Dear Reader,     
     After a great deal of consideration, I've decided not to renew the lease at the store once it expires at the end of August. Oakland is one of the most diverse and dynamic cities anywhere. The growth is evident with all the cranes on the skyline. But retail in the downtown area is a challenge currently and having a store on the plaza in front of city hall has its own set of issues.
     A year ago, I put the word out that we weren't meeting expected sales levels and people responded in amazing ways! July and August of 2017 were very busy and we caught up with orders and bills and decided to give it another year. Since then, each month has been ahead of the prior year by a very small amount, but ongoing sales have not been enough to meet expenses comfortably.
     A year ago, I also let you know that I was looking for a business partner or buyer. I've  spoken with a number of interested people and am continuing to engage with them. If you have always wanted to own a book store, but doing it on your own is daunting, this might be the opportunity you've been waiting for. The Laurel Book Store has been in business for nearly 17 years. We have strong relationships with partners like libraries and schools, and a strong foundation of presenting author and other events, participating in and supporting our community, and providing offerings through in-store stock, a website with online ordering, ebooks, and audio books.
     What now? It's business as usual for the next couple of months, and the store will close its doors at this location on August 31. If you have a gift certificate, please come in to use it before the end of August. We're in the process of notifying schools and customers who have credit on their accounts. We will have a few highlighted section sales, but we're still bringing in new books, still having events, and still serving Oakland the best we can.
     I'm honored to have been your bookseller for all these years. My hope is that the store continues with some new management, but no matter what happens, it's been a great run.
     Happy reading and take care of each other.

(PS, don't let that distract you from the books and events below!)

Audio book and ebook downloads available at
Easy ordering 24/7 for all your book needs too.

I wasn't kidding about summer reads! Get the catalog now!
We have a big stack of them at the store too.

We have a program in place to get books donated to schools. Take a look on our website under Schools. Do you have kids in school? Check and see if the librarian would like to take part. It's as easy as giving us a list or asking us to make one. If you care about the literacy of Oakland students, you know how important it is to have books available. With budget cuts in place, donations to schools becomes a really important source of books to keep kids reading! Talk to Luan about it.
A Summer Reading Sale

All children's books will be 15% off on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23! 
And a select group will be 25% off. Two days only! Be here and bring the kids!
( there may be some exceptions & limited to books on hand) 
We have a bin that benefits the East Bay Children's Book Project, so clean out the shelves and bring your gently used books to fill the bin then or anytime.
Click the link to see audio and ebook versions as well.  
We have a book case that is devoted to Transgress Press right now and will for a few more weeks. The press' focus is transgender issues and stories. Please stop in to take a look at their offerings.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zaynab Joukhadar  In the summer of 2011, just after Nour loses her father to cancer, her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. In order to keep her father's spirit as she adjusts to her new home, Nour tells herself their favorite story-the tale of Rawiya, a twelfth-century girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to apprentice herself to a famous mapmaker.
We have signed copies of this book and it is Luan's Pick
for Summer Reading for Everyone.


What the Eyes Don't See by Mona Hanna-Attisha  Flint was already a troubled city in 2014 when the state of Michigan-in the name of austerity-shifted the source of its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Soon after, citizens began complaining about the water that flowed from their taps-but officials rebuffed them, insisting that the water was fine. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at the city's public hospital, took state officials at their word and encouraged the parents and children in her care to continue drinking the water-after all, it was American tap water, blessed with the state's seal of approval.
   But a conversation at a cookout with an old friend, leaked documents from a rogue environmental inspector, and the activism of a concerned mother raised red flags about lead-a neurotoxin whose irreversible effects fall most heavily on children. Even as circumstantial evidence mounted and protests grew, Dr. Mona knew that the only thing that could stop the lead poisoning was undeniable proof-and that to get it, she'd have to enter the fight of her life.

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view . . .
Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.

 Ayiti by Roxanne Gay Clever and haunting by turns, Ayiti explores the Haitian diaspora experience. A married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. Wise, fanciful, and daring, Ayiti is the book that put Roxane Gay on the map and now, with two previously uncollected stories, confirms her singular vision.

Hey Ladies! The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails by Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss. Based on the column of the same name that appeared in The Toast, Hey Ladies! is a laugh-out-loud read that follows a fictitious group of eight 20-and-30-something female friends for one year of holidays, summer house rentals, dates, brunches, breakups, and, of course, the planning of a disastrous wedding. This instantly relatable story is told entirely through emails, texts, DMs, and every other form of communication known to man.

How to Watch Soccer by Ruud Gullit  Ruud Gullit knows better than anyone else that to understand soccer you have to understand strategy. When he started playing soccer, his only "strategy" was to get the ball, outrun everyone else to the other end of the field, and score. At first it served him well, but as he advanced through the sport, he learned that it takes much more than one player's speed to make a winning team. Over the course of his career, he worked his way from the Dutch junior leagues all the way to the legendary AC Milan, eventually retiring from the field to be a trainer, then a manager, and finally a commentator. Each step came with its own lessons, and its own unique perspective on the game. Now, having looked at soccer through every lens possible, Gullit shares his own perspective.

All Out, The No Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Sandra Mitchell  From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.


Please join us for any or all of our literary events.  
Click on links for more info.   
Thursday, June 21 at 7pm 
Christie Johnson Coffin: Author of Making Places for People  
Many of you work in architecture or planning and we'd love to see you here to talk about how places work for people.
Saturday, June 23 at  6pm 
Ardy Tibby and Karin Kallmaker, contributors to Our Happy Hour, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars will read and talk about those cherished places of meeting and delight. 
Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm
Saturday, July 14  
Launch party for Heidi Harrison's new novel The Four Seasons.
Sunday, July 15 at 3pm 
Betty Reid Soskin will be here in person! Her book is Sign My Name to Freedom and if you haven't had a chance to meet her yet, please join us.
Tuesday, July 17 at 6:30
Launch Party for Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women! with author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Stahl. 


Book Group 

Second Thursday of the month.
6:15 to 7:30

July 12, 2018    
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. 
Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

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