March 2013 Staff Reviews, Gardening Books & More

In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
Staff Reviews
Readings
New Gardening Books
Village Construction
More Staff Faves
Our staff enjoyed these books, too.


Astray
by Emma Donoghue


The World as It Is Today
by Chris Hedges


Taken
by Robert Crais


Drift
by Rachel Maddow 
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March 2013 Staff Reviews, Gardening Books & More

Greetings!

Here are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great readings coming up. Plus, check out what's new in Gardening. 
Staff Reviews
Our staff brings you three new favorites. Click on a title or cover image to link to our website, where you can read more about the book or purchase it from our secure webstore.

The Dinner
by Herman Koch
reviewed by Kate
When I began reading The Dinner, I was charmed by the narrator's wry humor as he and his wife meet his unlikable brother and sister in law for dinner at a pretentious restaurant. When I finished the novel the next day (after barely having managed to set it down long enough to sleep), I felt traumatized in the best way, and set out to make everyone I know read it, too. This book goes from comedy of manners to psychological thriller, leading the reader one course at a time through the minds and actions of a family that is more than it seems. If you have ever looked around a restaurant and imagined what the other diners are thinking, this book is for you. If you have ever thought about how far you would go to protect your family, this book is for you. If you're looking for a book that you can't put down, pick this one up.

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
by Lawrence Wright
reviewed by Brian
How did a self improvement book written by a pulp writer turn into Scientology, a multi-million dollar industry and the religion of countless thousands (countless because the church won't release the numbers of its membership)? And why did these followers continue to believe in the superhuman powers of their leader even as they saw him grow fat and sickly and his methods become more and more draconian? And how did the church manage to infiltrate governments around the world, stealing documents and attempting to stir up civil unrest? And what is the deal with Tom Cruise? Is he creepy or what? A fascinating story that couldn't be any weirder if it was invented by, oh, I don't know, a charming compulsive liar with a penchant for sci-fi. Highly recommended, by me, charming and compulsive bookseller.

The Movement of Stars
by Amy Brill
reviewed by Carol
"Not in vain do we watch the setting and the rising of the stars." It is 1845 and Hannah Gardner Price, a young Quaker woman, tirelessly scans the Nantucket night sky in hopes of being the next to discover a new comet in the heavens. At the same time, Hannah becomes the tutor of Isaac Martin, a young black whaler from the Azores, who also aspires beyond his station in life. Hannah struggles with her attraction to Isaac and her growing independence from a faith that values simplicity and restraint over intellect and ambition. Based on the life of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America. [Published in April, you can pre-order it today!] 
Readings
We have some great authors appearing in March and April:

Anne Hendren
A Dream of Good and Evil
TONIGHT! (Thursday, March 14, 7:00 PM)
Hendren's novel introduces architect Loisann "Lou" Cooper to a world fallen apart. A professional failure prompts her to quit her job, she discovers a man she loves is arrested in the brutal killing of a journalist, her sister lands in jail. Lou's old boss and his socialite wife are not what they seem, and their actions directly affect Lou's life. Deliverance appears in the unlikely form of an architecture project that restores Lou Cooper's sense of justice. Hendren spent years researching the connection linking improved prison design with reduced recidivism. These elements inform the story arc in A Dream of Good and Evil.
Candace Walsh
Licking the Spoon
Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 PM
In her food memoir, Walsh tells how, lacking role models in her early life, she turned to cookbook authors real and fictitious (Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, Mollie Katzen, Daniel Boulud, and more) to learn, unlearn, and redefine her own womanhood. Through the lens of food, Walsh recounts her life's journey--from unhappy adolescent to straight-identified wife and mother to divorcée in a same-sex relationship--and she throws in some dishy revelations, a-ha moments, take-home tidbits, and mouth-watering recipes for good measure.

Chitra Divakaruni
Oleander Girl
Tuesday, April 2, 7:00 PM
The author of The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, and One Amazing Thing returns with a brand new novel, Oleander Girl. Orphaned at birth, seventeen-year-old Korobi Roy has enjoyed a sheltered childhood with her adoring grandparents. Shortly after her engagement to the charming Rajat, a heart attack kills Korobi's grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi's past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents' betrayal, Korobi undertakes a courageous search across post-9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will, ultimately, thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.

Phillip Margolin
Sleight of Hand
Tuesday, April 9, 7:00 PM
When Horace Blair married Carrie he made her sign a prenuptial agreement guaranteeing her twenty million dollars if she remained faithful for the first ten years of marriage. Just one week before their tenth anniversary, Carrie disappears, and Horace is charged with her murder. Desperate to clear his name, the millionaire hires D.C.'s most ruthless defense lawyer: amateur illusionist Charles Benedict. Meanwhile, Private Investigator Dana Cutler is in the Pacific Northwest on the trail of a stolen relic dating from the Ottoman Empire. Hitting a dead end sends her back to Virginia perplexed and disappointed--and straight into the case of Horace and Carrie Blair. Now Dana must conjure a few tricks of her own to expose Benedict's plot, before he can work his deadly magic on her...

J.A. Jance
Deadly Stakes
Monday, April 15, 7:00 PM
Police academy-trained former reporter Ali Reynolds is contacted to investigate the grisly murder of a gold-digging divorcee on behalf of a woman, Lynn Martinson, accused of the crime. Ali is simultaneously drawn to the case of A.J. Sanders, a frightened teen who finds the body in the Camp Verde desert when he goes to retrieve a mysterious buried box hidden by his absent father--a box that turns out to be filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in poker chips. Ali must stop a deadly killer from claiming another victim ... before she herself is lost in this game of deadly stakes.

Click this link for more April author readings.
New Gardening Books    

Here are some of the latest titles from our Gardening section:

The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest
by Lorene Edwards Forkner
This growing guide truly understands the unique eccentricities of the Northwest growing calendar. The month-by-month format makes it perfect for beginners and accessible to everyone--you can start gardening the month you pick it up. This book also features an A-Z section that profiles the vegetables, fruits, and herbs that grow best in the region, with basic care and maintenance for each. Introductory material provides valuable information on gardening basics and garden planning.

 

 

 

All New Square Foot Gardening
by Mel Bartholomew
Square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden. In this new volume, Bartholomew furthers his discussion on one of the most popular gardening trends today: vertical gardening. He also explains how you can make gardening fun for kids by teaching them the square foot method. Finally, an expanded section on pest control helps you protect your precious produce.

 

 

 

The Speedy Vegetable Garden
by Mark Diacono
This guide highlights more than 50 quick crops, with complete information on how to sow, grow, and harvest each plant, and sumptuous photography that provides inspiration and a visual guide for when to harvest. In addition to instructions for growing, it also provides recipes that highlight each crop s unique flavor, like Chickpea sprout hummus, stuffed tempura zucchini flowers, and a paella featuring calendula.

 

 

 

Kiss My Aster
by Amanda Thomsen
Who cares what the neighbors think? Kiss My Aster is a hilarious, irreverent, interactive guide to designing an outdoor space that is exactly what you want. Combining entertaining illustrations with laugh-out-loud text, Thomsen lays out the many options for home landscaping and invites readers to make the choices.

Multnomah Village Goes Green    
multnomah village goes green
Portland's Environmental Service now estimates a March 18 start date for the Village's storm water runoff project. The City will plant trees, widen sidewalks, and reconfigure the parking layout to benefit pedestrians and cyclists.

During the projected 90 days of construction, one lane of traffic will always remain open, ten parking spaces will be available, and pedestrian walkways will be in place. Most important, Village business will remain open!

We'll post updates on the project whenever we have new information to share. So keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.