June 2019’s Intelligencer’s theme was “BOOKS: Reading and Writing” where our editor Betty Hass included some of our own Mensans who have published books of any kind, (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s, picture books, academic text books, etc.).

Here are a few that were highlighted:

Nonfiction and Other Fiction: (short stories)

by Gabriel Leif Bellman

Like Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, Nonfiction and Other Fiction examines the hold social sciences have on literary fiction. Part fictional short stories and part satire of social science, this collection of award winning stories by noted opera, playwright, musician, and movie writer Gabriel Leif Bellman is timely as a melting watch.


Gabriel Leif Bellman was on the team that started the True Life series at MTV and is the founder of the Frozen Film Festival. He is an accomplished opera, film, and story artist. His poems, films, plays, and art have appeared in concert halls, magazines and literary journals, and dive bars worldwide. He has a BA from USC’s Film School, an MA from NYU, and a JD from UC Hastings. When not working in the arts, he is a lawyer in San Francisco.

The Book of Xen

A Practical Guide for the System Administrator

By Chris Takemura, Luke Crawford

Xen, the open source virtualization tool, is a system administrator’s dream. Xen is a free, high-performance virtual machine monitor that lets you consolidate your hardware and finally put those unused cycles to use—without sacrificing reliability, performance, or scalability.

The Book of Xen explains everything you need to know in order to use Xen effectively, including installation, networking, memory management, and virtualized storage. You’ll also learn how to use Xen and standard Linux tools to take snapshot backups, perform QoS operations on network traffic, and limit over-aggressive disk users.


Luke Crawford has been a SysAdmin for two decades;   he recently sold his share of prgmr.com and is now relaxing at one of those cushy SysAdmin jobs in Silicon Valley where they serve you three meals a day and there is no pager.

One Sunny Night

by Charon Dunn

March 20, 3748, was supposed to be the day when fifteen-year-old Sonny Knight would enjoy the clashball championship game with his family and two best friends. Instead, it set off a chain of catastrophes and adventures when terrorist clones invaded the stadium, capturing all the players and spectators and transporting them off to a secret island base in submarines crafted from bioengineered jellyfish.

Except for Sonny, who managed to escape thanks to sheer bad luck. Now he just wants to get back home and let the grownups sort everything out.

But the day wasn’t a total loss. Sonny got to meet one of his favorite sports heroes, he got a new dog, and he ran into an extremely tattooed man who has a really fast ship. Which might’ve been able to get Sonny safely home in a couple of days if they hadn’t run into the tsunamis, and the pliosaurs, and the cattle stampede, and  more clones, and all those other complications.

Complications multiply in this solarpunk adventure tale set in a way-past-dystopian future where humans face violent weather, cutthroat politics and bioengineered monsters, all of which make travel very Inconvenient


Retrograde Horizon

by Charon Dunn

In volume one, Sonny made his way home. Now he’s in volume two, and those pesky clones are still trying to kill him. Meanwhile, his family is still trapped on the clones’ super-secret mist-shrouded island somewhere in the South Pacific near the huge volcanic eruption. It’s starting to look like he’s going to have to go get them – if he can survive the roller coaster bomb, and the hacked robot, and the bioengineered unicorn, and the malfunctioning factory equipment … and his very first girlfriend.

A fast-paced epic science fiction adventure set in 3748 on an earth with a very different climate (not to mention configuration, chemistry and composition) for Young Adults, Old Children and practically anybody else who happens to have a little time on their hands.


Sieging Manganela

by Charon Dunn

A long time from now, there was a war.

Very different from the normal sort of war. Turo’s side was full of brave, strong, dedicated soldiers. Their great-grandfathers modified their DNA to make sure they’d be the best warriors ever: strong, fast, smart and big.

Zeffany’s side sold them those DNA modifications. They’re not about to come outside and exchange blows with a bunch of hypermuscular giants. Not when they can kick back in air-conditioned cities sending out remote-controlled drones.

Turo doesn’t feel particularly gigantic. He’s heard rumors that the war is nearly at an end, and if they are true, he won’t have to keep hiding his anxiety, and his flashbacks. If the officers were to find out about that he’d get kicked out of the army in no time, and then he’d lose his pension, and no decent girl would ever talk to him. Turo is only seventeen but he’s seen some terrible things, and sometimes they come back to haunt him.

But maybe if the war ends, he might get a chance to spend some time with Zeffany, a girl he just met, who lives inside the city he’s sieging.  Assuming he survives the drones.

Coming soon: “A Dark and Stormy Day” (Adventures of Sonny Knight, part 3)


Charon Dunn is originally from Hawai’i and lately from San Francisco. In addition to multiple failed career paths in journalism, music, fortune telling, performance art, audio engineering and actually graduating from college, she has decades of experience assisting trial lawyers, most of which she can’t talk about at all. She has a pretty good handle on the concept of what all can go wrong. She eats tandoori chicken on Thursdays, she prefers Star Wars to Star Trek, and she lives with an unusually large cat. Keep track of her (and read free short stories) at CharonDunnTheBlog.Blogspot.com

Don’t Call It “Virtual”

By Beth Elliott

A satirical time travel novel set in San Francisco, California in 1995 and San Francisco, Alta California Republic in 2064.


Redemption Through Love! 

By Beth Elliott

An irreverent guide to experiencing the transformative beauty of Wagner’s music dramas without being a nut.


Mirrors – Portrait of a Lesbian Transsexual  

Biography, as told to Beth Elliott

Some consider this a definitive account, and a classic. 


Beth Elliott, a third-generation Bay Area native, got her start in writing for publication in high school, in both school and underground magazines.  She went on to contribute to early lesbian zines such as Sisters, Sapphire, and the Lesbian Tide, eventually writing a column and reviewing books and records for Telewoman.  She later wrote the “Sapphistication” column for the weekly Bay Area Reporter newspaper for three and a half years. Editors have anthologized some of her fiction and non-fiction pieces, and publishers released both a biography for which she had “as told to” credit, Mirrors:  Portrait of a Lesbian Transsexual, and her satirical time-travel novel Don’t Call It “Virtual.”  She eventually self-published an updated version of Mirrors and Redemption Through Love!  An irreverent guide to experiencing the transformative beauty of Wagner’s music dramas without being a nut.

Something of a minor counterculture figure who has been written about in a small number of books, Beth has chased total solar eclipses around the world, written business materials and conference presentations for a commercial lunar sample retrieval mission start-up, and been on the legal editing team for the hypertext labor and employment law reference work Desktop Employment Law.  Although she considers writing “one of the solitary vices,” she is a regular reader at the Dirty Old Women erotica series in Oakland.  She has completed an as-yet unpublished collection of experimental erotic fiction, The Smart Drug Masochists.

First Thing Kill the Lawyers

by J.E. Gentry

Attorney Clara Quillen is stunned when she reads about the murders of three San Francisco lawyers and realizes her former boss, Bernard Kahn, is one of the victims. The lawyers were killed on the same night, in the same manner, each holding a copy of an often-misunderstood Shakespearean quote from Henry VI, Part II: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” When SFPD Detective Roy Travis questions members of Kahn’s law firm, he recruits Clara to aid his investigation since she has access to confidential client information that may shed light on potential suspects. As a long-time mystery fan, Clara jumps at the opportunity and agrees to become an amateur sleuth, working with Travis. During the course of the investigation, the murderer strikes again. And as the list of suspects continues to grow and Clara unearths information regarding elaborate blackmail schemes that incriminate both friends and colleagues, she receives a threat that she, herself, may the next victim unless she abandons her pursuit of the cold-blooded killer…


Second in Her Class

by J.E. Gentry

San Francisco attorney Clara Quillen is contacted by SFPD Detective Roy Travis again, this time because Vivian Hall, a beautiful young professor who went to the same law school as Clara, has been murdered. The body was found in the same place where Kim Novak jumped into San Francisco Bay in the movie Vertigo, and Clara considers some of the film’s other locations for possible links to the murderer. She also takes a part-time teaching job at the law school where Vivian was a professor. As Clara digs for the truth, various suspects gradually emerge: students, professors, and others related to the work Vivian did on be behalf of abused and neglected children. Meanwhile, in the course of the investigation, Clara finds herself becoming romantically involved with an attractive judge-who she suspects may not have been completely honest about his relationship with Vivian…


Third Man Theme is scheduled to be released in February. All three are available through Amazon and other sources, as well as the publisher, Black Opal Books.


J.E. Gentry is Jacquelyn Gentry, a Mensa Life Member and former AMC officer. Not surprisingly, she has many similarities to her fictional sleuth Clara Quillen, although in the novels Clara is younger, nicer, and much wealthier.

Make: Getting Started with 3D Printing

By Liza Wallace Kloski and Nick Kloski

Like having a factory on your desk, a 3D printer allows you can make nearly anything you can think of. You don’t need permission from a board of directors or even orders from customers to produce new products. You just need your imagination! Offering a clear roadmap of best practices to help you successfully bring 3D printing into your home, classroom, or workplace — this fun, practical guide is intended for those who have no prior experience in 3D printing.


Liza Wallach Kloski
Liza is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and founded LizaSonia Designs in 2003, a unique upscale jewelry brand and retail store in the Montclair District of Oakland, which wholesaled designs to 17 Nordstrom stores, in addition to 80 other retail stores. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Liza has won numerous design and business awards and was the main educational expert in Entrepreneur magazine’s paperback book “Start Your Own Fashion Accessories Business (StartUp Series).” LizaSonia Designs was a successful jewelry company for more than a decade before Liza’s passion turned to 3D printing jewelry.

Nick Kloski
Nick has earned the respect of his colleagues through hard work, dedication and vision throughout his 15+ years in the high-tech industry. Graduating from UC Santa Barbara with an English Major, he was hired into Sun Microsystems during the dotcom boom, and has held a number of technical writing roles at Sun, and more recently, at Oracle translating complex technical architectures into understandable ideas. Nick’s skills go deep into both the technical understanding and the mechanics of 3D printing, and how this industry has the capability to inspire the world.

The Profound Limitations of Knowledge

by Fred Leavitt

Socrates is famous for having explained why he was such a wise man. “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” The belief that we know nothing is called radical skepticism. My goal for the book The Profound Limitations of Knowledge is to show that radical skepticism is correct—and to make each reader as wise as Socrates.

Additional Books:

Leavitt, F. (2015) Dancing with Absurdity: Your Most Cherished Beliefs (and all your others) are Probably Wrong.
Leavitt, J. & Leavitt, F. (2011) Improving Medical Outcomes: The Psychology of    Doctor/Patient Visits. (Rowman & Littlefield)
Leavitt, F. (2009) Key Concepts in Medical and Behavioral Research. (Jain Publishing Company)
Leavitt, F. (2008) The Deep Uncertainty of Existence. (SynergEbooks)
Leavitt, F. (2003) The REAL Drug Abusers. (Rowman & Littlefield)
Leavitt, F. (2003) Evaluating Scientific Research: Separating Fact from Fiction. (Waveland Press)
Leavitt, F (2003) “naturalSCIENCE,” Volume 1, Article 15. naturalScience
Leavitt, F. (2000) “Does ‘survival of the fittest’ in evolutionary thinking entail a tautology?” Philosophy Now. Fall, 9. 37.
Leavitt, F. (2000) Evaluating Scientific Research: Separating Fact from Fiction. (Prentice-Hall)
Leavitt, F. (1997) “Resolving Hempel’s raven paradox.” Philosophy Now, Winter, p. 31.
Leavitt, F. (1995) Drugs and Behavior, third edition. (Sage Publications)


Fred Leavitt received his Ph. D. degree in psychopharmacology from the University of Michigan and did postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. He served on the faculty at California State University, East Bay, California for 43 years and also has taught for one or more semesters at Williams College; Northern Arizona University; the University of British Columbia; the University of Hawaii; the United States International University (in both Kenya and the United Kingdom); the University of Utrecht (Netherlands); Bogazici University (in Turkey); Massey University (in New Zealand); and National University of Singapore (Singapore).

Leavitt gives occasional talks to medical doctors for their continuing medical education requirements.

In 1964 he married Diane Bright. The Leavitts live in Oakland, California, and have two married daughters and two grandchildren.

The Best of Marty Nemko, 3rd Edition
by Marty Nemko

86 of his 3,400 articles on career, life, and improving society.

Careers for Dummies
by Marty Nemko

How To Do LIFE
by Marty Nemko

What They Didn’t Teach You In School

Cool Careers for Dummies
by Marty Nemko

What’s the Big Idea?
by Marty Nemko

Reinventions For A Better America.

Modern Fables
by Marty Nemko

Short Stories Offering Life Lessons

Venus & Iris
by Marty Nemko

A children’s story but not really.

Poems Practical
by Marty Nemko

Clear, oft contrarian musings on love, work, life, Velveeta, etc.

The All-in-One College Guide
by Marty Nemko

A More-Results, Less- Stress Plan For Choosing, Getting Into, Finding The Money For, and Making The Most Out Of College.

How To Get An Ivy League Education At A Stale University
by Marty Nemko

How To Gel Your Child A Private Education In A Public School
by Marty Nemko


Marty Nemko is an award- winning career and personal coach, the author of 11 books, and host of Work with Marty Nemko on KALW (NPR-San Francisco). His doggie has a Mensa-appropriate name: Einstein.

Ross, California – The People, The Places, The History

by Susan Nielson

Designed for the town’s centennial celebration, it is a lovely hardback book filled with history, maps, photographs, and over 200 pages of history and people who will not be forgotten.


A Mensa member since the early 1980’s, Susan Nielsen is a fourth generation San Franciscan now living in Marin County. She has worked in many fields including real estate, the beauty industry, animal medicine and as a professional actor, singer and model. Susan is a member of Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of TV and Radio Artist. She met her husband, Ken Frankel, through the “Mensa Matchbook” (a pre-computer dating service) in 1989.

A View From the Piano Bench: A Case for Intellectual Music  

by Kelly Park

Reflections, criticisms, and general rumination about contemporary music, lyrics, and jazz by Kelly Park, musician, artist, producer.


Kelly Park is a former faculty member of the Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA where he won the 1981 Mercer Ellington Jazz Masters Award en route to attaining his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. He is best known in the Bay Area as the Musical Director of the Rrazz Room (now Feinstein’s) in San Francisco, as the owner of Kelly’s of Alameda, a jazz club from 2003-2007, as well as having been a fixture in the Bay Area music scene since 1985. He is now (semi) retired and playing lots of golf.

A Fight for Religious Freedom: A Lawyer’s Personal Account of Copyrights, Karma and Dharmic Litigation

by Jon Parsons

The compelling story of a groundbreaking, 12-year legal battle launched against the smaller Ananda Church by the established and wealthy Self-Realization Fellowship—both followers of spiritual master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi. SRF’s intent was, as the judge observed, “to put Ananda out of business.” Includes rare vignettes that offer a timeline glimpse into the challenges of Yogananda’s own mission to the West


Liz and I have lived in Palo Alto since 1975 where the kids grew up and I still practice law. When not working I enjoy reading history and biographies of people who have done things worth doing. After decades of dealing with people I remain fascinated by what they think and do. I collect vintage-to-modern lithographic advertising prints, like to bike about the beautiful Peninsula, and really do try to meditate every day.  As a business lawyer for the last thirty-nine years I have made a living by stringing words together, with a purpose, towards a proper end, with an audience in mind. I have enjoyed working with a variety of religious, spiritual, and non-profit organizations, teachers of yoga and meditation, and religious practitioners, while functioning as the U.S. general counsel for subsidiaries of China and Taiwan businesses. Despite practicing law for 39 years I retain a sense of humor, humanity, and humility.

Investment Trivia: The Fun Side of Money, Stocks, Bonds, and Wall Street

by Fred Fuld III

The book covers such topics as 
– The Venture Capital Fund that the CIA created
– The stock run by the FBI that had a box of clothes as its only asset
– Bitcoin trivia
– The first women-owned stock brokerage firm in 1870
– Celebrity Stockbrokers including Jules Verne
– The Skirt Length Index
– The first marijuana stock
– The domain name that was purchased for $872 million
And much more.

Real Estate Trivia: The Fun Side of Homes, Houses, Land, and Property

by Fred Fuld III

Covers such topics as:
– The tax sale of one inch square of land
– The 27 story mansion that cost around $2 billion to build
– The smallest town that was ever sold had a population of one
– The 20 bedroom 27 bathroom mansion that is for sale at $500,000,000
– Houses that are 3D printed
– The tiniest house is only 25 square feet
– Two hotels that are made out of ice
and much more.


Fred Fuld III has been a life member of Mensa for many years, born and raised in Southern California and lived most of his adult life in the East Bay. I’ve worked as a professor, technology manager, speaker, producer, and many other things over the years. I have written over half a dozen books. 

Skip to content