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Thursday, March 17, 2016

UPDATED: The Castro Will Not Be Bookstore-Free: Dog-Eared Books Opens in May

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 9:03 AM

Dog Eared Books - YELP/ P.J.
  • Yelp/ P.J.
  • Dog Eared Books

Like virtually every other nerdy Castro resident, I was crushed to learn Tuesday that the Books Inc. at 2275 Market Street would close in June. Hoodline broke the story, noting that the company was set to open up a location in Santa Clara and that no layoffs would be made. But the Castro bookstore was the chain's first location and the closure hit CEO Michael Tucker hard. (You could smell something last year, when Books Inc. stopped issuing buy-10-get-one-free cards, although they've continued to honor them.)

So it's wonderful news to hear that, one month before Books Inc. closes, Dog Eared Books will open up in the space on Castro Street that's about to be vacated by men's boutique Citizen. It's a fitting spiritual home, as 489 Castro used to house A Different Light, the LGBT bookstore that shut its doors five years ago.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

More Mercy, Fewer Victory Dances: Chatting With George Saunders

Posted By on Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 10:00 AM

  • Photo credit: ​Basso Cannarsa
  • George Saunders

When George Saunders daughters were young, he would tell them stories at night with a little girl (often slightly misunderstood) as the heroine, trying to work her way through things. Sometimes, she had a dopey younger brother who took credit for what his sister did. One of those stories had a little more shape, and Saunders, the author of Tenth of December, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and Pastoralia, decided to write it down.

The story became The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, about a girl, Capable, who lives in Frip, where the three families in town make their living selling goat’s milk. Gappers, bright orange with lots of eyes, attach themselves to the goats, shrieking with joy and inhibiting their milk production. That means Capable and her neighbors have to regularly brush the gappers off the goats. In the story, the gappers suddenly abandon the neighbors and only go to Capable’s yard, which her neighbors take as a sign of their own superior virtue. Capable asks them for help, doesn’t get it, and in the end deals with the problem in a way fitting her name — and without what Saunders calls “a victory dance in the end zone.”

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Dennis Lehane Went From Hardback to Hollywood

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Dennis Lehane will be appearing as part of Liquake on Oct. 12. - PHOTO BY GABY GERSTER
  • Photo by Gaby Gerster
  • Dennis Lehane will be appearing as part of Liquake on Oct. 12.

The odds of getting your novel published are slim. The probability of reaching The New York Times Best Sellers List several times over is even slimmer. The odds of having not one, but multiple novels turned into critically acclaimed, high-grossing films are razor thin — unless you're Dennis Lehane. With novels-turned-films Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island behind him and Since We Fell and Live by Night optioned by Dreamworks and Warner Bros. respectively, who better to discuss achieving an astounding book-to-film career at Litquake's From Hardback to Hollywood event on Oct. 12, as he did?

SF Weekly chatted with Lehane about why his books translate so well to the silver screen, how his professional goals have changed over the last decade and whether the hardcore Bostonian has finally gone Hollywood. 

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

In Defense of Kim Kardashian West

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Judge LaDoris Cordell interviews Kim Kardashian West at The Castro Theatre on June 30. - PHOTO BY SONYA ABRAMS
  • Photo by Sonya Abrams
  • Judge LaDoris Cordell interviews Kim Kardashian West at The Castro Theatre on June 30.

When InForum members first learned that the Commonwealth Club's Innovation Lab would host Kim Kardashian West Live! this month, they booed, hissed and headed to the organization’s Facebook page to protest.

True, on the surface, the reality star seems to share little with the career women who've graced the speaker series' stage before her: stuffy corporate leaders such as Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, and Marissa Mayer. But Kardashian West is a successful businesswoman in her own right, heading her own formidable empire, which earned a respectable $28 million in 2014, according to Forbes

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Are You There, Judy Blume? It's Me, the Bay Area Book Festival

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • FLUX

Free event fun for your weekend: over 300 authors and 50,000 books will debut at the Bay Area Book Festival this weekend in downtown Berkeley. The genres are wide open for this one: social justice, African American innovators, poetry, Vietnamese literature, mystery, YA, a Buddhist monk (in conversation with Pico Ayer), and even a discussion about the Grateful Dead.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

My Struggle with My Struggle

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Penguin/Random House

Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard appears tonight at City Arts & Lectures, in conversation with Daniel Handler, to discuss his six-part epic
My Struggle. San Francisco author K.M. Soehnlein (You Can Say You Knew Me When, Robin and Ruby) offered The Exhibitionist this personal reflection on reading Knausgaard's work.

I’m walking down Folsom Street with a 592-page book in my hand. It’s Book 2 of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle. I’ve been reading it for weeks. I’m going to get a sandwich and a cup of coffee and finish the last section. The sun is bright, but this is San Francisco, so there’s a chill in the air.

Then someone calls out to me, “What’s that you’re reading?” and I stop and turn.

The speaker is a weathered-looking man seated cross-legged on a bench outside the closed doors of a restaurant. His creased face has a golden bronze hue. His eyes are pale, almost colorless, and his hair is a wiry shock of white-gray poking out from under a fisherman’s cap. If I had to guess his race I’d say mixed and if I had to guess his age I’d say mid-60s, but he’s hard to read. He’s wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a vaguely tribal rope of large wooden beads, faded jeans, and sandals, and he’s smoking a skinny cigarillo through a plastic filter. He's more bohemian than homeless — the homeless in my neighborhood tend to be quite obviously down-and-out, and rarely do they have this much of a “look” — but I shift my gaze and sure enough, there’s his overstuffed shopping cart containing, among countless items bulging out from under a red blanket, a full-size door, rising several feet above the cart’s rim.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Subscribe to This: Wisecrack on YouTube

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM


Like the rest of us, I watch a lot of movies and televsion shows, and try to read a lot of books — I'm currently making my way through Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed, which I can't recommend strongly enough — but I also watch a lot of YouTube, particularly the educational channels. Learning new things is fun! Especially when it's presented by people who try to actually make it fun without talking down to their viewers. Among my favorites is Wisecrack, which describes itself as "the channel where you'll learn your ass off."

Three of their best recurring shows are Thug Notes, 8-Bit Philosophy, and Earthling Cinema.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Memoir Shows American Conservatory Theater's Perloff Is a Force of Nature

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater - CITY LIGHTS
  • City Lights
  • Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater

Stand barefoot on a coastal shore during a storm and you will know what it’s like to encounter Carey Perloff, artistic director for over 20 years at American Conservatory Theater.

Pounding surf overriding one’s own heartbeat, gritty sand between the toes, invigorating wind with the smell of salt so strong it can be tasted — the elemental impact is a natural metaphor for Perloff’s energy and intellect.

“Carey is a force of nature,” says theater director Jon Moscone. “Her intellect is only outpaced by her tireless passion for the arts. She is fearless in every way.”

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Creepy Christmas Critters: 2014's Holiday Book Trend is the Dead and Stuffed

Posted By on Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Christmas critter joy. - ANDREW MCMEEL PUBLISHING
  • Andrew McMeel Publishing
  • Christmas critter joy.

Forget the cute and cuddly — want to stand out and be a part of the trend? It's time to gift the animal kingdom's misfits who are preserved for our posterity (although we don't know if it's for better or worse). Some seem like human mistakes and others look like they were born that way, but for that pesky little relative who insists on a pet for a Christmas gift, wrap up these joys.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Write Stuff: James Cagney on the Space Between a Hard Laugh and a True Lesson

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM

  • Joco Fernan

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Oakland native James Cagney is a Cave Canem Fellow and an alumnus of VONA, two leading workshops focusing on the experience of Black writers. He has been widely published.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them ... ?

That I'm a poet and writer. Then, the conversation branches off in one of two directions. They either engage me with stories of their writing or wanting to write or they move on to a different subject.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"