Local Lit | April’s top tips for book lovers

Anne Lamott’s ‘Somehow: Thoughts on Love’ | City Arts & Lectures | April 13

City Arts & Lectures and Book Passage host the beloved Bay Area author Anne Lamott with a ticketed event at San Francisco’s Sydney Goldstein Theater. Fans of the writer’s previous books, which include novels (Hard Laughter, Rosie) and nonfiction (Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird, and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith), will know Lamott is a compelling public speaker and generous in conversations about her work, life, dreams, and faith.

With her trademark self-deprecating perspective and sense of humor Lamott confidently takes on topics that could come across as trite, preachy, or melodramatic in the hands of a lesser writer. Instead of overly precious predictability, her essays are instead frank investigations of uncomfortable truths that reveal our shared humanity and fallibility. With Lamott, hope springs eternal that somehow — next time — we’ll get it right when it comes to love.

April 13 @ 7:30 p.m. | $49 | bookpassage.com/lamott-city-arts

Berkeley Symphony‘s ‘Play on Words’ | Piedmont Center for the Arts | April 14

Words inspire music in Berkeley Symphony’s superb chamber series at the PCA. Five outstanding musicians lead a program that includes Kornbold’s suite for violin and piano “Much Ado About Nothing,” Gordon Getty’s “Four Dickinson Songs” for soprano and piano, Jake Heggie’s “Shed No Tear” (from a poem by John Keats) for soprano, and Schubert’s “Piano Trio in E-flat major, Opus 100” for piano, violin, and cello. The featured artists are Lisa Delan, soprano; René Mandel, violin; Evan Kahn, cello; Kevin Korth, piano; and Heggie (performing on piano for his “Shed No Tear”).

April 14 @ 4 p.m. | $40 | berkeleysymphony.org

Stacy Stokes with Keely Parrack | Great Good Place for Books | April 17

Bay Area-based writer Stacy Stokes will read from her second young adult novel “The Darkness Rises” and talk with fellow local author Keely Parrack about her journey from marketing professional with a Wharton MBA to successful novelist. Stokes’ debut novel “Remember Me Gone” was well received. Her sophomore outing proves her mettle in taking on big topics—gun violence, school shootings, young people’s mental health, death-related grief, and more. The novel’s protagonist is a young girl who, like her grandmother, has the power to see a cloud of darkness about people’s heads that signals impending death. A tragic event leads her to question the responsibility she has—should she warn someone, or let fate take its course? She tries to escape her haunting memories through dance, but when her abilities are discovered … Well, to tell more would be to spoil the mystery’s thrilling resolution. Bring your teen but be advised, the discussion is likely to touch tender chords for teens.

April 17 @ 7 p.m. | Free | ggpboooks.com

Earth Day in the Bay | The Chabot Space & Science Center | April 21

The desire to pick up a book and read sometimes gets its start elsewhere. For inspiration, try Chabot’s family-friendly, all-ages event, which turns the telescope on climate issues facing the Earth and highlights local organizations helping to fight climate change. Hands-on activities, field trips, give-aways, and guest speakers include a Compost Worm Giveaway, Adopt-A-Spot Sign-Ups, Climate Coloring Sheets, Pollinator-Friendly Crafting: Create-Your-Own Bee Houses, a Storytelling Workshop, Field Diary Hike with Chabot Educators, Nature Scavenger Hunt, Live Performance by Planet MC, Eco Trivia Gameshow, and more. Inspire a burgeoning future scientist, historian, climate change activist, educator, writer and more with the wonders presented at Chabot — and follow your visit up with a book on any of the related subjects and read, read, read.

April 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | $19-23 | chabotspace.org

Independent Bookstore Day | Mrs. Dalloway’s | April 27

Youngest readers can celebrate this special annual event at this time-honored shop in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood with two in-person author appearances.

At 11 a.m. New York Times bestselling children’s book author Joanna Ho will discuss and sign her gloriously illustrated (by artist/activist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya) “We Who Produce Pearls: An Anthem for Asian America.” Ho’s new book pays homage to the diversity of Asian Americans and reflects a thoughtful sensitivity honed during her many years as a classroom teacher and administrator. Her recent picture book “Eyes that Kiss in the Corners” delighted young readers, and her debut young adult novel, “The Silence that Binds Us,” received the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Young Adult Honor. More HERE.

At 1 p.m. children’s author Nadia Salomon will chat with customers about her bedtime picture book “Goodnight Ganesha” and provide a preview of “A Voice of Hope: The Myrlie Evers-Williams Story,” a picture book biography about the civil rights hero that will be published in September. More HERE.

While you visit, support local indie bookstores by picking up these and other books recommended by Dalloway’s knowledgeable staff.

April 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Free | mrsdalloways.com

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