The Handmaid’s Tale and Other Dark Dystopian Dreams

The Handmaid’s Tale and Other Dark Dystopian Dreams: 5 novels of speculative fiction exploring themes of gender and power.

The Handmaid’s Tale and Other Dark Dystopian Dreams

If the news has been feeling like some dark dystopian TV series for the past year, consider reading some speculative fiction exploring themes of gender and power. (And when is the next installment of The Handmaid’s Tale returning to Hulu, anyway?)

The Power : A Novel  by Naomi Alderman (2017)

“All over the world, teenage girls develop the ability to send an electric charge from the tips of their fingers. It might be a little jolt, as thrilling as it is frightening. It might be powerful enough to leave lightning-bolt traceries on the skin of people the girls touch. It might be deadly. And, soon, the

Click here to read more

Finding Your Next Great Read

A Readers' Advisory Round-Up

What do you like to read? Do you follow an author until you’ve read everything then wait impatiently for the next book? Do you read one genre exclusively? Science fiction? Popular science? Biographies?

How do you find the next book you’re going to read or listen to? Do you read reviews? Ask your friends? Or do you ask a librarian?

Good idea. Readers’ Advisory is our middle name. Names. When you ask us for help we open our bag of librarian tricks. Guess what the first trick is -- we will ask YOU more questions. We’re going to find out what you like and don’t like. And why. Once we’ve drawn you out, we’ll pull our other tricks out of the bag. Like the library catalog. A catalog search really can get you to a book with qualities like other books you’ve liked. We usually will start with keywords in the basic search box, moving later to an advanced search.

We also use library databases like

Click here to read more

10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in November 2017

These ten great novels are heading to Oakland Public Library this month. You can place your holds now!

Click here to read more

Read a Good Ghost Story Lately?

Haunted stories for Halloween.

Looking for some ghostly reading as Halloween approaches? Check out these novels and shorts stories featuring ghosts. Some of the books contain traditional ghost stories; in others the authors use psychological hauntings as a motif. All are filled with spine-tingling suspense! Descriptions are provided by the publishers.

Image result     The Boy Who Drew Monsters     

Click here to read more

10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in October 2017

Here are 10 tough-to-resist fiction releases coming this month.

Click here to read more

While You're Waiting For....

Louise Penny's latest has a super-long hold list. Here are some things you can read while you wait.

 Jacket.aspxGlass Houses, the new Chief Inspector Gamache mystery by Canadian author Louise Penny, is here and boy, does it have a long hold list! Gamache has legions of fans and this, the lucky thirteenth in the series, will not fail to satisfy. If you don’t already follow Gamache, start with the first one,

Click here to read more

Connecting to the Natural World

Books that focus on our nature and our connection to each other.

Lately I've been asked for book recommendations that inspire a sense of hope or aren't all about "everything that's wrong with the world." I've recommended books about social justice movements and change and ways of building community. I've also been thinking about other types of books that inspire hope. For me, nature writing can instill hopefulness because it helps me feel connected to the natural world which in turns reminds me of our interconnectedness. The books below all address our connection to nature and to each other. I hope you enjoy these recommendations.

The Abundance 

The abundance : narrative essays old and new

Click here to read more

10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in September 2017

Presenting our monthly fiction picks, with great new books from some of our favorite authors!

Click here to read more

Building Community: Flavors of Oakland

What makes your community stronger?

What makes your community stronger? We recently posed that question to our patrons after the violence in Charlottesville and posted their responses in our branch. It's also a question I've been pondering for a while.

A few weeks ago we hosted Anya Ku and Elazar Sontag at the Dimond Branch for a discussion about the making of their book Flavors of Oakland and shared some of the recipes. After listening to the authors talk it became clear to me that projects like these make our communities stronger.

Anya, a photographer, and Elazar, a writer, began their collaborative project when they were 16 and 18 years old. As part of the project the two shared meals with home cooks throughout Oakland and learned their personal histories. Many of the

Click here to read more

A Suitable Novel

August is a great month to read contemporary novels from the Indian sub-continent.

August 15 marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence from Great Britain. Indian partition happened at the same time, creating an independent India and an independent Pakistan. Pakistan celebrates its independence one day before, August 14. Modern India, modern Pakistan, and the diaspora from the sub-continent has enriched the literature of the English language immeasurably.

This August we’re going to immerse ourselves in that literature. Where to begin? Here’s a short list to get you reading.

You can start with Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Though better known for other books, like the still-controversial Satanic Verses,

Click here to read more