Quick Lit: June 2-June 8

Zoë Bradbury is rebirthing local food for her rural community on Valley Flora Farm (See Farmer Jane Fri/4).

Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Maude Barlow, the female farming revolution, Babylon Salon, Mahnaz Afkhami, The Art of Baseball, Nerd Nite, and more.

Wednesday, June 2

Mahnaz Afkhami
Afkhami, exiled from Iran under threat of death during the Iranian Revolution, has worked as a leading advocate for women's rights internationally for more than three decades. Hear her discuss some of the most pressing issues for women in the Middle East today.
6 p.m., $25
Omni Hotel
500 California, SF
RSVP at 415-543-4669 ext. 27, or email events@imow.org

Talk Softly
Author Cynthia O’Neal reads from her inspiring memoir.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Castro
2275 Market, SF
(415) 864-6777

Thursday, June 3

The Art of Baseball
Author and journalist Jeff Gillenkirk will read from his novel, Home, Away, about the evolving relationship of a father and his formerly estranged son, that develops at odds with the father’s multi-million dollar contract to pitch for the Colorado Rockies.
6 p.m., free
George Krevsky Gallery
77 Geary, SF
(415) 397-9748

Maude Barlow

Barlow is the Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN. Hear talk about how California’s misuse of water may actually be changing the hydrological cycle and contributing to global warming.
8 p.m., $20
Herbst Theater
401 Van Ness, SF

Nancy’s Theory of Style
Author Grace Coopersmith discusses her book that shows that happiness and love, like fashion, aren’t about playing it safe.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Berkeley
1760 4th St., SF
(510) 525-7777

Nerd Nite
Gather with other nerds to discuss nerdery of all sorts at this meet-up featuring talks “I Was  a Teenage Ichthyologist” with Bart Bernhardt, “It’s Not Its Size, But How You Work It” with Brady Burgess, and “Is It Fake Money If You Can Buy Real Hookers With It?” with Jennifer Russel.
8 p.m., $10
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, SF

79th Annual California Book Awards
Watch as gold medals are presented to D.A. Powell (Chronic) for poetry, Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell) for nonfiction, Lori Ostlund (The Bigness of the World) for first fiction, Yiyun Li (The Vagrants) for fiction,  Susan Patron (Lucky Breaks) for juvenile, Sherri Smith (Flygirl) for young adult Daniel C. Matt (Translation and Commentary, The Zohar Pritzker Edition, Volume Five ) for contribution to publishing, and Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi (Wherever There's a Fight) for Californiana. Silver medal awards will also be given out.
6 p.m., $20
Commonwealth Club
2nd floor
595 Market, SF
(415) 597-6700

Friday, June 4 

Farmer Jane: Women changing the way we eat
Featuring stories about over 30 women farmers, chefs, policy wonks, and educators, author Temra Costa celebrates women’s role in changing how we eat and farm for the better. Hear local food stories, taste delicious foods, and meet the author.
7 p.m., free
Green Arcade
1680 Market, SF
(415) 431-6800

Long Time Passing

Author Susan Galleymore began interviewing mothers across The U.S. and the Middle East about war and its consequences after her son was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003. Hear her read and discuss her book, Long Time Passing: Mothers speak out about war and terror.
7:30 p.m., free
St. Joseph the Worker Church Chapel
1640 Addison, Berk.
(510) 499-0537

Saturday, June 5

Babylon Salon
This installment of the reading and performance series presents poet Rusty Morrison, the true keeps calm biding its story and Whethering, and novelist Tom Barbash, The Last Good Chance and On Top of the World: Candor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11, along with writers Deborah P. Bloch, N.A. Jong, and more.
7:30 p.m., free
Cantina SF
580 Sutter, SF

The Glorious World Cup
Alan Black presents this guide to the World Cup, filled with tales of the teams, fans, goals, saves, divas, divers, myths, and madness.
3 p.m., free
400 Post, SF
(415) 399-1633

Jim Nisbet

Hayes Valley resident, sailor, and author Nisbet celebrates his new book, Windward Passage, and the re-issue of his cult classic novel, Lethal Injection.
7 p.m., free
Green Arcade
1680 Market, SF
(415) 431-6800

Monday, June 7

A Soft Place to Land
Susan Rebecca White discusses her new book about sisters whose relationship becomes complicated by resentment, anger, and jealousy.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Marina
2251 Chestnut, SF
(415) 931-3633

Peter Allen
Hear the Green Party candidate for California Attorney General discuss energy policy as it relates to the tragic oil spill happening in the Gulf of Mexico, and what the spill can teach us when discussing nuclear energy.
7 p.m., free
Green Arcade
1680 Market, SF
(415) 431-6800

Second Nature: The inner lives of animals
Author Jonathan Balcombe, joined by the Berkeley Humane Society, presents his book that shakes human supremacy and opens the door to the inner lives of animals.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Berkeley
1760 4th St., SF
(510) 525-7777

Tuesday, June 8

The Accordionist’s Son
Stanford scholar and author Bernardo Atxaga will give a literary reading and discussion. Atxaga is a Basque novelist known for writing in Euskera, a language forbidden in Spain by the Franco regime. He will discuss his early experiences writing in a suppressed language and his identity as both a Spanish and Basque writer.
12:30 p.m., free
111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna, SF
(415) 974-1719

“Giacomo Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West”
Join the San Francisco Opera and the California Historical Society for this presentation on Puccini’s opera about the California Gold Rush.
6 p.m., free
California Historical Society Museum
678 Mission, SF
RSVP at (415) 357-1848, ext. 229, or email kjacobson@calhist.org

The Golden Game: Writers on Soccer

Alon Raab will read and discuss his co-edited book of soccer stories. Share your own soccer stories and legends in celebration of the 2010 World Cup.
6 p.m., free
Unversity Press Books
2430 Bancroft, Berk.
(510) 548-0585

“How to Ride Anywhere and Fix a Flat”
Attend this cycling skills and basic maintenance class that will provide helpful instructions for people who bike in the city and want to learn more about urban cycling.
6:30 p.m., free
840 Brannan, SF

Missing Mentor
Mary Stutts wil discuss her book, Missing Mentor: Women advising women on power, progress, and priorities.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc. Alameda
1344 Park, Alameda
(510) 522-2226

The More I Owe You
Hear author Michael Sledge discuss his new book about the beloved poet Elizabeth Bishop, including her life in Brazil and her relationship with her lover Lota de Macedo Soares.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Laurel Village
3515 California, SF
(415) 221-3666


Author Joshua Braff will read and discuss his book about a 17 year old boy who chooses to help his father run a porn theater in New York’s Times Square instead of embracing his mother’s Hasidic Jewish sect.
7:30 p.m., free
1644 Haight, SF

Writing on My Forehead
Nafisa Haji presents his bestselling book that meditates on the meaning of family, tradition, and the ties that bind.
7 p.m., free
Books Inc. Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness, SF
(415) 776-1111