Oregon author Brian Doyle's The Mighty Currawongs is a collection of headlong tales—exploring such riveting and peculiar topics as chess in the Levant, tailors who specialize in holes, how to report stigmata to your attending physician, the intense hilarity of basketball, how to have a bitter verbal marital fight in your car, an all-Chinese football team in Australia, soccer and Catholicism, what it's like to be in a ska band, a singing Korean baker, an archbishop who loses his faith between the salad and the entrée, genius Girl Scouts who save a radio station, and a baby born from a lake in Illinois. And some other fascinating stories. Really. Trust us.
Froelich's Ladder, the debut novel from Portland author Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, is a fabulist adventure novel set in a reimagined nineteenth-century Pacific Northwest. When Froelich disappears from the fourth-tallest ladder in the world, his nephew's quest to find him interlaces with the journeys of two spunky young women who outwit their guardians. In a Wild West populated with immigrants, skittish Civil War veterans, hungry clouds, a circus menagerie, and a few murderers, this fairy-tale twist on the American dream explores the conflict between loyalty and ambition, and the need for connection, even at the highest rungs.