Upcoming Events

*Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Book Club of California and are free and open to the public. Please refer to the description under each event.

Email programs@bccbooks.org for any questions, or call (415) 781-7532 ext. 3

The Browns of California
Monday, May 20, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Even in the land of reinvention, the story is exceptional: Pat Brown, the beloved father who presided over California during an era of unmatched expansion, Jerry brown, the cerebral and iconoclastic son who became the youngest governor in modern times- and then returned three decades later as the oldest.

In The Browns of California, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and scholar Miriam Pawel weaves a narrative history that spans four generations, from August Schuckman, the Prussian immigrant who crossed the Plains in 1852 and settled on a northern California ranch, to his great-grandson Jerry Brown, who reclaimed the family homestead one hundred forty years later. Through the prisim of their lives, we gain an essential understanding of California- an appreciation of the history and importance of the fifth largest economy in the world.

A talk by Miriam Pawel, journalist and author.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Running North and Underground: Salinas Valley
Monday, June 3, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

The Salinas River and Valley has played a large part in the history of the Central Coast of California; but visually it seems to come in as a distant second to the charms of the Carmel and Monterey Peninsula coastlines. This book embodies the idea that this area needs to be appreciated and re-discovered, if not discovered. Based on a model provided by Karl Bodmer’s documentation of his travels on the Missouri River in the mid-nineteenth century, Running North and Underground is a subjective visual exploration of the river and valley, and not an historical or scientific record. Its purpose is to invite the reader to open up to a new appraisal of the area and perhaps to the spirit of discovery. After eight years off research and gathering photos, drawings, paintings and journal notes, the book was published in 2018.

Janet Whitchurch grew up as a third generation Californian in the San Francisco Bay Area and presently works as an artist in Monterey.

An illustrated talk by Janet Whitchurch, author and illustrator.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Historic Tassajara: From Esselen Tribal Legend to Pioneering Zen Monastery
Monday, June 10, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Discover a short history of Tassajara, from Native American Sweat Lodges to Pioneering Zen Monastery. In Marilyn McDonald’s book (forward by David Chadwick), you’ll meet the people who have loved Tassajara. Its healing waters, rugged remoteness, memorable characters, perilous road, fires, restorations, conversations under the Gossip Oak, peace and quiet are beautifully documented in this book by the late author Marilyn McDonald. Join her daughter, Lee Doyle, for a talk about Tassajara and the book.

“Everywhere I looked were wonderful old stone buildings. Being inquisitive, I wanted to know who had built them and why. None of the Zen students I asked had answers that were complete enough for me.” — Marilyn McDonald, author of A Brief History of Tassajara.

A talk by Lee Doyle, daughter of author Marilyn McDonald, and David Rogers, Tassajara historian.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

Remembering the California Missions
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 5:30–7 PM
*A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Travel back 200 years with artist Pat Hunter and author Janice Stevens in this visual presentation of the California Missions. From the first mission founded by Father Junipero Serra in San Diego to the last mission founded in Sonoma, California, view full watercolor paintings of the missions on Power Point and discover the remaining asistencias (submissions) associated with the missions. Then take a road trip and discover these historical gems. Perhaps arrange a sleep over in a small mission room, and eat at the communal dining room with other travelers from anywhere in the world who travel great distances to see these 200 year old treasures.

An illustrated talk by Pat Hunter, artist, and Janice Stevens, author.

At the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

To RSVP, please complete this form.

The White Devil’s Daughters: Fighting Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown
Monday, June 17, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Beginning in 1874, the Occidental Mission Home on the edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of enslaved and vulnerable young Chinese women and girls. Run by a courageous group of female abolitionists who fought the slave trade in Chinese women, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violence directed against its occupants and supporters. With compassion and an investigative historian’s sharp eye, Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists who challenged the corrosive anti-Chinese prejudices of the time and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the home defied contemporary convention–even occasionally breaking the law–by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked or by snatching them off ships as they were being smuggled in–and how they helped bring the exploiters to justice. She also shares the moving stories of many of the girls and young women who sought refuge at the mission, and she writes about the lives they went on to lead. This is a remarkable chapter in an overlooked part of our history, told with sympathy and vigor.

A revelatory history of the trafficking of young Asian girls that flourished in San Francisco during the first hundred years of Chinese immigration (1848-1943) and an in-depth look at the “safe house” that became a refuge for those seeking their freedom.

A talk by Julia Flynn Siler, journalist and author.

To RSVP, please complete this form.

M & H Type Foundry: A History
Monday, June 24, 2019, 5-7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

A talk by Brian Ferrett, typecaster, Arion Press.

To RSVP, please complete this form.


Details to come. Please check back for updates or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest information on events, exhibitions, and publications.

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