October 2013 Staff Reviews, 35th Anniversary Celebration, and More
We present three new Staff Favorites for your reading pleasure. Also, read all about our 35th Anniversary Celebration! Plus, stock up on spooky Halloween book, check out our upcoming author events, and peruse the latest Poetry books.
|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.
by Jayne Anne Phillips
reviewed by Pat
Based on a true crime story Phillips was told as a child, Quiet Dell is a gripping novel of obsession, secrets, enchantment, horror, and redemptive love. In 1931 Chicago, long before there was OK Cupid, Ada Eicher finds Harry Powers in the personal ads of The American Friendship Society. Newly widowed and with three young children to support, she is wooed by his charming and elegant letters, and his promise of financial security. When Ada and her family disappear, an intrepid reporter and a family friend join forces to find them by following the trail from Iowa to West Virginia.
Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience
by Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld
reviewed by Andy
This is a necessary book for anyone with a modicum of interest in the claims of neuroscience. The authors gently make the case that caution and skepticism are mandatory: neuroscience is still in its infancy and most of the promises its proponents have made have not come to pass. They undermine the certainty of the claims of many neuroscientists by detailing the limitations of their techniques and instruments, e.g., EEG and fMRI. Their most obvious yet most striking proof is that a brightly colored brain scan is not a picture or snapshot of any brain. Satel and Lilienfeld go on to apply their skeptical outlook to many areas where brain science has been making inroads, including marketing, the treatment of addiction, lie-detecting, moral responsibility and, most disturbingly, the courtroom. The book doesn't just decry brain science using technical arguments. It also employs ideas from philosophers and legal scholars to show how we can't reduce the whole human being to one organ. They emphasize the importance of the fact that each mind lives in the context of many other minds and that nature and nurture are intertwined. Satel, a psychiatrist, and Lilienfeld, a psychologist, are both very hopeful about the future of neuroscience--they just aren't keen on its current grandiosity.
Two New Books for Middle Readers!
Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
by Natasha Farrant
reviewed by Kathy
There are some fabulous new reads on the shelves for our middle readers--stories that engage their struggles to define who they are, how to build and sustain relationship, how to cope with "difference." Two new books feature twelve-year-old girls, on that narrow pre-adolescent edge, who are battling the demons of grief and loneliness.Counting by 7s gives us Willow, obsessed, genius, adopted and only child. After her parents are killed in a car crash, she attracts a new "family," recruit by recruit.
Bluebell ("Blue" for short) is the heroine ofAfter Iris. When her twin dies suddenly (death by auto, again), Blue withdraws, staying safely behind her video camera at home, and into invisibility at school. Both novels, like their main characters, are charming and quirky, as both girls find their way back. These two stories, though contemporary in setting, are strongly reminiscent of my oldRed Fairy Book, with its tales of beleaguered orphans--sad children setting out alone, but encountering (often the most unlikely) companions and guides on a journey to find their true selves and safe haven.
|35th Anniversary Party
|Beginning Tuesday, October 29, Annie Bloom's will celebrate our 35th anniversary, with a party on First Friday!
We will celebrate the landmark occasion with a week of giveaways. Beginning October 29, the store will hold a daily drawing for a $35 gift card. Also during that week, purchases of $35 or more will earn you a free book bag, courtesy of select publishers and while supplies last.
On Friday, November 1, beginning at 6:00 PM, we'll host a 35th anniversary party, which will coincide with First Friday in the Village. We will serve cupcakes, champagne, wine, cheese, and crackers. You'll also be able to enter a pair of drawings that night, for Cynthia Rylant's God Got a Dog and The Novel Cure, by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin.
Upcoming Readings at Annie Blooms:
The Paleo Chocolate Lovers Cookbook
Wednesday, October 23, 7pm
This cookbook features 75 gluten-, grain-, and dairy-free recipes for the health-conscious chocolate lover. Brozyna has created delicious chocolate treats made with coconut and ground nut flours for both breakfast and dessert. Recipes include: Chocolate Crepe Cake with Coconut Cream White Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Biscotti Homemade (dairy-free, low-glycemic) chocolate bars Chocolate Swirl Cheese Danish Cake Lava Cakes Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies White Chocolate Truffles Molten Chocolate Cherry Cordial Fudge and more. Snacks will be provided by local businesses: paleo-friendly food cart Cultured Cavemanand sustainable grocer Salt, Fire & Time.
Thursday, October 24, 7pm
The cry of an abandoned baby on the outskirts of an old Cuban town attracts the attention--and then cracks open the life--of a wandering tourist. Mia, an out-of-work actress whose life is adrift, finds herself filled with purpose as she looks for a place the baby can call home. As with any odyssey, the way home is filled with twists and turns. An approaching hurricane further complicates matters. As she falls more deeply in love with the baby, Mia makes increasingly drastic choices. Her fluency as an actress allows her to play a real life high-stakes role: she finds herself committing crimes for the sake of the child. As she says, "Legal and moral are hardly the same."
Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil
Monday, October 28, 7pm
There is a contagious psychospiritual disease of the soul, a parasite of the mind, that is currently being acted out en masse on the world stage via a collective psychosis of titanic proportions. This mind-virus--which Native Americans have called "wetiko"--covertly operates through the unconscious blind spots in the human psyche, rendering people oblivious to their own madness and compelling them to act against their own best interests. Drawing on insights from Jungian psychology, shamanism, alchemy, spiritual wisdom traditions, and personal experience, author Paul Levy shows us that hidden within the venom of wetiko is its own antidote, which once recognized can help us wake up and bring sanity back to our society.
The Edwin Drood Murders
Monday, November 4, 7pm
The Droodists have arrived in Dickens Junction. When a priceless ring and a rare Dickensian artifact go missing, local bookstore owner Simon Alastair and reporter-partner Zach Benjamin learn that someone will do anything--including murder--to obtain an object of desire. The Dickens Junction mystery series began last year with The Christmas Carol Murders, a book Chelsea Cain called "a love letter to both Dickens and to the small town amateur detectives who've kept the peace in hamlets from River Heights to Cabot Cove."
The Brass Bell
Thursday, November 7, 7pm
This is the life story of Cole's great aunt Marion Parsons. She built a school in her father's cherry orchard in 1927. She helped usher her community through dangerous times and, for those who remember her, she is still their greatest hero. Hundreds have come forward to share their fond memories of sleigh rides, trips to New York City, and the terror of being called to Miss Parson's office. She may have given up her dreams to run that school for 25 years. She may have realized her dreams.
The Sound of Songs Across the Water
Tuesday, November 12, 7pm
It's the summer of 1995, and in the heat of the hills above Los Angeles, Riley Oliver is trying to find redemption in rock 'n' roll. Fifteen years have passed since his band flamed out at CBGB, and Riley sees the life his former guitarist Will Taylor has built--successful producing career, the lovely Lena for a wife, a gated home--and he wants some of that luck for himself. In addition to reading from his novel, Rob will be performing acoustic renditions of the songs that appear on the CD that accompanies The Sound of Songs Across the Water. He'll be joined on guitar by David Lane, who produced the recordings.
Wednesday, November 13, 7pm
Inscapes is a remarkable memoir about one woman's determination to follow her desire for a life of spiritual freedom that leads her from Oregon to San Francisco, to Paris and beyond. The author's journey of transformation, from solitary alienation to a sense of belonging in the world, is insightful, funny and moving. Bauer's exploration of the dynamic influences of "place" offers a powerful glimpse into her mind and spirit. Each new home that she makes for herself brings the author closer to understanding the intimate connection to the natural world that has shaped much of her inner life.
Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise
Saturday, November 16, 1pm
Kids will love this wintry-wonderful follow-up to the popular Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox. Brownie is ready for a long winter's nap. "Just don't wake me up," she warns. But her friends miss her so much that they can't bear to obey her orders-and they turn Brownie's "do not disturb" into a comic commotion, complete with a stunningly beautiful nighttime surprise. Portland author Susan Blackaby has created a fun romp filled with delightful wordplay, enhanced by Carmen Segovia's illustrations featuring splashes of color against a snowy backdrop.
New in Poetry
|Here are some of the best new titles from our Poetry section:
by Mary Oliver
Beloved by her readers, special to the poet's own heart, Mary Oliver's dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver's relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Illustrated with images of the dogs themselves, the subjects come to colorful life here.Dog Songs is a testament to the power and depth of the human-animal exchange, from an observer of extraordinary vision.
O What a Luxury
by Garrison Keillor
This is the first poetry collection written by Garrison Keillor, the celebrated radio host of A Prairie Home Companion. Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, this volume forges a new path for him, as a poet of light verse. He writes--with his characteristic combination of humor and insight--on love, modernity, nostalgia, politics, religion, and other facets of daily life. Keillor's verses are charming and playful, locating sublime song within the humdrum of being human.
This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems
by Wendell Berry
For nearly thirty-five years, Berry has been at work on a series of poems occasioned by his solitary Sunday walks around his farm in Kentucky. There are poems of spiritual longing and political extremity, memorials and celebrations, elegies and lyrics that include some of the most beautiful domestic poems in American literature, alongside the occasional rants of the Mad Farmer, pushed to the edge yet again by his compatriots and elected officials. With the publication of this new complete edition, it is becoming increasingly clear that The Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry's entire work. And these magnificent poems, taken as a whole, have become one of the greatest contributions ever made to American poetry.
Stealing Sugar from the Castle
by Robert Bly
Selected from Bly's monumental body of work from 1950 through the present, this collection represents the culmination of an astonishing career in American letters. Bly has long been the voice of transcendentalism and meditative mysticism for his generation. Influenced by Emerson and Thoreau, inspired by spiritual traditions from Sufism to Gnosticism, his vision is "oracular" (Antioch Review). Here is a poet moved by the mysteries of the world around him, speaking the language of images in a voice brilliant and bold.