Our bookish hearts have long delighted in a good reading list, and this fall is no exception with some of our most loved Bay Area (and Bay-adjacent) authors publishing new works.
Dive into Michelle Tea’s irreverent pregnancy memoir, Danny Bowien's weird and wild vegan cookbook, K.M. Soehnlein's document of queer activism in the 1980s and '90s, Andrew Sean Greer's followup to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Less...and more.
Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility / Michelle Tea
(Courtesy of @christine_queenofbooks)
From PEN/America Award winner, 2021 Guggenheim fellow, and beloved literary and tarot icon Michelle Tea, Knocking Myself Up is the irreverent account of the author's route to parenthood as a 40-year-old, queer, uninsured woman—with a group of ride-or-die friends, a generous drag queen, and a whole lot of can-do pluck. With the signature sharp wit and wild heart that have made her a favorite to so many readers, Tea, who lives in Los Angeles after years in San Francisco, guides us through the maze of medical procedures, frustrations, and astonishments on the path to getting pregnant, wryly critiquing some of the systems that facilitate that choice. In Knocking Myself Up, Tea has crafted a deeply entertaining and profound memoir, a testament to the power of love and family-making, however complex our lives may be, to transform and enrich us.
// $29, harpercollins.com
Less Is Lost / Andrew Sean Greer
(Courtesy of @james.epub)
Andrew Sean Greer, author of seven novels including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Story of a Marriage, brings us this follow-up to the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning Less. For awkward and loveable Arthur Less, life is going surprisingly well: He is a moderately accomplished novelist in a steady relationship with his partner, Freddy Pelu. But nothing lasts: The death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis has Less running away from his problems yet again as he accepts a series of literary gigs that send him on a zigzagging adventure across the U.S. Less Is Lost is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of life in America, the riddle of love, and the stories we tell along the way.
David Sedaris says, "Does Andrew Greer think of himself as a comic novelist? Does a giraffe think of itself as a giraffe? Probably it doesn’t matter. This book, though, is wildly, painfully, funny. It sometimes hurts to read it."
// $29, September 2022; littlebrown.com
Mission Vegan: Wildly Delicious Food for Everyone / Danny Bowien
(Courtesy of @danny_bowien)
As cofounder and chef of the famous Mission Chinese Food restaurants in San Francisco and New York, Danny Bowien has a reputation for inventive meat dishes like Chongqing chicken wings and Kung Pao pastrami. Yet eight years ago, he became a dad, got sober, and quietly began to train his gift for creating exhilarating food on meat-free, dairy-free dishes. That’s the kind of food you’ll find in Mission Vegan: fun, original, flavorful dishes that’ll thrill devotees of Bowien’s lamb ma po tofu, lifelong vegans, and everyone in between. The recipes, for delicious treats ranging from pasta pomodoro to chewy Korean buckwheat noodles topped with neon-pink dragonfruit ice, are all geared for the home cook, delivering restaurant-quality impact without restaurant-level effort.
// $40; harpercollins.com
Army of Lovers / K.M. Soehnlein
Author K.M. Soehnlein being arrested in Albany, New York circa 1990 during an ACT UP protest.
(Courtesy of the author)
“Sometimes, your personal history overlaps with actual history,” says Lambda Literary Award–winning San Francisco writer K.M. Soehnlein. “For me, that was the AIDS activist movement. I wanted to write this book because I lived through something historic: the queer community saving itself from extermination.” Born out of the author’s own activism inside the vibrant queer community of the ’80s and ’90s, Army of Lovers tells the story of Paul, who after arriving in New York full of idealism discovers the queer community gathering strength in the face of government inaction and social stigma associated with HIV.
For those who did not live through the era, but especially for those who did, Army of Lovers might best be seen as a time machine conjuring up the music, media, fashion, and political arguments of 30 years ago. Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City says, "Soehnlein delivers a sprawling portrait of our darkest days, capturing all the anger and heartbreak and heroic love that forged who we are today. If you want to know how it felt, read this.”
// $21 / October 2022; kmsoehnlein.com
Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors / Rue Mapp
(Courtesy of @outdoorafro)
Rue Mapp created national not-for-profit Outdoor Afro in her hometown of Oakland, California, back in 2009. Today, the network is the nation’s leading organization where Black people and nature meet. With more than 100 trained volunteer leaders in 30 states, OA connects thousands of people to outdoor experiences and is actively changing the face of conservation.
Filled with breathtaking photography, inspiring stories, profiles, and spotlights from Outdoor Afro group members and prominent Black leaders in outdoor spaces, this book inspires Black communities to reclaim their place in the natural world. Interspersed throughout are essays by Mapp on the rich history of Black involvement in the outdoors, activism, and conservation, as well as resources for readers who want to deepen their own connection with the elements
// $25, November 2022; chroniclebooks.com
The Weed Gummies Cookbook: Recipes for Cannabis Candies, THC and CBD Edibles, and More / Monica Lo
Take your cannabis cooking skills to the next level (and get your sugar fix) with this practical cookbook, the go-to resource for the cannabis curious of all levels. With step-by-step instructions and color photos, you'll also get pro tips for safely handling and labeling your confections. Inside you'll find weed-infused recipes like sour green apple gummies, lavender chamomile sleep gummies, mocha caramels, and honey elderberry lozenges.
Monica Lo is the creator of Sous Weed, a blog-turned-culinary-cannabis resource founded in 2015. Her work has been featured on the TODAY show, Vice's Munchies, Healthyish, and Vogue. Lo currently resides in San Francisco.
// $18; simonandschuster.com
Love to Eat: 75 Easy, Craveworthy Recipes for Healthy, Intuitive Eating / Nicole Keshishian Modic
(Courtesy of Random House)
In Love to Eat, Nicole Keshishian Modic teaches us how to listen to our bodies' cues around food, discover a more flexible relationship to with our diet, and nourish our bodies with real, whole foods recipes that celebrate flavor. It is also a memoir of her personal relationship with food and how she embraced intuitive eating and refused to buy into diet culture. Modic is the force behind the popular Instagram account KaleJunkie, and draws on her Armenian-American heritage for inspiration in her new book, featuring wholesome recipes including delights like a chocolate chip and tahini smoothie, warm soba noodle salad with crispy baked tofu, sweet and sour crunchy cauliflower bites, and her "Best-Ever" tahini-lemon dressing.
// $32, October 2022; kalejunkie.com/cookbook