You won't want to miss all the festivities, as our little Village celebrates its birthday this Saturday.
Annie Bloom's will have a special sale on really cheap books, plus free posters!
For more information, click here.
August 2014 Staff Reviews, Science, and More
present a pair of new Staff Favorites for your reading pleasure. Also,
check out our upcoming author events. Plus, read about the latest titles
in our Science section. And, of course, don't forget about Multnomah
staff brings you two new favorites. Click on a
title or cover image to link to our website, where you can
read more about the book or purchase it from our secure
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
reviewed by Carol
AJ Fikry is an independent bookseller. Tragically widowed after his
wife is killed in a car accident while escorting a visiting author, AJ
is now sole proprietor of Island Books on Alice Island off Hyannis,
Massachusetts. The store's motto, "No Man Is an Island, Every Book Is a
World," has lost its meaning, and AJ's on a mission to drink himself
to death. He can't even be civil to Amelia Loman, the new sales rep
for Knightley Books. Then two things happen. First, his rare manuscript
of Edgar Allen Poe's teenage poetry is stolen, then two-year-old Maya
is abandoned in the bookstore with a note pinned onto her stuffed Elmo.
Booksellers will love The Storied Life of AJ Fikry for the familiar and bookstore lovers will love it even more. This is a story of second chances nurtured among the shelves.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
reviewed by Michael
In high school, Tsukuru was part of a group of five very close
friends--three boys and two girls. Even after Tsukuru moved to Tokyo to
study engineering, the friends remained close. Then, suddenly and
without explanation, the other four cut him off completely. Tsukuru
spent the next fifteen years anesthetized to life, working steadily but
failing to maintain significant relationships. Then he meets Sara, who
convinces him that he must revisit his past before he can have a
satisfying present ... or a future with her. In this subtle yet deeply
probing novel, Murakami explores depression, dreams, loyalty, sexuality,
and the importance of living a full and colorful life.
Upcoming Readings at Annie Blooms:
Gun Metal Heart
Thursday, August 21, 7pm
Gibron, a freelance operative with a long and deadly history, has
been slowly recovering from the injuries sustained from her last case
(in Ice Cold Kill). Hiding out in a town in rural Italy,
she has been staying as far off the map as she can--until she's
tracked down by an old colleague. Diego had been a bodyguard in
Florence, protecting an engineer and her invention, when they were
attacked by a highly trained paramilitary group. At the same time, a
small group of disgraced CIA agents have been waiting for their
chance to exact revenge on the person they blame for their
discharge--Daria Gibron. When they learn she's in contact with
Diego, they get the okay from their former bosses to take her out.
Living Life in Full Bloom
Monday, August 25, 7pm
life in full bloom means living with hope and purpose, with
imagination and vision--in a way that honors the Earth, the spirit, and
one another. Elizabeth Murray encourages and nurtures each person to
explore four personality attributes (Gardener, Artist, Lover, and
Spirit Weaver), or pathways, that create a framework for practicing
mindfulness, unleashing potential, and reviving communities. As
Gardeners, readers will learn to observe and grow; as Artists, they'll
discover creativity and new possibilities; as Lovers, they'll lead
with the heart and commit to things they're passionate about; and as
Spirit Weavers, they'll create rituals and express gratitude.
Carolyn Brigit Flynn & Leah Stenson
Wednesday, September 3, 7pm
Communion is Carolyn Brigit Flynn's
offering of love poems to the earth, addressed in these poems as
Beloved. The poems invoke the author's movement from an urban Catholic
childhood into an embodied communion with the sacred presence of the
Earth. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's Book of Hours, each poem uses one of Rilke's lines as its title and springboard. Portland poet Leah Stenson will be reading from three books of poems. Reverberations from Fukushima, an
anthology she co-edited, features contemporary Japanese poetry and
essays on the first nuclear disaster of the 21st Century. The Turquoise Bee is an autobiography of love, of individual loves. The poems in Heavenly Body
explore the pathos of loss and separation, reveal deeply personal
moments in the lives of friends and family, and trace the saga of
Wild Within: How Raising an Owl Inspired a Family
Thursday, September 25, 7pm
a desperately lonely young divorcee and L.A. transplant, finds herself
stranded in rainy Eugene, Oregon. At the local dog park, she meets
Jonathan. Their courtship blossoms in a raptor rehabilitation center.
Melissa and Jonathan start out convinced they don't want children, but
caring for birds who have fallen from their nests triggers a deep
longing in Melissa to mother an orphaned child. Thus they embark on a
heart-wrenching journey to adoption.
Falling from Horses
Wednesday, October 29, 7pm
1938, nineteen-year-old ranch hand Bud Frazer sets out for Hollywood,
setting his sights on becoming a stunt rider in the movies--and rubbing
shoulders with the great screen cowboys of his youth. On the long bus
ride south, Bud meets Lily Shaw, who also harbors dreams of making it
in the movies, though not as a starlet but as a writer, a "real"
writer. The two strike up an unlikely kinship that will carry them
through their tumultuous days in Hollywood--and, as it happens, for the
rest of their lives.
New In Science
|Here are some of the best new titles from our Science Section:
by Mark Miodownik
An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that
surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science Why
is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper
clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These
are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking
himself. From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the
paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our
underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of
enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our
lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.
How Not to Be Wrong
by Jordan Ellenberg
Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true
meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to
the airport? What does "public opinion" really represent? Why do tall
parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how
likely are you, really, to develop cancer? Math, as Ellenberg says, is
"an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense,
vastly multiplying its reach and strength." With the tools of
mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more
meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
A Troublesome Inheritance
by Nicholas Wade
Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, Wade
provides an explosive new account of the genetic basis of race and its
role in the human story. Fewer ideas have been more toxic or
harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it
the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from
one another. Wade believes deeply in the fundamental equality of all
human peoples. He also believes that science is best served by pursuing
the truth without fear, and if his mission to arrive at a coherent
summa of what the new genetic science does and does not tell us about
race and human history leads straight into a minefield, then so be it.
This will not be the last word on the subject, but it will begin a
powerful and overdue conversation.
by Wallace Nichols
Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In Blue Mind,
Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing
the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or
simply near water. Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with compelling
personal stories from top athletes, leading scientists, military
veterans, and gifted artists, he shows how proximity to water can
improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase
professional success. Blue Mind not only illustrates the crucial
importance of our connection to water--it provides a paradigm shifting
"blueprint" for a better life on this Blue Marble we call home.
The Chemistry of Alchemy
by Cathy Cobb, Monty Fetterolf & Harold Goldwhite
In this exploration of the ancient art of alchemy, three veteran
chemists show that the alchemists' quest involved real science and they
recount fascinating stories of the sages who performed these strange
experiments. Their efforts were not in vain: by trial, by error, by
design, and by persistence, the alchemists discovered acids, alkalis,
alcohols, salts, and exquisite, powerful, and vibrant reactions--which
can be reproduced using common products, minerals, metals, and salts.
So gather your vats and stoke your fires! Get ready to make burning
waters, peacocks' tails, Philosophers' stone, and, of course, gold!