Upcoming Events

Acts of Devotion and the Spread of Printing
Monday, September 25, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Buddhism has been called the “Silk Road of printing.” As proselytizers moved east, from China to Korea and Japan, they took with them beliefs, texts, and eventually, the means for printing texts. The phenomenon is supported not only by the historical record, but also by the earliest examples of Asian printing extant, many of which are Buddhist texts. But what evidence is there in the texts themselves?

This presentation will look at evidence drawn from texts in the Fong Yun Wah Rare Book Room of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at UC Berkeley, which now holds one of the largest collections of Song and Yuan printing among academic libraries in North America. Focusing on texts printed from Chinese engravings, we will consider why, at a time when literacy rates were low, so many texts were printed, who paid for the printing, and how the texts traveled.

An illustrated talk by Deborah Rudolph, Curator, Fong Yun Wah Rare Book Room, C.V. Starr East Asian Library at UC Berkeley

Seating is limited. Submit your RSVP here.

Evening in the Library with John McBride: Stanley Morison: His Studies of the Fell Types
Monday, October 2, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 5:30 PM

On October 12, 1967, Oxford published John Fell, The University Press and the ‘Fell’ Types; Morison had died the day before, having handled a copy of this masterpiece which had been in preparation for 40 years. John McBride, editor of Invisible City, will survey the volume, as well as offer a surprise concerning Morison’s book Typographic Design in Relation to Photographic Composition, published by the Book Club of California in 1959.

Open to members only. 

Litquake Literary Festival: Changing Our Minds: LSD and the Pursuit of Happiness
Monday, October 9, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

In an ongoing quest to alleviate chemical imbalances that can wreak havoc in our brains and make our lives (and those around us) miserable, scientists and journalists alike are turning to the drug our parents warned us about: LSD. Two authors, Don Lattin and Ayelet Waldman, who have tried cutting-edge treatments involving the psychedelic substance will discuss their respective books on the subject, and what LSD has done for their lives.

Presented by Litquake.

Seating is limited. Submit your RSVP here.

Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture on the History of the Book Trade in California and the West: Anton Roman: San Francisco’s Pioneering Bookseller & Publisher
Monday, October 30, 2017, 6 PM

Inaugural lecture by John Crichton, proprietor of the Brick Row Book Shop in San Francisco and twice past president of the Book Club of California.

An encore of this program will take place at the Huntington Library in Pasadena on January 17, 2018.

Reservations required. RSVP to programs@bccbooks.org.

The Beauty and Threat of an Evolving Reading Brain
Monday, November 13, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Dr. Maryanne Wolf will present an overview of the reading brain and why its plasticity makes it exquisitely adaptable to cultural change, and also threatened by some of the characteristics of digital mediums. We will explore the positive and negative impacts of our digital culture and why the strengths of the present expert reading brain, particularly deep reading, must be understood to be preserved.

The director of Tufts University’s Center for Reading and Language Research, Dr. Maryanne Wolf is the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts, where she conducts research on the reading brain, dyslexia, and global literacy. She is currently a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Seating is limited. Stay tuned for a link to RSVP.

Franciscan Frontiersmen: How Three Adventures Charted the West
Monday, November 27, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Based on a newly published book of the same title, the presentation will explore the lives of three pioneering friars, Pedro Font, Francisco Garces, and Juan Crespi, who accompanied Junipero Serra to California in the last half of the eighteenth century. Drawing on the long-forgotten journals, extensive trail observations, and correspondence of the three padres, as well as the author’s own exhaustive field research, the presentation will provide fresh insights into the rigors of daily life on the frontiers of New Spain. These three Franciscans were the chaplains and official diarists of Spain’s pathfinding expeditions on the West Coast of North America. In the tumult of the Spanish crown’s colonization, Font, Garces, and Crespi endured terrifying storms at sea, blood-soaked Indian attacks, starvation, scurvy, and lonely isolation as they carved trails through uncharted lands. Together, they explored a swath of the continent that was larger and more important than that explored by Lewis and Clark a generation later. But their exploits have been overlooked, because Americans are eager to learn their English past but largely ignore their Spanish past.

An illustrated talk by Robert Kittle, journalist and historian.

Seating is limited. Stay tuned for a link to RSVP.

Fourth Annual Holiday Card Exhibition Opening: Treasures from the Book Club
Monday, December 4, 2017, 5–7 PM

This year’s holiday card exhibition will feature highlights from the Book Club’s very own collection of cards sent, received, and collected over the years. Join us for a festive exhibition opening and holiday celebration!

Stay tuned for details and a link to RSVP.

Bookplates: A Contemporary Art Form
Monday, December 11, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

An illustrated talk by James Keenan, Director of the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers.

Co-presented by the Northern California Chapter of APHA.

Seating is limited. Stay tuned for a link to RSVP.

More to come! Please check back for updates or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest information on events, exhibitions, and publications. See a copy of our letterpress printed July–December 2017 calendar here.

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