Chatter's blog

Meet Aaron!

Aaron is one of our brand-new booksellers in Oakland, and he has a thing or two -- many more than that, even -- about international literature. When he's not at the store, you might find him in conversation with the likes of Jennifer Makumbi or Carmen Boullosa, or writing insightful commentary and reviews for OkayAfrica on books like Hisham Matar's The Return

"Indeed, his novels are so close to his own life that at one point in The Return—as the two are boarding a plane to Libya—his mother asks a “mischievous question,” as he calls it: “Who’s returning? Suleiman el-Dewani or Nuri el-Alfi?” These are the names of the protagonists of his two novels, fictional versions of Matar himself that—in his mother’s very serious joke—were suddenly brought to life. After a life spent dreaming about return, and in his fiction, trying to imagine the truth of his lost father, The Return is Hisham Matar coming face to face with reality—or trying to—but finding it to be as ambiguous and depthless as any novel, an ocean without a floor."

Summer's But Only Begun!

Mr. John Evans himself took to the NPR airwaves with some summer reading guidance!


A Bookseller at Home: feat. Joy Williams' NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD

Mondays are one of Brad's days off, but that won't stop him from bookselling! Today's installment of "A Bookseller at Home" features Joy Williams' short story collection, Ninety-Nine Stories of God.

An added bonus this week: Joy Williams herself will be reading at the store in Oakland on Tuesday, July 19th at 7pm! Suffice it to say, I think, we're pretty excited! 


A Bookseller at Home: feat. Claire-Louise Bennett's POND

Brad's a "Bookseller At Home" again! In this installment he's talking about Claire-Louise Bennett's debut novel, Pond. He's been dying to talk to people about this one! 

Dear Reader

We are quite fond of Amy Gerstler's ode to the reader and reading, and think it will accompany you well during your summer reading.


Blank No More

These entries in Claudia Rankine's National Book Award-winning collection, Citizen: An American Lyric, used to be blank. But now we know the names, along with so many others, and we must say them.

We must figure out ways (because there will be many) not simply to say -- but demand -- that black lives matter. 

My Heart Belongs to Bookstores

Courtesy of our friends at Shelf Awareness:

A Bookseller at Home: feat. THE TRANSMIGRATION OF BODIES

Yuri Herrera's US debut last year, Signs Preceding the End of the World, was one of our bestselling books in Oakland. This was no one-hit wonder, says Brad, and The Transmigration of Bodies will prove it. 

March on, John Lewis! March on!

Get to know Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).


A Bookseller at Home: Brad Talks about GRIEF IS THE THING WITHE FEATHERS

You know this already, but when Brad likes a book he really likes a book. Here he is talking about Max Porter's novel, Grief is the Thing With Feathers. 

Max & Anthony Marra will be in conversation in Oakland on Friday, June 24th. There is so much more to say about this wonderful debut.