Local Lit | October’s top five lit(erary) events

This month’s news of noteworthy literary events at local libraries, bookstores, concert halls, performing arts centers, coffee shops, salons and other venues. Happy reading and writing in community with all lovers of literature!

Main Oakland Library — BART: The Dramatic History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System | October 9

The woes and wonder of Bay Area Rapid Transit and its history include political skirmishes, scandals, births, deaths, epic and evolutionary progress, phantom stations and more. Bringing the full story to life, East Bay Yesterday podcast host Liam O’Donoghue — an in-the-flesh encyclopedic repository of area history — interviews Michael C. Healy, author of BART: The Dramatic History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System. Published by Berkeley-based Heyday Books and bearing the authorial stamp of Healy, BART spokesman from 1972 to 2005, pick up a copy of the book at a local bookstore. You’ll have something to read when the train gets stopped in a tunnel.

Wednesday, October 9, 6-7:30 p.m., Main Library, Walters Auditorium, 125 14th St., Oakland, (510) 238-3134

Litquake | October 10-19

The annual ten-day festival is a highlight on the Bay Area literary calendar. Featuring best-selling, award-winning authors, poets, journalists, scholars and other Big Thinkers on writing, publishing and literature, the mostly free events and readings take place primarily in San Francisco’s Mission District. Take note: a significant number of those writers and Big Thinkers live or work in the East Bay. One event, Lit By the Lake keeps the action close to home. Don’t miss hearing from a panel of six local authors October 18 at Oakland Main Library — or brave the bridge to catch at least one of 217 Litquake events this year.

Litquake – October 10-19, visit litquake.com | Lit By the Lake – Friday, October 18, 6:30-8:00 pm

Rockridge Public Library — Monarch butterfly workshop | October 12

Monarchs love milkweed for laying and incubating their eggs. With the migratory monarch population dwindling from 10 million to the 28,429 counted last year in wintering colonies, wouldn’t you love to supply a home? Any sunny space, even one as small as four feet square, can be used to plant milkweed and winter blooming nectar plants on which butterflies feed. Attend a workshop at the Rockridge library to learn more about milkweed, native flowering plants and how to create a butterfly garden. Best of all: in addition to information, workshop participants will leave with starter milkweed plants to speed them on their journey to help save the monarchs.

Saturday, October 12, 11:00 am | Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Avenue, (510) 597-5017

Birthday Alert — Moe’s Books and Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore | October 12 and October 18

Celebrate Moe’s milestone 60th birthday October 12 with snacks, prizes, a raffle, live Cuban music and fortune cookies with bold messages empowering everyone “to face the future together.” Three days later, swing into Mrs. Dalloway’s with other loyal customers and toast the venerable shop’s 15 years in business. Owner’s Marion Abbott and Ann Leyhe are the real deal: avid readers through and through. They’re also two cool ladies backed by a top shelf staff who always know the best books to put in your hands — and how to throw a party. Support your local independent bookstores and don’t leave empty handed: Buy a book!

Moe’s – Saturday, Oct 12, 12:00-6:30 pm | 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, (510) 849-2087; Mrs. Dalloway’s – Friday, October 18, 10:00 am-9:00pm | 2904 College Avenue, Berkeley, (510) 704-8222

Berkeley Arts & Letters — Susan Rice on Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For | October 16

Susan Rice — mother, wife, tennis player, scholar, diplomat, assistant secretary during the Clinton administration, trusted advisor to president Obama, and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times — presents her new memoir, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For. In conversation with Glide Foundation’s Center for Social Justice director Miguel Bustos, Rice will speak on democracy and global leadership. Proud of the ancestral heritage that taught her to excel, candid about obstacles she faced as an African American woman working in an environment that included few people of color, Rice tells a universal story of rise, fall, recovery and never giving up on justice and peace.

Wednesday, October 16, 7:00 pm | First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street | berkleyarts.org

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