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Julián López A beautiful young woman
Michèle Roberts The Walworth beauty
Joan Silber Improvement
Fred Strydom The inside-out man
Leo Tolstoy...

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The Coppola film-making family is prolific and quite significant. Our current 2nd Floor DVD and Blu-ray selections feature films that were either produced, directed, written, or acted by a member of the family. Below are staff recommendations from the display.

Joel recommends:

Rumble Fish "A few years ago I caught a double feature at the Castro Theatre. I have no idea what the first movie was that drew me there that...

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Making a purchase request for the MI collections is a popular and extensively used benefit of membership. Suppose you recently read a book review of a title that you look forward to reading. You check the Library catalog and discover that the book is not held in the collection. Fill this gap by requesting that we acquire the item.

Each month, the Library receives eighty-plus purchase suggestions, mainly for fiction titles and non-fiction books on a wide range of subjects, as well as D...

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The Mechanics' Institute Annual Report for 2017 is available online, or in print format at the service desks. Learn more about what Mechanics' Institute accomplished on your behalf in 2017, including...

  • Highlights about the library, chess room, and events department
  • An overview of the annual financial audit
  • A big thanks to all of our donors, with info on how you can help Mechanics' thrive for another 163...
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Hi Writers!


We’re more than ½ way through with National Novel Writers Month (time flies!) and by now you know if you’re sticking with it or not. To those of you who are, congratulations! To the ones who haven't had the time, energy, or ability to write 5-7 pages a day, that’s okay! We hope you’re still writing at all!


Either way, if you take writing seriously, you may want to consider a writing group. While many writers are solitary (and certain...

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NNWM (Or Any Writing) Pep-talk




We think of the consistent writer as one who writes every day, plugging away word by word and sentence by sentence, slowly but surely completing a novel. Surely many writers are like this. But if you think of consistency as an everyday, bit-by-bit endeavor, then many writers aren’t what one would call “consistent” in their practice.


The creative pro...

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Isabel Allende In the midst of winter
Romain Gary The kites
Henning Mankell After the fire

Mystery, Suspense, Espionage & Intrigue
Ellery Adams The secret, b...

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Fall has finally come to San Francisco, and as the weather turns cooler my mind inevitably turns to one thing: food. The fall and winter months always remind me of seasonal foods, between pumpkin spiced everything, the apple and cranberry crisp I bake every year for Thanksgiving, and the numerous cookies, cakes, and candies that start popping up wherever one goes in December.

I'm also someone who loves to cook, and I think of cooking dinner every day as my time to unwind. Cooking pres...

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Overcoming Writer’s Block During NaNoWriMo

(or Any Writer’s Block, anytime!)

Header image created by Call4beach, (CC BY 2.0)



It’s you versus the blank page, and you have nearly thirty days to conquer that sheath of clean sheets! Maybe not now, but certa...

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