All posts tagged: BayMo Books

pleasan hill library reading

Nonstop Learning at the Public Library

Learning rocks and never stops at the public library. Libraries have evolved from being book warehouses to learning labs and one-stop-shop community centers for all ages. Patrick Remer, Senior Community Library Manager at the Pleasant Hill Library, grew up in Pleasant Hill. “As someone who used this library when I was a kid in the eighties, for me it was this awesome edifice filled with books. Now it’s an explosion of resources. Kids come to talk to authors, they come for hands-on learning, our Lego Club, our Maker events.” I’m here for a virtual author event for the library’s Citywide Read program. The library is “Skyping in” children’s author and comedian Chris Grabenstein from his apartment in New York City. His book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library takes us on an adventure through the radically high-tech, old school universe of a fantasy library. At first, I feel weird sitting among tweens and teens, their parents and an array of yellow balloons. Soon, though, the room’s enthusiastic discussion about books and writing and the kids’ bottomless …

BayMo reads book review

BayMo Books: God’s Hotel

My friend Tanesia in Albuquerque just sent me birthday wishes. I miss her. Years ago, we became friends commuting between our MFA program at San Francisco State and our homes in Oakland. Among this eclectic crew of students, we relearned the value of human connection – each of us for her own reasons. Any night of the week, we were in some corner of the Bay, attending readings or concerts at cafes, bars and apartments. Most of the time we haunted the foggy corners of the Sunset. We often passed Laguna Honda Hospital. It was just a place. A hacienda for the mentally ill, we thought. One of the last asylums, we writers imagined. Not true, I discovered after reading God’s Hotel, by Victoria Sweet. Laguna Honda began as an almshouse, a hospital for San Francisco’s indigent population, the last of its kind. Indigent, almshouse, these are words from centuries past. As Sweet describes her journey as a physician at Laguna Honda, she is also chronicling the journey of a hospital and of medicine from …

BayMo reads book review

BayMo Books: San Francisco’s Jewel City

Whizzing by the Nut Tree on I-80 reminded me of what it used to be – a mini theme park. As kids, we sat in the back hoping Mom would stop there or at the putt-putt golf at Cordelia Junction. But no. Much later, as an adult, I finally entered the Nut Tree to meet my aunt and uncle for lunch. It looked like a hopped-up Howard Johnson with a sprawling “general store” offering country-style gifts. I wish I could remember whether the employees wore costumes. Everyday we walk into imagined spaces. Businesses and homes with intentional décor serve us up a universe, complete with soundtrack. These purposeful environments make us feel things. Sofia asked a couple of weeks ago what that means for us. In a way, we enter somebody’s stage. When a place is a crazy, dressed up fantasy world we might call it a Disneyland or a Times Square. At the other end of the spectrum, a museum curates its own classier world. There was a time when the World’s Fair set …