Time to Get Baking

"A party without cake is just a meeting." -- Julia Child

December is here and the winter holidays are at our heels. The Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa all call for desserts. I don't know about you, but I'm in the mood to bake.

Though the internet is a fine place to start, the volume of material to sort through can be, well, overwhelming. When you've got a spare minute or two, Google "cookies" and work your way through 2 1/2 billion entries. Me? I love a good cookbook, and the library is just full of cookbooks to get you baking. Read on for a few suggestions and some jacket photos from our wide selection. If you're browsing the shelves go to 641.815 for most baking books. Our ebook platforms also boast an ample supply of baking and dessert cookbooks.

Two terrific go-to bakers with cookbooks in collection are Dorie Greenspan and David Lebovitz. Greenspan has a new title out this fall, Dorie's Cookies,

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Women & Bikes & Books

Join Us Every 2nd Tuesday for a New Book Club: Women Bike

We’re very excited about our newest book club here at the Oakland Public Library!

In partnership with Bike East Bay, we are co-hosting the Women Bike Book Club in 2017! Bike East Bay's Women Bike program enters its second year of bringing women and gender nonconforming folks together in social settings to share experiences and resources with each other.

All are invited to discuss biking, feminism, and the intersection of the two. Join us on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00pm. We'll focus on a different book or film each month, with a few guest speakers and activities along the way.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 9 at the Rockridge Branch. This month, we're turning to the world of professional cycling for inspiration. We're thrilled that local aspiring pro cyclist, Ayesha McGowan, will be

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in December 2016

If you're looking for new fiction, here are our ten picks for December.

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Reading Race and Class

Books that shed light on race and class dynamics in the U.S.

In the past, and especially during this election cycle, I've been committed to reading books that help me better understand race and class dynamics in this country. One of the books on my reading list is The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Ward uses James Baldwin's 1963 book The Fire Next Time as a starting point to discuss current questions of race in the U.S. Contributors such Carol Anderson, Edwidge Danticat and Isabel Wilkerson speak to their concerns about race through essays and poems.                                         

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I Don't Want To Hug Aunt Myrtle: A Consent Lesson From Kids To The Adults Who Love Them.

Some kids in my branch asked me to tell you this grown-ups. Please listen.

The children in my branch have asked me to tell you this: They don't want to be required to be hugged, kissed, pinched, or petted by family this holiday season.

This is an important worry for some kids during the holiday season. Relatives from all over the world meet up and everyone loves the children, but the children are not comfortable (yet) around the extended family members.

Here are some examples I was given (family members names changed of course):

  • Your kid doesn't want to hug Aunt Myrtle.
  • They hate it when Grandpa Joe pinches their cheeks or rubs their hair.
  • They don't want to want give Grandma Martha any "suga".
  • And your kid don't care if cousin Pam hasn't seen

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Oakland Public Library's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

What's the best gift to give or receive? In our opinion: a book!

If we do it two years in a row, can we call it a holiday tradition? Either way, we're glad to help you once again with your seasonal gifting duties. Our second ever Holiday Gift Guide features some of our favorite books from the past year, 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.

Books for Adults

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OPL 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: #ownvoices children's books

Gifts for the readers in your life recommended by OPL librarians.

Wondering what books your OPL librarians would give as gifts? Here's what we recommend! As always, you'll want to buy these titles from your local bookseller. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of indie bookstores in Oakland.

This year, our children's book list is entirely #ownvoices--books with diverse characters created by authors or illustrators of the same group. Please enjoy and share widely.  

This page has recommendations for children. Check out our gift guide for teen and adults here. 

OPL 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Children's List 

Board Books

   

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America, America

American Panic is a sober discussion of past upheavals experienced by Americans through the media, political factions, public violence, and personal persecution.

American Panic: A history of who scares us and why

By Mark Stein

“Political panic, the irrational fear that one’s government is in danger, is by no means unique to any country.  In America, it dates back to the 1692 Salem witch hunt … “Witch hunt” remains a phrase in the American vernacular, ensconced in our dictionaries as an investigation of disloyalty based on unverified assertions and public fear.” - Mark Stein

 

In the past week I have been searching for meaning, explanation, comfort,

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Oakland celebrates Black Panther Party's 50th anniversary

Black Panther Party's 50th anniversary commemorations continue in Oakland.

For the past month, historians, teachers, scholars, artists, students, and residents from all over the Bay Area and the state have gathered in Oakland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party's founding here. Local visual artists, art historians, deejays, dancers, political activists, and academics have hosted events that celebrated the legacy of this revolutionary group. Many of the economic and political issues they addressed--police brutality, poverty, job and housing discrimination--remain unresolved today. The Oakland Museum of California hosted a weekend conference, "Where Do We Go From Here?," that drew hundreds of people.   

Though most of the commemorative Panther programs occurred in October, there are a few events you can still catch:

Oakland Museum of California: "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50"

The Museum has mounted an extensive

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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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