Our Favorite Books of 2017

OPL staff look back on their favorite books of 2017.

When the new year prompts you to look back on the previous twelve months, at least you can always count on good books. Here are a few of our favorites published in 2017.

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Books for Living

The book that keeps on giving.

Books for Living

I'm currently reading Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. For me, the experience of reading this book is similiar to first reading the essays in Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mother's Gardens in college. I remember learning about authors I'd never read -- Zora Neale Hurston and Jean Toomer among others -- and the thrill of searching for their books and reading them for the first time. As a book lover, books that lead me to more books are my favorite type of books. And since many people who come to the library are also people who love books, I wanted to share this one with you.

Schwalbe divides his book into brief chapters such as "Searching," "Trusting," "Connecting," "Disconnecting," "Embracing Mediocrity,"

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in December 2017

If you're lining up your next great read, here are ten of the best works of fiction coming out this month.

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Baking & Making the Holidays

Recipes and DIY holiday gift ideas.

Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are fast approaching. For those who celebrate these holidays, cooking, baking and exchanging gifts are often part of the celebration. If you're looking for holiday recipes or gift making ideas, look no further! OPL has a book for you.

Frida's Fiestas     Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook     Do Ahead Christmas

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Oakland Public Library's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

We've compiled a list of some of our favorite books for kids, teens and adults for your year-end gifting needs.

Giving a gift to a book lover anytime soon? Our third annual Holiday Gift Guide features some of our favorite recent books for kids, teens and adults. If you don't already have a favorite local bookseller, we've also provided a list of Oakland bookstores below. 

Have suggestions of your own? We would LOVE to hear them--please share in the comments!

Books for Children

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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

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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

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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!

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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     

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in October 2017

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

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