Customer Book Reviews
love to read your review of your favorite new book. And so would your
fellow Annie Bloom's shoppers. Drop by, jot down your thoughts on an
index card, and we'll post your review on our bulletin board.
May 2013 Staff Reviews, New Sci-Fi, & More
are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great readings
coming up. Also, get some great ideas for Graduation & Father's Day.
Plus, check out the latest in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Our staff brings you two 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 Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
by Rachel Joyce
reviewed by Mary
The book I've just finished is usually the one I write about, but this
newly-released paperback has stuck with me over the weeks since I first
read it. The elderly and increasingly endearing Harold Fry is surprised
to receive a note from an old friend, Queenie, who is in hospice care
600 miles from his village in England. How he, and not so
incidentally his wife, respond to this message, makes for a revealing
and moving novel, filled with mini portraits of a varied cast of
characters. A tale of love, loyalty, aging, dreams, failure and
redemption. And just enough uncertainty about the outcome to make this
unlikely pilgrimage a compelling journey.
by Isabel Allende
reviewed by Sharon
Maya Vidal is a spirited and strong-willed nineteen year old who was
raised by her grandparents in Berkeley. She has made many mistakes in
her young life, and now finds herself exiled on a remote island in
Chile as a result. Maya writes in her notebook at first out of boredom,
but the notebook soon becomes a journal of healing and atonement as
Maya recounts her devastation when her beloved grandfather "Popo" dies
and she begins a dangerous descent into drug addiction, homelessness
and crime. She finds herself alone and on the run from dangerous
criminals and law enforcement officers until her Chilean grandmother
saves her by sending her to live with an old friend on Chiloé
Island. On this peaceful island Maya finds the nurturing support of a
very small close-knit community and she is able to rebuild her
self-respect and her appreciation for life. Along the way she also
discovers a few interesting things about her family history.
Allende uses subtle magical realism and a distinctive voice to bring us
a novel rich with Chilean culture and history, along with an
unforgettable young character that brims with strength and love for her
family and friends. I enjoyed it tremendously.
We have lots of great authors reading in the second half of May:
Mom, I'm Not a Kid Anymore
TOMORROW!: Thursday, May 16, 7pm
Raising a preteen can sneak up on you. In Mom, I'm Not a Kid Anymore
Portland writer Sue Sanders guides by example, in 25 conversations and
moments she has shared with her daughter. With refreshing
wit, candor, and self-awareness, Sanders reminds us to
trust our intuition, keep an open mind, and answer those
questions we can to help our preteens navigate growing up
and maybe learn a thing or two about ourselves in the
Monday, May 20, 7pm
Married local writer Ponteri finds himself infatuated with a woman
other than his wife and writes a manuscript to explore his
feelings. Discovery of this manuscript understandably
strains his marriage. Wedlocked
offers readers an intimate,
idiosyncratic view of a human institution that can so
often fail, leaving its inhabitants lonely and adrift.
Ponteri lays bare his inner life and in doing so provides all of us in
monogamous relationships rich material to consider. Jay
will be joined by Portland poet Emily Kendall Frey for
readings from her new poetry chapbook collection, Baguette
, and to engage in a discussion (with audience participation encouraged!).
The Peripatetic Coffin
Wednesday, May 22, 7pm
Alternately funny, menacing, and deeply empathetic, these wildly
inventive stories mark the debut of a powerful new voice in
contemporary fiction. Whether set aboard a Czarist-era
Russian ship locked in Arctic ice, on a futuristic whaling
expedition whose depredations guarantee the environmental
catastrophe that is their undoing, or in a suburban
basement where two grade-school friends articulate their
mutual obsessions, these strange, imaginative, and
refreshingly original stories explore the ways in which we experience
the world: as it is, as it could be, and the dark contours
that lie between.
Thursday, May 23, 7pm
Deep in the heart of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula lies Temple
Grove, one of the last stands of ancient Douglas firs not
under federal protection from logging. Bill Newton, a gyppo
logger desperate for work and a place to hide, has come to
Temple Grove for the money to be made from the timber.
There to stop him is Paul, a young Makah environmentalist
who will break the law to save the trees. Temple Grove
gripping tale of suspense and a multilayered novel of place that
captures in taut, luminous prose the traditions that tie people
to this powerful landscape and the conflicts that run deep
Ice Cold Kill
Thursday, May 30, 7pm
En route to an impromptu meeting with an old contact from her days in
the Israeli Secret Service, Daria Gibron gets an unexpected
and anonymous tipoff that she's about to walk into an
ambush. Someone has linked her to a much sought-after
terrorist, and now all the resources of the U.S.
intelligence community are being marshaled against her. As
she tries to escape the ever-tightening snare laid out for
her, someone else is using the operation against her as a
distraction to hijack a very dangerous, highly guarded shipment. Now
the only person who can keep this shipment from falling into
terrorist hands is the one person they chose to set up as a
diversion. Daria Gibron is many things--trigger-happy,
resourceful, focused, and extremely dangerous--but the one
thing she isn't is anybody's fool.
New Science Fiction
Here are some of the latest titles from our Sci-Fi shelves:
by Hugh Howley
In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo
underground, hundreds of stories deep. Sheriff Holston's decision to go
outside unleashes a drastic series of events. A mechanic named Juliette
is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and will soon learn just
how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its
history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to
by Daniel Wilson
people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of
superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for
society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the
abilities--and rights--of "amplified" humans. On the day that the
Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen
Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps."
Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in
Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be
about to change the world--or destroy it.
The Human Division
by John Scalzi
Following the events of The Last Colony,
the people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has defended
humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an
ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Other alien races
have formed a new alliance against the CU. Now it's up to the
resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson, that can be deployed to deal with
the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when
you're struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.
All-New Dr. Who!
The Dalek Generation
Plague of the Cybermen
Shroud of Sorrow
These three new novels are based on the BBC series, starring Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. In The Dalek Generation, archaeologists have unearthed the most dangerous technology in the universe. Plague of the Cybermen is set in a 19th-century village, where the dead seem to be leaving their graves. In Shroud of Sorrow, an alien feeds on the world's grief following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.