Emma turns 200

"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich."

December marked the 200 anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's EmmaThe title page of the John Murray first edition reads "1816" but the book was actually released on December 23, 1815, making this brief tribute both timely and belated. 

Emma Woodhouse, the heroine that Austen declared, "no one but myself will much like," is the headstrong and indulged younger daughter of a Henry Woodhouse, a country gentleman. Unlike Austen's other heroines Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood, Emma is rich and therefore not in need of a husband to provide her with financial security. Her entitled position in the little town of Highbury has set Emma up at the age of twenty as an unchecked meddler in the lives of her neighbors, especially in their love lives. Complications ensue, some painful. All is resolved happily in the end.

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in January 2016

Start the year out right with one of these fantastic books. Your hold list will thank you!

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Oakland Public Library Staff’s Favorite Books of 2015

OPL staff look back on their favorite books of 2015.

It's that time of year when everyone publishes their best of the year lists. I look forward to seeing what the New York Times has to say on this matter, but I think my colleagues at Oakland Public Library always come up with the best reading suggestions! Here are some of our favorites from 2015. 

We'd love to hear from you, too--please share your favorites of 2015 in the comments. 

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Moving Toward a Sustainable Future

What can you do about global warming? Check out some of OPL's books on the topic.

During the past few weeks you've probably heard and read about the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Paris earlier this month. At the close of the conference, the Paris Agreement was adopted. If you're interested in reading more about climate change, OPL has many new titles on the topic. The books listed below cover the current issues while also offering solutions for a more sustainable future.

This Changes Everything     

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Most Popular Books of 2015

Think you know OPL's most popular books of 2015? Some of these may surprise you.

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The Top 5 Books I REALLY Wanted to Read in 2015

Here are five terrific books from 2015 that are still on my bulging, ever-growing to-read list.

Too many books, not enough time… does this sound familiar? Here are five books I had on my hold lists this year that I never got around to reading. I guess they’ll be moving to the top of my 2016 list. 

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Creative Gift Ideas

Looking for the right gift? These books offer creative DIY ideas.

With the holidays fast approaching you may be looking for creative gift ideas. Why not make something? We have many new books in our collection to help you with canning, sewing, crocheting, candlemaking, baking, candy making and even creating your own wrapping paper. Take a look and happy crafting!

Oh Joy!     The Crafter's Guide to Patterns     

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Books We Love: Under the Udala Trees

Kiyoko Shiosaki shares the joyous experience of discovering a blazing new talent: Chinelo Okparanta, Author of Under the Udala Trees.

By Kiyoko Shiosaki, OPL Collection Development Intern

 

As NoViolet Bulawayo says in her interview with Chinelo Okparanta, “When you encounter a good storyteller you want to find all of [their] work and inhale it.”

This is exactly how I felt when I checked out Okparanta’s novel Under the Udala Trees  (see 10

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Joan Didion: a Love Song

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

This fall brings us a new biography of Joan Didion and an occasion to sing a love song to her. One of my own favorite writers, Joan Didion has published extensively since the early 1960s. She is perhaps best known today for The Year of Magical Thinking, a memoir of grief that she wrote after her husband’s sudden death in 2003 and for which she won the National Book Award in 2005. Didion’s elegant and precise writing spans many genres: fiction, essays, memoirs, and screenwriting.

Some of her most intriguing work, for this Californian, are the ones whose subject is California itself. From

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Oakland Public Library's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Our holiday advice? Give a book!

What would a librarian recommend as a great holiday gift? A book of course! And we're proud to help with our first ever Holiday Gift Guide, featuring some of our favorite books this season. And as if that weren't great enough, we're capping it off with a list of local indie bookstores where you can buy these gems. (Call ahead to confirm availability!)

This page has recommendations for adults and teens, plus check out our gift guide for children's books here. You can also view the teen recommendations on Pinterest here.

Books For Adults

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