Local Lit | June’s top tips for Bay Area book lovers

Juneteenth Reading @ Books Inc., Alameda | June 12

Juneteenth marks the annual celebration of June 19, 1865, when Union troops in Texas announced over 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were free by executive decree. Three local authors, Jenee Darden, Tureeda Mikell and James Cagney, will share prose, poetry, and stories of freedom.

Books, Inc. Warehouse Sale: Ten days later in Mountain View, Books Inc.’s annual warehouse sale offers new books in all genres from $5-10 and literary games, puzzles and git items at remarkably low prices. Bargain hunters will find unbeatable deals and the back-and-forth conversations with fellow book lovers is worth the trek.

Juneteenth reading in Alameda: June 12 @ 7 pm | Warehouse sale in Mountain View: June 22 @ 10 am and June 23 @ 5 pm | Free | BooksInc.net

Gennifer Choldenko, Marissa Moss, Pam Turner: Children’s Book Writer’s panel @ Mrs. Dalloways | June 14

Three award-winning authors help aspiring writers knock it out of the park with insider tips and trade secrets during a teach-in at the venerable Elmwood bookstore. Readers will know Choldenko as author of the Newberry honor-winning Al Capone Does My Shirts. Moss’s avid readers adore her Amelia’s Notebook series, but the truly devoted also hold dear the various chapter and YA books in her 70 books—and counting—arsenal. In 2013, she founded Creston Books, a small press dedicated to raising up underrepresented voices and telling the stories of unrecognized women in history. Turner is the author of How to Build a Human in Seven Evolutionary Steps, an ALA Notable Book, Samurai Rising, and most recently her new book, Comet Chaser, a picture book biography of Caroline Herschel, the first professional woman astronomer. With this rare, three-star lineup on tap free of charge, advance registration is highly recommended.

June 14 @ 7 pm | Free | MrsDalloways.com

Susan Kiyo Ito: I Would Meet You Anywhere @ Montclair Branch Library | June 18
Susan Kyo Ito

In a program co-sponsored by the Friends of the Montclair Branch Library and the Oakland Public Library, Bay Area-based Ito presents her recent memoir, I Would Meet You Anywhere. Ito is a writer deeply invested in the local community as a teacher at the Mills College campus of Northeastern University, a member of Writers’ Grotto, and co-organizer of Rooted and Written, a no-fee writing workshop for writers of color. A terrific storyteller, her memoir chronicles her life growing up with adoptive Japanese American parents. In her twenties, she began a search for her birth mother. The voyage led her to wrestle with a vast range of issues related to family and identity, including the echoes of the trauma handed down from the family’s internment during World War II. The memoir was a finalist for the 2023 National Book Critics Circle Award, shortlisted for the Saroyan Press for International Literature, and named a best book of 2023 by Library Journal. A book signing courtesy of A Great Good Place for Books follows the main event. 

June 18 @ 6:30 pm | Montclair Branch Library | Free | OaklandLibrary.org

Joyce Maynard: How the Light Gets In @ Lafayette Library | June 25

The phrase, “woman of substance,” might have been invented for this New York Times bestselling author. Maynard started writing—and being published—at the tender age of 13. She hit the big time as an 18-year-old freshman at Yale when an essay she wrote became a New York Times cover story. “An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life,” was the launching pad for a career leading to a syndicated newspaper column carried by over 50 papers, regular contributions to The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, among others, plus 18 novels and two memoirs. Two of her novels, Labor Day and To Die For, were adapted for film. Her new book is a sequel to Count the Ways, and continues the story of protagonist Eleanor in an uplifting affirmation of family and home. Admission includes a signed copy and champagne at this ticketed launch event. Proceeds benefit the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation.

June 25 @ 7:30 pm | $65 | LLLCF.org

Carvell Wallace: Another Word for Love @ Green Apple Books | June 26

Venture across the Bay Bridge to Green Apple Books in the Inner Sunset to celebrate Oakland’s Carvell Wallace and the release of his new memoir. One of this year’s most celebrated books, Wallace leaps through and beyond his unforgettable upbringing as the child of a single mother who suffered from substance abuse and mental illness. Homelessness, the experience of growing up Black and queer in America, the perils of relationships, and fatherhood are not even the most astonishing aspects of his tale. What emerges as he investigates the nature of love is profound and will shift the earth for most readers. Wallace has been a stage actor, worked with youth, and as a writer has covered art, race, sports, and parenting for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Slate, GQ, Pitchfork, and others. He is the coauthor of Andre Iguodala’s New York Times bestselling basketball memoir, The Sixth Man. He will be in conversation with writer R. O. Kwon (Exhibit, The Incendiaries).

June 26 @ 7 pm | Free | GreenAppleBooks.com

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