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.
Presenting our monthly fiction picks, with great new books from some of our favorite authors!
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 people they met were
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.
Ice cream recipes to keep you cool.
As a child, one of my favorite things about summer was ice cream. Not much has changed in that area. I recently started looking for books to help me make my own ice cream. Here are some of my favorites. If you're looking for something less labor intensive, several of these books contain recipes for ice cream sandwiches and desserts that use store bought ice cream.
The Summer of Love. All summer long.
Unless you've been living in a San Francisco fog the last few months, you know that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. In January the Human Be-In at the Polo Grounds in Golden Gate Park ushered in the year and made the Haight-Ashbury district the counterculture's epicenter. Among other observances, the de Young Museum's current show provides an overview for those who don't, or can't, remember it.
The library is an excellent resource to know more. Books, music, films, and more, we've got it. A simple search of the library catalog using the phrase "summer of love" can get you started. One good book to begin with is the de Young exhibition's colorful catalog,
After celebrating Pride, relax with a book.
Looking for new books by LGBTQI authors? OPL has them! These fiction and nonfiction titles were all released in the past year. Happy reading! Happy Pride!
New Titles in Graphic Format
A new show at the Oakland Museum looks at Lange's life and career.
"Through the lens of her camera, Lange documented American life with riveting, intimate photographs that showed the major issues of the times. This spring, view the emotional and political impact of her works in this major exhibition, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s gift of her personal archive to the Oakland Museum of California."
A new show opened in May at the Oakland Museum of California chronicling the career of photographer Dorothea Lange. The exhibition, Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, will run through August 13. 2017.
You won't want to miss it.
Lange's iconic photos have shaped the way we envision our