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Saturday October 8
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm

Sunday October 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


George Robert Hamrdla/German
Creative Curious Books
Fiction Classics
Home & Craft/Ceramics
History/17th & 18th Centuries


4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
(650) 213-8755

Maps and Directions
More information on the sales
Donate your used books, DVDs, &c

Marty's (Main) Room
In our Main Room, prices are way below what used book stores charge. Hardcover books start at $3.00 and softcover books start at only $2.00.

No numbered tickets this month! (Another reminder that yes, we are still in a pandemic!)

Please note that due to crowding during the first two hours of the Book Sale, no strollers, rolling carts, etc. can be brought into the Main Room. This is for the safety of shoppers and volunteers alike. By 12:30 or so, the crowd thins out and shoppers are welcome to bring these items into the sale.

Children's Book Sale
The Children's Room is located in the portable next to the soccer field near Greendell School. It is entirely filled with children's books and toys. You'll find picture books, school age fiction and non-fiction, award winners, non-English titles, CDs and DVDs, and books for parents and teachers, most for 50 cents or $1. Strollers are welcome in the Children's Room at any time.

Bargain Books in H-2
The Bargain Room is located in Rooms H-2 and H-3 of the Cubberley main campus, between Marty's Room and Middlefield Road. On Saturday, paperbacks are 50 cents, hardcovers are $1, and children's books are 50 cents each. The room also contains many records, CDs, and DVDs at $1 each. On Sunday, the room opens at 11 am and all prices are half off. Or, save even more on Sunday by buying green FOPAL reusable bags from us for $3/ea (or bring your own grocery-size reusable bag) and stuffing them with any items in the room for $5/bag. Fill four bags at $5/bag and fill a fifth bag FREE! (We no longer receive sufficient used paper grocery bags along with donations for this purpose.)

News from the Library, by E-mail and RSS

If you have ever given the Library your e-mail address, like this newsletter editor did when he signed up for a Palo Alto Library card, you have probably noticed that they are sending you one to a few e-mails per month since the start of the pandemic.

The Library would like you to know about the second half of Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month through October 15, and also their Halloween festivities, and I (yr hmbl newsletter editor) can't point you at the e-mail because this month they're using the mailing list provider that apparently does not do archives.

Maybe it's OK. The Library has a blog too and it covers most of the other topics that were in the most recent newsletter. You can look at that here and it's got an RSS feed here. (The RSS feed may open in your RSS reader instead of in your browser.)

The City may also be sending you "Uplift Local" e-mails once a week or so. There is an archive of those e-mails here.

And if like yr hmbl newsletter editor you have not been paying attention and are wondering what is open and how much the Library has a Current Library Services page.

Members' Annual Meeting for 2022

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Time: 10:30 AM
Place: Embarcadero Room, Rinconada Library

Proposed for re-election to Board: Charlotte Epstein, Tina Kass, Susan Light, Suzanne Little, Gerry Masteller, Young-Jeh Oh, Melinda Parry, Steve Staiger.
Proposed new Board members: George Chaltas, Suzanne Cholko, Gail Reeder.
Continuing Board members: Nancy Cohen, Karen DalColletto, Nigel Jones, Jenny Munro, Nancy Tillman, John Wang.
Proposed FOPAL Officers:
President: Jenny Munro
Vice-President: Melinda Parry
Secretary: Suzanne Cholko
Treasurer: John Wang
Assistant Treasurer: TBD

November 12th: FOPAL Sale & CASP Open Studios

One great location: the Cubberley Community Center! Two great events....

November 12th, FOPAL and Cubberley Artist Studio Program (CASP) come together to offer bibliophiles and art connoisseurs an opportunity to shop/buy FOPAL's art books...then attend CASP's Open Studios! Look for more details in FOPAL's November Sale newsletter and on FOPAL's Facebook page. Please "like" and "follow" us when you visit. General info; CASP Open Studios - Wings E, F, and U. Join the artists in their studios for art and art activities!

October Sale Notes

Donation volume has been steady! We want to send a super big THANK YOU to those donating material for our sales! Many sections have a backlog, and as a result, we expect to have strong sales through the winter months.

For October, you will find the donation from Stanford alum and past president of the Stanford Historical Society George Robert Hamrdla to continue! FOPAL history lovers will reap the rewards of the hard work of section manager Tyler V. this October sale with the addition of the George Robert Hamrdla collection/books in German! These books are in excellent condition and arranged in subcategories by FOPAL's section manager Susan S. in the special bookcases just outside the sorting room (opposite Travel). Thank you to Tyler V. & Susan S. for all their hard work on this continuing special!

The Curious Books section manager has been collecting interesting and creative books for the past several months now. Section manager Doya W. is excited to offer this fun collection for Curious Books fans. Come check it out! From FOPAL back stock, look for a substantial donation in Fiction Classics. This section is well-stocked with a new selection of books from a summer donation/local literature professor.

Ceramics books are aplenty and curated by a couple of section managers in the Main Room and the Bargain Room/H2 this month well. This collection and more can be found in the Home & Crafts bays giving customers "more fun with clay" more space this month! More Home & Crafts books for Fall equals more fun! History section manager Lin M.'s shelves are overflowing! FOPAL received two large donations from no-longer-active professors, one of 17th-century British political history and one American pre-revolution regional and pre-Constitution general history. These books are in good shape, and the topics are of specialized interest. Think, pre-revolution and Articles of Confederation stuff, plus a lot of historiographies. There are a lot of Mao Tse-tung's writings as well. Also, check out the History section for minor selections of obscure American history books, British ones, and on the red cart regional politics.


This month the History section has a large collection of books on United States colonial history, most in excellent condition. We also have a large selection of early US history, including new books on the early presidents. If you're interested in the Constitution and how it was written and modified there are two shelves of Constitutional history on the red carts. The red carts also hold books on exploration and geography, off-beat history, and many of our larger volumes. We also received a large donation of books on ancient Greece and Rome, including a nice paperback copy of Mary Beard's Fires of Vesuvius. And as always, there are many one-of-a-kind books priced to move!

-Linda McAllister

Children's Room

Halloween is coming soon, and we have lots of spooky picture BOOks for the holiday (including my favorite, Room on the Broom). Look for them just inside the front door and in slant boxes on the wooden table. The Non-Fiction section is having another overstock sale this month, with BIG bargains on fascinating books. In World Languages, we've received several large donations; you'll find lots of Chinese manga and quality Korean picture books, and our French, Italian, and German shelves are packed. Special this month: many, many books in Polish! The School-Age Fiction section offers giftable illustrated copies of Peter Pan, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and The Secret Garden. Also look for sets of the full Narnia series. If you're a fan of the Wimpy Kid series, be sure to shop this month--that shelf is bursting. We also have lots of Rick Riordan adventure/fantasy novels, and for readers who've finished the early Harry Potter books, there are many copies of the later books in the series. Teachers who want to augment their classroom libraries at little expense will find multiple copies of award winners. And as always, the Activities section offers plenty of math and science textbooks and workbooks and a full bookshelf of graphic novels and humor.

-Carolyn Davidson

Children's Vintage

I love children's vintage books! They bring back so many happy memories of reading as a kid. And nothing is closer to my heart than the series books that I used to curl up on my bed with and read for hours on end. So I'm happy to bring you some of my (and I hope, your) favorites this month. We're stocked with Nancy Drews, Tom Swift Jrs, Trixies, and even a Cherry Ames and Christopher Cool, Teen Agent book or two. Even older, WWII-era series are part of the collection. For those who want something a bit more substantial, we have close to 20 Observer Books published by Frederick Warne, London. These 4"x6" volumes fit in the palm on your hand and can give you the scoop on stamps, seashells, and other non-fiction topics. And once again, there are plenty of those classics and Louisa May Alcott books (in particular) to complete your collection.

The younger kids' section features some spooky (and not so spooky) Halloween favorites for starters. We are also bringing back a pop-up section with some editions in pristine, definitely collectible condition. For the Charlie Brown fans among us, we have a whole section set aside for Peanuts and the Gang. And last but not least, some over-sized 1940s Watty Piper/Platt & Munk books as well as a 1st edition Eloise in Moscow round out some really special items.

-Lisa Heitman

October book reviews

Hello Friends! Despite what the weather might indicate, it's finally fall! Here are my picks for cozying up to some sci-fi. These are some of my favorite sci-fi series, so if you enjoy these you can gobble up the rest of them. Fun fact: I actually met Lisa McMann, author of The Unwanteds! She visited my middle school a while back. It was an awesome experience meeting her, and getting to ask all the questions I had for her. Shoutout to the best librarian I've ever had (not a long list but she is really awesome) Ms. Lee!

1. Pendragon: The Merchant of Death by D.J. McHale

I first came across this book looking for The Ranger's Apprentice as someone had recommended it to me. I mistook this book for it and was a bit confused on what rangers or apprentices had anything to do with it. I did end up enjoying it nonetheless. The Merchant of Death explains the origins of Bobby Pendragon, how he discovers he is a Traveler and completes his first mission. If that sounds like nonsense to you, it sounds the same to Bobby! He's lived his life thus far as the star player on his basketball team and pining after the school's dream girl, Courtney Chetwynde. His long-awaited moment with her was interrupted by his mysterious uncle, and he's whisked away to what's about to become his new life.

This book is nothing groundbreaking, but I think it's a great read to escape into. The plot is fun, the characters are interesting, the tension is there. If you know you like sci-fi and adventure, you'll like this book. I like how the world is introduced to the reader as it is being introduced to Bobby. I didn't find it to be too hard to follow or too simplified. There was definitely a lot to be explained, but I imagine the answers will be found in the rest of the series. I appreciated how a lot of the horrors occurring in the domain were properly addressed. McHale included the physical and mental toll that being subjected to that would bring to a person (I have to guess he wasn't exactly writing what he knew) who experienced it. Bobby is rightfully confused, horrified, and overwhelmed as a 14 year old boy in an incomprehensible situation. It isn't something I see very often, especially in books for this age demographic.

I believe this book accomplishes exactly what it set out to do: provide a fantastical sci-fi adventure with an idealized version of the target demographic as a protagonist. While this isn't the kind of book I would have leaned towards, I still read it and liked it. I wanted to shine a (albeit small) spotlight on this series because I've never heard anyone else mention it. I think it has the potential to have a bigger following. If you're interested, it'll be in the Children's Room this weekend at the sale!

2. The Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

I was really quite excited to read this one. Like I mentioned in the Pendragon review, a close friend of mine really loved this series and recommended it to me (thanks Joffy). I never ended up reading it, however. This is my first book of my reviews that I didn't reread! And my my, this book definitely wowed me. It tells a wonderful tale of a young boy in a fantasy world growing up and transitioning into manhood in the midst of war. I was very pleasantly surprised with the masterful storytelling. Flanagan's writing is stuffed with colorful descriptions, almost every noun with an accompanying adjective. He paints a very vivid picture of the setting, bringing the careful worldbuilding to life. I'm a big fan of the interactions between the characters, especially with all the orphan children under Baron Arald.

What came to my mind when reading this book was dungeons and dragons! I don't know much about the game (is it a game?) but I have been a part of an unfinishing campaign! I enjoyed my dungeons and dragons experience and I definitely think it's a cool hobby. If you are into it as well, check this book out! I think you'd like it. Or if you like larping! Or any kind of fantasy! The plot is well-paced, with nothing feeling dragged out or rushed. I felt an overall build in excitement as the climax grew closer and closer. I liked the relationship between Will, the protagonist, and his enemy Horace but it left something to be desired. I thought the relationship between Will and his mentor, Halt, was a stronger dynamic. Unlike a lot of other fantasy stories, this book is magicless! A lot of the time I feel like magic in these fantasy stories are done poorly, feeling cheap. It's not properly explained or developed, and the rules are most of the time unclear (and unfollowed!). I liked how this book instead used weaponry closer to real life. Brings an extra layer of relatability. Speaking of relatability, I also enjoyed how the protagonist is a regular kid. Unlike the idealized super star Bobby Pendragon, Will is more of an average 15 year old kid who just happens to live in a war throttled fantasy land.

The Ranger's Apprentice is fun to follow and is very easy to place yourself in. I think that's a huge (HUGE) factor in the popularity of certain franchises. While this book doesn't have such a distinctly crucial grouping system, I think the world is still pretty natural to put yourself in. Come check out The Ranger's Apprentice's first book and see if you want to dive into the rest of the series!

3. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Oh man I was waiting for this one. I loved this series in my late elementary school years and rereading it? Wow oh wow the memories. Honestly, the whole reason I'm doing this theme is to review The Unwanteds as I just love it so much. It's great! I'm usually not a huge fan of dystopian type stories, especially involving children (the suffering of children makes me very sad). I would say it's what I like to call 'vanilla dystopian'. It isn't too dark and devastating, but it does have some more serious occurrences. I may be a little biased with all the nostalgia blinding me, but I really do love these books.

On the island of Quill, citizens are sorted into 3 classes of people. Wanteds, Necessaries, and Unwanteds (roll credits). The book begins with two twins born of necessary parents, Aaron and Alex. Alex, our protagonist, is announced as Unwanted. In this cruel world, Unwanteds are sent to be - purged. Spoiler alert, they aren't. I actually really like the magic system of this world. I think the integration with art is done in an interesting and creative way. What I especially like is the use of a bunch of different art mediums! I think the characters are well done. I really enjoyed the sibling tension between the twins, and how it develops over the series. I think McMann has a gift when it comes to her word choice.

This is the only series out of the three that I've read in its entirety, so I'm a bit more informed when it comes to recommending the entire series. The worldbuilding unravels very fluidly across the books. It has a follow up series as well, and while i didn't like it as much as the first I do still recommend it. These books hold a special place in my heart and I believe they deserve any credit they have gotten- and more. I hope you feel implored to check them out this weekend in the Children's Room!

-Hannah Miradi


On the top shelf in Poetry, look for a selection of artistic and quaint covers. Then, take a deep dive to the second to last shelf in the Poetry section, where you will find a collection of books on Classics, mostly Greek and Roman, and many from the collection of Donna Zuckerberg, Classicist and sister of Mark.

-Mandy MacCalla

European Language

We have 5 boxes' worth of books in Greek and Latin. Almost all are in very good condition, clean and unmarked inside. They include some Loeb Classics, a fair number of Cambridge Greek and Latin Texts, and several Oxford Classical Texts.

-Susan Strain


Art section will have a special sale for Auction Catalogues, including catalogues from Sotheby's, Christies, Bonhams, and Phillips etc. Here is a video highlighting the books.

-Fiona W.

Fiction Boutique

Enjoy choosing from a tempting selection of both recent hardcover and paperback novels.

-Marian Knox


The Philosophy section has received a lot of new material recently with featured books for October related to Machiavelli, Locke, Russell and Wittgenstein. Also available is a rare vintage set, the Complete Works of Schiller, 12 volumes, 1817, in very good condition. Included are not only his philosophical writings but also other works including poetry and drama.

-Nigel Jones


Among Humor's new additions for October are three new items making their first appearance: the hardback Best of Punch, Crocket Johnson's Barnaby, and Droodles by Robert Price. For Peanuts fans we have from the Complete Peanuts series, one in excellent condition and two Ex Libris. Also look for two books by Gorey, and one by Myles Na Gopaleen, James Joyce's favorite Irish writer.

-Nigel Jones


Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion and culture including editions of the Torah and other basic texts, Kabbalah, Jewish history, the Holocaust, memoirs, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects.

New this month - The Jewish Study Bible; Man's Search for Meaning; Shivitti: A Vision; Creators and Disturbers: Reminiscences by Jewish Intellectuals of New York; New York Jews and the Quest for Community; The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List; At Home in America.

Most fiction with Jewish themes will be found in Modern Literature/Classics or Current Fiction. Books entirely in Hebrew are shelved in the European Languages section.

-Charlotte Epstein

Science (STEM)

Donations have picked up this month and our shelves are full again. All shelves are pictured and available for viewing at

-Edwin El-Kareh

Sheet Music

We continue to receive yet more large donations. Fortunately, we still have space below the STEM books. All shelf pictures are at Because most sheet music is spineless, most every item has been individually pictured. Each musical instrument has its own webpage, so pictures should be faster to get to.

-Edwin El-Kareh

Health & Medicine

Past, present and future: all of these are addressed in the Health & Medicine section at this month's sale!

The Medicine section continues to have vintage medical books along with newer editions of valuable texts such as da Vita's Principles and Practice of Oncology. Some books on veterinary medicine have found their way onto these shelves to broaden your expertise.

The Health section has a focus on the past and present with Moonshot by Dr. Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer telling the story of the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. Could this also be about the future? Or is the future more related to books that can improve your current health, such as a Dr. John Sarno's The Divided Mind or to begin a discussion about the end of life with Atul Gawande's Being Mortal?

Come peruse the shelves and decide for yourself!

-Susan Light


We have made it past Drop-off Donations 3.0 and have returned to accepting donations without the need to make an appointment.


We are closed for donations from Sunday October 2 through Sunday October 9 to prepare the Main Room for this weekend's sale. Please hold your donations until Monday October 10.

Please read our donation guidelines before you bring materials to us.

All that said, our normal hours for drop-off donations are Monday through Saturday, 3pm-5pm. (But not the week before the sale.)


We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our book sale. Please email us at

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