June 2018: Readings, Grads & Dads, History, and More!

June 2018: Readings, Grads & Dads, History, and More!
Check out our June author readings, find gift ideas for Father's Day and Graduation, read new reviews from our staff, and check out the latest releases from our History section. See which new titles indie booksellers are loving. And drop by the store on First Friday!
Upcoming Author Readings
Nonfiction Reading
Thursday, June 7, 2018
In Jan Redford's funny and gritty debut memoir, End of the Rope, she tells of heart-stopping adventures, from being rescued off El Capitan to leading a group of bumbling cadets across a glacier. It is her laughter-filled memoir of learning to climb, and of friendships with women in that masculine world. Rachel Rose never expected to spend her nights careening along for the ride with police K9 units. With insight, humor, and awe, The Dog Lover Unit reveals the feats that these human and canine teams accomplish, and the emotional and physical risks that they take for one another, and for us. Carol Shaben's Into the Abyss chronicles the 1984 crashing of a commuter plane in northern Alberta, killing six people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. As the men fight through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth, and status are erased, and each man is forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence.
Zen Odyssey
Monday, June 11, 7pm
Schwartz's biography is about Ruth Fuller Sasaki and Sokei-an Shigetsu Sasaki. One made his way to the West and the other would find her way to the East, but together they created the First Zen Institute of America and helped birth a new generation of Zen practitioners: among them, Alan Watts, Gary Snyder, and Burton Watson. They were married less than a year before Sokei-an died, but Ruth would go on to helm trailblazing translations in his honor and to become the first foreigner to be the priest of a Rinzai Zen temple in Japan.
Differently Wired
Monday, June 18, 7pm
Today millions of kids are stuck in a world that doesn't respect, support, or embrace who they really are--these are what Deborah Reber is calling the "differently wired" kids, the one in five children with ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger's, giftedness, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, and other neurodifferences. Their challenges are many. But for the parents who love them, the challenges are just as hard. Differently Wired is a how-to, a manifesto, a book of wise advice, and the best kind of been-there, done-that companion. By offering 18 paradigm shifts--what she calls "tilts"-- Reber shows how to change everything.
A Wilder Time
Wednesday, June 20, 7pm
Greenland, one of the last truly wild places, contains a treasure trove of information on Earth's early history embedded in its pristine landscape. While researching plate tectonics there, UC Davis geologist William E. Glassley encountered wondrous creatures and natural phenomena that gave him unexpected insight into the origins of myth, the virtues and boundaries of science, and the importance of seeking the wilderness within. An invitation to experience a breathtaking place and the fascinating science behind its creation, A Wilder Time is nature writing at its best.
Northwest Novelists
Thursday, June 21, 7pm
In Joe Ponepinto's Mr. Neutron, veteran political operative Gray Davenport isn't faring much better than his corrupt and polluted hometown of Grand River. When he notices that mayoral candidate Reason Wilder may not be human, Gray embarks on a quest to uncover the truth about Reason's mysterious origins, and the truth promises to change Grand River and Gray forever. A satirical mashup of Frankenstein and Veep, Mr. Neutron is a hilarious genre-bender that speaks to the unpredictable nature of American politics today. Connie Hampton Connally's The Songs We Hide is set in 1951 Budapest, Hungary. Péter Benedek meets Katalin Varga, an unwed mother whose baby's father has vanished, most likely at the hands of the secret police. The two have something in common besides fear: they are singers whose very natures make the silence unbearable. When Katalin starts giving Péter voice lessons, they take an intrepid step out of hiding by making music together. Facing their hardest trials yet, Péter and Katalin learn to carve dignity and beauty out of pain.
The Rat Tree
Monday, June 25, 7pm
The Seattle author's book is an illustrated coming of age novella set in 1950's Portland. On the grounds of the family's woolen mill a big family of grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins gather for their annual summer pool party. As the sun shines on the family, two young cousins explore the attic of the mill where their grandfather stores his tools, trunks and secrets. In a locked trunk they find clues to his hidden Nazi past and generations of abuse. They decide to tell the story. Will they find salvation for all?
In Conversation
Tuesday, June 26, 7pm
These three Portland authors all workshopped their writing in Portland critique group The Pinewood Table. They will discuss their books and the writing process. Parts per Million, Julia Stoops's socially conscious, fast-paced debut novel, is set in Portland in 2002. A household is shared by a scrappy band of activists. The arrival of a guest sets off a page-turning chain of events that threatens to destroy the activists' friendship even as they're trying to hold the world together, one radio show at a time. Sheila Hamilton's memoir, All the Things We Never Knew, details her and her deceased husband's unsettling spiral from ordinary life into the world of his mental illness, examines the fragile line between reality and madness, and reveals the true power of love and forgiveness. Scott Sparling's Wire to Wire assembles a cast of train-hopping, drug-dealing, glue-huffing lowlifes, in a stunning homage to one of our most popular enduring genres--the American crime novel.
Thursday, June 28, 7pm
Raised as a Jehovah's Witness, Curtis was discouraged from pursuing a career, higher education, or even voting, and her friendships were limited to the Witness community. Ultimately, unable to reconcile her incredulity, she leaves her religion and divorces her Witness husband--a choice for which she is shunned by the entire community, including all members of her immediate family. Shunned follows Linda as she steps into a world she was taught to fear and discovers what is possible when we stay true to our hearts, even when it means disappointing those we love.
First Friday
On June 1, visit us during First Friday in Multnomah Village.
For your browsing enjoyment, we'll be serving wine. Plus, we'll be giving away great prizes for our monthly drawings. Drop by Annie Bloom's anytime after 6:00 on Friday night to sign up.
One lucky adult will win:
by Jennifer Palmieri
Redefine the expectations for women in leadership roles with this volume of inspiring advice by the former communications director for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
And our kids prize is:
by Shanda McCloskey
A STEM-friendly tale of a girl and the doll she upgrades to be her new friend. Comes with a matching mouse pad!
New Staff Reviews
Here are three new staff reviews for you!
by Tara Westover
reviewed by Sharon
Educated is the extraordinary memoir of a young girl who was raised in Idaho as a Mormon survivalist. Due largely to the extreme views of her father, her family abstained from society at an alarming level. They did not attend school, go to doctors or hospitals, and many of the children did not even have birth certificates. At the age of seventeen, having never even set foot in a classroom, Tara Westover decides to break from her family tradition and enter mainstream society by attending college. Despite being horrifically unprepared, she rises to the challenge, and eventually obtains a PHD from Cambridge. In the process, Tara is forced to reconcile her new view of the world with the incongruous way that she was raised. She is faced with the reality that her upbringing was basically abusive, and is forced to make some hard choices. I found it easy to forget that Educated is actually a memoir because the story is so incredible and Tara does an exceptional job of telling it. If I could write as well as she does, you would be reading this book in an instant!
by Amy Chua
reviewed by Andy
The first half of Amy Chua's look at politics through a tribal lens details how American blindness to tribal politics in our promulgation of democracy and free markets has resulted in many foreign policy disasters. Politicians and policy makers have not understood that political instability and extremism arise through the frustration and humiliation of economically and politically marginalized groups. In such fractious climates, "Vote-seeking demagogues find that the best way to mobilize popular support is not by offering rational policy proposals but by appealing to ethnic identity, stoking historical grievances, and exploiting group fear and anger." The same logic is applied in the more detailed second half of the book which shows the tribal roots of the divisiveness in current American politics. A concise look at the rise of identity politics on both the left and the right is insightful, as is an analysis of how demographic changes fuel tribalism, but most illuminating is her detailing of the chasm between the "rural/heartland/working-class" and the "urban/coastal" elites.
by Chibundu Onuzo
reviewed by Ruby
A newspaperman struggles to boost circulation, an education minister realizes he’s about to be out of a job, and five strangers board a bus heading to Lagos. Welcome to Lagos sweeps you up in the intersection of these lives and the city that shapes them. Like the fictional Nigerian Journal commentaries that pepper the pages of her novel, Onuzo employs sharp-eyed observation and humor to create this novel of found-family and the impossibility of doing the right thing.
Gift Ideas for Grads and Dads
You can find these and other great books at the front of the store:
Don't just walk on the wild side--hike, climb, cycle, surf and even parachute. There are numerous ways to explore our planet and the Atlas of Adventure showcases as many of them as possible in over 150 countries. Adventure-loving gurus share their tips on where to go and what to do. Colourful, awe-inspiring images are accompanied by authoritative text from Lonely Planet's travel experts.
by Lauren Graham
In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we've yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring--and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself--here is a comforting road map to a happy life.
by Jason Reynolds
Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is Reynolds's rallying cry to the dreamers of the world. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish--because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won't get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.
by Timothy Ferriss
The author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book--a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world's top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life's most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.
by Michael Chabon
For the September 2016 issue of GQ, Michael Chabon wrote a piece about accompanying his son Abraham Chabon, then thirteen, to Paris Men's Fashion Week. Possessed with a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolized and turning a critical eye to the freshest runway looks of the season; Chabon Sr. sat idly by, staving off yawns and fighting the impulse that the whole thing was a massive waste of time. Despite his own indifference, however, what gradually emerged as Chabon ferried his son to and from fashion shows was a deep respect for his son's passion. The piece quickly became a viral sensation. With the GQ story as its centerpiece, and featuring six additional essays plus an introduction, Pops illuminates the meaning, magic, and mysteries of fatherhood as only Michael Chabon can.
by Jim Harrison
Now in paperback, this collection of Harrison's essays on food taps into his larger-than-life appetite with wit and verve. In these pieces, Harrison muses on the relationship between hunter and prey, interrogates the obscure language of wine reviews, and delivers a manifesto against the bland, mass-produced food of our time, proposing instead what he calls the Vivid Diet. He delights in food from the most outr indulgence (a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses) to a simple bowl of menudo. Harrison's food writing is a program for living, and A Really Big Lunch is shot through with his pointed aper us and keen delight in the pleasures of the senses. And between the lines the pieces give glimpses of Harrison's life over the last fifteen years. Lovingly introduced by master chef Mario Batali, A Really Big Lunch is a literary delight that will satisfy every appetite.
by Carlo Rovelli
Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe.
Indie Next June 2018
Here are just a few of the new releases that indie booksellers across the country are recommending. For more books, see our Indie Next section at the front of the store.
by Anthony Horowitz
"When a healthy 60-year-old woman is found strangled in her London home the very day she had organized and paid for her own funeral, former police detective—now consultant—Daniel Hawthorne convinces author Anthony Horowitz to shadow his investigation to eventually publish this very story. Imagine sitting in a darkened English pub listening to Horowitz bemoaning his involvement as he tells the story of the unlikeable but captivating Hawthorne. Readers will quickly join in playing detective as characters, plot twists, clues, and red herrings escalate while enjoying the old-fashioned feel of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes in a modern setting. Delicious!"
—Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
by Tommy Orange
"There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn't let go, even after you've turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read."
—Heather Weldon, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
by Fatima Farheen Mirza
"Mirza evokes with equal skill and nuance the first- and second-generation immigrant experience and the universal themes of family unity and discord. In A Place for Us, she captures the complicated dynamics of one family’s relationships with each other with astonishing insight. I found it tremendously moving in a way that only the most authentic stories and voices can be. The last 70 pages buckled my knees. How can a story about characters so outside my own life experience be so hauntingly familiar?"
—Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
By Gail Honeyman
"Eleanor Oliphant has quickly become one of my favorite fictional characters, and this novel one of my favorite books. Eleanor is completely original and the right kind of weird. Her life and her past, combined with such kindhearted characters, made for a compulsively readable, heartwarming story that I did not want to put down. I can’t wait for this book to come out so many more can fall in love with Eleanor. Highly, highly recommended."
—Kaitlin Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastapol, CA
(Now out in paperback!)
By Finn Murphy
"This memoir of a life spent driving trucks full of strangers' personal belongings across the country is the book I didn’t know I needed. Finn Murphy writes engaging slice-of-life stories about his time as a long-haul truck driver while also showing the changes in the trucking industry and American life in the decades he’s spent pulling thousands of pounds up mountains, through storms, and across plains. Trucking is a solitary life, but Murphy grabbed me like a friend and took me with him on his journey."
—Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL
New in History
Check out these great new titles:
by Craig Childs
This vivid travelogue through prehistory traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
by Thomas E. Ricks
This is a dual biography of men who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike. By the late 1930's, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom--that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks's masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin. (Now out in paperback.)
by Brian Fagan
This Little History tells the riveting stories of some of the great archaeologists and their amazing discoveries around the globe: ancient Egyptian tombs, Mayan ruins, the first colonial settlements at Jamestown, mysterious Stonehenge, the incredibly preserved Pompeii, and many, many more. In forty brief, exciting chapters, the book recounts archaeology's development from its eighteenth-century origins to its twenty-first-century technological advances, including remote sensing capabilities and satellite imagery techniques that have revolutionized the field. Shining light on the most intriguing events in the history of the field, this absolutely up-to-date book illuminates archaeology's controversies, discoveries, heroes and scoundrels, global sites, and newest methods for curious readers of every age.
by Helen Rappaport
Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin's Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St. Petersburg) was in turmoil. The foreign visitors who filled hotels, clubs, offices and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps and beneath their windows. Among this disparate group were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, bankers, governesses, volunteer nurses and expatriate socialites. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home. Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action - to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped in a "red madhouse."