May 2013 Staff Reviews, New Sci-Fi, & More

In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
Dads & Grads
Customer Book Reviews
Staff Reviews
Readings
New in Sci-Fi
Join Our Mailing List
More Staff Faves
Our staff enjoyed these books, too.


Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

Beastly Things
(in paperback!)
by Donna Leon


What Money Can't Buy (paperback)
by Michael J. Sandel


The Beggar's Opera
by Peggy Blair 
Dads & Grads 
Our new Theme section is devoted to gift ideas for Father's Day and Graduation:


The Summer of Beer and Whiskey
by Edward Achorn


Made by Dad
by Scott Bedford


The Onion Book of Known Knowledge


Letters to a Young Scientist
by Edward O. Wilson
Customer Book Reviews  
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May 2013 Staff Reviews, New Sci-Fi, & More

Greetings!

Here 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. 
Staff Reviews
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.
Maya's Notebooks
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. 

Readings
We have lots of great authors reading in the second half of May:

Sue Sanders
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 process.

 Jay Ponteri
Wedlocked
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!).
Ethan Rutherford
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.


Scott Elliott
Temple Grove
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 is a 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 among them.

Dana Haynes
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:

Wool
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 whisper. Uprising.

 

 

 

Amped
by Daniel Wilson
In Amped, 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.