Thursday, Feb. 19
Wait, so is Jeff Jarvis saying that Jesus already has come back, as a search engine? In Jarvis' new book, What Would Google Do? (Collins Business, $26.99), the Buzzmachine blogger and former San Francisco Examiner columnist does make the case that history's fastest-growing company is sort of like our lord and savior, at least in terms of new rules to live and manage your business by. Learn how to make productive mistakes, give up control, and not be evil, among other highlights of the Jarvis prophecy, at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole). 7:30 p.m., free; 863-8688 or www.booksmith.com.
Wednesday, March 4
One thing Google would do, we hope, is recognize that even in this toilet economy, we Americans are still way, way better off than a frightfully huge percentage of the world's population. In The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty (Random House, $22), the lightning-rod ethicist, philosopher, and Princeton professor Peter Singer, loved and hated for his writings about the rights of animals and people, takes a careful look at the imperative of charitable giving. Join him for a discussion of the book at the World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter (at Grant). 6 p.m., $15; 434-5101 or www.itsyourworld.org.
Tuesday, March 10
You know how there's Web 2.0? Well, what if there's also Racism 2.0? No, not nearly as cool, not at all. That's why White Like Me author Tim Wise has written a new book, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama (City Lights, $13.95). As the November 5, 2008, Onion headline put it: "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job." Discuss. City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus (at Broadway). 7 p.m., free; 362-8193 or www.citylights.com.
Tuesday, March 10
City Arts & Lectures has a knack for matching up odd but intriguing pairs of culturemongers in public conversation. To wit: Richard Price, most recently of the grit-tastic New York City novel Lush Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26) talks with Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon, most recently of a glowing review of the Richard Price novel Lush Life in The New York Review of Books. This might be the best collision of minds since Joaquin Phoenix and David Letterman. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister). 8 p.m., $20; 392-4400 or www.cityarts.net.
Wednesday, March 18
Is all this talk of writing and life and how the world works making your mind hungry? Well, have a feast with the rugged mustachioed fictioneer and memoirist Tobias Wolff, who eats short stories for breakfast. Possibly also reading from his newest book, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories (Knopf, $26.95), Wolff will talk about the writing life, which in his case is full of deserved adulation from peers and laypeople alike. Gather 'round at the Jewish Community Center, 3200 California (at Presidio). 8 p.m., $18; 292-1200 or www.jccsf.org.