February/March 2012 Newsletter

Annie Bloom's Constant Contact logo
Constant Contact
In This Issue:
New Book Groups
New Magazines
Staff Reviews
Shelf Awareness
Readings Reminder
New Book Groups

book group illustration Thursday, February 23, 7:30pm


Annie Bloom's invites you to the organizational meeting of a new book group. 


This will be a where-do-we-go-from here gathering. Everything is on the agenda: when, where and how often to meet; how books will be selected; how large the group will be.  A staff person will be available to answer questions and help you get started.


Come meet a group of booklovers eager to discuss language, literature, ideas--or maybe just a good story.

New Magazines at Annie Bloom's 

Along with the perennially favorite periodicals, we like to freshen up the magazine selection from time-to-time. Here are just a few of the more recent additions:

lucky peach
Lucky Peach



Join Our Mailing List

February 2012: Staff Reviews & More


We have three new staff reviews for you! Also, we'd like to invite you to start a new Anni Bloom's book group. These topics and more await you below ... 
Staff Reviews
by Charles Frasier
Reviewed by Edie
Luce has managed a quiet, isolated life in an old lodge across the lake from the small town in Appalachia where she grew up. She pretty much lives off the land with one or two odd friends for company, and she likes it that way. One day a social worker drops off a pair of twins, the children of her long-lost sister, who has been murdered by their father. There is no one else to care for them, so, although Lice is not happy about the burden, she takes it on. Of course, all hell breaks loose. The children are feral, silent, and ruin everything in sight. Frasier has written a clever thriller, with the narrator's voice taking on an antique, good ole boy sound that balances the horror and suspense. As a mystery reader, I was intrigued by the set-up and enjoyed the language immensely.

How It All Began

by Penelope Lively

Reviewed by Pat  

One beautiful spring day in London, Charlotte, an elderly retired English teacher, is mugged and breaks her hip. This event ricochets off the lives of seven other characters in her orbit, unsettling and rearranging them.


While Charlotte convalesces with her likable daughter Rose, and her son-in-law Gerry, she takes the measure of her infirmity. She imagines herself "on the edge of things, clinging on to life's outer rim." Her mischievous insights punctuate the narrative.


Charlotte loves books, her "necessary fix". She tutors an adult literacy student, Anton, a recent immigrant, whose introduction to her daughter's household has unintended consequences. Other repercussions from the mugging are a humiliating public speech, a blossoming friendship, a swindle, and a broken marriage. Lively is fond of her characters, and exposes their foibles with a gentle hand. Juggling these separate streams of story, she creates vivid, memorable characters. I avidly read "How It All Began" to see how it all would end for them.

The Operators
by Michael Hastings
Reviewed by Will

The extensive 2010 military public relations campaign waged in order to expand the Afghanistan War (specifically modeled after the failed counter-insurgency tactics used originally in Algeria by the French in the 1950's, and then again disastrously a half-century later in Iraq by the U.S.) is the basis for this outstanding reporting on U.S. military leaders run amok.


Hastings, a Rolling Stone reporter, was recruited by General Stanley McChrystal's bloated entourage to write an article that they were sure, with the usual public relations massaging, would celebrate the great man facade and make McChrystal a "rock star" warrior for mass adulation. Instead, what Hastings uncovered was a military culture that has become increasing separate from and unchecked by an easily-manipulated civilian leadership, a complicit press, and an indifferent American citizenship.


Sadly, Hastings concludes that in the last decade "we were fighting the wrong war, in the wrong way, in the wrong country." And yet, many of the military elite (as well as a sycophantic U.S. press corps) used the war to advance their careers, their pocketbooks, and their public standing at the horrible cost of the many. And so it goes.

Shelf Awareness for Readers   
100 great poemsWe wanted to check in and make sure that your experience of "Shelf Awareness for Readers" is going well.

Last month, subscribers to this email newsletter began receiving that new e-publication ("The Shelf"). It should be arriving in your inbox each Tuesday and Friday morning.

What you're reading now is the re-tooled version of Annie Bloom's own in-house newsletter, which we hope provides a good complement to "Shelf Awareness for Readers."

As a reminder: If you decide that "Shelf Awareness for Readers" is one more email than you need, just hit the unsubscribe link at the bottom. You will still continue to receive this newsletter from Annie Bloom's. As with everything else, we'd love to get your feedback about "Shelf Awareness for Readers." Please email us at: books@annieblooms.com.
Readings Reminder
Because most of our February events fall in the latter half of the month, we thought we'd remind you of the fabulous readings still to come. Also, please note the change in readers for our February 21st poetry reading.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, Noel Hanlon, and More!
Thursday, February 16, 7pm
We're excited to be joined by the members of this fabulous writer's group, whose members include Ursula K. Le Guin (pictured), Molly Gloss, Noel Hanlon, Bette Husted, Barbara Drake, Kari Easton, Jeannette Cappella, and Caroline Le Guin. They will be reading poems generated from one of two prompts and will undoubtedly offer wonderful insight into the world of the writing workshop.

Amy MacLennan & Susan DeFreitas
Tuesday, February 21, 7pm
Come hear these two very fine Oregon poets read together. Residing in the Rogue Valley, veteran poetry workshop teacher Amy MacLennan (pictured) is the author of 2011's The Fragile Day. Susan DeFreitas is a writer, editor, and creative writing instructor with a focus on human communities and the natural world. Her poetry and prose-poems have been featured in The Bear Deluxe, Third Wednesday, and Southwestern American Literature. [Kirsten Rian was originally scheduled to read this night, but is unable to appear.]

Alexis Smith
Wednesday, February 22, 7pm
Please join us in welcoming Portland author Alexis Smith, as she reads from her highly acclaimed debut novel. Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel's sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life.