9 Spring Books by Bay Area Authors
(Courtesy of Tommy Orange and Sarah Ruiz-Grossman)

9 Spring Books by Bay Area Authors


Rainy day? Make some tea and grab a book. Sun's out? Grab a picnic blanket, something yummy, and, obviously, a book.

Bay Area authors are giving us memoirs, crafty guides and some very juicy novels to dive into this season.

(Courtesy of @authordanielhandler)

And Then? And Then? What Else? by Daniel Handler

From San Francisco's own Lemony Snicket, aka Daniel Handler, comes this part memoir, part inspiration for aspiring writers. And Then? And Then? What Else? traces the author's sometimes challenging and often amusing path toward one of the most successful writing careers of the 21st century. Declaring his love of strange literature, Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil in particular, Handler reflects on the life experiences—some of them deeply personal and revealed for the first time—and the cultural influences that shaped his writing, both under his own name and as the lonely, beleaguered, cynical yet romantic narrator of the beloved best-selling 13-volume Series of Unfortunate Events. // $27, wwnorton.com

A Fire So Wild, by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Set in Berkeley, A Fire So Wild is a contemporary novel in which a wildfire creeps towards the city, igniting tensions as characters from all walks of life confront the injustices lying beneath the city’s surface. Author Sarah Ruiz-Grossman is a former reporter at Huffington Post, where she covered the climate crisis and other social justice issues. Publishers Weekly calls it “a gripping page-turner with a surprising twist.” // $26, harpercollins.com

(Courtesy of @carvell_wallace)

Another Word for Love, by Carvell Wallace

Carvell Wallace is an award-winning Oakland-based journalist who has built his career on writing unforgettable profiles (for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Slate, GQ, Pitchfork and more) and making excellent podcasts. Now he turns the focus on himself, examining his own life and the circumstances that frame it—to make sense of seeking refuge from homelessness with a young single mother, living in a ghostly white Pennsylvania town, becoming a partner and parent, raising two teenagers in what feels like a collapsing world. // $28, us.macmillan.com

Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History, by Margaret Juhae Lee

As a young girl growing up in Houston, Oakland-based journalist Margaret Juhae Lee never heard about her grandfather, Lee Chul Ha. His story was lost in early 20th century Korea and guarded by Margaret’s grandmother, who Chul Ha left widowed with two young sons in 1936. To his surviving family, Lee Chul Ha was a criminal, and his granddaughter was determined to figure out why. Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History chronicles Chul Ha’s untold story. Combining investigative journalism, oral history and archival research, Juhae Lee reveals the truth about the grandfather she never knew. // $33, penguinrandomhouse.com

(Courtesy of @mjuhae)

Erotic Resistance: The Struggle for the Soul of San Francisco, by Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa

Bay Area legend Annie Sprinkle says Erotic Resistance “sheds light on the women artists, activists, and strippers who made history—from their heyday in the smut capital of the United States to the end of the 20th century when they fought for their rights as laborers.”The book celebrates the erotic performance cultures that have shaped SF, preserving the memory of the city's bohemian past and its essential role in the development of American adult entertainment by highlighting the contributions of women of color, queer women, and trans women who were instrumental in the city's labor history, as well as its LGBT and sex workers' rights movements. Artist-scholar Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa shares this perspective on our city through visual and performance analysis, historiography, and ethnographic research. // $30, ucpress.edu

Playful Pottery: The Mud Witch's Guide to Creating Curvy, Colorful Ceramics, by Viviana Matsuda

SF ceramics lovers who already know Mud Witch for its creative, curvy designs will say that potter Viviana Matsuda's new book is aptly titled: Filled with colorful photographs, Playful Pottery dives into making of the SF-based queer, Japanese-Mexican artist's iconic and adorable crafts. Matsuda draws inspiration from her ancestry as well as the body positivity movement. She is inspired by the natural curves of all body types and is best known for her "chubby mugs." Now, she reveals her knowledge on getting started and unleashing your creativity through pottery. // $22, rockynook.com

(Courtesy of @sashavasilyuk)

Your Presence is Mandatory, by Sasha Vasilyuk

Journalist and author Sasha Vasilyuk grew up between Ukraine and Russia before immigrating to San Francisco at the age of 13. In this debut novel based on real events, Yefim is a young artillerist on the border between the Soviet Union and Germany, eager to defend his country and his large Jewish family against Hitler's forces. But surviving the war requires sacrifices Yefim never imagined—and even when the war ends, his fight isn't over. In the days after his death, his widow Nina finds out Yefim's lifelong secret, a confession that forces the family to reassess the man they thought they knew and the country he had defended. // $29, bloomsbury.com

Wandering Stars, by Tommy Orange

The Pulitzer Prize finalist and Oakland author of the breakout bestseller There There has written a follow-up to his acclaimed first novel. Tommy Orange traces the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School through three generations of a family, conjuring the ancestors of the family readers first met in There There—warriors, drunks, outlaws, addicts—asking what it means to be the children and grandchildren of massacre. // $29, penguinrandomhouse.com

Tough Broad: From Boogie Boarding to Wing Walking—How Outdoor Adventure Improves Our Lives as We Age, by Caroline Paul

Caroline Paul was one of the first women to work for the San Francisco Fire Department, a job that inspired her first work of nonfiction, Fighting Fire. Her latest book is a deeply researched exploration into the science and psychology of the outdoors and our place in it as we age. From an author that's always filled her life with adventure, Tough Broad is her quest to understand not just how to live a dynamic life in a changing body, but why women can and should embrace the outdoors as they age. // $28, bloomsbury.com

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