San Francisco Events

POSTPONED: David G. Marwell - Mengele: Unmasking the "Angel of Death" (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Friday, April 10, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

Perhaps the most notorious war criminal of all time, Josef Mengele was the embodiment of bloodless efficiency and passionate devotion to a grotesque worldview. Aided by the role he has assumed in works of popular culture, Mengele has come to symbolize the Holocaust itself as well as the failure of justice that allowed countless Nazi murderers and their accomplices to escape justice. Whether as the demonic doctor who directed mass killings, or as the elusive fugitive who escaped capture, Mengele has loomed so large that even with conclusive proof, many refused to believe that he had died.

As chief of investigative research at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s, David G. Marwell worked on the Mengele case, interviewing his victims, visiting the scenes of his crimes, and ultimately holding his bones in his hands. Drawing on his own experience as well as new scholarship and sources, Marwell examines in scrupulous detail Mengele’s life and career. He chronicles Mengele’s university studies, which led to two PhDs and a promising career as a scientist; his wartime service both in frontline combat and at Auschwitz, where his “selections” sent innumerable innocents to their deaths and his “scientific” pursuits—including his studies of twins and eye color—traumatized or killed countless more; and his postwar flight from Europe and refuge in South America.

Mengele describes the international search for the Nazi doctor in 1985 that ended in a cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the dogged forensic investigation that produced overwhelming evidence that Mengele had died—but failed to convince those who, arguably, most wanted him dead. This is the riveting story of science without limits, escape without freedom, and resolution without justice.

David G. Marwell, former director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, worked on the Mengele case at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s. A historian who has served and led a number of government and nonprofit institutions, he lives in University Park, Maryland, with his wife.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Kazu Haga - Healing Resistance (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

Nonviolence was once considered the highest form of activism and radical change. And yet its basic truth, its restorative power, has been forgotten. In Healing Resistance, leading trainer Kazu Haga blazingly reclaims the energy and assertiveness of nonviolent practice and shows that a principled approach to nonviolence is the way to transform not only unjust systems but broken relationships. With over 20 years of experience practicing and teaching Kingian Nonviolence, Haga offers us a practical approach to societal conflict first begun by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, which has been developed into a fully workable, step-by-step training and deeply transformative philosophy (as utilized by the Women's March and Black Lives Matter movements). Kingian Nonviolence takes on the timely issues of endless protest and activist burnout, and presents tried-and-tested strategies for staying resilient, creating equity, and restoring peace.

Kazu Haga is the founder of East Point Peace Academy and one of the most experienced trainers in Kingian Nonviolence, a philosophy that comes out of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A leading voice nationally in various approaches to nonviolence, organizing and restorative justice, he works to empower incarcerated communities, youth, and activists to work for Beloved Community. Kazu Haga lives in Oakland, California.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Vish Chatterji - The Business Casual Yogi (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

The Business Casual Yogi makes the practice and philosophy of yoga accessible to the modern professional. Yoga has long been embraced by the Western world for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits—combining lifestyle philosophy with rewarding physical exercise for internal and external strength, focus, and calm. As yoga pervades mainstream society, its philosophies, frameworks, and techniques are proving increasingly relevant to the modern business world’s obsession with personal leadership development.

This practical guidebook provides accessible methods to leverage the yoga tradition as a tool to unlock one’s fullest creativity, leadership potential, and overall well-being. Filled with physical and mental exercises, personalized guides for diet and lifestyle, and tools such as meditation and breathing exercises, The Business Casual Yogi’s simple framework will help you attain greater happiness, balance, and success.

Vish Chatterji is an accomplished business leader turned executive coach with a twenty-year business track record spanning multiple industries. In parallel, he has studied and practiced yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda (mind-body medicine). Vish coaches business leaders, enabling them to cultivate more of their greatness at work. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s of business administration from the University of Michigan. Vish is a certified executive coach, yoga teacher, meditation instructor, and Vedic counselor and is a publicly elected board director for the Beach Cities Health District in California. He is a married father of three and loves to garden, bicycle, and fix things around the house!

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Ethan Sherwood Strauss - The Victory Machine (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

The Golden State Warriors are the envy of the modern NBA. Chasing their third consecutive championship, they have assembled an incredible wealth of athletic talent, lead the league in merchandise sales, and are planning to move into a glitzy new arena next season. Their owner, Joe Lacob, regularly hosts the top CEOs and influencers of Silicon Valley in his box, fashioning himself into one of the most powerful men in the world.

Yet inside the organization, there is considerably more strife. In this breakthrough work of reportage, star NBA reporter Ethan Sherwood Strauss investigates the team's culture, its financial ambitions and struggles, and the toll that being a super-team can take. In so doing, he not only rewrites the story of the Warriors, but reveals how the Darwinian business of NBA basketball really works.

Reconstructing the deals that lured Steph Curry away from Nike and Kevin Durant away from Oklahoma City, Strauss shows how the smallest mistakes can define success or failure for years. And, as he looks ahead to the 2020 season, Strauss ponders whether this organization can survive its own ambitions.

Written with great personality and remarkable breadth, The Victory Machine shows what it takes to win when you are constantly under siege.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss is a Golden State Warriors beat reporter for The Athletic. Before that, he held the same role for ESPN. He hosts a podcast, House of Strauss, and is a frequent guest on Slate's Hang Up and Listen sports podcast. His articles have appeared in numerous outlets including Slate, Salon, FiveThirtyEight, Huffington Post, and more. He has 97,700 twitter followers and counting.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Pamela Newkirk - Diversity, Inc. (San Francisco Ferry Building Store/Shack 15)

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:30pm

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.

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.

Diversity has become the new buzzword, championed by elite institutions from academia to Hollywood to corporate America. In an effort to ensure their organizations represent the racial and ethnic makeup of the country, industry and foundation leaders have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to commission studies, launch training sessions, and hire consultants and diversity czars. But is it working?

In Diversity, Inc., award-winning journalist Pamela Newkirk shines a bright light on the diversity industry, asking the tough questions about what has been effective—and why progress has been so slow. Newkirk highlights the rare success stories, sharing valuable lessons about how other industries can match those gains. But as she argues, despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, organizations have, apart from a few exceptions, fallen far short of their goals.

Diversity, Inc. incisively shows the vast gap between the rhetoric of inclusivity and real achievements. If we are to deliver on the promise of true equality, we need to abandon ineffective, costly measures and commit ourselves to combatting enduring racial attitudes

Pamela Newkirk is an award-winning journalist and a professor of journalism at New York University who has written extensively about diversity in the news media and art world. She is the author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, which won the NAACP Image Award, and Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media, which won the National Press Club Award for media criticism, as well as the editor of Letters from Black America. Newkirk's articles and reviews are regularly published in major media, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She lives in New York City.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Anne Evers Hitz - Lost Department Stores of San Francisco (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 3:00pm

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.

In the late nineteenth century, San Francisco's merchant princes built grand stores for a booming city, each with its own niche. For the eager clientele, a trip downtown meant dressing up—hats, gloves and stockings required—and going to Blum's for Coffee Crunch cake or Townsend's for creamed spinach. The I. Magnin empire catered to a selective upper-class clientele, while middle-class shoppers loved the Emporium department store with its Bargain Basement and Santa for the kids. Gump's defined good taste, the City of Paris satisfied desires for anything French and edgy, youth-oriented Joseph Magnin ensnared the younger shoppers with the latest trends. Lost Department Stores of San Francisco looks back at the colorful personalities that created six major stores and defined shopping in San Francisco.

Anne Evers Hitz is a fifth-generation San Franciscan and a great-great-granddaughter of one of the Emporium department store's founders, F.W. Dohrmann. She is the author of Emporium Department Store and San Francisco's Ferry Building. A graduate of UC-Berkeley, Hitz is a writer, editor and project manager who has had her own communications consulting firm in San Francisco for more than twenty-five years. She is a guide for SF City Guides, a group of local volunteers who give free walking tours of San Francisco.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Emily Gould - Perfect Tunes (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:00pm

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.

It’s the early days of the new millennium, and Laura has arrived in New York City’s East Village with the hopes of recording her first album. A songwriter with a one-of-a-kind talent, she’s just beginning to book gigs when she falls hard for Dylan, a troubled but magnetic musician whose star is on the rise. Their time together is stormy and short-lived—Dylan dies a few months into their relationship—but will reverberate for the rest of Laura’s life.

Flash forward fourteen years: Laura’s daughter, Marie, is asking ques­tions about the father she never knew, questions that Laura does not want to answer. Laura has built a quiet life that bears little resemblance to the one she envisioned when she left Ohio all those years ago, and she’s taken pains to close the door on what was and what might have been. But Marie won’t let her, and when she attempts to track down Dylan’s family, both mother and daughter are forced to confront the heartbreak at the root of their relationship.

Funny, wise, and utterly immersive, Perfect Tunes explores the fault lines between parents and children, and asks whether dreams deferred can ever be reclaimed.

Emily Gould is the author of the novel Friendship and the essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever. With Ruth Curry, she runs Emily Books, which publishes books by women as an imprint of Coffee House Press. She has written for the New York TimesNew YorkThe New YorkerBookforum, and many other publications. She lives in New York City with her family.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Jillian Medoff - Pretty Bitches (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Monday, April 20, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

Isn’t it good to be lucky? Professional? Effortless? We all know “bitch” is an insult, but when leading women writers were asked about words that have been used against them, they didn’t choose to write about “bitch,” “slut,” or “cunt.” They chose words like “nurturing,” “sweet,”“ambitious,” “mature,” “too.”

Their responses are collected in Pretty Bitches: On Being Called Crazy, Angry, Bossy, Frumpy, Feisty, and All the Other Words that Are Used to Undermine Women, edited by Lizzie Skurnick. Each essay offers an intimate, often counter-intuitive look at the influence of a specific word on a woman’s life or sense of self. Together, they are a powerful reminder of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that language can confine us—or set us free.

Katha Pollitt explains why “feisty” is a slight disguised as a compliment; Monique Truong takes aim at “sweet.” Jennifer Weiner grapples with “fat” and Meg Wolitzer with “funny.” Laura Lippman wonders why her impressive creative output makes her “disciplined” rather than, say, “ingenious.” Afua Hirsch takes on the troubling legacy and assumptions of “professional.” Amy C. Choi rails against the false promise of “effortless.” Glynnis McNichol explores how “lucky” subtly suggests that we’ve gotten more than we deserve. But as Rebecca Traister notes in her introduction, perhaps most stunning is the simple word “too” as revealed to us by Adaora Udoji. Udoji writes about a schoolyard encounter: “I didn’t yet know how easily that word could be weaponized against me as a woman, used against any woman, pulled from the ever-ready ‘stay in your place’ toolbox.”

The writers in this powerful collection refuse to stay in their places and they certainly refuse to be silenced. As Traister writes: “When the tools of expression are turned against you—from the extraordinary cunts to the ordinary toos, the intimate fucks to the bruising bitches, the basic nice to the glorious ambitious—what becomes clear is that the thing they want is for us to stop opening our mouths at all.” Pretty Bitches is an assurance that women writers—women everywhere—will do no such thing. It’s also a thought-provoking exploration of language that invites us to reconsider the ways we describe each other and, perhaps, ourselves.

Jillian Medoff is the acclaimed author of four novels. Her most recent, This Could Hurt, landed on many Best of/Must Read lists, including Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, NY Post, Real Simple, O Magazine, and People, among others. She also wrote the national bestseller I Couldn't Love You More, Good Girls Gone Bad, and Hunger Point, which was made into an original cable movie starring Christina Hendricks and Barbara Hershey. A former fellow at MacDowell, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Jillian has an MFA from NYU. In addition to writing novels, Jillian has a long career in corporate consulting. She’s worked for a range of employers, including Deloitte and Aon. Now, as a senior consultant with Segal Benz, she advises clients on communication strategies for all aspects of the employee experience.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Marisa Meltzer - This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

In conversation with Windy Chien

Marisa Meltzer began her first diet at the age of five. Growing up an indoors-loving child in Northern California, she learned from an early age that weight was the one part of her life she could neither change nor even really understand.

Fast forward nearly four decades. Marisa, a contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Times, comes across an obituary for Jean Nidetch, the Queens, New York housewife who founded Weight Watchers in 1963. Weaving Jean's incredible story as weight loss maven and pathbreaking entrepreneur with her own journey through Weight Watchers, Marisa chronicles the deep parallels, and enduring frustrations, in each woman's decades-long efforts to lose weight and keep it off. The result is funny, unexpected, and unforgettable; This Is Big is a testament to how transformation goes far beyond a number on the scale.

Marisa Meltzer is a journalist based in New York who has contributed to the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. She was born in Northern California and is the author of two previous books, How Sassy Changed My Life and Girl Power. Photo credit Sarah Schatz.

Artist Windy Chien is best known for her 2016 work, The Year of Knots, in which she learned a new knot every day for a year. Her work ranges in size from a knot that can fit in the palm of a child's hand to room-sized installations that are sought after by private collectors. Following long careers at Apple and as owner of legendary music shop Aquarius Records, she launched her studio in 2015. Select clients include IBM, the National Geographic Society, and the Kering Group, and her work has been covered by Wired, The New York Times, and Martha Stewart. Windy’s book about her work was published by Abrams in 2019.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Michael Arceneaux - I Don't Want to Die Poor (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 6:00pm

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.

Ever since Oprah Winfrey told the 2007 graduating class of Howard University, “Don’t be afraid,” Michael Arceneaux has been scared to death. You should never do the opposite of what Oprah instructs you to do, but when you don’t have her pocket change, how can you not be terrified of the consequences of pursuing your dreams?

Michael has never shied away from discussing his struggles with debt, but in I Don’t Want to Die Poor, he reveals the extent to which it has an impact on every facet of his life—how he dates; how he seeks medical care (or in some cases, is unable to); how he wrestles with the question of whether or not he should have chosen a more financially secure path; and finally, how he has dealt with his “dream” turning into an ongoing nightmare as he realizes one bad decision could unravel all that he’s earned. You know, actual “economic anxiety.”

I Don’t Want to Die Poor is an unforgettable and relatable examination about what it’s like leading a life that often feels out of your control. But in Michael’s voice that’s “as joyful as he is shrewd” (BuzzFeed), these razor-sharp essays will still manage to make you laugh and remind you that you’re not alone in this often intimidating journey.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Essence, Esquire, Ebony, Elle, Rolling Stone, and many other publications on and off Al Gore’s internet. He’s ran his mouth on MSNBC, NPR, VH1, Viceland, Comedy Central, SiriusXM, and elsewhere. His second book is I Don’t Want to Die Poor. He’s working very hard to avoid such a fate. 

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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