Every year some of the Berkeleyside team, aided by ardent readers in the community, select their favorite books of the year. This year we asked the new head of the Berkeley Public Library, the new publisher of Heyday Books, a Berkeley novelist, a former financial wizard deeply involved in Jewish communal life, our regular book reviewer, and three Berkeleysiders to tell us about the books they most enjoyed reading. The books did not have to be published in 2016, only enjoyed in 2016. Here are the selections. Please feel free to share your picks in the comments.
A review of A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves by Walter Alvarez
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Lainey Feingold has written a book on structured negotiations.
Berkeley-based author Nathanael Johnson’s book Unseen City was published in April, but its subject matter — the close examination of, and appreciation for, the nature that directly surrounds us — has provided him with particular comfort in the past few weeks.
Lucy Jane Bledsoe is a Berkeley resident who has written five novels, two collections, and seven children’s books. Her new novel, A Thin Bright Line, which she will discuss Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. at Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, is based on the life of her aunt, who died in a fire when Bledsoe was 9. She later discovered they had many similarities.
For her new book, the British writer found there was anxiety around the topic of happiness, with a feeling from people that there was a perfect ‘happy-ever-after’ that they weren’t quite managing to achieve.
Elaine Miller Bond will present her new book, 'Running Wild,' Monday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at Books Inc. in North Berkeley.
Only the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr. could match the sensationalism of Patty Hearst’s seizure from her Berkeley apartment
Tom Dalzell has so many passions that he has to get up at 3:30 a.m. each day to attend to them all.
MAD MONK CENTER FOR ANACHRONISTIC MEDIA Ken Sarachan’s Mad Monk Center for Anachronistic Media threw open its doors in April after years of construction. The spacious space at 2454 Telegraph Ave. that formerly housed Cody’s Books now holds thousands of used books and LPs (brought from the basement of Rasputin’s down the street). There are no CDs or DVDs, only “analog” media. Thus the name. Sarachan has said he has plans to install a café and music venue in the space, but those elements have not arrived yet. Bookmarks, T-shirts, and book bags are also on the way. (more…)
By Frances Dinkelspiel and Mal Warwick
New novel captures era when two Berkeleys, a Black one and a White one, existed parallel to each other, rarely intersecting on the corners of openness and acceptance.
The book, "There Was A Fire Here," about the tragedy and how Nye and her family coped with their losses, has been described as a "searing memoir."