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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Advice for Writers (and Readers!) from Laurie R. King

Acclaimed mystery author Laurie R. King offers advice for writers and readers.

Cover of The Beekeeper's ApprenticePhoto of Laurie R. KingCover of The Murder of Mary Russell

If you’re a mystery reader, you probably know bestselling author Laurie R. King. She’s the winner of many major book awards, including the Edgar, Agatha, Creasey, Nero, Macavity, and Lambda, not to mention a number of other award nominations. She’s best known for her detective series featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, starting with

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Melrose Branch Library celebrates its 100th Birthday!

Brief history of Melrose Branch Library in celebration of its centennial

This year marks the centennial of the Melrose Branch Library, the first of four Carnegie Libraries built in Oakland.

The area we know as the Melrose District was once a thriving, semi-rural town south of Oakland. The town boasted large factories like the Oakland Chemical Company and a diverse array of light industry (machine shops, lumber yards, planing mills). Banks, tailor shops, pharmacy, and real estate offices could also be found there. Every twenty minutes people could go to the Melrose Terminal and board a Southern Pacific train, or get on a ferry at Clark’s Landing, as the Melrose wharves were known, to travel to San Francisco. East 14th Street (now International Boulevard) was the main commercial strip of the town.

Melrose School shared its building with Union High School #4 (later renamed John C. Fremont High). People, skeptical that the district couldn't justify having a high school, were surprised at how quickly the school filled with students. After the 1906 earthquake, families moved to

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Exploring Queer Lives: By Nightfall

Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall: "Post-gay" fantasy lives of the art and beauty obsessed.

By Nightfall novel jacket black tulip facing downThe Hours novel jacket

Michael Cunningham’s  By Nightfall is a gorgeously written novel that reveals the inner life of Peter, an art dealer and gallery owner in his 40’s who finds himself powerfully drawn to his wife’s beautiful, directionless  younger brother.  Michael Cunningham is the prize-winning author of many novels, including The Hours

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in September 2016

Wondering what to read next? We've got 10 great books for you, coming soon to the library.

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Homework hint...

Melania Trump taught my son a new word.

Creative Commons photo "Homework" by Roberto Faccenda is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This has been a really interesting political season. I'll be the first to admit I am enjoying watching the process unfold. All of the plot twists are

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The Right to Vote

August 26th is Women's Equality Day.

August 26th is National Women's Equality Day. On this day in 1920 the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was formally adopted into the United States Constitution. You can learn more about National Women's Equality Day at the National Women's History Project.

Many struggles and challenges preceeded women winning the right to vote and the sruggles continued even after the 19th Amendment was formally adopted. It took many more years until all women were guaranteed the right to vote. If you want to read about the history -- where we were, where we are now, and where we're headed -- check out the titles below.

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Looking for LGBTQ Winners: The Lambda Literary Review

Want to know about the latest gay romance novel, lesbian biography or queer fiction anthology? Check out Lambda Literary.org!

I love weird stories, anything with magic or strange happenings. I also love queer stories. Where do I look for the latest, greatest, weird, queer book reviews?

My go-to website for great LGBTQ reading choices of any genre is the Lambda Literary Review.  This comprehensive resource is the digital offspring of The Lambda Book Report, first published in 1987 out of Lambda Rising Bookstore in Washington, DC. Lambda Literary has evolved into “the world’s premier LGBT literary organization”, awarding the annual Lambda Literary Awards or “Lammys”, sponsoring writers retreats, and maintaining a content-rich website. (http://www.lambdaliterary.org)

I always start with the Genre category, nicely separated into sub-genres such as Romance, Mystery, and (my favorite) Speculative Fiction. I also peruse the General Fiction and Bio/Memoirs.  

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