Do people read anymore?
Of course, they do. And books make great holiday gifts. Books by East Bay authors? Even better.
We've compiled a list of books written by regional authors -- possibilities for readers on your gift list.
Also included, local designers of one-of-a-kind cards and calendars.
- "Twisted Vines -- A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mysteries." Author: Carole Price, Livermore. [Hardcover] (Five Star Publishers, 2012) $25.95. Crime-analyst heroine plus murder at a Bard festival equals danger-romance mystery set in Livermore Valley. Price even joined the Livermore Citizen Police Academy as research. Read more on the author here. Available at Towne Center Books, 555 Main St., Pleasanton (925) 846-8826, through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
- "Alive & Kickin' -- Sideways Views from an Upright Guy." Author: Michael Steven Copeland, Danville. [Paperback] (Advanced Publishing - 2012) $15.56 on Amazon. ALIVE Magazine humor columnist shares essays that range from Thanksgiving turkeys to Global Warming. Read Copeland's amusing interview with himself about his new book here. Available at regional bookstores or through Amazon here.
- In My Mind, Dublin: Custom greeting cards by artist Trent Barrett, designer of unique holiday cards, announcements, party invitations with pull-outs, pop-ups, spinning/moving details or puzzle formats. For his 2012 holiday line, Barrett plans a card with a fireplace and flat-screen TV image above (that is actually a photo of the family), with a 3-D, pop-up mantel and Christmas stockings bearing family members' names. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Tastes of the Tri-Valley" -- Tri-Valley's First Kosher Cookbook. Authors: Jewish Women of Tri-Valley. $18. Beautiful cookbook with a compilation of Kosher, home-tested, delicious recipes assembled by women of Chabad of the Tri-Valley, Pleasanton. To purchase, use order website or call (925) 846-0700. Shipping an additional $4.95.
- "The Brotherhood: The Dante Chronicles." Author: Deborah Rae Cota, Castro Valley. [Paperback, E-version, Kindle, Nook] (CreateSpace Independent Publishing - 2012] $11.25. Second in a fictional series of angels, demons and family values set in the Bay area. was released in 2010. Author's website with ordering information here.
- "Please Don't Drink From The Finger Bowl!" Author: Pat Mayfield, Pleasanton. $24.50. Advice on protocol, networking, seating arrangements, e-mail and phone manners, tipping, toasting and more from business consultant Mayfield. Other publications and ordering info at www.patmayfield.com.
- Triple Gift, Pleasanton: money-holder cards for kids with three slots for "spend," "save," "share," created by local grandma Barbara Lewis, who wanted to give cash gifts plus instill financial sense and charitable awareness to her grandsons. Available online at www.triplegift.net or at Draeger's Market, Danville, and Towne Center Books and Berry Patch in Pleasanton.
- "Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan." Author: Fariba Nawa, Newark. [Paperback] (Harper Perennial -- 2011.) $10.75. Veteran reporter returns to her homeland and details poppy farmers, corruption, war lords, addictions and a 12-year-old child bride traded for opium debts.
- "The Most Unusual Pet Ever, Henry our Great Blue Heron and His Adventures." Author: Sondra Perry, San Ramon. Illustrated by Janice Byer. [Hardcover $18.95. eBook version $9.99] (Jabberwocky Books -- 2011.) True adventures when a heron visits author's backyard. Order at website here, or purchase at Emily's Hallmark and Read Booksellers in Danville.
- "Chloe Diggins and The Eternal Emperor." Author: Jennifer Amiel, Pleasanton. [Paperback and Kindle] (2 Muses Publishing - 2012.) $9.99. Adventure story for middle-schoolers. Read more about Amiel here or visit her website here.
- Sue Evans Photography, Pleasanton: Skilled photographer Evans creates custom photos/gifts and desk-top calendars featuring the scenic East Bay. For details: www.photographybysueevans.com.
- "Psychic Encounter - A Guide To Having Your Own Spirit Contact." Author and psychic Irma Slage, Livermore. [eBook format - 2012.] $4.99. Slage, who lectures, gives readings and works with police, releases her latest book helping readers tap their psychic sides. More info: www.irmaslage.com.
- "The Antioxidant Counter: A Pocket Guide to the
Revolutionary ORAC Scale for Choosing Healthy Foods." Authors: Dr. Mariza Snyder and Dr. Lauren Clum, San Leandro. [Paperback $7.95] (Ulysses Press - 2011) For the health-conscious on your gift list, consider this guide (written by two San Leandro chiropractors) to antioxidant-packed foods with clear, easy-to-read charts. Available here.
For history buffs on your gift list, consider the regional "Images of America" paperback series by Arcadia Publishing. Among the titles:
- "Pleasanton (CA) (Images of America)." Authors: Mary-Jo Wainwright and Pleasanton's Museum on Main. (2007) $16.49. Details here.
- "Castro Valley (CA) (Images of America)." Author: Lucille Lorge. (2005) $17.15. Details here.
- "Livermore (CA) Images of America." Authors: John Christian and Livermore Heritage Guild. (Release date - February 2013.) Details here.
- "Union City (CA) (Images of America.)" Author: Timothy Swenson. (2008) $15.59 Details here.
- "San Ramon Valley: Alamo, Danville San Ramon (CA) (Images of America.)" Authors: Beverly Lane, Ralph Cozine, Museum of the San Ramon Valley. (2005) $17.15. Details here.
- "Dublin (CA) (Images of America.)" Author: Mike Lynch. (2007) $15.59 Details here.
- "San Leandro (CA) (Images of America.)" Author Cynthia Vrilakas Simons. (2008) $15.59. Details here.
- "Niles, Fremont (CA) (Images of America.)" Authors: Philip Holmes and Jill M. Singleton. (2004) $19.99. Details here.
- "Early Livermore (CA) (Images of America.)" Author: Livermore Heritage Guild. (2006) $19.99. Details here.
For more regional guides from around the U.S., visit Arcadia Publishing's website at www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Have we missed good local reads, authors or artists? Let us know in the comments section.