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Events at BookShop West Portal (see more)

Tuesday, April 25

7 PM

Megan Miranda

The Perfect Stranger

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later. 
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend's life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah's credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey--and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name. 
Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide--including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls. She has also written several books for young adults, including FractureHysteriaVengeanceSoulprint, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. The Perfect Stranger is her second novel of psychological suspense. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter, or visit MeganMiranda.com.

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Wednesday, April 26

7 PM

Sonia Belasco

Speak of Me As I Am

A moving story of grief, honesty, and the healing power of art -- the ties that bind us together, even when those we love are gone. 
Melanie and Damon are both living in the shadow of loss. For Melanie, it's the loss of her larger-than-life artist mother, taken by cancer well before her time. For Damon, it's the loss of his best friend, Carlos, who took his own life. 
 As they struggle to fill the empty spaces their loved ones left behind, fate conspires to bring them together. Damon takes pictures with Carlos's camera to try to understand his choices, and Melanie begins painting as a way of feeling closer to her mother. But when the two join their school's production of Othello, the play they both hoped would be a distraction becomes a test of who they truly are, both together and on their own. And more than anything else, they discover that it just might be possible to live their lives without completely letting go of their sadness. 

Sonia Belasco (thestrangestofplaces.tumblr.com) has spent much of her professional life working with teenagers as a mentor, tutor, and therapist, and she is often inspired by their passion, creativity, and strength. She will watch almost any TV show about high school and has seen every contemporary movie that involves dance battles or superheroes. She is a native of Washington, DC, and currently lives in Philadelphia, where she is trying to acquire a taste for cheesesteak. You can follow her on Twitter @SoniaBelasco.

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Saturday, April 29

Events:

Urban Trails: San Francisco

With Alex Kenin:

Urban hike from the bookstore starts at 10:00 AM!

- Full-color guide to 50 trails, many of them within city limits 
- Routes rated for fitness for walkers, runners, and hikers 
San Francisco is home to more than 800,000 residents and hosts more than 17 million business and leisure travelers each year. But few visitors--or locals, for that matter--realize that there are more than 220 premier parks and 70 miles of hiking trails in the city itself. 
Urban Trails: San Francisco is the only guide available that details so many trails within the boundaries of the city, including mainland San Francisco and the city's four islands: Alcatraz, Angel, Treasure, and Yerba Buena. With a focus on parks and trails, here you'll find 50 routes for walkers, runners, and hikers. Other features include: 
- Trailhead directions, including public transit options 
- Info for families and dog owners 
- Trail distance, high point, estimated time, amenities, and more 
- Sidebars on area history, nature, tips, and sights

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12:00 PM

Scavenger Hunt: over 100 free books hidden around West Portal!

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Hey Book Lovers! There's still time to join the Book Lover's Quest before Independent Bookstore Day on April 29! If you visit 10 of the 50 participating bookstores, you are eligible to win this collection of books, worth over $1000. Each book has been hand selected by booksellers who know what you want. Pick up a form at our store and start questing or download the pdf here.

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Thursday, May 4

7 PM

The Unbreakable Code

Jennifer Chambliss Berman

Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there's the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What's most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire.

As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can't ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

The clock is ticking as the arson fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime.

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied writing and dance at the University of California, Irvine, and earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. When she was eighteen, she interned for a magazine in Manhattan and has worked in publishing ever since. 

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Wednesday, May 10

7 PM

Radical Hope

Featuring:

Carolina De Robertis

Carolina De Robertis is the author of the novels The Gods of Tango, Perla, and The Invisible Mountain. A long-time activist, De Robertis spent ten years in the non-profit sector before publishing her first book, and during that time she led projects around issues including women's rights, immigrant rights, and addressing sexual violence. She teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University, and lives in Oakland, California with her wife and two children.

Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle Gomez is an American author, poet, critic and playwright. She lived in New York City for 22 years, working in public television, theatre as well as philanthropy, before relocating to the West Coast. Her writing—fiction, poetry, essays and cultural criticism—has appeared in a wide variety of outlets, both feminist and mainstream. Her work often intersects and addresses multiple ethnicities as well as the ideals of lesbian/feminism and issues. She has been interviewed for several documentaries focused on LGBT rights and culture.

Kate Schatz

Kate Schatz is the author of Rad Women Worldwide and Rad American Women A-Z, the New York Times bestselling feminist children’s books (for everyone). 

The books have gotten love from BUST, Elle, Publisher’s Weekly, BuzzFeed, MTV, Ms., Teen Vogue, Kirkus Reviews, GOOD, The New York Times, AFROPUNK, and all kinds of other rad outlets. Kate and her collaborator Miriam Klein Stahl have appeared on Mashable, msnbc, and numerous public radio programs, including KQED Forum, Minnesota Public Radio, and KPCC’s Take Two.

Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story, was published in 2006 as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series.

Her work has been published in Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Joyland, East Bay Express, and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Her short story “Folsom, Survivor” was a 2010 Notable Short Story in Best American Short Stories 2011.

She is a co-founder of The Encyclopedia Project, and the former Chair of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts. Kate received her MFA in Fiction Writing from Brown, and a double BA in Women’s Studies/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Aya De Leon

Aya de Leon directs the Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. Kensington Books published her debut feminist heist novel, Uptown Thief, in July 2016 and will publish the next book in the Justice Hustlers series, The Boss, on May 30, 2017. Her writing and performance work have received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and the East Bay Express. A graduate of Harvard College, with an MFA from Antioch University, Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion. She publicly married herself in the 90s, and from 1995 to 2012 hosted an annual Valentine’s Day show that focused on self-love. She has written for for various media outlets such as xojane, Ebony, Huffington Post, Guernica, Huffington Post, Reductress, Essence, Writers Digest, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, Fusion, Quartz, and The Toast. She also blogs and tweets about culture, gender, and race. Visit her at @ayadeleon.

Elmaz Abinader

Elmaz Abinader is an Arab-American author, poet, performer, English professor at Mills College and co-founder of the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA). In 2000, she received the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award for her poetry collection In the Country of My Dreams....

Abinader received her B.A. in Writing and Communication from University of Pittsburgh in 1974. It was during this time that she embraced her heritage and wrote about her family’s history. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Columbia University, School of the Arts Poetry Writing, in 1978. In 1985, she completed her PhD program at the University of Nebraska, English Fiction and Non-fiction Writing, where she taught English and creative writing.

 

 

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