November Noir

The darkening days of the year lead us to read darker books.

It’s November. The days are getting shorter and we all seem to be in a gloomy mood. What could be more bracing that to read a big bunch of noir. May we suggest a hardboiled book or three? There are hundreds of choices, from pulp paperback potboilers to dark Scandinavian frostiness. Here’s a very short sampling to get you started.

L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy. It’s got everything. Los Angeles in the ‘50s. Murder. Prostitution. Drug trafficking. Conspiracy. Political and police corruption.

Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. This is the second of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe stories and in it Marlowe investigates two murders. There’s a missing woman, drugs, corruption, and gambling to add complication for Marlowe.

Sanctuary by William Faulkner. Noir by Faulkner? Yes. He claimed he wrote it for the money. Set during Prohibition, among bootleggers in Mississippi, the story revolves around the kidnapping of a young woman, a murder, and the ugly events that ensue.

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Virgie Tovar wants you to Lose Hate Not Weight

Stop Dieting Right Now! You Are Totally Perfect! A booklist from author and activist Virgie Tovar

“Every person, regardless of size, weight or health status deserves a life free of discrimination.”

Words straight from the mouth of Virgie Tovar, author, activist and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She holds a Master's degree in Human Sexuality from San Francisco State University with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. Her writing has appeared in tons of print and online publications and she has lectured all over the country. She also runs Babecamp, an online course “designed to help those who are ready to break up with diet culture.”

“When women get to choose what their body size is, and they get to choose what they eat and they get to choose what kind of clothes they wear, this is indicating a major paradigm shift… I think you’ve consistently seen backlash from the

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November 2016

The weather is getting cooler, the days are growing shorter. You’re probably ready to curl up with a great book! Here are ten of the best arriving this month.

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Bad Words

Did your child learn bad word? Mine did, and I needed a book help my kid learn not to use it.

Y'all!

Y'all!!

Y'ALL!  

This election has gone off the chain! I had to stop watching the news. The 6 am/pm news! Because thanks to a leaked Access Hollywood video, and some exhaustive news coverage, my 4-year old son asked me to explain a 5-letter word that begins with the letter "P."

I am not linking  the video. If by some chance you haven't seen or heard about it because you were living off the grid for the past two months, just Google: "Donald Trump,"  "Access Hollywood," and "Video." 

It's bad enough that my 4-year old son with autism, who is just learning to talk, quickly learns to say THAT WORD, but he wants a definition too? 

Yes Oakland I am upset. When I was 4- years old the only reference I had to that "P-word" was this guy:

 

               

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What's Your Story?

Do you need inspiration writing your novel? Check out our selection of books to help you with the writing process.

November is National Novel Writing Month so if you've been waiting to write your story, what a great time to begin. Maybe you've been working on your novel for a while but need inspiration. Wherever you are in the process, OPL has books to to help you along the way. And if you need a change of scenery, stop by any of our libraries to work on your book. 

Write-a-Thon    

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What It Means To Be White

Challenging assumptions and underlying beliefs about race; an exploration of whiteness in history and today.

 

 “…these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.” - Ta-nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

Ta-nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me has been a highly requested title here at Oakland Public Library since its publication in 2015. The

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"Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues, you can tell by the way she smiles."

Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize in Literature

Thursday morning we woke to the news that singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was named the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The Swedish Academy is honoring Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." He is the first American to win since 1993 when the prize in literature was awarded to Toni Morrison. 

Dylan said once in an interview with NPR reporter Steve Inskeep, "Having these colossal accolades and titles, they get in the way." They can't be too much in the way since he now has another to add to his Presidential Medial of Freedom, his Oscar, his Golden Globe, his dozen Grammies, and his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Dylan's is the first songwriter to receive the prize in literature but his work is firmly in the tradition of poets like Homer and Sappho whose poems were meant to

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in October 2016

Here are ten great books coming out this month, including three Booker Prize contenders.

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Sesame Street Presents: Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration

Resources for helping a child deal with a challenging situation, an incarcerated parent.

Last month a child I know personally came to me crying because she learned her mother was incarcerated. After sobbing her heart out to me her last request was:

"... and don't give me a book Ms. Nichole. Every time I have a problem you are always giving me a book to read!"

I replied something like, "Sweetheart I'm a librarian, not a shrink. I can listen but I can't help, not really. Maybe reading a book can help?"

She said "no. I'm too sad to read."

Since books were not an option at that time, I sat her down with my tablet and headphones and let her watch this:

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Black Panthers at 50: Syllabus - Events - Exhibits

Oakland Library commemorates the Black Panther Party's 50th Anniversary with events, exhibits and a syllabus for K-12 students.

Collage with 4 book covers and the words Black Panther Party 50th AnniversaryFifty years ago, the Black Panthers took to the streets of Oakland to defend Black residents against police violence and city neglect. Soon, the Panthers electrified America with a bold image of Black militancy and some very basic demands, “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace."

 

Who were the Panthers and what did they achieve? What can we learn from their influence on culture, music and mass media? From their grassroots social programs — including free breakfast for children, health clinics and liberation schools — and from their "Rainbow Coalition" uniting poor people of all races. Yes, the Panther’s did that too.

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