Bay Area books: new novels and natural disaster non-fiction

Oakland's Tommy Orange is appearing locally in February and March to promote his new novel. (Author photo by Michael Lionheart/Book cover courtesy Penguin Random House)

Tuesday, Feb. 6

Andrew Alden: Inspired the by Loma Prieta earthquake, the geologist-science writer discusses “Deep Oakland: How Geology Shaped a City,” in which he reveals how Oakland’s “silt, soil and subterranean sinews” connect to its history and future; the talk is presented by A Great Good Place for Books.

6:30 p.m., Oakland Public Library, Montclair Branch, 1687 Mountain Blvd., Oakland

Roger Rapoport: The veteran reporter who covered an infamous kidnapping in 1974 introduces his new historical fiction title based on the huge news story, “Searching for Patty Hearst: A True Crime Novel” in one of numerous local events, for details visit

7 p.m., Books Inc., 1491 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Mosab Abu Toha & Friends: In a benefit for the Middle East Children’s Alliance, a group of poets, including the author via Zoom from Cairo, read in its entirety, “Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear,” the award-winning debut volume by the Palestinian poet and founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza.

7 p.m., City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco

Sunday, Feb. 11

The Authors Guild: Ishmael Reed, Joseph Cassara, Charlie Jane Anders, and Dave Eggers, contributors to “Fourteen Days,” an “amazing” collaborative novel set in a New York tenement at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, discuss the book, which features writing by more than 35 Guild authors, from Diana Gabaldon to John Grisham to Celeste Ng and Emma Donoghue. Proceeds support the work of the Authors Guild Foundation.

2 p.m., Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco

Tuesday, Feb. 13

Anne Belden, Paul Gullixson: The award-winning local journalists discuss “Inflamed: Abandonment, Heroism, and Outrage in Wine Country’s Deadliest Firestorm,” which details stories of the senior citizens devastated by the deadly wildfires in Northern California in October 2017.

7 p.m., Books Inc., 1491 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond: The California editor speaks about “Relations: An Anthology of African and Diaspora Voices,” a collection of poems, stories and essays offering a “striking vision of a meeting place of perspectives” and exemplifying the diversity of Black people’s experiences.

7 p.m., Books Inc., 1344 Park St., Alameda

Tuesday, Feb. 20

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman: The former HuffPost reporter speaks about her debut novel “A Fire So Wild,” which details the varying effects of a threatening wildfire on Berkeley residents of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

7 p.m., Books Inc., 1491 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Calvin Trillin: The longtime New Yorker writer and best-selling author discusses his new volume “The Lede: Dispatches from a Life in the Press” at a ticketed ($10) event.

7 p.m., Rakestraw Books, 3 Railroad Ave., Danville

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Tommy Orange: The multi-award-winning Oakland-based author of “There There” speaks about his new novel “Wandering Stars” in a City Arts & Lectures ticketed talk ($49) with writer Dave Eggers. Information about Orange’s other events in the Bay Area this month are HERE.

7:30 p.m., Sydney Goldstein Theater, 275 Hayes St., San Francisco

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton: The San Francisco Public Library presents the Oakland novelist speaking about “On the Rooftop,” her 1950s San Francisco-set story of a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her daughters collides with the daughters’ own ambitions with Bay Area historian and librarian Dorothy Lazard.

6:30 p.m., African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., San Francisco

Leave a Reply

The Exedra comments section is an essential part of the site. The goal of our comments policy is to help ensure it is a vibrant yet civil space. To participate, we ask that Exedra commenters please provide a first and last name. Please note that comments expressing congratulations or condolences may be published without full names. (View our full Comments Policy.)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *