, until Vang secures their evacuation on the last helicopters leaving the country. It’s a move with irrevocable consequences—and sets them on disparate and treacherous paths across the world.

Spanning decades and magically weaving together storylines laced with beauty and cruelty, Run Me to Earth is a breathtaking historical feat and a fierce study of the powers of hope, perseverance, and grace.

Paul Yoon is the author of two story collections, Once the Shore, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and The Mountain, which was a NPR Best Book of the Year. His novel Snow Hunters won the Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars and the National Endowment for the Arts, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the fiction writer Laura van den Berg, and their dog, Oscar.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Ingrid Newkirk - Animalkind (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 7:00pm

In the last few decades, a wealth of new information has emerged about who animals are—intelligent, aware, and empathetic. Studies show that animals are astounding beings with intelligence, emotions, intricate communications networks, and myriad abilities. In Animalkind, Ingrid Newkirk and Gene Stone present these findings in a concise and awe-inspiring way, detailing a range of surprising discoveries: that geese fall in love and stay with a partner for life, that fish “sing” underwater, and that elephants use their trunks to send subsonic signals, alerting other herds to danger miles away.

Newkirk and Stone pair their tour of the astounding lives of animals with a guide to the exciting new tools that allow humans to avoid using or abusing animals as we once did. They show readers what they can do in their everyday lives to ensure that the animal world is protected from needless harm. Whether it’s medicine, product testing, entertainment, clothing, or food, there are now better options to all the uses animals once served in human life. We can substitute warmer, lighter faux fleece for wool, choose vegan versions of everything from shrimp to sausage and milk to marshmallows, reap the benefits of medical research that no longer requires monkeys to be caged in laboratories, and scrap captive orca exhibits and elephant rides for virtual reality and animatronics.

Animalkind is a fascinating study of why our fellow living beings deserve our respect, and moreover, the steps every reader can take to put this new understanding into action.

Ingrid Newkirk founded PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the largest animal rights organization in the world, with affiliates in eight countries, in 1980. She is the author of Save the Animals! 101 Things You Can Do, Kids Can Save the Animals, The Compassionate Cook, and several other books available in multiple languages.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Robert Trebor - The Haircut Who Would Be King (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Monday, February 3, 2020 - 6:00pm

The Haircut Who Would Be King is a farcical sendup of Donald Trump's rise to power and volatile partnership with Vladimir Putin. As a young boy, Donald Rump was less than precocious—a miserable student, prone to implacable tantrums, whose emotional intelligence ceased maturing at the age of 9. But the region of the brain responsible for egomaniacal self-assessment was prodigiously large. After some success and plenty more failure in real estate, he turns his attentions to reality TV and hosts a show called "Paycheck," each episode of which concludes with Rump singing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."

Meanwhile, Vladimir Poutine was raised by KGB agents during the early years of Khrushchev's reign. Poutine, a latent homosexual who immerses himself in the self-consciously manly world of "physical culture," reads magazines about bodybuilding. Crushed by the demise of the Soviet Union, he copes in the most peculiar way: "he would slip into a silver lam gown, pop on a curly wig and perform Marlene Dietrich classics at a local drag bar."

Rump decides he'd like to try his hand at politics and recruits shock jock Alex Clamz from the popular but frothing radio show, "Disinfowarz." He runs for president opposite Mallory Claxton, a sensible woman with a sterling career in public service. Despite a bizarre campaign and a trail of seedy scandals, Rump wins with clandestine help from Poutine.

And then, the fun really begins.

Robert Trebor is a character actor with more than 40 years experience on stage, film and television. Two of his noteworthy roles are The Son of Sam in the film Out Of The Darkness, and Salmoneus the merchant in the Hercules and Xena TV series. Playing both a psychopath and a salesman was enormously helpful in preparing this book.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 6:00pm

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

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

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

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

Special Event for Kids: Elisa Kleven - Hiro's Hats (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 11:00am

Special Event for Kids!

High in the mountains of Japan, a snow monkey named Hiro finds a cheerful hat.

"Snow monkeys don't need hats!" his brother tells him, but Hiro's hat does more than keep him warm—it is also a friend. Only a robin understands, and when Hiro's hat disappears, she surprises him, in time, with two more hats, each as playful and full of life as his first.

Elisa Kleven is the author and/or illustrator of over 30 children's picture books, among them Glasswings: A Butterfly's Story, Welcome Home, Mouse, The Paper Princess, The Lion and the Little Red Bird, Sun Bread, as well as Abuela, by Arthur Dorros, De Colores, by Jose Luis Orozco, and The Weaver, by Thacher Hurd. Her books have received awards and honors from the American Library Association, The New York Times, The Junior Library Guild, School Library Journal, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and pets.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Sarah Kozloff - A Queen in Hiding (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 6:00pm

Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding first in the quartet of The Nine Realms series.

Exiled and hunted, Cerúlia, Princess of Weirandale, knows she has one destiny. Her enemies failed to kill her, and no one harboring her is safe. Raised in obscurity, she has no resources, no army, nothing that can help her against her enemies. Except their gods.

Sarah Kozloff holds an endowed chair as a professor of film history at Vassar College. She worked in the film industry in both television and film before becoming a professor. A Queen in Hiding is her debut fantasy novel.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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