July 2020 Staff Favorites, Author Readings & New in Paperback!

 
 
Staff Favorites, Author Readings & New in Paperback!
 
We've got new staff reviews for you, upcoming livestream readings, and a roundup of recent paperbacks. But first....
 
New and Upcoming Releases
by Mary L. Trump
Out Now!
 
In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world's health, economic security, and social fabric. Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents' large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider's perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world's most powerful and dysfunctional families. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by David Mitchell
Out Now!
 
Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss and guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet, Utopia Avenue embarked on a meteoric journey from the seedy clubs of Soho, a TV debut on Top of the Pops, the cusp of chart success, glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American sojourn in the Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon, and San Francisco during the autumn of ’68. David Mitchell’s kaleidoscopic novel tells the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue’s turbulent life and times; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of voices in the head, and the truths and lies they whisper; of music, madness, and idealism. Can we really change the world, or does the world change us? Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Alex Trebek
Out: July 21
 
Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek's thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live impersonation. This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment. Pre-Order Your Copy Here!
by Isabel Wilkerson
Out: August 4
 
Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Pre-Order Your Copy Here!
by Dav Pilkey
Out: September 1
 
The next great Dog Man adventure from the worldwide bestselling author and artist Dav Pilkey. You'll howl with laughter! The Supa Buddies bamboozled the baddies, but all's not right in the world. Dog Man has a new problem to pound, and he's going to need his entire pack to help him. Will he go barking up the wrong tree? The Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good. Pre-Order Your Copy Here!
by Elena Ferrante
Out: September 1
 
A new novel set in a divided Naples by the author of My Brilliant Friend. Giovanna's pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, is looking more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Will she turn out like her despised Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father have spent their whole lives avoiding and deriding? There must be a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. Giovanna is searching for her true reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, neither city seems to offer answers or escape. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story. Pre-Order Your Copy Here!
 
Staff Favorites
 
Check out these staff reviews of new books:
by Karolina Waclawiak
reviewed by: Michael
Out: July 28
 
In her novel, Waclawiak explores disconnection and grief in contemporary Los Angeles. Evelyn doesn't want to feel anything: not the sorrow of her father's imminent death from alcoholism, not the slow ripping apart of her marriage, and not the disappointment of career failure. She numbs herself with drug and drink, but knows she needs something more. While looking for support groups, she comes across a training seminar for exit guides for the dying and signs up. "How do you avoid pain?" When this question is posed to Evelyn during the seminar, she begins the messy journey of self-confrontation that propels the novel: into marriage counseling, into the homes of her terminally ill clients, into a car trip with her dysfunctional parents, into a cheap motel room with a fellow guide, into a cheesy afterlife convention, and into the vast emptiness of Death Valley. Waclawiak is brutally tender with her characters, writes insightfully about her themes, and evokes the Southwest landscape beautifully. Life Events is a novel that continues to resonate long after the final page. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Howard Norman
reviewed by: Edie
Now in paperback!

It's not every day that a novel containing a ghost, a cat, a missing girl, and a private detective turns out to be a love story about marriage. Norman manages it with lovely writing, set in a Vermont village. Simon Inescort, a novelist, falls over the railing of a ferry and leaves a farmhouse to be sold by his widow to a young newlywed couple. The ghost, of course, is the writer and he haunts the place while the characters in the village struggle to enfold the new owners into their very small community. A girl disappears as Simon thinks back over his marriage while spying on the new one beginning in his old house and wonders about love in all its various manifestations. Is this a mystery story? Well, yes, but much, much more. Purchase Your Copy Here!
 
Browse more Staff Favorites!
 
Livestream Readings
Mr. Wizard
Monday, August 3, 7pm
Register here!
 
Join us for Portland author Jeff Wallach's livestream reading from his new novel, Mr. Wizard. Two brothers. One mother. One big question. Two days before her death, Jenny Elliot suggests to her fifty-year-old son Phillip that, being half Irish, he should be more careful about his drinking. Phillip, along with his brother Spencer, has grown up believing they were the fully Jewish-American offspring of Jenny and her late husband who died in the Vietnam War. Was his mother uttering some dementia-inspired fantasy, or was her true character shining through in her last moments to leave the brothers a clue to their real heritage? After her death, Phillip decides to take a DNA test. The brothers set off on a genetic treasure hunt in search of who they really are-and what that might mean. Are they purely products of their genetics; or were they formed more completely by their social interactions and upbringing? Are they merely victims of randomness; or are they some combination of those factors? And who, exactly, is Mr. Wizard? "The writing is knowing and engaging, wise about its cultural orientations, and driven to discoveries both reassuring and life-enhancing." ––Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor Emeritus, The Atlantic
How to Get Young People Involved in Activism
Sunday, August 16, 5pm
Register here!
 
This virtual book event is a fundraiser for Sister District PDX. Award-winning author Elizabeth Rusch will offer surprising insights from her new book for adults and young adults, You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People, which the New York Times called "fascinating" and Kirkus called "a riveting must-read." In addition to explaining why we'll continue to fail to address challenges we face in this country until we fix our democracy, Rusch will share insights on how to reach and rally young people. More here!
This Is My America
Wednesday, August 19, 4pm
Register here!
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes debut author and University of Oregon administrator Kim Johnson, who will read from her young adult novel This Is My America. The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system. Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time--her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy's older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a "thug" on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town's racist history that still haunt the present? Fans of Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Jason Reynolds won't want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.
 
New Paperback Releases
by Colson Whitehead
 
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood's only salvation is his friendship with fellow "delinquent" Turner, which deepens despite Turner's conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 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. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Sarah M. Broom
 
In 1961, Sarah M. Broom's mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. A book of great ambition, The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the "Big Easy" of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Kevin Barry
 
In the dark waiting room of the ferry terminal in the sketchy Spanish port of Algeciras, two aging Irishmen—Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond, longtime partners in the lucrative and dangerous enterprise of smuggling drugs—sit at night, none too patiently. The pair are trying to locate Maurice’s estranged daughter, Dilly, whom they’ve heard is either arriving on a boat coming from Tangier or departing on one heading there. This nocturnal vigil will initiate an extraordinary journey back in time to excavate their shared history of violence, romance, mutual betrayals, and serial exiles. Rendered with the dark humor and the hardboiled Hibernian lyricism that have made Kevin Barry one of the most striking and admired fiction writers at work today, Night Boat to Tangier is a superbly melancholic melody of a novel, full of beautiful phrases and terrible men. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Louise Penny

It's Gamache's first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter. As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father. Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel…, he resumes the search. As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made. Gamache must face a horrific possibility, and a burning question: What would you do if your child's killer walked free? Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Lisa Taddeo
 
In suburban Indiana we meet Lina, the homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks and, after reconnecting with an old flame through social media, embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. In North Dakota we meet Maggie, the seventeen-year-old high school student who allegedly has a clandestine physical relationship with her handsome, married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial will turn their quiet community upside down. Finally, in the northeast we meet Sloane, the successful, refined restaurant owner whose husband enjoys watching her have sex with other men and women. Based on years of immersive reporting and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy. "A work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy" (Kate Tuttle, NPR), Three Women introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Christy Lefteri
 
Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain. Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book for our times: a novel that at once reminds us that the most peaceful and ordinary lives can be utterly upended in unimaginable ways and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Richard Russo
 
One beautiful September day, three men in their late sixties convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college in the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today—Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey is a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971. Now, forty-five years later, three lives and that of a significant other are put on displaywhile the distant past confounds the present ina relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo's trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are . . . introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader's heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga. Purchase Your Copy Here!
by Charles King
 
A century ago, everyone knew that people were fated by their race, sex, and nationality to be more or less intelligent, nurturing, or warlike. But Columbia University professor Franz Boas looked at the data and decided everyone was wrong. Racial categories, he insisted, were biological fictions. Cultures did not come in neat packages labeled "primitive" or "advanced." What counted as a family, a good meal, or even common sense was a product of history and circumstance, not of nature. In Gods of the Upper Air, a masterful narrative history of radical ideas and passionate lives, Charles King shows how these intuitions led to a fundamental reimagining of human diversity. Boas's students, who included Margaret Mead and and Zora Neale Hurston, mapped civilizations from the American South to the South Pacific and from Caribbean islands to Manhattan's city streets, and unearthed an essential fact buried by centuries of prejudice: that humanity is an undivided whole. Their revolutionary findings would go on to inspire the fluid conceptions of identity we know today. Rich in drama, conflict, friendship, and love, Gods of the Upper Air is a brilliant and groundbreaking history of American progress and the opening of the modern mind. Purchase Your Copy Here!
 
August to August Calendars Are Here!
We have August to August 2020-2021 Calendar Organizers in five fun colors: Licorice, Butter, Sage, Orchid, and Slate.
 
When ordering, please specify your color choice in the comments section of your order. Purchase Your Organizer Here!
 
Thank You!
 
Thank You for Your Continued Support!
 
 
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).
 
Bookshop.org
Bookshop.org lets you order physical books online and have them shipped directly to you. A portion of all proceeds go to support indie bookstores, and you can choose to support Annie Bloom's specifically!
 
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
 
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