Dear Reader,
   Here we are in June and summer is upon us. Are you looking for activity books for the kids? A great novel for vacation? Inspirational staff gifts? Let us know what we can do to dazzle you!
   We have a new display taking shape for summer reading selections. We've pulled together some books with a theme to tempt you, both for grown ups and kids, and to sweeten the deal, there's a tag on each set. Give us your email to be entered into a drawing in August for books and other prizes! Come by and see what you think, take a chance, stretch your reading a bit, and have some fun this summer with new books.
   We're also creating a display of books about women through history for the whole family. Given the politics of the day, this is a great opportunity to talk to kids and each other about strong women who have perhaps been overlooked. Talk about why that may be, get inspired by people who have contributed in sometimes surprising ways to our culture, politics, and way of life.

   This week is relatively quiet for events, but starting Saturday we have a whole week of fun in store for you. See the listing at the bottom, but we have  seriously something for everyone. A book making workshop, Lesbian Haiku with Cats, esteemed cookbook writer,  foraging in the Bay Area, China in the 80s, and even an evening with folks who do translation!
I'm here to tell you, you don't get this much variety just anywhere.
   Please consider coming to some of our fabulous events!

Happy reading, Luan

PS, what am I reading? I finally got to The Language of Flowers by  Vanessa Diffenbaugh and it's terrific. What's knocking your socks off?                                                                       
New and Notable

Flavors of Oakland A Cookbook in 20 Stories by Anya Ku & Elazar Sontag $25 From the two Oakland teens who put this amazing book together:
"We traversed Oakland, interviewing regular people from all different cultures, learning about their lives, cooking with them, photographing them, and recording their favorite recipes.
We have conveyed in book form what it can be like to sit down to dinner with 20 different Oakland home cooks from twenty different cultures-it's a portrait of what we think is beautiful about Oakland.
These stories are shared through written biographies, recipes, and photographs, to truly capture the essence of each "flavor" of Oakland. The project aims to use food as a means to bring people together over a meal, and break down barriers between the many cultures represented in Oakland. Flavors of Oakland uses food as a means to bring people together over a meal and break down the barriers that promote separation and miscommunication in our city. Through the process of interviewing and cooking with Oakland residents we have heard many stories of upheaval and strife. The one thing that consistently connects people to their culture is food! We have set out to celebrate the cultural pride that exists in this one-of-a-kind city."

Sex Object, A Memoir by Jessica Valenti $25.99  In Sex Object, Valenti focuses on funny, painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments from her own life that illuminate what it's like to be a woman today. Structured in three acts to follow the arc of what a woman's life is supposed to be focused on-Bodies, Boys, Babies-Sex Object explores drugs, sex, harassment, assault, bad boyfriends, too-nice boyfriends, abortions, birth, class anxiety, impostor syndrome, work, death threats, resistance, and family. Feminism is once again "having a moment" and Sex Object shockingly illuminates the contemporary female experience-and the woman who is helping to shape it.

Black Man, White House, An Oral History of the Obama Years by D.L. Hughley
$27.99 There is no more astute-and hilarious-critic of politics, entertainment, and race in America than D. L. Hughley, famed comedian, radio star, and original member of the "Kings of Comedy." In the vein of Jon Stewart'sAmerica: The Book, Black Man, White House is an acerbic and witty take on Obama's two terms, looking at the president's accomplishments and foibles through the imagined eyes of those who saw history unfold.

Diane Arbus, Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow $35
The definitive biography of the beguiling Diane Arbus, one of the most influential and important photographers of the twentieth century, a brilliant and absorbing exposition that links the extraordinary arc of her life to her iconic photographs. Diane Arbus brings to life the full story of one of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century, a visionary who revolutionized photography and altered the course of contemporary art with her striking, now iconic images. Arbus comes startlingly to life on these pages, a strong-minded child of unnerving originality who grew into a formidable artist and forged an intimacy with her subjects that has inspired generations of artists. Arresting, unsettling, and poignant, her photographs stick in our minds. Why did these people fascinate her? And what was it about her that captivated them?

Well Played, The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family's Playful Spirit by Meredith Sinclair, M.Ed. $19.99  Yes, a book on how to have fun with the family-- why not? Everyone can use some new tricks! In our age of digital addiction, many of us have lost our ability to be spontaneous. More parents are complaining that they no longer even remember how to play...with their children, their spouse, and even with their own friends. Don't fret! In Well Played, expert Meredith Sinclair helps families relearn what used to come naturally and shows how to find happiness through play.

The National Parks Coloring Book by Sophie Tivona $14.99
A new coloring book that will help you to appreciate the national parks! Color them as you please! Do trees really have to be green? We have a number of coloring books and colored pencils, markers and the like. Need some distractions? Or rather meditative activities?

Younger Readers

The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo written by Marsha Wilson Chall and illustrated by Alison Friend $17.99  Have you wondered what your dog does all day when you go out? Why sometimes he just doesn't want to play- he just wants to sleep? Well, perhaps he has a secret life! This is a lovely read aloud for the 4 and up set.

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson $7.99  This is a wonderful interactive board book that so illustrates the magic of books! Tap the tree, turn the page and there are leaves! It will take you through the seasons, counting, and active attention. 2 and up.

Nancy Clancy Seeks a Fortune by Jane O'Connor with illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser $9.99  This is the 7th Nancy Clancy book for early readers. Here we are at the end of the school year and it's a great time to keep your new reader practicing. 6 and up
Nancy Clancy learns all about starting a business and making a fortune in the seventh chapter book in the Nancy Clancy chapter book series by New York Times bestselling team Jane O Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser! How great would it be to be wealthy that s elegant for rich. Nancy Clancy sure thinks so, and with the help of her best friend, Bree, she sets out to make a fortune one way or another.But when things don t go as planned, Nancy learns something even more valuable some of the best things in life are free."

For the ten and up set, (especially boys) I highly recommend Kwame Alexander's two books written in verse- yes in verse, don't be put off by it. Seriously.

Crossover, won both the Newbery Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor, tells of 12 year old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan who deal with the highs and lows of school and basketball while their father ignores his failing health.

Booked, features 12 year old Nick who
soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams.

I had the great good fortune of having heard the author speak at a recent children's librarian conference and he is amazing. So are his books. We have a limited number of signed copies available. 

Book Club  
 To join, read the book and show up. We would love to have you with us.

Next meeting is Thursday, June 16, 6:15. Katherine Dunn's novel, Geek Love.
Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out-with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes-to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There's Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family's most precious-and dangerous-asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry,Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

Katherine Dunn passed away on May 11 of this year. Geek Love has enjoyed great popularity since it was published in 1989. 


Join us to meet authors in person.
June 11, 1-3pm drop in
Artist Lynn Prather
Workshop: Making Hand Made Books

June 11 6pm
Anna Pulley, Kelsey Beyer and special guests
The Lesbian Haiku Book (with Cats!)

June 13
Culinary Conversations
Janet Fletcher
in conversation with
Linda Carucci

June 14
Margit Roos-Collins
The Flavors of Home

June 17
Gail Pellett
Forbidden Fruits 1980 Beijing, a Memoir

June 18
Linguistic Showcase
5 Translators talk about their work
featuring Achy Obejas

June 25
Curtis Chen and Claire Humphrey
An evening of sci fi / fantasy

June 26
Closing reception for June's artist
Lynn Prather

June 30
Love Unites Us; Winning Freedom to Marry in America
Meet Kate Kendell, Jenny Pizer and let's talk marriage.

Check the website for more events! 
June's Featured Artist
will be
Closing reception on Sunday, June 26 from 2-4pm

Hand Made Books Workshop June 11 from 1-3 pm so drop in! 


My first creative area was ceramics, followed by calligraphy and bookmaking and painting. These last three endeavors have kept circling around in various
combinations since 1977. Last year I studied Printmaking at Laney College which presented me with yet another way to combine words and images.
When I began studying calligraphy, I often warmed up by making gestural marks across a page. This pleasure in movement continues in much of what I do today.
The movement of the pen or brush across the paper of the paper when it is
folded of the pages of a book when they are turned of a mobile in the air.

Quick Links to Places We Like 
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