Dear Reader,

   The weather seems to be turning for a brighter shade of sun these days. It won't be long before the trees are budding out and we'll all be doing the oxalis dance. Pull toss, cha cha cha, pull toss, cha cha cha. With all the winter rains we should have a wonderful garden season!
What are you planning to plant this year?

   Now that the Washington Post has decided not to continue the Peeps Diorama contest, we will have one of our own. Watch for a separate email about it but the general outline is that there must be Peeps, something recognizably Oakland, and something book/literature related. Entries will be due April 12 here at the store and will be judged by a panel of Oakland luminaries. Start designing now!
    See below for some great new books.

    If you're around on Saturday at 2 we'll be at the talk by Sonja Williams in support of her book Word Warrior, Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom which is being held at the African American branch of the library here on 14th. Sonja is a wonderful speaker and the branch is breathtakingly beautiful so I'm looking forward to being there with books. Please join me.
   Happy reading and take care of each other,


New and Notable

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen $25  With the coruscating gaze that informed The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration.

Dynastic, Bombastic Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley's Swinging' A's by Jason Turbow $26   From a coauthor of the best-selling The Baseball Codes, Jason Turbow's Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic is a rollicking narrative of the Oakland A's during the early 1970s, a revolutionary band of brawling winners who would bring home three straight world championships and knock baseball into the modern age.

When We Rise, My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones $27  If you've been watching this miniseries on television, you likely know what important history it portrays. This book is the partial inspiration for the show from Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Longtime LGBTQ and AIDS activist Cleve Jones' memoir is a sweeping, profoundly moving account of his life from sexually liberated 1970s San Francisco, through the AIDS crisis and up to his present-day involvement with the marriage equality battle.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid $26 In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.

You Are Here, An Owner's Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson $15.99  
When Jenny Lawson is anxious, one of the things she does is to draw. Elaborate doodles, beautiful illustrations, often with captions that she posts online. At her signings, fans show up with printouts of these drawings for Jenny to autograph. And inevitably they ask her when will she publish a whole book of them. That moment has arrived.
You Are Here is something only Jenny could create. A combination of inspiration, therapy, coloring, humor, and advice, this book is filled with Jenny's amazingly intricate illustrations, all on perforated pages that can be easily torn out, hung up, and shared. Drawing on the tenets of art therapy-which you can do while hiding in the pillow fort under your bed-You Are Here is ready to be made entirely your own.  ~This is a seriously cool book for coloring and contemplating. And being inspired.

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons $16  I had the honor of meeting Dan last week and if you're in tech, or know someone in tech, this is the book to have and read and give. 
For twenty-five years Dan Lyons was a magazine writer--until one Friday morning when he received a phone call: Poof. His job no longer existed. Fifty years old and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was, in a word, screwed. Then an idea hit. He had long reported on the tech bonanza. Why not join it? HubSpot, flush with $100 million in venture capital, offered Dan a pile of stock options. What could go wrong?
With a cast of characters that includes fad-chasing venture capitalists, "content farm" bloggers and sales bros, social climbers and sociopaths, Disrupted is "an eye-opening and gut-busting account of the maddening world of startup excess, hubris and groupthink" (Mashable) and "you couldn't have written a tastier ending, even for HBO" (Dwight Garner, New York Times).

Who Are You? The Kids Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee  $18.95 This book introduces children to gender as a spectrum and shows how people can bend and break the gender binary and stereotypes. It includes an interactive wheel, clearly showing the difference between our body, expression and identity, and is an effective tool to help children 3+ understand and celebrate diversity.

Meet the author on March 18 at 3pm at the store.   


Here are our Laurel Book Store exclusive postcards for sending to
elected officials who might need to hear your concerns.
Flag                                   Constitution

The creations of illustrator Eve Aldridge are on our website and they fit the bill for anyone who
wants a bit more pointed message. .60 each. Limited quantity on hand for now.
Yes, you can order them individually or as a mixed pack. Click here.

Book Club pick for March 16        
To join, read the book and show up. We would love to have you with us.

Thursday, March 16, 6:15

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into the heart of the bayou of Lake Charles, Louisiana, a stronghold of the conservative Right.

Determined to form friendships with people who oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild unexpectedly finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets-among them a Tea Party supporter whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole created by a disaster at a gas drilling facility, and a pastor's wife who calls Rush Limbaugh my brave heart"-people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land dismisses the commonplace liberal idea that these voters are being duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by the disappearance of jobs, stagnating wages, an elusive American dream-and political choices no less rational than those of Blue State progressives.

Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in red" America. Along the way she finds answers to some of the crucial drivers of American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?


Here is what we have scheduled so far.  
Please join us for any or all of our literary events.  
Click on links for more info. 
Barbara Schoichet 
Don't Think Twice, Adventure and Healing at 100 Miles Per Hour

March 11 2pm 
African American Library (you MUST see this place) 
Sonja Williams, author of Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom

March 18
Brook Pessin-Whedbee
author of Who Are You? The Kids Guide to Gender Identity

March 24:  Glori Simmons  author of Suffering Fools
March 25 2pm Kamaria Lofton   My City is Oakland

April 6 Earth Expo on the Plaza

April 7 Janet Dawson and the
launch of her new mystery Water Signs, set in Oakland  (don't miss this!)

April 8 Rita Liberti and Maureen Smith
San Francisco Bay Area Sports: Golden Gate Athletics,  Recreation, and Community

April 11
Meredith May, author of  
April 15 Dick Cluster with Kill the Ampaya & Sandra Tavarez

April 21 6:30
Lei Ming  Life Beyond My Body: A Transgender Journey to Manhood in China
with Willy Wilkinson

April 29

Not yet finalized but in the works:
  • Mindfulness for a New Reality
  • How to Build Stronger Communities
  • How to Read the News So Your Head Doesn't Explode
  • How to Be a Better Ally to Those Potentially in Danger

Quick Links to Places We Like 
Paws & Claws                               All Hands Art
NCLR                                             Cafe Santana
Emily Doskow, Esq                  ReadKiddoRead
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