August 2013 Staff Reviews, Science, and More

In This Issue:
More Staff Faves
Multnomah Days
Staff Reviews
Author Readings
New in Science

More Staff Reviews 


Here Are More Great Picks From Our Staff Reviews Table:

The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith [aka, J.K. Rowling]

Ghostman
by Roger Hobbs

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
by Timothy Egan

Letters from Skye
by Jessica Brockmole

I Wear the Black Hat
by Chuck Klosterman

Multnomah Days!  


You won't want to miss all the festivities, as our little Village celebrates its birthday this Saturday.

Annie Bloom's will have a special sale on really cheap books, plus free posters!

For a full lineup of the day's events, click here
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August 2013 Staff Reviews, Science, and More


We present three new Staff Favorites for your reading pleasure. Also, check out our upcoming author events. Plus, read about the latest titles in our Science section. And, of course, don't forget about Multnomah Days! 
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 Burgess Boys
by Elizabeth Strout
reviewed by Carol
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge writes about three siblings who are less than lovable, yet utterly human. Bobby, the twin who lives with the guilt of having put the family car into gear as a toddler and killing their father, reminds one of a sad, humorless Bob Newhart. Older brother Jim--small town favorite son, Harvard Law grad--launched his career in a high profile case defending a popular soul singer who most likely did kill his girlfriend. Susan, Bobby's twin and an ophthalmologist at the local mall, never left Shirley Falls, Maine. When Susan's 19-year-old son, Zach, pitches a bloody pig's head into a mosque full of praying Somali refugees, Bobby and Jim reluctantly return home to help contain a troubled young man's impulsive act from sky rocketing into a national hate crime.


Night Film
by Marisha Pessl
reviewed by Michael
Ashley, the daughter of a reclusive horror film auteur, Stanislas Cordova, is found dead, an apparent suicide. Meanwhile, investigative journalist Scott McGrath's career was ruined when he slandered Cordova on national television. McGrath has tried to distance himself from the notorious director, but Ashley's death rekindles his obsession. McGrath teams up with a pair of twenty-somethings he meets early in his investigation, and the unlikely trio trample headlong into Cordova's shadowy universe. They encounter an eccentric actress, an asylum security guard, and a magic shop owner. They journey to a secret sex club, a squalid apartment house, and, eventually, into the novel's own heart of darkness: Cordova's legendary walled-off estate. Throughout Night Film, nothing is as it first appears. With masterly control, Pessl leaves the reader both baffled and intrigued, every step of the way. We fully inhabit McGrath's obsessive need to unearth the truth. Was Ashley actually murdered? Is Cordova simply a brilliant filmmaker or is he really an occultist madman? Pessl's resolution is satisfying, yet conjures more mysteries still, ensuring that Night Film will continue to light up the darkened theater of your mind long after The End. [Published Tuesday!]

Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
by Benjamin Constable
reviewed by Sharon
If a book can be described as fun and dark, then Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa is that book. Benjamin Constable (yes, the main character shares the same name as the author) is an English writer living in Paris who becomes the unwitting participant in a very unusual treasure hunt. It begins when he comes home one day and is horrified to find a suicide letter from his good friend Tomomi Ishikawa, otherwise known as Butterfly. Certain information in the letter leads him to embark on a trail of mysterious clues, hidden notebooks, and strange coincidences. The notebooks tell disturbing stories, and both Benjamin and the reader begin to wonder where fact and fiction meet. One of the things I loved about this book was that the characters were funny and endearing, despite the dark psychological thriller aspects of the story. It is a book that keeps you guessing right up until the end.
Upcoming Readings
Upcoming Readings at Annie Blooms:

Tracy Guzeman
The Gravity of Birds
Tuesday, August 20, 7pm
Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative--and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family's summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered. In The Gravity of Birds, histories and memories refuse to stay buried; in the end only the excavation of the past will enable its survivors to love again.

Danea Horn
Chronic Resilience
Wednesday, August 21, 7pm
Chronic illness comes with stress, and Chronic Resilience provides a complete self-help blueprint for managing the difficulties chronic illness presents. Certified life coach and speaker Danea Horn, who suffers from chronic kidney disease, infertility, and other demanding health challenges due to a birth disorder, offers techniques and ways to rebound from the pressures of having a body that's doing things you wish you could control. Chronic Resilience shows how to: Stop pushing yourself so hard. Use research to empower--not frighten--yourself. Let yourself be pissed. Train your troops in how to care for you. Cultivate focus and flexibility. Find things to be grateful for. Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.

Kelly Davio & Jeannine Hall Gailey
Poetry Reading
Monday, August 26, 7pm
In Kelly Davio's debut poetry collection, Burn This House, she invites the reader into a world where sin is virtue and virtue is vice, where the ominous lingers just beneath the surface, and the everyday is imbued with the fantastic. In these intelligent, compassionate, and harrowing poems, Davio gives a modern voice to metaphysical tradition. At times solemn, at times exuberant, Burn This House is an intense volume, its darkness lit by the flames of wit, intellect, and curiosity.
Jeannine Hall Gailey's third book of poetry, Unexplained Fevers, is a fresh look at fairy tales through the eyes of contemporary women. Gailey frees her fairy tale heroines from their glass coffins and towers while simultaneously looking at the problems modern women encounter--from body image to drug addiction to illness--and how they find powerful ways to break free. Gailey's trademark wit, charm, and energy fill these pages of forests and seascapes, dragons and snow queens, and the allure of the forbidden. 

New In Science 

Here are some of the best new titles from our Science Section:

The End of Night
by Paul Bogard
This book is a deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left. A starry night is one of nature's most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans' eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In The End of Night, Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art. From Las Vegas' Luxor Beam to nights so starlit the sky looks like snow, Bogard blends personal narrative, natural history, science, and history to shed light on the importance of darkness--what we've lost, what we still have, and what we might regain--and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight.

Brainwashed
by Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld
Psychiatrist Satel and psychologist Lilienfeld reveal how many of the real-world applications of human neuroscience gloss over its limitations and intricacies, at times obscuring the myriad factors that shape our behavior and identities. Brain scans are useful but often ambiguous representations of a highly complex system. The narrow focus on the brain's physical processes also assumes that our subjective experiences can be explained away by biology alone. As Satel and Lilienfeld explain, this "neurocentric" view of the mind risks undermining our most deeply held ideas about selfhood, free will, and personal responsibility, putting us at risk of making harmful mistakes, whether in the courtroom, interrogation room, or addiction treatment clinic.

Brilliant Blunders
by Mario Livio
Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein were all brilliant scientists. Each made groundbreaking contributions to his field--but each also stumbled badly. These five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth itself, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains, the scientific process advances through error. Mistakes are essential to progress. Brilliant Blunders is a singular tour through the world of science and scientific achievement--and a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists.

Thinking in Numbers
by Daniel Tammet
In Tammet's world, numbers are beautiful and mathematics illuminates our lives and minds. Using anecdotes, everyday examples, and ruminations on history, literature, and more, Tammet allows us to share his unique insights and delight in the way numbers, fractions, and equations underpin all our lives. Inspired by the complexity of snowflakes, Anne Boleyn's eleven fingers, or his many siblings, Tammet explores questions such as why time seems to speed up as we age, whether there is such a thing as an average person, and how we can make sense of those we love. Thinking in Numbers will change the way you think about math and fire your imagination to see the world with fresh eyes.