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Funky Furniture From SOBU

Alessandro Latini spent more than a decade designing furniture that wound up at places like Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Pottery Barn, and other mass-market stores. Now, the designs he creates for SOBU, a company he owns and runs with his wife, Laleh, veer far away from those mall favorites.

East Bay Children’s Book Project puts books into kids’ hands.

Oh, the places you’ll go!” Dr. Seuss famously said, and his admiring exclamation certainly applies to the East Bay Children’s Book Project, started in 2005 by a few retired teachers who wanted to give books to kids with little or no access to the written word. Little did the tiny band of literacy warriors know that less than a decade later, the books distributed would number almost a million—and counting.

Charmed by Lodi’s Old Vines

For a town that’s best known for Creedence Clearwater Revival’s lyrical languishing at their misfortune to be stuck in Lodi (again), it’s no surprise to find an underdog undercurrent running through the vineyards and into downtown Lodi. Over the years, Lodi has watched Napa command the wine spotlight, all the while supplying many Sonoma Valley wineries with grapes. These days, you’re more likely to see Lodi printed on a Sonoma Valley wine label. While the Central Valley residents are pleased that their hard work is finally being recognized, they aren’t afraid to remind you that the recognition is decades late in arriving. Today, outsiders are finally discovering this small town and the charm it’s held onto while thriving in Napa’s shadow.

Rachel Konte of OwlNWood describes her store.

The OwlNWood’s fashion maven Rachel Konte talks shop as her store celebrates an anniversary.

Our holiday gift guide scours East Bay stores for fabulous finds.

Our don't-miss list of what's hot and exciting this season in the East Bay.

Outside-the-box ideas for your favorite sports fiend.

Sure-to-please gifts for the active people in you life.

Alameda shopping stops for the holidays.

Gifts for all on your list.

The East Bay's Best Doctors

Being considered the best at anything often means taking on extraordinary challenges and succeeding—even if the odds aren’t in your favor. For the past 20 years, Best Doctors Inc., a company founded by two Harvard physicians, has conducted a peer-to-peer survey of the medical profession asking physicians, “If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer them?”

The List of Best Doctors

These lists are excerpted from The Best Doctors in America’s 2013 database, which includes more than 45,000 doctors in more than 40 medical specialties. The Best Doctors in America’s database is compiled and maintained by Best Doctors, Inc. For more information, visit www.bestdoctors.com or contact Best Doctors by telephone at 800-675-1199 or by e-mail at research@bestdoctors.com. Please note that lists of doctors are not available on the Best Doctors Web site.

The Active Traveler

Juggling the fall routine is getting frustrating. One kid’s in soccer practice, another is in gymnastics, and my work schedule is proving unreliable for keeping my summer strength workout routine. Any advice for what I can do?