Read the Book, See the Film

Check out the many books that have recently been made into movies.

You may have seen any number of recent movie releases such as The Book Thief, How I Live Now, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave, and Catching Fire, which are all based on books.  In 2014 many more popular books for

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A few (1) of my favorite things

As I reflect on the great books I've read this year, one really stands out: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

As I reflect on the great books I've read this year, one really stands out: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  Bee is an over-schedule teen in a Seattle private school filled with parents who seem to have too, much time, show too much interest or otherwise are over-involved in school politics.  Bee's dad is an up-and-comer at Microsoft, and her mom, Bernadette, is a former prodigy-turned mom-on-the-verge (of a breakdown).  This book is sassy, charming, and Bernadette is totally relate-able.

At a recent holiday party, a friend told me that here favorite part of the book was actually in the reader's guide at the back (trade paperback version).  It's a short piece called "Dear Mountain Room Parents" and it's hilarious!  A mostly

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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Climbs out a window and accidentally gets involved with crime, wild car cases, eccentric elephant owning women and world leaders! Fun, Fun, Fun!

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Do you crave to find a new funny novel? Well, this is it! So you've read all the "Girl" series, Dragon Tattoo, ...Played with Fire and Kicked the Hornet's Nest....and you've read other Swedish authors and liked their dark, violent mysteries....and you've heard that Swedes and other Nordic people don't have a finely tuned sense of humor.....Well, that is Wrong! This book proves that a Swedish author not only can make you laugh out loud, but will amaze you with his satire and insight of the deadly world of international politics.

Some of you may be familiar with the German folk character of Til Eulenspiegal, the simple country man who does everything wrong and comes out smelling like roses every time! Well, that archetype is our 100-Year-Old Man, except, one who accidentally throughout his long life has single-handedly brought about all the 

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More Oakland Stories

Share your favorite Oakland nonfiction stories!

A few months ago I highlighted fiction set in Oakland.  Several readers suggested I do another posting featuring Oakland nonfiction, so here it is!  Oakland is home to many talented writers of both fiction and nonfiction.  I've listed a sampling of nonfiction titles here.  Have a favorite nonfiction Oakland book that you don't see listed here?  Add it to the list and share your experience of reading the book.             

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Make: Holiday

Start now and you'll have the perfect holiday craft or treat for everyone on your list. Here's a roundup of new and notable craft, baking and maker-type books.

Our city is brimming with creativity. Don't let yours go to waste this holiday season. Start early and give a handmade gift this year.  Here's a roundup of new and notable craft, baking and maker-type books that will help you whip up the best kind of gift, one you made yourself or with friends and family.
Sprinklebakes bookMartha Stewart's favorite crafts for kids sweets and treats from around the world book

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Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Antisocials, Oh My!!!!

Four titles on Evil: The Sociopath Next Door, The Psychopath Test, Confessions of a Sociopath, and Dark Nature: A Natural History of Evil

Lately books on these topics have been all the rage...rage from the victims!
 
We semi-normals, i.e. empaths (having empathy) are trying to figure out why Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Antisocials are the way they are and how we can protect ourselves from them. It's not just the mean kids we endured in grade school, middle school and high school!  Those people grew up and they not only are they still out there, they are all around us, in fact they are running the world through politics and business, or they are a sibling, a spouse, a coworker, a boss, a neighbor, even a best friend! Yikes.
 
So which book to start with? So many to choose from!
 
How about:
The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us by Martha Stout. Martha Stout is a

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Literary Ghosts

Halloween is almost here. Check out these haunted tales for adults.

When I was a kid I loved reading scary stories and listening to spooky tales (does anyone else remember those Scholastic 45s?), especially at Halloween.  I still love all the children's Halloween books that we take out every October, but I've also been introduced to some great ghost stories for adults over the years. 

Listed below are ghost stories, gothic and supernatural tales, novels in which ghosts and hauntings are a central theme, and stories of local hauntings as well as those from around the world.  I've also included a children's title, More Bones, because there are some great stories contained within it.  And if you enjoy listening to a good ghost story, make sure to check out Great Classic Ghost Stories on CD.  What are some of your favorite haunted tales?

  

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Let's-Go-Oak-Land!

Reggie Jackson played for our hometown Athletics from 1967–1975 and then again in 1987. His phenomenal success led him to be dubbed "Mr. October" and what's even better, in my opinion, he got a candy bar named for him. How Amazin' is that?

picture of book cover - Becoming Mr. OctoberWhen I started this post a few weeks ago, the A's were riding high on a wave of victory, sadly, the season is over for us now, but there's always next year.  Here's a look a one of the best players our team has ever seen:

Reggie Jackson played for our hometown Athletics from 1967–1975 and then again in 1987.  His phenomenal success led him to be dubbed "Mr. October" and what's even better (in my opinion) he got a candy bar named for him.  How Amazin' is that?  
In his book

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Lakeview Book Club Update: Too Close To The Falls by Catherine Gildiner

Savor the memories of a young, precocious girl on the 1950s, so fresh and real you can taste the Niagra Falls snow and feel the magic of her strength, invincibilty and intelligence.

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Reading with Others

October is National Reading Group Month. Come read with us!

October is National Reading Group Month (NRGM).  According to the NRGM website, one of the goals of National Reading Group Month is "to increase public awareness of the joy and value of shared reading."  I admit I found my way to book groups slowly and reluctantly.  After spending years discussing assigned reading for school, I didn't necessarily want to read what someone else had chosen for me and I wanted to have my own experience of the books I was reading.  However, I'm now a member of two book groups and I have to say I enjoy being introduced to books I might not necessarily read on my own.   Having a conversation about what I'm reading enhances my reading experience and it helps me to articulate what I liked or didn't like about a book and to see points I may have overlooked.

 

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