Tag Archives: Books

Berkeley’s Moe’s Books honored with historical plaque

Moe's by Sici
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Moe’s Books, Berkeley’s famous Telegraph Avenue bookstore, was yesterday honored with the installation of an historical plaque.

The 55-year-old bookstore, which was founded by Moe Moskowitz and his wife Barbara, is now run by the couple’s daughter Doris Moskowitz who said the new plaque made her and her team feel very proud.

The plaque was bestowed on Moe’s by the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project which was established in 1997 with sponsorship from the City of Berkeley and its Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and the Berkeley Historical Society.  … Continue reading »

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Local stars come out for the Berkeley Public Library

BPLF Authors Dinner 2013 - Berkeley CA.
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By Mal Warwick

Who knew? Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart isn’t just a musician. It turns out he’s also a musicologist of considerable note, and he’s collaborating with neurologists to conduct research on the potential use of rhythm to reawaken brain function in people with dementia. Hart’s brief conversation in the spotlight with Event Chair Linda Schacht Gage at Saturday’s 11th Annual Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner was the hit of the evening. Yes, Hart writes books on his research, too, and he was one of thirty recently published authors honored at the dinner.

Running a close second as a crowd-pleaser was Sam Barry, a San Francisco humorist, the brother of Pulitzer-Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, whom he closely resembles and whose greetings he passed along. Sam Barry was recently a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, running under the slogan, “How bad could he be?” But there’s more. Barry is also a virtuoso on the harmonica, and one short command performance led to an electrifying encore that left smiles stretching all across the room. … Continue reading »

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The best books of 2012, as chosen by Berkeleyside editors

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It’s almost the end of 2012, which means it is the time for lists tallying up this year’s big events. Berkeleyside will be weighing in on what we consider the biggest cultural and news happenings of the year. Today we consider books. If there was any question about whether we at Berkeleyside love books, all it would take was a glance at our bookshelves to give you a clue. (See Lance’s above) Here are our picks for 2012: … Continue reading »

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Ways with roots, luscious Middle Eastern dishes

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Two new cookbooks, ‘Roots’ and ‘Jerusalem,’ would make wonderful gifts this holiday season. Ken Eastman, antiquarian book buyer at Moe’s Books, reviews them for NOSH. Continue reading »

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Berkeley acupuncturist finds bliss in seasonal food

Simple sauerkraut: A popular fermented food. Photo: Nishanga Bliss
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“We Americans are eating ourselves to death” sounds like a total Debbie Downer way to begin a book, doesn’t it? But the recently released cookbook Real Food All Year, by Berkeley’s Nishanga Bliss, offers an opportunity to explore seasonal eating in tandem with the principles of Chinese medicine and holistic nutrition in a manner that isn’t overly negative or earnest.

Bliss, a professor of Chinese medicine at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) in downtown Berkeley, where she works as an acupuncturist, nutritionist and herbalist, peppers her book, published by local press New Harbinger, with her professional expertise. She focuses on the healing potential of seasonal eating and cooking to support the health of key organs and overall energy.

So readers will find cheery chapters such as “Feeling Spring,” which encourages eaters to embrace the appearance of fresh, new greens at the market, cleanse, detoxify the liver, and cook for shorter times, with less oil, and lower temperatures than in winter.  … Continue reading »

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Litquake to Berkeley: Let’s shake things up

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Berkeley’s literary arts scene is about to get a huge injection of energy in the next nine days, as the Litquake Literary Festival – the largest in the West – stages two events in Berkeley.

It starts on Tuesday Oct. 9 with actors reading stories out loud on the Ashby Stage and continues on Saturday Oct. 13 with The Berkeley Ramble, a word play on Litquake’s famous Lit Crawl, the Saturday event in the Mission District that has dozens of readings by dozens of authors in bars, art galleries, Laundromats, and other unusual spaces.  It’s where “literature hits the streets.” The Berkeley version – The Ramble – will bring authors over an afternoon to five venues: The Magnes, the David Brower Center, the Marsh Arts Center, Pegasus Books on Shattuck, and Bec’s Bar & Bistro, also on Shattuck.

“A bunch of the folks on the Litquake committee live in the East Bay and we were interested in doing some programming close to home,” said Elise Proulx, a Berkeley resident and Litquake’s director of marketing and development. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley food blogger serves up gluten-free food for all

Erin Scott
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Food, portrait, and lifestyle photographer Erin Scott, who lives in North Berkeley, is the voice behind the popular blog Yummy Supper, a source for simple, seasonal, and gluten-free recipes accompanied by sumptuous photos that would whet any eater’s appetite — the gluten-free or not.

Scott is also currently recipe testing for her upcoming cookbook, The Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious, and Honest Recipes from a (Gluten-Free) Omnivore.

Many of her ideas feature ingredients picked from her backyard garden, which boasts fragrant herbs, salad and saute greens, and citrus trees.

Scott’s images has been featured on the food porn sites foodgawker and tastespotting and her recipes and photography have gotten nods from sites such as Gourmet Live, Glamour, and Fine Cooking.

With a background in fashion and design, and as the former co-owner of the clothing store August in Oakland, Scott never thought she’d end up spending most days in the kitchen taking pictures.

But her dad gave her a leather-bound Polaroid when she was little so she started snapping photos at an early age.  Scott also enjoyed cooking beside her mom as a young child, and planning, making, and eating a nourishing supper has brought pleasure ever since.

Over nectarine friands and lemon verbena tea, Scott, 41, spoke with Berkeleyside this week about her blog, pending cookbook, and eating well with her husband and two kale-munching kids. … Continue reading »

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Three Michaels: Chabon, Lewis and Pollan in conversation

Berkeleyside announced that it is hosting a benefit Dec. 10 featuring the Three Michaels of Berkeley - Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis, and Michael Pollan
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Perhaps you heard Michael Lewis talking to Terry Gross on Fresh Air Wednesday  about his epic article in Vanity Fair about Obama’s Way. Or you could have listened to Michael Krasny’s interview with Michael Chabon about his new novel, Telegraph Avenue. Or maybe you were lucky enough to nab one of the 300 public seats for Michael Pollan’s Edible Education at UC Berkeley.

One of the wonders of today’s Berkeley is the presence of three of the … Continue reading »

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The FBI’s secret war against Berkeley

In his book Subversives, Seth Rosenfeld details how Hoover's FBI feared Communists were controlling the Free Speech Movement and sought to sabotage it. Photo: UC Berkeley Libraries
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Seth Rosenfeld’s book on the FBI and UC Berkeley, a culmination of 30 years of work, has been out for just a week, but its revelations are already creating consternation.

It’s not just the news that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent agents to spy on Berkeley professors and students starting in the 1940s and worked behind the scenes with Ronald Reagan to get UC President Clark Kerr fired. It’s not just Rosenfeld’s massive evidence that Hoover twisted the inner workings of the FBI to justify intensive spying on the Free Speech Movement and its leaders, including Mario Savio and Bettina Aptheker.  And it’s not just the news that top UC Berkeley officials, upset about unrest on campus, worked closely with federal agents to harm the reputations of students and professors they considered subversive.

What has people fired up is Rosenfeld’s revelation that Richard Aoki, a revered radical leader best known for providing the first guns to the Black Panthers, was an FBI informant. … Continue reading »

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A roadmap to Berkeley’s literary scene

Andrew David King, a poet and the editor of UC Berkeley's Berkeley Poetry Review, explores Berkeley's literary scene.
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For the last few months, poet and UC Berkeley student Andrew David King has been dissecting Berkeley’s literary zeitgeist by figuring out which famous authors have lived here, which books have been set here, where writers draw inspiration for their work, where their tomes are published, and where they can be purchased.

The result is a delightful and comprehensive overview of the Berkeley literary scene, published today in Ploughshares Literary Magazine. The series on “literary boroughs,” strives to “explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally.”

And as King’s research shows, Berkeley is thriving. Here is what he has to say about the writers who have lived here: … Continue reading »

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Wit and grace are hallmarks of book awards ceremony

Winning author Andrea Lingenfelter knows firsthand that a translator’s work often goes unrecognized
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Michael Pollan, taking the stage at the 31st Annual Northern California Book Awards on Sunday June 10, accepted the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement with two caveats: first, he’s not that old. And second, he’s lived in California (on Berkeley’s north side) for only nine years.

The internationally renowned food activist, journalist, and author gave a humorous account of a reading he gave early in his career at Cody’s Books on Telegraph Avenue. Botany of Desire had just come out, and among the fans to hear him read was a woman in purple attire who repeatedly raised her hand during his presentation. When called upon, the woman objected to Pollan’s use of the word “pests” to describe aphids that attack plants. Doing a fine imitation of himself as the bemused young writer, Pollan recalled asking what term she might prefer. The woman’s lightning-quick reply? “Associate species.”

Sedge Thomson, who maintained admirable poise on crutches after breaking his ankle a few days earlier, emceed the awards ceremony. Thomson, a Berkeley resident, announced the names of finalists in six categories, beginning with Fiction and Poetry in Translation. The translators received applause from the audience at San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium before exiting stage right to await the verdict. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley honors David Brower’s environmental legacy

David Brower. Photo by G. Paul Bishop 1978
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When Kenneth Brower was finishing up his freshman year at UC Berkeley, his father – the famed environmentalist David Brower – recruited him to work on a project: a book featuring stunning photos of the Big Sur coast entwined with the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Never mind that Kenneth Brower, born and raised in the hills of Berkeley, was still in his teens. Never mind he had never edited anything before. The younger Brower moved into the home of famed photographer Ansel Adams in Carmel and started to make forays into the studios of other celebrated photographers.

The result was Not Man Apart and when it was published in 1965 it became one of the most popular of the large-format nature coffee table books that the elder Brower produced. Kenneth Brower went to work on or edit 14 books in the series, including one on the Galapagos Islands during his sophomore year at Cal, before launching his own career as a noted nonfiction writer.

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of David Brower, widely considered to be one of the greatest environmental activists of his time, and second only to John Muir in calling attention to the critical need to preserve America’s wilderness areas. … Continue reading »

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Adam Hochschild on flour power as strategy for activists

Adam Hochschild would like to remind us that Berkeley has the 4th largest library in the country.
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The denizens of other cities can snicker all they like, but Berkeley historian Adam Hochschild has no problem with Berkeley’s foreign policy.

“If the citizens of Berkeley were in charge, our country would be better off,” he said when Berkeleyside reached him by phone to discuss his highly acclaimed book To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.

Alongside telling excerpts from the diary of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, and vivid descriptions of what life was like for men in the trenches, To End All Wars presents the story of a one-woman diplomatic mission to Berlin in 1916 by British citizen Emily Hobhouse. Almost in the same breath, Hochschild described Hobhouse’s trip into the heart of enemy territory during wartime as “totally foolish” and “an extraordinarily noble thing.” In Berlin, Hobhouse met with the German Foreign Minister and other high-ranking officials. While failing to bring about the peace she hoped for, she came up with an idea for a civilian prisoner exchange that the two countries subsequently put into effect. … Continue reading »

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