April 2021: New in Poetry, Our Bestsellers, Author Readings, and More!

April 2021: New in Poetry, Our Bestsellers, Author Readings, and More!
 
Read about the latest Poetry books, see which titles are the most popular at Annie Bloom's, and check out our upcoming online Author Readings! But first.....
 
New Releases
by Willy Vlautin
Out Now!
 
Barely thirty, Lynette is exhausted. Saddled with bad credit and juggling multiple jobs, some illegally, she's been diligently working to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother Kenny. A week before they’re set to sign the loan papers, her mother gets cold feet and reneges on her promise to cover the rest of the asking price, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need. Set over two days and two nights, The Night Always Comes follows Lynette's frantic search—an odyssey of hope and anguish that will bring her face to face with greedy rich men and ambitious hustlers, those benefiting and those left behind by a city in the throes of a transformative boom. As her desperation builds and her pleas for help go unanswered, Lynette makes a dangerous choice that sets her on a precarious, frenzied spiral. A heart-wrenching portrait of a woman hungry for security and a home in a rapidly changing city, The Night Always Comes raises the difficult questions we are often too afraid to ask ourselves: What is the price of gentrification, and how far are we really prepared to go to achieve the American Dream?
by Jenny Lawson
Out Now!
 
From the author of Furiously Happy and Let's Pretend This Never Happened comes a deeply relatable book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety. As Jenny Lawson's hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we're not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor—the Ricky to Jenny's Lucille Ball—is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson's already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.
Jack (Paperback)
by Marilynne Robinson
Out Now!
 
Robinson's mythical world of Gilead, Iowa—the setting of her novels Gilead, Home, and Lila, and now Jack—and its beloved characters have illuminated and interrogated the complexities of American history, the power of our emotions, and the wonders of a sacred world. Jack is Robinson's fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead's Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher. Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life, then and now.
by Isabel Allende
Out Now!
 
In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark for Chile on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda: "the long petal of sea and wine and snow." As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along. A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile, and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea shows Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.
by Haruki Murakami
Out: April 6
 
A mind-bending new collection of short stories from the internationally acclaimed Haruki Murakami. The eight stories in this new book are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From memories of youth, meditations on music, and an ardent love of baseball, to dreamlike scenarios and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator may or may not be Murakami himself. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides. Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory. . . all with a signature Murakami twist.
Simon the Fiddler (Paperback)
by Paulette Jiles
Out Now!
 
The author of News of the World returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart. In 1865, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, conscripted soldier and fiddler Simon Boudlin and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There, Simon can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Dillon, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter. After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel's family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again. Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles's trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart's yearning.
by Delia Owens
Out Now!
 
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life––until the unthinkable happens. Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
by Jacqueline Winspear
Out Now!
 
As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation, Maisie Dobbs investigates a possible murder that threatens devastating repercussions for Britain's war efforts. October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she's working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. As Maisie becomes entangled in a power struggle between Britain's intelligence efforts in France and the work of Free French agents operating across Europe, she must also contend with the lingering question of Freddie Hackett's state of mind. What she uncovers could hold disastrous consequences for all involved.
The Night Watchman (Paperback)
by Louise Erdrich
Out Now!
 
Based on the extraordinary life of Erdrich's grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman. In 1953, Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. Patrice Paranteau makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis and may have disappeared. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.
by Jeff Kinney
Out Now!
 
Scare yourself silly with Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories by Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Grab a flashlight, crawl under the covers, and dive into the twisted, unexpectedly hilarious world of Rowley Jefferson's imagination. You'll meet zombies, vampires, ghosts, and much more in these comically terrifying tales. Rowley's spooky stories might leave you laughing, but beware—you could end up sleeping with the lights on! And don't miss Rowley Jefferson's first two awesome friendly books, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal and Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure!
by Sue Monk Kidd
Out Now!
 
Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history. Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
 
Upcoming Releases
by Patrick Radden Keefe
Out: April 13
 
From the author of Say Nothing comes this grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d'Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America's second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes.
by Paula McLain
Out: April 13
 
From author of The Paris Wife comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined destinies and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal? Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing. Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives—and our faith in one another.
All Adults Here (Paperback)
by Emma Straub
Out: April 13
 
When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence? Astrid's youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid's thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.
by Anthony Bourdain
Out: April 20
 
In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of Anthony Bourdain's favorite places—in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable. Supplementing Bourdain's words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place. Additionally, each chapter includes illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook. Coauthor Laurie Woolever is a writer and editor, and spent nearly a decade assisting Bourdain, with whom she coauthored the cookbook Appetites in 2016. For veteran travelers, armchair enthusiasts, and those in between, World Travel offers a chance to experience the world like Anthony Bourdain.
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Out: April 27
 
A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies––her first in nearly a decade. Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. The woman at the center wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home, an engaging backdrop to her days, acts as a confidant: the sidewalks around her house, parks, bridges, piazzas, streets, stores, coffee bars. We follow her to the pool she frequents and to the train station that sometimes leads her to her mother, mired in a desperate solitude after her father's untimely death. In addition to colleagues at work, where she never quite feels at ease, she has girl friends, guy friends, and "him," a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun's vital heat, her perspective will change. This is the first novel she has written in Italian and translated into English. It brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.
by John Grisham
Out: April 27
 
In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work. During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp. Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it's just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. There is plenty of more mature talent on the team, but Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham's unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.
by Andy Weir
Out: May 4
 
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it's up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he's got to do it all alone. Or does he? An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
by Michael Lewis
Out: May 4
 
For those who could read between the lines, the censored news out of China was terrifying. But the president insisted there was nothing to worry about. Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis's taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19. The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl's science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm's-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society. A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu…everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work. Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.
 
Annie Bloom's Bestsellers
by Amanda Gorman
Out Now!
 
Amanda Gorman's powerful and historic poem "The Hill We Climb," read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition. On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe. Her poem "The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country" can now be cherished in this special gift edition. Including an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, this keepsake celebrates the promise of America and affirms the power of poetry.
by Anne Lamott
Out Now!
 
In Dusk, Night, Dawn, Anne Lamott explores the tough questions that many of us grapple with. How can we recapture the confidence we once had as we stumble through the dark times that seem increasingly bleak? As bad news piles up—from climate crises to daily assaults on civility—how can we cope? Where, she asks, "do we start to get our world and joy and hope and our faith in life itself back . . . with our sore feet, hearing loss, stiff fingers, poor digestion, stunned minds, broken hearts?" We begin, Lamott says, by accepting our flaws and embracing our humanity. Full of the honesty, humor, and humanity that have made her beloved by millions of readers, Dusk, Night, Dawn is classic Anne Lamott—thoughtful and comic, warm and wise—and further proof that she truly speaks to the better angels in all of us.
by Dav Pilkey
 
Dog Man and Petey face their biggest challenges yet in the tenth Dog Man book from worldwide bestselling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey. Dog Man is down on his luck, Petey confronts his not so purr-fect past, and Grampa is up to no good. The world is spinning out of control as new villains spill into town. Everything seems dark and full of despair. But hope is not lost. Can the incredible power of love save the day? Pilkey's wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including love, empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good.
by Kazuo Ishiguro
 
Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love? In its award citation in 2017, the Nobel committee described Ishiguro's books as "novels of great emotional force" and said he has "uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."
by Heather McGhee
 
An economic and social policy expert, McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy's collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
 
The long-awaited follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer, The Committed follows the man of two minds as he arrives in Paris in the early 1980s with his blood brother Bon. The pair try to overcome their pasts and ensure their futures by engaging in capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. Traumatized by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, Man, and struggling to assimilate into French culture, the Sympathizer finds Paris both seductive and disturbing. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals whom he meets at dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese "aunt," he finds stimulation for his mind but also customers for his narcotic merchandise. But the new life he is making has perils he has not foreseen, whether the self-torture of addiction, the authoritarianism of a state locked in a colonial mindset, or the seeming paradox of how to reunite his two closest friends whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition. The Sympathizer will need all his wits, resourcefulness, and moral flexibility if he is to prevail. Both highly suspenseful and existential, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position in the firmament of American letters.
by Stephen King
 
The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine––as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave. Later is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. With echoes of King’s classic novel It, Later is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.
by Tui T. Sutherland
 
Snowfall didn't expect to be queen of the IceWings at such a young age, but now that she is, she's going to be the best queen ever. All she has to do is keep her tribe within IceWing territory, where it's safe -- while keeping every other tribe out, where they belong. It's a perfect and simple plan, backed up by all the IceWing magic Snowfall can find. That is, until a storm of unidentified dragons arrives on her shore, looking for asylum. The foreigners are completely strange and, Snowfall is certain, utterly untrustworthy. But as she escorts the miserable new tribes out of her kingdom, Snowfall is forced to reconsider her plan. Maybe she can only keep her tribe safe . . . if she's willing to risk everything.
 
New in Poetry
 
It's National Poetry Month! Treat yourself to some new books of verse. And check out our upcoming poetry events with Kim Stafford and John Brehm (details further below).
by Raymond Antrobus
 
In the wake of his father's death, the speaker in Raymond Antrobus' The Perseverance travels to Barcelona. In Gaudi's Cathedral, he meditates on the idea of silence and sound, wondering whether acoustics really can bring us closer to God. Receiving information through his hearing aid technology, he considers how deaf people are included in this idea. "Even though," he says, "I have not heard / the golden decibel of angels, / I have been living in a noiseless / palace where the doorbell is pulsating / light and I am able to answer." The Perseverance is a collection of poems examining a d/Deaf experience alongside meditations on loss, grief, education, and language, both spoken and signed. It is a book about communication and connection, about cultural inheritance, about identity in a hearing world that takes everything for granted, about the dangers we may find (both individually and as a society) if we fail to understand each other.
by Arthur Sze
 
National Book Award winner Arthur Sze is a master poet, and The Glass Constellation is a triumph spanning five decades, including ten poetry collections and twenty-six new poems. Sze began his career writing compressed, lyrical poems influenced by classical Chinese poetry; he later made a leap into powerful polysemous sequences, honing a distinct stylistic signature that harnesses luminous particulars, and is sharply focused, emotionally resonant, and structurally complex. Fusing elements of Chinese, Japanese, Native American, and various Western experimental traditions––employing startling juxtapositions that are always on target, deeply informed by concern for our endangered planet and troubled species––Arthur Sze presents experience in all its multiplicities, in singular book after book. This collection is an invitation to immerse in a visionary body of work, mapping the evolution of one of our finest American poets.
by Edward Hirsch
 
Implicit in poetry is the idea that we are enriched by heartbreaks, by the recognition and understanding of suffering—not just our own suffering but also the pain of others. We are not so much diminished as enlarged by grief, by our refusal to vanish, or to let others vanish, without leaving a record. And poets are people who are determined to leave a trace in words, to transform oceanic depths of feeling into art that speaks to others. In 100 Poems to Break Your Heart, poet and advocate Edward Hirsch selects 100 poems, from the nineteenth century to the present, and illuminates them, unpacking context and references to help the reader fully experience the range of emotion and wisdom within these poems. For anyone trying to process grief, loneliness, or fear, this collection of poetry will be your guide in trying times.
by Catherine Cohen
 
Poems of heartbreak and sex, self-care and self-critique, urban adventures and love on the road from the millennial quarantine queen and comedy sensation. In these short, captivating lyrics, Catherine Cohen, the one-woman stand-up chanteuse who electrified the downtown NYC comedy scene in her white go-go boots, and who has been posting poignant, unfiltered poems on social media since before Instagram was a thing, details her life on the prowl with her beaded bag; she ponders guys who call you "dude" after sex, true love during the pandemic, and English-major dreams. "I wish I were smart instead of on my phone," Cat Cohen confides; "heartbreak, / when it comes, and it will come / is always new." A Dorothy Parker for our time, a Starbucks philosophe with no primary-care doctor, she's a welcome new breed of everywoman––a larger-than-life best friend, who will say all the outrageous things we think but never say out loud ourselves.
by Natalie Goldberg
 
A haiku is three simple lines. But it is also, as Allen Ginsberg put it, three lines that "make the mind leap." A good one, he said, lets the mind experience "a small sensation of space which is nothing less than God." As many spiritual practices seek to do, the haiku's spare yet acute noticing of the immediate and often ordinary grounds the reader in the pure awareness of now. Natalie Goldberg is a delightfully companionable tour guide into this world. She highlights the history of the form, dating back to the seventeenth century; shows why masters such as Basho and Issa are so revered; discovers Chiyo-ni, an important woman haiku master; and provides insight into writing and reading haiku. A fellow seeker who travels to Japan to explore the birthplace of haiku, Goldberg revels in everything she encounters, including food and family, painting and fashion, frogs and ponds. She also experiences and allows readers to share in the spontaneous and profound moments of enlightenment and awakening that haiku promises.
 
Livestream Readings
Singer Come from Afar
Monday, April 12, 7pm
Register here!
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes back Portland poet Kim Stafford for the livestream launch of his new collection, Singer Come from Afar. This book considers war and peace, pandemic struggles, Earth imperatives, a seeker’s spirit, and forging kinship. The former poet laureate of Oregon, Stafford has shared poems from this book in libraries, prisons, on reservations, with veterans, immigrants, homeless families, legislators, and students in schools. He writes for hidden heroes, resonant places, and for our chance to converge in spite of differences. He views the writing and sharing of poetry as an essential act of testimony to sustain tikkun olam, the healing of the world. May this book be the hidden spring you seek.
You, Recharged
Thursday, April 15, 7pm
Register here!
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes back Portland author Polly Campbell for a livestream presentation from her new book, You, Recharged: How to Beat Fatigue (Mostly), Amp Up Your Energy (Usually), and Enjoy Life Again (Always). Self-help books for women often encourage you to throw out the life you're living and create a fresh start. You, Recharged isn't about that. You don't have to quit your mundane job, cut out cocktails, or sign-off of social media to recharge. Instead, Polly Campbell's inspirational book is about adding things in––good habits, practices, fun, people, activities, self-care strategies––that ignite your essential energy, the sustainable source that fires you up from within and keeps you going during the good and bad. You, Recharged will help you discover the small but meaningful ways you can feel happier, healthier, and more alive.
Utah! A Novel
Tuesday, April 20, 7pm
Register here!
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland author Levi Rogers for the livestream launch of his debut novel, Utah! A Novel. Fleeing from ever present wildfires and the threat of the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupting, Lee, Becca, and their daughter Analise embark on a road-trip through the state of Utah to a wedding in Zion National Park. Set in the not-too-distant-future, Utah! is a novel about climate change and the intricacies of relationships-between family, partners, religious structures, nature, and the American West. Featuring a litany of intriguing Utah residents including ex and current Mormons, doomsday preppers, military vets, Presbyterian ministers, and Colombian housewives, these characters eventually find their paths crossing in violence, disaster, and friendship. Through desert islands, climbing gyms, beer bars, suburbia, mountains, coffee shops, long drives, and mass shootings, Utah! seeks to show the true diversity, beauty, and yes, sometimes peculiar, aspects of one of the most misunderstood states. It's a novel about the smoldering darkness beneath the surface of our individual selves and society ... and what happens when we refuse to acknowledge our past transgressions. Utah! is a slow burn of a novel that ends with an explosive finish.
The Dharma of Poetry
Friday, April 23, 7pm
Register here!
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland author John Brehm for a livestream reading from his new book, The Dharma of Poetry. Discover how to engage with poetry to support your spiritual practice, leading to more mindfulness, equanimity, and joy. Brehm shows how poems can open up new ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world. Brehm demonstrates the practice of mindfully entering a poem, with an alertness, curiosity, and open-hearted responsiveness very much like the attention we cultivate in meditation.
Standoff: Standing Rock, the Bundy Movement, and the American Story of Sacred Lands
Tuesday, April 27, 7pm
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Annie Bloom's welcomes back Portland author Jacqueline Keeler for a livestream reading from her new book, Standoff. Keeler will be in conversation with Bob Sallinger, Director of Conservation at Portland Audubon Society. The Bundy takeover of Oregon's Malheur Wildlife Refuge and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's standoff against an oil pipeline in North Dakota are two sides of the same story that created America and its deep-rooted cultural conflicts. Through a compelling comparison of conflicting beliefs and legal systems, Keeler explores whether the West has really been won—and for whom.
Refugee: The Journey of an East German Woman
Thursday, April 29, 7pm
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Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland author Jutta Donath for a livestream reading from her new memoir. Beginning with her childhood in the East Germany of the 1940s, we follow the author on her family's dangerous flight from communism. As refugees, they move from town to town in 1950s West Germany, finally settling north of Frankfurt, where Jutta spends her teenage years. After marrying an American army intelligence officer, she emigrates to Oregon, her husband's home state. She learns about America and its customs as an outsider. Like her father, she struggles with alcoholism, eventually finding her way to recovery. After remarriage in 1989, she finds refuge at home in Portland.
Friday, May 14, 7pm
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Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland area mystery authors Mary Keliikoa and Angela M. Sanders for a livestream reading and conversation. Mary Keliikoa's brand new novel is Denied. Angela M. Sanders's latest is Bait and Witch. Keliikoa's Denied is the second book in the gripping Kelly Pruett Mystery series, in which a grieving single mother inherits her late father's PI business. Can the determined detective take on the mafia and make it out alive? In Sanders's Bait and Witch, Oregon librarian Josie discovers a body in the woods. Almost as shocking, Josie learns that she's descended from a long line of witches—and her powers have suddenly sprung to life.
 
In Case You Missed it
Check out Annie Bloom's YouTube channel! This is where you can watch previous livestream author events that you might have missed, like Lori Tobias with Laura Stanfill, Jack Estes, Waka Brown, Dana Haynes, Jared Blank, Meg Weber, Phillip Margolin, Emmeline Duncan, and many more from 2020!
 
HomeWord Bound 2021
On Friday, April 16 at 6:30pm, join HomeWord Bound for a live virtual fundraiser to help Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) support our residents with services, connect them to the larger community, and provide the housing they need. Come together online to celebrate our community and hear transformational stories from our residents, our partners, and special authors: Cheryl Strayed, Anis Mojgani, Willy Vlautin, and Bart Kind. You can read more about the authors here. Together, we are Building the Way Home. RSVP for the event here.
 
Gift Cards
We now offer an alternative to physical gift cards. E-gift cards are available in any amount, from $5 to $200. The e-gift card will be emailed to the recipient and can be used online at our website. Of course, our good ol' Molly Bloom physical gift cards are still available, too.
 
Donate to Street Books
 
Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library, serving people who live outside. Street Books strives to empower people on the streets through access to literature and create a community of support for people living outside, through a shared love of books. Annie Bloom's Books is partnering with Street Books by offering 10% off books purchased for their wish list. To view that wish list and to find out more about Street Books, please see: Our Street Books Page
 
Shopping at Annie Bloom's
 
 
While our store remains closed to browsing, our website is always open! We offer curbside pickup on prepaid orders, in addition to several shipping and delivery options. (See our website for more details.)
 
Looking for other ways to support Annie Bloom's? Please visit one of our affiliates, below.
 
Libro.fm Audiobooks
Support Annie Bloom's by purchasing audiobooks through Libro.fm, an indie vendor dedicated to indie bookstores. They offer the same deep catalog of audiobooks as Audible at the same prices. You can choose various membership options or shop à la carte. Click to visit our Libro.fm store.
 
Kobo eBooks
Are you an ebook reader? Head over to Annie Bloom's Kobo store, where your ebook purchases also support independent bookstores (including Annie Bloom's, of course).
 
Annie Bloom's Books | 503-246-0053 | 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219
 
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