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After gaining renown for his role in the much-loved television series M*A*S*H, actor Mike Farrell embarked upon a more arduous path as a human rights advocate. Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist (softcover, $16.95) is his story. As amply demonstrated in this memoir, Farrell’s celebrity has put him in the unique position to witness and participate in the efforts of peace-workers both at home and throughout the world.
Best known as an actor and for his eight years on M*A*S*H and five seasons on Providence, Mike Farrell is also a writer, director and producer. Farrell has served on human rights and peace delegations to many countries around the world. As President of Death Penalty Focus, he speaks, writes, and coordinates efforts to stop executions.
ANDREW SEAN GREER
As he demonstrated in The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Andrew Sean Greer can spin a touching narrative based on an intriguing premise. His new book - set in San Francisco in the early 1950’s - is The Story of a Marriage (hardcover, $22.00). "This is a haunting book of breathtaking beauty and restraint. Greer’s tone-perfect prose conjures an unforgettable woman who exists both within and somehow above the stifling class, racial and sexual constraints of 1950s America." - Dave Eggers
Andrew Sean Greer is the acclaimed, best-selling author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli, the story collection How It Was for Me, and the novel The Path of Minor Planets. He lives in San Francisco, California – not far from The Booksmith.
ELLEN SUSSMAN & Co. **
Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex (hardcover, $19.95) is a witty reference, a playful take on bedroom talk, and a smart and often funny compendium of entries written by notable contemporary writers. From sexual relationships (monogamy, one-night stand, ménage à trois) to sexual positions (doggie style, 69), from age-old practices (prostitution) to contemporary twists (cybersex), this alphabetical encyclopedia includes everything you need to know about the language of love and lust.
** Join us for an adults only evening with editor Ellen Sussman and local contributors Michelle Richmond, Meredith Maran, Helena Echlin, Stephen Elliott, and Katharine Noel. This Booksmith sponsored event will take place at the Edinburgh Castle (950 Geary Street).
Do You See What I See?: Memoirs of a Blind Biker (hardcover, $23.95) is the story of a visually impaired physicist, Russell Targ, who sees beyond perception to help readers find meaning. Targ has been visually handicapped since childhood and yet has performed groundbreaking research in lasers and optics. He is grounded in the world of science and yet helped created the Cold War program that became the real X-Files - the CIA and NASA-sponsored work in "remote viewing" that has only recently been declassified. This remarkable memoir reads like a cultural history of the last half of the twentieth century as Targ befriends the likes of Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, Alan Alda, and brother-in-law chess champion Bobby Fisher!
Russell Targ is an American physicist and author, an ESP researcher, and pioneer in the earliest development of the laser. Currently retired, Targ enjoys motorcycling in the desert (even though legally blind) and studying Dzogchen Buddhism. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
DONNA GEORGE STOREY & LIZA DALBY
Join us for an evening of Japanese-inspired sensual literature with local authors Donna George Storey and Liza Dalby. Inspired by Ihara Saikaku’s 17th-century satiric novel of the pleasure quarters, Storey’s Amorous Woman (softcover, $7.95) is the tale of an American woman’s love affair with Japan that gives readers a rather intimate view of the country that few Westerners ever see. Dalby, author of Geisha and other books on Japanese culture, is the author most recently of East Wind Melts the Ice: A Memoir through the Seasons (hardcover, $24.95).
Donna George Storey holds a Ph.D in Japanese literature from Stanford. She is the translator of Child of Darkness: Yoko and Other Stories, by Furui Yoshikichi. Her erotic fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including Best American Erotica and Best Women's Erotica. Liza Dalby is a writer and anthropologist specializing in Japanese culture. She is the acclaimed author of Geisha and other books, and was a consultant for Rob Marshall's film Memoirs of a Geisha.
In an unnamed company, the employees are getting restless as everything around them unravels. There’s Pru, the former grad student turned spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety stalks him in teeth-grinding dreams; and Jack II, who distributes unwanted backrubs – aka "jackrubs" – to his co-workers. Then, the firings begin. Rich with Orwellian doublespeak, filled with sabotage and romance, Ed Park’s literary debut, Personal Days (softcover, $13.00), is a comic delight and a narrative tour de force, not to mention the Great American Novel (office edition 2008).
Ed Park is a founding editor of The Believer and a former editor of the Voice Literary Supplement. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review and many other publications. He lives in Manhattan, where he publishes The New-York Ghost.
Since his death in 1950, Sri Aurobindo has been known primarily as a yogi and a philosopher of spiritual evolution. His years spent in yogic retirement were preceded by nearly four decades of rich public and intellectual work. Peter Heehs, one of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, is the first to relate all the aspects of the yogi’s life. The result is The Lives of Sri Aurobindo (hardcover, $45.00), the most comprehensive, thorough, and balanced study to date of Sri Aurobindo Ghose's remarkable life and thought.
This special event will be introduced by Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy. Peter Heehs was born and educated in the United States but has lived in India since 1971. One of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, he is currently a member of the editorial board of the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, and has published many books and articles.
Sasa Stanisic's sensational debut novel, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone (hardcover, $24.00), is the moving story of a young child caught up in the Bosnian conflict who finds the secret to survival in language and stories. This European bestseller thrums with the joy of storytelling. "A great rattlebag of a book that's funny and heartfelt and brazen and true. Find some space on your shelf beside Aleksandar Hemon, Jonathan Safran Foer, William Vollmann, and David Foster Wallace." - Colum McCann
Sasa Stanisic was born in Visegard in Bosnia, but escaped to Germany at the age of 14 after the Serbian army invaded the city. He is the offspring of a mixed family - his mother is Muslim and his father is Serbian. His short stories have been published in anthologies and literary magazines and he won the German Ingeborg Bachmann competition for new authors.
Told in brief, poetic vignettes of luminious prose, Up High in the Trees (softcover, $14.00) is a moving evocation of the inner life of a most unusual boy, Sebby Lane. This remarkable debut novel (just out in softcover) also introduces an original and quietly powerful new writer, Kiara Brinkman. " . . . captures, pitch-perfectly, the voice of one eight-year old boy. That the story is also compelling, beautifully written, humorous, and heartbreaking makes it necessary reading." - Cristina Garcia.
Kiara Brinkman grew up in the Midwest and in California. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Pindeldyboyz, and other publications. She has been working with children and books her whole life.
Jennifer Sey began competing in gymnastics at the age of six, and went on to become 1986 National Gymnastics Champion and seven-time national team member. Now, she has authored a cautionary tale, Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams (hardcover, $24.95). This is the remarkably candid true story of a gymnastics champion whose lifelong dream was to compete in the Olympics, until anorexia, injuries, and coaching abuses nearly destroyed her.
Jennifer Sey is a graduate of Stanford University, Sey was named one of the "Top 40 Marketers under 40" by Advertising Age in 2006 for her work at Levi Strauss & Co. She has also written and produced two short films. She lives with her husband and two sons in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO TAPE MUSIC CENTER **
The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde (softcover, $27.50 / hardcover, $65.00) tells the story of an influential group of creative artists who connected music to technology during a legendary time in California's cultural history. As an integral part of the San Francisco "scene," the San Francisco Tape Music Center developed new art forms through collaborations between composers and the San Francisco Actor's Workshop, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Ann Halprin Dancers' Workshop, Canyon Cinema, and others. Told through vivid personal accounts, interviews, and retrospective essays by leading scholars and artists, this work - capturing the heady experimental milieu of the sixties - is the first comprehensive history of the San Francisco Tape Music Center.
** Don't miss this historic event, which will take place at the Park Branch Library (1863 Page Street). Planned are a panel discussion, demonstration of the Tape Music Center's original Buchla Box, and a brief nostaligic performance of the "Riley Delay." Participants include Morton Subotnick, Terry Riley, Ramon Sender, Bill Maginnis, David Bernstein, and Maggi Payne. Stu Dempster will dijerdu the room. A booksigning will follow.
A soldier is alone. He doesn't know where he is or how he got here. All he does know is that he is at war. But who is the enemy? Surrounded by a ruined city, without a compass to guide him or a clear mission to fulfill, the soldier must rely on what he has left to survive. Using only memory, his warrior's skills, and his own, suddenly fierce humanity, he will construct a map to lead him toward what he desperately hopes will be his escape. War (hardcover, $24.95), the new novel by Todd Komnarnicki, is the story of one man's journey deep into the heart of violence.
Todd Komarnicki is a screenwriter, producer, director, and novelist, and the author of the Famine. Active in Hollywood, Komarnicki was the producer of Elf, the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy. This event marks his second appearance at The Booksmith.
Please join us for one or more of these upcoming events. Booksmith author events are free and located at our San Francisco store (1644 Haight Street in San Francisco, between Clayton & Cole), unless otherwise noted. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, approximately 45 minutes in advance. For further information, call 415-863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com
We have a great line-up of author events scheduled for the next few months. Coming to the Booksmith are journalist KATIE HAFNER (July 9), NY Times bestselling author MICHELLE RICHMOND (July 15), San Francisco poet laurette JACK HIRSCHMAN (July 23), San Francisco favorite BROKE ASS STUART (August 1), and many others.