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Comfort Lit [clear filter]
Tuesday, April 17


Comfort Lit: Dictionary Stories—Short Fictions and Other Findings by Jez Burrows
Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings by Jez Burrows is a collection of very short stories composed entirely of example sentences from various dictionaries and accompanied by whimsical, minimalist drawings by the author.
“Burrows has a talent for a delightfully askew existentialism…wickedly short...exquisitely rendered... A fabulist remix of the English language and a tribute to clever lexicographers everywhere.” — Kirkus Reviews

avatar for Jez Burrows

Jez Burrows

Jez Burrows is a British designer, illustrator, and writer. After studying graphic design at the University of Brighton, he spent three years designing books, identities, posters, maps, and playing cards; and creating illustrations for clients including The New York Times, Nike... Read More →
avatar for Jane Solomon

Jane Solomon

Jane Solomon is a lexicographer based in Oakland, CA. She spends her days writing definitions and working on various projects for Dictionary.com. In the past, she’s worked with other dictionary publishers including Cambridge, HarperCollins, Oxford, and Scholastic. Jane is a coauthor... Read More →

Tuesday April 17, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Tuesday, May 15


Comfort Lit: Hippie Food—How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman
This enlightening narrative history—an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan— traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine. Kauffman will be in conversation with journalist Denise Sullivan. Doors open at 11:30 am, event begins promptly at 12 noon.
“An outstanding food and cultural history…In this informative, briskly paced first book…Kauffman is equally thorough in tracing how these early innovators inspired the food co-ops and whole food stores that exist today.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Tuesday, June 5


Comfort Lit:Chasing Mercury—A Novel by September Williams

An epileptic Black ballerina and a Powwow dancer meet in the Montreal Airport. They are both scheduled to perform in 1973 Cold War Berlin. During the transatlantic crossing their love evolves. On a long layover in Zurich, he stuns her by depositing many hundreds of thousands of dollars into his Swiss bank account, to which he adds her name with no true explanation. Is she an accomplice to something, or is this just love in the time of mercury poisoning?

September Williams’ debut novel is a romance-suspense-memoir that connects human rights, environmental justice and romance. Williams is also a Bay Area physician, bioethicist, and filmmaker.

avatar for September Williams

September Williams

September Williams is an American physician-writer, bioethicist and filmmaker. Her work exist in a realm punctuated by the diversity of her clinical practice and life. She focuses on promoting resilience for people who are ill, aging, dying, or stressed by environmental and humanitarian... Read More →

Tuesday June 5, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Tuesday, July 24


Comfort Lit: On Doing Nothing by Roman Muradov

In an age of obsessive productivity and stress, this illustrated ode to idleness invites readers to explore the pleasures and possibilities of slowing down. Beloved author and illustrator Roman Muradov weaves together the words and stories of artists, writers, philosophers, and eccentrics who have pursued inspiration by doing less. He reveals that doing nothing is both easily achievable and absolutely essential to leading an enjoyable and creative life. Cultivating idleness can be as simple as taking a long walk without a destination or embracing chance in the creative process. Peppered with playful illustrations, this handsome volume is a refreshing and thought-provoking read.

avatar for Roman Muradov

Roman Muradov

Roman Muradov is an award-winning author and illustrator, originally from Russia, now living in San Francisco, where he is a professor at California College of the Arts. His work has appeared in numerous publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Paris Review, Vogue... Read More →

Tuesday July 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Tuesday, August 21


Comfort Lit—Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds by Rachel Levin

Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds is a lighthearted but legitimately helpful illustrated field guide for what to do in the face of 50 of our most feared—or frustrating—animals. From mountain lions to moose, bears to bees, rats, raccoons, mice… even lice!  As humans encroach on wild places, encounters with animals have become increasingly commonplace. But what are the rules for facing a moose up close? Do you run from a coyote or stand your ground? How deadly, really, are black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and sharks?
Packed with expert tips, fascinating animal facts, and harrowing true tales (from writers like Peter Orner and Samin Nosrat), Look Big is a must-have survival guide for outdoor, urban, and suburban adventurers alike. If you have ever feared the approach of a grizzly, the spray of a skunk, or an army of cockroaches in the kitchen, this book is for you.

avatar for Rachel Levin

Rachel Levin

Rachel Levin is the first San Francisco restaurant critic for Eater and a freelance journalist who has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, Outside, Sunset, and elsewhere. Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds is her first book. byra... Read More →

Tuesday August 21, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Tuesday, September 11


Comfort Lit—A Year Off: A Story About Traveling the World—and How to Make It Happen for You by Alexandra and David Brown

On their first date, David started describing to Alexandra his plan to quit his job and travel around the world for a year. Without hesitation (and surprising them both) Alexandra blurted out “Wait for me.” He did. Three months after that first date they quit their jobs and embarked on a round-the world adventure together that would take them to Costa Rica, New Zealand, Thailand, India, Romania, France, Ireland, and more. They traveled together for a full year—and one year after they returned to San Francisco, they got married.

A Year Off is the story of their journey and their romance. It combines their personal story with inspiration and practical advice for would-be travelers looking to make their own tour. It includes real-world tips on putting your career on pause, planning your route, setting a budget, adjusting to life on the road, finding your “travel rhythm,” discovering the “traveler’s code” of  generosity and hospitality, and finally making a soft landing when you return home. It shows that it is possible to step out of a high-achieving lifestyle for an extended, and transformative, adventure. Alexandra and David are now happily married and live in San Francisco with their daughter. They still travel frequently.

avatar for Alexandra Brown

Alexandra Brown

Alexandra Brown is an author and marketing strategist. She attended the Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and works in advertising with a focus on digital and content strategy. She has written about her family in the essay collection My Parents Were Awesome and food... Read More →
avatar for David Brown

David Brown

David Brown is an enthusiastic project collector and a business strategist. He attended the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and also studied anthropology, philosophy, and African studies. He currently works in brand management with a specialty in consumer packaged... Read More →

Tuesday September 11, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104