New Books from Bay Area Authors – April 2023

New books from San Francisco Bay Area authors, listed by release date.

God on Psychedelics: Tripping Across the Rubble of Old-time Religion

By Don Lattin
Apocryphile Press (March 24, 2023)

A growing number of Christians, Jews and others see sacred plant medicines as sources of spiritual renewal. Veteran Bay Area journalist Don Lattin profiles key psychedelic churches and fellowships emerging in the East Bay and elsewhere, examining how the much-discussed “psychedelic renaissance” fits into broader trends shaping American religion and spirituality.

The Perfumist of Paris

By Alka Joshi
MIRA Books (Harper Collins) (March 28, 2023)

This is the final volume of a three-part series that began with ​​Lakshmi in The Henna Artist. In this book, her younger sister, Radha, has left India to work as a perfume maker at a fragrance house in Paris. Her life with her husband and two daughters overturns, however, when the son she gave up for adoption 17 years ago seeks her out.

Selfless: The Social Creation of “You”

By Brian Lowery
Harper (March 28, 2023)

The “self” does not exist. Instead, it’s just a social creation depending on whom we interact, social psychologist and Stanford professor Brian Lowery argues in this book about identity.

The Shining Mountains 

By Alix Christie
High Road Books (April 1, 2023)

In 1883, 21-year-old Scotsman Angus McDonald travels to the Rocky Mountains to work for a British fur trading firm. He meets a kindred spirit, Catherine Baptiste, kin to Nez Perce chiefs, but they are soon torn apart by competing claims: between British fur traders, American settlers, and the Native peoples who have lived for millennia in the valleys and plateaus of the Shining Mountains’ western slopes. 

Am I Pretty When I Fly?: An Album of Upside Down Drawings

By Joan Baez
David R. Godine (April 4, 2023)

The singer and activist Joan Baez, retired from performing, has refocused her talents on painting and drawing. This collection features sketches touching on politics, relationships, women, animals, and family.

The Kneeling Man: My Father’s Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Leta McCollough Seletzky
Counterpoint (April 4, 2023)

Leta McCollough Seletzky did not know her father well – her parents split when she was 3 – but the famous photo of him kneeling at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis next to the mortally wounded Martin Luther King, Jr. has haunted her for years. The Kneeling Man is Seletzky’s exploration of the life of her father, wo was both an undercover police officer and a CIA agent.

Goodbye, Oakland: Winning, Wanderlust, and a Sports Town’s Fight for Survival

By Andy Dolich and Dave Newhouse
Triumph Books (April 11, 2023)

Oakland has lost the Raiders twice. The Golden State Warriors moved to San Francisco and the future of the A’s is up in the air. Goodbye Oakland written by a long-time sports reporter and a former A’s executive explores the city’s fascinating and paradoxical identity as a sports town.

Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation and the Resilience of a Family Farm

By David Mas Masumoto and Patricia Wakida 
Red Hen Press (April 18, 2023)

David Mas Matsumoto, whose organic peaches are exalted around California, writes about his unexpected discovery of a “lost” aunt, who was separated from her family in 1942 because of a mental disability she developed due to childhood meningitis. 

Reconceptions: Modern Relationships, Reproductive Science and the Unfolding Future of Family

By Rachel Lehmann-Haupt
BenBella Books (April 4, 2023)

The structure of the family has evolved as children are now conceived in previously unimaginable ways. Reconceptions combines memoir, family stories, and reporting on state-of-the-art reproductive technologies to explore the meaning of modern families.

Who Ate What?: A Historical Guessing Game for Food Lovers

By Rachel Levin and Natalia Rojas Castro Phaidon Press (April 5, 2023)

What did the Aztecs eat? How about the ancient Egyptians or the Vikings? This colorful culinary history for children with guess-what challenges and interactive guessing games highlights the diversity of foodstuffs humans have enjoyed over time.

Fox Points’ Own Gemma Hopper

By Brie Spangler
Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 11, 2023)

Gemma Hopper is obsessed with baseball, but between school and helping out with her family, she has no time to chase her dreams. This middle-grade graphic novel explores how Gemma finds her place in the world. 

 Money Out Loud: All the Financial Stuff No One Taught Us

By Berna Anat and Monique Sterling
HarperCollins Children’s Books/Quill Tree Books (April 25, 2023)

The world of money is “hella male, hella pale, and hella stale,” so financial guru Berna Anat wrote this illustrated and approachable guide to teach teens and young adults how to budget, pay off their debts, invest,  and build up wealth.

A Garden in My Hands

By Meera Sriram and Sandhya Prabhat
Knopf Books for Young Readers

This picture book for children shows a mother applying henna to her young daughter’s hands and sharing family stories as they prepare for a wedding.


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