June 2019: Staff Favorites, Cooking, and Author Readings!

June 2019: Staff Favorites, Cooking, and Author Readings!
Check out our latest Staff Faves, find out who's reading here soon, and see what's new in our Cooking section. 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 Megan Miranda
Out: June 18
From the author of All the Missing Girls, this suspenseful new novel is about an idyllic town in Maine dealing with the suspicious death of one of their own—and her best "summer" friend, who is trying to uncover the truth…before fingers point her way. Each summer for almost a decade, Sadie and Avery are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.
by Kate Atkinson
Out: June 25
Iconoclastic detective Jackson Brodie returns in a triumphant new novel about secrets, sex, and lies. Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It's picturesque, but there's something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson's current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network-and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.
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.
Staff Favorites
Here are the latest picks from our staff:
by Laila Lalami
reviewed by: Matt
In a desert town near Joshua Tree National Park, a man dies in a hit-and-run accident. Thus opens a story of the man and his family and the investigation of his death. Alternately narrated by several different characters, we learn of backstories and side stories and brief flashbacks to Morocco and Iraq and Mexico. And we learn a bit of what it could be like to be an immigrant and to have darker skin in a post-9/11 America. The book is rich with intricacies of family and divorce and relocation and children. These lives are full of deep dysfunction but also--thanks to first person--we get a sense that each character is doing the best they can with what they have. And, when you read this book, can you please explain to me why the Salman chapter--and only the Salman chapter--in the middle of the book is written in the second person?
by Jonah Winter and Pete Oswald
reviewed by: Sandy
The sad little fact is a blue fuzzy ball with big eyes and spindly arms and legs. He speaks facts. But very few listen to him. Eventually the authorities grow so irritated with him that they throw him into a box and bury him—along with other colorful little facts. The world turns dark from all of the lies being told. However, there are fact seekers who search for these missing little facts, eventually find them and dig them up and release them into the blue sky and the sun, and the world is a brighter, safer place once more. While some people still choose to ignore the facts, “for those with minds to think and a need to know the truth,” the facts cannot be denied. A fact is a fact. AND THAT’S A FACT! This colorful, delightfully illustrated, children’s book by an award-winning author and an award-winning illustrator is fun to read (albeit a bit scary). Children and adults can relate on various levels. Is the message relevant? Totally. Subtle? No. Not a bit. And maybe that’s what it takes in this world today.
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.
Upcoming Events
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.
Picture Book Power!
Monday, June 24, 7pm
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. Conahan is the illustrator of Stubby the Fearless Squid, a sweet and fun and clever story about accepting yourself for who you are and being brave. Kurtz's What Do They Do with All That Poo? is a zany, fact-filled romp that explores zoo poo.
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's 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.
New in Cooking
by José Andrés
Andrés is famous for his unstoppable energy—and for his belief that vegetables are far sexier than meat can ever be. Showing us how to creatively transpose the flavors of a global pantry onto the produce aisle, Vegetables Unleashed showcases Andrés's wide-ranging vision and borderless cooking style. Filled with a guerilla spirit and brought to life by Andrés's globe-trotting culinary adventures, Vegetables Unleashed will show the home cook how to approach cooking vegetables in an entirely fresh and surprising way—and that the world can be changed through the power of plants.
by Tyler Malek and JJ Goode
Salt & Straw is the brainchild of two cousins, Tyler and Kim Malek, who had a vision but no recipes. They turned to their friends for advice—chefs, chocolatiers, brewers, and food experts of all kinds—and what came out is a super-simple base that takes five minutes to make, and an ice cream company that sees new flavors and inspiration everywhere they look. Using that base recipe, you can make dozens of Salt & Straw's most beloved, unique (and a little controversial) flavors, including Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, Roasted Strawberry and Toasted White Chocolate, and Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. But more importantly, this book reveals what they've learned, how to tap your own creativity, and how to invent flavors of your own, based on whatever you see around you. Because ice cream isn't just a thing you eat, it's a way to live.
by Teri Turner
As millions of people know, one of the toughest things about completing the Whole30 is figuring out what to eat next, the other 335 days of the year. Teri Turne has healthful and great tasting answers. Food is Teri's love language, and her approach to getting people into the kitchen, rolling up their sleeves, and cooking is contagious. "Don't be afraid to fail: it's just food," is one of her mantras. Teri's passion is evident on every page of her first cookbook, as she leads readers through a discovery of new flavors and spice combinations and teaches people to trust their cooking instincts. Teri's recipes, most of which are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and Whole30 compliant, are what makes No Crumbs Left unique. The Family chapter features the special recipes her own children grew up with and evoke home, love, and motherhood. Teri considers this book a love letter to her mother, and woven throughout are tips and favorite quotes to bring you right into her kitchen, where there is always an extra seat at the table.
by Andy Ricker
From iconic dishes like phat thai and phat si ew to lesser-known (at least Stateside) treasures like kuaytiaw reua (boat noodles), noodles represent many of the most delicious and satisfying dishes in the Thai culinary canon. In POK POK Noodles, chef Andy Ricker shares recipes for his favorites--including noodle soups, fried noodles, and khanom jiin, Thailand's only indigenous noodle. Filled with stunning food and location photography and the thoughtful, engaging storytelling that has earned Ricker legions of fans, this book will become an instant classic for armchair travelers and lovers of Thai food and culture.