10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in May

Looking for your next great read? Here are ten terrific novels coming out in May.

Book CoverBook coverBook cover

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Our Mother's Stories

A selection of memoirs featuring mother/child relationships.

In honor of Mother's Day next month, I've highlighted a sampling of mother memoirs.  Told from the point of view of birth mothers and adopted mothers, sons and daughters, these books capture mother/child relationships in all their complexity.    All book summaries are from the publisher's descriptions.

Are You My Mothe?     My Dear Boy    

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Go Green with eBooks

It's Earth Day. Read an eBook and love your planet.

This Earth Day consider checking out something from OPL’s quickly expanding digital collection; choose from thousands of eBooks. Whether you already dabble in eBook reading or are certain you could never give up the feel, smell and comfort of a good book, or even if you suspect eReaders and tablets are heralding the decline of civilization, you may be surprised at how easy it is to sink into a good eBook. I was. I was so sure I would never want to read from a backlit screen that I read books in the dark next to my sleeping baby with the flashlight from my phone pointed at the page. When my husband got me an iPad for my birthday I never planned to use it for personal reading, but I had to try out our eBook platforms as part of my job. (Didn’t I?) In no time I began reading mostly on the iPad. I read it in the dark, I read it in the light, in waiting rooms, on trips (you can load a ton of books onto one tablet). I would read

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Shipping News by Annie Proulx, Notes from the Lakeview Book Club

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx! Notes from the Lakeview Book Club Meeting

First A Little About Annie Proulx:

She was born August 22, 1935 in Connecticut, Educated in history in Vermont and currently lives in Wyoming.

She won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Shipping News. She won PEN/Faulkner Award for her first novel, Postcards. She is the first woman to win the PEN/Faulkner Award!

A free spirit, she has divorced three times and has raised alone her three sons and one daughter. She lived many years in small towns in Vermont.

Most of her writing has been nonfiction. She has written both short and long nonfiction. Her controversial and critically acclaimed novella Brokeback Mountain was both a book and a film.

What we thought:

Like The Return of the Native, The Shipping News has “Nature” as a major character

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in April

Looking for something to read? Here are 10 highly recommended books coming this month.

Cover of The Storied Life of A J FikryCover of RubyCover of Lovers at the Chameleon ClubCover of Frog MusicCover of Family LifeCover of Casebook

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Poetry at the Library

April is National Poetry Month.

One of my favorite ways to experience poetry is to hear it read aloud. OPL has a variety of audio recordings of poets reading their works which I've shared with you below, in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Essential Hughes     Leaves of Grass    

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Lakeview Book Club Update: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

This blog is a random summary of comments from the Lakeview Book Club's December discussion of Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior.

Flight Behavior Barbara Kingsolver

There were eleven of us, including two new members, one who said she had been trying to get here for two years!

A little background about Barbara Kingsolver. She was born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland. She was raised in eastern Kentucky, where her options were to be a farmer or a farmer's wife. She knew she wanted out! She has a B.A. in biology and graduate degrees in biology and ecology. During her college years she also took writing courses, but she had been making up stories for her family since she was a child. Obviously, this story rings so true, because the themes and events have been an intimate part of her life.

Insomnia led her to write The Bean Trees, her first book. Her style was honed with journalism writing and science writing. She is aware of the need to compel in the reader to turn every

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in March

Place your holds now on these fantastic new books coming this month.

Book coverBook cover Boy Snow BirdBook cover Redeployment

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

It's time for spring planting! Check out our collection of gardening books to help plan your garden.

It's nearly spring and if you're a gardener that means time for spring planting. Although we haven't had much rain this year, that doesn't mean you have to forgo your garden.  Oakland Public Library has many books featuring drought tolerant plants as well as books written specifically for Bay Area gardening by local gardeners and urban homesteaders. 

If you're new to gardening or have questions about planting, The Alameda County Master Gardener's website is a great place to find information, including a monthly planting guide.  The USDA PLANTS Database is also a useful resource and includes information about plant classification, as well as plant sheets and fact guides.

And don't forget that the Chavez and Dimond branches both have seed libraries where you can check out

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Boxer or Saint?

I know that we're only in February, but these are the best books I've read all year. Yang's Boxers & Saints are both epic and dramatic and cinematic. I skipped House of Cards to finish these books and that's saying a lot.

Boxers / Gene Luen Yang ; color by Lark Pien
Saints / Gene Luen Yang ; color by Lark Pien
 
 
I know that we're only in February, but this is the best book (actually two books) I'

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