East Bay book stores Black Oak Books and Cody’s may be gone, but Berkeley is still book crazy. The Bay Area Book Festival settles into California's original college town this weekend for readings and discussions with 250 authors and hundreds of other events. Look for panels on the #metoo movement with authors Saru Jayaraman, Winnie M. Li, T. Christian Miller and Bernice Yeung -- also moderated by KQED's Sandya Dirks -- plus another panel on the impact of Tony Kushner's play Angels in America. And bring the kids, as the festival has invited plenty of young adult writers.
There are also collaborations with the Pacific Film Archive, with cultural critic Greil Marcus talking about The Manchurian Candidate, the creepy 1962 political thriller starring Angela Lansbury and Frank Sinatra, and based on the book by Richard Condon.
The most controversial session may be a discussion on free speech with former ACLU President Nadine Strossen. Her new book is Hate: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship, and that is definitely a controversial message these days. College campuses like University of California, Berkeley have been free speech battlegrounds, with student protesters shutting down planned talks by right wing apostles Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter.
The fourth annual Bay Area Book Festival is in Berkeley Saturday and Sunday April 28 and 29. Take BART, as parking will be nigh impossible. Details here.