Beast Crawl 2016

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If you live in or are visiting the Bay Area on July 16th, don’t miss the fifth year of Oakland’s Beast Crawl, a literary festival with a ton of local flavor. Hang with rad writers, editors, and presses in some of the best Oakland hangouts. The hardest challenge of the night will be choosing just one reading in each of the three legs (*biting nails).

Here’s a suggested lineup:

Leg 1: Lyrics and Dirges at Casa Cubana, curated by MK Chavez

Leg 2: Nomadic Press at Awaken Cafe

Leg 3: Mixer 2.0 at the Stork Club, curated by Sean Labrador y Manzano and co-curated by Jeff Von Ward and Nick Johnson

But there are many other excellent combinations! Plan your night by visiting the Beast Crawl website. And don’t forget to crawl to the after party at The Telegraph and The Legionnaire Saloon if you don’t get enough mingling along the way.

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day

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Show your gratitude for the indie bookstores that add magic to your town and reading list this Saturday, April 30th. Four hundred participating bookstores will be offering a host of goodies including giveaways, discounts, and parties. You can find participating stores at IBD’s official website. But even if your favorite bookstore isn’t participating, this is still a great opportunity to stop in and say thank you to those hardworking booksellers.

It’s a little old, but Seung Y. Lee put together a list of the top 20 Bay Area independent bookstores for SFGate (sadly, Black Oak Books and Valhalla Books have closed). Add to this list Laurel Book Store, Diesel, and E.M. Wolfman in Oakland, Pegasus Books in Berkeley, and Wilmot’s Books in Alameda. Zooming way, way out, The Guardian put together a list of the top 10 indie bookstores in the world.

What bookstores would be on your list?