One Village, One Book

One Village, One Book book club at Montclair Library

After a brief 2-year hiatus (ahem), we’ve brought back our book club reading books set in Oakland! Our books are selected from a variety of genres and eras so you’re sure to find something you’re interested in. We’ll get to learn more about our city, meet some neighbors and discuss what we’ve read.

Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30pm. For 2023, we’ve decided to try meeting every month. Come to one discussion, a few or all of them! No pre-registration or commitment is required – all we ask is that you’ve read the book and are ready to discuss it.

Here’s our 2023 schedule:

  • January 10, 2023: There There by Tommy Orange
    An encore discussion of this slim but meaty debut novel by a novelist who was born and raised in Oakland
  • February 7, 2023: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
    A hyper-local (it name-checks the Egg Shop) novel about marriage (and motherhood, middle age and the role of technology in our lives) for Valentine’s Day – note the date change this month to avoid the Valentine’s Day and President’s Day holidays.
  • March 14, 2023: Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
    “Chabon lovingly creates a world grounded in pop culture, Kung Fu, 70s Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music; and delivers a bravura epic of friendship, race, and secret histories.” – Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
  • April 11, 2023: Martin Eden by Jack London
    We’re taking a step back to the classics with Jack London’s semiautobiographical critique of individualism that touches on contemporary issues like socialism and mental illness.
  • May 9, 2023: Blues City: A Walk in Oakland by Ishmael Reed
    This collection of essays is an “evocative portrait of the muticultural landscape of Oakland, California, by the critically acclaimed poet and author [that] explores the city’s complex history, cultural diversity, landscape, architecture, and landmarks.”
  • June 13, 2023: Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
    Set in the 1920s, this mystery novel follows the adventures of a master illusionist along the lines of Houdini.
  • July 11, 2023: Book Hunter by Jason Shiga
    In this graphic novel by a former OPL employee, it’s 1973 and “a priceless book has been stolen from the Oakland Public Library. A crack team of Bookhunters (aka library police) have less than three days to recover the stolen item.”
  • August 8, 2023: Listen, World!: How the Intrepid Elsie Robinson Became America’s Most-Read Woman by Julia Scheeres
    For the history fans, we have a new non-fiction book about a self-made advice columnist who got her start at the Oakland Tribune.
  • September 12, 2023: Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
    This debut novel by a former Oakland Youth Poet Laureate touches on themes of addiction, incarceration, mental health and police corruption, but is also “a complex love letter to Oakland and a profound tribute to Black youths and their joy, love, integrity, humanity, frailty, courage and more.” – Lou Fancher in East Bay Magazine
  • October 10, 2023: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
    For Halloween, we have a witchy sci-fi/fantasy book in which an Oakland PI investigates a murder mystery at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, which happens to be in the nearby foothills.
  • November 14, 2023: Oakland Noir by Jerry Thompson & Eddie Muller (editors)
    “Readers who know the city will relish its sense of place” (SF Chronicle) in this collection of mysteries set in Oakland.
  • December 12, 2023: The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven Blanco or TBD by members – what book do you recommend?
Covers of books set in Oakland, California

Question #1 for our book club: What is it about Oakland that says orange to so many book designers?

Previous books:

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