A coalition of great bookstores, libraries, and literary publications
Alta’s partners in the California Book Club represent a unique collaboration of great bookstores, libraries, and literary publications across the state. We are honored to be building this community with:
One of the nation’s leading independent bookstores, Book Passage has locations in Corte Madera and in the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco. Over the past four decades, the stores have featured more than 10,000 author events, with guests ranging from prizewinning novelists to world leaders; currently they are continuing the tradition with the online program Conversations with Authors. Book Passage also works closely with schools and community groups and has helped foster many writing careers through its programs of classes, workshops, book groups, writers’ groups, consultations, and conferences.
Located on the world-famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Book Soup was founded by Glenn Goldman and has been serving readers, writers, artists, rock ’n’ rollers, and celebrities since 1975. Known for its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, high-profile author readings, limited-edition books, vinyl record reissues, and celebrity clientele, Book Soup is an essential stop on any tour of Los Angeles.
An independently owned and operated bookseller with 10 locations throughout the Bay Area, Books Inc. can trace its history to the California gold rush days of 1851—making it the West’s oldest independent bookseller.
Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Described as the “Rebel Alliance to Amazon’s Empire,” it was created to help resource-strapped small bookstores with a simple, easy, and free method of competing with Amazon for online sales. Bookshop provides an alternative to Amazon’s affiliate program (which pays a fee for every sale a website or individual refers to it) that more directly supports independent bookstores. Bookshop is a B Corporation, dedicated to the public good of supporting bookshops as sustainable and vital members of the communities they serve.
Bookshop West Portal is a locally owned, independent bookstore situated in the heart of the West Portal neighborhood in San Francisco. It has been a meeting place for more than 16 years and is staffed by a group of booksellers with an enthusiasm for books and serving the community.
Known for its fascinating selection of titles, stunning author events, enthusiastically diverse staff, and urban California aesthetic, DIESEL is the cutting-edge, high octane, community-radiating, independent neighborhood bookstore we all dream of hanging out in, getting imaginally turned on in, and literarily inspired by.
Richard Savoy founded Green Apple Books in 1967. He was 25 years old, had done a tour in the Army and worked as a radio technician for United Airlines, but he had little business experience. With a deep love of the written word, some savings, and a credit union loan, he got a lease in a pre-1906 Richmond district building near the corner of Clement Street and Sixth Avenue, next door to a shoe repair business. His stock of used books, comics, and National Geographic magazines attracted a following in the neighborhood, one that has continued to grow for more than 54 years.
Founded in 2004, the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West is a center for scholarly investigation of the history and culture of California and the American West. Through sponsorship of innovative scholarship, teaching, and public outreach, ICW draws on the resources of the University of Southern California and the Huntington Library to build a distinctive collaboration between a research university and a research library. Current and ongoing projects include a multiyear, multidisciplinary investigation focused on the past, present, and future of wildfire in the West; a research and oral history initiative examining the aerospace history of Southern California; a research and immersive-augmented-reality experience exploring the now-demolished first Chinatown of Los Angeles; and a yearlong program that teaches high school students about the infrastructural intricacies and history of greater Los Angeles.
A recipient of the nation’s highest honor for library service—the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services—the Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest and most diverse urban population of any library in the nation. Its Central Library, 72 branch libraries, collection of more than six million books, state-of-the-art technology accessible at lapl.org, and more than 25,000 programs a year provide everyone with free and easy access to information and the opportunity for lifelong learning.
Founded in 2003, Narrative is dedicated to advancing the literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership across generations, in schools, and around the globe. As a premier digital publisher of first-rank fiction, poetry, essays, and art, Narrative, a nonprofit, publishes hundreds of well-known and emerging writers every year. The annual Narrative Prize helped launch the careers of authors Min Jin Lee, Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Anthony Marra, and Javier Zamora, among others. The Narrative in the Schools program supports teachers and students around the world who are too often hampered by limited resources and provides lesson plans, video tutorials, and the annual Tell Me a Story high school writing contest to inspire a new generation of readers and writers. Narrative was founded on the conviction that there should be no socioeconomic barrier to accessing great literature; its ever-expanding, modern library of thousands of stories, poems, and essays is free to all.
The San Francisco Public Library system is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning, and the joys of reading for its diverse community.
Founded in 1894 by Adam Clark Vroman, a photographer who loved giving books to his community, Vroman’s Bookstore is located in Pasadena. Through the years, it has remained an independently owned family business, now consisting of two Vroman’s locations, two Vroman’s boutiques (located at Los Angeles International Airport), and a robust e-commerce site.
Since its founding in 1985 in San Francisco, ZYZZYVA has had the goal of publishing a superb literary journal that shines a spotlight on West Coast poets, writers, and artists from a wide range of backgrounds, providing a much-needed platform to many who would otherwise be overlooked. The journal has evolved into a nationally distributed, widely acclaimed publication showcasing contributors from across the country and around the world. Reflecting the values that have made San Francisco a cultural beacon, ZYZZYVA is defined by its risk-taking and egalitarianism and by its focus on inclusivity and excellence.