|June 2016 Staff Reviews, Readings, Cookbooks, and More!
We hope you enjoy these new additions to our Staff Favorites table. Plus, we offer a few Father's Day gift ideas. Also, check out the great author readings coming up and see our roundup of the latest books from our Cooking section.
New Staff Reviews
|Here are three new Staff Picks for you to peruse:
The Noise of Time
by Julian Barnes
reviewed by Erin
Barnes employs the famous modernist Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich as his protagonist in his new novel. In stunning, crisp, methodical prose, The Noise of Time is divided into three sections, each focusing on a defining moment in Shostakovich's life--the first in 1936 after he finds himself denounced by Stalin, and the final in the 1960s, as he reflects on the relative time of peace in Russia and his appointment to the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation Union of Composers. Barnes charts Shostakovich's turbulent career, falling in and out of favor with Stalin, forced to balance the whims of a dictator while staying true to his art. A disquieting, beautiful, atmospheric novel, this powerful book will have you pondering the role of art and artist long after you've put it down.
by Ben Winters
reviewed by Matt
The setting is present day America with a twist: slavery is still practiced in four states in the south. Victor, who is black, works--for reasons we discover--for the U.S. Marshalls tracking down escaped slaves. He's extremely good at the job, even as the intricacies of the situation create dissonances in him. This is a thriller, with literary flavors, set atop social commentary with resonance and reference to Invisible Man, which I read directly after finishing this fine novel.
All the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda
reviewed by Sandy
Nic Farrell returns to her small home town of Cooley Ridge for the summer to care for her ailing father. When she left ten years prior, it was to attend college and begin a new life, trying to forget the mysterious disappearance of her best friend. That case was never solved and now another young woman has disappeared just as mysteriously. Once again, Nic, her brother, her ex-boyfriend, and other friends are considered suspect. The story begins in the present and then moves backwards, one day at a time, beginning at Day 15 and ending up at Day 1. Surprising revelations come to light, secrets are told, and the reader is constantly kept off guard, right up to the surprising twist of an ending. This is a fun and addictive read--very hard to put down until the last page. Then there is the urge to begin reading it again, but backwards this time, chapter by chapter.
Authors Coming in June & July
The Mercy Journals
TOMORROW! Tuesday, June 14, 7pm
This novel is set thirty years in the future, in the wake of a third world war. Runaway effects of climate change have triggered the collapse of nation/states and wiped out over a third of the global population. One of the survivors, a former soldier nicknamed Mercy, suffers from PTSD and is haunted by guilt and lingering memories of his family. His pain is eased when he meets a dancer named Ruby, a performer who breathes new life into his carefully constructed existence. But when his long-lost brother Leo arrives with news that Mercy's children have been spotted, the two brothers travel into the wilderness to look for them, only to find that the line between truth and lies is trespassed, challenging Mercy's own moral code about the things that matter amid the wreckage of war and tragedy.
Not Dead Enough
Wednesday, June 15, 7pm
Warren Easley returns for the launch of his latest Cal Claxton mystery. In 1957, Nelson Queah--Wasco Indian, war hero, and passionate opponent of the Dalles Dam--vanished without a trace. Fifty years later, attorney Cal Claxton agrees to check out the cold case. When his interviewee is shot by a sniper. Cal gets a glimpse of the shooter and becomes a target himself. Struggling to stay one step ahead of a relentless killer, Cal must navigate between Native American and white cultures, and feuding police jurisdictions. Oregon politics are also in play; various men involved with the dam's construction are still alive, some of them powerbrokers. Plus activists are questioning the value of dams in light of new energy sources and the dwindling spawning salmon. And then there's Cal's growing interest in Nelson Queah's granddaughter, the beautiful and headstrong Winona.
The Mountain Man's Dog
Thursday, June 16, 7pm
In the small town of Clarkesville, in the heart of the Oregon Cascade Mountains, humble forester Lehigh Carter stumbles into the complex world of crooked cops and power-hungry politicians... all because he rescues a stray, injured dog on the highway. The Mountain Man's Dog
is a briskly told crime thriller loaded with equal parts suspense, romance, and lighthearted humor, pitting honor and loyalty against ruthless ambition and runaway greed in a town too small for anyone to get away with anything.
Thursday, June 23, 7pm
"The Vault" at O'Connor's
When Ivy Meadows lands a gig with the book-themed cruise line Get Lit!, she thinks she's died and gone to Broadway. Not only has she snagged a starring role in a musical production of Oliver Twist, she's making bank helping her PI uncle investigate a string of onboard thefts, all while sailing to Hawaii on the S.S. David Copperfield. But Ivy is cruising for disaster. Her acting contract somehow skipped the part about aerial dancing forty feet above the stage, her uncle Bob is seriously sidetracked by a suspicious blonde, and-oh yeah-there's a corpse in her closet.
Ellen Jackson & Trudy Toliver
Portland Farmer's Market Cookbook
Wednesday, June 29, 7pm
The Portland Farmers Market is a year-round farmers market consistently named among North America's Top Ten. This cookbook is a tribute to the farmers, chefs and shoppers, who embrace their world-class market like no other. With 100 seasonally organized recipes for every meal of the day, stories of the market's farmers and producers, shopping and cooking tips, and glorious color photography, the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook
is a celebration of a place and its people, who are proud to share their bounty with the Portland community and beyond.
Always Too Much and Never Enough
Wednesday, July 6, 7pm
From the extra pounds and unrelenting bullies that left her eating lunch alone in a bathroom stall at school to the low self-esteem that left her both physically and emotionally vulnerable to abuse, Jasmin Singer's struggle with weight defined her life. By committing to monthly juice fasts and a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, she lost almost a hundred pounds, gained an understanding of her destructive relationship with food, and finally realized what it means to be truly full. Told with humble humor and heartbreaking honesty, this memoir is Jasmin's story of how she went from finding solace in a box of cheese crackers to finding peace within herself.
The Art of Money
Tuesday, July 26, 7pm
Everyone has pain and challenges, strengths and dreams about money, and many of us mix profound shame into that relationship. In The Art of Money
, Bari Tessler offers an integrative approach that creates the real possibility of "money healing," using our relationship with money as a gateway to self awareness and a training ground for compassion, confidence, and self worth. Tessler's gentle techniques weave together emotional depth, big picture visioning, and refreshingly accessible, nitty gritty money practices that will help anyone transform their relationship with money and, in so doing, transform their life. As Bari writes, "When we dare to speak the truth about money, amazing healing begins."
Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
Thursday, July 28, 7pm
In the highly personal tradition of Jenny Offill and Elena Ferrante, Sweany's novel is loosely based on his tragicomedic teenage life growing up in Indiana and his later years working in the New York publishing industry. Hunter S. Thompson biographer William McKeen called it, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
meets Leave It to Beaver." And bestselling author Frank Bill adds: "In the vein of David Sedaris or Chuck Palahniuk, Brian Sweany has written a tight satirical story that has you bent over with laughter one moment, then wiping away the tears the next minute."
New in Cooking
by Ken Forkish
The owner of the beloved restaurant Ken's Artisan Pizza proves that amazing pizza is within reach of any home cook. The Elements of Pizza
breaks down each step of the pizza-making process, from choosing a dough to shaping your pie to selecting cheeses and toppings that will work for your home kitchen setup. Forkish offers more than a dozen different dough recipes--same-day Saturday doughs that you can make in the morning to bake pizza that night, levain doughs made from a naturally fermented yeast starter, and even gluten-free dough--each of which results in the best, most texturally sublime crust you've ever made at home. His clear, expert instructions will have you shaping pies and loading a pizza peel with the confidence of a professional pizzaiolo. And his innovative, seasonal topping ideas will surprise and delight any pizza lover and inspire you to create your own signature pies, just the way you like them.
Around the Fire
by Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton
Take your backyard barbecue game to the next level with this debut cookbook from the celebrated chefs from Portland restaurant, Ox. These are black-belt grilling recipes--inspired by the live-fire cooking traditions of Latin America, as well as the seasonal philosophy of the authors' restaurant--that will change the way you think about and cook with fire. Featuring unexpected cuts of meat (like Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with Rosemary Marinade or Grilled Wild Halibut on the Bone with Toasted Garlic-Lemon Oil); seasonal produce (Grilled Butternut Squash with Za atar and Charred Green Onion Yogurt will delight vegetarians and carnivores alike); and plenty of starters, salads, desserts, and drinks, Around the Fire
will help make your next outdoor feast the stuff of legend.
by Dan Dunn
A connoisseur of beer and whiskey, Dunn knew next to nothing about one of the major drinks enjoyed the world over: wine. When a fateful tasting experience coincided with a serious existential crisis, he decided to hit the road on a journey of discovery. To quench his thirst for knowledge (and be able to throw down with the experts), Dunn would educate himself about the industry glass by glass, from winery to winery, in nearly every region in the United States. An intoxicating blend of travel writing, memoir, and booze journalism that pairs earthy humor with fine wine for hilarious and enlightening results, it is the story of one man's journey to find himself and everyman's journey to better understand the true spirit of this divine elixir.
by Steven Raichlen
From America's master griller, this is a step-by-step guide to cold-smoking, hot-smoking, and smoke-roasting, and a collection of 100 innovative recipes for smoking every kind of food, from starters to desserts. Smoke is the soul of barbecue, the alchemy that happens when burning wood infuses its magical flavors into food. Project Smoke
tells you how to make the alchemy happen, with Raichlen's seven steps to smoking nirvana; an in-depth description of the various smokers; the essential brines, rubs, marinades, and barbecue sauces; and a complete guide to fuel, including how each type of wood subtly seasons a dish. Then the recipes for 100 enticing, succulent, boldly-flavored smoked dishes, including Bacon-Crab Poppers, Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Slam-Dunk Brisket, Jamaican Jerk Chicken even Smoked Chocolate Bread Pudding. Illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, it's a book that inspires hunger at every glance, and satisfies with every recipe tried.