Black Bird Bookstore

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

  • 4/20
    Author Reading w/ Shilpi Somaya
  • 3/09
    Musical Storytime w/Frances England
  • 3/16
    Author Storytime w/ Tenisha Bernal
  • 3/03
    Pop-Up w/ Song Tea & Sesame Tiny Bakery
  • 3/22
    Visual Art Opening + 'Space Bath' Audio Experience w/ Jamae Tasker + Sami Freeman
  • 3/30
    Storytime w/Shawn Harris
  • 3/24
    Knitting + Crochet Circle
  • 3/23
    Storytime w/Mimi & Friends
  • 3/15
    Author Event w/Patrick Trefz
  • 3/13
    Poetry + Prose Open Mic Night
  • 3/10
    Author Event w/Brian Stannard
  • 3/18
    Book Talk w/ Andrew Heid
View All +

Author Reading w/ Shilpi Somaya

Apr 20, 2024 | 7pm

From the New York Times bestselling author, a novel in the tradition of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Pacific Hills, California: Gated communities, ocean views, well-tended lawns, serene pools, and now the new home of the Shah family. For the Shah parents, who came to America twenty years earlier with little more than an education and their new marriage, this move represents the culmination of years of hard work and dreaming. For their children, born and raised in America, success is not so simple.

For the most part, these differences among the five members of the Shah family are minor irritants, arguments between parents and children, older and younger siblings. But one Saturday night, the twelve-year-old son is arrested. The fallout from that event will shake each family member’s perception of themselves as individuals, as community members, as Americans, and will lead each to consider: how do we define success? At what cost comes ambition? And what is our role and responsibility in the cultural mosaic of modern America?

For readers of The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, A Great Country explores themes of immigration, generational conflict, social class and privilege as it reconsiders the myth of the model minority and questions the price of the American dream.

Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her forthcoming novel A Great Country explores the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police. Her previous novels, Secret DaughterThe Golden Son, and The Shape of Family,  became international bestsellers, selling over two million copies worldwide, in over 30 languages. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.

Doors at 6:30pm.


Musical Storytime w/Frances England

Mar 9, 2024 | 9:30am

Local musician will be singing her family music, indie style.

Frances England fell into the kids' music world by accident. In 2007, she wrote and recorded a little homespun cd called Fascinating Creatures as a fundraiser for her son's preschool. She had no intention of anyone outside her own circle of family and friends hearing it, but word got out, and within a couple of years Frances went from playing at nursery schools and libraries, to Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

With a gift for capturing the wonders, simple pleasures, and beauty of childhood, Frances frames her music in ways both children and parents can appreciate. Her sparkly, acoustic pop songs are both catchy and heartfelt. In a Parents Choice Gold Award review, Lynne Heffley enthused, "England is an original, an exceptionally creative and musically astute children's artist whose unique musical vision was apparent in her debut album. With the authenticity of her alt-rock and acoustic folk rhythms, her expressive vocals and gentle, slightly offbeat approach to what it means to be a child - and a parent - England proves she again and again, she is the real deal."


Author Storytime w/ Tenisha Bernal

Mar 16, 2024 | 9:30am

Author and illustrator Tenisha Bernal reads from her latest board book Little Gardener's First 100 Words, a book for budding gardeners that introduces little ones to 100 different items found in the garden.

About Little Gardener's First 100 Words: The perfect primer for budding gardeners, this board book introduces little ones to 100 different items found in the garden!

From bugs to tools, each page in this unique first words book is filled with things found in the garden—above and below the ground!

Little ones can learn about the parts of a plant, the different herbs, fruits, and vegetables that can grow in a garden, and the names of tools that make gardening easier. There is even a page dedicated to urban gardening for those who don’t have yards!

Detailed illustrations and brightly colored backgrounds are sure to engage even the youngest of nature enthusiasts. This perfect gift for budding gardeners will show them the tools they need to create and care for their very own garden.

Tenisha Bernal is a freelance graphic designer. As a child she loved drawing as well as baking, and her passion for both of these inspired her to create her first children’s book: Little Chef’s First 100 Words. She grew up in northern California and now lives there with her husband and their young son.


Pop-Up w/ Song Tea & Sesame Tiny Bakery

Mar 3, 2024 | 12pm

Song Tea and Tiny Sesame Bakery return to Black Bird for another tea and cake pop-up in the garden.

Song Tea sources rare tea and handcrafted ceramics of exceptional quality and character, working directly with producers at origin.

Sesame Tiny Bakery is a pocket sized bakery in Berkeley, offering a rotating selection of unique treats and cakes showcasing delicious seasonal fruit and using all organic ingredients.



Visual Art Opening + 'Space Bath' Audio Experience w/ Jamae Tasker + Sami Freeman

Mar 22, 2024 | 6–9pm

Jamae Tasker debuts her latest collage art on our walls + local artist-musician Sami Freeman installs her immersive music experience ‘Space Bath’ in our garden shed, open to the public until April 26th. Art opening night will feature a live performance by Sami.

Jamae Tasker is a collage artist based in San Francisco. Colorful, playful, emotional; her heartfelt “paper people” are constructed with hand painted recycled papers, acrylic paint, pastels and anything else she can get her hands on. Jamae invites you to stare unabashed into the faces of those she has created, and be witness to the ebbs, flows, grows and glows of being human. 

Jamae's work can be found on instagram @mamaladysmix

Sami Freeman creates evocative, ethereal, and colorful worlds through sound. She is a singer, pianist, and film composer from San Francisco who gravitates toward emotive music grounded in strings, synths, and keys.

This February, Sami released Space Bath, a 22-minute experience that defies genre and provides a constantly shifting sonic landscape that invokes memories and stimulates the imagination. Described as "feeling like light but actually being sound," Space Bath is an introspective piece that skillfully intertwines emotional vignettes through a cinematic soundscape.

Sami's work can be found on Bandcamp and her website.


Storytime w/Shawn Harris

Mar 30, 2024 | 9:30am

Local author and illustrator Shawn Harris hosts storytime, reading from his latest storybook The Teeny Weeny Unicorn, a funny, modern fairy tale about perception and self-confidence from a Caldecott-Honor winning creator.

About The Teeny Weeny Unicorn: Meet this pint-sized unicorn in this funny, modern fairy tale about perception and self-confidence from a Caldecott-Honor winning creator.

Once upon a time, in a land where horses were mythical beasts, there lived a unicorn—a Teeny-Weeny Unicorn. He lived with his family in a palace—one that was extra-large for him, full of extra-large rugs and extra-large food. And when his brother and sister played chess, they used him in place of a pawn.

When it’s just too much to take, Teeny-Weeny Unicorn runs away—and has a chance encounter with a salty gnome. It’s then that he suddenly starts to wonder… IS he teeny weeny? Or is he just the right size?

Every kid will relate to Teeny-Weeny Unicorn, as he figures out how to live in a world not made for his stature. With wit and charm, as well as delightful illustrations, Shawn Harris creates a modern classic made for sharing—be it at bedtime or on a story time rug.

Shawn Harris is an award-winning creator of books for kids. His authorial debut, Have You Ever Seen A Flower, was called a “stunning tour de force…” by The New York Times, and was the recipient of a Caldecott Honor. The National Museum of Wildlife Art awarded Shawn’s cut-paper art in A Polar Bear in the Snow (by Mac Barnett) the Bull-Bransom Award for excellence in the field of children’s book illustration with a focus on nature and wildlife. Harris has illustrated a number of other books, including Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, and Everyone’s Awake by Colin Meloy. Shawn lives in Northern California, where he also likes to write songs, surf, and play racquetball.


Knitting + Crochet Circle

Mar 24, 2024 | 5–6pm

An evening of knitting and community, sharing tips and tricks.

No formal instruction will be offered. Bring your own supplies.



Storytime w/Mimi & Friends

Mar 23, 2024 | 9:30am

Puppets, songs and stories for children.



Author Event w/Patrick Trefz

Mar 15, 2024 | 6–9pm

Santa Cruz-based photographer/filmmaker Patrick Trefz, known for documenting surf culture, shares his new cookbook, Ode to Travel, with recipes, photos and travel experiences through the lens of food.

About Ode to Travel: Acclaimed chef, surfer, and photographer Patrick Trefz in his third powerHouse title scours the globe to hone in on spots offering tasty visuals of innovative local dishes, supreme surfing nooks, and camaraderie with fellow chef surfers. Includes thirty-nine regional recipes.

From Tunis to Teahupo’o, Stornoway to Salina Cruz, New York to Berlin, São Paolo, and Paris—award-winning photographer and filmmaker Patrick Trefz mixes the metropolitan and the deeply rural by bringing food and culture from across the globe into his latest book of recipes and photographs, Ode to Travel. Famed throughout the surf world for his decades of magazine-cover-worthy images, Trefz has also become known in food circles for his work documenting the farm-to-table movement and championing traditions of regional cuisine. Ode to Travel captures Trefz’ innate ability as a traveler to become part of the scenes he finds himself in—not merely as an observer, but as a participant. Connecting landscape and seascape, people and food, Ode to Travel celebrates a world view of a globe deeply layered, how cultures define communities from the ground (and the sea) up in the form of its food and traditions, and the simple pleasures that bring color to living. Ode to Travel includes 39 recipes from the places Trefz has come to know intimately; each recipe included is an invitation to experience the local communities through their flavors and traditions. Includes contributions by monumental land artist Jim Denevan, three-star Michelin chef and Manresa restaurateur David Kinch, and Voyage of the Cormorant author and Surfboards California owner and craftsman Christian Beamish.

Patrick Trefz is a chef, painter and filmmaker. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Surfer’s Journal, Juxtapoz, Vogue, and others. Trefz’s four length documentaries, Thread, Idiosyncrasies, Surfers’ Blood, and Man in the Field have received widespread critical acclaim and recognition in international film festivals (HotDocs, SXSW, SSIFF). He has published three books of photography, Visions of Surf City, Thread, and Surfers’ Blood. His work focuses on a deep sense of place, and identity by way of environment. Through his films and photos, he thoroughly integrates himself in the worlds he captures.


Poetry + Prose Open Mic Night

Mar 13, 2024 | 7–9pm

Share the mic and your words with fellow writers and poets in this monthly night here at Black Bird. Hosted by Laura Booth.

Looking to find spaces to present your literary voice and perspective? Interested in building community around a shared love of poetry? Join us for our monthly Poetry and Prose Open Mic! All levels of writers and poetry buffs are encouraged to attend.

Doors at 6:30pm | Free


Author Event w/Brian Stannard

Mar 10, 2024 | 1–3pm

Join Outer Sunset-based author Brian Stannard for a reading and signing of his book Alcatraz Ghost Story, the true tale of 'The Smiling Bandit' from the 1920s.

About Alcatraz Ghost Story: The Incredible True Story of the Most Hunted Man in Pacific Coast History––and the Woman He Loved

Before the 1920s found their roar, a charismatic gambling addict named Roy Gardner dominated news headlines with daring train robberies and escapes from incarceration. Nicknamed "the Smiling Bandit," Gardner spilled no blood––except his own––as he cut a felonious path across the western United States, as the country hobbled through a recession in the aftermath of the First World War.

Once imprisoned for the long term in federal prisons, including Alcatraz, the most notorious prison's second-most-notorious inmate won over some unlikely champions. Both Gardner's wife, Dollie, and a police officer who once arrested him launched extensive campaigns for Gardner's release on the vaudeville circuit, claiming a brain operation would cure his lawless ways. Was Gardner a good man who made bad decisions as the victim of injury and circumstance? Or was his charming personality merely the poker face of a scoundrel?

Richly researched, drawing on contemporary newspaper accounts,
Alcatraz Ghost Story explores the life of Roy Gardner in the context of his great love story and the larger backdrop of drug addiction, incarceration, and the racial and labor violence of the 1920s and 1930s.

Brian Stannard is a guide with Alcatraz Cellhouse Tours. Previously he delivered meals in San Francisco’s Tenderloin with Project Open Hand. When experiencing writer’s block, he paints, and his artwork is displayed in bars from the Mission District to Australia’s Gold Coast. He also illustrated the book You Don’t Know Jack. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.


Book Talk w/ Andrew Heid

Mar 18, 2024 | 7pm

Join author and architect Andrew Heid in conversation around his book Glass Houses, featuring 50 architect-designed homes, including many California houses, that utilize glass to the maximum effect.

About Glass Houses: An inspiring collection of 50 spectacular houses built almost entirely from glass

Glass Houses presents 50 stunning architect designed homes that utilize glass to maximum effect. The international selection includes early modernist houses from the 1930s, such as Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, and glamorous mid-century LA villas like Pierre Koenig’s Case Study #22, alongside outstanding contemporary examples, where new innovations have made even more daring glass structures possible. Each house is celebrated with awe-inspiring photographs that showcase the dynamic, light-filled living spaces that only glass can deliver.

Features homes in: Australia, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, USA, and Vietnam

Andrew Heid is the founding design principal of NO ARCHITECTURE. A licensed architect, Andrew Heid studied architecture at Yale University, the Architectural Association, and  Princeton University. Prior to founding NO ARCHITECTURE in 2014, Andrew gained architectural design experience at REX and OMA in New York and Rotterdam. Andrew is currently Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard GSD and visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and previously taught at New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University.

Doors at 6pm | Free