Upcoming Events

The Book Club of California is offering in-person and online programs and activities. Hybrid events with in-person attendance and a streaming element are also held.

In-person programs without a virtual component may be recorded for online viewing on our YouTube Channel after the event.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public and take place at the Book Club of California located at 312 Sutter Street, Suite 500 in San Francisco.

Please refer to the description under each event.

Email programs@bccbooks.org for any questions, or call (415) 781-7532 ext. 2. Many of our staff will be working remotely so please contact them by email or phone. Staff contact information can be found on our website.
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Ellen Browning Scripps: New Money and American Philanthropy, 1836-1932

Monday, June 10, 2024, 5-6:15 PM (Pacific)
| Virtual Presentation

5:00 PM Pacific – Program

Molly McClain tells the remarkable story of Ellen Browning Scripps (1836–1932), an American newspaperwoman, feminist, suffragist, abolitionist, and social reformer. She used her fortune to support women’s education, the labor movement, and public access to science, the arts, and education.

Born in London, Scripps grew up in rural poverty on the Illinois prairie. She went from rags to riches, living out that cherished American story in which people pull themselves up by their bootstraps with audacity, hard work, and luck. She and her brother, E. W. Scripps, built America’s largest chain of newspapers, linking midwestern industrial cities with booming towns in the West. Less well known today than the papers started by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, Scripps newspapers transformed their owners into millionaires almost overnight.

By the 1920s Scripps was worth an estimated $30 million, most of which she gave away. She established the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and appeared on the cover of Time magazine after founding Scripps College in Claremont, California. She also provided major financial support to organizations worldwide that promised to advance democratic principles and public education.

In Ellen Browning Scripps, McClain brings to life an extraordinary woman who played a vital role in the history of women, California, and the American West.

A virtual presentation by Molly McClain, author and professor of History, University of San Diego


Click here to REGISTER for the Virtual Presentation on Zoom

Santa Monica Pier: America’s Last Great Pleasure Pier

Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 6-7:15 PM (Pacific)
| In-Person Presentation

5:30 PM Pacific – Reception
6:00 PM Pacific – Program

Pasadena Heritage | 160 N Oakland Avenue | Pasadena, California 91101

In Santa Monica Pier: America’s Last Great Pleasure Pier! historian James Harris tells the dramatic story of survival for this Southern California icon—fighting Mother Nature, politics and changing times. This rich history makes Santa Monica Pier more than a landmark, more than a pleasure pier or a must see on the West Coast.

For a hundred years the Pier has represented the link between people and the Pacific, a connection to all that’s possible, probable and worthy of dreams.

Take a ride on the Carousel. Take a dip on the coaster. Or just take a stroll on the deck. There’s something for everyone on the Santa Monica Pier. A classic pleasure pier with a certain je ne sais quoi, it attracts crowds of visitors from all over the world.

Join us to share in the history of this Southern California gem—it’s the closest you can get to going to the pier without actually being there.

An in-person presentation by James Harris, author and historian


Click here to REGISTER to attend in-person at Pasadena Heritage


Book Anatomy: Body Politics and the Materiality of Indigenous Book History

Monday, June 17, 2024, 5-6:15 PM (Pacific)
| Virtual Presentation

5:00 PM Pacific – Program

From a book’s “spine” to its “appendix,” bibliographers use a language of the body that reveals our intimate connection with books. Yet books do more than describe bodies—they embody a frontline of colonization in which Indigenous authors battle the public perception and reception of Indigenous peoples. Starting with John Rollin Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta (1854) as the first novel to be published in the newly formed state of California and the first novel published by a Native author, Amy Gore calls attention to the negotiations between books and bodies embedded within Indigenous literary history. Bringing Indigenous book history more firmly into conversations with mainstream narratives about the history of the book, her research claims books themselves as a source of embodied power for early Native American authors.

A virtual presentation by Amy Gore, author and assistant professor of English, North Dakota State University


Click here to REGISTER for the Virtual Presentation on Zoom

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