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Vol. 13, Iss. 4 December 2011 The West’s Oldest Independent Bookseller

Staff Picks Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson The definitive biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs--as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues--Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.


By Haruki Murakami A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s--1Q84 is an international publishing event. The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence. Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo’s previously placid life comes unraveled. As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge, profound and tangled connections bind them ever closer.

The Art of Fielding

By Chad Harbach An expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others. At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths.


By Christopher Paolini The wait is finally over! This is the much- anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the Inheritance cycle. Not so very long ago, Eragon-Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider--was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but also heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

By Jeff Kinney Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?


A book is a gift you can open again and again. Garrison Keillor

Staff Gifts Gifts Gifts Gifts

Picks...................................Front Page in Fiction...................................Page 2 in Paper....................................Page 3 of Beauty..................................Page 4 that Eat & Drink................. Page 4 & 5

Holiday Hours

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Gifts that Sing, Dance & Laugh........Page Gifts of Nonfiction............................. Page Events & Book Clubs........................Page Kids of All Ages.................................Page

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Always the Right Size and no-one ever returns them! Books Inc. Gift Cards can be purchased in any denomination that fits your budget and people love to receive them. Purchase and redeem at any Books Inc. or Compass Books location and online at www.booksinc. net! One size fits all and they never go out of style!

Shop Online at! The order deadline for standard 3-5 day shipping within the contiguous US is December 13 for Hannakah delivery is December 17 for Christmas delivery.

the Experience You Can’t Download December 5 • 7:00 PM

CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD presents Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. The sometimes macabre, sometimes comic tale tells the fascinating story of the relationship between two of the most loved figures of the 20th century and their pursuit of magic and lost loved ones. Books Inc. in Berkeley

December 6 • 7:00 PM

JEANNE DARST shares her wickedly funny and sharp-eyed memoir Fiction Ruined My Family in which she sets out to discover if a person can have the writing without the ruin, if it’s possible to be both sober and creative, ambitious and happy, a professional author and a parent. Books Inc. in Opera Plaza

December 13 • 7:00 PM

Join writers Mac McClelland, JOSHUAH BEARMAN (“The Art of the Steal”), DANIEL ALARCON and TOM BARBASH, contributors to The Best American Nonrequired Reading for a reading and benefit for 826 Valencia. Books Inc. in Opera Plaza

Happy Holidays from Books Inc.

30% OFF Any One Item

Saturday & Sunday, December 2 & 3, 2011 Only Available at Any Books Inc. Store Location

Must Present This Coupon To Receive Discount•Limited to One Coupon Per Customer Transaction Not Valid on Special Orders, Newspapers or Magazines•Cannot Be Combined With Other Discounts

Pull-Out Event Calendar Inside. Go to for the absolute latest event info.

2 • December 2011

The Drop

By Michael Connelly Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-yearold convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? Then Councilman Irvin Irving’s son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. AVAILABLE NOW

Queen of America

By Luis Alberto Urrea After the bloody Tomochic rebellion, Teresita Urrea flees with her father to Arizona. But their plans are derailed when she once again is claimed as the spiritual leader of the Mexican Revolution. Besieged by pilgrims and pursued by assassins, Teresita embarks on a journey through turn-of-the-century industrial America-New York, San Francisco, St. Louis. And as she decides what her own role in this modern future will be, she must ask herself: can a saint fall in love? AVAILABLE NOW


By Michael Crichton Micro follows a group of graduate students lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company—only to find themselves cast out into the rain forest, with nothing but their scientific expertise and wits to protect them. Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment. AVAILABLE NOW

420 Characters

By Lou Beach Lou Beach began his writing career by updating his Facebook status, every day, with a new stand-alone story no more than 420 characters long. These narrative gems soon appeared on his website, and then arrived in the literary world. Alternately surreal, funny, ominous, and lyrical, 420 Characters offers an experience as dazzling as any in contemporary fiction, revealing worlds of meaning in single paragraphs. Beach’s work has found admirers in Jonathan Lethem, Terry Gilliam, and others. AVAILABLE NOW

The Third Reich

By Robert Bolano On vacation with his girlfriend, Ingeborg, Udo Berger meets another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, who introduce them to a band of locals and to the darker side of life in a resort town. Late one night, Charly disappears without a trace, and Udo’s well-ordered life is thrown into upheaval. Soon he is enmeshed in Third Reich, Udo’s favorite World War II strategy game, and discovers that the game’s consequences may be all too real. AVAILABLE NOW

The Leopard

By Jo Nesbo Two women are found murdered in Oslo--both of them have drowned in their own blood. Kaja Solness is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department’s only specialist on serial killings. The severely addicted detective has tried to disappear in the vast, anonymous city. He is on the run and haunted by his last case, the woman he loves, and creditors alike. His name is Harry Hole. AVAILABLE December 13TH

Gifts of Fiction The Thirteen Hallows

By Michael Scott and Collette Freedman The Keepers guard the Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood. With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow--a broken sword with devastating powers--to her nephew, Owen. They discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world... and a horror beyond imagining. AVAILABLE December 6th

Locked On

By Tom Clancy Jack Ryan, Sr. is running for President again, giving up a peaceful retirement. But he doesn’t anticipate the treachery of his opponent, who uses trumped up charges to attack one of Ryan’s closest comrades, John Clark. Now, Clark is in a race against time and must travel the world, staying one step ahead of his adversaries, including a shadowy organization tasked to bring him in, all while trying to find who is behind this. AVAILABLE December 13th

The Scottish Prisoner

By Diana Gabaldon Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising. Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood. AVAILABLE NOW

The Angel Esmerelda

By Don Delillo Set in Greece, the Caribbean, Manhattan, a white-collar prison and outer space, these stories are a mesmerizing introduction to Don Delillo’s iconic voice, from the rich, startling, jazz-infused rhythms of his early work to the spare, distilled, monastic language of the later stories, whose prescience about world events and ear for American language changed the literary landscape. Nuns, astronauts, athletes, terrorists and travelers, the characters in The Angel Esmeralda propel themselves into the world and define it. AVAILABLE NOW

Mrs. Nixon

By Ann Beattie Dazzlingly original, Mrs. Nixon is a riveting exploration of an elusive American icon and of the fiction writer’s art. Pat Nixon remains one of our most mysterious and intriguing public figures, the only modern First Lady who never wrote a memoir. Beattie, like many of her generation, dismissed Richard Nixon’s wife: “interchangeable with a Martian,” she said. Decades later, she wonders what it must have been like to be married to such a spectacularly ambitious and catastrophically self-destructive man. AVAILABLE NOW

Dead Man’s Grip

By Peter James Carly Chase is still traumatized ten days after being in a fatal traffic accident which kills a teenage student from Brighton University. Then she receives news that turns her entire world into a living nightmare. The drivers of the other two vehicles involved have been found tortured and murdered. Now Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Sussex Police force issues a stark and urgent warning to Carly: She could be next. AVAILABLE NOW

Red Mist

By Patricia Cornwell Determined to find out what happened to her former deputy chief Jack Fielding, murdered six months earlier, Kay Scarpetta travels to the Georgia Prison for Women, where an inmate has information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings. Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive. AVAILABLE December 6th

Murder in Mount Holly

By Paul Theroux During the time of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, Herbie Gneiss is forced to leave college to get a job. His income keeps his chocolate-loving mother from starvation. Mr. Gibbon, a patriotic veteran of three wars, works with him. When Herbie is drafted, Mr. Gibbon and Mrs. Gneiss decide to rob the Mount Holly Trust Company because it is managed by a small dark man who is probably a communist. There are some complications. AVAILABLE NOW

Explosive Eighteen

By Janet Evanovich Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can. His killer could be anyone. Thugs and psychos and the FBI are all looking for a photograph the dead man was carrying and Stephanie Plum has seen it. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. AVAILABLE NOW

The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

By Alexander McCall Smith Isabel and her fiance know who they are and where they come from. But not everybody is so fortunate. Jane Cooper, a visiting Australian philosopher in Edinburgh, has more questions than answers. Adopted at birth, Jane is trying to find her biological father, but all she knows is that he was a student in Edinburgh years ago. When she asks for Isabel’s help in this seemingly impossible search . . . well, of course Isabel obliges. AVAILABLE December 6th

White Truffles in Winter

By N.M. Kelby White Truffles in Winter imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz. A man of contradictions kind yet imperious, foodobsessed yet rarely hungry Escoffier was also torn between two women: the famous, beautiful, and reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt and his wife, the independent and sublime poet Delphine Daffis. How does one define the complexity of love on a single plate? AVAILABLE NOW

Kill Alex Cross

By James Patterson The President’s son and daughter are abducted, and Detective Alex Cross is first on the scene. But someone very high-up is using the FBI, Secret Service, and CIA to keep him in the dark. A deadly contagion in the water supply cripples half of the capital. As his window for solving both crimes narrows, Alex makes a desperate decision that goes against everything he believes--one that may alter the fate of the entire country. Available NOW

GiftS in PaperBACK Nanjing Requiem

By Ha Jin In 1937, with the Japanese poised to invade Nanjing, Minnie Vautrin- -an American missionary and the dean of Jinling Women’s College--decides to remain at the school, convinced that her American citizenship will help her safeguard the welfare of those who work there. She is painfully mistaken. The school becomes a refugee camp for ten thousand homeless women and children. Even when order and civility are restored, Vautrin remains embattled, haunted by the lives she could not save. Available NOW

The Death of King Arthur

By Simon Armitage First appearing around 1400, The Alliterative Morte Arthure, or, The Death of King Arthur, is one of the most widely beloved and spectacularly alliterative poems ever penned in Middle English. Now, from the internationally acclaimed translator of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, comes this magisterial new presentation of the Arthurian tale, rendered in unflinching and gory detail. Never before have the deaths of Arthur’s loyal knights, his own final hours, and the subsequent burial been so poignantly evoked. Available NOW

Devil’s Gate

By Clive Cussler A Japanese cargo ship cruises the eastern Atlantic near the Azores--then it bursts into flames. A gang of pirates speeds to take advantage of the disaster--then their boat explodes. As Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, and the rest of the NUMA Team investigate, they find themselves drawn into the extraordinary ambitions of an African dictator, the creation of a weapon of almost mythical power, and an unimaginably audacious plan to extort the world’s major nations. Available NOW

V is for Vengence

By Sue Grafton A woman with a murky past who kills herselfor was it murder? A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring working for the Mob. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers. A private detective, Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose. Available NOW

Zero Day

By David Baldacci John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. As Puller digs through deception after deception, he realizes that nothing he’s seen in this small town, and no one in it, are what they seem. Facing a potential conspiracy that reaches far beyond the hills of West Virginia, he is one man on the hunt for justice against an overwhelming force. Available NoW

Hotel Vendome

By Danielle Steel The hotel was old, run-down. But to Hugues Martin, a young, ambitious, it is a rough diamond, tucked away on a quiet, perfectly situated Manhattan street. Steel’s new novel invites readers into the ultra-glamorous world of a five-star New York hotel and brings to life the man who builds it as his dream, the girl who grows up in its embrace, and the colorful guests and staff who make its magic complete. Welcome to the Hotel Vendome. AVAILABLE NOW

Lake of Dreams

By Kim Edwards Lucy Jarrett returns home only to find herself haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade ago. Late one night she discovers a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities, but soon reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As she explores the traces of her lineage, Lucy’s quest for the truth reconfigures her family’s history, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely. Available NOW

Land of Painted Caves

By Jean Auel Auel brings her ice-age epic series to an extraordinary conclusion. Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte to a spiritual leader and begins arduous training tasks. But the time she has spent in training rituals has caused Jondalar to drift away from her. Auel combines appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago. Available NOW


By David Foenkinos After her husband’s unexpected death, Natalie has erected a fortress around her emotions—and Markus, clumsy and unassuming, will never be her knight in shining armor. Yet slowly but surely, an offbeat romance begins between these two mismatched, complex souls, and contrary to everything Natalie knows of affection, her perfect suitor may turn out to be love’s most unlikely candidate—the fool, not the hero, who is finally able to reach her heart. Available December 6th

Printmaker’s Daughter

By Katherine Govier Oei plunges us into the colorful world of nineteenth-century Edo, in which courtesans rub shoulders with poets, warriors consort with actors, and the arts flourish in an unprecedented moment of creative upheaval. Oei and Hokusai work on Hokusai’s countless paintings and prints. Oei defies all expectations of womanhood—all but one. A dutiful daughter to the last, she will obey the will of her eccentric father who, ultimately, will rob her of her place in history. Available NOW

Reading Jackie

By William Kuhn Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never wrote a memoir, but she told her life story and revealed herself in intimate ways through the nearly 100 books she brought into print during the last two decades of her life as an editor at Viking and Doubleday. Based on archives and interviews with Jackie’s authors, colleagues, and friends, Reading Jackie mines this significant period of her life to reveal both the serious and the mischievous woman underneath the glamorous public image. Available NOW

Talk Show

By Dick Cavett For years, Dick Cavett played host to the nation’s most famous personalities on his late-night talk show. We get to hear Cavett’s best tales, as he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path and offers his own trenchant commentary on contemporary American culture and politics. Cavett is a wry cultural observer, looking at America today and pointing out the foibles that we so often fail to notice about ourselves. Available NOW

December 2011 • 3

Holy Thief

By William Ryan Moscow, 1936, and Stalin’s Great Terror is just beginning. In a church, a woman is found dead, her body on display. Captain Alexei Korolev of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia is assigned, but the NKVD is watching and exile is a real possibility. Korolev enters the realm of the Thieves, rulers of Moscow’s underworld. But as more bodies are found, Korolev begins to question whom he can trust and who are the real criminals. Available NOW

How to Be Compassionate

By The Dalai Lama His Holiness reveals basic mistakes of attitude that lead us to inner turmoil, and how we can correct them. He demonstrates how opening our hearts and minds is the best way to overcome the misguided ideas that are at the root of all our problems. He shows us how compassion can be a continuous wellspring of happiness in our own lives and how our newfound happiness can extend outward from us in ever wider and wider circles. Available December 13th

Those Guys Have All the Fun

By James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales Miller and Shales present the first complete and never-before revealed history of ESPN--the worldwide leader and the rowdiest frat house in sports TV--is a wild, smart, effervescent look at the triumph, genius, ego, and rise of an empire unlike any television has ever seen. Announcers and analysts as well as sports stars share their stories about the network. Available NOW

Death of the Liberal Class

By Chris Hedge For decades the liberal class was a defense against the worst excesses of power. But the pillars of the liberal class have collapsed. In its absence, the poor, the working class, and even the middle class no longer have a champion. Hedges argues that the death of the liberal class created a profound vacuum at the heart of American political life. And now speculators, war profiteers, and demagogues-- from militias to the Tea Party--are filling the void. Available NoW

Sleights of Mind

By Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, the founders of the exciting new discipline of neuromagic, have convinced some of the world’s greatest magicians to allow scientists to study their techniques for tricking the brain. Magic tricks fool us because humans have hardwired processes of attention and awareness that are hackable--a good magician uses your mind’s intrinsic properties against you. Sleights of Mind makes neuroscience fun by unveiling the connections between magic and the mind. Available NoW

Apollo’s Angels

By Jennifer Homans Apollo’s Angels is the first cultural history of ballet ever written. Ballet is unique: It has no written texts or standardized notation. It is a storytelling art passed on from teacher to student. The steps are never just the steps--they are a living, breathing document of a culture and a tradition. Jennifer Homans is a historian and critic who was also a professional dancer: She brings to Apollo’s Angels a knowledge of dance born of dedicated practice. Available NOW

4 • December 2011

Gifts of Beauty

Lady Gaga X Terry Richardson

By Lady Gaga and Terry Richardson In this book of original, behind-thescenes photographs, an acclaimed photographer follows the superstar during one year of her life, from Lollapalooza through the final show of her Monster Ball tour. Richardson captures Lady Gaga as you’ve never seen her before. A year-long global odyssey--all access, nothing off limits--this is the book Lady Gaga fans have been waiting for Available NOW

California Design: 1930-1965

By Wendy Kaplan California design influenced the material culture of the entire country, in everything from architecture to fashion. This generously illustrated book, which accompanies a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is the first comprehensive examination of California’s mid-century modern design. California Design includes 350 images, most in color, of furniture, ceramics, metalwork, architecture, graphic and industrial design, film, textiles, and fashion, and ten incisive essays that trace the rise of the California design aesthetic. Available NOW

Dior Couture

By Patrick Demarchelier Dior is one of the most revered names in fashion, the archetype of the Parisian couture house. Famous for launching the “New Look,” Christian Dior’s landmark first collection that marked a sea change in women’s dress after the Second World War, Dior is known today for its exquisite couture line of dramatic dresses. This book comprises a portfolio of portraits of over one hundred incredible gowns from the entire era of Christian Dior haute couture, including dresses designed by Dior himself. Available NOW

Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style

By Jerome Gautier Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971) was undoubtedly the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century. Her clothes and accessories have remained perennially chic. Through dazzling photographs, Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style identifies key elements that have defined Chanel’s style for generations. Eleven chapters compare the original forms of these enduring trademarks with their later expressions over the years and to the present day, letting the vocabulary of Chanel’s style speak for itself. Available NOW

The Art Museum

By Phaidon The Art Museum is the finest art collection ever assembled between two covers. This revolutionary and unprecedented virtual art museum in a book, features 1,000 pages of over 2,500 works of art. It is the most comprehensive and visually spectacular history of world art ever published. Ten years in the making, this unique book was created by 100 specialists in art history, who have collected together important works as they might be displayed in the ideal museum for the art lover.Available NOW

Tony Duquette/Hutton Wilkinson Jewelry

By By Hutton Wilkinson and Tony Duquette Tony Duquette/Hutton Wilkinson Jewelry presents the most spectacular, jawdropping pieces by both artists, whose belief that “more is more” is reflected in pieces set in 18-karat gold and dripping with precious and semiprecious stones that recall the splendors of the great courts of Renaissance kings, Chinese emperors, and maharajas. This precious luxury edition, with its gold foil stamping and gilt-edge pages, itself resembles an exquisite jewelry box, tempting all to peek inside and discover untold treasures. Available NOW

100 Unforgettable Dresses

By Hal Rubenstein 100 Unforgettable Dresses is filled with the stories, secrets, intrigue, and insights behind the most indelible dresses in our collective memories. With its wonderful anecdotes, fascinating facts, and just enough juicy gossip, 100 Unforgettable Dresses is a bewitching read for everyone who enjoys sensational clothes, movies, television, and music. Whether you’re a fashion maven, a red-carpet addict, a celebrity tracker, or a popculture aficionado, you won’t be able to put this book down! Available NOW

Perfectly Imperfect Home

By Deborah Needleman Style is a luxury, and luxury is simply what makes you happy. Over the years, design expert Deborah Needleman has seen all kinds of rooms, with all kinds of furnishings. Her conclusion: It’s not hard to create a relaxed, stylish, and comfortable home. According to Deborah, the point of decorating is to create the background for the best life you can have, with all its joys and imperfections. This book will show you how. Available NOW

America’s Great Railroad Stations

By Roger Strauss For much of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the railroad station or depot was the communal hub of every American town that could boast of train service. Most of these buildings were architectural gems, and while many are still in service, certain others now house museums, banks, restaurants, and more. Whole sections of towns have been remade around these structures, restoring their vitality in novel and interesting ways long after the last train has left the station. Available NOW

It’s All About the Dress

By Randy Fenoli Every bride wants to feel beautiful and wants to have her dress express the essence of who she is. Now choosing the perfect thing to wear on that special day is easier than ever! Drawing on his experience as fashion director at Kleinfeld Bridal, Randy Fenoli has written a guidebook bursting with insights and inspiration for helping brides-to-be determine what story they want their dress to tell. It’s All About the Dress is the ultimate sourcebook no bride-to-be should say “I do” without! Available NOW

Gifts to Ea Handheld Pies

By Sarah Billingsley and Rachel Wharton What’s better than small treats? Eating with your hands! This enticing cookbook delivers on both counts in one adorable package. Pie-lovers everywhere will be thrilled to find their favorite recipes plus fabulous new creations. Savory pies also make an appearance! Ideal for beginning and seasoned bakers alike (a chapter on crusts offers all the instruction anyone needs to make delicious, flaky pastry with ease!), Handheld Pies proves that good things definitely come in small packages. Available NoW

A Toast to Bargain Wines

By George M. Taber Is inexpensive wine any good? Taber helps readers learn to trust their taste and make informed decisions when confronting wine lists, and reveals how innovators are turning the old “vin ordinaire” into something “extraordinaire.” A Toast to Bargain Wines is an accessible mix of history, business, and reference, and includes a guide to the world’s best buys. Casual wine drinkers and connoisseurs alike will benefit from this insider’s guide to good wine--at a great price. Available NOW

The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine

By Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg A wine book unlike any other, The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine offers a fresh perspective via the single aspect of wine most compelling to food lovers: flavor. At the heart of this indispensable reference is an encyclopedic A-to-Z guide profiling hundreds of different wines by their essential characteristics. The book provides illuminating insights from dozens of America’s best sommeliers via informative sidebars, charts and boxes, which complement the book’s gorgeous fourcolor photography. Available NoW

All About Roasting

By Molly Stevens Molly Stevens brings her trademark thoroughness and eye for detail to the technique of roasting. She breaks down when to use high heat, moderate heat, or low heat to produce juicy, well-seared meats, caramelized drippings, and concentrated flavors. Her 150 recipes feature the full range of dishes from beef, lamb, pork, and poultry to seafood and vegetables. All About Roasting is like having the best teacher in America in the kitchen with you. Available NOW

The Bay Area Homegrown Cookbook

By Aaron French Local. Seasonal. Sustainable. Farm fresh. Restaurants all over the Bay Area try to boast at least one of these adjectives, but to the farmers and chefs profiled here, these are more than just buzzwords. They are a way of life. The chefs and farmers work to bring the freshest locally grown, sustainable foods to the table. With recipes from these dedicated chefs and farmers, we hope you’ll enjoy bringing a little homegrown food into your own kitchen. Available NOW

at & Drink! Home Cooking with JeanGeorges

By Jean-Georges Vongerichten Though he helms a worldwide restaurant empire, Jean-Georges counts his greatest joy in life as family first, then food. A few years ago, Jean-Georges decided to give himself a gift that most of us take for granted: two-day weekends. He and his wife, Marja, and their family retreat to their country home. There, the renowned chef produces the masterful, fresh flavors for which he is known--but with little effort and few dishes to clean at the end. Available NOW

The Meatball Shop Cookbook

By Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow Food lovers from around the city and beyond are heading down to Manhattan’s Lower East Side for a taste of this breakout comfort food phenomenon. In this fun and satisfying cookbook, chef Daniel Holzman and general manager Michael “Meatball Mike” Chernow open up their vault of secrets and share nearly 100 recipes. There may not be a Meatball Shop near you--yet--but there’s a meatball for everyone that will have them lining up outside your kitchen. Available NOW

The Intolerent Gourmet

By Barbara Kafka For those with food intolerances, dietary adjustments have traditionally been about restriction, denial, and deprivation. All these compromises drain the pleasure from eating. Now, legendary food maven Barbara Kafka comes to the rescue with a complete soup-to-nuts cookbook full of great food that you can enjoy every day. As someone who was already intolerant of bad food, ersatz ingredients, and poor cooking-Barbara rose to the challenge of being gluten- and lactose-intolerant with this collection of 300 recipes. Available NOW

Extra Virginity

By Tom Mueller For millennia, olive oil has been one of life’s necessities-not just as food but as medicine, a beauty aid, and for religious rituals. But what if this symbol of purity became corrupt? Tom Mueller has become the world’s expert on olive oil and olive oil fraud-a story of globalization, deception, and crime in the food industry from ancient times to the present, and offers a powerful indictment of today’s lax protections against fake and even toxic food products. Available NOW

Girl Hunter

By Georgia Pellegrini After abandoning Wall Street to embrace her lifelong love of cooking, Georgia Pellegrini comes face to face with her first kill. From realizing that the only way we truly know where our meat comes from is if we hunt it ourselves, Pellegrini embarks on a wild ride into the real world of local, organic, and sustainable food. Girl Hunter captures the joy of rolling up your sleeves and getting to the heart of where the food you eat comes from. Available NOW

Gifts that Sing, Dance & Laugh! Look, I Made a Hat

By Stephen Sondheim Picking up where he left off in Finishing the Hat, Sondheim gives us all the lyrics, along with excluded songs and early drafts, of the Pulitzer Prizewinning “Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins” and “Passion.” As he did in the previous volume, Sondheim richly annotates his lyrics with invaluable advice on songwriting, discussions of theater history and the state of the industry today, and exacting dissections of his work, both the successes and the failures. Available NOW

A Natural History of the Piano

By Stuart Isacoff A Natural History of the Piano distills a lifetime of research and passion into one brilliant narrative. We witness Mozart unveiling his monumental concertos in Vienna’s coffeehouses; Beethoven at his piano, conjuring healing angels to console a grieving mother; Liszt fainting in the arms of a page turner to spark an entire hall into hysterics. And most of all, we hear the music of the masters, brilliantly evoked and as marvelous as its most recent performance. Available NOW

The New New Rules

By Bill Maher Maher’s new book of political riffs serves up a savagely funny set of rules for preserving sanity in an insane world. He delivers a series of hilarious, intelligent rants on everything from samesex marriage to health care, from Republican agendas to celebrity meltdowns, with all of his razor-sharp insight. With another presidential campaign on the horizon and a stellar set of real-life characters to have fun with this may be the best thing you pretend to read all year. Available NOW

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories

By Joseph Gordon-Levitt Founded and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hitRECord is an open collaborative production company where members can contribute their work in various forms including music, videos, text and drawings. Members are then encouraged to add, edit, remix and collaborate with each other. Joe regularly hosts hitRECord events throughout the country at venues ranging from the Sundance and SxSW film festivals to college campuses to grand cinemas to rock & roll bars to concert halls. Available NOW

It Chooses You

By Miranda July In the summer of 2009, Miranda July was struggling to finish writing a screenplay. During her increasingly long lunch breaks, she began to obsessively read the “PennySaver.” Who was the person selling the “Large leather Jacket, $10”? It seemed important to find out--or at least it was a great distraction. July crisscrossed Los Angeles to meet “PennySaver” sellers, glimpsing surprisingly moving and profoundly specific realities, along the way shaping her film, and herself, in unexpected ways. Available NOW

December 2011 • 5

Industrial Light and Magic

By Pamela Glintenkamp Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation is an extensively illustrated oral history of visual effects company founded by George Lucas in 1975. Its tale begins with a small team of craftspeople, engineers, and artists who pioneered analog effects that had never before been attempted or realized on the screen for Star Wars. Industrial Light & Magic continues their story through the effects facility’s mind-bending work, over the following three decades, on more than three hundred films. Available NOW

The Someday Funnies

By Michel Choquette What started out as a special insert for Rolling Stone took on a life-and mythology--of its own as writer/editor Michel Choquette traveled the world, commissioning this visual chronicle of the 1960s, only to find himself without a publishing partner or the financial support to continue. Forty years later, readers finally get to experience this legendary anthology as Choquette celebrates the birth, death, and resurrection of The Someday Funnies--129 previously unpublished strips by 169 writers and artists. Available NOW

Harry Potter Page to Screen

By Bob McCabe Harry Potter: Page to Screen opens the doors to Hogwarts castle and the wizarding world of Harry Potter to reveal the complete behind-the-scenes secrets, techniques, and over-the-top artistry that brought J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed novels to cinematic life. From the acquisition of the film rights to the casting and the assembly of the creative team, the book is a unique, behind-thescenes look at the making of one of the most popular film series in cinema history.

From Yesterday to Today

By Stephen Battaglio For more than sixty years, Today has delivered the first glimpse at the new ideas, political leaders, and social upheaval that shaped our lives. It has remained a constant in a dynamic medium that evolved from grainy black-and-white images to the computer screen. It has reminded us of the joy of living and why it is worth getting up each day. With dozens of never-before-published photographs, From Yesterday to TODAY offers an insightful and entertaining history of America’s favorite morning show. Available NOW

How Music Works

By John Powell What makes a musical note different from any other sound? How can you tell if you have perfect pitch? Why do 10 violins sound only twice as loud as one? Do your Bob Dylan albums sound better on CD or vinyl? In a clear, accessible, and engaging voice, John Powell, a scientist and musician, answers these questions with his delightful descriptions of the science and psychology lurking beneath the surface of music in How Music Works.

6 • DECEMBER 2011

Gifts of Nonfiction

Man Seeks God

By Eric Weiner When a health scare puts him in the hospital, Eric Weiner-an agnostic by defaultfinds After a health scare leaves him reeling, Weiner--an atheist by default--sets out on a worldwide search for an experience of the divine. At a time when more Americans than ever are choosing a new faith, and when spiritual questions loom large in the modern age, Man Seeks God presents a perspective on religion that is sure to delight, inspire, and entertain. AVAILABLE NOW

Beyond Religion

By Dalai Lama Transcending the mere “religion wars,” the Dalai Lama outlines a system of secular ethics that gives tolerant respect to religion--those that ground ethics in a belief in God and an afterlife, and those that understand good actions as leading to better states of existence in future lives. He offers a system that transcends religion as a way to recognize our common humanity and so contributes to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect. AVAILABLE NOW

Bringing Home the Dharma

By Jack Kornfeld If we want to find inner peace and wisdom, we needn’t move to an ashram or monastery. Our buddha nature--our natural warmth and insight--can be discovered right where we are, in the context of our relationships, our family lives, and in our efforts help and serve others. Popular spiritual teacher Jack Kornfield shares this and other key lessons gleaned from more than forty years of commited study and practice. AVAILABLE NOW

Back to Work

By Bill Clinton President Bill Clinton gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters. He believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be good politics but has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with not enough jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and “Americans need victories in real life.” AVAILABLE NOW


By Jean-Baptiste De Panafieu Spectacular, mysterious, elegant, or grotesque, the skeletons of the vertebrates that inhabit the earth today carry within them the imprint of an evolutionary process that has lasted several billion years. This book is scientific as well as aesthetic, rigorous yet accessible. Each chapter is made up of a short text that illuminates one theme of the evolutionary process--repetition, adaptation, polymorphism, sexual selection--and a series of exquisitely composed photographs of skeletons against a black background. AVAILABLE NOW

Not the Last Goodbye

By David Servan-Schreiber At the start of this intimate and moving memoir, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber receives test results that confirm his worst fears: the return of the cancer that he was first diagnosed with nineteen years earlier. In this book, he raises many of the most complex and personal questions about how we live and how we prepare for death. Powerful, honest, and inspiring, he continually surprises with his thoughts on what’s important in life and the meaning of death. AVAILABLE Now


By Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelley From one of the most admired and beloved couples in recent American history, an extraordinarily moving story of public service, risk-taking, romance--and the journey toward recovery. This book delivers hope and redemption in the face of the tragic shooting, and introduces two unforgettable heroes. AVAILABLE NOW

Betty and Friends: My Life at the Zoo

By Betty White Betty & Friends is the passion project Betty White has been working on for more than a decade-a love letter to zoos and to the animals in them, from a woman who admits she likes animals better than humans. Betty introduces us to her favorite animals and her friendships with them. From giraffes to lizards to koalas, readers witness the majestic variety of animals through Betty’s eyes, and in her own words, accompanied by breathtaking photographs.AVAILABLE NOW


By Joseph Epstein To his successful examinations of some of the most powerful forces in modern life -- envy, ambition, snobbery, friendship -- the keen observer and critic Joseph Epstein now adds Gossip. No trivial matter, despite its reputation, gossip, he argues, is an eternal and necessary human enterprise. Proving that he himself is a master of the art, Epstein serves up delightful mini-biographies of the Great Gossips of the Western World along with many choice bits from his own experience. AVAILABLE NOW

Vultures’ Picnic

By Greg Palast Investigative journalist Greg Palast has spent his career uncovering the connection between the world of energy (read: oil) and finance. An investigation that takes us from the Arctic to Africa to the Amazon, Vultures’ Picnic shows how the big powers in the money and oil game slip the bonds of regulation over and over again, and simply destroy the rules that they themselves can’t write-and take advantage of nations and everyday people in the process. AVAILABLE NOW

Who’s in Charge?

By Michael Gazzaniga Michael S. Gazzaniga has been called the “father of cognitive neuroscience.” In his remarkable book, Who’s in Charge?, he makes a powerful and provocative argument that counters the common wisdom that our lives are wholly determined by physical processes we cannot control. An extraordinary book that ranges across neuroscience, psychology, ethics, and the law with a light touch but profound implications, Who’s in Charge? is a lasting contribution from one of the leading thinkers of our time. AVAILABLE NOW

How I Got This Way

By Regis Philbin Regis Philbin has regaled television audiences with his stories for more than 50 years, but he’s saved the most hilarious, surprising, and inspiring tales for now. In what is essentially a memoir and a primer for living the good life all rolled into one, this beloved TV icon shares the secrets to success and happiness as he has learned them from his celebrity encounters, friendships and of course, from his relationship with his loving wife and family. AVAILABLE NOW

You Will See Fire

By Christopher Goffard Father John Kaiser was a figure larger than life, fierce in his commitments, devoted to the, and fearless in the pursuit of justice. When Kaiser was discovered dead on a remote roadside, the FBI ruled it a suicide. Kenyans were sure he’d been murdered. In a new Kenya, post-Moi, it would fall to a prominent dissident and the son of a man himself murdered for his beliefs, to find out what really happened to Father John Kaiser. AVAILABLE NOW

Hedy’s Folly

By Richard Rhodes What other book brings together 1920s Paris, player pianos, Nazi weaponry, and digital wireless into one satisfying whole? Lamarr fled to America at the start of World War II; she brought not only her theatrical talent but also a gift for technical innovation. An introduction to Antheil at a Hollywood dinner table culminated in a U.S. patent for a jam- proof radio guidance system for torpedoes--the unlikely duo’s gift to the U.S. war effort. AVAILABLE December 6th

Science Ink

By Carl Zimmer Body art meets popular science in this showcase of hundreds of tattoos that pay tribute to various scientific disciplines, from evolutionary biology and neuroscience to mathematics and astrophysics, and reveals the stories of the individuals who chose to inscribe their obsessions in their skin. Each tattoo provides a leaping-off point for Zimmer to reflect on the science in question, whether it’s an image of Darwin’s finches or a uranium atom inked on a young radiologist. AVAILABLE NOW

Happiness Diet

By Tyler Graham We know that our food is making us unhealthy. But it’s also making us unhappy. It’s no coincidence that rates of both obesity and depression have doubled in the last decade. We are what we eat, and if it’s the Standard American Diet (or the SAD Diet), we’re priming ourselves for a lifetime of unhappiness. In The Happiness Diet readers will learn the simple changes that make a big difference in how they feel. AVAILABLE December 6th

Little History of Philosophy

By Nigel Warburton Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the marketplace asking awkward questions. This engaging book introduces the great thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their most compelling ideas about the world and how best to live in it. A Little History of Philosophy presents the grand sweep of our search for understanding and invites all to join in the discussion. AVAILABLE NOW

Incomplete Nature

By Terrence Deacon As physicists work toward completing a theory of the universe and biologists unravel the molecular complexity of life, a glaring incompleteness in this scientific vision becomes apparent. The “Theory of Everything” that appears to be emerging includes everything but us: the feelings, meanings, consciousness, and purposes that make us what we are. This book offers a figure/background shift that shows how even meanings and values can be understood as legitimate components of the physical world. AVAILABLE NOW





shares Kiki and Coco in Paris. With NINA GRIERNER and JESS BROWN.

CLUB will discuss Your Republic Is Calling You by YOUNG-HA KIM.

5:00 PM • Join STEPHANIE RAUSSNER as she

Books Inc. in The Marina


7:00 PM • LIZ NEWMAN shares An Affinity for

Shadows, a decadent tale of love and rediscovery that will leave you spellbound.

Books Inc. in Opera Plaza


9:30 AM • The FIRST SATURDAY BOOK CLUB will discuss Incendiary by CHRIS CLEAVE.

Books Inc. in Berkeley

4:00 PM • New Time! Join us for Children’s Story


Books Inc. in Opera Plaza

6:00 PM • The SF YOUNG PROFESSIONALS BOOK CLUB will discuss Bastard on the Couch edited by DANIEL JONES.

Books Inc. in Opera Plaza

7:00 PM • The MODERN LIT BOOK CLUB will discuss Trout Fishing in America by RICHARD BRAUTIGAN.

Books Inc. in The Marina


8:00 PM • City Arts & Lectures presents ANITA HILL

Hour every Saturday at 4:00 o’clock!

author of Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home in conversation with ROBERT REICH.



Books Inc. in Mountain View


Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, the sometimes macabre, sometimes comic tale tells the fascinating story of the relationship between two of the most loved figures of the 20th century and their pursuit of magic and lost loved ones.

Books Inc. in Berkeley


7:00 PM • JEANNE DARST shares her wickedly

funny and sharp-eyes memoir Fiction Ruined My Family in which she sets out to discover if a person can have the writing without the ruin, if it’s possible to be both sober and creative, ambitious and happy, a professional author and a parent

Books Inc. in Opera Plaza



CLUB will discuss Billy Budd by HERMAN MELVILLE.

The Castro, Sweet Inspirations Coffee Shop 7:00 PM • The SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL BOOK

Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness, SF

BOOK CLUB (ages 9-12) will discuss Icefall by MATTHEW J. KIRBY.

Books Inc. in Palo Alto

7:00 PM • Join writers MAC McCLELLAND,

JOSHUAH BEARMAN (“The Art of the Steal”), DANIEL ALARCON and TOM BARBASH, contributors to The Best American Nonrequired Reading for a reading and benefit for 826 Valencia.

Books Inc. in Opera Plaza

7:00 PM • ALAMEDA’S YOUNG ADULT BOOK CLUB (ages 13+) will discuss The Devouring by SIMON HOLT.

Books Inc. in Alameda


CLUB will discuss With Liberty and Justice for Some by GLENN GREENWALD.

Books Inc. in Mountain View

WEDNESDAY 14 11:00 AM • The JCCSF presents WALTER ISAACSON author of Steve Jobs.

JCCSF, 3200 California Street, SF

CLUB will discuss Bella Tuscany by FRANCES MAYES.

6:00 PM • The World Affairs Council presents


Marines’ Memorial, Commandant’s Room (10th floor), SF

Books Inc. in The Marina

7:00 PM • The JCCSF presents ERIC WEINER author of Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine.

JCCSF, 3200 California Street, SF

7:00 PM • KATHY SLOANE discuss Keystone

Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club. During the 1970’s, when jazz clubs all over the America were folding under the onslaught of rock and roll and disco, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner was an oasis for jazz musicians and patrons and became known as one of the most important jazz spots in the Country.

Books Inc. in Opera Plaza


10:00 AM • The SECOND SATURDAY BOOK CLUB will discuss Still Life by A.S. BYATT.

Books Inc. in Opera Plaza

DANIEL GREEN author of The Valley’s Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban.

7:00 PM • The SFLGBT BOOK CLUB will discuss


Books Inc. in The Castro


7:00 PM • LITVOYEUR will discuss Doctor Zhivago by BORIS PASTERNAK.

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7:00 PM • The JCCSF presents DIANA HENRIQUES author of The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust.

JCCSF, 3200 California Street, SF

Store Locations Alameda

1344 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 522-2226


1760 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 (510) 525-7777


1375 Burlingame Avenue Burlingame, CA 94010 (650) 685-4911

Mountain View

301 Castro Street Mountain View, CA 94041 (650) 428-1234

Palo Alto

Town & Country Village 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (650) 321-0600

Laurel Village

3515 California Street San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 221-3666

Opera Plaza

601 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 776-1111

The Castro

2275 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 864-6777

The Marina

2251 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 931-3633

Compass Books

Terminal 2 San Francisco International Airport (650) 821-9299

Compass Books/Bzinc

Terminal 3 San Francisco International Airport (650) 244-0616

Compass Books & Cafe 1565 S. Disneyland Dr. #102 Anaheim, CA 92802 (714) 502-9999



books inc. for

New books for kids

Scorpio Races

By Maggie Stiefvater Set on the tiny island of Thisby and steeped in Celtic mythology, this new, stand-alone novel from the author of The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, is a breath-taking romance sure to thrill readers. Sweepingly romantic with heart-stopping excitement, witness a pair in a dangerous horse race across a cliff—with more than their lives at stake should they lose. For ages 13+. Available NOW

A House in the Woods

By Inga Moore Lush, whimsically detailed illustrations bring this story of endearing and industrious forest friends to life in Inga Moore’s newest picture book. Starring pigs, beavers, a bear and a moose this tale of good friends and homesteads makes for the perfect book to read before bed. For ages 3+. Available NoW

Strega Nona’s Gift

By Tomie dePaola Get an introduction to Italian holiday traditions with Tomie dePaola’s most famous Italian grandmother: Strega Nona! As any Italian mother will tell you, the best way to celebrate is with a feast, so join Strega Nona as she cooks delicious treats for everyone: kings, queens, town’s people and even the trouble making Big Anthony. For ages 5-8. Available NOW

The Twelve Days of Christmas

By Laurel Long Gifted illustrator Laurel Long brings us the famous Christmas carol as we’ve never seen it before. As in the song, each of the gifts is repeated on each page, creating a hunt-and-find aspect that kids and parents alike will adore. This exquisite picture book is sure to elevate any bookshelf it graces. For ages 3-5. Available NoW

The First Christmas

By Jan Pienkowski This gorgeous book, originally published in 1984, has been reissued just in time for the holiday season. With text directly from the King James Bible, Pienkowski’s lush illustrations illuminate the Nativity story, in a creative and nuanced interpretation perfect for sharing as a family. Age 5+. Available NOW

A Small Miracle

By Peter Collington An old woman is saved by the wooden figures in a Christmas crèche, in this stirring and wholly original tale of Christmas miracles. Intricate paneled illustrations tell a story that words cannot in this book that will appeal to lovers of Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and The Mouse and Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. All Ages. Available NoW

North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration

By Nick Dowson Life in the Arctic circle is a fascinating thing, and writer Nick Dowson and illustrator Patrick Benson bring it reverently to life in this new, awe-inspiring treatment of the seasons in Earth’s most unforgiving climate. Witness grey whales, white cranes, wolves, polar bears and caribou in this stunning new book. For ages 7+. Available NOW

Making a Friend

By Alison McGhee We don’t get a lot of it here in California, but supposedly there’s this thing called snow (it falls from the sky!) and it can be used to do fun things, like make a snowman! And that’s just what a little boy does in this heart-warming and poignant tale about snow, snowmen and, ultimately, snow melting in to spring. All Ages. Available NoW

The Hannukah Hop!

By Erica Silverman Join little Rachel as she and her parents prepare the house for the influx of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles to celebrate the festival of lights. The streamers are up, the latkes are sizzling, the candles are lit, the food is out and everyone is invited to dance the Hannukah hop. Ages 3-6. Available NoW

Nicholas St North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

By William Joyce Santa Claus is vividly re-imagined as a daredevil swordsman in this rollicking tale of good versus evil. So forget naughty or nice and pick up some scimitars for the action packed start to a new series, starring the Five Guardians of childhood. With swords. Did we mention that Santa’s got swords? Ages 7-11. Available NoW

Don’t be

SCARED We know, it’s hard to shop for gifts, especially for kids. So it’s a good thing that at each one of our stores there is a children’s literature expert who will be more than happy to help you find the right books for the right kids! Whether you’re shopping for a voracious or reluctant reader, there’s someone at each of our neighborhood locations that can assist you in your shopping needs

Ask for Melanie or Spencer at Berkeley, Elizabeth or Tracy at Alameda, Anna at Chestnut Street, Colleen or Katy at Palo Alto, Courtney or Earle at Burlingame, Joan or Chantal at Mountain View, Caitlin, Summer, Christine, Jillian, Ingrid or Roger at Laurel Village (be sure to check out their newly expanded kids’ section while you’re at it!), Connie or Georgianna at our Opera Plaza Store and finally Jamie at our Market Street Store. Or, if you’re feeling like you’d like even more specialized help, email Maggie in the office (personal_shopper@ to set up a personal shopping experience at any San Francisco Books Inc. location.

Home for the Holidays

By Heather Vogel Frederick Murphy’s Law prevails in this holiday tale of squabbles, injuries, blizzards and Betsy-Tacy. With Megan and Becca fighting over a boy, Cassidy feeling homesick for California, and a disastrous sledding accident with Emma and Jess, nothing seems to be going right. And just in time for Christmas. Ages 9-12. Available NoW

The Clockwork Prince

By Cassandra Clare In the thrilling second installment of the already wildly popular Infernal Devices series, readers are treated to a tale of political skullduggery, love triangles and demons in Cassandra Clare’s signature style. Set in the magical underworld of Victorian London, with a tough heroin and a mysterious Magister at the center of the plot. Ages 14+. Available NoW

Read the new Books Inc. Kid’s blog at

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