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Winter Reads

Stay warm with these page-turners by local authors.


As the temperature drops in the East Bay, what better way to pass the chilly evenings than settling in by the fireplace with a good book? Local authors have once again come through with selections to entice even the fussiest reader. Pick one up at a local bookstore— Orinda Books, A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair, or Rakestraw Books in Danville—and cozy up for a riveting read.

For the Grown-Ups:

Tell Me More
By Kelly Corrigan
With her usual warm, self-deprecating humor, New York Times best-selling author Kelly Corrigan invites us into her life as a parent, daughter, and devoted friend, invoking all its funny and sometimes painful details. Corrigan, who lives in Piedmont, bases each essay on a saying she uses to help establish boundaries, embrace loss, and greet each experience with compassion and love. (Chapter headings include “I Don’t Know” and “I Was Wrong.”) Whether it’s a family fight over something unimportant or the loss of a close friend, Corrigan’s tales of her foibles and concerns brim with honesty and relatability—and her empathetic writing is always a pleasure to curl up with.


Here in Berlin
By Cristina García
A National Book Award finalist for her much-loved Dreaming in Cuban, Bay Area author Cristina García turns her literary eye to Germany in her latest novel, a haunting and beautiful book offering snapshots of Berlin’s past and present. A Cuban teen imprisoned on a German submarine, a female lawyer who defends war criminals, and the son of a zookeeper striving to protect the zoo’s animals must face their memories in this ghostly city.

The Dress in the Window
By Sofia Grant
Oakland author Sofia Grant’s debut novel tells the engrossing tale of two sisters in post–World War II America. Mourning the loss of loved ones, the women turn to fashion in their struggle to move on. Grant’s evocative prose makes for a promising introduction by a talented writer.

The California Field Atlas
By Obi Kaufmann
Landscape artist and poet Obi Kaufmann gifts us 552 pages of hand-painted maps and illustrations of California’s incredible wildlife. The East Bay native’s tome showcases local species and environs in stunning detail—and makes a passionate plea for the need to protect them. Dividing the state into its 58 counties, he regales readers with dancing tectonic plates, watersheds, and wildflowers. 

The Tower of the Antilles
By Achy Obejas
Mills College program director Achy Obejas enchants in her latest collection of short stories, taking us into the heart of the Cuban revolution. This revelatory book by the Cuban-American writer explores the Caribbean island’s complicated history and the people who call it home.

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change
By Ellen Pao
In 2015, whistleblower Ellen Pao went to war with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, suing the company for discrimination toward women and minorities. In this memoir, the daughter of Chinese immigrants details her fight as a working woman in the technology field and argues why we need to reset.

By Robin Sloan
Following the success of his critically lauded debut, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Oakland author Robin Sloan returns with another surrealistically fun novel: Sourdough. Engineer Lois Clary leaves her day job after an encounter with a magical sourdough starter, and enters a secret world of foodies who aim to merge foodstuffs and robotics—with bizarre results. Sloan’s writing is again crisp and delicious, leaving us with an appetite for more.

For the Younger Crowd:

Living Wild
By Elaine Miller Bond
In her latest book, Orinda photographer and renowned science writer Elaine Miller Bond asks: “Where is your favorite place to be?” This lovingly put-together instant classic introduces youngsters to the various places that foxes, butterflies, songbirds, and other creatures call home, via Bond’s photographs of animals in their natural habitats.

By Jess Hong
Berkeley’s Creston Books colors outside the lines with Oakland author Jess Hong’s Lovely, a picture book about diversity and acceptance. The wonderfully illustrated story expresses the ways in which all of us—the big, small, loud, quiet, smooth, and wrinkly—are truly lovely.

You Bring the Distant Near
By Mitali Perkins
Orinda resident and children’s author Mitali Perkins—who brought us Tiger Boy and Rickshaw Girl—takes her first step into young adult fiction with this humorous book, which was nominated for a National Book Award last year. Spanning three generations of an Indian-American family, the story follows five women as they struggle to balance friendship, love, and identity with their culture and traditions.

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