Are you interested in literary events? If so, please sign up below to receive invitations to Moe’s Books special happenings. 

Although reading is a solitary activity it can often lead to essential public discussion. For this reason, Moe’s began curating literary events in the late nineties. Since then the “basement series” has become an important part of Bay Area literary culture. Poets and novelists, activists and scholars have been invited to talk about their work. Please join us for a lively and thoughtful conversation in our enormous scholarly bookstore.

If you'd like to listen to past events you can go to the left navigation column and click on the + sign next to Events.

If you are an author who'd like to be considered for a reading, please email

All events, unless noted, start at 7:00pm

January 12: Nelson George and Rickey Vincent in conversation

January 16: Obi Kaufmann, author of The California Field Atlas

January 21: Naming Mt. Thoreau, a reading from the anthology

February 6: William Ayers, Crystal Laura, and Rick Ayers



January 12th: Nelson George and Rickey Vincent in conversation


Meet Nelson George, bestselling author, screenwriter, ( HBO's The Get Down) sharing his new novel, To Funk and Die, in LA in conversation with legendary Berkeley funk historian, Rickey Vincent. They will explore the roots of funk, and Noir and how wonderfully music plays into the root of its fresh and exciting storylines.

January 16th: Obi Kaufmann, author of The California Field Atlas


This lavishly illustrated atlas takes readers off the beaten path and outside normal conceptions of California, revealing its myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories in exquisite maps and trail paintings. Based on decades of exploring the backcountry of the Golden State, artist-adventurer Obi Kaufmann blends science and art to illuminate the multifaceted array of living, connected systems like no book has done before. Kaufmann depicts layer after layer of the natural world, delighting in the grand scale and details alike. The effect is staggeringly beautiful: presented alongside California divvied into its fifty-eight counties, for example, we consider California made up of dancing tectonic plates, of watersheds, of wildflower gardens. Maps are enhanced by spirited illustrations of wildlife, keys that explain natural phenomena, and a clear-sighted but reverential text. Full of character and color, a bit larger than life, The California Field Atlas is the ultimate road trip companion and love letter to a place.

About the Author

Growing up in the East Bay as the son of an astrophysicist and a psychologist, Obi Kaufmann spent most of high school practicing calculus and breaking away on weekends to scramble around Mount Diablo and map its creeks, oak forests, and sage mazes. Into adulthood, he would regularly journey into the mountains, spending more summer nights without a roof than with one. For Kaufmann, the epic narrative of the California backcountry holds enough art, science, mythology, and language for a hundred field atlases to come. When he is not backpacking, you can find the painter-poet at his desk in Oakland, posting @coyotethunder #trailpaintings on social media. His website is

Sunday, January 21, Naming Mt. Thoreau: A Reading from the Anthology


Please note: Contributors will autograph copies of the anthology bought at Moe's. No other titles will be available for signing.

Readers include:

Gary Snyder is a poet, an environmental advocate and activist, and recipient of many literary prizes, including the Pulitzer (for Turtle Island) and the American Book Award (for Axe handles).

Laurie Glover is the editor of Naming Mt. Thoreau and co-author of On the Road Histories: California. Her essays and poetry have appeared in journals such as ZYZZYVA and California Quarterly.

Armando Quintero, retired from the National Park Service, is currently the Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced.

David Robertson is the author of several books on Yosemite and the West. He has held photography residencies at Joshua Tree and Yosemite National Parks in California and at Wendover, Nevada, and exhibited his photographs across both states.

Kim Stanley Robinson is a Hugo and Nebula Award winning science fiction writer and avid Sierra backpacker. His books include the acclaimed Mars trilogy and more recently, Aurora and New York 2140.

Carter Scholz is an astronomer, science fiction writer, and jazz pianist.

February 6th: William Ayers, Crystal Laura, and Rick Ayers, authors of You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!


The authors will talk about You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones! And 18 Other Myths About Teachers, Teacher Unions, and Public Education. The book overturns common misconceptions about charter schools, school “choice,” standardized tests, common core curriculum, and teachers’ unions.

William (Bill) Ayers, was a distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), member of the executive committee of the Faculty Senate and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. Ayers has written extensively about education. He is the author of To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher and Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom.

Crystal Laura is an assistant professor of education at Chicago State University (CSU) and codirector of CSU's Center of Urban Research and Education, where she provides training to Chicago Public Schools teachers. She is the author of Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Rick Ayers is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of San Francisco in the Urban Education and Social Justice cohort, and USF coordinator of the San Francisco Teacher Residency. He is the author of An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning After the Death of a Student; Great Books for High School Kids; and Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom.