LocalLit 2020

Submitted by Megan Hicks on Tue, 11/24/2020 - 9:21 AM
Books gradually transforming into birds. Text: LocalLit.

Celebrate Local Authors with Us

Get ready for the 8th anniversary of LocalLit! Join us on Sunday, December 6, 2020, from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM, for a celebration of local authors and their books. Due to the pandemic, LocalLit will be virtual for the first time ever this year. Registration detail and a full list of authors available on our event page.

While there is no need to read the authors' books before the event, we are happy to offer several copies of these books for you to enjoy before joining us. Support local authors by checking out the following books! You can place these books on hold using our Express Pickup service for easy curbside pickup.

LocalLit 2020: Select Titles by Local Authors

Unexpected Tales Collection, book cover

Unexpected Tales Collection by Brad Ashmore

"Get ready to go to geosynchronous orbit, the Moon, Venus' cloud tops, Io, Titan, and beyond! What happens when Mr. Foodster cannot synthesize inverse guacamole? What's found under the lunar south pole? When should Q-alpha contact Q-omega? Will dusk fall too soon at SkyTyme? Buckle up and find out! There are also plenty of soft sci-fi, absurd, literary, and humorous fiction pieces. From a man with a closet full of wearable bodies, to a romance budding from a remarkable loaf of bread, to an interview with an angel that takes a dark turn, there are sure to be tales for everyone." 

Secret San Jose, book cover

Secret San Jose by Cassie Kifer

"Which scientific landmark in San Jose moonlights as a mausoleum? Where can you find sacred street food? What’s the real story behind Sarah Winchester’s mysterious house? Find the answers to these and other questions you didn’t know you had right here."

A Thousand Ways to Fail & Other Stories, book cover

A Thousand Ways to Fail & Other Stories by Charles Joseph Albert

"A collection of short speculative fiction stories from magical realism to hard science fiction. It's a crazy smorgasbord of stories from a 1970's mail-order gadget ordered out of the back of a comic book, to sociopathic leader who causes the end of the universe. The rich and mysterious world is explored in all its glory, from Bigfoot to Quantum Mechanics to Astroturf. But no matter the genre or the tone, all share this feature: failure is central to the plot."

A Fighting Chance, book cover

A Fighting Chance by Claudia Melendez

"Seventeen-year-old Miguel aAngel is an aspiring boxer who avoids gang violence by working out every day with the Alisal Boxing Club. Can he avoid succumbing to the gangbangers in his neighborhood and have a successful relationship with his beautiful girlfriend Britney?"

Sweet Nothings, book cover

Sweet Nothings by Dan Brook

"Dan Brook offers us a remarkable haibun, the traditional interplay of prose and haiku, by way of introducing the conceptual basis of haiku. His text, Sweet Nothings, flows like water, celebrating the enso, epiphany, and the profound activities of nothingness."

Disposable: When Dating is Not Loving Your Neighbor, book cover

Disposable: When Dating is Not Loving Your Neighbor by Daniel E. Johnson

"Examines the contrast between culture, including dating, which is based on selfishness, and the love called for by the great commandments. Practical suggestions are made for singles, and everyone is encouraged to embrace friendship as the better basis for relationships."

Creole Son, book cover

Creole Son by E. Kay Trimberger

"While most adoption memoirs and social science analysis focus on the loss experienced by adoptees, Creole Son looks at the continuities between birth families and adoptees even when they have never met, and the challenge adoptive parents face in raising a child with traits unlike those of their own birth family."

Kankin's Kingdom, Foreseen, book cover

Kankin's Kingdom, Foreseen by Enrique S. Flores

"'Kankin's kingdom, foreseen' will produce a motion picture in the theatre of your mind. This novel details the rite of passage of a family, pushing through various Catch-22 obstacles within a paradox of the present, past, and future coexisting. Each scene in 'Kankin's kingdom, foreseen' will pull the reader into a metaphysical world — a realm where poignancy and agony dance inside a psychological tornado. The story, a prophecy, will lure the passerby to walk the tightrope between daydreams and nightmares."

Silicon Alleys: Selected Metro Columns, 2005-2020, book cover

Silicon Alleys: Selected Metro Columns, 2005-2020 by Gary Singh

"In 2005, the editors of Metro Silicon Valley, San Jose’s alternative weekly newspaper, offered Gary Singh his own column, “Silicon Alleys,” to explore the underbelly of San Jose from a perspective only a creative native could offer....Buddhist scholars hold column space with women’s drinking clubs. Abandoned strip malls return to life. From punk rock to high art, from dive bars to luxury digs, from literary vibes to forgotten history, no other body of work more aptly sorts out the guts of America’s 10th largest city than Gary’s weekly column."

MINE: El Despojo de María Zacarías Bernal de Berreyesa, book cover

MINE: El Despojo de María Zacarías Bernal de Berreyesa by Jenny Clendenen

"Zacarías’s tragic tale of murder, betrayal, and theft is told through the author’s shared experiences of place, most often on the still-wild Rancho San Vicente near her home. MINE’s lyrical blend of in situ nature writing and biography is a journey across landscapes that unite two women born centuries and cultures apart. It brings untaught California history to light, and it restores a voice to María Zacarías, who deserves to be heard."

A Beautiful Woman in Venice, book cover

A Beautiful Woman in Venice by Kathleen Ann González

"Libraries of books have been written about Venetian history and Venetian men's roles in shaping it. But little is written about the lives of its women. In this book you'll read their stories. Beautiful women, each in her own way."

The Aloha Spirit, book cover

The Aloha Spirit by Linda Ulleseit

"In 1922 Honolulu, unhappy in the adoptive family that's raised her, Dolores begins to search for that spirit early on—and she begins by running away at sixteen to live with her newlywed friend Maria. Trying to find her own love, Dolores marries a young Portuguese man named Manolo. His large family embraces her, but when his drinking leads to physical abuse, only his relative Alberto comes to her rescue—and sparks a passion within Dolores that she hasn't known before."

Helen and the Masters: A Portrait of A California Mystic, book cover

Helen and the Masters: A Portrait of A California Mystic by Lisa Francesca

"Born into an artistic, cultured publishing family in New York, Helen came west to Oakland in 1905 with her new husband, a Dutch-American from an old Bay Area family. They raised seven children to adulthood on a ranch on the Sacramento Delta. Along the way, Helen found a talent for, and fascination with, automatic writing — a gift and a calling that baffled and disquieted many around her. What makes a person begin to channel eloquent and opinionated spirits?...With vivid descriptions of turn-of-the century Oakland, the Delta, and California's Sierra, this book also explores Helen’s writing process and includes several passages that she channeled."

Flying Blind: A Cropduster's Story, book cover

Flying Blind: A Cropduster's Story by Luanne Oleas

"Cropduster Tony Damascus flees Texas, encouraged by his boss, a jealous husband with a shotgun. He returns to California, taking a temporary job as a flight instructor, where he meets his worst student, Father Roberto. Tony's irreverent attitude collides with the priest's beliefs, making for some interesting cockpit exchanges and terrible landings. But when the cropduster's unruly passion leads to shattered relationships with his wife—because of jealousy, and his flying best friend—because of money, a near-death experience leads him on a life-threatening quest for answers."

Tad, book cover

Tad by M. D. Neu

"When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?"

Our Lady of Everyday Life, book cover

Our Lady of Everyday Life by María Del Socorro Castañeda

"In this masterful ethnography, María Del Socorro Castañeda-Liles considers three generations of Mexican-origin women between the ages of 18 and 82. She examines the Catholic beliefs the women inherited from their mothers and how these beliefs become the template from which they first learn to see themselves as people of faith...Through the nexus of faith and lived experience, these women develop a type of Mexican Catholic imagination that helps them challenge the sanctification of shame, guilt, and aguante (endurance at all cost)."

Winter Light, book cover

Winter Light by Martha Engber

"Though a smart, beautiful kid, she’s a motherless girl raised by an uneducated, alcoholic father within an extended family of alcoholics and addicts. Aware that she’s sinking, she’s desperate to save herself and so reaches out to an unlikely source, Kathleen, a nice, normal kid from English class...But when the real storm hits, the full force of a harsh adult world almost buries Mary. Only then does she learn that the only difference between life and death is knowing when to grasp an extended hand."

I Have What it Takes: Stories and Principles That Will Ignite your Natural Leadership, book cover

I Have What it Takes: Stories and Principles That Will Ignite your Natural Leadership by Martha Hernández

"We are glad you are thinking about reading this book. Here are some reasons why you should read it today:

  • If you feel you could use an efficient strategy to achieve your goals.
  • If you ever thought of developing yourself as a leader.
  • If you consider yourself a high-quality person who likes to continue growing.
  • If you ever wanted to help others and could use new ideas and insights on how to do so.
  • If you are thinking about moving forward with your goals, even when times become challenging."
The Antiquities Hunter, book cover

The Antiquities Hunter by Maya Bohnhoff

"Gina 'Tinkerbell' Miyoko is armed with a baby blue Magnum, a Harley blessed with Holy Water, and a Japanese mingei tucked in her pocket. She usually spends her time sniffing out delinquent dads in the San Francisco Bay area. When her friend Rose, an undercover agent scheduled to testify in an upcoming case on looted Mayan artifacts, has a stalker on her tail, she hires Tink as a bodyguard...Tink ends up deep in a Mexican jungle, unsure who she can trust — or if she'll make it out of the jungle alive."

Nilou's 21 Recipes From a Shelter-in-Place, book cover

Nilou's 21 Recipes From a Shelter-in-Place by Nilou Nouri

"A collection of pictorial and unique recipes created for beginner and intermediate cooks. The book includes 21 recipes (plus 6 bonus) for soups, salads, vegetarian and meat dishes, drinks and dessert."

Moon Deeds: Star Children Saga: One, book cover

Moon Deeds: Star Children Saga: One by Palmer Pickering

"Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings’ journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind."

Can't Let Nobody Ride My Bike: An Oakland Narrative and Hip Hop Soundtrack, book cover

Can't Let Nobody Ride My Bike: An Oakland Narrative and Hip Hop Soundtrack by Robert Alexander

"Ronald Anderson and his friends call themselves the 700 Bike Crew. To Ronald and his boys, their bikes are their cars. It’s how they navigate through East Oakland. One day they dream of trading their bikes for muscle cars so they can floss at the Oakland sideshows. Ronald is struggling to find his way as an intelligent young Black man growing up fast in East Oakland...Having to keep up with school, experiencing friendly quarrels, and family drama, the 700 Bike Crew learn a lot about who they truly are. Despite the obstacles Ronald faces, he tries his best to stay focused. Will Ronald’s ambition and new found confidence keep him out of trouble?"

Monterey: Poems, book cover

Monterey: Poems by Robert Ricardo Reese

"A meditation on love, the nature of California's Central Coast serves as the setting for Robert Ricardo Reese's poems. Concerns of human relationships are intimately and broadly compared to the seascape and its subjects. Reese details a man's encounters with having attachment as his sole rule of conduct. This collection is a celebratory recounting of the simple but profound experiences of love."

A Delicate Balance: ... Days that Shaped a Lifetime, book cover

A Delicate Balance: ... Days that Shaped a Lifetime by Tina Jones Williams

"A Delicate Balance rounds out the three book Bridge to Freedom Series and takes a last look into the all Black working-class community where Violet, a domestic day worker and Everett, a Pullman porter, perform their often demanding, sometimes demeaning jobs with dignity and distinction. Everett and Violet understand that their legacy jobs came with strings attached, strings that would entangle them in a social contract where personal and professional lives sometimes collide."

Mozart in the Garden, book cover

Mozart in the Garden by Tom Liggert

"One of the children who grew up in this new suburbia in San Jose, California, was Tom Liggett, a neglected, unwanted child of dysfunctional (that’s being kind) parents, who befriended the "witch" who lived in the Spanish cottage on the hill.

Their unlikely friendship and Tom’s adventures are told in this unforgettable memoir. It's a tale of lost dreams, boyhood innocence, and two remarkable characters in midcentury California history."

Hunting for Meaning in The Mandalorian, book cover

Hunting for Meaning in The Mandalorian Valerie Estelle Frankel

"The Mandalorian has arrived as the first offering of Disney+. After eight delightful episodes, however, fans were left with questions. Who is the child and why does everyone want him? There are many clues and theories for those who know where to look. Further, the rich extended universe offers a full backstory on Mandalore as well as more on the Child’s species."

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Adult Fiction
Adult Nonfiction

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