Bill Petrocelli

About Bill Petrocelli

Bill’s Books

Bill is the author of Electoral Bait and Switch: How the Electoral College Hurts American Voters. He is also the author of four other books:

Through the Bookstore Window

Through the Bookstore Window was published in March 2018 by Rare Bird Books. It’s a novel that explores the effects of war, gun violence, and sexual abuse. But it is also a story about love that transcends age, gender, background, and – perhaps – the readers’ expectations. Foreword Magazine calls it “an unusual, rewarding take on the nature of memory: how it haunts and heals, how single moments set the future in motion, and how it binds survivors together in ways they seldom expect.”

The Circle of Thirteen

The Circle of Thirteen was published in 2013 by Turner Publishing. The theme of the novel is the coming empowerment of women. Novelist Lisa See called it “a true celebration of women in the face of great odds.” It begins with a mindless act of family violence and spans seven decades, finally culminating in the desperate effort by Julia Moro, the U.N. Security Director, to stop a major act of terror.  The story is woven around themes of poverty, political corruption, environmental disaster, and the backlash against the rising role of women. Abraham Verghese describes it as “A wonderful, uplifting thriller full of strong and unforgettable women”

Sexual Harassment on the Job

Sexual Harassment on the Job: What it is and How to Stop it was co-authored by Barbara Kate Repa and published by Nolo Press in 1992. It was the first book published on the subject of stopping workplace harassment and sexual violence. Bill’s note: “We edited the book while watching the Clarence Thomas hearings on TV.”

Low Profile: How to Avoid the Privacy Invaders

Low Profile: How to Avoid the Privacy Invaders was published by McGraw Hill in 1980. It was one of the first books that talked about abuses of data collection by government and businesses and about the future implications of computerized record-keeping. Bill’s note: “This book was written a few years before the invention of the internet. I think I had an inkling of what was coming when I wrote this on page 243:

“And when the next wave hits it will be worse. Technology continues to be the ally of the snooper. Future privacy-invaders will not only be more efficient in getting what they want, they will be much better able to cover their tracks. Informational systems used to have built-in limitations; the very bulk of the material maintained in the system imposed practical limitations on what an individual snooper could glean from the files.  But the computer is rapidly depriving us of that protection. At the same time we are increasing the personal information in public and private data banks, we are expanding geometrically the accessibility of that information to those who are bent upon abusing it.”


Spanning the Gate

Book Passage Bookstores in San Francisco and Marin

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When she started in the book business in 1976, Book Passage founder and president Elaine Petrocelli had the goal of creating the best possible bookstore for the people of Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area.

She and her husband/partner, Bill Petrocelli, with the help of the wonderful booksellers at Book Passage, have luckily been able to achieve much of what they set out to do.

Book Passage has been an innovator in bringing many of the the world’s finest authors to the Bay Area. These have included network anchors, front-line journalists, Nobel Prize-winners, first time novelists—and even three Presidents. They have all have been among the thousands of authors who have spoken at Book Passage.

Book Passage currently averages more than 700 author events per year, and the authors who speak at both the Marin County and San Francisco stores cover every conceivable subject, with events for people of all ages and interests. Many of these events are held as benefits for local charitable organizations.

Book Passage has also created a unique program of in-store classes designed for people who want to learn more about writing and the book business. These programs draw teachers and students from Book Passage San Francisco40 AMall over the nation, and many of the students have gone on to become published authors. In addition to the classes, Book Passage hosts three annual writing conferences: Mystery Writers Conference,Conference for Children’s Writers & Illustrators, and Conference for Travel Wrtiters & Photographers. These conferences have gained a world-wide reputation, drawing faculty and students from as far away as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Brunei.

But day-to-day bookselling is at the heart of Book Passage. The booksellers at Book Passage pride themselves on their personalized service and their knowledge of books. While they mostly talk about books with customers on a one-to-one basis at the counter or at the bookshelf, Book Passage booksellers frequently host small discussion groups and speak at community organizations about books and the book business.

Both Book Passage owners have been highly active in the bookselling business nationally. Elaine Petrocelli was named “1997 Bookseller of the Year” byPublishers Weekly magazine, while Bill Petrocelli has served two terms on the board of directors of the American Booksellers Association.