March 2019: Staff Favorites, Author Readings, and New in Gardening

March 2019: Staff Favorites, Author Readings, and New in Gardening
Check out these new Staff Faves, find out which authors are reading here soon, and see what's new in our Gardening 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 Edward O. Wilson
Out: March 19th
Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Genesis demonstrates that the only way for us to fully understand human behavior is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, Wilson demonstrates that at least seventeen--among them the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp--have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism and cooperation. Genesis is a pithy yet path-breaking work of evolutionary theory, braiding twenty-first-century scientific theory with the lyrical biological and humanistic observations for which Wilson is known.
by Jacqueline Winspear
Out: March 26
When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered in her London digs, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. He is accompanied by an agent from the US Department of Justice—Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie escape Hitler’s Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon’s death. As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the British Isles, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect Anna, the young evacuee she has grown to love and wants to adopt. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend—and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.
by Ruth Reichl
Out: April 2
Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet. This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.
Staff Favorites
Here are some great new books, as chosen by three members of the Annie Bloom's staff:
by Ross Gay
reviewed by Rosanne
In this anxious and contentious time, when you are looking for a gift of uplift for a graduate or for a parent on Mother's or Father's Day, look no further than The Book of Delights by Ross Gay. Here's a man who made a deliberate decision to seek out each day something to delight in. He captures those moments, however fleeting, in a collection of lyric essays. They are brief; most are a page or less. It's the sort of thing that could go saccharine, but Ross Gay's essays are piercingly honest and true-hearted. It has inspired me to look on my world with a more generous eye and search, amid the toxic flotsam of the moment, for things to treasure in my fellow humans.
by Chris Cander
reviewed by Carol
An upright Bluthner piano is the only surviving relic 26-yr-old Clara has from her childhood home, which was destroyed by fire, killing both of her parents. Katya, a young Russian pianist, reluctantly emigrates to the United States in the 1960s with her disillusioned husband and loses her beloved Bluthner in the move. While Clara has never learned to play, she doggedly moves her piano from place to place and relationship to relationship. When her hand is crushed during the latest move, she impulsively puts the piano up for sale online where it’s immediately snatched up by an eager young photographer who has his own fierce attachment to the Bluthner. As Katya and Clara's stories intertwine, one can feel not only the physical weight of the piano but the crushing weight of sorrow and disappointment both women feel as they each come to terms with their loss.
by Tessa Hadley
reviewed by: Erin
As usual, spending time with Tessa Hadley's characters is as comfortable as meeting with old friends. Her latest novel is no exception in showcasing her skill as a master of domestic fiction--giving rich complexity to the ties that bind people, especially marriage and friendship. Late in the Day opens with three close-knit friends grieving the untimely death of one of their group of four, and the remaining novel is a testament to how things change and yet also remain the same. Fans of Tessa Hadley will not be disappointed.
Upcoming Author Readings
Monday, March 18, 7pm
Pacific Northwest authors Vlautin and Evison will read from the paperback editions of their latest novels. In Willy Vlautin's Don't Skip Out on Me, Horace Hopper is a half-Paiute, half-Irish ranch hand who wants to be somebody. He's spent most of his life on the ranch of his kindly guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Reese. But, while the Reeses treat him like a son, Horace decides to leave the only loving home he's known to prove his worth by training to become a boxer. Mr. Reese is holding on to a way of life that is no longer sustainable. He's a seventy-two-year-old rancher with a bad back. He's not sure how he'll keep things going without Horace, but he knows the boy must find his own way. In Jonathan Evison's Lawn Boy, Mike Muñoz is a young Chicano living in Washington State. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work—and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew—he knows that he's got to be the one to shake things up if he's ever going to change his life. But how? Lawn Boy is an important, entertaining, and completely winning novel about social class distinctions, about overcoming cultural discrimination, and about standing up for oneself.
La Luministe
Thursday, March 21, 7pm
The local author reads from her debut novel. Berthe Morisot was a fist in a velvet glove. In 19th century Paris, an haute-bourgeois woman was expected to be discreet to the point of near-invisibility. But Berthe, forbidden to enter L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, started the art movement that broke open the walls of the art establishment. And, unable to marry the love of her life, Edouard Manet, she married his brother. While she epitomized femininity and decorum, Morisot was a quiet revolutionary. As an Impressionist, she created light-infused paintings of women in reverie that the other members of the group deemed the most avant-garde of them all. They called Morisot La Luministe, the painter of light. Her portraits depict women lost in thought, not as objects of the male gaze, but possessing an interior life.
Nina LaCour, Shanthi Sekaran, Zahra Noorbakhsk, Vernon Keeve, and Laura Davis
Thursday, March 28, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes Nina LaCour, Shanthi Sekaran, Zahra Noorbakhsk, Vernon Keeve, and Laura Davis. With Border Crossing, these five authors share fiction, poetry, and comedy that explore the boundaries of where creativity can take us. Nina LaCour is the winner of the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award and nationally bestselling author of We Are Okay. Shanthi Sekaran is the author of Lucky Boy, an NPR Best Book of 2017. Zahra Noorbakhsh is a comedian, writer, cohost of #GoodMuslimBadMuslim, and deemed a “must-listen” by O, The Oprah Magazine. Vernon Keeve III is a poet, teacher, and author of Southern Migrant Mixtape. Laura Joyce Davis is a fiction writer, Fulbright scholar, and winner of Poets & Writers Exchange Award.
The Oasis This Time
Tuesday, April 2, 7pm
In her book, the Oregon author thoroughly and eloquently explores human attitudes toward water in the West, from Twentynine Palms, California, to Sitka, Alaska. A lifelong immersion in all things water forms the author's deep thinking about living with this critical compound and sometimes dying in it, on it, with too much of it, or for lack of it. The Oasis This Time, the inaugural Waterston Desert Writing Prize winner, is a call for us to evolve toward a sustainable and even spiritual connection to water.
Clockbreakers Two: Morrigan's Revenge
Tuesday, April 9, 7pm
Portland author Kate Ristau presents Morrigan's Revenge, the sequel to her Middle Grade debut, Clockbreakers. Charlie's dad is gone, and she's on a magic adventure to get him back! But first – fifth grade. She rolls her wheelchair into her classroom and then straight into an Ancient Irish battle. But this is not the time travel she expected. Betrayed by her friends, Charlie faces the wrath of the goddess, Morrigan, and the warriors think she is one of the fairies. Can Cuchulain--the hero of Irish folklore--help? Or will she be trapped back in an ancient myth forever?
The Widmer Way
Thursday, April 11, 7pm
Portland author and beer guru Jeff Alworth's book The Widmer Way chronicles Kurt and Rob Widmer's journey from humble homebrewers to craft beer pioneers and purveyors of the iconic Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen. Alworth also dives deep into Portland's history, setting the scene for Widmer's rise in the city now known for its exquisite beer. Kurt and Rob Widmer have a deep affection for the city that fostered their success, providing sports team sponsorships, support for up-and-coming brewers, and hundreds of jobs for their community. The Widmer Way emphasizes this special relationship with a story that will resonate with Portland's legion of beer aficionados as it illustrates how Portland became "Beervana."
New in Gardening
Spring is nearly here at last! Take a look at some of the latest titles from our Gardening section.
by Kate Frey
Gardening doesn’t have to be difficult, and Kate Frey—expert gardener and designer—makes it easier than ever with her new book, Ground Rules. Frey distills the vital lessons of gardening into 100 simple rules that will yield a gorgeous, healthy, and thriving home garden. Discover tips on garden design, care and maintenance, healthy soil, and the best ways to water. You’ll also learn how to create a garden that encourages birds and butterflies, how to choose healthy plants at the garden center, how and when to re-pot a container, and much more. With bite-size chunks of expert information and inspiring photographs, Ground Rules is your new go-to resource.
by Tara Austen Weaver
This complete guide to backyard fruit growing covers recommended varieties and climate info for the Pacific Northwest both west and east of the Cascades, ideal climates for growing berries and fruit trees. Also includes sidebars showcasing historical orchards, fruit enthusiast societies, gleaning organizations, and more. Includes several recommended cultivars of each of the following types of fruit: 
-Berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi berries, plus less common berries such as lingonberries, elderberries, currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, and a section on wild berries. 
-Fruit trees: apples, pears, Asian pears, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, plus less common fruit trees such as figs, persimmons, and quince.
by Jen Stearns
The ultimate go-to guide for aspiring indoor gardeners, this book offers inspiration and instruction to envision and create your own gorgeous in-home garden spaces. With plentiful images and a distinctly modern and sophisticated feel, The Inspired Houseplant: Transform Your Home with Indoor Plants from Kokedama to Terrariums and Water Gardens to Edibles imparts both easy-to-follow advice and creative garden-design inspiration. Whether you are looking to pick a statement plant for your living room, create a terrarium centerpiece, or arrange an artful display of air plants, this book will provide the tools you need. And like the garden spaces it will inspire, the book will be a piece of art to display. You'll be tempted to thumb through it again and again--for both resource and relaxation.
by Steven Bradley
Are you intimidated by pruning? Or tired of paying a professional to tackle the task? You can prune most trees and shrubs on your own, and Pruning Simplified shows you exactly how to do it. This must-have guide offers expert advice on the best tools for the job, specific details on when to prune, and clear instructions on how to prune. Profiles of the 50 most popular trees and shrubs—including azaleas, camellias, clematis, hydrangeas, and more—include illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions that will ensure you make the right cut the first time.
"One of the most practical and helpful how-to gardening books I have ever read." —The Oregonian
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