July 2013


Dear Reader,

July is the time...to open a new bookstore! We are opening our new Larkspur store very soon! It will be beautiful and located at the Marin Country Mart. Enjoy your Fourth of July and then celebrate a new Independent Bookstore! We'll keep you posted!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to Brad Johnson, a Diesel bookseller at our Oakland store, who coordinates our Chatter blog on our website. He has tilted and teased the blog into new shapes and new content, bringing literary sources, book news, and fascinating archives from new corners of the book world. He is ably taking over from Susannah Long, just back from Haiti, who is heading off to graduate school. They have gracefully passed and received the baton, relaying the wider word to our website and on to you. Don't miss Brad's, and others', posts on our blog for prompting, spicy, stirring, and enticing videos, thoughts, essays, poems, reviews, and recommendations. Kinda like the newsletter below -- thanks to Anna Kaufman, our newsletter editor.

Happy Reading!
John & all Dieselfolk

Staff Pick Badge
Snow Crash: A Novel By Neal Stephenson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553380958
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - May 2nd, 2000

Most of the time I just can't read a book more than once. It's partly that I lose interest when I know everything that's going to happen, but also there are just so many other books out there that I want to read and haven't yet that reading something over again seems like the purest sort of indulgence. Snow Crash, however, is a notable exception -- it's been two decades and six read-throughs since it originally came out, and every time I'm immediately drawn in and can't put it down until I'm done. The language is so sharp and pointed, and paints a picture of a future Los Angeles that is at once completely absurd and spookily prescient at the same time. It seems oddly appropriate to pick it up again, or for the first time, with the reveal of PRISM, Google Glass, and the corporate surveillance culture we've found ourselves living in proving that we may, actually, be already living in the dystopian cyberpunk future. Also, it takes a lot of guts to name your main character Hiro Protagonist. -- Joey Puente

Staff Pick Badge
You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness By Julie Klam Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594485411
Published: Riverhead Books - October 4th, 2011

At certain times in our lives, our No. 1 love might not be another human -- it might be a pet that is our current soulmate, that holds our heart in its little paws. That is how author Julie Klam describes herself at 30 and single. Though she has yearned for a relationship of the human nature, with marriage and children the goal, a little Boston Terrier named Otto just sort of fell out of the sky and into her world, a world that immediately became focused on him. It was Otto who taught her about love, and what really makes a family. Finally, it was her love and attachment to Otto that eventually bridged the gap into other relationships, such as being a wife and mother. The lessons she learned from caring for her little buddy Otto are what truly taught her about unconditional love, and eventually led to her work with Boston Terrier rescue organizations. A funny and heart-warming read. -- Linda Grana

Staff Pick Badge
Serpentine By Mark Laita, William Vollmann (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Mark Laita, William Vollmann (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781419706301
Published: Harry N. Abrams - February 26th, 2013

To some, the sight of a snake triggers terror and fear. Rest assured, these colorful, undulating beauties are safe to hold in your hands now that they have been captured on film by nature photographer extraordinaire Mark Laita. Each image looks like calligraphy and one has to marvel at the patience and skill necessary in waiting for the subjects to strike that perfect pose. The snakes are exquisite in every detail, each with a signature color, pattern, and texture that range from sleek, jet black to a rough, intricate mosaic reminiscent of ancient Rome. The introductory essay by National Book Award winner William T. Vollmann reflects societal perceptions of serpents as well as his own. Sporadically peppered through the book are philosophical quotes regarding evil and enemies. Perhaps after viewing these spectacular photos, that terror and fear may transform into awe and respect. -- Cheryl Ryan