The Crossings Book Club – July Meeting

The next meeting of the Crossings book club is Tuesday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crossings clubhouse. (The Walnut Country HOA Clubhouse (44965 S Larwin Ave, Concord, CA 94521)

We’ll be discussing Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, a comic novel centering on a vinyl records shop on the cusp of Oakland and Berkeley.

–Lynn Kuehl

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The members have chosen the next three books for The Crossings Bookclub, two nonfiction titles and a novel.

In June, we’ll be reading In the Garden of Beasts by Eric Larsen, an account of William Dodd’s Ambassadorship to Germany during 1933-1937, when he and his family lived in Berlin, at first oblivious to, but quickly becoming aware of the evils of the Third Reich.

The book for July is Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, a comic novel centering on a vinyl records shop on the cusp of Oakland and Berkeley.

August’s book is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, a nonfiction book that “celebrates the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team—nine working class boys who stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans.” (From the Publisher’s blurb)

The next meeting, to discuss In The Garden of Beasts, is Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crossings clubhouse. (The Walnut Country HOA Clubhouse (44965 S Larwin Ave, Concord, CA 94521)   –Lynn Kuehl

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The Crossings Bookclub – May Meeting

This month’s bookclub selection is the historical mystery novel Dissolution by C.J. Sansom.

The meeting to discus the novel is Tuesday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crossings clubhouse. (The Walnut Country HOA Clubhouse (44965 S Larwin Ave, Concord, CA 94521)   –Lynn Kuehl

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The Crossings Bookclub – April and May Selections

For April, the members have chosen The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti, a very personal story of great tragedy and triumph in the setting of modern Palestine during the Israeli occupation and settlement.

Cover of the Almond Tree

For May, the book chosen was Dissolution by C.J. Sansom. This one is a historical mystery novel that may remind some readers of The Name of the Rose or the Cadfael mysteries.

The next meeting, to discuss The Almond Tree, is Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crossings clubhouse. (The Walnut Country HOA Clubhouse (44965 S Larwin Ave, Concord, CA 94521)   –Lynn Kuehl

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The Crossings Book Club

New Book Club!

So, I realize the fact that a new book club has formed isn’t exactly earth-shattering news. We’ve had our first meeting, we’ve chosen a schedule, we’ve chosen a book to read. We’ve even chosen who will bring the snacks to our next meeting. All normal book club activity, nothing outrageous or unusual about any of this, except…

It’s my first book club, and I’m helping to facilitate it, give birth to it, however you want to put it. It’s kind of exciting! I hope the new members are excited too, but I’m really excited because they chose to read my book suggestion. Yikes! Excited — and a bit nervous, partly because I didn’t mean to nominate this particular book; it was just an off-the-cuff suggestion. But it’s a good book! It’s called Booked to Die, and I think it’s a pretty good mystery novel. Other people think so too — it’s won awards, after all. And it’s a mystery that involves books and bookstores. And book collectors. I think that’s what appealed to the group. In any case, when we passed around the post-its to vote for a book to read next month, I was surprised to find the book I’d mentioned offhand was the first choice.

So, Booked to Die by John Dunning is our first pick. I anxiously await the judgment of the Crossings Book Club whether this book is worthy. So, Joan, Linda, Olive, Leslie, Lynne, Judy, Barbara, Carole, Jie, Debbie, Robin and Andy — please be gentle! This is the first of many (hopefully) good or (even sometimes) great reads we’ll study together.

Special thanks to Andy for starting the club, providing the space at the Clubhouse, and providing tasty snacks and wine.

The Crossings Book Club: Third Tuesday of every month

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 18, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

At the Walnut Country HOA Clubhouse (44965 S Larwin Ave, Concord, CA 94521, at “the Crossings”)

[Edited to add: Judy, Olive and Jie have purchased copies of the book and are willing to loan them to other members of the group.]

–Lynn Kuehl

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New Arrivals: Entertainment Reference Shelf

We’ve acquired a short stack of McFarland reference books on film, television and radio. All the info at your fingertips on police on film, early sound films, B Western movie actors, radio crime fighters and more! An autobiography by James Arness, a history of Fibber Mcgee and Molly, and a list of great Brit-Coms. All of these are as new, or new in the original shrink wrap; some are hardcover first editions. Check them out here!

McFarland book covers

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NaNoWriMo is here again!

November is National Novel Writing Month. The time of year when thousands of enthusiastic writers pick up their pencils, their laptops, their typewriters or some other weird writing implement of their choice and pound out a novel in 30 days. Participants begin writing November 1 and by midnight, November 30 they have a 50,000-word novel.

Berkshire Books co-owner Cheryl will once again be participating, and Berkshire Books will once again be hosting NaNoWriMo write-ins. There’s a change this year: the write-ins will be held on Saturday afternoons.

When:
Every Saturday afternoon in November
3:00 – 7:00 (or thereabouts; we can go longer if wrimos are still going strong!)

Where:
Berkshire Books
3480 Clayton Road, Concord
Call (925) 685-9999 if you have questions

(Yes, we have a place to plug in your laptop. No, we don’t have WiFi)

Refreshments will be on hand (caffeine, sugar, chocolate)

For more information on this crazy program, go to nanowrimo.org

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Trains and Boats and Planes

Transportation enthusiasts! Looking for books on railroading, maritime history, or aviation? Check out our new catalogs (pull down the menu on the black bar above).

Under Aviation you’ll find books on fighter planes for both the historian and the airplane modeler, including issues of World Air Power Journal, Lock-On, Detail and Scale, and the colorfully illustrated Squadron/Signal paperbacks.

The Railroadiana catalog includes books on all of the main lines in North America (arranged roughly by region, streetcars and subways, and interurban lines, ranging from full color coffee table books to directories of train engines in closely packed small print.

Ships and Boats includes books on maritime history (generally from the age of steam onward), luxury liners and yachts, tugboats, ferries and more.

And the catalog simply titled Transportation has everything else — automobiles, trucks, fire engines, police cars, buses, and tractors.

Follow the directions on our Main Catalog Page to order from us directly.

OR you can order through the online book services Biblio.com and Antiqbook.com.

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Lists of Things

I have a weakness for long lists of things. If I see a bibliography or a dictionary sitting on bookshelf, no matter what it is — a book of cowboy slang, a list of autobiographies by Vietnam veterans or every novel by a woman author published in the nineteenth century — I will pick it up. Because I’m not completely obsessed, I’ll often put it back, but I will go away impressed. To painstakingly amass a great deal of information, condense it down into a list, a bibliography, a discography, a guide or a checklist, and then publish it, knowing full well that 1) it’ll be out of date as soon as it hits the shelves, and 2) something, hopefully nothing glaringly obvious, has been left out — this is not for the faint of heart. I know, because I’ve done it. I still have nightmares about 3×5 cards.

While most Lists of Things are made by professionals employed for the task — librarians, archivists, conservators — there’s also quite a busy amateur industry in Lists of Things. If it’s lists you want, go no further than the nearest gang of hobbyists, enthusiasts, or fans.

Continue reading

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It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

November is National Novel Writing Month. The time of year when thousands of enthusiastic writers pick up their pencils, their laptops, their typewriters or some other weird writing implement of their choice and pound out a novel in 30 days. Participants begin writing November 1 and by midnight, November 30 they have a 50,000-word novel.

Berkshire Books co-owner Cheryl will once again be participating, and Berkshire Books will once again be hosting NaNoWriMo write-ins.

Every Sunday afternoon in November
1:00 – 4:00

Berkshire Books
3480 Clayton Road, Concord
Call (925) 685-9999 if you have questions

(Yes, we have a place to plug in your laptop. No, we don’t have WiFi)

Refreshments will be on hand (caffeine, sugar, chocolate)

For more information on this crazy program, go to nanowrimo.org

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