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September 2012: Staff Reviews & More
Here are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great events coming up. Plus, check out the new fiction titles out this month.
|Our staff brings you three new favorites:
The Dog Stars
by Peter Heller
reviewed by Jennifer
This is a standout among the many dystopian novels on the bookshelves
these days. Heller's writing is both exciting and poetic, and his
storytelling ability will leave you on the edge of your seat. The Dog Stars
is about a pilot who has taken refuge with his beloved dog in an
abandoned airport after a pandemic has wiped out most of the
population. Part adventure, part love story, Heller's novel (his third)
is above all a very human story about loss, risk, and survival. I
highly recommend this great read!
by Colin Meloy
reviewed by Kate
Like the first book in Colin Meloy's series, Under Wildwood
is a well-written adventure in and around a magical version of
Portland's Forest Park. Curtis is now a bandit-in-training, while Prue
has returned to school, where she can't quite forget about her
adventures in Wildwood, not least because various plants
keep talking to her. New characters and locations are introduced, but
Curtis and Prue continue to have major roles. Unafraid of dealing with
big issues such as family and death in a kid's book, Meloy nonetheless
keeps the plot moving along and there are plenty of moments to make
readers giggle. Grand adventure, dastardly villains, and some moments of
genuine suspense all go in to making this an instant kid's classic.
The Emily Dickinson Reader
by Paul Legault
reviewed by Brian
With Paul Legault's impeccable translations of Emily Dickinson's
complete poems, we can finally know what the strange and enigmatic poet
was talking about. If you think you don't like Dickinson, Legault may
just change your mind. Here's a taste:
48. Whose face is this? Oh, it's a dead person's face.
1017. Souls are itching to get the hell out of their bodies.
1739. I'm lame, because I'm not a bird.
Now that's some poetry that takes the top of my head off.
Readings & Hobbit Party
|Upcoming Events at Annie Blooms:
A Brilliant Novel in the Works
Thursday, September 20, 7pm
Yuvi worries. He has a wife who wants things he can't give her, an
editor who wants a book he can't deliver, a brother-in-law whose
gastrointestinal disease may lead him to a morbid end, and dead parents
who, well, they don't really want anything, but that doesn't stop the
memory of them from haunting him. Heartbreaking and hilarious, A Brilliant Novel in the Works
is the utterly original debut novel from Yuvi Zalkow, praised by
Cheryl Strayed as "the secret love child of the smartest person you've
ever met and the weirdo who lives down the block."
|A Brilliant Novel in the Works book trailer
The Hobbit Party!
Sunday, September 23, 2pm
Join us for a fun celebration of The Hobbit.
This year is the 75th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale of
Bilbo Baggins, who ventures forth from the comfort of his home in the
Shire to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug.
Mark your calendars now, and look forward to future details on all the
awesome activities we'll have in store for you at our Hobbit Party!
Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man
Tuesday, October 2, 7pm
This biography is the first full life of the leader of Lincoln's "team
of rivals" to appear in more than forty years. William Henry Seward was
one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century. He was
also fascinating. Most nights this well-known raconteur with unruly hair
and untidy clothes would gather diplomats, soldiers, politicians, or
actors around his table to enjoy a cigar, a drink, and a good story.
Drawing on hundreds of sources not available to or neglected by previous
biographers, Walter Stahr sheds new light on this complex and central
figure, as well as on pivotal events of the Civil War and its aftermath.
Matthew Dickman with Jay Nebel
Thursday, October 4, 7pm
At the center of Matthew Dickman's Mayakovsky's Revolver
is the suicide of his 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.
Jay Nebel will be reading from his chapbook, Loud Mouth. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House, Narrative, and others. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and kids.
William L. Sullivan
"Folk Heroes of the Northwest" Slideshow
Wednesday, October 10, 7pm
The author of the "100 Hikes" guide book series presents a slideshow on
"D.B. Cooper & the Exploding Whale: Folk Heroes of the Northwest."
Sullivan's new historical mystery is The Case of D.B. Cooper's Parachute.
Portland police detective Neil Ferguson uncovers a series of puzzling
and threatening clues that lead to the identity of D.B. Cooper, the
mysterious man who hijacked a plane and parachuted with $200,000 in
1971. But when Ferguson delves deeper into a web of blackmail and
murder, he realizes there may in fact be two D.B. Coopers.
by Hillary Jordan
From the author of Mudbound
comes this fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an
America of the not-too-distant future. Hannah unknowingly embarks on a
path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once
held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith.
Now out in paperback!
by Michael Chabon
Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are co-owners of Brokeland Records, a
used vinyl store located in Oakland. When ex-NFL star Gibson Goode plans
to build a megastore nearby, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom
for their vulnerable enterprise. Meanwhile, their wives (also business
partners) have their profession and friendship tested; Archy's deadbeat
dad comes back to town; and Archy's unacknowledged teenage son appears.
This Is How You Lose Her
by Junot Diaz
Here, Diaz writes of love: obsessive love, illicit love, fading love,
maternal love. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible,
irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled
only by his recklessness--and by the extraordinary women he loves and
loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all
Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak
ultimately becomes his own.
by Zadie Smith
This tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners--Leah, Natalie, Felix
and Nathan--as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the
council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks,
at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful
as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and
taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end.