Coming in September: Five Hit Novels and Five More to Look Out For

Several highly anticipated new books are coming out in September. See our hot list here, and place your holds soon!

Place your holds now for these upcoming hits:

  • The Bay Area’s own Michael Chabon has a new book out in September, and his Oakland fans will be especially interested in the local focus. It’s called Telegraph Avenue, and features two down-and-out record store owners battling the encroachment of an entertainment megastore. You can get a preview from NPR here.
  • Pulitzer prizewinner Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) and Orange Prize winner Zadie Smith (White Teeth) also have new books out next month that are sure to garner lots of attention. 
  • In September we’ll also see a new novel from Lee Child, the seventeenth thrilling novel featuring the mysterious drifter Jack Reacher. If you’ve never heard of this award winning and extremely popular series, you will soon: Tom Cruise will play Reacher in a feature film this December.
  • Readers are already placing

Click here to read more

Happy Birthday Julia! Plus some tasty fiction

In honor of culinary great Julia Child's 100th birthday, check out one of these great food and restaurant themed books.

This month marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Julia Child, a beloved and iconic individual who changed the way Americans think about food and cooking. Accordingly, a new biography called Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child has just been released. Author Bob Spitz brings together personal diaries and letters to tell her story in a captivating new way, cooking up a “deliciously satisfying read” (Huffington Post).

If you’d like to commemorate her birthday with a book, another great choice would be My Life in FrancePublished in 2006, this memoir was written in part by Julia Child and completed after her death by a grand nephew, Alex Prud'homme. It recounts her time in France: the great

Click here to read more

Bike Books Worth Making the Trip

Inspired by the new Chris Cleave novel Gold, a list of bicycle-related books, from practical how-tos and touring guides, to literary fiction and first person memoirs.

British author Chris Cleave’s novel Little Bee was probably one of the most popular library books of 2009, besides being a bestseller and a huge hit with book clubs. The story in his new novel, Gold, centers around the turmoil bubbling between the lives of two rival Olympic cyclists. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Cleave “pulls out all the stops getting inside the hearts and minds of his engagingly complex characters.” If that weren’t enough adrenaline, PW goes on to note that “the race scenes have true visceral intensity, leaving the reader feeling as breathless as a cyclist.” Gold, likely to be another hit, provided the inspiration for this list of bike-themed books.

I am eager to read the new book by the Bay Area’s own Grant Petersen, owner of Rivendell Bicycle Works in Walnut Creek. Last month he published the opinionated myth-busting manifesto 

Click here to read more

Highlights from our 2012 Adult Summer Reading Program

Get book recommendations from other library patrons. Here are a few reviews from participants in our Adult Summer Reading program.

You still have one week (until August 11) to participate in Oakland Public Library's summer reading programs and win some great prizes! To participate in the adult program, just sign up here and submit a book review. Each review enters you in a raffle with different prizes at each branch. You can sign up from home or from any library computer.

Plus, if you need a suggestion for your next book, the Adult Summer Reading Program website is a fantastic resource! Readers from all over town have posted their recommendations. The sheer variety of books is simply stunning, and I found many of the reviews to be both helpful and entertaining. A few are featured below, but for more just visit the Adult Summer Reading Program reviews page.

Some recommendations from Oakland readers:

Click here to read more

What to read while you're waiting for Gone Girl

We have a long wait for a copy of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, but there are plenty of other great mysteries to read until you can get a copy.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is one of the most popular books of this summer so far. Flynn's first two novels, Dark Places and Sharp Objects, earned much acclaim, but Gone Girl has proven to be her breakthrough novel, topping the New York Times bestseller list as well as numerous lists of summer reading recommendations. Described as "an intelligent, gripping tour de force, mixing a riveting plot and psychological intrigue with a compelling prose style that unobtrusively yet forcefully carries the reader from page to page" (Library Journal), Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and Amy, celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy suddenly disappears. As evidence begins stacking up against Nick as the main suspect, the story of a toxic and deceitful marriage unfolds through a series of disturbing twists.

Do not fret if you find yourself on the hold list for this book! Here are some suggestions of similarly gripping psychological thrillers and mysteries (with quick

Click here to read more