Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Feelmore 510

Why are sex stores so unsexy? Feelmore510 proves it need not be thus. On Telegraph at 17th. Do yourself and your sweeties a favor and check it out.

Also on twitter.


Melrose Library

Depending on how you count, we have three Carnegie Libraries in our public library system, and they’re all beautiful (there was a fourth, now vacant: I would like to live there, maybe the city will let it go for cheap?)

My favorite of the Carnegie branches is the Melrose (hours etc here). They have their own little Friends of the Library group, if you care to make a donation.

Ben Fong Torres

Ben Fong Torres‘ refuses to brag in his straight ahead but eminently readable memoir The Rice Room, despite his enormous contributions to Bay Area radio culture and rock journalism including about a decade of hobnobbing with folks like Grace Slick, Hunter S. Thompson and Ray Charles as a writer and editor at Rolling Stone.

Instead, he writes a straightforward, chronological autobiography, giving if anything more real estate to his childhood in late 50s, early 60s Oakland Chinatown, his East Oakland adolescence DJing school dances at Oakland High, and his time as a reporter and editor at San Francisco State’s Golden Gater, just as State was entering the riotous late 60s student strike period. I love this unpretentious slice of Bay Area history and I love Ben Fong Torres.

(I don't know who to attribute the photo to - let me know if you know the photographer!)

Check out some clips of him interviewing the Jacksons here or his radio column at the Chron.

De Lauer’s

And speaking of news stands, nothing compares to De Lauer’s. They’ve survived near economic collapse, not to mention the death of Mr De Lauer himself at age 91.

Open 24 hours, 7 days a week.


Issues is the only place I know to get Sheep! Magazine. Noella and Joe are also some of the sweetest folks you’ll ever buy a periodical from.

(Photo from Issues website)

Marcus Books

I got my copy of Maroon Societies here. Also my Collected Poems of Langston Hughes and a stuffed Langston Hughes doll, now sadly missing. Clearly, this place is a treasure.

The Oakland branch is at 3900 Martin Luther King Blvd – behind MacArthur BART. Like a lot of bookstores these days, they need your business.

Walden Pond Books

A nice place to drop in while you’re strolling down Grand Avenue, Walden Pond is clean, well-lit, and has an awesome collection of new and used fiction, non-fiction (including a lot of radical politics and history) and photo books. An above-average kids book selection too. The people who work here really, really know books. Like one time I came in and said, “I’m looking for this kinda old novel about the railway industry in California…” and the guy was all, “Frank Norris’ The Octopus?” and went on to bust out a long anecdote about an actor from the film adaptation of one of Norris’ other California novels, McTeague.