Thinking about a great read.

Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10 AM to 5:00+ PM

3645 C Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA, 94549

(925) 385-3026

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Reasonable Books is an independent bookstore in the East San Francisco Bay Area located in Lafayette, California. We are here to serve as a general bookstore with an emphasis on thoughtful and important subjects for the interested and discerning reader.

While we strive to make available illuminating materials you may not even realize you want to read, we also believe that the mind benefits from rest and healthy distractions. You will find books that can help you relax or escape for a well-deserved break here.


3 June 2023: This year's Pulitzer Prize for biography went to Hua Hsu for his '90s Berkeley memoir, Stay True, and another local author, Suki Jones, brings us a powerful memoir set in the '90s East Bay punk rock scene, Sea, Swallow Me. In this compelling and visceral work, Suki discusses with candor her experience in the world of modeling, music and addiction.

Set against the backdrop of the Bay Area in the early '90s, Jones balances motherhood and modeling with deft precision, but behind the scenes she was falling apart and roaming the night with punk rockers, metalheads, and sometimes even strangers, just looking for her next fix. Sea, Swallow Me is a powerful and redemptive tale of resilience and redemption.

Book cover: Sea, Swallow me by Suki Jones, with author in modelling pose against a background of poppy flowers.

Suki Jones
Suki Jones

There is also a Kindle edition of Sea, Swallow Me, and Suki is @suki_jones on Instagram.

1 June 2023: Phil Scimonelli is a retired teacher with over 30 years in education, and joins us with his first book, "Bridget's Rescue"! Phil's passion for teaching started in Child Development, where he specialized in reading to children from ages 3 - 6. Combining his educational experience with his love of dogs led him to write "Bridget's Rescue." He believes passionately in the pet rescue process as the best means to save an animal and acquire a best friend.

After Grandma Rose explains the importance of animal shelters to her granddaughter Bridget, the family decides she is old enough to help with a family pet. As Bridget prepares for a pet adoption, she learns how important it is to consider the entire family when choosing a dog. After a few disappointing introductions, she finds the one!

Book cover: Bridget's Rescue by Phil Scimonelli, with colorful drawing of family entering an animal rescue shelter.

Phil Scimonelli
Phil Scimonelli

20 May 2023: AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia "grew up with a library card in her pocket and a stack of books on her desk", and after a career in tech she joins our Local Authors bookcase with her debut novel Drifters Realm!

Life Giver Roe, Sorcerer Ori, and Tamer Theo are three siblings with ancient backpack powers living in a mystical world. Together with their friends, they travel through forests, deserts, caves, and swamps in order to fight against the Guardians, a Storm Catcher named Tora, and her father, First City Leader Quinlan, in a battle between good and evil.

Book cover: Drifters Realm by AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia with dreamlike image of a girl in a forest with tigers and lion and city in the distance.

AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia
AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia

17 May 2023: In the nearly three years since we opened we've been very fortunate to have gotten advice from Linda Grana, the manager of the Lafayette Bookstore, one of our indie bookstore predecessors. Many of you will remember Linda and her signature book recommendations, and we are very pleased to announce that we now have a section for Linda's current book reviews in the store! You can find Linda's hand-written book reviews on "shelf talkers" in the area under the old Papyrus sign, and there will be something for (almost) everyone on the shelves there!

Linda Grana in front of shelves with books and Linda's reviews of them.
Linda Grana

16 May 2023: Kendell Haynes joins our Local Authors bookcase with a charming book for children who may sometimes find themselves scared of the dark, "Goodnight, Mira: Overcoming Fear of the Dark"!

Meet Mira, a young girl who struggles with fear at bedtime, on her way to overcoming her fears and emerging stronger and braver than ever before. With captivating illustrations and an engaging storyline, "Goodnight, Mira: Overcoming Fear of the Dark" is the perfect bedtime story for children ages 4-8.

Book cover: Goodnight Mira by Kendell Haynes, with young girl smiling as she prepares to go to sleep.

10 May 2023: Welcome, Melissa Giomi, to our Local Authors bookcase! Melissa joins us with her book, Divine Encounters...:

In this inspiring contemporary devotional, Melissa Giomi explores what it means to be truly present with God in surprisingly ordinary ways. Filled with rich imagery, gentle poetry and soulful reflections that are rooted in the Word, Divine Encounters… offers readers a meditative guide that will anchor them to the everyday wonders of God’s love. A celebration of mindful living, courageous surrender and deep gratitude, Divine Encounters... invites you not just to let Jesus in — but to realize He is already here.

Book cover with framed painting of a bench in a leaf covered park on a sunny day, hanging on a sunlit wall with flowers beneath.

Melissa Giomi
Melissa Giomi

29 April 2023: Our Local Authors bookcase is expanding with C.A. Gordon's page-turning first volume of the "TEEN JUSTICE" series, Justice Has a Curfew!

Five ordinary teenagers struggling to navigate the everyday perils of adolescence. Five ordinary teenagers living in a world recovering from a crisis born from one man’s act of revenge. Five ordinary teenagers. Also, they have superpowers . Meet Cameron, Taylor, Zack, Nova, and Max. As a team, these kids are the only hope for a bright tomorrow in a dark city full of genetically altered cops, crooks, and classmates. But first, they need to get together. And learn to get along.

TEEN JUSTICE is not about superheroes or supervillains. TEEN JUSTICE is not about costumes or gadgets or explosions or Good triumphing over Evil. At its core, TEEN JUSTICE is about a family that should not coexist yet cannot survive apart. No pressure, but the clock is ticking. After all . . . Justice has a curfew.

Book cover: TEEN JUSTICE: Justice Has A Curfew

C. A. Gordon
C.A. Gordon

29 March 2023: It was a great pleasure having Margaret Lucke visit us along with her fellow Mystery Author Panel members last Saturday, and here is a little more about a few of her books from the Local Authors bookcase. If you like mystery, suspense or the supernatural, there is something for you in these novels! Learn more about Margaret on her website.

Claire Scanlan is launching a new career in real estate and has a chance to sell a spectacular oceanview home designed by a world-renowned architect. But the home has a problem that frightens off buyers -- it was the site of a vicious mass murder. Claire experiences strange sensations, and as the unexplainable experiences continue, the idea that the place might be haunted both fascinates and repels her.

Book cover: House of Whispers by Margaret Lucke, with image of woman in evening dress superimposed over image of tiled-roof mansion.
House of Whispers

When a trip across time barriers leads to murder... At a gala fundraiser to save a grand San Francisco Victorian, reluctant psychic Claire Scanlan she encounters a mysterious young woman, Roxane, who is invisible to everyone but her. Roxane is a "soiled dove" plying her trade in the mansion in 1896. She has discovered a secret portal that lets her slip into what she calls the Future House to escape the most brutal of the men who buy her favors.

Book cover: House of Desire: A Claire Scanlan Haunted House Mystery by Margaret Lucke, showing top of Queen Anne style house with ghostly apparition in window.
House of Whispers

On the eve of a high-profile murder trial, a seven-year-old girl disappears — the daughter of the San Francisco cop who is the star witness. Artist/private detective Jess Randolph joins the frantic search for the girl she thinks of as a sister. Jess must risk her life and confront her darkest fears as she races time to find the child before it’s too late. The hunt takes her from San Francisco to the snowbound Sierra, and deep into the hearts of two shattered families.

Book cover: Snow Angel by Margaret Lucke, with image of snow angel with blood stains superimposed by reticle (crosshairs).
Snow Angel

27 March 2023: Welcome, Cyndi! Cal alumna Cyndi Spindell Berck joins our Local Authors bookcase with Pocahontas and Sacagawea: Interwoven Legacies in American History, during the research for which she canoed up the Missouri, walked along the silent ruts of the Oregon Trail, gazed over the Cumberland Gap, and visited the Jamestown settlement.

Berck weaves the stories of these two Native American heroines with those of their friends, kin, and contemporaries, tracing a slice of American migration from the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, across the Appalachian Mountains, through the land of the Cherokees, to St. Louis, up the Missouri River, and finally to the Pacific.

Book cover: Images of Pocahontas and Sacagawea over painting of pioneers in mountains on horseback with wagon train.

Cyndi Spindell Berck
Cyndi Spindell Berck

21 March 2023: Welcome to Marc Paul Kaplan, who joins our Local Authors bookcase with two novels, Over the Edge, and Chasing Klondike Dreams! Marc is an avid outdoors man and successful businessman in the San Francisco Bay Area. His longtime interest in nature has led him to serve for many years on the Board of Directors of The Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, California.

Marc's debut thriller, Over the Edge, crackles with energy and conflict, vividly capturing the anything-goes atmosphere of a burgeoning ski resort in the modern wild west. Matthew Green, a physically and mentally scarred Vietnam Vet, prone to terrifying flashbacks, hopes for a respite in Jackson Hole from his brutal past. Franky Fiorini, an educated but corrupt junior member of a New York mob family, is sent to Jackson Hole in search of the informant who betrayed his father. Neither man knows the other, but their paths are about to cross in a most unexpected way.

Book cover: Over The Edge: A Novel by Marc Paul Kaplan, with weathered dogs tags, old and torn printed page and photograph of a skier in mid-jump.

In Chasing Klondike Dreams, a disillusioned Jared Monroe rebels against the life chosen for him by his father and leaves Yale Divinity School. After he is forcefully rejected by his family Jared embarks on a journey with his dog, Brutus, to forge a new life and to regain self-respect in the West. Maggie Saunders, a high-class prostitute, acts in self- defense against a wealthy and cruel customer. With no hope for justice, she escapes St. Louis in search of safety and a decent life.

Book cover: Chasing Klondike Dreams by Marc Paul Kaplan, with antique image of pioneer with outdoor clothing and gear.

17 March 2023: Come join us for a Mystery Authors Panel, this Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 2:00 PM, including the celebration of two new books from local authors! Our panelists will be: Claudia Hagadus Long, Janice Peacock and Margaret Lucke.

Claudia Hagadus Long was one our very first author speakers in the Fall of ’21, where she discussed her novel Nine Tenths of the Law, a mystery based on riveting family history. And now her sequel Our Lying Kin has arrived! In Our Lying Kin, Zara and Lilly are back to unravel a series of family mysteries in a story filled with humor, sibling rivalry and love. Claudia has also written about early 18th Century Mexico, the Roaring Twenties in San Francisco, and modern-day New York City. She lives in Northern California, with her husband and far too many animals.

Book cover: Our Lying Kin by Claudia Hagadus Long, with photo album and ring.

Janice Peacock is a cozy mystery author who specializes in craft and hobby mysteries. She loves to write about artists who find new ways to live their lives and perhaps catch a criminal or two in the process. The Ruby Shaw Mysteries, which are set in a small hillside mining town, were inspired by her trips to Jerome, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Oregon. While working in a glass studio with several colorful and quirky artists, she was inspired to write the Glass Bead Mystery Series, and her fifth Glass Bead mystery, Born to Bead Wild, was just released this January!

Book cover: Born to Bead Wild: A Glass Bead Mystery by Janice Peacock, with Basset Hound.

Margaret Lucke lives in the East Bay, in Hercules, where she writes tales of love, ghosts and murder, sometimes all three in one book. Her most recent novels are House of Desire, the second book in her paranormal suspense series that stars a Marin County real estate agent who specializes in haunted houses, and Snow Angel, in which artist/PI Jess Randolph finds himself in a search for a child who goes missing just as her father is about to be the star witness in a high-profile murder trial. A former president of the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Margaret teaches fiction writing classes and has authored two how-to books on writing: Writing Mysteries and Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories. Her other publishing credits include more than 60 short stories, feature articles, and scripts for mystery weekends.

Book cover: House of Desire: A Claire Scanlan Haunted House Mystery by Margaret Lucke, showing top of Queen Anne style house with ghostly apparition in window.

If you are able to RSVP for this event, we will be able to plan seating as well as light snacks accordingly. Please feel free to reply to this invitation with your RSVP, or to email us at See you there!

8 March 2023: Mark your calendars!: Tickets are available for a conversation with Angela Harrelson, aunt of George Floyd, at the Town Hall Theatre on Monday, March 13th, at 7:00 PM.

Angela Harrelson has had a remarkable journey, starting life as the child of sharecroppers in North Carolina, being the first in her family to attend and be graduated from college, achieving officer rank in the military against formidable odds, and practicing a career as a professional nurse in Minnesota, where her nephew George Floyd moved in 2014 as part of rebuilding his life after struggles with crime and addiction. He died there in an incident with police that gained worldwide attention and was central to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, and which resulted in a conviction for murder.

Angela has written a moving story of her life and experience after being thrust into the milieu of protests in 2020—against the backdrop of a pandemic and fraught political contests—and will be speaking about her book at the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette on Monday evening, March 13th, at 7:00 PM. Angela will be signing copies of her book as well, and we will be taking preorders for copies of “Lift Your Voice: How My Nephew George Floyd's Murder Changed The World”. (Please mention your 10% pre-order discount.) This is a pay-what-you-can ticketed event, with an optional donation. You can reserve your tickets here.

2 March 2023: Just in time for the coronation of Charles III! Moraga resident Blair Hoffman joins our Local Authors bookcase with a fascinating and timely look at the heirs to the British throne who nearly, but never quite, ascended to the regency.

British kings and queens are famous today. But many heirs to the British throne never became the actual king or queen due to various quirks of fate. This is their story. The stories include: the White Ship disaster of 1120, the Black Prince, the Princes in the Tower, Mary, Queen of Scots, the Old Pretender, and many more.

Book cover with drawings of medieval British royalty and a Victorian-era British street scene.

Blair Hoffman
Blair Hoffman

16 February 2023: Did you know that children's book sales are nearly one third of all book sales in the United States? With that in mind, we're very happy to welcome Amy Landgraf to our local authors bookshelves with Good Night, Sweet Peas, a charming, humorous, and beautifully illustrated story about getting ready for bed.

Rollie Pollie Pea and his siblings are enjoying some fun in the garden when Grammy and Grampy Pea declare it’s time for bed. The five peas set about bathing, brushing, and climbing into their pod for a goodnight story. But putting five little peas to bed isn’t as easy as it sounds, and delaying tactics soon abound. Parents and children alike will laugh at the recognizable ways in which a little one tries to put off going to sleep, and the surprise ending will have them begging to read the book again!

Book cover with peas sleeping in a pod in front of a full moon, with a bird and three sleeping bumblebees nearby.

Amy Landgraf
Amy Landgraf

14 February 2023: Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate! 2023 is looking to be another exciting year for our local authors, and today we are pleased to welcome not one, but two new titles! First, congratulations to Elaine Gast Fawcett and Sue Schwartzman on the recent publication of Two Measly Spots!, an enchanting children's book lovingly illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell:

In the misty, mossy morning deep in a Redwood grove, Lulu woke up from her winter slumber. She stretched, looked around her ladybug log, and was dazzled by the sea of black spots. Some bugs had 8 spots, 10 spots, 12 spots, or more. Lulu looked back to count her own spots.

One...two... Two measly spots!

Book cover with ladybug girl looking with concern at her wings with two spots.

Sue Schwartzman
Sue Schwartzman
And, we are very happy to congratulate Claudia Hagadus Long, a longtime fixture in our local authors bookcase with Nine Tenths of the Law, on her sequel, Our Lying Kin!

Zara and Lilly are back, but their relationship has some cracks in it. Through the long pandemic isolation, Zara’s gone from straight-laced to rigid, while Lilly, true to form, has indulged in some dubious—and not-particularly-legal—adventures. But they’re still sisters, and sisters are special.

Book cover: Our Lying Kin by Claudia Hagadus Long, with photo album and ring.

3 February 2023: Welcome to Lafayette native and Meher School and Sonoma State alum Chris Pancoast! Chris joins our Local Authors bookcase with two books, Animal Tales ABCs and Why Play? Learning Through Play.

Chris Pancoast
Chris Pancoast

Animal Tales ABCs tells the story of a child and his beloved alien friend that comes to life taking him and his siblings on an “around the world” adventure learning about animal conservation, endangered species, and ways that youth in todays society can help protect animals.

Book cover with drawing of boy wearing glasses seated on giraffe with other animal nearby including a monkey, elephant and felines

Chris earned his Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University, and Why Play? Learning Through Play is the result of his research into the critical importance of play for children (and for adults!)

Book Cover with various children engaged in outdoor play.

4 January 2023: Congratulations to John McCormick on the publication of his book Chinese in Napa Valley: The Forgotten Community That Built Wine Country! Many of you know John and Colleen McCormick as the owners of Lafayette's own Lamorinda Music, and in his book John explores the little known history of Chinese laborers in Northen California during the late 19th century, a significant proportion of the total population of the young state at the time and critical contributors to the development of the economy of the Napa Valley region.

Vintage photo of Chinese family in traditional attire and painting of Chinese laborers with traditional hair dress and headwear working in vineyard next to wine press.
Chinese in Napa Valley by John McCormick

3 January 2023: We are honored to receive a grant from Sisters in Crime, the women's crime writing association! Since we opened our store in September of 2020 we have had the pleasure of getting to know more than a few members of this prestigious organization, including Jospehine Mele, Camille Minichino, Claudia Hagadus Long, Janice Peacock and Donna Darling. You can find their books in the store, and we're looking forward to more in-store events with your local mystery writers in 2023!

Mystery novels by Janice Peacock, Josephine Mele, Claudia Hagadus Long and Deven Greene.
Sisters in Crime mysteries

31 December 2022: Thank you, Jonathan Winchell, for joining our Local Authors with Being Different Than My Family! From the book: Families that have children(s) with Mosaic Down Syndrome Chromosome #21 have regular lives. The children maybe different but they are just more creative and are fun to be around. So if your are a Mosaic Down Syndrome parent and not sure what to do and how to handle it dont be overprotective and controlling. These children can see right through you.

Book cover with Jonathan Winchell speaking into a retro studio microphone.

30 December 2022: Welcome to our Local Authors bookcases to Joyce Martinez! The Ball That Wouldn't Bounce is a children's picture book about a lost ball that can't bounce until he is found by the boy who loves him.

Book cover with sad face on a blue- and red-striped ball.

14 December 2022: Wow! Thank you James Patterson and the American Booksellers Association for awarding us a James Patterson Holiday Bookstore Bonus! It is a great honor for us to receive this award in the company of all the other indie bookstores and employee recipients this year. We’re looking forward to following through with our commitment to apply this award to the cozy children’s area in our compact shop. We can’t wait to share the results!

Top view of tabletop with pine cone, cup of coffee, cookie and open book, with inserted image of James Patterson.

26 November 2022: MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Our final in-store event of the year is happening on Saturday, on December 3rd, 2022 at 11:00 AM, with a Mystery Writers panel featuring the East Bay’s own Jospehine Mele, Camille Minichino and Donna Darling! This will be a reading and Q&A event, celebrating Josphine’s latest book Sicilian Sanctuary and Donna’s debut historical novel The 3 Marias.

Josephine (Jo) Mele is a world traveler, tour guide, magazine editor, and life-long mystery reader. Jo is the author of: The Odd Grandmothers, a memoir of three generations of her Italian immigrant family; and the Travel Mystery series, including Bullets in Bolivia, Homicide in Havana, Mystery in Monte Carlo, Bandits in Brussels, Death on the Danube, Corpse in the Castle, and her newly released Sicilian Sanctuary. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and California Writers Club.

Camille Minichino (also known as Ada Madison and Margaret Grace), has been a factory worker, a translator, a teacher, an experimental physicist, a nuclear safeguards engineer, a writer, a waitress, a miniaturist, a paralegal, a nun, a minister, a short order cook, a ticket taker, an editor, a crafter, and a cotton candy twirler. She has also written five mystery series. What more can we say? You can learn more on her website

Donna Darling writes historical fiction, short stories, and novels for all ages. She worked in sales and marketing for over twenty years. Her Puerto Rican ancestry intrigued her, and she found many people knew little about the island that captured her heart. Her debut book, The 3 Marias, tells the story of a fictional family living through actual events that shaped the island. Her next book in the series follows the family to Hawaii. When not writing, Donna is traveling or sketching characters from her books. She is a member of the California Writers Club, and a writers group with published authors.

Book covers: Sicilian Sanctuary by Josephine Mele, The Probability of Murder by Camille Minichino, The 3 Marias by Donna Darling.

This is an early talk, at 11:00 AM, so come and enjoy the conversation, and perhaps look at some books and chocolates, before carrying on with your Saturday lunch and afternoon plans!

26 November 2022: GREAT NEWS! We're very excited to welcome the Hofssi Chocolates Pop-up Store in the shop for the holiday season!

Hofssi Chocolates display table upstairs at Reasonable Books.
Hofssi Chocolates

19 November 2022: Congratulations to Donna Darling on her debut novel The 3 Marias! This work of historical fiction is set in Puerto Rico, 1895, a period of tumultuous change for the island, and tells the story of three sisters embroiled in rebellion, betrayal and lost love.

Donna Darling at Reasonable Books holding her book The 3 Marias
Donna Darling
A secret threatens their bond when they are caught in a web of murder during the Spanish American War. After the massive hurricane of 1899, the three Marias are faced with the diffcult choice to stay and rebuild, or leave their home and their land.

Book cover with image of coffee tree with coffee berry bunch.

(Oh, and there is one more thing. Donna will be speaking with her fellow local authors on mystery writing in a couple of weeks. More details to come!)

15 November 2022: Mark your calendars! This Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 3:00 PM, we will be hosting a presentation and Q&A with Kelechi Ubozoh and Sharon Sobotta, Resiliency & Revisions: Navigating Our Mental Health & Meeting Ourselves Where We Are. Come and hear our guests discuss their books, their journey and mental health.

Kelechi Ubozoh is a Nigerian-American writer, mental health advocate, and facilitator with over a decade of experience working in the California mental health system in the areas of research, advocacy, community engagement, suicide prevention, and peer support. Her book with LD Green, We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health, elevates marginalized voices of lived experience who have endured psychiatric mistreatment is featured in the curriculum at Boston University and New York University. Her story of surviving a suicide attempt is featured in The S Word documentary, O, The Oprah Magazine and CBS This Morning with Gayle King. In 2021, she was named a Mental Health Champion by the Steinberg Institute. Learn more at

Life can be overwhelming at times and often throws curve balls. What would happen if we set aside the expectations of others, stopped dimming our own lights and allowed ourselves to imagine or live a version of our own deferred dreams. As the daughter of a janitor dad who bounced in and out of her life as she grew up in a small Wisconsin town that was unforgiving of differences, Sharon Sobotta reveals what happened when she made good on a deferred childhood dream in her early thirties of taking Oprah's place as she discusses Confessions of a Dream Chaser. Sharon invites us to embrace our authentic selves, own our past (even the turbulent portions of it), to live our best lives in the present. You can learn more about Sharon on her St. Mary's College Spotlight page.

Flyer for Resiliency And Revisions talk at Reasonable Books in Lafayette with Kelechi Ubozoh and Sharon Sobotta, 19 November 2022 at 3:00 PM.

9 November 2022: Orinda's own Bob Albo joins our Local Authors bookcase with Her Dark Matter Necklace! This fast-paced metaphysical novel is the first book of a planned three book series.

Alice learns that as she sleeps, her consciousness actually explores the dark matter universe of Thronos, the universal spirit. And as Robert reveals the science of dark matter, the human soul, and other mysteries, he gives her a monumental task: bring beauty to your world. Alice meets Reina, an alien child, and together they learn that beauty can be many things, like a mother's love for a child, compassion for others, art. But what she doesn't know is that she is playing the key role in St. Robert's prophecy.

Book cover with profile of young woman wearing a necklace with a glowing pendant she holds.

1 November 2022: Come visit Reasonable Books for a Meet-and-Greet with Meghan Joyce Tozer, this Saturday, November 5, 2022 starting at 3:00 PM! Meghan's debut novel, Night, Forgotten, is a psychological thriller that explores the consequences of sexual assualt for a young couple seemingly on the cusp of the life of their dreams.

“Absolutely, undeniably thrilling & crazy suspenseful!”

“A compelling jigsaw puzzle, a domestic thriller you won’t be able to put down and when you have finished it, you’ll want to reread it to see what you missed.”

“The ending was spine-tingling and will leave you speechless.”

Flyer for event including image of cover of Night, Forgotten with shadowy figure of woman and house in snow at night, and profile picture of Meghan Joyce Tozer.

We're looking forward to seeing you for this event! (Of course, we're always looking forward to seeing our customers :)

29 October 2022: The latest book to join our Local Authors bookcase is an eco-thriller set in the world of scientific research into disease and climate change on the island of Galveston, a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards by Mary Rae, M.D. and Wanda Venters, M.D., Break Bone Fever:

When Dr. Gennifer Drake's body washes up on a foggy beach on Galveston Island, Texas, Dr. Louise Finnerty, an emergency medicine physician, and Dr. Marnie Liccione, a recently widowed pediatrician, are shocked by their friend's death. As they delve into the murder investigation, they discover Gen had been researching a deadly new form of dengue fever at the ultra-high security Gulf National Laboratory. Aided by climate change, this mosquito borne illness, known as Break Bone Fever, is spreading northward and threatening the United States.

Book cover with images of mosquitos, stethoscope and city skyline.

24 October 2022: Join us this Friday for our crime fiction writers' panel! This Friday, October 28, 2022 at 1:30 PM, it is our great pleasure to host "From Work to Fiction", with Bay Area authors T.L. Bequette, Bruce Lewis and Deven Greene, in a panel discussion and Q&A sure to be of interest to aspiring writers as well as fans of the genre interested in a behind-the-scenes look into its craft. An attorney, a journalist, and a physician describe how their work experience informs their crime fiction writing.

From Work to Fiction: October 28, 2022 1:30 - 3:00 PM at Reasonable Books, Lafayette, CA, with T.L. Bequette, Bruce Lewis and Deven Greene.

T.L. Bequette’s Joe Carroll mystery series draws on his 25 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney where he has tried more than 20 murder cases. His debut novel, Good Lookin', won the Independent Press Award for Crime Fiction, a Chanticleer International Book Award, and was recently named a Finalist for an American Fiction Award. Follow him at

In his crime thriller Bloody Paws, former journalist Bruce Lewis used his newspaper experience to create a fictional crime reporter who keeps readers updated on police progress in their murder investigation. Lewis is the author of three crime thrillers with a message, including Bloody Paws (homelessness), Bloody Pages (intergenerational abuse), and Bloody Feathers (wildlife preservation). Follow him at

Deven Greene uses her experience as a biochemist and pathologist in her writing of medical suspense. She recently completed the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, comprised of Unnatural, Unwitting, and Unforeseen, involving human embryonic gene editing, autism, and the pharmaceutical industry. Follow her at

Book covers: Good Lookin', Blood Perfect, Bloody Paws, Bloody Pages, Unnatural, Unwitting, Unforeseen.

We look forward to seeing you this Friday, and please feel free to RSVP for this event at!

19 October 2022: From Roxbury, MA to a career with IBM in New York followed by a career as restaurateur in Costa Rica, Anthony Florence's life has been about "trying to hold on", and it is a pleasure to welcome his memoir Hell's Heaven to the Local Authors bookcase!

I attended the University of Massachusetts and a computer electronics class at Benjamin Franklin Institute, where IBM hired me. After 20 years in the world of high technology, I became disillusioned with corporate life and moved with my family to Costa Rica, where I had the pleasure of meeting a man named Dr. Deepak Chopra, who contacted me and invited my wife and I to join him at his private lunch with the presidential candidate of Costa Rica during his one-day conference. How?

Book cover with image of a tropical sunset in the jungle.

Anthony Florence holding his book Hell's Heaven in Reasonable Books, Lafayette.
Anthony Florence

13 October 2022: Mark your calendars! This Saturday, October 15, 2022, we will be visited by adoptable cats from Community Concern for Cats with a Blessing of the Animals, and Marty Nemko, author of Careers for Dummies and numerous other books about life and career choices! The cats will arrive at 11:00 AM and Marty joins us at 3:00 PM to discuss his books and answer your questions.

From Community Concern for Cats: In honor of St. Francis (whose feast day was October 4), Reasonable Books will feature animals inside and out on October 15 from 11:00 to 2:00. Inside, Community Concern for Cats will have a playpen full of adorable, adoptable kittens for you to ooh and aww over. Outside, Pastor Lauren Michelle of Lafayette United Methodist Church will perform the traditional Blessing of the Animals. Pets should be on a leash or in a secure carrier. Only bring your pet if you know they are comfortable with other animals and people. If your pet is not able to attend, Pastor Lauren Michelle will be happy to bless a picture of a pet instead!

Marty Nemko
Marty Nemko at Reasonable Books in front of his books including Careers for Dummies.

12 October 2022: Congratulations to Isidra Mencos on the release of her memoir, Promenade of Desire! Born and raised in Barcelona during and after the Franco dictatorship, Isidra joins our Local Authors bookcase with a frank and moving story of entering adulthood during a time of immense cultural and political change.

"A brave and unblinkingly honest portrait of a young woman's sensual and sexual awakening in the face of censure and repression, and her refusal to be held back by the constraints of her family, culture, and religion... Her story is shameless, in the very best sense of the word." Joyce Maynard, New York Times best-selling author of Labor Day, To Die For, and Count The Ways

Book cover with image of young woman.

Isidra Mencos holding her book Promenade of Desire at Reasonable Books.

14 September 2022: UPDATE: SOLD OUT! Mark your calendars again! Our second in-store event of the season is happening the weekend after Glen Dahlgren's in-store talk about his Chronicles of Chaos series, Saturday September 24th, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Kevin Fisher-Paulson, and Jill Hedgecock, internationally published author and most recently the author of Queen of the Rhino!

(As you know, space in the shop is limited. You can email an RSVP for any of our in-store events to to help us prepare for the use of the space and seating.)

Flyer for author event at Reasonable Books with Jill Hedgecock and Kevin Fisher-Paulson.

10 September 2022: Mark your calendars! Our first in-store event of the season is happening next week, Saturday September 17th, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, with fantasy fiction and Chronicles of Chaos author Glen Dahlgren. Geln will be here to speak about his writing and his latest book, The House of Prophecy.

Book cover with three novels: The Game of War, The Child of Chaos, The House of Prophecy.

2 September 2022: John Steinbeck is believed to have remarked, "I guess there are never enough books," and he was right! Congratulations to Jill Hedgecock for her latest novel, Queen of the Rhino!: Seventeen-year-old Claire’s role in a dramatic effort to save two rhinos while visiting South Africa caused her to become a social media sensation known as #QueenoftheRhino, but the trauma of the encounter left her with emotional scars. When Claire agrees to travel to Kenya with her father and his annoying new wife to meet a potential donor for her Rhino in the Room Foundation, she suspects she may have been brought to Africa under false pretenses. Can Claire face her demons and unravel who is behind the sinister events in time to save the endangered rhinos she cares so much for?

Book cover with hand reaching to touch a rhinoceros in a savanna at sunset.

16 August 2022: Congratulations to Deven Greene on the publication of the third book in her Erica Rosen MD trilogy, "Unforeseen"! Pediatrician Erica Rosen is stymied when two of her patients don't respond to medicine as expected. When other patients later develop strange, unexpected illnesses, she is determined to get to the bottom of it... Erica is convinced something nefarious is underfoot, and Dr. Nilsen, rather than simply being after her job, is engaged in a dangerous scheme involving her patients. Unable to recruit the help of law enforcement in a timely manner, she realizes she must take matters into her own hands. As she proceeds with her investigation, she is unaware of the dangers she is about to encounter.

Book cover with young girl on stretcher being wheeled by nurses down a hospital hallway.

13 August 2022: In “Bloody Pages”, Bruce Lewis reprises Detective Kim Jansen in the riveting follow-up to 2021’s “Bloody Paws”: The theft of priceless books from a public library and the bloody attack on a security guard trying to protect them set Jansen on a twisting road of contradictory evidence and multiple suspects. At the center of the mystery is a 100-year-old family secret tied to photographer Edward S. Curtis' 20- volume masterpiece, The North American Indian.

Book cover with open book with blood on its pages.

10 August 2022: Our collection of books by local authors is growing! Martin Patin brings us a novel for young readers, Roebell Sandwich, a fictional story about the ups and downs in the life of one twelve-year-old boy growing up in Queens, New York, in the 1970s.

Book cover with children engaing in various activities: sharing lunch, playing baseball, riding bicycles and roller coasters.

31 May 2022: Michael Barrington, East Bay resident and native of Manchester, England, joins our Local Authors bookcase with his memoir and three novels!

Set during a pivotal period in the history of the Catholic church and bloody civil war in Nigeria, The Bishop Wears No Drawers is a true-to-life "survivor" tale replete with adrenaline-pumping adventures, daunting challenges and the added dimension of one priest's profound religious struggle to find his true self.

Book cover with Nigerian person in traditional face paint.

Michael has also penned three novels, Let the Peacock Sing, Becoming Anya, and The Ethiopian Affair.

Let the Peacock Sing is a captivating and unrequited love story set against the action-packed background of the French Resistance in 1942.

Book cover with peacock and Nazi swastika.

In Becoming Anya, an historical novel set in World War Two and its aftermath, a nun overcomes tragedy and crisis through loving relationships to finally become the woman she was meant to be.

Book cover with woman in head covering.

Michael's latest novel, The Ethiopian Affair, is an international thriller about a plot to kidnap the US ambassador to Ethiopia. Two super code-breaking agents a man from M16 and woman from the CIA, with the clock ticking, struggle with their emotions and mutual attraction while their whirlwind investigation takes them through Somalia, Kenya, El Salvador, Egypt, England and the USA, raising more questions than answers

Book cover with Ethiopian cleric holding an assault rifle.

27 May 2022: Just in time for Summer traveling, Paul Kalas joins the Local Authors bookcase! "Crete Swim" is a new adventure guide for people who love to travel and swim, with over 20 locations around the Mediterranean island of Crete, where open water swimmers can discover routes between 25 meters and 6 km that have a particular beauty, novelty, scenery, or history. You can learn more about the book here.

Book cover with swimmer overlooking a bay at night.

10 May 2022: Concord's Al Garrotto joins the Local Authors bookcase with his latest novel based on Victor Hugo's classic Les Misérables, "Inspector Javert at the Gates of Hell". This book is literally "Big in Japan"! Inspector Javert, Victor Hugo’s fictional antihero, stands on the parapet. Below him, the swirling River Seine beckons. He hesitates, then… steps forward. What happens next? Does he cease to exist. Does he find life on the other side of life as we know it here on Earth? If he does what sort of existence awaits Javert on that “other side”?

Book cover with man in French Revolution period attire next to the flames of Hell.

28 April 2022: The East Bay's own Josephine Mele has just published the sequel to her "Two Travel Mysteries"! In "Two Travel Mysteries: Book 2" you can enjoy June Gordon's latest adventures with "Death on the Danube" and "Corpse in the Castle". As Camille Minichino writes, "Grab your favorite regional dessert (June always does) and be ready for engaging trips throught he means, motives and opportunities of amateur sleuthing."

Book cover with castle and traveling case.

27 April 2022: Support local businesses and double your spending power! The Lafayette City Council has allocated American Rescue Plan Act funds to support its local businesses with the Lafayette Shop Local eCard Pilot Program. Each eCard purchase will be matched with a second eCard of equal value for use at local businesses including Reasonable Books. You can learn more here, and purchase eCards here.

23 March 2022: In anticipation of her upcoming book event in Orinda (Friday, April 29, 2022 at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church), Francie Low's memoir "Alive and Fixable" joins the Local Authors bookcase. For fifteen months after Tony's cycling accident, Francie protected Tony on his bumpy road to recovery and he protected his family from knowing just how much he hurt. Together they learned to never give up and to accept help. Love was everywhere, inspiring Tony and Francie to stay positive and look for the community of angels floating into their lives.

Book cover with cyclist casting a winged shadow.

18 March 2022: Andree Prendergast joins our Local Authors bookcase with three delightful books for young children! Meet Callie, a free spirited and lovable girl who has a great family and lots of friends, but who thinks she could be happier if only she were a princess. Come on the journey with Callie as she uncovers the secrets of becoming a princess, and in the process, makes some greater discoveries about herself. Every Little Girl is a Princess.

Book cover with girl imaginging herself as a princess.

In "Toby Got Out!", Toby is a great dog – just about the best pet ever, except for one detail: Toby likes adventure!

Book cover with dog happily running through a neighborhood alone.

And in "Snug Bug Makes New Friends", a lonely bug learns that friendship is about who you are, not what you look like.
Book cover with smiling bug among flowers, worms and other insects.

29 December 2021: Season's Greetings and best wishes for the New Year to you from Reasonable Books! The impressive collection of novels from our Local Authors bookcase continues to grow with the addition of "Typhoon Coast" by Mark R. Clifford. You can learn more about Mark's wide ranging background in this recent article from the Lamorinda Weekly. Trent and Eddie follow childhood’s illusions of grandeur through San Francisco, then become men in the vast Philippine mountains. Mount Pinatubo explodes with apocalyptic fury, but does it take the Golden Lily Treasure with it? Eddie and Trent are not alone in the hunt. The trillions in treasure could afford the US government incredible power in international affairs and bankroll the nation’s black operations. It’s all fair game.

Book cover with woman in South Pacific dress before a full moon.

9 December 2021: Welcome to the Local Authors bookcase, Lydia Osborn! Lydia wrote Ideal, the first book of her two-novel duology, in 2018 at the age of thirteen. The world of twin sisters Mara and Kat Cyania was ideal. As magically-enhanced Witch Warriors the girls spend their days happily training and fighting in martial and magical arts, preparing to battle the soulless killers that have been plaguing their planet for centuries. All goes well until Mara discovers a deadly secret - one of their kind has betrayed them and is preparing to destroy their world.

Book cover with eye in center of circular color pattern.

Lydia penned her sequel Revenant just this year. All too easily, the hunters can become the hunted. That's what Mara and Kat learn as their lives are upended by the sudden appearance of their mother, bringing questions about their past and their destiny as the not-so-holy children of Angels. After spending their entire lives hunting monsters, Mara and Kat are forced to confront the possibility that they could be the biggest monsters of them all.

Book cover with burning door.

24 November 2021: Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, Bruce Lewis joins our Local Authors bookcase with "Bloody Paws: A Kim Jansen Detective Novel". When veterinary college sweethearts Jim Briggs and Helen Williams broke up to pursue careers in other parts of the country, they had no idea a tragedy would reunite them around a common cause six years later in Portland, Oregon where Briggs operated a mobile canine care service.

Book cover with bloody paw prints.

18 November 2021: As we get ready for tomorrow's author event, "Connecting Through Stories", we are happy to welcome Ben Schwartz to our Local Authors bookcase with his collection of stories, "Everything There Was To Tell". Brothers and sisters drawn by their father’s death back home to the family farm, a friend wrestling with the ghastly consequences of his own inattention, a very-ill man’s pilgrimage to the high mountains of California—these spare and deeply western stories crackle with hard-earned grief, love, and, when it matters most, humor. (Daniel Duane)

Book cover with man with backpack hiking in nature.

9 November 2021: It's with great pleasure that we welcome Lee Gale Gruen to our Local Authors bookcase! Lee Gale retired at age sixty from her thirty-seven-year career as a probation officer and started attending an acting class for seniors just as a pastime. A few weeks later her mother died, and she invited her grieving, eighty-five-year-old father to come to class with her. "Adventures with Dad" is the true story of their magical journey attending that class together for three years, and their bonding through that experience more than ever before.

Book cover with woman and elderly man on stage.

Lee Gale has also penned "Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years: Find Joy, Excitement, and Purpose After You Retire". Not a one-size-fits-all approach, this book offers an individualized guide for retirees and seniors in this new stage of their life based on their own likes and comfort level. It offers ways to identify what might interest you and suggests numerous activities and pursuits as well as how and where to find them. You can read more about Lee Gale's journeys here.

Book cover with older couple smiling into mirror together.

5 November 2021: We are very pleased to invite you to our next in-store author event on Friday, 19 November, from 1:30 to 3:00 PM! Our panel will include three local authors: Sharon Sobotta, Saqib Mausoof, and Mitali Perkins. Our guests come from a variety of diverse backgrounds and bring a wealth of international experience spanning numerous cultures. This is sure to be an enlightening discussion of their journeys and writing!

Sharon K. Sobotta is a writer, a journalist, an educator, a mom and a doula. She has dedicated her professional career to advocating for gender and racial equity, inclusion and diversity while amplifying the voices of marginalized populations. Sharon believes in the power of stories to connect people from all walks of life, to move hearts and to open minds. Sharon runs the Center for Women & Gender Equity at Saint Mary's College of California, and serves as a social justice reporter and weekend anchor at Pacifica KPFA in Berkeley, California and as a freelance writer for a number of publications. In 2021, Sharon was named a finalist in the Missouri Review Miller Audio Contest. Sharon's vintage title The Journey of Life: 100 Lessons from Around the World was named the top non-fiction multicultural independent title of 2008 and her book Confessions of a Dream Chaser was recognized as a finalist. She is in the process of completing her non-fiction memoir Thank you god, Men & Oprah for Unanswered Prayers and crafting a screenplay inspired by her award winning documentary "Silent No More: June's Story." Sharon was recently featured in the "Keep it Wausome" podcast for her cover story "From Kabul, Afghanistan to Wisconsin" in the Wausau City Pages.

S.S. Mausoof has sinned in Karachi, Kansas and California. The Warehouse is his first book in a noir series set in Pakistan. Published by Hachette and HopeRoad, translated into French as Nuit sans lune au Waziristan, it was selected for the Fresh Blood panel at Crimefest and shortlisted for the Karachi Literature Festival. His films include an award-winning thriller Kala Pul and In Search of Meluhha, a popular documentary on the Indus Valley Civilization. Mausoof has helped curate the Third I South Asian Film Festival and hosted multiple Lit crawls in San Francisco (@sahibqalam).

Mitali Perkins ( has written many books for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for a National Book Award) and Rickshaw Girl (adapted into a film by Sleeperwave Productions), all of which explore crossing different kinds of borders. Mitali's fiction explores poverty, immigration, child soldiers, microcredit, and human trafficking, thanks to living overseas for many years and studying Political Science at Stanford and Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley. Her goal is to make readers laugh or cry, preferably both, as long as their hearts are widening. She lives and writes in the East Bay.

We hope you will be able to enjoy hearing from our authors during this event! (As you know, space in the shop is limited. You can email an RSVP to to help us prepare for the use of the space and seating.)

4 November 2021: Many thanks to George R. Epstein for sharing his book in our Local Authors section: "Surviving Cancer: Something to Celebrate!". In recent years, melanoma oncologists and their clinical trials have provided substantial advances in immunotherapy, resulting in much greater survival rates. With more successful treatments for melanoma, however, come related challenges. One challenge is the inevitable side effects that come with any treatment. A second challenge is a more positive one: When there are multiple treatments available, which one should you choose? As confusing and daunting as it may seem, melanoma patients should discuss this question with their physicians, so that, ultimately, they will make the right choice.

Book cover with tree surrounded by cancer and support ribbons.

28 October 2021: The Reverend Carol E. Richardson joins our Local Authors bookcase with four titles! Her latest, "Truth and Illusion: The Politics of Spirituality and How One Person's Lie Is Another One's Truth", leads us on a quest to discover why we believe what we do. Dethroning patriarchy and overcoming dualistic thinking, "Truth and Illusion" paves the way to understanding one another, cultivating inner wisdom, and expanding our abilities to access ultimate truths. More here.

Book cover with colorful Yin and Yang symbol.

In "Aging Well: Be Your Best Self Forever", Carol offers a comprehensive view of what it means to be whole and healthy while aging as beautifully as possible, given life's unpredictable and varied circumstances. More here.

Book cover with tropical beach.

In the novel "Exodus 2012: A Mission to Save the Earth", Jesus Christ returns, not on the clouds, but reincarnated as a Chinese Tai Chi master named Hu Jing Sheng, who brings a message designed to save the world from climate change. More here.

Book cover with yoga pose in mountains at sunrise.

And, with "Mornings with the Masters", Carol reveals her inner transformation as a rationally religious Christian and scientific skeptic, who, through daily meditation becomes an interfaith mystic and connects with God, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mother Mary, and other Ascended Masters. More here.

Book cover with Yin and Yang symbol above wings, heart and flower.

26 October 2021: Our Local Authors bookcase has a large and ever-growing collection of titles, but until now it has lacked YA and fantasy titles. We are very pleased to welcome Glen Dahlgren with two books from the Chronicles of Chaos series! The first book, "The Child of Chaos", is the Gold Medal Winner of the 2021 Readers' Favorite Award for YA Epic Fantasy. An irresistible longing drags young Galen to an ancient vault where, long ago, the gods of Order locked Chaos away. Chaos promises power to the one destined to liberate it, but Galen's dreams warn of dark consequences.

Book cover with hand tossing magical dice.

The prequel, "The Game of War", was released in August. Dantess wants to follow in the footsteps of his dead grandfather—a legendary priest of War—but his father forbids it. In fact, his father’s hatred of War lands him in a cell within the god’s temple. The only way to free him is from the inside, so Dantess must choose: let his father die or defy his upbringing, become a priest, and win his father’s freedom in the temple’s deadly Game of War.

Book cover with hand on magic disk.

21 October 2021: The second book in the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy by Deven Greene, "Unwitting", is available today! Dr. Erica Rosen’s world is turned upside down after a suicide bomber explodes amidst a large crowd entering Oracle Park baseball stadium, near her San Francisco home. A young autistic man has information about the mastermind behind the bombing but has limited ability to speak. Erica is determined to protect him, prevent further bombings, and find his missing classmates.

Book cover with puzzle pieces and man wearing a vest bomb.

16 October 2021: Linda Riebel joins our Local Authors bookcase with two different works of nonfiction. In "The Stuffed Owl Returns", as Lindsay Crane, she pays homage to the original legendary and hilarious anthology of bad verse with a sequel that offers hundreds more delicious morsels of absurd missteps made by poets both eminent and obscure.

Book cover with owl on bust of poet.

In "Understanding Suicide's Allure", the authors open an important discussion, offering an honest and non-judgmental examination of the many aspects involved in the nature of suicide, explaining that above all, people need to learn how to support those struggling with suicidal thoughts, or to intercept their own suicidal thinking.

Book cover with title on gray background.

6 October 2021: Michael Shepler joins our Local Authors with a book of poetry! "Angel's Flight" contains nearly 98 poems on subjects such as the ways human beings treat and interact with one another, the poignancy of fleeting moments and meetings, and of course, love.

Book cover with cloudy winter scene.

29 September 2021: Jeffrey Kingman joins the Local Authors section with "Beyond That Hill I Gather" (May 2021). Most of the poems contained therein are portraits of women who are notable for their achievements. Each poem captures a different flavor as each individual is unique. A partial list of those who appear in the book are Patty Smith, Amy Schumer, Clarice Lispector, Louise Brooks, Joan Rivers, Cherie Currie, Liz Phair, and Elizabeth Vig e Le Brun.

Book cover with portraits of women.

15 September 2021: We are thrilled to announce our first in-store event after opening just over one year ago! On Friday, September 24, 2021, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM we will be hosting an event featuring three local writers of mystery novels. During this time, each author will describe her journey to publication, as well as the research and other challenges of writing her novels. There will also be short reading of excerpts with Q&A to wrap up the event.

Our authors for this event are:

Claudia Hagadus Long, author of “Nine Tenths of the Law”.

Josephine Mele, author of “The Travel Mystery Series” as well as “The Odd Grandmothers”.

Camille Minichino, author of 28 mysteries in 5 series, including her latest, “Murphy’s Slaw”.

As you know, space in the shop is limited. If you could let us know you would like to attend, this will help us prepare the use of the space and seating. Please email us at

11 August 2021: "The Mysterious Island of Cerius" joins the Local Authors bookcase! Imagine that trees acquired wisdom as silent witnesses to worldly events. By giving them the ability to talk to one another, Ellen J. Barrons creates a whimsical and spiritual tale of how people can learn and appreciate the countless varieties of trees—and each other.

Book cover with image of giant sequoia tree.

5 August 2021: Thank you, Karl Hamann for sharing the heartfelt story of your experience living and working with one of the last Lakota medicine men in the book, "Working with Grandpa". You can learn more here.

Book cover with image of Lakota medicine man in traditional headdress.

17 July 2021: Janice Peacock joins the Local Authors bookcase with her Glass Bead mystery series, and the first book from her new Ruby Shaw mystery series! The Glass Bead novels are "humorous cozy mysteries for readers who love beads, and even those who don't":

Four book covers with illustrations of story elements including beads.

In "Aloe and Goodbye" Ruby Shaw finds herself under police protection after just arriving in Paradise, Arizona and witnessing a murder. Defending herself against suspicion, she meets the quirky inhabitants of her new home and an avid gardener of succulents who may be equally passionate about her.

Book cover with illustration of flowering aloe plant in skull.

16 July 2021: From Orinda resident Evan Ho comes an unusual addition to the Philosophy Bookcase! "Hobbes: A Board Game About Life" is a board game for adults with a sense of humor based on Thomas Hobbes's theory of the state of nature and his famous view that life is "solitary, nasty, brutish and short". The cost of the game is only $24.14, and you can read more about it in the archives of the Lamorinda Weekly.

Game box with image of Thomas Hobbes and quote.

24 June 2021: Helen Ann Licht, painter, scholar, activist, mother and (great) grandmother, shares a collection of stories from her own colorful history and that of her family. Accompanied with vintage photographs and her own artwork, the stories contained in "Travels with an Artist" can be read individually or as a whole.

Book cover with dreamlike woman caring for broken heart.

10 June 2021: Joining the Local Authors bookcase is Mike Bernhardt's "Voices of the Grieving Heart", an anthology of poems, essays and images from 83 contributors who share their journeys through loss, grief, and transformation, serving as a companion on the darkest road many of us will ever have to travel: grieving the death of someone we loved.

Book cover with dreamlike woman caring for broken heart.

4 June 2021: Sharon K. Sobotta is a weekend anchor for radio station KPFA, the director of the Center for Women & Gender Equity at Saint Mary’s College of California, and a local author. She is now sharing two of her books with visitors to the local authors bookcase at Reasonable Books. "Journey of Life: 100 Life Lessons from Around the World" is a tapestry of universally applicable lessons and stories that Sharon collected while interviewing people from every walk of life (famous and unknown) from around the world. It shows how much humans have to learn from each other; how experiences, when shared, bring us one step closer to understanding ourselves.

Book cover with group of people holding hands jumping on beach at sunset.

In "Confessions of a Dream Chaser", Sharon details the kind of life you can have when you decide to keep the dream but do away with the plan. After launching her other careers, she decided to pursue her childhood aspiration to be a talk show host by auditioning for a spot on the Oprah Winfrey Network, learning to embrace life’s mishaps and kooky detours as the kind of pivotal experiences that can show you what you’re made of.

Book cover with woman running in city with cell phone emerging from handbag.

27 May 2021: Also in the Local Authors bookcase, "Journey from A to Z with Teacher Judy" by Judy Lynn Ohlrogge is an adventurous children's alphabet book filled with animals and alliteration. Join Teacher Judy on a rhyme-filled alphabet adventure, visiting places around the world with a cast of beautifully illustrated animals.

Book cover with woman wearing backpack and fox and kangaroo in front of mountains with clouds.

26 May 2021: From the early days of shock and devastation through the following phases of grief over time, Pascale Vermont, PhD, offers insight and recommendations for bereaved parents, their family and friends, as well as medical providers. "Surviving the Unimaginable" is in our Local Authors bookcase.

Book covdr with newborn hand holding adult finger.

15 May 2021: Daniel Campbell's "Going to the Library with Kenny the Clown" was inspired by Ken Kahn aka Kenny the Clown, a 25 year veteran street performer. A UC Berkeley graduate with a Degree in Child Psychology, it has been Ken's lifelong pursuit to motivate, entertain, and educate children. "Going to the Library" is a fun and entertaining book that delivers a positive social and moral message to children.

Book cover with clown surrounded by children in front of a library.

12 May 2021: Oscar Porter adds two books to the Local Author bookcase! In the first, "Coyote Grayshadow", Oscar presents images and descriptions of coyotes, the native Bay Area canine. And in his autobiographical book "The Civilian", he recounts true stories of real-life heroism.

Book cover with coyote.

Book cover with man bandaging injured motorcyclist while paramedics arrive in helicopter.

7 May 2021: Local author and clinical psychologist Anne Brodzinsky joins our Local Authors bookcase with a pair of books for young people that help to make sense of challenging situations that affect many children: adoption and divorce. "The Mulberry Bird" has sold many thousands of copies since it was first published in 1986. In it, Dr. Brodzinsky addresses common issues in adoption, from the enduring force of a birth parent's love and contact post-adoption to the importance of nurturing an adopted child in his or her new environment.

Book cover with bird on branch.

Dr. Brodzinsky's recent book "The Falling Down Time" invites parents to have a dialogue with their children about their own family's experiences with divorce. Her hope is that by reading this book to your children and being open to their feelings that you will grow closer in time.

Book cover with man pushing child in wheelbarrow.

17 April 2021: Those who enjoy good mysteries may be familiar with Dorothy L. Sayers, a contemporary of Agatha Christie during the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" in the period between the World Wars. Arguably the better writer, if not the more accomplished plotter, she wrote numerous novels including "Whose Body?" the first chapter of which you can read below. We also have a few scarce first editions of her novels in the store.

First edition books by Dorothy Sayers.

14 April 2021: Debut thriller "Good Lookin'" joins the Local Authors bookcase! T. L. Bequette weaves a drama focused on a fight for justice involving a lawyer and his, obscure young client accused of murder. You can read the detailed review (itself quite a piece) on Kirkus Reviews.

Book cover with two faces and pistol.

31 March 2021: Adria Martinez adds a fun book for little readers to the Local Authors bookcase with "Tartlin the Terrific Tortoise Dog". Tartlin is a desert tortoise who is adopted by a lively little girl on her eighth birthday. The little girl's disappointment at gaining a reptile instead of a dog or even a cat quickly fades, as she learns to accept Tartlin for the slow-moving and expressionless reptile that he is.

Book cover with toroise in fenced yard.

26 March 2021: The commemorative edition of Amanda Gorman's Inaugural Poem for the Country, "The Hill We Climb", goes on sale next Tuesday, 30 March 2021! We will have a few in-store for you on that day.

Book cover with vines.

16 March 2021: Victoria Lorrekovich-Miller's "If a Mantis Finds a Fly in the Sky" joins our other local authors in the Local Authors Bookcase. Victoria is an award-winning author of short stories and essays. She writes for animal magazines like The Bark, Dog & Kennel, and Animal Wellness Magazine, and her fiction can be seen in Cricket magazine and on the WOW website.

Book cover with mantis and fly looking at each other.

12 March 2021: Hello, friends! Our greatest hope is that you will enjoy visiting the store and browsing our bookcases. However, we are now partnering with for those who would like to support their local bookstore online. You can order books via Reasonable Books here. Please send any comments or suggestions to us at

3 March 2021: Josephine Mele brings mystery and memoir to the Reasonable Books Local Authors bookcase with four titles. The first three books are a page-turning blend of travelogue and mystery that will keep you up at night trying to solve the puzzle amid exotic locales. Learn about the culture, food, and people of each country as you travel along with June Gordon to try and solve a murder.

Book cover with antique travel suitcase covered in souvenir stickers.

Book cover with antique travel suitcase covered in souvenir stickers.

Book cover with antique travel suitcase covered in souvenir stickers.

In "The Odd Grandmothers", Josephine tells the story of three generations of strong Italian matriarchs, and how they struggled to make a better life for their children. The book takes us from old Sicily, to Brooklyn, to San Francisco and back.

Book cover with antique photo of grandmother, mother and child.

26 February 2021: Kent Gordon has added two of his books to the Local Authors bookcase. The first is "Victory over Anxiety, Depression & the Human Condition":

"This book is a compassionate and easy read for those who are hurting and in need of rescue on the road. It opens up possibilities where only dead ends are thought to exist. It gets those in need back on the road with the understanding and insight God intended."

Book cover with smiling ball wearing glasses.

Kent Gordon's second book is "Difficult Conversations: Restoring the Relationships Between our LGBT-Q Friends, Families and the Church":

"This book is a compassionate introduction to and discussion of Gods’ viewpoint for both the open-minded non-Christian and the Christian struggling to believe."

Book cover with universal symbols of persons in different colors.

25 February 2021: Thank you, Peter Boffey, for adding two volumes of his series "The Three Naked Ladies of Cliffport" to the Local Authors bookcase!

"In Volume I, we hear the distinct yet disparate voices of Elisabeth and Katelyn Lowrie, and Jan McLoughlin, as they struggle to come to terms with one another and themselves. We witness Elise--despairing over failing communications with her headstrong daughter--retreat to the attic, there to embark upon her memoir composed as a long letter to her only child. Meanwhile, downstairs, buoyed up by her bottles of whisky and cartons of unfiltered cigarettes, Jan--the outspoken landowner returning after fifty years--launches out on telling her life story to Katie aloud.

"In Volume II, we watch Katie spanning the gap between the two older women while hatching a plan that may enable the Lowries (and Donald Duncan, Katie's 10-year-old son) to remain living on the place."

Book covers with wildflowers on rocky ocean cliff.

30 January 2021: Two books from James Benney have joined the popular "Native American Indian Sites in the East Bay Hills" in the Local Authors bookcase!

The Volvon tribal territory remains virtually untouched today. Many village and camp sites lie undisturbed in the Black Hills behind Mount Diablo, part of the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. One can still walk the paths Kaaknu the Volvon tribal leader walked, and see the same panoramic views of central California that he saw. In thirty-five short years he saw the complete dissolution of his tribe and the total loss of all of their ancestral territory to Spanish soldiers and settlers and the Jesuit Missions.

Book cover with hawk and Native Americans on grassy hills.

"Grandpa: Eldred Tyrrell Benney" is a moving, wonderful tribute to the San Francisco Bay Area's rich history and a soulful retelling of one man's outstanding life.

Book cover with elderly man with pipe in profile.

23 January 2021: Hello, friends! The American Bookseller's Association has sent us a big collection of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of upcoming books. They also make it easy for us to send you an email preview of upcoming releases (like the printed ones we have in the store). If you are an avid reader and would like to learn about new books via email, and especially if you are interested in teaming up with us to read and write a short review of an upcoming book, please reach out at Spam is not our thing, we won't use your email ourselves for that, and there is a very high probability that the ABA won't, either :)

14 January 2021: Two books from Ken Kerkhoff have been added to the Local Authors bookcase: one, a collection of stories about the history and culture of India, and the other, a novel of historical fiction set in 21st century Central Africa.

Appreciate the incredible history and culture of India through the fascinating tales of Kerkhoff and Pejathaya in "Paper Boat: Discovering India with a Master Storyteller". Both write with remarkable feeling as they interweave Indian experiences. Their stories offer a refreshing look at a remarkable country, its people, customs and its maze of religious proclivity.

Book cover with folded paper boat floating on water.

In "Four Degrees North: Confronting Terror in Central Africa", Alan Burke accepts his first assignment with the U.S. State Department and travels to Africa. His wife, Mona, plans to join him in Cameroon after she finishes an assignment in Nigeria for her U.S. law firm. Mona is forcefully abducted and held hostage by Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group. Alan, frustrated by the inability of the various governments to assist his wife, acts on his own. In defiance of protocol, he crosses the Cameroon-Nigeria border to track the terrorists. He is aided by Eric Mbando, a Cameroonian, who risks his life for righteousness and justice.

Book cover with silhouette of militants superimposed over compass and map.

12 January 2021: Reasonable Books is pleased to announce that we have received copies of Deven Greene's newly released book, "Unnatural". Deven is a local author and this is the first book in the Erica Rosen MD trilogy.

From Indies Today:

Unnatural is a flawlessly written medical thriller that focuses on a Chinese mother who will sacrifice everything to save her children. Erica is a bold protagonist who follows her instincts to some amazing discoveries. The narrative is driven by intelligent dialogue and a clever, yet heinous, plot. The cultural aspects between Ting and Erica feel authentic and the technical medical language is just complicated enough to feel genuine without becoming difficult to read. Deven Greene has created a truly gripping international thriller with just the right amount of humanity and compassion.

Book cover with asian child with blue eyes.

6 January 2021: Our first new local author title of 2021 is "Journey To Self: Discovering Paths Beyond My Dreams" by Barry Hampshire.

For the National Association of Memoir Writers, he writes:

Over the past roughly seven years, I have written my memoir Journey to Self. It describes how a journey I took 42 years ago affected me and resulted in who I have become. In the last few years before retirement, I wrote short stories about my earlier life that I hoped my daughter may read, someday. As I looked at this mass of material, much of which related to the journey, I couldn’t deny that I’d had and was still living an incredible life. There were lessons to be found that could help other people steer their own lives to maturity and/or fulfillment.

Book cover with off road vehicle in desert.

2 January 2021: In celebration of the 101st anniversary of Isaac Asimov's birth, you will find an excerpt from his 1955 short story, "Youth", below. You can read the entire short story at

31 December 2020: 明けましておめでとうございます!

26 December 2020: A pair of new authors have joined our Local Authors section during this holiday season!

Denise P. Kalm is a Board-Certified Coach and President of DPK Coaching offering personalized transition coaching services and workshops. In "Retirement Savvy" she offers excellent practical advice and real-world examples about how people experience the challenges and opportunities related to retirement.

Book cover with couple on sailboat.

Denise also wrote "First Job Savvy" to show first-time and returning job seekers how to create a plan for success. "Readers will learn how to hit the ground running and be a standout success in their new job."

Book cover with man in business attire in starting position to run a race.

Spencer Mains shares how he sees the world around him, and asks, "What do you see?". Visit his website here.

Book cover with startled man cartoon.

17 December 2020: We have added a pair of new books to the Local Authors bookcase. The subject matter is a little different and hopefully timely for this holiday season.

Susana Sanchez-Young has turned a pandemic side-project into a purposeful activity, finding a following on social media. Her coloring book captures many themes of 2020 in a book that will delight young and old.

Book cover with uncolored ink drawing of woman with wild western vegetation.

Local resident Carol Green has written a short, colorful picture book for the very young who have a new sibling on the way. Illustrated by Ron Clelland, it is meant as an encouraging and engaging aid for the growing family.

Book cover with house with duck, frog and question marks.

14 December 2020: The Local Authors section has a new bookcase today, and that's all the room we have for new furniture — for now. By the way, we are on Twitter here, but please note that it is not (only) typical marketing and promotion :)

10 December 2020: St. Mary's alumna Madison Mooney has published "Manny the Monkey", an engaging book for children, and we are pleased to have it available in our Local Authors section!

From Readers' Favorite: "Manny The Monkey by Madison Mooney is a charming story about self-discovery, self-confidence, and being unique, and Manny's inner journey will encourage readers to find themselves and understand that they can do anything as long as they use their minds. The illustrations are colorful and lively and breathe life into the characters and the scenes. The book is also a good way to introduce children to different types of animals and travel. Parents and tutors can use it for read-aloud and storytelling sessions at home and in schools to motivate children to find themselves, discover their life's purpose, and decide what they want to do in life."

Book cover with monkey in tree with empty thought cloud.

4 December 2020: "The Lafayette Reservoir: A Visual Celebration" by Steve Hobbs is a beautiful book of photographs from Lafayette's own man-made lake, and has joined our growing collection of works by local authors. From the jacket:

People fall in love with the Lafayette Reservoir. Local photographer Steve Hobbs has conceived of this book of his photographs and essays as a tribute to that amazing place. His book celebrates the "lifescapes." of the Reservoir - its striking landscapes, the diversity and beauty of its birds and wildlife, and the people from all backgrounds who come there to walk and jog, boat and fish, or pursue other outdoor passions. Steve also includes a section devoted to the beloved dogs of the Reservoir. His evocative images capture the beauty and rich variety of the Reservoir, with a touch of humor and playfulness thrown in.

Book cover with fisherman in boat on reservoir.

2 December 2020: It is typically a great pleasure to meet the residents of Lafayette and nearby either in person, or on the phone, or via email, and so we are keeping online ordering from Reasonable Books to a bare minimum. This means you should feel free to send us enquiries at We'll do our best to get you information on availability and pricing, and will happily place an order for you when you'd like us to do so.

We are also looking into hosting book-related events online, and are currently trying to gauge local interest in Richard Haiduck's "Shifting Gears: 50 Baby Boomers Share Their Meaningful Journeys in Retirement". Shifting Gears is based on interviews with retirees, telling how they are shifting gears in their retirement. Sometimes they shift smoothly, sometimes they grind the gears, and often they take some time to find their groove. The stories reveal the rich abundance of retirement ventures, from the exotic to the mundane. Discover their joys, challenges, and inspirations that were part of their journey in this next stage of life. If you belong to a book club or similar group that might be interested in attending an online event with the author (and perhaps someone from Reasonable Books), please reach out to us at You will find the book in our Local Authors section.

Book cover with multiple retirement activities.

29 November 2020: An update to our reading section can be found below with an excerpt from the logician Charles Dodgson.

28 November 2020: Thanks to everyone for their support during 2020's Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. We hope you have a safe holiday season and thank you for your patience when visiting the store; we are currently permitted six persons at a time in the store according to the county's public health guidance.

The Local Authors section now includes "Invisible Wounds" by Lyn Roberts, "a powerful portrait of one man's struggle to heal from his trauma experienced in both war and personal life. When Steven discovers David Lane's Civil War letters, the similarities that haunt his own war in Vietnam set him on a path of redemption. With each discovered letter, Steven learns another part of the secret to healing and building a fearless life of purpose."

Book cover with antique personal correspondence.

24 November 2020: We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving for 2020! Our Local Authors display continues to grow with a book sure to draw the East Bay hiker and historical enthusiast, as well as a compelling work of historico-cultural fiction.

"Native American Indian Sites In the East Bay Hills" by James Benney guides you across Native American sites in the East Bay Hills along with a brief history of indigenous culture in the East Bay Hills. You can read more about it here.

Book cover with Native American village.

Cheryl Vaught is a teacher, writer, and ex-Mormon activist. She lives in Northern California with her husband and near her two grandchildren. "Plural Bride To Be" captures in novel form the the historic 1953 statewide police investigation of polygamy called Operation Seagull as it leads to young Karen Hardy's Utah farm family. You can read more about it on GoodReads.

Book cover with bride in front of snowy mountains.

21 November 2020: We're very pleased to include Jill Hedgecock in our Local Authors section next to the counter. Jill is an award-winning and internationally-published author.

Rhino in the Room is a beautifully written and an intellectually stimulating debut novel from Jill Hedgecock. It's power is in advocating for a worthy cause-that of the rhino, using the storyteller's eye. This is a novel for anyone with an interest in the natural world and the rhino. This is a novel for everyone!: Read more here.

Book cover with rhinoceros.

After orphaned sixteen-year-old Sarah Whitman rescues a Doberman, her secret living situation is jeopardized. Shadow’s incessant barking has drawn unwanted attention from the authorities. Desperate to keep her pet, Sarah turns to an animal behaviorist, Dr. Claudia Griffin, only to be informed that Shadow barks because her house is haunted. Sarah is skeptical until a chance discovery reveals that she can see ghosts through Shadow by placing her fingers between her dog’s eyes — an act that inadvertently draws her into a deadly feud instigated by Dr. Griffin. Can Sarah find a way to save herself and Shadow?: Read more here.

Book cover with dog.

From the moment orphaned teen Sarah stepped through the door of her temporary foster home, her guardian’s “Mean Girl” granddaughter has made her life a living hell. More than anything Sarah longs to take her ghost-seeing Doberman, Shadow, and move back into the cozy home her father bought for her before he died. When Sarah brings Shadow to her new high school to model for a class art project, she spots the ghost of a toddler boy while petting the space between her dog’s eyes. Despite being warned to forget the incident, she becomes obsessed with finding out the child’s identity. Sarah’s investigation into the little boy’s death draws the attention of his murderer and she finds herself struggling to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.: Read more here.

Book cover with dog and child.

17 November 2020: "A Promised Land" has been getting a lot of attention and is available as of today. We also have two additional titles in the Local Authors section of the store from Mike Metcalf.

"In his new book, Inklings: John Wilkins Carter and the Carter’s Ink Company, Michael F. Metcalf tells the story of an old New England family and the companies they created and operated— beginning with Timothy Carter’s Old Corner Bookstore in downtown Boston and spanning a 150-year period." You can read more about this beautiful book here.

Book cover with antique Carter's inkwell.

"In September 1979, newlyweds Michael and Sharon Metcalf set out on a yearlong adventure at sea on their yacht, Mystic Isle." "What's Luck Got To Do With It? Adventures at Sea on Mystic Isle" tells the story of how they "planned, prepared, hard sailed, made friendships, and, most important, how they learned self-reliance, faith in each other, and perseverance."

Book cover with couple on sailboat.

10 November 2020: Our selection of featured books by local authors is growing and has moved to the wall next to the counter. Six titles have been added to group.

Claudia Long's historical novel "Nine Tenths of the Law" is about "two sisters, their mother, and a Nazi thief: combining the strands of history, mystery and the enduring power of buried memories." You can read more about it here.

Book cover with hand holding Nazi label on work of art.

Raea Gragg's "MUP" is "a graphic novel for children ages 7-12. It's a coming of age tale that follows two girls on their adventure to save the earth and learn to accept the changes that come with time while staying true to themselves." You can read more about Raea and her book here.

Book cover with two children diving into water.

Steven Burchik's "Compass and a Camera" documents his experience in the Vietnam war through his memories, wartime correspondence and photographs. You can learn more about the book at Goodreads.

Book cover with medics carrying wounded soldier on stretcher.

Brian Donohue's "The Spirit of Fiat Lux" is a hard bound coffee table book with beautiful photography, prose and poetry; it is also a key source of information about Public Service Contracts to help fund public higher education.

Book cover with images of Campanile and Sather Gate at Cal campus.

Brian Donohue has also recently published "In the Company of Men", an examination of men's issues and Christian life.

Book cover with meeting hall.

"Al Davis: Behind the Raiders Shield" is "an accurate, detailed portrayal of a man in the pantheon of notable sports figures of the 20th century" written by some of the men who worked closely with him, including longtime Oakland Raiders scout and Lafayette resident Jon Kingdon.

Book cover with Al Davis.

6 November 2020: It's a good time to step back from your troubles and read a bit. Here's a story from James Joyce.

1 November 2020: Winston Churchill was an American novelist, and below you'll find an excerpt from his best-selling novel from 1901, The Crisis. Thanks to the Lamorinda Weekly and the East Bay Times for telling our story this week!

26 October 2020: Thanks to the patrons asking for gift certificates! We now have them available in a variety of amounts.

20 October 2020: We are very pleased to have books released recently by local authors. One is "Say Goodbye to Plastic: A Survival Guide for Plastic-Free Living" by Sandra Ann Harris. Sandra's book will help you live more sustainably in your daily life.

Book cover with whale and plastic trash.

We are also happy to carry copies of "Meet the Principal: My Journey Beyond the Curriculum" by Jane Blomstrand, a veteran of public school leadership in California. Jane's stories will inspire and educate anyone with an interest in the important institution of education for the young.

Book cover with raised hands.

17 October 2020: Do you know that the "Read" link above takes you to a bite-sized selection of public domain reading material that updates occasionally? The latest selection may help set the tone for Halloween season.

16 October 2020: A fallacy is an invalid pattern of reasoning, that is, a form of argument whose premises do not imply its conclusion (which may be true or false). For example, TU QUOQUE or APPEAL TO HYPOCRISY: Denying or excusing guilt by attributing it to the accuser.

15 October 2020: Shopping locally is an important way to help make up for the shortfall in local sales tax revenue, and doing so helps local businesses struggling during the public health emergency. You can find alternatives to online shopping by consulting the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Member Directory. Thank you for considering your local businesses!

2 October 2020: It is a pleasure to open the store each day and meet everyone who visits. Even short conversations about books and the love of reading are special. For those wondering, "Reasonable LLC" uses the word in this sense: fair, commonsensical, rational, practical and polite.

30 September 2020: The bookcases have been delivered and are now in place! This means we will be reorganizing the new and used books shortly, and expanding our selection. A number of visitors have asked for books we did not have, and we have copies of them now. We'll gratefully take any suggestions for good titles we lack.

24 September 2020: It has been a pleasure meeting so many visitors during our first two weeks! The topic of used books has come up on occasion. Currently, we are accepting used book donations and will try to find them a home, either through the store or with outside non-profit organizations. We hope to have a credit policy in the future, as space and time permit.

19 September 2020: What a week!

18 September 2020: Not making much noise about this, but... we are open for browsing, counter service and pickups. Still waiting on bookcases, so the inventory is tucked away in the back of the store. It has been nice to meet so many people during the quiet opening. The chairs in front are for anyone to use; we're thinking about how to put some reading material there for friends, neighbors and visitors. :)

13 September 2020: Thanks to our friends for all the work on the sign! Next: some chairs, tables, plants, bookcases. We will require safe practices for visitors, and hope to welcome you very soon :)

Owners and friends in front of store after installing sign.

9 September 2020: An alpha version of our in-store inventory is available here.

7 September 2020: The latest work has been twofold: sorting and preparing new books for display on shelves arriving in the next week, and getting the new signage ready for installation next weekend. Once the sign is up, we have an eager crew ready to prepare the storefront with book displays and other elements to make an inviting shop. We will adhere to current safety precautions diligently while being ready to welcome visitors in numbers of three or so, safely distanced.

An online service via email should be straightforward since the kids have helped to create a database of all the current inventory. You will see a rough-and-ready list of everything we have soon, and please feel free to send comments. Soft-open will be the week after the sign is installed (this is an aspirational statement). Thanks for all the good wishes so far, Lafayette!

3 September 2020: Most of the new book inventory has arrived, and there are sizable offerings in the following areas: Current Fiction, Classic Literature, History, Philosophy, Humanities, Young Adult. The new sign will be delivered this Sunday, and after a week of preparation, painting and lettering, we intend to install it the following Sunday. We intend to soft-launch Reasonable Books the following week, with some work left to do :)

26 August 2020: That's a lot of boxes of books and it's only halfway done.

25 August 2020: The initial used book inventory has been moved to the store, and for now these books are living on our repurposed library shelves (we are fairly certain these came from the Alameda County Public Library). The timing on this is good, since the new book inventory will begin delivery tomorrow and continue through the rest of the week.

The store signage will be a challenge as it involves a full rebuild of the sign and installation over a sizable awning. We're keeping our fingers crossed that this will happen within a week or so.

10 August 2020: The build out of our space continues at the former Papyrus storefront at 3645C Mount Diablo Boulevard, in the West End Shops near Trader Joe's. This was the second Papyrus store and will feel familiar even after it has been repurposed for books. Stationery and children's books are already served in Lafayette, so please visit our neighbors as the holidays approach.

So far, a lot of the messy work is done, including patching, painting and cleaning, with flooring up next, and then installing shelving and stocking the initial inventory of books. This has already been fun as well as hard work, and it has been a pleasure to meet so many people. More updates are forthcoming :)

Retail restrictions related to public health circumstances are a challenge in addition to those one would already expect of a new independent bookstore, and we appreciate your understanding and thank you for your input as we launch Reasonable Books to serve the residents of Lafayette, and the greater Lamorinda and East Bay Areas.

Work is in progress to provide online and delivery services locally. This may begin with email orders and personal deliveries in accordance with required safety protocols. It will be great to meet you however we can.


Reasonable is owned and operated by Rudy and Betty Winnacker. Email:

(Public Domain)

Whose Body?

Dorothy L. Sayers

A Lord Peter Whimsy novel, 1923.


“Oh, damn!” said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadilly Circus. “Hi, driver!”

The taxi man, irritated at receiving this appeal while negotiating the intricacies of turning into Lower Regent Street across the route of a 19 ’bus, a 38-B and a bicycle, bent an unwilling ear.

“I’ve left the catalogue behind,” said Lord Peter deprecatingly. “Uncommonly careless of me. D’you mind puttin’ back to where we came from?”

“To the Savile Club, sir?”

“No—110 Piccadilly—just beyond—thank you.”

“Thought you was in a hurry,” said the man, overcome with a sense of injury.

“I’m afraid it’s an awkward place to turn in,” said Lord Peter, answering the thought rather than the words. His long, amiable face looked as if it had generated spontaneously from his top hat, as white maggots breed from Gorgonzola.

The taxi, under the severe eye of a policeman, revolved by slow jerks, with a noise like the grinding of teeth.

The block of new, perfect and expensive flats in which Lord Peter dwelt upon the second floor, stood directly opposite the Green Park, in a spot for many years occupied by the skeleton of a frustrate commercial enterprise. As Lord Peter let himself in he heard his man’s voice in the library, uplifted in that throttled stridency peculiar to well-trained persons using the telephone.

“I believe that’s his lordship just coming in again—if your Grace would kindly hold the line a moment.”

“What is it, Bunter?”

“Her Grace has just called up from Denver, my lord. I was just saying your lordship had gone to the sale when I heard your lordship’s latchkey.”

“Thanks,” said Lord Peter; “and you might find me my catalogue, would you? I think I must have left it in my bedroom, or on the desk.”

He sat down to the telephone with an air of leisurely courtesy, as though it were an acquaintance dropped in for a chat.

“Hullo, Mother—that you?”

“Oh, there you are, dear,” replied the voice of the Dowager Duchess. “I was afraid I’d just missed you.”

“Well, you had, as a matter of fact. I’d just started off to Brocklebury’s sale to pick up a book or two, but I had to come back for the catalogue. What’s up?”

“Such a quaint thing,” said the Duchess. “I thought I’d tell you. You know little Mr. Thipps?”

“Thipps?” said Lord Peter. “Thipps? Oh, yes, the little architect man who’s doing the church roof. Yes. What about him?”

“Mrs. Throgmorton’s just been in, in quite a state of mind.”

“Sorry, Mother, I can’t hear. Mrs. Who?”

“Throgmorton—Throgmorton—the vicar’s wife.”

“Oh, Throgmorton, yes?”

“Mr. Thipps rang them up this morning. It was his day to come down, you know.”


“He rang them up to say he couldn’t. He was so upset, poor little man. He’d found a dead body in his bath.”

“Sorry, Mother, I can’t hear; found what, where?”

“A dead body, dear, in his bath.”

“What?—no, no, we haven’t finished. Please don’t cut us off. Hullo! Hullo! Is that you, Mother? Hullo!—Mother!—Oh, yes—sorry, the girl was trying to cut us off. What sort of body?”

“A dead man, dear, with nothing on but a pair of pince-nez. Mrs. Throgmorton positively blushed when she was telling me. I’m afraid people do get a little narrow-minded in country vicarages.”

“Well, it sounds a bit unusual. Was it anybody he knew?”

“No, dear, I don’t think so, but, of course, he couldn’t give her many details. She said he sounded quite distracted. He’s such a respectable little man—and having the police in the house and so on, really worried him.”

“Poor little Thipps! Uncommonly awkward for him. Let’s see, he lives in Battersea, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, dear; 59, Queen Caroline Mansions; opposite the Park. That big block just round the corner from the Hospital. I thought perhaps you’d like to run round and see him and ask if there’s anything we can do. I always thought him a nice little man.”

“Oh, quite,” said Lord Peter, grinning at the telephone. The Duchess was always of the greatest assistance to his hobby of criminal investigation, though she never alluded to it, and maintained a polite fiction of its non-existence.

“What time did it happen, Mother?”

“I think he found it early this morning, but, of course, he didn’t think of telling the Throgmortons just at first. She came up to me just before lunch—so tiresome, I had to ask her to stay. Fortunately, I was alone. I don’t mind being bored myself, but I hate having my guests bored.”

“Poor old Mother! Well, thanks awfully for tellin’ me. I think I’ll send Bunter to the sale and toddle round to Battersea now an’ try and console the poor little beast. So-long.”

“Good-bye, dear.”


“Yes, my lord.”

“Her Grace tells me that a respectable Battersea architect has discovered a dead man in his bath.”

“Indeed, my lord? That’s very gratifying.”

“Very, Bunter. Your choice of words is unerring. I wish Eton and Balliol had done as much for me. Have you found the catalogue?”

“Here it is, my lord.”

“Thanks. I am going to Battersea at once. I want you to attend the sale for me. Don’t lose time—I don’t want to miss the Folio Dante[A] nor the de Voragine—here you are—see? ‘Golden Legend’—Wynkyn de Worde, 1493—got that?—and, I say, make a special effort for the Caxton folio of the ‘Four Sons of Aymon’—it’s the 1489 folio and unique. Look! I’ve marked the lots I want, and put my outside offer against each. Do your best for me. I shall be back to dinner.”

“Very good, my lord.”

“Take my cab and tell him to hurry. He may for you; he doesn’t like me very much. Can I,” said Lord Peter, looking at himself in the eighteenth-century mirror over the mantelpiece, “can I have the heart to fluster the flustered Thipps further—that’s very difficult to say quickly—by appearing in a top-hat and frock-coat? I think not. Ten to one he will overlook my trousers and mistake me for the undertaker. A grey suit, I fancy, neat but not gaudy, with a hat to tone, suits my other self better. Exit the amateur of first editions; new motive introduced by solo bassoon; enter Sherlock Holmes, disguised as a walking gentleman. There goes Bunter. Invaluable fellow—never offers to do his job when you’ve told him to do somethin’ else. Hope he doesn’t miss the ‘Four Sons of Aymon.’ Still, there _is_ another copy of that—in the Vatican.[B] It might become available, you never know —if the Church of Rome went to pot or Switzerland invaded Italy—whereas a strange corpse doesn’t turn up in a suburban bathroom more than once in a lifetime—at least, I should think not—at any rate, the number of times it’s happened, _with_ a pince-nez, might be counted on the fingers of one hand, I imagine. Dear me! it’s a dreadful mistake to ride two hobbies at once.”

He had drifted across the passage into his bedroom, and was changing with a rapidity one might not have expected from a man of his mannerisms. He selected a dark-green tie to match his socks and tied it accurately without hesitation or the slightest compression of his lips; substituted a pair of brown shoes for his black ones, slipped a monocle into a breast pocket, and took up a beautiful Malacca walking-stick with a heavy silver knob.

“That’s all, I think,” he murmured to himself. “Stay—I may as well have you—you may come in useful—one never knows.” He added a flat silver matchbox to his equipment, glanced at his watch, and seeing that it was already a quarter to three, ran briskly downstairs, and, hailing a taxi, was carried to Battersea Park.

* * * * *

Mr. Alfred Thipps was a small, nervous man, whose flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny. One might say that his only really marked feature was a large bruise over the left eyebrow, which gave him a faintly dissipated air incongruous with the rest of his appearance. Almost in the same breath with his first greeting, he made a self-conscious apology for it, murmuring something about having run against the dining-room door in the dark. He was touched almost to tears by Lord Peter’s thoughtfulness and condescension in calling.

“I’m sure it’s most kind of your lordship,” he repeated for the dozenth time, rapidly blinking his weak little eyelids. “I appreciate it very deeply, very deeply, indeed, and so would Mother, only she’s so deaf, I don’t like to trouble you with making her understand. It’s been very hard all day,” he added, “with the policemen in the house and all this commotion. It’s what Mother and me have never been used to, always living very retired, and it’s most distressing to a man of regular habits, my lord, and reely, I’m almost thankful Mother doesn’t understand, for I’m sure it would worry her terribly if she was to know about it. She was upset at first, but she’s made up some idea of her own about it now, and I’m sure it’s all for the best.”

The old lady who sat knitting by the fire nodded grimly in response to a look from her son.

“I always said as you ought to complain about that bath, Alfred,” she said suddenly, in the high, piping voice peculiar to the deaf, “and it’s to be ’oped the landlord’ll see about it now; not but what I think you might have managed without having the police in, but there! you always were one to make a fuss about a little thing, from chicken-pox up.”

“There now,” said Mr. Thipps apologetically, “you see how it is. Not but what it’s just as well she’s settled on that, because she understands we’ve locked up the bathroom and don’t try to go in there. But it’s been a terrible shock to me, sir—my lord, I should say, but there! my nerves are all to pieces. Such a thing has never ’appened—happened to me in all my born days. Such a state I was in this morning—I didn’t know if I was on my head or my heels—I reely didn’t, and my heart not being too strong, I hardly knew how to get out of that horrid room and telephone for the police. It’s affected me, sir, it’s affected me, it reely has—I couldn’t touch a bit of breakfast, nor lunch neither, and what with telephoning and putting off clients and interviewing people all morning, I’ve hardly known what to do with myself.”

“I’m sure it must have been uncommonly distressin’,” said Lord Peter, sympathetically, “especially comin’ like that before breakfast. Hate anything tiresome happenin’ before breakfast. Takes a man at such a confounded disadvantage, what?”

“That’s just it, that’s just it,” said Mr. Thipps, eagerly. “When I saw that dreadful thing lying there in my bath, mother-naked, too, except for a pair of eyeglasses, I assure you, my lord, it regularly turned my stomach, if you’ll excuse the expression. I’m not very strong, sir, and I get that sinking feeling sometimes in the morning, and what with one thing and another I ’ad—had to send the girl for a stiff brandy, or I don’t know _what_ mightn’t have happened. I felt so queer, though I’m anything but partial to spirits as a rule. Still, I make it a rule never to be without brandy in the house, in case of emergency, you know?”

“Very wise of you,” said Lord Peter, cheerfully. “You’re a very far-seein’ man, Mr. Thipps. Wonderful what a little nip’ll do in case of need, and the less you’re used to it the more good it does you. Hope your girl is a sensible young woman, what? Nuisance to have women faintin’ and shriekin’ all over the place.”

“Oh, Gladys is a good girl,” said Mr. Thipps, “very reasonable indeed. She was shocked, of course; that’s very understandable. I was shocked myself, and it wouldn’t be proper in a young woman not to be shocked under the circumstances, but she is reely a helpful, energetic girl in a crisis, if you understand me. I consider myself very fortunate these days to have got a good, decent girl to do for me and Mother, even though she is a bit careless and forgetful about little things, but that’s only natural. She was very sorry indeed about having left the bathroom window open, she reely was, and though I was angry at first, seeing what’s come of it, it wasn’t anything to speak of, not in the ordinary way, as you might say. Girls will forget things, you know, my lord, and reely she was so distressed I didn’t like to say too much to her. All I said was: ‘It might have been burglars,’ I said, ‘remember that, next time you leave a window open all night; this time it was a dead man,’ I said, ‘and that’s unpleasant enough, but next time it might be burglars,’ I said, ‘and all of us murdered in our beds.’ But the police-inspector—Inspector Sugg, they called him, from the Yard—he was very sharp with her, poor girl. Quite frightened her, and made her think he suspected her of something, though what good a body could be to her, poor girl, I can’t imagine, and so I told the Inspector. He was quite rude to me, my lord—I may say I didn’t like his manner at all. ‘If you’ve got anything definite to accuse Gladys or me of, Inspector,’ I said to him, ‘bring it forward, that’s what you have to do,’ I said, ‘but I’ve yet to learn that you’re paid to be rude to a gentleman in his own ’ouse—house.’ Reely,” said Mr. Thipps, growing quite pink on the top of his head, “he regularly roused me, regularly roused me, my lord, and I’m a mild man as a rule.”

“Sugg all over,” said Lord Peter. “I know him. When he don’t know what else to say, he’s rude. Stands to reason you and the girl wouldn’t go collectin’ bodies. Who’d want to saddle himself with a body? Difficulty’s usually to get rid of ’em. Have you got rid of this one yet, by the way?”

“It’s still in the bathroom,” said Mr. Thipps. “Inspector Sugg said nothing was to be touched till his men came in to move it. I’m expecting them at any time. If it would interest your lordship to have a look at it—”

“Thanks awfully,” said Lord Peter. “I’d like to very much, if I’m not puttin’ you out.”

“Not at all,” said Mr. Thipps. His manner as he led the way along the passage convinced Lord Peter of two things—first, that, gruesome as his exhibit was, he rejoiced in the importance it reflected upon himself and his flat, and secondly, that Inspector Sugg had forbidden him to exhibit it to anyone. The latter supposition was confirmed by the action of Mr. Thipps, who stopped to fetch the door-key from his bedroom, saying that the police had the other, but that he made it a rule to have two keys to every door, in case of accident.

The bathroom was in no way remarkable. It was long and narrow, the window being exactly over the head of the bath. The panes were of frosted glass; the frame wide enough to admit a man’s body. Lord Peter stepped rapidly across to it, opened it and looked out.

The flat was the top one of the building and situated about the middle of the block. The bathroom window looked out upon the back-yards of the flats, which were occupied by various small outbuildings, coal-holes, garages, and the like. Beyond these were the back gardens of a parallel line of houses. On the right rose the extensive edifice of St. Luke’s Hospital, Battersea, with its grounds, and, connected with it by a covered way, the residence of the famous surgeon, Sir Julian Freke, who directed the surgical side of the great new hospital, and was, in addition, known in Harley Street as a distinguished neurologist with a highly individual point of view.

This information was poured into Lord Peter’s ear at considerable length by Mr. Thipps, who seemed to feel that the neighbourhood of anybody so distinguished shed a kind of halo of glory over Queen Caroline Mansions.

“We had him round here himself this morning,” he said, “about this horrid business. Inspector Sugg thought one of the young medical gentlemen at the hospital might have brought the corpse round for a joke, as you might say, they always having bodies in the dissecting-room. So Inspector Sugg went round to see Sir Julian this morning to ask if there was a body missing. He was very kind, was Sir Julian, very kind indeed, though he was at work when they got there, in the dissecting-room. He looked up the books to see that all the bodies were accounted for, and then very obligingly came round here to look at this”—he indicated the bath—“and said he was afraid he couldn’t help us—there was no corpse missing from the hospital, and this one didn’t answer to the description of any they’d had.”

“Nor to the description of any of the patients, I hope,” suggested Lord Peter casually.

At this grisly hint Mr. Thipps turned pale.

“I didn’t hear Inspector Sugg inquire,” he said, with some agitation. “What a very horrid thing that would be—God bless my soul, my lord, I never thought of it.”

“Well, if they had missed a patient they’d probably have discovered it by now,” said Lord Peter. “Let’s have a look at this one.”

He screwed his monocle into his eye, adding: “I see you’re troubled here with the soot blowing in. Beastly nuisance, ain’t it? I get it, too—spoils all my books, you know. Here, don’t you trouble, if you don’t care about lookin’ at it.”

He took from Mr. Thipps’s hesitating hand the sheet which had been flung over the bath, and turned it back.

The body which lay in the bath was that of a tall, stout man of about fifty. The hair, which was thick and black and naturally curly, had been cut and parted by a master hand, and exuded a faint violet perfume, perfectly recognisable in the close air of the bathroom. The features were thick, fleshy and strongly marked, with prominent dark eyes, and a long nose curving down to a heavy chin. The clean-shaven lips were full and sensual, and the dropped jaw showed teeth stained with tobacco. On the dead face the handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance; the fine gold chain curved over the naked breast. The legs lay stiffly stretched out side by side; the arms reposed close to the body; the fingers were flexed naturally. Lord Peter lifted one arm, and looked at the hand with a little frown.

“Bit of a dandy, your visitor, what?” he murmured. “Parma violet and manicure.” He bent again, slipping his hand beneath the head. The absurd eyeglasses slipped off, clattering into the bath, and the noise put the last touch to Mr. Thipps’s growing nervousness.

“If you’ll excuse me,” he murmured, “it makes me feel quite faint, it reely does.”

He slipped outside, and he had no sooner done so than Lord Peter, lifting the body quickly and cautiously, turned it over and inspected it with his head on one side, bringing his monocle into play with the air of the late Joseph Chamberlain approving a rare orchid. He then laid the head over his arm, and bringing out the silver matchbox from his pocket, slipped it into the open mouth. Then making the noise usually written “Tut-tut,” he laid the body down, picked up the mysterious pince-nez, looked at it, put it on his nose and looked through it, made the same noise again, readjusted the pince-nez upon the nose of the corpse, so as to leave no traces of interference for the irritation of Inspector Sugg; rearranged the body; returned to the window and, leaning out, reached upwards and sideways with his walking-stick, which he had somewhat incongruously brought along with him. Nothing appearing to come of these investigations, he withdrew his head, closed the window, and rejoined Mr. Thipps in the passage.

Mr. Thipps, touched by this sympathetic interest in the younger son of a duke, took the liberty, on their return to the sitting-room, of offering him a cup of tea. Lord Peter, who had strolled over to the window and was admiring the outlook on Battersea Park, was about to accept, when an ambulance came into view at the end of Prince of Wales Road. Its appearance reminded Lord Peter of an important engagement, and with a hurried “By Jove!” he took his leave of Mr. Thipps.

“My mother sent kind regards and all that,” he said, shaking hands fervently; “hopes you’ll soon be down at Denver again. Good-bye, Mrs. Thipps,” he bawled kindly into the ear of the old lady. “Oh, no, my dear sir, please don’t trouble to come down.”

He was none too soon. As he stepped out of the door and turned towards the station, the ambulance drew up from the other direction, and Inspector Sugg emerged from it with two constables. The Inspector spoke to the officer on duty at the Mansions, and turned a suspicious gaze on Lord Peter’s retreating back.

“Dear old Sugg,” said that nobleman, fondly, “dear, dear old bird! How he does hate me, to be sure.”

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