National Book Awards, Fiction Long List

Ferlinghetti’s Dream

Here’s a good idea from Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Bibliohead in Hayes Valley

For ten years now–hard to believe it’s been then years–Bibliohead has served the Hayes Valley community and the city at large with a well-curated selection of new and used books.  Now they will be closing the shop on Gough and reopening, we hope, in a new location.  Meanwhile, all books are 25% off.



New Poem from Neeli Cherkovski

Guerra sucia

you sleep
and trouble comes easily
like a radio taxi pulling up at the corner
and you enter

we have more of the same

and lapses in morality

loss of tone

white becomes blue

sky turns into a lake

folks sail over the horizon

nobody knows what I’m doing here
said the old man a rag doll of a man


a stone on your lips
outside in the wilderness where time
arrives in a different measure

the unhappiness weighs heavily
over the town

joven, you are so sweet
in the body of the plane
I’d as soon lift you
overhead, store you in a fingertip

the city rattles and roars
in a miraculous manner

the exterminator comes out
of hiding

una Guerra sucia

how many of you
I’ll never sit next to
in the theater or in a cab
racing down the grand boulevard?

a dirty war
to emphasize
the impossible

a dirty war of roses

a dirty row of men in uniform

a dirty smirk of love

goodbye to the memory

the least we can do
is touch the upper chambers of the sky
and sail

white on white

it is September and cold
on the tip of the tides

high on the rooftop
an angel
I’d hide him
on a meadow
by the ruins

Man Booker Prize, The Shortlist

The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize includes American authors for the firs time.

The Future of Books?

You decide…

Independent Book Stores Having Banner Year

New book sales are up all over the country:

Ben Lerner Interview

Ben Lerner’s new book, 10:04, is generating a lot of buzz.  Here’s an interview from The Believer.

Visit Best of Book Bay at the Big Book Sale

Big Book SaleThe Best of Book Bay booth has been a special feature of the Big Book Sale for over 15 years and we’re excited to set up shop once again during the 50th! You can find this section under “Used & Collectible” at our sale, and it brings in almost $10,000 per day.

The booth draws quite a crowd during our Members Preview Sale & Reception, bringing in regular customers scoping out the art and photography books. Many shoppers are also interested in poetry, modern literature, military history, and one of our best-selling categories: California and the West.

This year, Best of Book Bay has a great selection of books on the American Civil War which came from a recent donation by a collector of military history. Past sales have featured large donations of mountaineering books, a complete collection of John Fowles books, a collection of books on medicine from the 16th,  17th, and 18th  centuries, and a collection of travel books from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Our Donation Center has the occasional random donation of particularly unusual and high-value books – several years ago someone donated a complete set of the voyages of Captain Cook to the South Seas!

One of the best donations we’ve encountered occurred a few sales ago, when Friends received a phone call from an estate executor. They were cleaning out a house in Pacific Heights, needing to be out the next morning. They discovered a number of boxes of books beneath the carriage house in the back of the property, and asked our Donation Center staff if they could come and pick them up that very day – a day later would have seen the books thrown into a dumpster. We drove over and ended up crawling under the carriage house to retrieve about 55 boxes of books. Our Online & Specialty Sales Manager, Vince Koloski, discovered quite a bounty.

Among the boxes of books almost sent to the dump were three of the seven volume American first edition of Audubon’s Birds of America which we sold for $10,000 apiece, a signed limited edition of Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms which sold for $8000, a copy of Lysistrata illustrated  and signed by Picasso which we sold for $5000,  and a specific gold rush item which contained two small samples of gold dust from the Sierras which we sold for $12,000.

There are always interesting books at Best of Book Bay! Our Donation Center program is a bit like a lottery; we never know what’s going to come in, so make sure to visit Vince and his crew this year at Best of Book Bay!

50th Big Book Sale: Member Preview Sale & Reception

Untitled-2Calling all members! Please join us on Tuesday, September 23rd, from 4 – 8 p.m. before the sale goes public for refreshments and first dibs on all the loot! That’s right, we let you in a whole day early to get that first crack at hundreds of thousands of items, and we pour you wine and serve you tasty treats while you shop!

Not a member? Not too late! Join today and receive your Member Preview Sale & Reception tickets, or join at the door of our sale– we’ll have a Membership table set up for you on the 23rd. You can also join in-person or renew at our Readers Bookstores, and receive your tickets on the spot!

Membership begins at just $40 a year and includes great benefits, such as tickets to the Big Book Sale and Spring Book Sale receptions, discounts year-round in our Readers Bookstores, discounts at over 40 independent bookstores around the city, and invitations to exclusive cocktail parties held in branch libraries.

Best of all? Your membership helps to enrich the lives of thousands in San Francisco. By joining Friends, you help provide vital funds that support free access to music, movies, periodicals, art, activities, research, classes, job resources, technology, and, of course, millions of books!  Membership dollars also help fund beloved local programs, like the Tricycle Music Fest and One City One Book.

Become a member of Friends today and help us build a strong, thriving community by supporting our libraries and literacy programs.

Click on the image above to watch a time-lapse video of our sale!