Tag Archives: Books Inc

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Cal water polo
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DESIGNED OBSOLESCENCE They’ve performed in nudist colonies and on Prairie Home Companion. They issued a series of 10-inch 78rpm recordings long after the format had vanished. And they count R. Crumb as a co-founder. The Cheap Suit Serenaders bring their “unapologetically outmoded tastes” to the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Friday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. On ukuleles, Hawaiian steel guitars, fiddles, cellos, banjos, mandolins, accordions and musical saws, Robert Armstrong, Allan Dodge, Rick Elmore and Tony Marcus serve up a “giddy blend of up-tempo Hawaiian stomps, ragtime, Italian polkas and more.” Tickets are $26.50 in advance, $28.50 on the door. Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.

Yankees use

THOSE DAMN YANKEES This weekend sees the production of the baseball-themed musical comedy Damn Yankees being performed by students in the Berkeley Playhouse TeenStage Program (grades 7-12) at the Berkeley Playhouse on College Ave. In this modern retelling of the Faust legend, a passionate Washington Senators fan sells his soul to the Devil in order to be transformed into their star player and lead his beloved team to a victory against those damn Yankees. The show, which is based on the novel, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, features memorable songs such as “Heart,” and “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.” Shows are Friday Jan. 10 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday Jan. 11 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday Jan. 12 at 12:00 p.m. Berkeley Playhouse, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley. Visit Berkeley Playhouse for full details.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley sex surrogate: ‘My work is like cooking school’

Cheryl Cohen Greene
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Just in time for Oscar season, Cheryl Cohen Greene — the Berkeley-based certified sex surrogate whose relationship with the polio-stricken writer Mark O’Brien forms the basis of the indie crowd-pleaser The Sessions — has a new memoir, An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner (Soft Skull Press). Here she talks with San Francisco magazine’s Nina Martin. Cohen Greene will be reading Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 pm at Books Inc. on Fourth St. in Berkeley.

How did you decide that you wanted to do your own version of the story?
The timing with the movie was somewhat coincidental. I had been writing a book for many years [but it got derailed for various reasons, including the death of her collaborator at the time]. Eventually I found [Oakland-based coauthor] Lorna Garano, who is fabulous.

Meanwhile, [the movie’s director/screenwriter] Ben Lewin, who had polio as a child, had read Mark’s essay [On Seeing a Sex Surrogate, 1990]. It touched him so deeply and he decided to make a movie. Ben and I met [in the mid 2000s], and then for three years I didn’t see him. We talked occasionally on the phone. His wife Judi, whom I adore, said to me, “Get on his case. We have to make some money, but I want him to write this.” They actually re-mortgaged their home to finance the movie. They sold jewelry. For them, making this movie was an act of love. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside

Were you a winner in our Caltopia raffle?

Baskets filled to the brim with gift certificates and pizza for a year from LaVal's
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The two days of Caltopia were quite a whirl for students, faculty and staff, as well as for exhibitors like Berkeleyside. From the tens of thousands who passed through the self-proclaimed “greatest days on planet Earth”, we were able to have conversations about local news with hundreds of people, we launched OneNews/Berkeleyside, our exciting new citizen journalism app, and we even found some potential new journalists.

But what about the Berkeleyside raffle? We partnered with a host of wonderful Berkeley businesses … Continue reading »

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News

Thousands of Cal students, staff flock to Caltopia

Students new and old come out in droves for the community-boosting swag-fest that is Caltopia
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UC Berkeley freshmen, some looking dazed, others excited, as well as more blasé seniors, turned out in their thousands on Sunday for Day One of Caltopia, the self-described “two greatest days on the planet”.

The event, held at the UC Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility at 2301 Bancroft Way, sees more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their wares and services to the Cal community, including the university’s staff and faculty.

It’s a combination of freebie-fest — with giveaways galore, be it bites of Clif Bars, T-shirts, pens and mouse pads and the chance to win covetable prizes like Kindles from big brand names like Pepsi  — and social mixer.

Berkeleyside made its debut at Calopia yesterday and we will be there again today. Find us at booth E104.

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UC Berkeley’s Caltopia: The ultimate Town & Gown affair

Caltopia2
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This weekend, when around 30,000 students and faculty stroll through Caltopia, browsing the booths of more than 100 exhibitors, Berkeley’s two driving forces, the city and its university, will be pitched in perfect harmony. And Berkeleyside will be there to sing along too.

Caltopia was launched nine years ago as a way for Berkeley businesses to welcome Cal students, both current and new, back to school. The event runs on Sunday and Monday this year, and classes start up … Continue reading »

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Are plastics good or bad? An author explains

Susan Freinkel
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When Susan Freinkel decided to write a book about plastic, she vowed to spend an entire day not touching the stuff. The plan lasted about ten seconds. After she woke up, she walked into the bathroom to use the toilet. She suddenly realized the seat was plastic, which meant she couldn’t sit down. Freinkel quickly changed plans. Instead of not touching plastic for a day, she would write down all the plastic things she touched in a day. The list came to 195 objects.

In recent years, plastic has gotten a bad rap, with some good reason. No one is happy about the giant garbage patches in the world’s oceans, or the six-pack rings that regularly lodge around wild animals. Yet plastics have also helped revolutionize medical care and other industries. Freinkel, a San Francisco author, explored the complexity of plastic in her just-released book,  Plastic: A Toxic Love Story. She will be talking about her findings tonight at Books, Inc on Fourth Street in Berkeley at 7:00 pm.

In Plastic, Frienkel uses eight plastic objects – the comb, the chair, the Frisbee, the IV bag, the Bic lighter, the grocery bag, the soda bottle, and the credit card – to explain the incredible popularity of the material, its benefits, and its downsides. It’s an important, yet entertaining, look at the issue. … Continue reading »

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Alice Medrich’s sweet life

143_Bittersweet Decadence. deborah.jones
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Alice Medrich, the author, is best known for her high-end sweets cookbooks devoted to serious bakers and dessert makers, including the bestsellers Pure Dessert and Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate. Alice Medrich, the dessert chef and chocolatier, is best known for her influential and ahead-of-its time shop Cocolat. Medrich ran the store, opened on Shattuck Avenue in 1976, for 14 years.

In both careers Medrich earned a reputation for meticulous recipe testing, a commitment to quality ingredients, and originality in her elaborate baked goods.

So some may be surprised to learn that her eighth cookbook is about, well, the humble cookie. Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies (Artisan Books, hardcover, $25.95) in fact. And, as is today’s norm for authors of new books, Medrich, 60, is even blogging about her latest work.

Medrich’s foray into food started in her early 20s with a hand-written recipe for the tiny cocoa-dusted chocolate truffles given to her by her Paris landlady in 1973. Truffles were virtually unheard of in America at the time.

She sold the pure bittersweet confections at the Pig-by-the-Tail Charcuterie (since replaced by The Cheese Board Collective, which has a memento to the shop’s past on display in the store). She also carried a sign and took orders for elaborate cakes and desserts that people could pick up at the end of the week. Sometimes, she says now, she needed all week to perfect the recipe. … Continue reading »

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News

Reports from the US-Mexico border: Tyche Hendricks

Tyche Hendricks
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The recent passage of a law in Arizona that gives police expanded power to ask people for documents proving their legal status is just the latest expression of frustration over immigration. It’s a question that no administration, Democrat or Republican, seems inclined to address.

Tyche Hendricks, who teaches international reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, spent the last few years covering the borderlands straddling the US-Mexico border for the San Francisco Chronicle. She will be talking … Continue reading »

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Local business

Books are back

books inc
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I had an unusual experience for present day America. I went to two new bookstores in Berkeley.

First, I stopped in at Books Inc on Fourth Street. I’ve lamented before the loss of Cody’s, which had robbed me of my main reason for going to Fourth Street. Books Inc, which opened in October, doesn’t rise to the heights of Cody’s, but it has an excellent selection of both fiction and general non-fiction. I would have liked … Continue reading »

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