LocalLit 2021

Celebrate Local Authors with Us

Get ready for the 9th anniversary of LocalLit! Join us on Sunday, December 5, 2021, 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 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!

LocalLit 2021

Book Cover for Little Ditties for Everyday.

Little Ditties for Everyday by Barbara Kalkis

A Collection of Thoughts in Rhyme and Rhythm.

Start, Love, Repeat How to Stay in Love With Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World, book cover

Start, Love, Repeat How to Stay in Love With Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World by Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

The idea of starting your own business is exhilarating and inspiring. It's one over 30 million Americans pursue. But being the significant other of an entrepreneur is not so glamorous. Boundaries between work and home disappear. Personal savings and business funds become intertwined. You can feel like a single parent as your spouse travels, works late hours, and answers calls and e-mails 24-7.You may even sacrifice a career or move your home for the sake of the business.  But there are strategies you can use to combat all this stress and uncertainty. Whether you're new to the start-up world, or a long-term entrepreneurial partner, START, LOVE, REPEAT will help you understand exactly how a start-up affects your lives-and what you can do to build a happy and healthy relationship in the midst of the madness.

Let There D.light: How One Social Enterprise Brought Solar Products to 100 Million People, book cover

Let There D.light: How One Social Enterprise Brought Solar Products to 100 Million People by Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

In 2004, in a village in Benin, West Africa, an eleven-year-old boy was badly burned in a kerosene accident. Peace Corps volunteer Sam Goldman, who lived near the boy’s family, was horrified. Kerosene lanterns were dim, dangerous, and expensive sources of light. How was it possible that, in the twenty-first century, 1.6 billion people still did not have access to electricity? Sam’s search for a solution drove him to business school at Stanford University, where he met Ned Tozun, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and three engineers. Their class project became d.light, a for-profit social enterprise that has provided quality, affordable solar solutions to 100 million off-grid people around the world. Let There d.light traces the unlikely, unpredictable journey to build one of the world’s most successful social enterprises.

My Good Son, book cover

My Good Son by Yang Huang

From award-winning author Yang Huang, My Good Son explores the power-and the cost-of parental love. A tailor in post-Tiananmen China, Mr. Cai has one ambition: for his son, Feng, to make something of himself. With harsh discipline and relentless pressure, Mr. Cai succeeds in getting Feng ready to attend a U.S. college, but Feng needs a sponsor. When Mr. Cai meets a closeted American art student named Jude, they hatch a plan to benefit them both: get Feng to the US and help Jude come out to his conservative father. Their scheme will expose the fault lines in both Chinese and American cultures-father-son relationships, familial expectations, gender and sexuality, social status and mobility. Huang's writing abounds with sharp insights and a quiet humor, revealing the complexity of family relationships amidst two rapidly changing cultures.

My Old Faithful, book cover

My Old Faithful by Yang Huang

Showing both the drama of familial intimacy and the ups and downs of the everyday, My Old Faithful introduces readers to a close-knit Chinese family. These ten interconnected short stories, which take place in China and the United States over a thirty-year period, merge to paint a nuanced portrait of family life, full of pain, surprises, and subtle acts of courage. Richly textured narratives from the mother, the father, the son, and the daughters play out against the backdrop of China's social and economic change. With quiet humor and insight into the ordinary, Yang Huang writes of a father who spanks his son out of love; a brother who betrays his sister; and a woman who returns to China after many years to find her country changed in ways both expected and startling.

I Am Sophia, book cover

I Am Sophia by J. F. Alexander *

When a mysterious and charismatic woman insinuates herself into a fringe religious group, its dozen members wonder whether she is a lunatic, a con artist, or a messiah. Sophia quickly upends the routines and expectations of the group--the last Christians in the inhabited solar system--while Peter, their struggling leader, becomes increasingly obsessed with her. Before long, Peter finds himself following Sophia on a perilous interplanetary adventure which may cost both of them their lives.

*This author donated books to the SJPL and SJSU collections but is unable to attend the event.

High Water, book cover

High Water by Patty Flores Reinhart

The coming-of-age story of a young American woman, finding herself and her future among the waterways of Venice, Italy. Battling narrow-mindedness and discrimination in America, a young artist turns to the allure of Venice’s old-world traditions while encountering its 21st-century challenge fighting a losing war against rising waters. There, she discovers her inner strength and courage, soul-deep friendship, extended family, and feminist threads binding her to both its unorthodox past and our collective future.

Women Winemakers: Personal Odysseys, book cover

Women Winemakers: Personal Odysseys by Lucia Gilbert

Women Winemakers captures the passion, courage, and talent of the women who are successfully making their way in what has long been a male-dominated field. In this groundbreaking volume, Lucia and John Gilbert, professors and lovers of wine, set out to make women winemakers and their contributions to the wine industry more visible. The authors engaged in one-on-one conversations with dozens of trailblazing women winemakers from throughout California and important wine regions of France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain. Their insightful book presents the personal odysseys of these trailblazers through the lens of four career pathways and the cultural histories of each wine region. Despite occurring in different cultures and times, the journeys of these women demonstrate a commonality of purpose and direction. Their stories will inspire current and future winemakers and educate wine enthusiasts about the careers of women who make wine.

Everyday Hidden Wonders, book cover

Everyday Hidden Wonders by Linda Dahlberg *

Bees, beetles, and flies - Oh My! Recognize familiar garden visitors in Linda Dahlberg's beautiful photographs and catchy poems. Discover critters you have never seen before!

*This author donated books to the SJPL and SJSU collections but is unable to attend the event.

Abstract Intersections a Poetic Journey Through Mathematics, book cover

Abstract Intersections a Poetic Journey Through Mathematics by Kedar Hardikar

Against the intricate backdrop of mathematics, Abstract Intersections stages a radically new portrayal of human emotions in the theater of life. Forged from passionate life experiences and the arduous journey of experiential mathematical learning, these poems lie at an unexpected crossroads: one which challenges the notion of separation between the intellectual stimulus provided by mathematics and experiences provoking deeply felt emotions. Placing a “favorite color” on a different footing than a “favorite mathematical object” is a controversy rather than an accepted reality in these verses. With topics ranging from elementary mathematics to advanced concepts from abstract algebra, statistics, real and complex analysis, and topology, these poems delineate the powerful emotions evoked throughout the experiential learning of celebrated theorems and concepts in mathematics. Using the language of mathematics, these poems take the reader through a surprising range of emotions and provoke deep philosophical contemplation. With mathematical and emotional context provided by the author for each poem, this poetry book caters to a wide audience, from the average intellectually curious high schooler, to seasoned members of the scientific community. A unique literary experiment, cloaked in philosophical revelation and shaped by mathematical insights, Abstract Intersections provides a profoundly original alternative in facing the challenges of life and mathematics, one where each is mirrored in the other.

Californio Connections California's Cultural Evolution 1769-1896, book cover

Californio Connections California's Cultural Evolution 1769-1896 by James Zetterquist

After decades of research, Jim Zetterquist has completed his much-anticipated book, Californio Connections. This fascinating tale chronicles how the history of his ancestors in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas from 1796 to 1896 has woven its way into his own life, and tells remarkable stories of little-known events that could only have happened here, in rapidly-changing California. His is a riveting tale, illustrating familiar places as seen through the lives of his Ohlone and Hispanic ancestors. His use of interludes, which chronicle over 50 years of memories, makes this work highly unique. All profits from the sale of this “must read” local history book go to the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County.

Unpacked: An Old Soul's Guide to the Art of Relocation, book cover

Unpacked: An Old Soul's Guide to the Art of Relocation by Christine Kraft

Your dream was to work hard, live authentically, get paid, and create a beautiful, rooted life for yourself and your family. You thought you were on your way with your two kids, three pets, and fourteen homes over twenty-five years. Looking forward to your middle years and a chapter of creativity – SURPRISE! – you just learned you have to move again for the sake of your spouse’s career! While you are too proud – and too privileged – to complain, you are hurting and don’t know where to find support. As you put your head down and keep your chin up, you secretly long for a moving guide that goes beyond packing and planning to the deeper challenges that are hard to talk about. Unpacked: An Old Soul’s Guide to the Art of Relocation is that guide. Christine Kraft, M.S., is a coach, a community leader, an artist, and an activist. She is the founder of AphroditeWorks.com and is excited to share how she has kept her fragile dreams alive across many bold moves. In Unpacked, you’ll learn: That you are a powerhouse (not a trailing spouse) That fueling yourself with to-dos makes relocation more stressful Why saying farewell, goodbye, and I love you (to everyone!) lightens the load That it is possible to make lifelong friends at 50 That resenting your spouse’s career makes re-establishing your own more difficult Written for talented, passionate, and creative women making homes all over the world, Unpacked is a must-have companion for modern movers.

Soul Flight: An Outcast Adventure, book cover

Soul Flight: An Outcast Adventure by William Albert Baldwin

A Tarot reading suggests that Alan Horne's soul has walked out on him. Oddly logical. Alan Horne--Pagan priest and polyamorist--has wife problems and job problems.Can Alan persuade his wandering soul to return? Is retrieving a runaway soul the same as tracking down a lost pet? Maybe. In this quest-story set in the days before 9/11, a middle-aged man returns to his younger haunts to try to recover the integrity he feels he has lost.

River of Offerings, book cover

River of Offerings by Jennifer Prugh

How does a deeper understanding of the ancient spiritual traditions of India shed new light on our contemporary yoga practice? And what can India's River Ganges teach us about how to live in a meaningful way? Through photography and personal narrative, Jennifer Prugh documents a series of pilgrimages over the last ten years to spiritually significant locations along India's Ganges River. The Ganges is India's most sacred river, winding some 1550 miles from its source, high in the western Himalayas, traveling eastward across the subcontinent to empty out at Sagar Island near Kolkata. The river is also known among Hindus as Mother Ganga, the Goddess. She dissolves sins, drinking her waters cures those who are sick, and dying on her banks ensures freedom from the cycle of life and death. She is a perpetual offering to all who inhabit the Ganges River Valley. What began for the author as simply a trip to India in 2007 to deepen her understanding of her yoga practice became a passionate pursuit to broaden her understanding of the ancient spiritual culture of India, from which modern yoga practice evolved and changed her life. By plane, train, automobile, rickshaw, and on foot, she traveled with camera in tow to many of India's sacred destinations along the Ganges, from high in the Himalayas at the river's source at Gangotri, to the great Kumbha Mela festival held in Allahabad, to the cremation ghats in Varanasi. Prugh explores the stories from the heroic epics that provide the backbone for contemporary yoga philosophy, as well as the sacred wisdom that animates India's spiritual legacy. Part history, part mythology, and part travel narrative, this is a visual and written account of the trials, tribulations, and personal discoveries of an American female yoga practitioner. River of Offerings serves to broaden our understanding of how to live our lives meaningfully, with passion and purpose. A visually compelling and beautiful journey from cover to cover, this book will be a cherished source of inspiration for years to come.

The Confession of Copeland Cane, book cover

The Confession of Copeland Cane by Keenan Norris

He is also just a regular teenager coming up in a terrifying world. A slightly eccentric, flip-phone loving kid with analog tendencies and a sideline hustling sneakers, the boundaries of Copeland's life are demarcated from the jump by urban toxicity, an educational apparatus with confounding intentions, and a police state that has merged with media conglomerates--the highly-rated Insurgency Alert Desk that surveils and harasses his neighborhood in the name of anti-terrorism. Recruited by the nearby private school even as he and his folks face eviction, Copeland is doing his damnedest to do right by himself, for himself. And yet the forces at play entrap him in a reality that chews up his past and obscures his future. Copeland's wry awareness of the absurd keeps life passable, as do his friends and their surprising array of survival skills. And yet in the aftermath of a protest rally against police violence, everything changes, and Copeland finds himself caught in the flood of history.

Autumn Leaves, Spring Rain...Lightning!: Poems Stories Provocations, book cover

Autumn Leaves, Spring Rain...Lightning!: Poems Stories Provocations by William Albert Baldwin

From the hazy Alleghenies and Blue Ridge—ancestral homelands—down to the Chesapeake Bay and onwards to the rocky coast of New Hampshire, the mountain lakes and waterfalls of northern Japan, and the fairy-tale castles of Bavaria—a boy grows into adulthood, faces challenges, and finds his calling in words, music, and visions. Here are some of his offerings—many award-winning—from Cold War times to the present: Poems, stories, memoirs, manifestos, and visions. William Albert Baldwin grew up with the American Red Cross and the U. S. military. After many years of wandering, he followed several of his heroes to California, and now lives with his family in Sunnyvale.

Democratization of Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Humanity, book cover

Democratization of Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Humanity by Chandrasekar Vuppalapati

Artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a transformational technology of the digital age. Its practical applications are growing very rapidly. One of the chief reasons AI applications are attaining prominence, is in its design to learn continuously, from real-world use and experience, and its capability to improve its performance. It is no wonder that the applications of AI span from complex high-technology equipment manufacturing to personalized exclusive recommendations to end-users. Many deployments of AI software, given its continuous learning need, require computation platforms that are resource intense, and have sustained connectivity and perpetual power through central electrical grid.

Building Enterprise IoT Applications, book cover

Building Enterprise IoT Applications by Chandrasekar Vuppalapati

The book deals with the complete spectrum IoT software development, from startup, industry and academic perspectives, with the objective of teaching readers to develop state of art IoT applications. The cases presented in the book will encourage readers to create innovative blue ocean software products with the goal to serve the humanity and create value for future generations.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Agricultural Economics, book cover

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Agricultural Economics by Chandrasekar Vuppalapati

Chandra Vuppalapati is a seasoned Software IT Executive with diverse experience in software technologies, enterprise software architectures, cloud computing, big data business analytics, internet of things (IoT), and software product & program management. Chandra has held engineering and product leadership roles at GE Healthcare, Cisco Systems, St. Jude Medical, and Lucent Technologies. Chandra has an MS in software engineering form San Jose State University (US) and an MBA from Santa Clara University (US) and teaches software engineering, mobile computing, cloud technologies, and web & data mining at San Jose State University.

Veteran's of Life Write, book cover

Veteran's of Life Write by Amy Meier

I like to say that if you were a living human being fifty years ago in this country, you are a “Vietnam veteran.” Some of us were actually there wearing the uniform of our country in various stages of distress and others were “back in the world” fighting to bring us home and stop the killing. All of us came out of those years fundamentally changed. That’s why an anthology of poems as powerful and right on as these is so important today—not just for those of us who lived through those years but also for our children and grandchildren. These poems are written from a refreshing vulnerability, inviting the reader to empathize with we who lived through that God-forsaken war. The poets whose words are embedded in this collection are doing more than inviting us into their psyches. They are demanding that we explore our own. They speak for us and to us. As a Vietnam veteran, I want to thank them for allowing me into their community, and I want to urge others to join with them. They will take you on a trip that is both difficult and enlightening. A trip well worth taking. Doug Rawlings Vietnam veteran, former President of Veterans for Peace, and author of In the Shadow of the Annamese Mountains and Orion Rising. This anthology is dedicated to all veterans of war and veterans of life.

Harboring Happiness: 101 Ways To Be Happy, book cover

Harboring Happiness: 101 Ways To Be Happy by Dan Brook*

Harboring Happiness offers 101 clear, snappy, and scientifically-supported methods for achieving happiness. The goal of this easily-digestible book is to liberate readers, not burden them. Everyone wants to be happier, but most people don't want to put in the effort. Harboring Happiness will appeal to people who want fast, easy solutions. It is very easy to read this book straight through or to jump in and out at any point, making Harboring Happiness useful and accessible to all.

*This author donated books to the SJPL and SJSU collections but is unable to attend the event.

The Map to Wholeness Real-life Stories of Crisis, Change, and Reinvention, book cover

The Map to Wholeness Real-life Stories of Crisis, Change, and Reinvention by Suzy Ross*

"We need only talk to neighbors, overhear conversations at a coffee shop, or chat with colleagues to be reminded that transformation is happening within all around us. In our own social circle, there is always someone and something that is catalyzed by a major turn of events: sending a child off to college, returning from military duty, changing careers, benefiting from a housing bubble, or surviving the pandemic. Impactful happenings like these constitute the visible half of transformation and this book brings the hidden half that most people are likely experiencing right now.

The Map to Wholeness mobilizes Suzy Ross’ doctoral research by leading the reader through the intimate details of two ordinary individuals’ lives as they progress through the 13-phases of transformation. Radha Stern and Kenny Johnson’s rousing stories will inspire you through the Figure-8 Map as you grow, despite extraordinary challenges, and are recreated as a happier, healthier, and entirely new you."

*This author donated books to the SJPL and SJSU collections but is unable to attend the event.