Books | KALW


Courtesy of Danielle Fuentes Morgan

Danielle Fuentes Morgan is the author of “Laughing to Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century.”

Oakland-based author Meg Elison reads from her book "Find Layla." It's about a girl named Layla who is having a hard time growing up.

San Francisco-based author Shruti Swamy reads from her new short story collection, "A House Is A Body." It's about finding joy and meaning in times of turmoil. 

Jewel Devora

Natalie Devora’s memoir "Black Girl, White Skin: A Life in Stories" is about challenges she faced growing up with albinism during the '60s and '70s in East Oakland. 

Oakland-based author Elwin Cotman reads from his new short story collection "Dance on Saturday." It's about many things, including a zoology conference, people who make their body parts from fruit, and an origin story for Prince.


San Francisco author A.H. Kim reads from her new novel, "A Good Family."

San Francisco author Jaimal Yogis reads from his new children’s picture book, "Mop Rides the Waves of Life." Mop loves to surf and he learns to ride his emotions like he rides the waves in the ocean.

Sacramento author Shelley Blanton-Stroud reads from her new novel, "Copy Boy." It takes place in San Francisco in the 1930s.

Oakland author Maggie Tokuda-Hall reads from her young adult fantasy novel, "The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea." This passage from the point of view of the sea.

San Francisco author Anne Raeff reads from her new book, "Only the River." It's about displacement, revolution, and love.

Oakland author Melanie Abrams reads from her new book, "Meadowlark." It's about two teenagers who escape a strict spiritual commune.

San Anselmo author Kate Milliken reads from her new novel, "Kept Animals." It's set in a southern California neighborhood of horse ranches and movie stars, and it revolves around the relationships of teenage girls.

San Francisco author Wendy Liu reads from her new book, "Abolish Silicon Valley." It's part memoir about her experience as a startup founder and software engineer, and part cultural criticism.

Lynsay Skiba / Algoquin Books

Berkeley author Bonnie Tsui reads a passage from her new book, "Why We Swim." It's about how she first fell in love with the water.

El Cerrito author Tess Taylor reads from one of her two new poetry collections, "Rift Zone." Rift Zone is set around Taylor’s hometown, a California suburb lying along the Hayward fault. Her other new collection is "Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange."

Courtesy of Cara Black

San Francisco author Cara Black reads from her new book, "Three Hours in Paris."

San Francisco author C Pam Zhang reads from her new novel, "How Much of These Hills Is Gold."

Lafayette author Claudia Hagadus Long reads from her new murder mystery, "Nine Tenths of the Law."

South Bay author Beth Lisick reads from her new novel, "Edie on the Green Screen."

San Francisco author Kelly McVicker reads from her new book, "Essential Vegetable Fermentation."

Berkeley writer Johanna Silver is the former garden editor of Sunset Magazine. She reads from her new book, "Growing Weed in the Garden."

Newark-based author Juliette Wade reads from her new science fiction novel, "Mazes of Power."

Doug Zimmerman

Oakland Public Library is open for curbside pickup, but its doors remain shut. So what happens to families and kids who depend on libraries for more than books? In this installment of The Essentials, meet a children’s librarian who is working to preserve what makes the library so special.

Rebeka Rodriguez / Feminist Press

San Francisco author Juli Delgado Lopera's coming-of-age novel "Fiebre Tropical" drops you into the life of a Columbian family that moves to Miami, in the Spanglish voice of the teenage narrator.

San Francisco author Katie Flynn's new novel, "The Companions," which came out in March, is set in the near future, with California under quarantine.

Photo by Andria Lo

Oakland author Monica Sok reads from her book of poetry, "A Nail the Evening Hangs On," which explores the Cambodian diaspora. It’s about what it means to inherit a history of genocide and process inter-generational trauma.

There's still time for deep and thoughtful reading this summer -- and our 500th episode.

Picture People

Oakland author Mary Monroe has been captivating her readers with juicy storylines and unforgettable characters for decades. Her latest novel “Across the Way” is about two neighboring couples who are both friends and enemies living in 1930s Alabama.

Holly J. McDede

A few weeks ago, University Press Books in Berkeley announced it would shut for good after nearly 50 years in the business. Now, the remaining East Bay independent bookshops  are turning to the community to hold on. 

iStock/Inna Skaldutska

Every day brings an avalanche of anxiety-inducing news: The spread of novel coronavirus, the reaction of the markets, the stress on the healthcare system, and the pending November elections.  Singularly, each event is worrying. Collectively, it is hard to take it all in. Where can we find a moment of respite from all the news? Host Grace Won talks with a group of authors, artists and experts to hear how they are using art, music and literature to cope in these challenging times. What are you listening to, reading or watching to calm your nerves?