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.
Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 30, all day, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.) and both Book Passage locations (1 Ferry Building and 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera).
Author Sherman Alexie recently issued a clarion call to his fellow authors to help out their local bookstores on Small Business Saturday, and they've responded in droves. Visitors to the Booksmith can get book-buying advice from Daniel Handler, Lisa Brown, Lewis Buzbee, Ethel Rohan, Laura Fraser, and Cathy Robbins, while Book Passage SF will feature Willie Brown, William Petrocelli, Lewis Buzbee, Katie Hafner, Lysley Tenorio, Mollie Katzen, and Christie Matheson. At Book Passage Corte Madera, expect to see Cara Black, Tom Barbash, Michael David Lukas, John Benus, and Tiffany Baker. (And of course, other local indie booksellers like Green Apple, Omnivore, City Lights, Books Inc., and BookShop are worthy of your support.)
Ari Shavit (My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel)
Sunday, December 1, 4 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Tuesday, December 3, 8 am, at the Oshman Family JCC (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto).
Leading Israeli columnist and TV commentator Shavit offers a thoughtful, sensitive look into the complexities of his homeland, working his own family's history and the tales of other key players (including immigrant Holocaust orphans who found refuge in the country and Palestinians forced out of their homes) into a portrait of Israel's overall fabric. Along the way, he explores the threats currently facing the country, and what it might be able to do to resolve its seemingly intractable conflicts.
Jon Bonné (The New California Wine)
Monday, December 2, 6:30 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)
Lost in the pursuit of 100-point scores and high prices for high-alcohol cabernets and chardonnays, California wine has largely been out of step with the local and sustainable food movement that's swept the area in the past 15 years, with many restaurants and wine shops sourcing natural and biodynamic wines primarily from Europe. The new book from Chronicle wine writer Bonné spotlights local winemakers trying to change that perception, growing unusual grape varieties and focusing on terroir. Wine from Broc Cellars will be available for sampling at the reading.
Amy Tan (The Valley of Amazement)
Tuesday, December 3, 7:30 pm, at the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes St.)
Tan (The Joy Luck Club) explores three generations of cross-cultural women in her new novel, which begins when white Californian Lulu Mintum runs away to China with her lover, a Chinese painter. She gives birth to and then abandons her daughter, Violet, who must become a courtesan to survive. Forced into two difficult marriages, Violet has a daughter of her own, but must overcome her fraught relationship with her mother and the frustrations of being caught between two cultures. Tickets to Tan's City Arts & Lectures appearance are $27.