October 2012 Staff Reviews & More

Constant Contact
In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
Posters for Teachers
Staff Reviews
Readings
New Poetry
More Staff Faves
Posters for Teachers
Tired of staring at blank walls in your classroom? Annie Bloom's gets lots of promotional posters for children's books, and now we've started a Teacher's Box (or two). So, teachers, next time you're in the store, please ask to take a look. 
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October 2012: Staff Reviews & More

Greetings!

Here are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great events coming up. Plus, check out what's new in Poetry.   
Staff Reviews
Our staff brings you three new favorites:

The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo 
by F. G. Haghenbeck
reviewed by Sharon 

This book is a great way to learn about the life and art of Frida Kahlo. Using a blend of creative fiction, biographical facts, and some tasty sounding traditional Mexican recipes, Haghenbeck brings us a vibrant rendition of Frida's life. Although she was plagued by crippling health problems, her passionate and colorful personality comes through. We learn of the near fatal bus accident that greatly influenced her life, her tumultuous marriage to the well known artist Diego Rivera (her second "great accident," according to Frida), and her various friendships and affairs with the likes of Georgia O'Keefe, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Leon Trotsky, and Nelson Rockefeller. The recipes from her "Hierba Santa Book" (Sacred Herbs Book) add zest to the story by connecting her passion for cooking to the people that she cared about. The story is told beautifully and imaginatively... and in a style as brazen and colorful as the artist herself.

 

Economix

by Michael Goodwin & Dan E. Burr

reviewed by Andy

This is a wonderful, accessible, and funny run down of the entire history of economics and a succinct explication of the current economic crisis--which ends up showing the painful repetition of history in some detail.If you know what a credit default swap is, or why you might want to avoid the riskiest tranche in a mortgage backed security, this book is too simple for you.If these terms mean nothing to you, or if you don't know the similarities between the actions of Hank Paulson and Andrew Mellon, this book is necessary reading.It is a great starting point for exploring our current economic situation and its intimate ties to politics.And, again, the author and illustrator have done the impossible: it's funny and entertaining!It's actually a page-turner! This would be an excellent book for a teenager, too.Go to economixcomix.com and you can see the list of references for this well-researched (if biased) book. 

 

Toby's Room

by Pat Barker

reviewed by Pat 

Elinor is a student at the Slade School of Fine Art in London when World War I breaks out. She is a pacifist and wants nothing to do with the war. Her fellow student, Kit, volunteers for service, as does her beloved brother Toby. These men are interlinked in war and its aftermath.

 

After Toby is reported missing in action, presumed dead, Elinor becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to him. She isolates herself in the country where they grew up and mourns him by painting the pastoral landscape of their childhood. Seeking more answers, she volunteers at the hospital where Kit, who served in Toby's unit, is undergoing surgery to replace his missing nose. Her job is to draw soldiers' ruined faces before and after surgery, in order to help the surgeons record the progression of their work.

 

World War I trench warfare exposed soldiers to a vast increase in facial wounds. The author notes that the original portraits, along with the case histories of many of the patients, are archived and available online. I haven't had the courage to look.

Readings
Upcoming Readings at Annie Blooms:

Polly Campbell
Imperfect Spirituality
Thursday, November 1, 7pm
Imperfect Spirituality is filled with practical tips and dozens of examples, as well as anecdotes from real people who are striving to grow both spiritually and personally. Each chapter features fascinating research about how the mind-body-spirit connection really works, as well as illuminating quotes and informative, easy-to-do takeaways from leading-edge academic and spiritual experts who both study and practice the techniques explored in the book.

Polina Olsen with Michael Wells
Portland in the 1960s
Wednesday, November 7, 7pm
Portland boasted a vibrant 1960s culture of disenchanted and disenfranchised individuals seeking social and political revolution. Through stories from the counterculture, Polina Olsen brings to life the beat-snapping Caffe Espresso, the incense and black light posters of the Psychedelic Supermarket, and the spontaneous concerts and communal soups in Lair Park. Olsen will be joined by Michael Wells, editor and publisher of "The Willamette Bridge," Portland's alternative newspaper of the late 1960s and early '70s. 

Kim Stafford
100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: A Memoir
Thursday, November 8, 7pm
Bret and Kim Stafford, the oldest boys of the Poet Laureate and pacifist William Stafford, were inseparable during childhood. Later, Bret--a puritan in the summer of love, a conscientious objector in the Vietnam era--became a casualty of his own interior war and took his life, leaving the family to endure the loss. Through Kim's devotions, he shares Bret's life and what it teaches us about the secret nature of depression, the tender ancestry of violence, the quest for harmonious relations, and finally, the trick of joy.

Harriett Wrye
Pulling Up Stakes
Monday, November 12, 7pm
On a High Sierra pack trip with her husband and their six llamas, psychologist Harriet Wrye felt a millennial call to "pull up stakes" in her life, as she did with tent stakes and llama stakes each day as they moved along the trail. Inspired, she closed her Los Angeles psychoanalytic practice of thirty years, they leased their house at the beach and set out on a journey to the "back of beyond." Creating a sabbatical from the familiar, her journey became a life-changing spiritual pilgrimage that led to a deep practice of letting go of assumptions, habits and patterns, and stepping into freedom. Pulling Up Stakes chronicles her journey. 
New Poetry 
Thousand Mornings
by Mary Oliver
Oliver returns to the imagery that has come to define her life's work, transporting us to the marshland and coastline of her beloved home, Provincetown, Massachusetts. In these pages, Oliver shares the wonder of dawn, the grace of animals, and the transformative power of attention. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her adored dog, Percy, she is ever patient in her observations and open to the teachings contained in the smallest of moments.

Finding My Elegy
by Ursula K. Le Guin

This collection distills Le Guin's life's work, offering a selection of the best from her six earlier volumes of poetry and introducing a powerful group of poems, at once earthy and transcendent, written in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The seventy selected and seventy-seven new poems consider war and creativity, motherhood and the natural world, and glint with humor and vivid beauty. These moving works of art are a reckoning with a whole life.

Mayakovsky's Revolver
by Matthew Dickman
At the center of this collection is the suicide of Dickman's older brother. Known for poems of universality of feeling, expressive lyricism of reflection, and heartrending allure, Dickman is a powerful poet whose new collection explores how to persevere in the wake of grief. From the title poem: "In the dark I can see my older brother walking through the tall brush of his brain. I can see him standing in the lobby of the hotel, alone, crying along with the ice machine."

Blood Sisters of the Republic
by Wendy Wills
Portland poet Wendy Willis is an adjunct fellow at the Attic Institute and has published her works in a variety of national and regional journals. Blood Sisters of the Republic is her debut poetry collection. Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen writes: "Willis' splendid poems make one astonishing yet satisfying leap after another. Each line is chock-a-block with a jazzy, jostling sound all her own."