May 2012 Staff Reviews & More

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In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
World Book Night
Staff Reviews
Northwest Book Lovers
More Staff Faves

White Horse
by Alex Adams

Periodic Tales
by Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Midnight in Peking
by Paul French

The True Story of Titanic Thompson
by Kevin Cook

The Path to Hope
by Stephane Hessel & Edgar Morin
urban farm Spring has finally come, and the garden magazines are in full bloom. Fine Gardening, Urban Farm, and Maritime NW are here to give you some inspiration (and maybe some help).

Thinking of redoing your home? Architectural Digest, Dwell, and Fine Homebuilding will get you started. Special editions of these magazines on design and decks are in the store now!

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May 2012: Staff Reviews & More

We have two new staff reviews for you! Also, don't miss this week's poetry reading. And check out our new Theme section. 
Staff Reviews
Our staff brings you a pair of new staff favorites:

Half-Blood Blues
by Esi Edugyan
reviewed by Sharon

100 great poems Sid Griffiths, an aging jazz musician, recollects his youth playing with Hieronymus Falk and the Hot Time Swingers in 1940, Berlin. Falk, an African-German "mischling" (half-breed), was taken from a cafe in Paris by the Nazis and never seen again, but a tattered recording of him survived and brought him worldwide fame. With unusual slang and a jazz-like tempo, Sid recalls dreams of musical success and a friendship tainted by jealousy. His story is overshadowed by fear as the war encroaches on their lives. Jazz music has been declared degenerate by the Nazis and after an unfortunate encounter with "the boots" the musicians are forced to flee to Paris where they  meet up with Louis Armstrong and begin work on the monumental "Half-Blood Blues" recording. I enjoyed this book for its powerful narrative style and for its unique perspective of WWII Europe.

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets 

by Michael J. Sandel

reviewed by Mary

100 great poems Happily, this is not a book about whether money can buy happiness. It is however a challenging analysis of whether a democracy that values justice and fairness should challenge the "market triumphalism" of the past few decades. Should the bottom line always be the bottom line? From slavery, to prisons, to war, to life insurance, to priority lines at the airport--is there a moral price to be paid for commodifying more and more aspects of our lives? Sandel's goal is to encourage "robust public discourse" on this topic--and he certainly succeeded at our house. An accessible, timely and thought-provoking read.  

Portland's Woodshop Writers
Who's Your Family?
TONIGHT! at 7pm

The Woodshop Writers, a group of nine Portland writers, bring to light unique and challenging family experiences, whether based on real life or fantasy. The anthology is a diverse collection of humorous and emotional essays. The scheduled readers for this evening are: Jamie Caulley, Kathy Eaton, Dave King, Catherine Magdalena, Sarah Retzer, and Mark Robben.


Anne Mendel

Etiquette for an Apocalypse

Thursday, May 17, 7pm

It's the 2020 Apocalypse and Sophie Cohen, former social worker turned neighborly drug dealer, must keep her family alive amid those pesky end of the world issues: starvation, earthquakes, plagues, gang violence and alas more starvation. In order to accomplish all this she must find a way to love her mother, accept her daughter's adulthood and reignite her moribund marriage. She might discover that a decentralized, consensus driven life--without fossil fuels, iPhones and chocolate éclairs--isn't the end of the world, after all.


Leni Zumas

The Listeners

Monday, May 21, 7pm

This is the story of a woman whose life is shaped by tragedy. Quinn is thirty-something, a survivor of a fractured and eccentric childhood marred by the death of her younger sister. Twenty years later, she is in the midst of a decade-long slide down the other side of punk-rock stardom after her successful music career was abruptly halted. Quinn develops unique strategies for coping, but she cannot keep the past away. The Listeners is about what lurks in the shadows and what happens when what's lurking insists on being seen.   


Chloe Coscarelli

Chloe's Kitchen

Tuesday, May 22, 7pm

We're excited to host vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. Meet the winner of Cupcake Wars. She'll be armed with fresh-made treats! Chloe's Kitchen features vegan food like you've never seen it before. Coscarelli brings fun and energy to this healthful, animal-free cuisine by reinterpreting 125 of America's favorite foods with great-tasting ingredients and clever techniques. Here's how you can enjoy family favorites  without busting your belt.  


Plan Ahead for These Great June Readings:


Aimee Phan - Tuesday, June 7, 7pm

Cheryl Strayed - Monday, June 11, 7pm

Anna Kesey - Wednesday, June 27, 7pm

Matt Love - Thursday, June 28, 7pm    


Sign up now for a Yoga Writing Weekend Retreat at Stargazer Farms, June 8-10. Food will be prepared by chef Isabella Cruz. Annie Bloom's will provide her book, which is included in the package price. Find out more at Adventures by the Book's website.   


Northwest Book Lovers 
northwest book lovers
Annie Bloom's very own Jeff Shaffer will be featured once a month at Northwest Book Lovers (, as one of several guest columnists reporting from bookstores across the northwest. Jeff's column will be entitled "The Shelf Talker" and he will "try to make observations that are interesting, insightful, and humorous."