When not teaching humanities at the Bay School in San Francisco, Berkeley author Ayize Jama-Everett is hard at work on the final installment of his superhero prose saga. At a time when masked avengers and super-villains dominate the entertainment industry, Jama-Everett has put his own distinctive stamp on the genre in three well-received novels: The Liminal People, The Liminal War and The Entropy of Bones.
Black Oak Books, which has had a presence in Berkeley for 33 years, is shutting its doors.
Every year the Berkeleyside editors, aided by ardent readers in the community, select their favorite books of the year. Here are our selections for 2015 (feel free to share your picks in the comments):
I have strolled through the Elmwood district of Berkeley thousands of times and thought I knew most of the major landmarks. But a recent walk I took with Robert E. Johnson and Janet L. Byron, co-authors of the new book, Berkeley Walks: Revealing Rambles Through America’s Most Intriguing City, showed me I had been seeing the neighborhood with shaded eyes.
When a fire tore through 2449 Dwight Way the Sunday before Thanksgiving, about 30 tenants were displaced and the property owner was saddled with around $1 million in damages. The Nov. 22 disaster has brought to light what can happen in Berkeley in the aftermath of a destructive fire.
Mal Warwick, who regularly contributes book reviews to Berkeleyside, calls Frances Dinkelspiel’s ‘Tangled Vines’ “a great read,” and “crammed with fascinating characters.” He gives it five stars.
Book reviewer Mal Warwick thinks Robert Reich’s new book is “brilliant,” and “cogently and compellingly” explains complex economic issues. But while Reich is funny in person, ‘Saving Capitalism’ doesn’t contain a lot of humor, says Warwick. He still gives it five out of five stars.
John Byrne Barry has a thing for trash.
Berkeley resident Steve Masover has written short stories and a screenplay, including the documentary Berkeley to Soweto. A graduate of UC Berkeley who was active in the anti-apartheid movement, Masover returned to the university in 2007 to work in its information technology division. Now he has written a novel, Consequence, which Mal Warwick reviews.
Liz Cunningham was almost killed by a rogue wave while kayaking.