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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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in March 2015

There are some tempting books coming out in March. Here are ten of them!

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Got Vegetables?

It's planting time!

Are you interested in growing your own food? Or maybe you've been growing your own fruit and vegetables for years. Whether you're a novice or experienced gardener, OPL has new gardening books to help you create and cultivate your garden. From growing to harvesting to juicing and cooking, there's something for everyone.

If you need seeds to start your garden, don't forget to stop by the Chavez and Dimond branches and check out their seed libraries.

The Mix and Match Guide to Companion Planting    

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Salute Your Shorts

Machine of death : a collection of stories about people who know how they will die . And also other creepy, creepy shorts.

Do you ever find yourself wanting to dig in to a nice long juicy book, like The Goldfinch or maybe some hardcore economics like Capital in the Twenty-first Century, but find that your life keeps getting in the way? Might I introduce you to a genre known as the Short Story (remember those)? They're not just for 8th grade English. This time, I'll just tell you about the existential, thought-provoking, and slightly horrifying stories, I wanted to include Dorothy Parker, that lady is sassy, but I think she deserves her own post. 

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The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd: A Lakeview Book Club Review

The Mermaid Chair, the second novel by Sue Monk Kidd, explores the life of a woman returning to an island off South Carolina and the decisions she must make.

What an entertaining discussion of The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd this month!

Eight of us had a wide range of reactions to this book. More of us found this selection not to our taste. There was at least one of us who really liked this book. All of us found intriguing elements and some characters or plot devices we really liked. Almost unanimously we found the sex elements of the seduction of the monk to be of a bodice-ripping nature and humorously so. A few skipped that part entirely. Some literally groaned at those sections of the book..

 

One of us thought some of her plot machinations to be similar to Ann Patchett, intricate, interwoven, filled with some suspense and somewhat believable events. Some of the descriptions our group used about this book were, "light, poorly written, titillating, contrived, annoying characters, shocking regarding the finger cutting, "nature held its own" and "like a 10 cent book from a flea market."

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