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Always Available Classics is a collection of over 200 Classic eBook titles open to anyone to download at any time.

                    

Attention Classics Readers: In addition to the many Classic eBooks you can browse on our Overdrive platform, we now link from our catalog to Always Available Classics, a collection of over 200 works of classic literature

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Typical American by Gish Jen: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

Lakeview Book Club highly recommends Typical American or any other of Gish Jen's beautifully written, humorous and bittersweet tales of Chinese Americans jumping into the "melting cauldron."

Typical American by Gish Jen, is a first novel published in 1991. Our leader for the evening brought some biographical information about Ms. Jen. The name "Gish" was a nickname from her high school years, named for actress Lillian Gish.  Gish is Chinese American. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1940's. She grew up on in and near New York City.
 
She writes of characters in her world and the inevitable clash of cultures lived with difficulty by our new Americans. This is a comic novel, sometimes dabbling in the darkness of poor choices and misspent love. The characters were not all sympathetic. In fact, the anti-hero, Ralph, was not well liked by many of our group. He was weak, undisciplined, easily led by shady characters, autocratic and pig-headed......yet, very human. Some of our group thought he was a sad character.
 

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in May 2015

Got room on your hold list? Here come some of the most tempting novels of May.

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Water-Wise

Looking for tips to conserve water? Check out these books at OPL.

Living in California, we all know about the need to conserve water. Are you wondering how to limit your water footprint? The following books give tips and suggestions to help you reduce and reuse water in your home and garden.

The Water-Wise Home     Takingon Water     

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Get Ready to Rock for Record Store Day

In honor of Record Store Day, Susy Moorhead recommends some books and documentaries that will rock you!

Record Store DayIt’s almost Record Store Day!  Per their website: “This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities.” In the spirit of Record Store Day this coming April 18, I am sharing some of my favorite music memoirs as well as a few documentaries.

 

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Private Life by Jane Smiley: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

Notes from the Lakeview Book Club Discussion of Jane Smiley's novel, Private Life.

Eleven of us had a lively discussion of the 2010 novel, Private Life by Jane Smiley.

Jane Smiley is in her mid-sixties and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her novel, A Thousand Acres, which is based on King Lear. She was raised in Missouri and obtained a B.A. from Vassar and her M.A. and M.F.A from the University of Iowa. She had a Fulbright scholarship to Iceland while working on her Doctorate.

None of our group had ever read one of her novels. We learned that Smiley is noted for writing books about families. Our novel, Private Life, is loosely based on the lives of her great-uncle and great-aunt. Her great-uncle was an eccentric scientist and her great-aunt a long suffering wife. In this book those characters were Andrew and Martha.

Almost all of us liked this book. One really did not like it and would not recommend it to others. Those who liked it would only

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in April 2015

Here are ten fantastic books springing this month.

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When's the Last Time You Read a Poem?

April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. What better way to celebrate than by reading a poem and what better place to find a poem than Oakland Public Library! We have a vast selection from which to choose starting with the collections listed below, all published during the past year. 

What I've Stolen, What I've Earned     

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Is it ever going to rain again?

Here’s a guest post from fellow librarian Susy Moorhead, Science Fiction enthusiast and climate change believer.

I am tired of looking at the weather and only seeing clear sunny days of high 60s. I am so over gloating to my friends in other parts of the country about not having to wear a jacket while sitting in the park on endless sunny days.

Feeling the dark side of no rain reminds me of great books and movies that portray a future where some sort of climatic catastrophe has irreparably changed life as we know it. Most of these books fall in to the science fiction or dystopia genre. But now that this subgenre is growing a new term has been coined - “climatic fiction” or cli-fi.  Here are some books and movies that I have enjoyed:    

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A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

This is the Lakeview Book Club Review of A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit.

 
In spite of the seasonal craziness, daily pressures and weeks of heavy rain, five of us came to discuss A Paradise Build in Hell by Rebecca Solnit!
 
We just launched in and barely took a breath talking about parts that really impressed us. By the time we looked up we had gone over our time! We all agreed that we REALLY liked this book. The only criticism is that it had so much detail and analysis that it slowed the reading down so that the reader had to really think about the concepts. Another member thought that the detail and the analysis was the best part. Not everyone finished this title, but they might finish it. Several of the group tabbed passages that were excellently written and inspiring, with many, many post-it papers!
 
As a

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