April 2013 Staff Reviews, Sports Books, & More

In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
New Theme Section
Staff Reviews
Readings
New Sports Books
Join Our Mailing List
More Staff Faves
Our staff enjoyed these books, too.


Wedlocked
by Jay Ponteri


The Crowded Grave
by Martin Walker


The Watch
by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya


New Collected Poems
by Wendell Berry 
The Book Was Better
Our new Theme section is bursting with books that were made into movies. Here are just a few of the stars from this all-star cast:


by Ken Follett


by Rick Riordan


by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn


April 2013 Staff Reviews, Sports Books, & More

Greetings!

Here are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great readings coming up. Also, catch a glimpse of our new Theme section and check out the latest Sports books. 
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 Light Between Oceans
by M.L. Stedman
reviewed by Jennifer
The Light Between Oceans takes us to a desolate Australian coastline where, after years of heartbreaking miscarriages, Isabel finds an orphaned baby in a washed-up boat. Insisting that the baby is a "gift from God," Isabel convinces her lighthouse keeper husband, Tom, to keep the baby, despite his internal moral struggle with the decision. When Tom and Isabel return to the mainland two years later, they are faced with the consequences of their choice to keep the baby. Stedman's ability to weave adept storytelling with compelling writing and fascinating characters kept me riveted from the first page of this evocative book. Now out in paperback!

Paleofantasy
by Marlene Zuk
review by Andy
This is a very fun, sometimes hilarious, rigorously skeptical look at the current Paleo craze--the attempt by many to live as people did in the Paleolithic Age. The theory goes that (almost all) things were better then and that 'modern' developments such as agriculture and drinking milk are causing us all sorts of problems. Marlene Zuk is a professor of biology at UC Riverside and gives us an informative update on some of the latest research in evolution and how rapidly it can happen. She then proceeds with her gentle debunking of all things Paleo, covering a broad range of topics that our Caveman ancestors were supposedly more wise about: diet, exercise, love, family relations, and health. She doesn't have an axe to grind with the Paleo Proponents, but she has a "bemused fascination" with the phenomenon.


Astray

by Emma Donoghue

reviewed by Kathy 

This collection of short stories by the author of Room is about dislocation. Herself an immigrant from Ireland to Canada by way of England, Donoghue examines the loss and disconnection accompanying characters on the move, geographically or through life's inexorable and unexpected unfolding. Prompted by bits from her historical research, these stories are by turns funny, poignant, and ironic and end by celebrating the creativity, resilience, and adaptability that humans under stress have to draw upon. Even if you are not usually a reader of short stories, you may find yourself entranced by these!

Readings
We have some great authors appearing in late April and early May:

J.A. Jance
Deadly Stakes
TONIGHT! 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.

 National Poetry Month Reading
Wednesday, April 17, 7pm
To celebrate National Poetry Month, we're hosting this sextet of wonderful Portland writers. Carl Adamshick [pictured] is the author of the collection Curses and Wishes. Sarah Bartlett is the co-author of two chapbook collaborations: Baby On The Safe Side and A Mule-Shaped Cloud. Emily Kendall Frey is the author of The Grief Performance and Baguette. James Gendron's new full-length collection is Sexual Boat (Sex Boats). Jay Ponteri directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Marylhurst University and is the founding editor of two literary journals. Coleman Stevenson is the author of The Accidental Rarefication of Pattern #5609.

 Paul Dage
Trout Kill
Monday, April 22, 7pm
The Multnomah Villager presents his debut novel. The story is set in a small Oregon coastal community in 1997. Eddy Trout is a 47-year-old bartender who is searching for both his past and himself. He is a damaged man, and his marriage is falling apart. He loves his sister, Emily, who is equally damaged. They have never known their parents, but one day a stranger appears who claims to be their father. Eddy angrily denies it, but this stranger soon turns his and Emily's life inside out, and Eddy sets out to discover the truth.

 Becky Ohlsen
Walking Portland
Wednesday, April 24, 7pm
On each walk, you'll discover hidden gardens, historic landmarks, award-winning restaurants, old-school taverns, oddball shops, and edgy warehouse galleries in some of the Northwest's most exciting neighborhoods. You'll cross bridges and graveyards, wander a Smithsonian-honored boulevard, see experiments in urban renewal, and be regaled with stories of the city's colorful past. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll full of shopping and snacks or a vigorous trek over tree-covered hillsides, grab this book, step outside and ... walk Portland.

Sara Thebarge
The Invisible Girls
Thursday, May 2, 7pm
After barely surviving the grueling treatments for aggressive breast cancer, Thebarge moved to Portland, Oregon, to start over. There, a chance encounter with an exhausted Somali mother and her daughters transformed her life again. As Sarah helped Hadhi and the girls navigate American life, her outreach to the family became a source of courage and a lifeline for herself. Thebarge's riveting memoir invites readers to engage in her story of finding connection, love, and redemption in the most unexpected places.

Joel Magnuson
The Approaching Great Transformation
Monday, May 6, 7pm
Magnuson's visionary insights into the decline of the Oil Age and life afterward combine sobering warnings with genuine hope. The facts are hard: global oil reserves are peaking and the violent race to secure what's left has already begun. But the hope is real: individuals and communities around the world have already begun moving in a different direction. With an emphasis on developing new and very different economic institutions that are centered on self-reliance, ecological permanence, stability, and a celebration of human creativity, he shows that the true great transformation is already underway, and it's up to us to continue it.

Ellen Sussman
The Paradise Guest House
Wednesday, May 8, 7pm
This novel is about one woman's search for love, renewal, and a place to call home. One year after being caught in nightclub bombings in Bali, Jamie returns, seeking a sense of closure. Most of all, she hopes to find Gabe, the man who saved her from the attacks. She hasn't been able to forget his kindness--or the spark between them as he helped her heal. Jamie has never shied away from a challenge, but a second chance with Gabe presents her with the biggest dilemma of all: whether she's ready to open her heart.

Erica Bauermeister
The Lost Art of Mixing
Jennie Shortridge
Love Water Memory
Thursday, May 9, 7pm
Two of Annie Bloom's favorite authors return together to read from their new novels. Erica Bauermeister (pictured) returns to the enchanting world of The School of Essential Ingredients in this novel about the ties that bind and links that break. The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship. Jennie Shortridge's emotional new novel, Love Water Memory, explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity. When Lucie learns that her fiancé has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.

Click this link for more readings.
New Sports Books    
Here are some of the latest titles from our Sports section:

by Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy
This is an insightful, honest, and entertaining narrative of Terry Francona's tenure with the Red Sox franchise, during which time he managed two teams to World Series victories (including their first in eighty-six years) and oversaw some of the most iconic and colorful players in the game. Co-author  Shaughnessy is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of twelve sports books. Nine times Shaughnessy has been voted one of America's top ten sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

Bike Snob Abroad
by BikeSnobNYC
In his new book, BikeSnobNYC reaches the final frontier of cycling: riding with the family. Why is this such a taboo? And what does it really mean to be a bike-friendly country? Seeking answers, he heads from the U.S. to London, Amsterdam, Gothenburg, and San Vito dei Normanni in search of an alternative. With humorous anecdotes and his trademark biting wit and wisdom, BikeSnobNYC takes us on his most personal narrative journey yet.

Long Shot
by Mike Piazza with Lonnie Wheeler
Piazza's autobiography is the candid story of the greatest hitting catcher in the history of baseball. It ranges from his inauspicious draft selection to his Hall of Fame-worthy achievements and the unusual controversies that marked his career. Selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 baseball draft as a "courtesy pick," they never expected him to play for them. Mike had other ideas. Overcoming his detractors, he became the National League rookie of the year in 1993, broke the record for season batting average by a catcher, holds the record for career home runs at his position, and was selected as an All Star twelve times.

Brave Dragons
by Jim Yardley
From the former New York Times Beijing bureau chief comes a closely observed story of a struggling Chinese basketball team and its quixotic, often comical attempt to make the playoffs by copying the American stars of the NBA. When the worst professional basketball team in China, the Shanxi Brave Dragons, hired former NBA coach Bob Weiss to improve its fortunes, the team's owner, Boss Wang, promised that Weiss would be allowed to Americanize his players by teaching them "advanced basketball culture." As we follow this team of colorful oddballs on a fascinating road trip through modern China, we see Weiss learn firsthand what so many other foreigners there have discovered: that changing China happens only when and how China wants to be changed.
Portland Reading Foundation Brunch    

Book Club Members & Book Lovers:

 

What if you couldn't read? What would your life be like? Where would you be today? Did you know that in 2011, 37% of Oregon's fourth graders tested below the most basic level in reading according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2012 Kids Count study?

Join us for BRUNCH AND BOOKS! Meet other book group members and book lovers to discuss good books, and the work of the Portland Reading Foundation (PRF). Hear how PRF, a local, growing, non-profit, is partnering with Portland area schools to improve student success, and how you and/or your book group can help by sponsoring children for individualized reading tutoring.

 

**Bring a list of books you are reading to share with others**

 

When: Sunday, April 21, 2013 11:00 - 1:00

Where: Home of Nancy Tauman

Hosted by Margie Rosenthal (PRF Founder) & Nancy Tauman (Board Member)

 

RSVP: ntauman@aol.com -or- rosenthalpdx@comcast.net

 

For more information about PRF go to:  www.portlandreading.org