July 2019: Staff Favorites, Author Readings, New Kids Books, and Psychology!

July 2019: Staff Favorites, Author Readings, New Kids Books, and Psychology!
 
Read our new staff reviews, see which authors are reading here soon, and check out the latest titles from Children's and Young Adult, and Psychology, too. But first....
 
Upcoming Releases
 
These books are among the most anticipated new releases in the coming weeks. Click on a cover or title to pre-order from our website.
by Colson Whitehead
Out: July 16
 
As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But, for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

by Robert Crais
Out: August 6
 
Joe Pike didn't expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to bed, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy. After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?
by Margaret Atwood
Out: September 10
 
When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. "Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." —Margaret Atwood
 
Staff Favorites
by Thrity Umrigar
reviewed by Edie
 
Bhima, servant for many years to the upper class Dubush family, has been fired from her job. It was sudden and uncalled for (see The Space Between Us). Now, Bhima, who lives in abject poverty in the Mumbai slums, must find a way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya. She forms a shaky partnership with a bitter woman named Pavati to sell fruit and vegetables at the local market. They bond after many setbacks, learning about each other's lives and the wounds they have endured. It is a moving story of the strength and respect that grows between two illiterate and desperately poor women who learn how to stand on their own and survive. This sequel by Umrigar evokes the world of modern day India very well, and the dignity and richness of their friendship is a pleasure to experience.
by Olga Tokarczuk
reviewed by Michael
Out: August 13 - pre-order now!
 
Olga Tokarczuk won the Booker Prize for her intricate and sprawling Flights. This newly translated novel is a completely different kind of work. Taking place entirely on the outskirts of a small Polish village, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is narrated by Janina, a schoolteacher, astrologer, staunch vegetarian, and resident crank living among a largely patriarchal community. One by one, men begin dying in mysterious circumstances. According to Janina, they've been murdered by animals who are exacting revenge. What's really going on here? This is a wonderful sort-of mystery that's propelled more by its quirky characters than any kind of whodunit plot. Tokarczuk is an astonighly observant writer--perhaps the strongest unifying trait between her diverse works--making this novel a singular joy to read.
 
Upcoming Events
A Road Called Down on Both Sides
TONIGHT! Monday, July 15, 7pm
 
The Portland author will read from her memoir about growing up in the remote mountains of Maji, Ethiopia in the 1950s. Inside her mud adobe home with her missionary parents and three sisters, she enjoyed American family life. Outside, her world was shaped by drums and the joy cry; Jeep and mule treks into the countryside; ostriches on the air strip; and the crackle of several Ethiopian languages she barely understood but longed to learn. Caroline felt she'd been exiled to a foreign country when she went to Illinois for college. She returned to Ethiopia to teach, only to discover how complex working in another culture and language really is. Life under a Communist dictatorship meant constant outages--water, electricity, sugar, even toilet paper. But she was willing to do anything, no matter how hard, to live in Ethiopia again. Yet the chaos only increased--guerillas marched down from the north, their t-shirts crisscrossed by Kalashnikov bandoliers. When peace returned, Caroline got the chance she'd longed for, to revisit that beloved childhood home in Maji. But maybe it would have been better just to treasure the memories.
Guesthouse for Ganesha
Thursday, July 18, 7pm
 
The Los Angeles author will read from her debut novel. In 1923, seventeen-year-old Esther Grünspan arrives in Köln "with a hardened heart as her sole luggage." Thus begins a twenty-two-year journey, woven against the backdrops of the European Holocaust and the Hindu Kali Yuga (the "Age of Darkness" when human civilization degenerates spiritually), in search of a place of sanctuary. Throughout her travails, using cunning and shrewdness, Esther relies on her masterful tailoring skills to help mask her Jewish heritage, navigate war-torn Europe, and emigrate to India. Esther's traveling companion and the novel's narrator is Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu God worshipped by millions for his abilities to destroy obstacles, bestow wishes, and avenge evils. Weaving Eastern beliefs and perspectives with Western realities and pragmatism, Guesthouse for Ganesha is a tale of love, loss, and spirit reclaimed.
The Castle on Sunset
Monday, July 22, 7pm
 
The Portland author will read from his definitive history of Hollywood's most iconic, storied, and scandalous hotel: the Chateau Marmont. For ninety years, Hollywood's brightest stars have favored the Chateau Marmont as a home away from home. While a city, an industry, and a culture have changed around it, Chateau Marmont has welcomed the most iconic and iconoclastic personalities in film, music, and media. It appeals to the rich and famous not just for its European ambiance but for its seclusion: Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eye. Until now. With wit and insight, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to. Vivid, salacious, and richly informed, Levy's book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.
Wild Honey, Tough Salt
Tuesday, July 23, 7pm
 
Oregon's Poet Laureate will read from his new collection, which offers a prismatic view of Earth citizenship, where we must now be ambidextrous. The book takes a stern look inward calling for sturdy character and supple spirit, and a bold look outward seeking ways to engage grief trouble. Wild Honey, Tough Salt begins with poems that witness a buoyant life in a difficult world: wandering New Orleans in a trance, savoring the life of artist Tove Jansson, reading the fine print on the Mexican peso and the Scottish five-pound note. Clues to untapped energy lie everywhere by the lens of poetry. The book then moves to considerations of the worst in us--torture and war: how to recruit a child soldier? How to be married to the heartless guard? What to say to your child who is enamored by bullets? In the third section, the book offers a spangle of poems blessing earth: wren song, bud growth, river's eager way with obstacles. And the final section offers poems of affection: infant clarities of home, long marriage in dog years, a consoling campfire in the yard when all seems lost. The book will soften your trouble, and give you spirit for the days ahead.
Shallow Waters
Wednesday, August 14, 7pm
 
Portland author Kay Jennings will read from her debut mystery. The last thing Port Stirling Chief of Police Matt Horning needed on day one of his new job was for the mayor’s daughter to turn up dead in a tunnel on the Oregon beach. With only a ragtag county crime team to assist him, Horning must match wits with a diabolical killer. From the 300-foot bluffs ringing the white-sand pristine beach, to the posh golf resort at odds with the blue-collar town, Horning and his new team work at break-neck speed to uncover the facts. But will they find the killer before he – or she – strikes again? Will a psychopath ruin Matt Horning’s new life before he can even start it?
Echo of Distant Water
Tuesday, August 20, 7pm
 
The local author will read from his book about the 1958 disappearance of Portland's Martin family, which spurred the largest missing persons search in Oregon history. The mystery has remained perplexingly unsolved to this day. For the past six years, JB Fisher (Portland on the Take) has pored over the case, obtaining a wealth of first-hand and never-before publicized information, including police reports, materials and photos belonging to the Martin family, and the personal notebooks and papers of Multnomah County Sheriff's Detective Walter E. Graven, who was always convinced the case was a homicide and worked tirelessly to prove it. Graven's personal documents provide fascinating insight into the question of what happened to the Martins—a path leading to abduction and murder, an intimate family secret, and civic corruption going all the way to the Kennedys in Washington, DC.
Ration
Thursday, August 22, 7pm
 
Portland author Cody Luff will read from his new novel, Ration, which combines the darkness and despair of The Road and The Handmaid's Tale with the charm of Lauren Oliver's Replica. All the girls who live in the Apartments are forced to weigh their own hunger against the lives of their neighbors. When Cynthia is wrongly accused of ordering an "A" ration, a high-calorie meal made from the body of one of her friends, she is punished with brutality at the hands of the other girls and exile from the only home she's ever known. Outside, Cynthia finds a world ravaged by scarcity, but also an unlikely ally in one of the women who tormented her for years. Motivated not by self-preservation, but instead by revenge, Cynthia will stop at nothing to find justice for the girls in the Apartments. Set in the far future, Ration is an unflinching take on the ways in which society can harm the very people it seeks to protect.
 
New Kids Books
 
For newborns and infants, here are some of the latest board books:
by Lucy Cousins
 
Whether in the bath, at the table, or on the go, the youngest sea explorers will love visiting Little Fish with this waterproof edition. Join Little Fish and friends as they dip and dive beneath the sea. Red Fish flips and flaps. Yellow Fish swirls and twirls. Can you imagine what Mommy Fish does? Soft, squishy, and sturdy, this waterproof, wipe-clean book is perfect for babies and toddlers at bath time, high-chair time, or anytime.
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
 
The land of unicorns is in trouble--it has been raining and raining for what seems like forever. This is a big problem because there are only three ways that unicorns can get their magic: from the golden sun, from magnificent rainbows, and from the sparkle of believing. Luckily, Uni the unicorn has always always always believed...that little girls are REAL. Join this very special unicorn and the little girl who believes right back as they finally meet and work together to save a magical land and all who live there!
by Jane Foster
 
In this beautiful and irresistible board book, children will be introduced to bold images of dinosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, and more! "This unusually attractive counting board book from the British illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster shows off her style in a way that will catch - and hold - the eye of grown-ups and younger children alike."-New York Times Children's Board Book roundup review
 
Check out these new picture books from our Kids Staff Favorite section:
by Rebecca Solnit
 
In her debut children's book, Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page. In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes.
by Brigette Barrager
 
Vlad is always getting in trouble at Miss Fussbucket's School for Aspiring Spooks. Unlike the other little vampires, witches, mummies, and ghosts, Vlad isn't very interested in learning spookiness. That's because...Vlad loves to skateboard! How can he possibly think about being a good spook when all he wants to do is practice his latest gnarly trick? Maybe Vlad can find a way to do both!
by Kwame Alexander and Melissa Sweet
 
This award-winning duo has teamed up for the first time to bring you How to Read a Book, a poetic and beautiful journey about the experience of reading. "Find a tree—a / black tupelo or dawn redwood will do—and / plant yourself. / (It’s okay if you prefer a stoop, like Langston Hughes.)" With these words, an adventure begins.
 
See what's new for grade school kids:
by Rosanne Parry
 
Annie Bloom's own Rosanne Parry's gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf’s incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter. Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.
by Media Lab Books
 
This reference book details all of the known spells cast in the Harry Potter films, books, video games and card games, as well as official Harry Potter spinoffs, such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. There are 240 spells in all, along with a catalog of enchanted objects. Each spell is given its own entry including spell name, pronunciation and etymology, a description of the spell effect, spell casting methods, wand movements and vocalizations, and primary sources in which the spell was used. Readers will also find trivia related to each spell, such as who it was used against, what the outcome was, or what a spell’s unusual history might be.
by Nicole Panteleakos
 
Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger--it's the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home. While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can't express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova's new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she's counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she'll see Bridget again. Because Bridget said, "No matter what, I'll be there. I promise."
 
New in Teen Reads:
by Cassandra Clare
 
This new short story collection follows Jem Carstairs as he travels through the many Shadow Markets around the world. The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks, and vampires. There, the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters' world. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is a sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. And Jem is searching through the Shadow Markets, in many different cities over long years, for a relic from his past.
by Misa Sugiura
 
Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn't even know where to start. She's never lived up to her mom's type A ambition, and she's perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family's flower shop. She doesn't buy into Hannah's romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of. Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ's grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ's family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.
by Maya Motayne
 
This novel is the first in a fantasy trilogy—set in a Latinx-inspired world—about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she's forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan's royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever. After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic. When Finn and Alfie's fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world.
 
New in Psychology
by Lori Gottlieb
 
One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is rev­olutionary in its candor, offering a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.
by Mark Manson
 
At this moment in history, when we have access to technology, education and communication our ancestors couldn't even dream of, so many of us come back to an overriding feeling of hopelessness. In Everthing Is F*cked, Manson turns his gaze onto the endless calamities taking place in the world around us. Drawing from the pool of psychological research on these topics, as well as the timeless wisdom of philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, he dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. He looks at our relationships with money, entertainment and the internet, and how too much of a good thing can psychologically eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom—and even of hope itself. With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. One of the great modern writers has produced another book that will set the agenda for years to come.
by Lewis Hyde
 
We live in a culture that prizes memory. But what if forgetfulness were seen not as something to fear, but rather as a blessing, a balm, a path to peace and rebirth? A Primer for Forgetting is a remarkable experiment in scholarship, autobiography, and social criticism by the author of the classics The Gift and Trickster Makes This World. It forges a new vision of forgetfulness by assembling fragments of art and writing from the ancient world to the modern, weighing the potential boons forgetfulness might offer the present moment as a creative and political force. It also turns inward, using the author’s own life and memory as a canvas upon which to extol the virtues of a concept too long taken as an evil. Drawing material from Hesiod to Jorge Luis Borges to Elizabeth Bishop to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from myths and legends to very real and recent traumas both personal and historical, A Primer for Forgetting is a unique and remarkable synthesis that only Lewis Hyde could have produced.
by Heather B. Armstrong
 
For years, Heather B. Armstrong has alluded to her struggle with depression on her website, dooce. Now, for the first time, Heather recalls the torturous eighteen months of suicidal depression she endured and the month-long experimental study in which doctors used propofol anesthesia to quiet all brain activity for a full fifteen minutes before bringing her back from a flatline. Ten times. The experience wasn’t easy. Not for Heather or her family. But a switch was flipped, and Heather hasn't experienced a single moment of suicidal depression since. Disarmingly honest, self-deprecating, and scientifically fascinating, The Valedictorian of Being Dead brings to light a groundbreaking new treatment for depression.
 
Book Bingo!
How many books can you read between now and Labor Day? Play Annie Bloom's Book Bingo for the chance to win gift cards of $25 and $50! Complete rows of five books in a number of categories ("Translated," "Portland Author," "Has a Bird on the Cover," etc.). Everyone who turns in a Book Bingo form with at least one row completed will get a coupon for 10% off any one book, plus entry into the gift card raffle. Bingo forms are available at the front counter.