The San Francisco Bay Area is a book-lovers’ paradise. Some of the best-known authors in the world live and write here. And even with the closing of many bookstores across the country, there are still great independent bookstores throughout the Bay Area to visit and go home with an armload of books. The Bay Area also has many events for readers and writers, such as the annual Litquake Festival each October in San Francisco, as well as an array of book clubs, author readings and literary events. If you are an East Bay resident, check out these options for great book clubs and events to join and attend.
The East Bay Book Club has been active since 2007, with three different sub-groups focusing on contemporary books, classic literature and an organizer’s pick rotating throughout the year. The active group also plans a variety of social events relating to books and literature. A $5 membership fee per year is required, but your first meeting is free to attend. For more information about dates and times, join the group on Meetup.com.
Bookseller and community resource Pegasus Books, on Shattuck in downtown Berkeley, hosts a monthly reading series called Lyrics and Dirges. Each month, Tomas Moniz curates this series that features Bay Area writers and poets. New writers are featured each month. The event is free and open to all, and refreshments are served.
Related: Best Books For Kids Of All Ages
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Are you a 20-something, looking for a group of your peers that are interested in discussing books and literature? The East Bay 20-Something-Readers Book Club meets every few weeks to discuss a selected book in homes and cafes in the East Bay. In 2012, the club plans to read books like “The Poisonwood Bible,” by Barbara Kingsolver and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” by Khaled Hosseini. For more information about dates and times, join the group on Meetup.com.
First Person Singular was named the Best Remixed Literary Event in 2011 by the East Bay Express newspaper, and it’s no surprise. First Person Singular, produced by Joe Christiano, remixes the traditional author reading by including staged readings, live music and other unexpected elements. Past months have featured topics such as “None Too Keene: Nancy Drew Noir” and “What’s Strunk & White, and Read All Over?” The 2012 season has been dubbed Apocalypse Not Now! May’s topic is “Wanted Man: Johnny Cash at San Quentin,” and June will explore “Here me Now!: Cellphone Monologues,” a First Person Singular original, in collaboration with PlayGround. Dates and times are still TBA, but most events are hosted at Pegasus Books in Berkeley.
Walnut Creek Area Women’s Book Club — 50 and older
1149 S Main St
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Sometimes the best friends are those that have been through the same things as you. If you’re a woman of experience, looking for a book group with others in your age group, perhaps this book club that meets in Walnut Creek would be a good fit. The Walnut Creek Area Women’s Book Club, for women 50 and older, meets monthly at the Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek to discuss a selected book. For more information about dates and times, join the group on Meetup.com.
Sundays in Savannah Book Club
Locations vary throughout East Bay
The Sundays in Savannah Book Club, a book club for women of color, meets monthly on the last Sunday of each month. The book club plans a variety of social meetings as well as the monthly book discussions. For more information about dates and times, join the group on Meetup.com.
Related: A Guide to Literary San Francisco
Laura Tarwater-Scharp is a freelance writer, editor and historian. Originally from the Midwest, she has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.