Joan Didion: a Love Song

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

This fall brings us a new biography of Joan Didion and an occasion to sing a love song to her. One of my own favorite writers, Joan Didion has published extensively since the early 1960s. She is perhaps best known today for The Year of Magical Thinking, a memoir of grief that she wrote after her husband’s sudden death in 2003 and for which she won the National Book Award in 2005. Didion’s elegant and precise writing spans many genres: fiction, essays, memoirs, and screenwriting.

Some of her most intriguing work, for this Californian, are the ones whose subject is California itself. From

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Oakland Public Library's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Our holiday advice? Give a book!

What would a librarian recommend as a great holiday gift? A book of course! And we're proud to help with our first ever Holiday Gift Guide, featuring some of our favorite books this season. And as if that weren't great enough, we're capping it off 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 here.

Books For Adults

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OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Children's Books

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

We have a confession to make: we librarians LOVE IT when you buy books. LOVE!! And we know you want to give exactly the right book. 

So, without further ado, OPL is proud to present its first ever Holiday Gift Guide. These are books we love and want you and your loved ones to read, ones that are 99% guaranteed not to garner this reaction. And as if that weren't great enough, we're capping it off with a list of local indie bookstores where you can buy these gems. (Call ahead to confirm availability!)

Click here for our Graphic Novel Gift Guide!

Click here for suggestions for adult and YA readers!

OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Children's List 

For babies and

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OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Graphic Novels

It's been a banner couple-of-years for comics. Here are some of our favorites.

We loved so many graphic novels lately, we gave them their own list! Try Dr. Comics and Mr. Games of Oakland for these, though a couple are self published and can be purchased directly from the artists. Follow the links!

We've grouped them under the age of the youngest appropriate reader, but any of the kids' and YA titles may be loved by adults too.

Kids

For kids' books that aren't comics, click here.

  

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November 2015

It's getting cold--time to curl up with a great book! Here are 10 coming out this month.

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Q & A Patrons Ask, Librarians Answer: What is your favorite part of your job?

Q & A: It's the kids turn to get their questions answered!

Usually I answer questions asked by adults. Today I am going to answer questions asked by children:

1. Who invented the Dewey Decimal System?

Melvil Dewey.

2. Was he a scientist?

No, he was a librarian.

3. You're kidding?

No. 

4. Tell the truth Ms. Nichole! Was Melvil Dewey a real person?

 I am not pulling your leg. Melvil Dewey was a real person. Read his online biography here or borrow this book:

               

5. What are the words to the "I love you" song you sing at storytime?

The song "Skinnamarink Dinky Dink" is what I sing at

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They're All Dead.

All the good ones are dead. Some amazing writers have left us this year. Who will you miss most?

My plan was to tell you all about this great book: How to be a Friend to a Friend who's Sick, but then my sick friend died so I never finished the book. Instead, for these Days of the Dead, our days to remember and honor our beloved deceased; I thought I'd remind you of all the awesome authors who've passed away this year. Biographies, written while the authors were still alive, provided by the publishers.

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We Can Help You With That!

One-on-One Computer Help by appointment is now available at the Main Library.

You can now make an appointment to get individual help for your basic computer needs at the Oakland Public Library's Main Library. 

Do you want to know how to 

  • Navigate the Internet?
  • Get an email account?
  • Use a computer to write a resume?
  • Use a computer to look for a job or a place to live?

In addition to their daily drop-in hours, our Computer Lab tutors are now available for 30-minute individual appointments to tutor you in the basic computer skills you need to manage today's connected world.

Hours and times will vary based on the schedules of our friendly lab tutors. Call for an appointment at 510-238-3178. 

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Preserving Family Stories

"Preserving Family Stories," the final program in the Main Library's Fall History Series, will be held October 29, 6 p.m. in the Walters Auditorium.

Did you know that October is Family History Month? To mark the occasion, the Oakland History Room is sponsoring a series to celebrate families. Over the last week, we've held a family photo scanning day and an instructional program on how to determine the age and history of your house.

The next and final event, "Preserving Family Stories," will feature oral historian Nancy Thompson who will present an interactive workshop on collecting and preserving family histories. Participants will learn how to create family trees, how to conduct interviews and write oral histories, and how to use social histories, photographs and a variety of memorabilia to incorporate into your family history.

This event will be held Thursday, October 29 at 6 p.m. in the Walters Auditorium of the Main Library, 125 - 14th Street. For more information, contact the Oakland History Room staff

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New Ghostly Delights

Check out a ghost story for Halloween.

Have you read a good ghost story lately? With Halloween just a few days away, why not check out one of these new titles featuring ghosts both figurative and literal. Whether you like spooky stories or something more amusing, if you're looking for a good ghost story, read on.

Ghost Summer     Trigger Warning    

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