March 2012 Staff Reviews & More

Constant Contact
In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
New CDs
Staff Reviews
More Staff Faves
100 great poems
The Wise Man's Fear
Patrick Rothfuss 

Alice LaPlante 

Erin Kelly 
New CDs
columbia logoThe venerable veterans of the music industry have issued two of the most critically praised albums of early 2012. Check out these new releases from 124-year-old Columbia Records, now available for $12.98 each at Annie Bloom's:

Bruce Springsteen

Leonard Cohen
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March 2012: Staff Reviews & More


We have three new staff reviews for you! Also, we have some great readings coming up. Read on and find out more .... 
Staff Reviews
That Is All
by John Hodgman
Reviewed by Brian
100 great poems Hodgman continues his romp through the absurd with his third and final book of Complete World Knowledge. Come, explore the world of wine and sports, choice vacation spots, and the bloody and horrible end of the world (of which you will certainly not survive) through the mind of the world's premier deranged millionaire. Hodgman is a perfect mix of the bizarre, the hilarious, and the nerdy (Lovecraftians, take heed). If you're worried you'll be lost because you haven't read the first two books of Complete World Knowledge, don't be--it wouldn't make any more sense if you had. Highly recommended. By me, deranged bookseller Brian Graham.

Contents May Have Shifted
by Pam Houston
Reviewed by Carol
Pam lives a frequent-flyer life while trying to escape the memory of an abusive childhood and the failure of past relationships. She's trying to create a future with a man who may be the one--if he can only move past his feelings for the mother of his young daughter. The brief snapshots of Pam's travels and her interactions with those she loves piece together a solid work of fiction. Experience a Tibetan sky burial and an encounter with a Tunisian night watchman willing to sell a 2,000 year-old relic for $11.00, and a relationship that makes coming home worthwhile.

A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness
Reviewed by Kate
This book is a lot of fun. It has good world building and a really well developed alternate-history timeline, plus I like all of the tidbits on medieval texts and alchemy that are slipped in. I would recommend this highly if what you are looking for is a fast, entertaining read that features magic and which you don't have to feel too embarrassed about reading. This book is a perfect crossover book for young adults looking for a bit more "oomph", or a fast and fun read for adults who like a good fantasy fix now again. While very much a first novel, I have high hopes that Harkness's writing style will develop as this trilogy goes on.
We have a bunch of great readings in late March and early April. Here's what you have to look forward to:

Portland Poets
Judith Barrington & Paul Merchant
Thursday, March 29, 7pm
Judith Barrington is a poet and memoirist who has published three collections of poetry, a prize-winning memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir. Her most recent poetry is collected in two new chapbooks, Postcard From the Bottom of the Sea and Lost Lands. Judith grew up in England and moved to the Portland in 1976. Paul Merchant taught for many years at Warwick University before becoming William Stafford Archivist at Lewis & Clark College. His fourth collection of poems, Some Business of Affinity (2006), was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award.

Brian Doyle
Bin Laden's Bald Spot
Monday, April 2, 7pm
Brian Doyle, author of Mink River, returns to Annie Bloom's to read from his new short story collection, Bin Laden's Bald Spot. In Doyle's fiction, the odd is happening all the time, reported upon by characters of every sort and stripe. Swirling voices and skeins of story, laughter and rage, ferocious attention to detail and sweeping nuttiness, tears and chortling--these stories will remind readers of the late giant David Foster Wallace, in their straightforward accounts of anything-but-straightforward events; of modern short story pioneer Raymond Carver, a bit, in their blunt, unadorned dialogue; and of Julia Whitty, a bit, in their willingness to believe what is happening, even if it absolutely shouldn't be.

Phillip Margolin
Capitol Murder
Tuesday, April 3, 7pm
100 great poems Phillip Margolin returns to Annie Bloom's to launch his new thriller! Private investigator Dana Cutler and attorney Brad Miller--the heroes of Executive Privilege and Supreme Justice--are back in Capitol Murder. Convicted serial killer Clarence Little has escaped from death row in Oregon, and Brad receives threatening messages in D.C., where he is working for Senator Jack Carson. While Dana is in Oregon digging into Carson's shady background, a terrorist cell is poised to destroy a packed professional football stadium in one of the biggest attacks on American soil. As the senator's personal life begins to dovetail with the cell's evil plan, Brad and Dana will risk it all again to uncover the truth and save their country.

Jacqueline Winspear
Elegy for Eddie
Thursday, April 12, 7pm
Annie Bloom's is thrilled to host Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries. Dobbs is a psychologist and investigator working in post-World War I England. Elegy for Eddie, the ninth book in the series, finds Maisie taking on her most personal case yet, a twisting investigation that will take her across London, from her childhood neighborhood to the highest echelons of power.