Books

Post image for Local author Maggie King pays a visit to local book club

One local book club, which has been meeting for over 20 years, hosted Menlo Park author Maggie King, who we profiled on InMenlo earlier this year.

Book club member Julie Brody forwarded some thoughts about the meeting written my Deborah Fitz, which are excerpted below.

“We had a very animated discussion of [Maggie’s novel] An Excess Male with lots of questions for Maggie about the development of characters and plot. She shared that she did not have a detailed outline of the plot, nor did she know how it would resolve, when she started writing. She described that she set out to tell the story of a marriage (under very unusual circumstances). There was broad agreement and praise for how well she ended the book.

“We were all curious about how Maggie did her research on various aspects of the book and characters. How did she get into the head of XX, who was on the autism spectrum, how did she craft the virtual reality game and the Strategic Games, and how did she gather all the information about the authoritarian Chinese regime? Her answer — Google! She said it’s amazing how much you can learn without leaving your desk!

“We asked Maggie how she found an agent and a publisher. Her answer —consulting a large database of agents, writing hundreds of letters and not getting any response from the vast majority until she got interest from an agent. Once she had one agent interested, she successfully parlayed that into a successful book deal.

“Maggie has the foundational idea for her next book, which will tell the story of the ghost daughters of China who are female babies born but not registered as citizens to avoid the consequences of violating China’s historic one child policy, only revoked in the recent past. These girls are denied education, medical care and the opportunity to pursue careers.

“We were lucky to have Maggie read the final several pages of the book to us. It was the evocative ending about how the main characters danced the merengue to recognize both the bonding experience of Wei-Guo with May Ling and her family as well as protest the 200 deaths of the unmarried men who played in the Strategic Games battle.”

Photo courtesy of the book club

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Poet Lisa Rosenberg reads from her debut collection on April 10

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Menlo Park resident Lisa Rosenberg, who is San Mateo County Poet Laureate, will read from her debut collection, A Different Physics, winner of the 2017 Red Mountain Poetry Prize at The Terraces of Los Gatos on Tuesday, April 10. The reading will include an informal Q&A and book signing. The event is free and open […]

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Learn about the market for collectible books at Friends of the Library antiquarian book clinic

Thumbnail image for Learn about the market for collectible books at Friends of the Library antiquarian book clinic

Community members are invited to bring up to three books or manuscripts (no magazines, postcards or memorabilia)  on April 7 when the Friends of the Menlo Park Library is hosting a workshop about appraising and valuing old books featuring Bruce MacMakin of auction house PBA Galleries. No books will be accepted for consignment, but you’ll learn […]

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Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi talk about their book on civil liberties at the Menlo Park Library

Thumbnail image for Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi talk about their book on civil liberties at the Menlo Park Library

Authors Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi, coauthors of Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California will discuss their book, which is the first-ever account of the struggles to develop and protect civil rights in California. On April 4 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the […]

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Book sale at Menlo Park Library on March 24 & 25

Thumbnail image for Book sale at Menlo Park Library on March 24 & 25

The Friends of the Menlo Park Library will host a two day book sale on March 24th and 25th. The event takes place from 10:00 to 2:00 on Saturday and from noon to 2:00 on Sunday. Great books for the entire family will be available, so come early and stock up! We have thousands of […]

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Exploring the somewhat altered universe called The Buck’s Collection

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If you ever eaten at Buck’s in Woodside, you’ve probably wondered: “What’s with all this stuff? Is it real — or fake?” The answer to the first question is rather straightforward. The stuff that covers the wall, stands on the floor, and hangs from the ceiling are items hand-selected by Jamis MacNiven, who owns the […]

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Karen McCann turns political with new book, Women of the American Resistance

Thumbnail image for Karen McCann turns political with new book, Women of the American Resistance

We met author Karen McCann in 2012 soon after her book, Dancing in the Fountain: How to Live Abroad was published. Given her emphasis on travel writing, we were surprised when the Menlo-Atherton High School alumni reached out to us about her latest project, Women of the American Resistance, which includes both a book and […]

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Comics pioneer Trina Robbins appears Feb. 8 at Friends of the Menlo Park Library event

Thumbnail image for Comics pioneer Trina Robbins appears Feb. 8 at Friends of the Menlo Park Library event

From the underground comix movement to Wonder Woman, comics pioneer Trina Robbins has done it all! She’s made clothes for Mama Cass & David Crosby, and she’s written stories for Barbie & the Powerpuff Girls. Now this comics “herstorian” has written a memoir, and she will join us to share tales from her life, and […]

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Menlo Park Library celebrates World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 1

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park Library celebrates World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 1

February 1 is World Read Aloud Day, when readers of all ages celebrate literacy and the “pure joy and power of reading aloud!” The Menlo Park Library will celebrate by reading aloud from some of our favorite picture books. Feel free to come early to read with your young one, or to stop by for […]

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks to MPCSD community at Parent Speaker Series Event

Thumbnail image for Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks to MPCSD community at Parent Speaker Series Event

The Menlo Park City School District’s Speaker Series welcomed Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In and Option B to the Hillview stage on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Ms. Sandberg engaged in an intimate, wide-ranging conversation with MPCSD Superintendent Erik Burmeister to a packed house of district parents, leadership, and invited guests including […]

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Maggie King’s debut novel looks at the consequences of China’s One Child Policy

Thumbnail image for Maggie King’s debut novel looks at the consequences of China’s One Child Policy

Menlo Park resident Maggie Shen King‘s second go at writing a novel shows perseverance pays off. Not only was An Excess Male picked up by Harper Voyager, but it’s gotten noticed. The Washington Post selected it as one of the five best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2017, applauding Maggie for “distinctive and sympathetic […]

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