Quick Lit: April 21-April 27

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Environmental journalist Andrew Revkin at the Herbst Theater on Tues/27

Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week - including NYT Dot Earth blogger Andrew Revkin, local activist Peter Berg, McSweeny’s Issue 34, poetry readings in honor of National Poetry month, and more.

Wednesday, April 21

Cosmic Conversation
Join KQED for a conversation with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of NOVA scienceNOW, and Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW, for a behind-the-scenes look at the science series and a discussion about the show’s “Pluto files.”
8 p.m., $15
Palace of Fine Arts
3301 Lyon, SF
(415) 392-4400
www.cityboxoffice.com

 
Greenpeace’s New Rainbow Warrior
Hear from Kumi Naiboo, the new Executive Director of Greenpeace International, discuss how to lead a grassroots group at a crucial point in the international environmental movement.
6:30 p.m., $20
Commonwealth Club
595 Market, 2nd floor, SF
(415) 597-6700

Daniele Mastrogiacomo
Hear Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo discuss his new book, Days of Fear, about how the Taliban kidnapped him, his driver, and his translator, about his subsequent travel throughout a system of Taliban underground hide-outs, the televised brutal murder of his driver, and his eventual release.
6:30 p.m., free
Italian Cultural Institute
425 Washington, Suite 200, SF
(415) 788-7142


Wherever There’s a Fight

Hear authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi read from and sign their new book at this installment of Betty’s List Literary Salon.
6 p.m., free
Duboce Park Café
2 Sanchez, SF
www.wherevertheresafight.com


Thursday, April 22

Reza Aslan
Hear Reza Aslan, author of How to Win a Cosmic War: Confronting religious fundamentalism, discuss her theory that in a post 9/11 world, the U.S.’s “war on terror” adopts the same religiously polarizing rhetoric and cosmic worldview as the jihadists, and is therefore fighting a war that can’t be won.
8 p.m., $10-18
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
Kanbar Hall
3200 California, SF
(415) 292-1233

Envisioning Sustainability
Hear author and environmental activist Peter Berg discuss his new collection of essays that helped to define the bioregional movement and shape the sustainability revolution.
7 p.m., free
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia, SF
www.mtbs.com

How to Cool the Planet
Hear author Jeff Goodell discuss his new book that talks about the Earth’s possibilities for geoengineering, the idea that we can use technology to reduce global warming on Earth, which was recently made more popular by the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
7 p.m.,free
Books Inc.
1760 4th St., Berk.
(510) 525-7777

“Medicean Music and Francesca Caccini”
Hear a presentation from Kip Cranna, from the SF Opera, about music from the Medicean world and hear Richard Savino, from CSU Sacramento, discuss Francesca Caccini, composer of the first published opera by a woman.
6 p.m., $15
Mechanics’ Institute
57 Post, SF
(415) 393-0100

“The Natural and Unnatural History of Yerba Buena Island and What Might be Next”
Hear a panel of experts present an illustrated overview of Yerba Buena Island’s history, ecological treasures, threats, and possible plans for the future.
7:30 p.m., free
Randall Museum
199 Museum Way, SF
www.natureinthecity.org

Poetry at Pegasus
Celebrate National Poetry Month at this reading with poets Kathleen Weaver, Gretchen Stengel, Susan Elliot Jardin, Cynthia Carmichael, and Jane Downs.
7:30 p.m., free
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck, Berk.
www.pegasusbookstore.com

RuPaul
Attend this book signing with the world’s most famous drag queen RuPaul, celebrating her recent book, Workin’ It! RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc.
2275 Market, SF
(415) 864-6777

“Truth Emergency Interantional: Censorship, propaganda, and empire”
Attend this talk and booksigning with Peter Philips and Mickey Huff, co-editors of Project Censored 2010: The top 25 stories of 2010.
7 p.m., $5-20 sliding scale
Berkeley Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar, Berk.
http://www.bfuu.org

Friday, April 23

“The Contradictory Legacy of Haiti’s Revolution”
Attend this talk with Robert Fatton, Jr., author, scholar, and Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, titled, “The Contradictory Legacy of Haiti’s Revolution: History and the earthquake crisis.”
6:30 p.m., free
California Institute of Integral Studies
Social and Cultural Anthropology Department
1453 Mission, Room 308, 3rd floor, SF
(415) 575-6249

Mark Kurlansky
Hear about Mark Kurlansky’s new book, The Eastern Stars: How baseball changed the Dominican town of San Pedro de Marcoris, about one small impoverished area in the Dominican Republic that has produced a suprising number of Major League Baseball talent.
7:30 p.m., free
Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

WritersCorps Reading Series
Attend this “Claim the Block” reading series featuring readings by young writers.
7:30 p.m., free
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF
(415) 252-4655 to RSVP

Saturday, April 24

“America’s Muslim Roots”
Hear Bay Area Muslim journalists Hamza van Boom and Yahsmin Binti Bobo in conversation with Jonathan Curiel about his new book, Al’ America: Travels through America’s Arab and Islamic roots, which details the historic influence of Arab and Muslim culture on America from Columbus to the modern age.
6 p.m., $7
Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California
1433 Madison, Oak.
(510) 219-2431

“Outspoken: Vietnamese Poets of the Diaspora II”
Attend this event that celebrates the thriving Vietnamese community in the Bay Area with readings by poets Anh Vu Buchanan, Andrew Lam, Kim-An Lieberman, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Dao Strom, and Lan Tran.
7 p.m., free
Fort Mason Center
Laguna at Marina, Fleet Room, SF
www.friendssfpl.org

 

Sunday, April 25


I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway
Mad Men writer Tracy McMillan tells the story about her relationship with her father, who was a convicted pimp, drug dealer, and felon, and what it has meant for her relationships with men.
3 p.m., free
Books Inc.
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633

Monday, April 26

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
As part of the Ask a Scientist lecture series, scientist and author Rebecca Skloot will discuss her new book about the life of a poor tobacco farmer who died of cervical cancer in 1951 but whose cells are still alive today and used for scientific research. Skloot will discuss bioethics, race issues, history, and family.
7 p.m., free
Horatius
350 Kansas, SF
(415) 252-3500

A Thousand Sisters
Hear author Lisa Shannon discuss her book which cronicles her journey to the Congo to meet the women there and share their stories.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc.
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Not Your Mother’s Book Club (NYMBC) presents John Green and David Levithan,
the authors of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, about two teens with the same name who cross paths in Chicago.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc.
601 Van Ness, SF
(415) 776-1111

Tuesday, April 27

Andrew Revkin
Hear award winning environmental journalist and author Andrew Revkin discuss his work on the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog, 25 years covering environmental and social subjects, and his previously published books, like The North Pole Was Here.
8 p.m., $20
Herbst Theater
401 Van Ness, SF
www.cityboxoffice.com

Hunting Eichmann
Hear author Neal Bascomb discuss his new book about a Nazi who escapes American POW camps and hides in the mountains in Buenos Aires before he is eventually caught and brought to trial.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc.
1760 4th St., Berk.
(510) 525-7777

McSweeny’s Issue 34
Attend this release of the highly anticipated Issue 34 of McSweeny’s presented by Nick McDonell, Tom Barbach, and Daniel Handler.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc.
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633

Noir Literary Night
Attend the 5th annual Nior Literary Night featuring Cara Black, author of Murder in the Palais Royal, David Corbett, author of Do They Know I’m Running?, and Joe Gores, author of Spade & Archer: The prequel to Dashiell Hammett’s the Maltese Falcon.
6 p.m., $12
Mechanic’s Institute
57 Post, SF
(415) 393-0100
www.milibrary.org

Karin Sanders
Attend a reading and discussion of Karin Sanders’ new book, Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination, in conversation with Mark Sandberg.
5:30 p.m., free
University Press Books
2430 Bancroft, Berk.
(510) 548-0585