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During the summer of 1967, if you had long hair, were suspicious of the government, and rejected consumerist values, more than likely you were in San Francisco taking part in what is now referred to as “the Summer of Love” – hippies and marijuana took over Haight Street and the Panhandle; great emphasis was placed on sharing and community; and music festivals, poetry readings and religious or meditative practices were the norm for this large group of individuals part...

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BOOKS

FICTION
Ian Bassingthwaighte Live from Cairo
Jesús Carrasco Out in the open
Zinzi Clemmons What we lose
Joshua Cohen Moving kings
Laura Dave...

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In grade school history lessons, the United States is often described as a melting pot of people, cultures and religions from all around the world. In July, we celebrate the birth of our country and Independence Day.  In the July 4th issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 15,000 people were said to be sworn in to become new U.S. citizens in naturalization ceremonies around the country. Inspired by the snippets of the backgrounds of these people, such as a Pakistani ph...

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BOOKS

FICTION
Martyn Burke Music for love or war
L.J. Davis A meaningful life
Calder G. Lorenz One way down (or another)
Carl Frode Tiller Encircling
Jorge Velasco Mackenzie...

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Shakespeare has been in the news lately. Many authors are forgotten as time goes on, but Shakespeare is debated, copied, and celebrated year after year. It's a testament to the quality of his writing, and of course, a considerable achievement for someone who died 400 years ago. I sometimes wonder why Shakespeare has endured while so many of his contemporaries are forgotten, many of their manuscripts lost to time. Shakespeare was fond of borrowing elements from Thomas Kyd's works - try reading...

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Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (also known in English as Remembrance of Things Past) is a monumental, seven-volume novel that Edmund White calls, “the most respected novel of the twentieth century.” Whether you've been too intimidated to begin the novel, have already wrestled with Proust's dense prose, or know the joys of savoring his work, you’ll find something of value in reading it with an expert guide.

SFSU Professor of Comparative & World Literature...

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BOOKS

FICTION
Diksha Basu The windfall
Fyodor Dostoevsky Notes from a dead house
Brian Doyle Chicago
Rebecca Entel Fingerprints of previous owners
Siobhan Fallon...

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I can stare at maps for hours. My bedroom walls are covered in maps that I purchased, printed out, or tore out of discarded atlases. But while I love a conventional Rand McNally-like map I equally love maps that do things a bit differently. Be it with a more artistic approach or of a more peculiar subject, here is a collection of ten alternative atlases that have taken a different cartographic route (pun intended).

The curious m...

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The Mechanics' Institute has always been a magnet for writers – indeed several of our earliest members wielded a pen more often than a hammer to earn their living. Today, I'd hazard a guess that a third of our membership claim to be writing something. To serve this population, the Library has hosted writers groups for twelve years, collected an admirable assortment of books to help its members learn to write their best, and gradually increased its activities that focus on the craft of writing...

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