Past Events

Landscapes and Landmarks of the Great Central Valley
Monday, July 27, 2020, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

From Tejon Pass in the south to Mount Shasta in the north stretches one of California’s hidden gems, the heartland of the Great Central Valley. The most productive agricultural region anywhere in the world, the Central Valley is an entirely different California most tourists never see — a rural land of farms and industry, stunning natural beauty, and historic cities, populated by friendly, hard-working people.

Superbly illustrated with over 100 full-color original watercolor paintings, Landscapes and Landmarks of the Great Central Valley is a loving tribute to the Valley created by two native daughters, award-winning artist Pat Hunter and acclaimed writer Janice Stevens. Hunter and Stevens take the reader on a personal tour of their home region, showing the charms of the Valley’s agricultural heritage, natural scenery, history and architecture.

A live online presentation by Pat Hunter, artist, and Janice Stevens, author

Click here to register.

Tales of Iconic San Francisco Foods and the American Dreamers Behind Them
Monday, July 20, 2020, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

California native Laura Smith Borrman will highlight some of the city’s iconic restaurants responsible for its wonderful old dishes and drinks, and show how folks can support them now as the industry is struggling. Some of these restaurants are the oldest on the West Coast – and others are relatively new artisans preserving important food culture – all facing an uncertain future.

A live online presentation by Laura Smith Borrman, writer, editor, story gatherer, and lover of food and drink.

Twenty-Five Hours in a Day: The Life of Jo Mora
Monday, July 13, 2020, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

Jo Mora was one of the first American artists to elevate the cultural importance of the Western frontier, presaging broad shifts in twentieth-century thought and expression. Discover the story of Jo Mora and his rich creative career, including his writing, printing, and publishing efforts. Through his celebration of the great glories of nature and of the human heart, Mora reminds us that the subject matter of all art is life.

The Book Club’s 238th publication, The Life and Times of Jo Mora: Iconic Artist of the American West is the first definitive biography of the artist Jo Mora (1876-1947), a gifted illustrator, painter, writer, cartographer, and sculptor of the American West. Written by Mora scholar Peter Hiller, the book interweaves fascinating biographical material with Mora’s personal letters, journal entries, and other writings — many never before seen by the public — to provide an intimate portrait of an important yet often overlooked artist.

A live online presentation by Peter Hiller, author, historian, and curator for the Jo Mora Trust Collection.

Inkworks Press Collective: Printing for the People!
Monday, June 29, 2020, 5PM -7PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Grend Löfkvist, letter-press printer, teacher, and education director

Field Trip: Arion Press and M&H Type
Friday, June 19, 2020, 10 AM- 2 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

A members-only field trip to Arion Press and M&H Type with a tour of the historic press and type foundry, Q&A with the production staff, and a hands-on printing activity. Ticketed event.

*At Arion Press, 1802 Hays Street, San Francisco, CA 94129

How Do I Value My Collection?
Monday, June 15, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

A panel discussion with book collection and booksellers

Landscapes and Landmarks of the Great Central Valley
Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 5:30-7:30 PM
A Southern California Program
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6:00 PM

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

An Evening in the Library: A Harmless Drudge, a Pestilent Fellow: Lexicographers and Their Dictionaries
Monday, June 8, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

Dr. Johnson portrayed lexicography as a dull and humble practice. Ambrose Bierce cynically intimated that the very urge to define is Satanic. We’ll look at some of the library’s dictionaries and word-books including a 1475 copy of Giovanni Balbi’s Catholicon, leaves from first editions of Johnson’s and Webster’s dictionaries, and materials from our fine printing collection, and discuss the colorful figures behind their creation.

A members-only talk by Elizabeth Newsom, librarian, Book Club of California

Limited seating. Reservations required.

Book Club of California: In Conversation With
Monday, June 1, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

A conversation with the Hon. Bruce James, the 24th Public Printer of the United States and Director of the United States Government Printing Office (Ret.)

Shimmer of Joy: One Hundred Children’s Picture Books in America
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 5:30-7:30 PM
A Southern California Program
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Chris Loker, author

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

Visual Poetry
Monday, May 18, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:30 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:30 PM
Program 5:30-7:00 PM

Poets, scribes, printers have always taken advantage of the fact that poetry is both a visual and a verbal art. The layout on the page reflects not only how a poem should sound, but also how it should feel to the reader. This exhibit will look at how and why these artists create multi-sensory works.

An exhibition related talk by Elizabeth Newsom, librarian, Book Club of California

 

The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript from Genocide to Justice
Monday, May 11, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Heghnar Watenpaugh, Ph.D., author and professor of art history at the University of California, Davis

Gutenberg’s World: The Rise of a New Technology in 15th century Mainz
Monday, May 04, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Alix Christie, novelist, printer, and journalist

Three Tales of Iconic San Francisco Foods and the American Dreamers Behind Them
Monday, April 27, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Laura Borrman, Writer, and editor

Bay Area Coffee: A Stimulating History
Monday, April 20, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Monika Trobits, researcher, historian, and author

A History of the Menu as a Literary Document
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 5:30-7:30 PM
A Southern California Program
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6:00 PM

A talk by Ted Gioia, writer and critic

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

The 2020 Book Arts Students Showcase
Monday, April 13, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:30 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:30 PM
Program 6:00 PM

A pop-up exhibition of work and presentations by selected students enrolled in Bay Area book arts programs

The Oscar Lewis Awards
Monday, April 06, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

Join us for a ceremony celebrating the recipients of the 2020 Oscar Lewis Awards in Western History and 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 the awards and a list of past recipients.

Reservations required. Limited seating is available.

Twenty-Five Hours in a Day: The Life of Jo Mora
Monday, March 30, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An illustrated talk by Peter Hiller, author, historian, and curator for the Jo Mora Trust Collection

Celebrating Florence S. Walter
Monday, March 23, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

An evening in celebration of the pioneering American Bookbinder with remarks by family members and the creative team behind the recently published tribute.

Fifty years from Wisconsin to Nepal through the eyes of Quelquefois Press
Monday, March 16, 2020, 5-7 PM
*Postponed/to be rescheduled

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

Mary Risala Laird has published letterpress books since 1969 as Quelquefois Press and as partner in Perishable Press Limited from 1969-84. Her teaching ricochets include San Francisco State University, Kala Institute, Naropa University, the San Francisco Center for the Book and most recently, Tibetan Handicraft Industries in Katmandu. She prints on a Vandercook Universal I. Poetry, jazz, painting, the mystics of all traditions, and long silent retreats lend meaning to her life and inspiration to her work. Her books may be found in collections across the U.S. and in London. She has three grown children and lives in Berkeley with her husband, John Malork.

An illustrated talk by Mary Risala Laird, printer, book artist, and teacher

From the Editor: The Selected Writings of Sandra Kirshenbaum
Monday, March 09, 2020, 5-7 PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

A launch party for the Book Club’s 240th publication with remarks by Russell Maret, editor, letter designer, and letterpress printer

Click here to RSVP

Field Trip: Tournament House & Wrigley Gardens
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
A Southern California Program

A guided tour of the Tournament House, the iconic Southern California landmark and headquarters of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Viewing of archival photos and ephemera from past Rose Parades and Rose Bowl Games.

Ticketed event, limited availability.

Click here to purchase 

*At Tournament House& Wrigley Gardens, 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91105

Black Joy and Resistance
Monday, February 24, 2020, 5-7 PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

What can be deemed as a visual representation of Maya Angelou’s, “And Still We Rise,” through her camera lens, Adreinne Waheed’s Black Joy & Resistance masterfully captures, “The Souls of Black Folks,” and the majesty that flows outward when we tap into our true authentic selves.  Black Joy & Resistance chronicles this resistance and celebrates all that is joyous and magical about the culture that binds people of color throughout the diaspora.

An illustrated talk by Adreinne Waheed, photographer, photo editor, and visual artist

Click here to RSVP

The Green Book: A Black History of the American Road Trip
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 5:30–7:30 PM
A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6:00 PM

Historically, “road tripping” stood as a romanticized part of the American experience though this pastime did not necessarily hold the same allure for African Americans.  To compensate, Victor Hugo Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book which guided black travelers to safe spaces of rest and relaxation nationwide. This talk will discuss the historic challenges of black travel and the spaces of leisure that emerged for black travelers between the 1930s and 1960s.

An illustrated talk by Dr. Kenya Davis-Hayes, historian and professor of history, California Baptist University

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

Click here to RSVP. 

Jo Mora in Los Angeles and Beyond
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 6–8 PM
A Southern California Program

Reception 6:00 PM | Lecture 7:00 PM

Discover the story of Jo Mora and his rich creative career, including his artistic accomplishments in Los Angeles, at this illustrated talk by Peter Hiller, author, historian, and curator for the Jo Mora Trust Collection.

This event marks the Southern California reveal of the Book Club’s 238th publication, The Life and Times of Jo Mora: Iconic Artist of the American West — the first definitive biography of the artist Jo Mora (1876-1947), a gifted illustrator, painter, writer, cartographer, and sculptor of the American West. Written by Mora scholar Peter Hiller, the book interweaves fascinating biographical material with Mora’s personal letters, journal entries, and other writings — many never before seen by the public — to provide an intimate portrait of an important yet often overlooked artist.

Mora was one of the first American artists to elevate the cultural importance of the Western frontier, presaging broad shifts in twentieth-century thought and expression. Through his celebration of the great glories of nature and of the human heart, Mora reminds us that the subject matter of all art is life.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at this lecture.

An illustrated talk by Peter Hiller, author, historian and curator for the Jo Mora Trust Collection

* At the Mark Taper Auditorium, Los Angeles Central Library, 630 West 5th Street, Los Angeles , CA 90071

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
Monday, February 10, 2020, 5-7 PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

Black Against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

An illustrated talk Dr. Waldo E. Martin, Jr., author and professor of American History and Citizenship, University of California, Berkeley

Click here to RSVP

Brown Gold: African American Children’s Literature as a Genre of Resistance
Monday, February 3, 2020, 5-7 PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

Dr. Michelle H. Martin, author, essayist, lecturer, community literacy activist, and Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor for Children and Youth Services in the Information School at the University of Washington, will offer a visually-rich presentation on the historical evolution of this genre to illustrate the ways that African American children’s literature has been committed to social justice and equity from its beginnings, even when it was illegal in the U.S. to be Black and literate.

An illustrated talk by Dr. Michelle H Martin, author, lecturer, community literacy activist, and Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor for Children and Youth Services in the Information Schools at the University of Washington

Click here to RSVP

Print-Your-Own-Broadside Party
Monday, January 27, 2020, 5–7PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:30 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:30 PM
Program 5:30-7:00 PM

Letterpress print your own broadside on the Book Club’s Columbian hand press with Li Jiang, Lemoncheese Press

Click here to RSVP

*A limited number of broadsides will be printed.
Participation on a first come, first serve basis.

American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford
Monday, January 13, 2020, 5–7 PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

Shocking but true, this first definitive biography of Leland Stanford is the untold tale of a young man who failed at most every task he attempted, then in desperation ran away to Gold Rush California where he fell in with – and ultimately led – three partners intent on getting fabulously rich, eventually leading to Stanford’s becoming one of the “Big Four,” governor of California, and eventually, founder of Stanford University

An illustrated talk by Roland De Wolk, historian, journalist, and author

Glen Dawson: Mountaineer and Bookman
Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 5:30–7:30 PM
A Southern California Program

Hospitality at 5:30 PM | Presentation at 6:00 PM

Glen Dawson (1912-2016) was a beloved and renowned man of books as well as an avid globe-trotting climber who achieved dozens of mountaineering first ascents. As a partner of Dawson’s Book Shop for 60 years, he was influential in rare book circles.

This program features the well-illustrated volume, tracing his long lifetime of accomplishments and including a history of the Book Shop, which was a cultural mecca for over a century.

An illustrated talk by Elizabeth Pomeroy, author

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

Click here to RSVP.

An Evening in the Library: Pulp Non-Fiction: Papermaking Around the World
Monday, January 6, 2020, 5-7 PM

Members-only hospitality 5:00-5:45 PM
Non-member and general admission 5:45 PM
Program 6:00 PM

From its beginnings in Ancient China through its slow spread westward, paper has been an agent of transformation. In this hands-on library event, we will look at the plants used by different cultures to make paper and how the manufacturing process adapted to these raw materials. We will handle a variety of papers from around the world and discuss how the types of fibers and the production processes affect the character of the resulting sheets. Your favorite book will never feel the same!

members-only talk by Elizabeth Newsom, librarian, Book Club of California

Click here to RSVP; Limited to 12 Members

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