Local Lit: November’s top 5 lit(erary) picks


NaNoWriMo at Oakland Library Piedmont Avenue Branch: November 5-26

Did you know that November is NaNoWriMo? Join hundreds of thousands of people worldwide during National Novel Writing Month and write a 50,000-word novel in just thirty days. Begun in 1999, NaNoWriMo’s weekly four-hour workshops at local libraries make available library resources, including Biblioboard, where writers can upload their completed novels to be read by other library users.

Tuesdays, November 5- 26; 4:00pm – 8:00pm; Piedmont Avenue Branch, 80 Echo Ave., Oakland; (510) 597-5011

Moth StorySLAM at Freight & Salvage, November 6 and every first Wednesday monthly

Every first Wednesday, the Freight packs it in with a Moth StorySLAM open-mic competition. It’s live storytelling with each participant given 5 minutes and a specific theme (consult www.themoth.org/events for the monthly theme) but allowed no notes, papers, or cheat sheets to tell a true tale. Standup comedy routines, fictional stories or fake people, places, or events are discouraged — except those lies and misconceptions we harbor about ourselves and our lives. Instead, real stories with conflict and resolution are welcome. Judges give each story a score. The highest scorer wins and is eligible to compete in Moth’s next GrandSLAM Championship. Study up for December and get your tickets early; the events often sell out but standing room only is an option.

First Wednesday of the month, $15, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, (510) 644-2020

Field trips to local parks from Oakland Public Library, multiple branches: November 16, 19, 23

The libraries are teaming up with East Bay Regional Parks to offer field trips. A short discussion at the library is followed by a free shuttle ride to a regional park. Children accompanied by an adult are welcome on Naturalist-led walks at Tilden Nature Area LIttle Farm (Asian branch, Nov. 19), Crab Cove (César E. Chávez branch, Nov. 16), and Redwood Regional Park (Main Library, Nov. 23). Light refreshments will be provided and RSVP is required: call the branch directly.

Asian Branch (510) 238-3400, César E. Chávez branch (510) 535-5620, Main Library (510) 597-5011

Free author talks at Oakland Asian Cultural Center: November 17

Two free events make this a good place to land in mid-November: Oakland-based illustrator Chris Sasaki and Bay-Area based author Oliver Chin team up at 3:30 p.m. to introduce their latest books and share their creative practices producing children’s books, Japanese anime and manga, comic books and illustration. At 6 p.m. the same day, author and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University Russell Jeung presents his new book, Family Sacrifices. Based on national survey data on Asian Americans and exploring Chinese American identity and religious affiliation, Jeung will read from his nonfiction work and discuss the social and cultural impact of familism, not religion, shaping contemporary ethnic groups in the United States.

Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, #290, Oakland.

Conversation with Sands Hall about her memoir Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology at Books Inc., Berkeley, November 19

Novelist and actress Sands Hall will discuss her 2018 memoir Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology. The story of Hall’s experience in the Church of Scientology during the 1980s was a finalist for the 2018 Northern California Books Awards. Sands in conversation with writer Jane Ciabattari will discuss the magnetism that gradually attracted her to the isolationist religion and how she escaped. Reflecting on the experience with the benefit of time, Hall in her memoir finds new truths and relations about language, authoritarianism, spirituality, artistry, and more

7 p.m., Nov. 19, Books Inc., 1491 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.

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