Dear Reader,
   Happy New Year! I hope you all had safe and happy holidays or just some relaxing time off. I spent time with family and friends and am ready to charge into the new year!
   There are some wonderful books out and coming out about ways to engage in our government, the history of activist movements, and biographies of the people in government past and present.
   There are also books about shows on the stage and screen now and into the new year. Hamilton, the constitution, the Federalist papers, the original cast recording of the play, books on the founding fathers and the origins of the constitution. Fences by August Wilson, Peter Pan in support of Finding Neverland, Into the Woods, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
   Then there are new books that you may have missed this season and many more coming out. Whew! Whether you need to escape or engage, we can help. We are, after all, your neighborhood book store in downtown Oakland and on the web.

   We are planning some informational and conversational events this year- not just published authors, but people who can lead discussions about how to take care of ourselves and our communities in times of anxiety and political turmoil. Watch for the lineup in the Perspectives Series in events.
   Today (Saturday) is the day to come in to get books for the storm brewing. It should be mild and then really hit us tonight and tomorrow. Check your flashlights, candles, and fireplace wood. Then come and get a book that will work well with rain driving against the windows and wind howling at the doors. Poe maybe?

   Happy reading and take care of each other,



New and Notable 
Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey by Elena Ferrante $24    The reclusive best-selling Italian author presents a collection of occasional writings, interviews, and letters, addressing such subjects as her choice to remain anonymous, her literary inspirations, Italian politics and culture, and the role of the writer in modern society.
For fans of The Neapolitan Quartet books.

The Spy by Paulo Coelho $22   When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city. As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era's richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari's lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari's voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay $25   A collection of stories by the award-winning author of Bad Feminist explores the hardscrabble lives, passionate loves and quirky human connections experienced by diverse protagonists. From a girls' fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.

Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School $26.95 The Frankfurt Institute of Social Research, founded in 1923, were a group of thinkers whose lives and philosophies profoundly, sometimes tragically, reflected and shaped the shattering events of the twentieth century. Stuart Jeffries presents a gripping narrative that brings Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, J├╝rgen Habermas and others to life, showing how their ideas developed out of their times, from the terrors of Nazi Germany to the blissed-out California of the 1960s. This is both a fascinating portrait of intellectual Europe and a call to revisit a body of thought that still has much to tell us in an age of social media and consumerism.
This is where to start your new year political reading.  
Younger Reader

     We are past the holiday season and into the second part of the school year. Your beginning reader is likely more skilled and confident now so be sure to have plenty of reading material on hand that will stretch them a bit.
     I remember talking with an author who, as a child, lived with her archeologist grandmother. The books in the house where very scientific and scholarly and it didn't stop her from reading everything in sight. Her grandmother never told that the material was too hard or not appropriate, so she grew up knowing how to read anything. Perhaps she needed to ask a question or look up a word, but her skills were honed at an early age and stayed with her always. 
     What a great way to develop a love of reading!
     We have a whole range of books for younger readers, from those to be read to (well, that is everyone really) to young adults.

     We are currently scoping out the new releases coming and restocking all the favorites that we love and are out of. Be sure to let us know what you like and most importantly- bring the kids in! We love to hear from kids about what they're reading.   

Book Club pick for January 19     
To join, read the book and show up. We would love to have you with us.

Thursday, January 19, 6:15

The Underground Railroad  by Colson Whitehead Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood-where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned-Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
     In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor-engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. 

The beginning of 2017 is shaping up nicely. Here is what we have scheduled already. Please join us for any or all of our literary events. Click on links for more info.

January 12, 6-8pm
A Post-Election LGBTQ Forum to discuss the potential impacts of a Trump administration on LGBTQ families. Featuring three awesome attorneys
Emily Doskow, Linda Scaparotti, and Angela Bean.
All families are invited, childcare will be provided on site with registration.
Register by visiting or call 415-981-1960

January 14, An LGBTQ Reading  5pm 
Russian Tales: Three Novels About Russia Old and New 
with Art Levy,  Gabrielle Gancy, and Wayne Goodman

January 28  Time TBD
Tree dedication for the Jack London Oak on the Plaza

Friday, February 3, 6-8pm
Art reception for Tomye Neal-Madison,
our February Artist 

Saturday, February 4, 5pm
Patricia Minger
and her novel of the opera, Magic Flute

February 18  5pm
Diverse New Voices: Poetry and Prose
SF Columnist Vanessa Hua, R.O. Kwon, Ashley M Jones, and Dara Barnat
have a great evening of new poetry and prose planned!

February 19 4pm
Karin Kallmaker, KC MacGregor, Jaime Vlevenger,
Heather Rose Jones, Pol Robinson, Laina Villenueve,
"Why We Do What We Do- Lesbian Authors Talk about Storytelling"

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