Upcoming Events


Poetry at the Edge: Five Contemporary California Poets. Publication party at the Gamble House, Pasadena Monday, March 9, 2015, 5-7 p.m.

The Book Club of California’s publication number 233 features poems by Joseph Stroud, Kay Ryan, Gary Young, Martha Ronk, and Michael Hannon, and was exquisitely designed and edited by Carolee of Campbell of Ninja Press.

Join us for this Southern California publication party at the Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, 91103. More information about the Gamble House is available here.

Click here for more information about the book, and to order it.


On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand Year History. An Illustrated Talk by Nicholas A. Basbanes
Monday, March 16, 2015, 5-7 p.m.

Regarded by the Chinese as one of their four outstanding inventions of antiquity, paper has had an extraordinary run over the past two thousand years as a “defining technology.”  Hailed in the seventeenth century by Sir Francis Bacon as an “absolutely singular substance,” it has been civilization’s constant companion, preserving our history, recording our thoughts, facilitating our research, assisting our thoughts as an instrument of the creative process. Claims of a “paperless society” being imminent notwithstanding, there are still, today, more than 20,000 identifiable commercial uses of paper in the world.  Nicholas Basbanes will discuss his eight years of research into this fascinating subject, one that began as an inquiry into the stuff of textual transmission over the past two millennia, but in the process became an examination of a much larger cultural phenomenon.

Nicholas A. Basbanes is the author of nine works of cultural history, with a particular emphasis on various aspects of books and book history. His first, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, was a finalist in 1995 for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, and named a New York Times Notable Book. His most recent, On Paper: The Everything of Its Two Thousand Year History (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), was selected last year by the American Library Association as one of three finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. He has reviewed books and written OpEd pieces for numerous national publications, and writes a featured column for Fine Books & Collections magazine. He is now working on a dual biography of the nineteenth-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Frances Appleton Longfellow, to be titled Cross of Snow, and to be published by Alfred A. Knopf.



In the Library: A Circle of Friends. A showing of books by and about Ward Ritchie, Lawrence Clark Powell, and Gloria Stuart
Monday, March 23, 2015, 5-7 pm

In conjunction with our winter/spring 2015 exhibition, A Circle of Friends: Ward Ritchie, Lawrence Clark Powell, and Gloria Stuart

Space is limited. RSVP to georgie@bccbooks.org


The 2015 Oscar Lewis Awards
Monday, March 30, 2015, 5-7 pm

Join us for a ceremony celebrating the recipients of the 2015 Oscar Lewis Awards, Dr. Gray Brechin for his contributions to Western History, and Harry and Sandra Reese for their contributions to the Book Arts.

The Oscar Lewis Awards were established by the Book Club of California in 1994 in honor of Oscar Lewis (1893-1992), San Francisco author, historian, and Book Club secretary from 1921-1946.

Please click here for more information about this year’s awards and a list of past recipients.


Pop-Up Exhibition: Bay Area Book Arts Programs, Student Showcase
Monday, April 13, 2015, 5-7 pm

5 pm: Exhibition & Hospitality
6 pm: Presentations

A one-night-only exhibition of work by students enrolled in the book art programs at Academy of Art University, Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute, and City College of San Francisco, with presentations by the students.

Free and open to the public. More information coming soon.


You’ve Got Pirates! An Illustrated Talk by David Levy
Monday, April 20, 2015, 5-7 pm

5 pm: Hospitality
6 pm: Presentation

We all know the phrase “according to Hoyle” and likely grew up with a nearby edition of Hoyle’s Games. In this illustrated talk, David Levy will take us back to the beginning—the 1742 publication of Edmond Hoyle’s A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist and its troubled history. The book was quickly pirated and the owner of the copyright, bookseller Francis Cogan, took extraordinary, desperate steps to combat the pirates. Emerging from Cogan’s battle are some rare and unusual books and broadsides, and a Hoyle brand that has survived for more than 250 years. In his talk, David Levy will bring this tale to life with images of rarities from his personal collection, including piracies and works autographed by Hoyle to ensure authenticity, as well as contemporary source material: literary quotations, newspaper advertisements, business records, and a mid-eighteenth century decorative object that strangely provides bibliographical evidence of a Hoyle publication that has not otherwise survived.

David Levy is a collector and scholar of printed books about card and board games, with a focus on the writings of Edmond Hoyle. His Hoyle collection is second in scope only to that of the Bodleian Library. He maintains a blog, Edmond Hoyle, Gent, with more than a hundred essays on the bibliography and history of gaming literature, and is working on a descriptive bibliography of Hoyle’s work, an early version of which appears on his website.


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