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Lan Cao Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post, SF; www.milibrary.org. 6pm, $15. The author shares her novel, The Lotus and the Storm, about a Vietnamese American family during and after the Vietnam War.
Gillian Conoley City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. The author discusses Thousand Times Broken, her new translation of three Henri Michaux works, with a presentation of the original art displayed in the book.
James Ellroy Commonwealth Club, 595 Market, SF; www.commonwealthclub.org. 6pm, $7-20. The acclaimed crime novelist (LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia) discusses his long career and latest work, Perfidia.
Carl Russo Green Apple Books, 506 Clement, SF; www.greenapplebooks.com. 7pm, free. The author shares The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide.
Samuel Fromartz Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 6pm, free. The journalist-turned-baker discusses his new book, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey.
Tanya Holland Books Inc, 1344 Park, Alameda; www.booksinc.net. 7pm, free. The chef, Food Network personality, and author launches her new cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland.
Bay Area Free Book Exchange’s Fifth Anniversary Free Book Blowout Bay Area Free Book Exchange, 10520 San Pablo, El Cerrito; www.bayareafreecookexchange.com. 9am-6pm, free. Through Sun/14. Celebrate five years of free books at this anniversary party, and take home some new reading material of your own from the Bay Area Free Book Exchange’s shelves. Or, go one more step and bring some old books (as well as CD and DVDs!) to donate and share with others.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Through Sun/14. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors, Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about chocolate-making!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.
Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (kids 15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).
“Tour de Fat” Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.newbelgium.com. 10am-5pm, free (beer, $5; donations for nonprofits accepted). “Bikes, beer, and bemusement” highlight this annual outdoor party, with a costumed bike parade, beer-brewing activities, yo-yo performers, a dance contest (winner gets a new cruiser!), and headliner Reggie Watts.
John Jung Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University, Berk; www.asiabookcenter.com. 3pm, free. The author presents two works: Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain and Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants.
Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including breezy, hilly Alamo Square) on foot or bike.
Urban Air Market Hayes Valley, Hayes and Octavia, SF; www.urbanairmarket.com. 11am-6pm, free. Over 130 emerging and established designers share their wares at this outdoor community market. Also: food trucks and live music.
“Writers with Drinks” Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF; www.writerswithdrinks.com. 7:30pm, $5-20. With Evan Lepucki, Robin Sloan, Lenelle Moïse, Annelyse Gelman, Cecil Castellucci, and Christina Nichol.
Courtney Moreno Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. As part of the “New Voices, New Stories” series, the author shares her first novel, In Case of Emergency. *