Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events


Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Gary Kamiya (Cool Gray City of Love)

Thursday, August 8, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Tuesday, August 13, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Wednesday, September 18, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)

Kamiya, one of the founders of Salon, has lived in SF his entire life, and his new book offers a comprehensive portrait of the city through the lens of both history and his personal history. Divided into 49 chapters that each examine a historic site or intersection, the book weaves from Land's End to the Embarcadero, offering glimpses into everything from Gold Rush history to the Beat era to the tech boom.

Travel Writers and Photographers Conference

Thursday, August 8-Sunday, August 11, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

While Book Passage's annual conference is intended for travel professionals, the general public also has much to enjoy. Speakers will include novelist Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), photographer Catherine Karnow (National Geographic), and travel memoirist Tim Cahill (A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg). For those not attending the conference, admission to sessions is $10. More info here. 

Rob Sheffield (Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke)

Sunday, August 11, 4 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Monday, August 12, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Alameda (1344 Park St.)

Rock critic Sheffield's acclaimed Love Is a Mixtape documented his struggle with his beloved wife's death early in their marriage. In his new book, he focuses on the aftermath, when he moved to NYC as a young widower trying to pick up the pieces. Karaoke becomes his outlet, and when he meets an intriguing woman with a talent belting out tunes, he has to overcome his grief and find the courage to move on. 

S.G. Browne (Big Egos)

Tuesday, August 6, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Friday, August 9, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Alameda (1344 Park St.)

The latest from Browne (Breathers) takes place in a world in which anyone can become any dead celebrity they want for 6-8 hours, thanks to a simple DNA injection. The program is called Big Egos, and Browne's protagonist is its quality controller, meaning he spends a lot of time in the guise of others. But he's also starting to lose his own memories and sense of identity, which could have dangerous consequences for him and everyone else who samples the program. 

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