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Thursday

February 22

7 PM

Lee Bruno

Misfits, Merchants, and Mayhem

The waterfront is where it all began for San Francisco. It's where untold numbers of adventurers and fortune-hunters first stepped foot upon the land that embodied possibility. It's where ships from around the world, carrying sea-faring gold seekers, maritime traders, free-spirited mavericks, and hopeful immigrants, came to anchor. And it's where the unconventional, opportunistic, and indefatigable embarked. Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem: Tales from San Francisco's Historic Waterfront, 1849-1934 shares the stories of exceptional newcomers and outliers, whose intrepid spirits helped to transform a small port into one of the most beautiful, unpredictable, and beloved cities in the world.

Lee Bruno explores nearly a century of waterfront history, ranging from the Gold Rush to the Jazz Age, telling the tales of the enterprising entrepreneurs, reckless financiers, tireless reformers, visionary architects and city planners, and bohemian artists, musicians, and poets who all heeded the call of promise. With more than 100 historical images, Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem celebrates the famous (and infamous) characters whose charismatic personalities and perseverance created the institutions, businesses, and cultural fabric of San Francisco.

Ever since discovering his great grandfather Reuben Hale's inspiring letters and speeches, Lee Bruno has been digging into San Francisco's rich history. Lee, who received his MS in science journalism from Boston University, is the author of Panorama: Tales from San Francisco's 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition (Cameron + Company) and has been writing for over 20 years about business and technology for the Economist, the Guardian, MIT Technology Review, Red Herring magazine, and Wired, among others. He has lived in San Francisco for more than 30 years, raising a family of four boys with his wife and enjoying long open-water swims with the eccentrics at the South End Rowing Club.

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Wednesday

February 28

7 PM

Louise Nayer

Poised For Retirement

Moving From Anxiety To Zen

A unique narrative on a unique time offering solace to people nearing retirement. Poised for Retirement is not your parents' retirement guide, nor is it a financial planning guide; rather, it's the relatable story of an ordinary working woman reflecting on her life and career.

Written with humor, compassion, and poignancy, Nayer's poetic prose is also inspirational. Easy to implement visualizations and breathing and sleep techniques are offered at the end of each chapter. Readers will gain insight and wisdom as the author learns to create a new and healthier life during this important transition.

 

  • A timely topic for Baby Boomers (born between 1946 - 1962), representing twenty percent of the US population by 2029.
  • Every month more than a quarter-million Americans turn sixty-five.
  • Includes interviews with a diverse group of experts and laypeople who share their experiences as they face the same decision point in their lives.

 

Louise Nayer is a writer and educator. She is a native New Yorker, who has lived in San Francisco since 1974. She attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison and graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature. Later she received a Master of Arts in Humanities from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. She received six California Arts council grants and was a professor of English and creative writing for over twenty-seven years at City College of San Francisco. Presently, she is part of the San Francisco Grotto Writer's Collective and teaches workshops at OLLI UC Berkeley and at the San Francisco Writer's Grotto. Her book Burned: A Memoir was an Oprah Great Read, won the 2011 Wisconsin Library Association Award, and a finalist for the USA Book News Award. 

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Thursday

March 29

7 PM

Jacqueline Winspear

To Die But Once

Maisie Dobbs--one of the most complex and admirable characters in contemporary fiction (Richmond Times Dispatch)--faces danger and intrigue on the home front during World War II.

During the months following Britain's declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs investigates the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. As news of the plight of thousands of soldiers stranded on the beaches of France is gradually revealed to the general public, and the threat of invasion rises, another young man beloved by Maisie makes a terrible decision that will change his life forever.

Maisie's investigation leads her from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld's most powerful men, in a case that serves as a reminder of the inextricable link between money and war. Yet when a final confrontation approaches, she must acknowledge the potential cost to her future--and the risk of destroying a dream she wants very much to become reality.

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California