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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Wealth, Youth, Beauty, Misery: Gatsby

James Gatz fell in love with Daisy when he was a soldier and she was a teenage debutant. But James was a "Mr. Nobody from Nowhere" and Daisy couldn't wait around for him to become a somebody from somewhere. Some years later, Jim Gatz became Jay Gatsby, fully realized, a charming, wealthy "Oxford man" and Daisy Fay became Daisy Buchanan, with a summer mansion and a philandering husband and a baby daughter. Murder & mayhem ensues.

I've just finished The Great Gatsby, first time since high school (hey Ms. Mac!) and thanks to John Green, object of my latest author-crush, I have a newfound appreciation. Seriously, you should check out this video.

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Gulp. Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Entertain your inner seventh grader! Pick up the best-selling GULP by Mary Roach at Oakland Public Library.

 

GULP. Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Entertain your inner seventh grader! Pick up the best-selling GULP by Mary Roach.

Mary Roach lives in Oakland and is a science writer with a wicked sense of humor and the obsession to follow a topic to its

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Oakland Stories

Looking for Oakland stories? Here is a sampling of titles offered at OPL.

Michael Chabon's book Telegraph Avenue, set in Berkeley and Oakland, is a popular selection for book groups.  (Please see the Reader's Advisory post from August 9th for a recap of Lakeview Branch's book group discussion.) 

Many people, including myself, enjoy reading books that are set in the area in which they live so I've dedicated this post to fiction set in Oakland.  All of these titles are available at OPL and include blurbs from the publisher's descriptions.

While I've only listed fiction that takes place in Oakland, the library also carries many titles by Oakland authors. 

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Who owns your parts?

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black Virginia farmer born in 1920. She was one of ten children and went on to have five, herself. But she was more than that, Henrietta was also said to have been beautiful, generous and kind. And though she died at the age of 31, part of her is still very much alive and with us, some 62 years later.

 Henrietta Lacks in the 1940s.The Lacks family saga has recently resurfaced in the news.

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black Virginia farmer born in 1920. She was one of ten children and went on to have five, herself. But she was more than that, Henrietta was also said to have been beautiful, generous and kind. And though she died at the age of 31, part of her is still very much alive and with us, some 62 years later.

Mrs. Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer, she had a mass of rapid-growing tumors caused by HPV. After her death, it was discovered that the tumors had spread throughout her body. Cells from her tumors were harvested without her knowledge and sent to a researcher. Unlike other cells used in

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Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, Lakeview Book Club Notes

Michael Chabon lyrically writes a novel of Oakland in the recent past and the multiracial, troubled and loving small community of family members and friends.

    

Hello Everyone,

 What a great meeting about Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon!

 There were 10 of us and our leader did a great job! She had done research on Michael Chabon and told us about his early life in Columbia, Maryland in an almost utopian middle class Black and White community. This background gave credence to his depicting a multiracial/multicultural world on Telegraph Avenue. One member told us that she knows Michael Chabon, because their children attended the same school. She said he is a really nice person. Other members have heard him speak at other venues and thought he seemed shy, almost childlike, but seemed really nice.

 Our discussion leader set the stage for us by finding a play list of 126 of the 128 musical mentions in the book. We sat down to the background music of sweet

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Chef Memoirs and Other Delicious Titles

Hungry? Reading is So Delicious, and so are these memoirs written by chefs and food writers.

Throughout the summer Oakland Public Library is hosting food related programs and events for adults as part of our Reading is So Delicious Summer Reading Program.  In keeping with this theme, I've highlighted memoirs written by chefs and food writers.  The chef memoirs explore the writer's relationship to food, their journey to the kitchen, and what food represents to them.  Other writers, such as Michael Pollan, write about food awareness and the history of food.  I hope you enjoy exploring some of these titles and have a few of your own to recommend.

Yes, Chef     

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Comic-Con is on!

Geek out! The 44th annual Comic-Con International is underway in San Diego. The winners for the Will Eisner awards, considered the Oscars of the comics industry, will be announced today.

The 44th annual Comic-Con International is underway in San Diego.  The winners for the Will Eisner awards, considered the Oscars of the comics industry, will be announced today.  Nominees for titles published in 2012 are truly exceptional.

Titles with the most nominations are:

Building StoriesBuilding stories by Chris Ware with nominations for Best Graphic Album–New, Best Writer/artist, Best Coloring, Best Lettering, and Best Publication Design.

This work, made of many small books, posters and cards, and encased in a box the size of a large board game, tells the story of the residents

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The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

The classic, The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford,has nothing to do with war, but everything to do with love, deception, manipulation, glamour, gentility and death. Prepare to be haunted by the four well-mannered Victorians in beautiful Europe, politely destroying each others' lives!

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford is considered one of the best 100 best novels of all time. One reviewer called it the "finest French novel in the English language." This alludes to the complex plot, fascinating involvements and constant surprises. It recreates the difficult relations between two "perfect" Victorian couples who leisurely travel and stay at the finest European luxury gathering places.
 
While "weeding" our collection, I came across this title. I was unfamiliar with it, but the preface sounded fascinating. I thought I'd give it a try that weekend while I went up the coast to bask in the beauty of the ocean crashing on the cliffs. My weekend went totally differently than I had planned. I holed up in a bed and breakfast and read nonstop. I could not put this book down. Sometimes a classic is a classic for a reason! The story is timeless

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i scream SANDWICH! and Other Summer Treats

Learn to make tasty summer treats including ice cream sandwiches, paletas, gelato, and sorbetto.

For many of us, summer brings memories of rushing to greet the ice cream truck or enjoying a dripping cone at the beach.  My favorite childhood summer treat was the ice cream sandwich, vanilla ice cream wedged between two chocolately cookies, so I was delighted to discover Jennie Schacht's new book i scream SANDWICH!

The recipes include classics such as S'mores and the Better-Than-It, Ms. Schacht's version of the famous San Francisco It's It Ice Cream Sandwich first sold at Playland at the Beach in 1928.  The author also explores flavors of the world with treats such as Latin Love, which is Dulce de Leche ice cream on Brown

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