For reads that tug on the strings or characters you could probably meet in your favorite coffeeshop—check out the written works of these talented local authors, hot off this year's press.
(Courtesy of paulmadonna.com)
On to the Next Dream by Paul Madonna
Genre: Flash fiction, art, creative nonfiction
Release Date: April 1, 2017
The local genius behind the popular All Over Coffee comic strip that ran in the SF Chronicle for more than 12 years, has now doodled his way into a seriously San Franciscan book. On to the Next Dream is a series of drawings and stories from Madonna's own experience being evicted from his home in the Mission, and depicts the madness of the gentrifying megalopolis with the absurdity of magical realism. Of course, there's nothing magical about an overinflated housing bubble, but at least Madonna will have you laughing until the very last page.
(Courtesy of Siel Ju via sielju.com)
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Release Date: Jan.10, 2017
Remember what it was like to be in high school before the social-media boom? These kids don't. Set in a fictional Marin County high school, Lindsey Lee Johnson's debut novel crafts the beautiful and unsettling world of 21st-century adolescence with such intricate detail, it's sure to make you squirm. There's a classic Breakfast Club-style cast, an idealistic young new teacher, for example, and parents that range from overbearing to just-not-caring—all mixed up in one of those communities where all the high schoolers drive Lexus sedans and swipe Mommy's credit card without a thought.
The Dressmaker's Dowry by Meredith Jaeger
Genre: Mystery, romance, historical fiction
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2017
For those obsessed with SF's cryptic, colorful, complex (and sometimes crazy) past, Meredith Jaeger's debut novel captures all of that with an entrancing mystery that flip-flops between dorky, modern-day protagonist Sarah—a former journalist who quits her job to work on her novel after marrying a start-up founder—and the lives of two young seamstresses in 1876 San Francisco. After digging up an old newspaper headline that says, "Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered," Sarah finds herself entwined with their lives.
Every Wild Heart by Meg Donahue
Genre: Mystery, romance, contemporary, women's literature
Release Date: Mar. 14, 2017
Open USA Today bestselling author Meg Donahue's new book and find yourself face to face with the fiery mother-daughter protagonist duo of the year. Gail Gideon is a champion for all successful working mothers and fierce single women in San Francisco—and her daughter, Nic, is a spirited, frustrated, 14-year-old you'll find yourself simultaneously cheering for and probably wanting to yell at. Sure, some aspects of their lives you won't be able to relate to—creepy stalker fans and horseback-riding accidents, anyone?—but the rest of their ordinary craziness might make you fall in love with both these badass ladies.
Lost Worlds of the San Francisco Bay Area by Sylvia Linsteadt
Genre: Coffee table book, history, art and photography
Release Date: Mar. 1, 2017
From the acres of apricot blossoms in the Silicon Valley to the bohemian, Gold-Rush-era Barbary Coast, the hidden worlds of the Bay Area present and past can be found in this coffee-table book. Each is described in Linsteadt's lyrical prose, accompanied by vintage photographs, maps, and neo-Victorian designs.
Show Her a Flower, a Bird, a Shadow by Peg Alford Pursell
Genre: Lyrical prose, flash fiction, short story collection
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2017
Our list isn't complete without a short story collection—and Peg Alford Pursell's is piercing. With vivid characters and striking situations of loss and longing, this collection of lyrical prose is bound to sucker-punch you right in the soul. Yes, it hurts—but it's also dazzling, beautiful, and will give you those shimmery post-read chills.
Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery by Dee Dussault
Genre: Yoga and meditation, practical guide, cannabis
Release Date: Apr. 18, 2017
New yoga is popping up everywhere (goat yoga, anyone?), but we're really not surprised to hear that cannabis yoga has existed for thousands of years. From a tiny class in her San Francisco living room to public classes in the Mission and SoMA, Dee Dussault is the first to bring this practice from ancient India to North America—and now with her book, you can bring it right to your living room mat.