June 2019: Author Readings, Indie Next, and New in History

June 2019: Author Readings, Indie Next, and New in History
 
Check out which authors are reading here soon, read the latest reviews from indie booksellers, and see what's new in History. 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 Elizabeth Gilbert
Out: June 4
 
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.
by Martin Walker
Out: June 4
 
Bruno is back, and his latest case leads him from the Renaissance to the French Resistance and beyond by way of a corpse at the bottom of a well. When Claudia, a young American, turns up dead in the courtyard of an ancient castle in Bruno's jurisdiction, her death is assumed to be an accident related to opioid use. But her doctor persuades Bruno that things may not be so simple. Thus begins an investigation that leads Bruno to Monsieur de Bourdeille, the scholar with whom the girl had been studying, and then through that man's past. He is a renowned art historian who became extraordinarily wealthy through the sale of paintings that may have been falsely attributed--or so Claudia suggested shortly before her death. In his younger days, Bourdeille had aided the Resistance and been arrested by a Vichy policeman whose own life story also becomes inexorably entangled with the case. Also in the mix is a young falconer who works at the Château des Milandes, the former home of fabled jazz singer Josephine Baker. In the end, of course, Bruno will tie all the loose threads together and see that justice is served--along with a generous helping of his signature Périgordian cuisine.
by Blake Crouch
Out: June 11
 
Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it. But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?
 
First Friday
 
On June 7, 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 Mary Norris
 
This book is a charming account of Norris's lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris's memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine--and more than a few Greek men--Greek to Me is the Comma Queen's fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.
 
And our kids prize is:
by Denene Millner and Gladys Jose
(plus a rainbow jump rope!)
 
Meet Destiny—a cool, energetic, and strong-willed young girl who approaches every day with her own signature style! That is, until she moves to a brand-new neighborhood, where nothing looks quite the same as it did at her old house. Even with new challenges and new friends to make, Destiny always has a plan. With a few reminders from her loving family and after remembering what being the Fresh Princess is all about, she may just take the leap and jump right in!
 
Upcoming Events
Nirvana Is Here
Thursday, June 6, 7pm
 
The Seattle author will read from his new novel. For Ari Silverman, the past has never really passed. After 20 years, the trauma from a childhood assault resurfaces as he grapples with the fate of his ex-husband, a colleague accused of sexually harassing a student. To gain perspective, Ari arranges to reconnect with his high school crush, Justin Jackson, a bold step which forces him to reflect on their relationship in the segregated suburbs of Detroit during the 1990s and the secrets they still share. An honest story about recovery and coping with both past and present, framed by the meteoric rise and fall of the band Nirvana and the wide-reaching scope of the #metoo movement, Nirvana is Here explores issues of identity, race, sex, and family with both poignancy and unexpected humor.
Himalaya Bound
Monday, June 10, 7pm
 
Following his vivid account of traveling with one of the last camel caravans on earth in Men of Salt, Michael Benanav now brings us along on a journey with a tribe of forest-dwelling nomads in India. Welcomed into a family of nomadic water buffalo herders, he joins them on their annual spring migration into the Himalayas. More than a glimpse into an endangered culture, this superb adventure explores the relationship between humankind and wild lands, and the dubious effect of environmental conservation on peoples whose lives are inseparably intertwined with the natural world. Intimate and enthralling, Himalaya Bound paints a sublime picture of a rarely-seen world, revealing the hopes and fears, hardships and joys, of a people who wonder if there is still a place for them on this planet.
Volcanoes, Palm Trees & Privilege: Essays on Hawai'i
Wednesday, June 12, 7pm
at Gastromania
 
The Southwest Portland author will read from her essay collection, one of the New York Times Best Summer Travel Books. Prato will be joined for a lively in-conversation with James Eliot Jones, a surfer and musician raised on O'ahu. The event will take place next door to Annie Bloom's at Gastromania, with food and drink! Liz Prato combines lyricism, research and humor to explore her role as a white tourist in a seemingly paradisiacal land that has been largely formed and destroyed by white outsiders. Hawaiian history, pop culture, and contemporary affairs are masterfully woven with her personal narrative of loss and survival in linked essays, offering unique insight into how the touristic ideal of Hawai'i came to be, and what Hawai'i is at its core. "Liz Prato's profound meditations on place dislocate and then relocate understandings of Hawaiʻi from the point of view of the non-native visitor. This book is a love letter to the land and people of Hawaiʻi, with a keen awareness that some people must let their story of this place go. Breathtaking." —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and Book of Joan.
The Other Americans
Tuesday, June 18, 7pm
 
From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moor's Account, here is a timely and powerful novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant—at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant living in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters who are deeply divided by race, religion, and class. As they tell their stories, connections among them emerge, even as Driss's family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love, messy and unpredictable, is born.
Poetry Reading
Thursday, June 20, 7pm
 
Local poets Cathy Cain and Piper Bringman, whose new collections are published by The Poetry Box, will be reading together. Cathy Cain, like a bee to flower, gathers thought from one encounter with nature to another. Throughout Bee Dance, she speaks from many perspectives—as herself, as tree, as mushroom, or as goddess-hero. Sometimes playful, even mystical, Cain is deeply honest as she confronts the state of our relationship with the natural environment, with technology, and with what it means to be human. Cardboard Wings is the debut poetry collection by Piper Bringman, a 14-year-old poet who is coming of age. And, although her writing originally grew from a child’s grief for her beloved pet, it has blossomed into a rich voice of aspiration and charm. Join her as she explores the natural world, and shares her experience as a young curious heart navigating these modern times.
Children's Author Panel
Monday, June 24, 7pm
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes this panel of five local picture book authors. Judi Gardiner, well loved school librarian for over 20 years, will be talking with children's book authors: Debra Bartsch, Gretchen McLellan, Trudy Ludwig, Carolyn Conahan, and Jane Kurtz. Bartsch is the author of Crow Spirit, an unusual book about loss, family and spirit. McLellan's Button and Bundle is the tender story about two best friends who must move away from each other. Ludwig is the author of Quiet Please, Owen McPhee!, the story of a boy who won't stop talking--until he gets laryngitis and learns to listen. Kurtz's What Do They Do with All That Poo? is a zany, fact-filled romp that explores zoo poo.
Lifelines
Monday, July 1, 7pm
 
The Brooklyn author will read from her novel, Lifelines, and will be joined in conversation with local author Sara Jaffe. For fans of Meg Wolitzer and Maggie Shipstead, Heidi Diehl's Lifelines is a sweeping debut novel following an American artist who returns to Germany—where she fell in love and had a child decades earlier—to confront her past at her former mother-in-law’s funeral. Exquisitely balanced, expansive yet wonderfully intimate, Lifelines explores the indelible ties of family; the shape art, history, and nationality give to our lives; and the ways in which we are forever evolving, with each step we take, with each turn of the Earth.
Poetry Reading
Tuesday, July 2, 7pm
 
The local poets will read from their new collections. What happens when metaphysics and social critique meet? Poetry that has to find a new form to express the tension it embodies. John Sibley Williams’ newspaper-like columns in As One Fire Consumes Another do just that. Here, transcendent vision and trenchant social insight meet, wrestle, and end up revitalizing one another. This event will be the launch of A. Molotkov’s Synonyms for Silence. His third poetry collection traverses a terrain of terror and wonder. These sharp, brief lyrics and prose poems subject the world to ethical and metaphysical scrutiny, examining the familiar as well as the unknowable aspects of human existence and contrasting our transient chemical reality with our ability to manifest meaning.
Saint Everywhere
Monday, July 8, 7pm
 
California author Mary Lea Carroll will read from her book Saint Everywhere.While visiting Siena, Italy, Mary Lea Carroll grew fascinated with the remarkable story of St. Catherine of Siena and made a resolution: Whenever she was lucky enough to travel, if a shrine dedicated to a female saint was nearby, she'd visit it and learn about her. What started as a hobby grew into a journey she never expected, one rich with challenges and cappuccinos, doubts and inspiration, glasses of wine with strangers and moments of transcendence. Over eight quests, Carroll takes readers along with her as she seeks to learn something from a few great women of history, while looking for ways to be a better citizen of the world.
Deep River
Wednesday, July 10, 7pm
 
Annie Bloom's welcomes back Karl Marlantes to read from his latest novel. In the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia's imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblings--Ilmari, Matti, and the politicized young Aino--are forced to flee to the United States. Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind. Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.
A Road Called Down on Both Sides
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.
 
Indie Next
Every month, the coalition of independent bookstores puts together a list of titles recommended by booksellers across the country. Come in to browse the titles below, along with other great new bookseller picks for June 2019.
by Ocean Vuong
 
"Alright 2019, this is the novel to beat. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is the rare novel that makes you experience reading in a slightly different way and shows you that, no matter how many books you've read, something new and uniquely beautiful can still be found. The novel takes the form of a letter written by the main character, Little Dog, to his mother — an immigrant from Vietnam who cannot read. The power of Vuong's poetic writing shimmers with every paragraph, and each phrase is a carefully considered, emotional journey. Grappling with themes of identity, sexuality, addiction, violence, and finding your place in a world where you feel you don’t belong, this book already feels like a modern classic, destined to be read and talked about for years to come." —Caleb Masters, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
by Sara Collins
 
"Drawing on her experiences of growing up in the Cayman Islands, attending university in London, and practicing law, outstanding debut author Sara Collins has drawn a character one will not soon forget. Told with evocative language, Frannie Langton's confession is a life story not to be missed. Raised on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, then transported to a life of servitude in London, Frannie lives a life of twists and turns of love and betrayal that will both shock and intrigue you. I was as tense as she was waiting for the verdict to be handed down. Thank you, Sara Collins!" —Mary Mollman, Booked, Evanston, IL
by Robert Macfarlane
 
"I don't think there is a square mile of ground on this planet where Robert Macfarlane couldn't dig up a new, wondrous story. Underland continues the tradition of profound storytelling, reflection, and, quite simply, gorgeous writing we have come to expect from him. Macfarlane's ventures into the underworlds of our planet, both mythical and literal, may amount to his finest work yet, and not just because these are the places that have captivated me most throughout my life. I feel fortunate to be living at the same time as him, knowing that as long as he is writing, there is something to look forward to." —Chris La Tray, Fact & Fiction Downtown, Missoula, MT
by Richard Roper
 
"Richard Roper's debut is utterly delightful. I was spellbound from the very first page. Andrew's job is a sensitive one: when someone dies at home alone, he is called to literally dig through personal effects—scraps of paper or old holiday cards—and determine if there are any next of kin. Andrew's daily experience with the dearly departed, combined with his model train obsession, dysfunctional office mates, and an estranged sister, result in a compelling read. Funny, smart, and sad, Roper's How Not to Die Alone is just wonderful." —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
 
These previous Indie Next picks are now available in paperback!
by Meg Wolitzer
 
"I never could have anticipated this book, and now I can't imagine a world without it, especially at this moment in American history. The Female Persuasion follows the ambitious but shy Greer Kadetsky, her boyfriend, her best friend, and the feminist icon who launches her into the world. Through these vivid, complex, and lovable characters, Wolitzer explores both the principle and reality of feminism, as well as the desire to become our fullest selves and the twists and turns that journey can take. My heart raced while reading this book, and I never wanted it to end. The Female Persuasion is powerful, generous, smart, and deeply kind; I can't wait for the world to meet it." — Megan Bell, Underground Books, Carrollton, GA
by Lauren Groff
 
"Groff has surpassed herself with this stunning collection of short stories. Florida, with its 'hellmouth' summers, 'all humidity and pink stucco and cellulite rippling under the hems of shorts,' is the loose thread that ties the stories together. Told with deep intelligence and a compassion for characters viewed coolly from a distance, Groff's collection examines the themes of family, loss, and human connection in startling and often heartbreaking ways." — Grace Harper, Mac's Backs, Cleveland Heights, OH
 
New in History
by Rick Atkinson
 
From the author of An Army at Dawn comes the extraordinary first volume of his new trilogy about the American Revolution. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, Nathanael Greene, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling. Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.
by Sarah Rose
 
This is the dramatic, untold true story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory in World War II. In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was on the front lines. To "set Europe ablaze," in the words of Winston Churchill, the Special Operations Executive was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women as spies. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. In D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently de­classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. Rigorously researched and written with razor-sharp wit, D-Day Girls is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance: a reminder of what courage—and the energy of politically animated women—can accomplish when the stakes seem incalculably high.
by David McCullough
 
As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River. Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough's signature narrative energy.
by Brenda Wineapple
 
When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson became "the Accidental President," it was a dangerous time in America. Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited: when and how the secessionist South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether black men should be given the vote. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre–Civil War society, if without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson ignored Congress, pardoned rebel leaders, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. It fell to Congress to stop the American president who acted like a king. With profound insights and making use of extensive research, Brenda Wineapple dramatically evokes this pivotal period in American history.