Events

May 2024

 

Join us on Saturday, May 25th at 7:00 PM when local author JASON ROBERTS comes to Mrs. Dalloway's to discuss his latest book Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life. Jason will sign copies of his book after the presentation. (Jason' photo by Christopher Michel)

 

This is a free event, but you must pre-register on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating. Click Here to preorder a copy of Every Living Thing.

 

In the eighteenth century, two men dedicated their lives to the same daunting task: identifying and describing all life on Earth. Their approaches, however, could not have been more different. Carl Linnaeus, a pious Swedish doctor with a huckster’s flair, believed that life belonged in tidy, static categories. Georges-Louis de Buffon, an aristocratic polymath and keeper of France’s royal garden, viewed life as a dynamic swirl of complexities. Both began believing their task to be difficult, but not impossible. How could the planet possibly hold more than a few thousand species—or as many could fit on Noah’s Ark? Stunned by life’s diversity, both fell far short of their goal. But in the process, they articulated starkly divergent views on nature and on humanity itself.

The rivalry between these two unique, driven individuals created reverberations that still echo today. Linnaeus, with the help of acolytes he called “apostles,” gave the world such concepts as mammal, primate, and homo sapiens—but he also denied species change and promulgated racist pseudo-science. Buffon coined the term reproduction, formulated early prototypes of evolution and genetics, and argued passionately against prejudice. It was a clash that, during their lifetimes, Buffon seemed to be winning. But their posthumous fates would take a very different turn, and shape our scientific understanding of the world today.

With elegant, propulsive prose grounded in more than a decade of obsessive research, featuring appearances by Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Darwin, bestselling author Jason Roberts tells an unforgettable true-life tale of intertwined lives and enduring legacies, tracing an arc of insight and discovery that extends across three centuries into the present day.


JASON ROBERTS is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. His previous book, A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler, was a national bestseller and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A contributor to McSweeney’s, The Believer, and other publications, he lives in Northern California.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on May 25th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

 

Saturday, May 25, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life By Jason Roberts Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781984855206
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Random House - April 9th, 2024

Join us on Tuesday May 28th at 7:00 PM when author WEI TCHOU  comes to the store to share her deeply personal memoir Little Seed. Wei will read from and discuss her book and will sign copies after the presentation. Wei will be joined in conversation by JAY CASPIAN KANG.

This is a free event, but you must sign up on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating. Click Here to preorder a copy of Little Seed.

"A gorgeous, inventive meditation on the passage of time, memory and forgetting, and the ties that bind." —Hua Hsu, author of Stay True

"Little Seed is what I want the future of literature to be." —Sam Cohen, author of Sarahland

Little Seed is an experimental memoir that braids together the narrative of the author's relationship with her brother and family with a deeply personal field guide to ferns.

The chapters move associatively, commenting on each other indirectly and drawing out questions of assimilation, race, class, gender, nature and the general problem of being and knowing. When the author's brother has a psychotic break, the rigid structure of the book itself breaks apart and the protagonist adventures to the cloud forest of Oaxaca in order to truly live: to know the world by experiencing it rather than reading about it or following the direction of others. Some persistent themes throughout the book: What does it mean to be Chinese? What is love and how best to love? What really is a fern?

WEI TCHOU'S essays and reporting can be found in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Oxford American, among other publications. She likes to write about food, nature, and the complications of identity. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and has an MFA from Hunter College. She lives in New York City, where she is tending a lemon tree.

JAY CASPIAN KANG is a staff writer at the New Yorker and a documentary filmmaker.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on May 28th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

 
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Little Seed By Wei Tchou Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781646053360
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Strange Object - May 14th, 2024

June 2024

 

Join us on Tuesday, June 11th at 7pm when beloved and bestselling author LEIF ENGER comes to share his latest novel I Cheerfully Refuse. Leif will read from, discuss, and sign copies of his book, which epitomizes the “musical, sometimes magical and deeply satisfying kind of storytelling” (Los Angeles Times) for which he is cherished. A rollicking narrative in the most evocative of settings, this latest novel is a symphony against despair and a rallying cry for the future. (Leif's photo by Robin Enger)

This is a free even, but you must sign up on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating. Click Here to order a copy of I Cheerfully Refuse .

I Cheerfully Refuse is the tale of a bereaved and pursued musician embarking under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife. Rainy, an endearing bear of an Orphean narrator, seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs, and remote islands of the inland sea. Encountering lunatic storms and rising corpses from the warming depths, Rainy finds on land an increasingly desperate and illiterate people, a malignant billionaire ruling class, crumbled infrastructure, and a lawless society. Amidst the Gulliver-like challenges of life at sea and no safe landings, Rainy is lifted by physical beauty, surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion in a young girl who comes aboard. And as his innate guileless nature begins to make an inadvertent rebel of him, Rainy’s private quest for the love of his life grows into something wider and wilder, sweeping up friends and foes alike in his strengthening wake.

"Enger casts this adventure as an Orphean quest, but once Rainy takes on a young sidekick who's also on the lam, the enterprise feels like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn reconceived by Cormac McCarthy." -- Ron Charles, Washington Post

LEIF ENGER grew up in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River, which won the Booksense Award for Fiction and was named one of the Year's Best Books by Time Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was also a national bestseller. It was a Midwest Booksellers Honor Book, and won the High Plains Book Award for Fiction. His third novel Virgil Wander was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, Bookpage, and the Chicago Public Library. He lives with his wife in Duluth, MN.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on June 11th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
I Cheerfully Refuse By Leif Enger Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780802162939
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Grove Press - April 2nd, 2024

 

Join us Thursday, June 13th at 7:00 pm when bestselling author ROBIN SLOAN will read from, discuss, and sign copies of his latest novel Moonbound, a novel with the full scope and ambitious imagination of the classic books that lit the engines of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It's an epic quest as only Sloan could conceive it, mixing science fiction, fantasy, good old-fashioned literary storytelling, and unrivaled enthusiasm for what’s next. (Robin's photo by Helena Price)

This is a free event; to attend, pre-register on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating. Click Here to preorder a copy of Moonbound.

It is thirteen thousand years from now . . . A lot has happened, and yet a lot is still very familiar. Ariel is a boy in a remote village under a wizard’s rule. Like many adventurers before him, Ariel is called to explore a world full of eye-popping discoveries and challenges: unknown enemies, a mission to rescue the world, a girl. Here, as they say, be dragons. But none of this happens before Ariel encounters an entity from an earlier civilization, a sentient, sensitive artificial intelligence with a special perspective on all of human history—who becomes both Ariel’s greatest ally… and our narrator.

Moonbound is an adventure into the richest depths of Story itself. It is a deeply satisfying epic of ancient scale, blasted through the imaginative prism of one of our most forward-thinking writers. And this is only the beginning.

ROBIN SLOANE grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the internet. He is the author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and Sourdough.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on June 13th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Pre-Order Now Badge
Moonbound: A Novel By Robin Sloan Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780374610609
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: MCD - June 11th, 2024

 

Join us on Friday, June 14, at 7:00pm when three award-winning children's authors give an inside peek into how they write their successful books. GENNIFER CHOLDENKO (left), MARISSA MOSS (center)and PAMELA TURNER (right) reveal trade secrets and share helpful writing tips in this session for aspiring writers. They introduce their new books and explain how they go from idea to the finished story. Don't miss this rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and see how working writers improve their work!

       

This is a free event, but you must pre-register on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating.  Click Here for a selection of books by these authors.

GENNIFER CHOLDENKO is the author of Al Capone Does My Shirts which won the Newbery Honor and 20 other awards. Her Tales from Alcatraz series has sold more than 2 ½ million copies. She is also the co-author with Katherine Applegate of the Dogtown series. Gennifer’s newest middle-grade novel, The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman, has received 2 starred reviews, and launches on June 11.

MARISSA MOSS has written and illustrated over seventy books from picture book biographies, to graphic novels, to middle-grade nonfiction. Her new book is Spying on Spies: How Elizebeth Smith Friedman Broke the Nazis' Secret Codes is middle grade nonfiction--part graphic novel, part biography. Her books have won numerous awards including the Sydney Taylor Honor Award, California Book Award, and California Young Reader Medal.

PAMELA S. TURNER is the author of several award-winning books for young readers, including How to Build a Human in Seven Evolutionary Steps, an ALA Notable Book, and Samurai Rising, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist. Her newest book, Comet Chaser, is a picture book biography of Caroline Herschel, the first professional woman astronomer.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on June 14th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly

Friday, June 14, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

 

Our annual tradition continues as THOMAS LYNCH continues his Bloomsday reading of James Joyce's Ulysses on Sunday, June 16, 1:30pm in the store. At this performance, Thomas will be starting in on Chapter 11. Reservations not required. This is a free event, but part of our tradition calls for passing the hat for Thomas following the reading.

 

Sunday, June 16, 2024 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Ulysses By James Joyce Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781398814943
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Sirius Entertainment - November 10th, 2022

 

Join us on Tuesday, June 18, at 6:30pm when local children's book author & illustrator BO LU comes to the store to launch her debut picture book Bao's Doll, a moving story of empathy, forgiveness, and connection about an immigrant mother and her daughter who discover they have more in common than they ever knew. Bo will read from and discuss her book and will sign copies after the presentation. She will be joined in conversation with KATHRYN JALLER.

This is a free event, but you must sign up on Eventbrite or at the store to ensure seating.  Click here to preorder a copy of Bao's Doll.

Whenever Mama says, “when I was a little girl in Taiwan, we had nothing,” Bao stops listening. Mama does not understand Bao, and Bao certainly does not understand Mama. So when Bao desperately wants a doll—specifically, the beautiful, blonde All-American Artist Amanda doll that everyone else has—Bao takes matters into her own hands and steals Amanda from the store. After getting caught, Bao’s chest feels heavy like a giant rock. But gradually, the awkward silence between Bao and Mama shifts to honesty, and eventually, a deeper understanding of what binds them.

Inspired by the childhood of debut talent Bo Lu, this poignant picture book brings emotional layers to the story of a parent and child learning to connect with their heritage and each other.

BO LU moved from bustling Taipei to suburban Kansas as a little girl. Before English words made sense, the world of picture books welcomed her in. It was in those pictures that she found comfort in her new beginning. As an author and illustrator, she hopes to create a safe space to explore big feelings through images and stories. Bo also finds comfort in slurping noodle soups, exploring the Bay Area Redwoods, and dancing with her girls around their dad at the dinner table. Bao’s Doll is her debut picture book.

KATHRYN JALLER is a writer and artist who has worked with words in the fields of museums, publishing, and design. Being raised in a bicultural home formed her interest in the tensions and creative possibilities of being between worlds. She’s always trying some new craft (watercolor and enameling are the latest) and shares a household with three cats, two grownups, and one toddler. Her labors of various kinds have been featured at SXSW, Litquake, West Coast Craft, and in the New York Times.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on June 18th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:15 and 6:30 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Pre-Order Now Badge
Bao's Doll: A Picture Book By Bo Lu Cover Image
By Bo Lu
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419769214
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - June 18th, 2024

 

Join us on Tuesday, June 25th at 6:00 PM when local cookbook author and hostess extraordinaire MARIA ZIZKA visits the store to launch her new book The Hostess Handbook: A Modern Guide to Entertaining. Maria will discuss tips from her book, prepare the Rosemary-Almond Salted Caramel Corn recipe from the book, and answer your most burning hosting questions. She will be joined in conversation by award winning cookbook author KRISTINA CHO. Maria will sign copies of her book after the presentation. (Maria's photo by Aya Brackett; Kristina's photo by Arlene Easterwood)

This is a free event, but you must sign up on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating. Click Here to preorder a copy of The Hostess Handbook.

From the author of The Newlywed Table, this helpful handbook offers readers 100 easy entertaining recipes, party planning advice, and curated menus to pull off the most delicious and delightful of gatherings, from an epic holiday bash to a casual get-together in the backyard, or an inspired dinner party.

Ready to throw a dinner party? It’s easier than you think. With 100 crowd-pleasing recipes and expert tips and tricks, The Hostess Handbook shows how to create an event that’s warm, joyous, and imbued with the special glowy feeling of a celebration that we never want to end.

Everything you need to know is here. How to plan a fantastic menu with foolproof recipes for finger foods, make-ahead mains (because you don’t want to be in the kitchen when your guests arrive), and festive desserts. How to get your home party-ready, whether hosting two people or twenty, with primers on setting the table, the art of serving, and flower arranging. And drinks, of course—including recipes for both classic cocktails and delicious nonalcoholic libations. Cheers!

MARIA ZIZKA is the author of numerous award-winning cookbooks. She studied biology at UC Berkeley and food culture at UNISG in northern Italy, where she now teaches as a visiting lecturer. She was named by Forbes as one of the most influential people under 30 in the world of food and drink. Zizka lives and cooks in the Berkeley Hills with her husband and two sons.

KRISTINA CHO is an award-winning cookbook author, recipe developer, home cook, baker, food stylist, and photographer. Her groundbreaking debut cookbook, Mooncakes and Milk Bread, won two James Beard awards and was described as an instant classic by The New York Times. Her new cookbook, Chinese Enough, will be published by Artisan in September 2024. Follow Kristina at eatchofood.com and on TikTok and Instagram @eatchofood.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 4:30 pm on June 25th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 5:45 and 6:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Pre-Order Now Badge
The Hostess Handbook: A Modern Guide to Entertaining By Maria Zizka Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781648291807
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Artisan - June 4th, 2024