Love to read and explore new ideas? Check out what author programs we have coming up this year! Join us as we engage with exciting authors of all genres to meet and discuss their work in a virtual setting.
Be on the lookout for book giveaways before each author talk during Curbside Walk-up Service hours at all of our library locations. You can also place a hold on these titles in advance by browsing our catalog. Visit our events page to learn more and to register for upcoming author talks. We hope you can join us!
Upcoming Author Talks
Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner, authors of Seeing Silicon Valley
Mary Beth Meehan is a photographer known for her large-scale, community-based portraiture centered around questions of representation, visibility, and social equity in the United States. Fred Turner is a Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University.
Seeing Silicon Valley is filled with intimate stories and interviews in hopes to make this hidden world more visible. Instead of young entrepreneurs striving for efficiency in minimalist corporate campuses, we see portraits of struggle - families displaced by an impossible real estate market, workers striving for a living wage, and communities harmed by environmental degradation.
Carolina de Robertis, author of The President and the Frog
Carolina de Robertis is the author of six novels, including Cantoras, winner of a Stonewall Book Award and a Reading Women Award, and a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and a Lambda Literary Award; it was also selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice.
The President and the Frog tells the story of a former Latin American president as he reminisces on his remarkable life, a timeless and timely exploration of power, revolution, and survival.
Annette Binder and Sandell Morse, authors of The Vanishing Sky and The Spiral Shell
L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and grew up in Colorado. Her story collection Rise (Sarabande 2012) received the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, and her stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, One Story, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, and others.
Sandell Morse is the prize-winning author of the memoir The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets of Jewish Resistance in World War II. Morse’s nonfiction has been noted in The Best American Essays series and published in Creative Nonfiction, Ploughshares, the New England Review, Fourth Genre ASCENT, Solstice, and Tiferet among others.
The Vanishing Sky is a World War II novel as seen through a German lens, a story of the irreparable damage of war on the home front, and one family's participation-involuntary, unseen, or direct-in a dangerous regime. Drawing inspiration from her own father's time in the Hitler Youth, L. Annette Binder has crafted a spellbinding novel about the choices we make for country and for family.
April 2020 will mark the 80th Anniversary of the fall of France to Nazi Germany, and the establishment of the provisional government of the Vichy state, a puppet of the Axis regime, to carry out the arrest and deportation of all Jewish civilians. In the course of her writing residency over a three-year period in the village of Auvillar, the author learns of acts of bravery and rebellion on the part of several of the Jewish families and individuals who risked their lives to save innocent refugees and children orphaned by the Holocaust, and gradually gains their trust enough for them to share the details of their harrowing experiences of rebellion and resistance. The author in turn discovers truths about her own life and Jewish heritage in America, which she now sees in the light of the bravery and selflessness of those who elected to act and not stand by idly in the face of oppression and genocide.
Bob Calhoun, author of The Murders that Made Us: How Vigilantes, Hoodlums, Mob Bosses, Serial Killers, and Cult Leaders Built the San Francisco Bay Area
Bob Calhoun is a San Francisco Bay Area author and journalist. Since 2015, he has recounted his city’s most gruesome and lurid events in his regular SF Weekly column, “Yesterday’s Crimes.” His punk wrestling memoir, Beer, Blood & Cornmeal (ECW Press), is a national bestseller.
From its earliest days when vigilantes hung perps from downtown buildings to the Zodiac Killer and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, murder and mayhem have shaped San Francisco into the political and economic force that she is today. The Murders That Made Us tells a 170-year saga of madness, corruption, and death, one crime at a time.
Sarah Jaffe, author of Work Won't Love You Back
Sarah Jaffe is a Type Media Center reporting fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, the Guardian, the Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as a columnist at The Progressive and New Labor Forum.
In Work Won't Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements, examines this "labor of love" myth—the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives and experiences of workers in various industries—from the unpaid intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even the professional athlete—Jaffe reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work.
Talia Hibbert, author of Brown Sisters (Get a Life, Chloe Brown; Take a Hint, Dani Brown; Act Your Age, Eve Brown)
Saturday, December 4 at 12:00 PM
Talia Hibbert is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Black British author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate. She writes sexy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include beauty, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm.
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer wizard with a list of six directives to help her "Get a Life." Enlisting her landlord, Redford Morgan, to help, she starts to see past his tattoos and motorcycle to the artist who paints and night and hides his work in the light of day.
2022 Author Talk Preview
Meg Waite Clayton, author of Postmistress of Paris
Tuesday, January 11 at 6:30 PM
A graduate of the University of Michigan and its law school, Meg has also written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, Runners World, and public radio, often on the subject of the particular challenges women face.
Inspired by the real life Chicago heiress Mary Jayne Gold, who worked with American journalist Varian Fry to smuggle artists and intellectuals out of France, Meg Waite Clayton has fashioned a sweeping tale of romance and danger, set in a world aflame with personal and political passion. The Postmistress of Paris is the haunting story of an indomitable woman whose strength, bravery, and love is a beacon of hope in a time of terror.
Alia Volz, author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Tuesday, February 15 at 6:30 PM
Alia is a homegrown San Franciscan. Her work has been published in The Best American Essays, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Salon, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing. Her family story has been featured on Snap Judgement, Criminal, and NPR’s Fresh Air.
Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco tells the family history of Sticky Fingers Brownies in a city in the throes of change, from gay liberation to the People's Temple and providing soothing edibles when HIV/AIDS swept San Francisco in the 1980s.
Previous Author Talks
K-Ming Chang, author of Bestiary
K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman Fellow, Lambda Literary Award finalist, National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree.
Bestiary is a poetic novel of migration, queer lineages, heritage, and fairytales, following a family's history from Mainland China to Taiwan, from Arkansas to California, and the stories of three generations of women (Ama, Mother, Daughter) as they live the mythology of their Taiwanese heritage.
Deborah Madison, author of An Onion in My Pocket
Deborah Madison is a cookbook author, former chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, and is known as the country's leading authority on vegetables!
An Onion in My Pocket is a memoir sharing Madison's life, from her childhood among corporate farms in Northern CA to working in the kitchens of Chez Panisse, as well a chronicle of the evolution of the vegetarian movement.
Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising
Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times-bestselling author and screenwriter of several novels that explore love in all its complexity. She writes and speaks candidly about women’s issues, relationships, marriage, and the writing process.
Reid’s newest novel, Malibu Rising (June 2021), follows the four famous Riva siblings who throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. The events of the night in 1983 reveal the many secrets that shaped this family’s generations, and the Rivas lives change forever. With her beloved, signature style, Reid writes a powerful story of historical fiction that explores fame, family, identity, and the impact of secrets unraveled. Malibu Rising is a #ReadWithJenna book club pick.
George M Johnson, author of All Boys Aren't Blue
George M Johnson is an award-winning journalist, consultant, and LGBTQIA+ activist.
All Boys Aren't Blue offers personal essays exploring their childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. Discusses gender identity, toxic masculinity, structural marginalization, and Black joy through the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
Joy Ma, Author of The Deoliwallahs
Joy Ma, co-author of The Deoliwallahs, was one of a handful of children born in the Deoli internment camp. She has studied at Lady Shri Ram College, India, and the New School for Social Research in the U.S. Joy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. She enjoys travelling, meeting people and writing. Badminton, tennis among friends, climate activism and good food round out her interests.
The Deoliwallahs: The True Story of the 1962 Chinese-Indian Internment recounts the internment of around 3,000 Chinese-Indians in a camp in Deoli, Rajasthan, some for up to five years, purely because they "looked Chinese" during India's war with China. This part of Indian history, wrapped in prejudice and fear, is almost totally forgotten today. Nearly six decades later, some survivors of that experience are starting to speak. Learn about the internment, its aftermath, and the impact of its silence up until now.
Rucker C Johnson, author of Children of the Dream
Rucker C Johnson is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy in the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and Faculty research associate at National Bureau of Economic Research.
Children of the Dream argues for public education as the primary engine of upward mobility, as inequality in schools leads to many social ills, and examines the benefits of court-mandated integration efforts, school finance reform, and expansions of public pre-k investments.
Andrew Chau and Bin Chen, authors of The Boba Book
Andrew Chau and Bin Chen realized in 2011 that boba, the milk teas and fruit juices with chewy tapioca balls from Taiwan, was still made from powders and mixes. No one in the U.S. was making boba with the careful attention it deserved, or using responsible, high-quality ingredients. So they founded The Boba Guys: a chic, modern boba tea shop that has now grown to include fourteen locations across the country, bringing bubble tea to the forefront of modern drinks and bridging cultures along the way.
Now, with The Boba Book, the Boba Guys will show fans and novices alike how they can make their favorite drink at home through clear step-by-step guides. Here are the recipes that people line up for from the classics like Hong Kong Milk Tea to signatures like the Strawberry Matcha Latte and the coffee-laced Dirty Horchata. For the Boba Guys, boba is Taiwanese, it's Japanese, it's Mexican, it's all that and more--which means it's all-American.
Dick Evans and Kathy Chin Leong of San Francisco's Chinatown
Chinatown is the third in a series of documentary photography books by San Francisco resident and photographer Dick Evans – following his initial book in 2014 of Haight Ashbury and his 2017 award winning book on the The Mission. His approach in each case has been to develop an in-depth understanding of each neighborhood through close collaboration with leading non-profits, community organizations, artists and local businesses. In this book he collaborates with freelance writer Kathy Chin Leong, who has conducted over 100 interviews in the course of writing the text, captions and sidebar stories that provide context to the images. Over the coming months, this website will feature in-depth images and back stories of subjects included in the book: the neighborhood’s history, traditions, celebrations, businesses, non-profits and many of the colorful residents that make Chinatown so intriguing and resilient. All revenue from book sales will be donated to collaborating non-profit organizations.
Susie Yang, author of White Ivy
Susie Yang was born in China and came to the United States as a child. After receiving her doctorate of pharmacy from Rutgers University, she launched a tech startup in San Francisco that has taught 20,000 people how to code. She has studied creative writing at Tin House and Sackett Street.
From prizewinning and first generation Chinese American author Susie Yang comes a delicious debut novel about a young immigrant woman's obsession with her privileged male classmate - and the lengths she'll go to win his love. Filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class and race, White Ivy is a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.
Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law
Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute, the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and of the Haas Institute at the University of California. In addition, Rothstein is the author of many other articles and books on race and education, which can be found on his webpage at the Economic Policy Institute.
The Color of Law was longlisted for the National Book Award for best nonfiction book of 2017. It was a New York Times bestseller and listed as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and NPR. The Color of Law won the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction and the California Book Award.
Talia Lavin, author of Culture Warlords
Talia Lavin is a Harvard University alum and freelance writer. Lavin has had bylines in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times Review of Books, Washington Post, Village Voice, and more.
In Culture Warlords, Talia Lavin delves into the digital world of white nationalism, leaving behind her own identity as a loud, unapologetic, and profoundly anti-racist Jewish woman to infiltrate online hate circles. Lavin uses various aliases to to gain access to these groups: a blonde Nazi "babe", a bitter and forlorn incel, and a violent femme fatale with the username “Aryan Queen”, and in the process paints a startling portrait of modern intolerance. Culture Warlords reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight and turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself to dismantle and decimate the modern hate movement from within.
Rebecca Traister, author of Good and Mad
Rebecca Traister is the award-winning journalist for the New York magazine and The Cut. Author of All the Single Ladies and Big Girls Don't Cry.
Good and Mad explores the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement, including the history of female fury and how society's condemnation of female emotion has led to women's slow rise to political power in America.
Anne-Marie Bonneau, author of Zero Waste Chef
Author and blogger Anne-Marie Bonneau lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived plastic-free since 2011.
Based off her popular blog, Zero Waste Chef will teach readers how to achieve a zero-waste existence through Bonneau's own experience, motivational facts, and fixes.
Aarti Namdev Shahani and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, authors of Here We Are and The Undocumented Americans
Aarti Shahani is a former NPR's Silicon Valley correspondent. Karla writes for NYT, Atlantic, New Republic, and more.
Shahani shares her family story emigrating to the US in 1981, living with immigrant issues like deportation and 9/11. Karla follows the stories and lives of those living undocumented across the US, combining with her own personal narrative.
Fonda Lee, author of Green Bone Saga (trilogy: Jade City, Jade War, Jade Legacy)
Fonda Lee is winner of the World Fantasy Award, 3-time winner of the Aurora Award (Canadian national SF/Fantasy award).
The Green Bone Saga is an action-packed, diverse Asian-inspired urban fantasy inspired by "The Godfather" and Hong Kong kung-fu movies, with clan blood feuds, vicious politics, family drama, and parallels to colonialism and the immigrant experience.
Visit our events page to learn more and to register for any of our author talks. Which conversation are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!