February 2014: Readings, New Biographies, First Friday, Valentine's Day Books, and More

Annie Bloom's Constant Contact logo
Constant Contact
In This Issue:
First Friday
Valentine's Day
Author Events
Indie Bookseller Picks
New Biography & Memoir

First Friday

February 7 is First Friday!


We'll be serving wine and juice. Plus, we'll be giving away great prizes for our adult and children's drawings. Drop by Annie Bloom's anytime after 6:00 on Friday night and register to win! 


The adult prize is:

A Signed Copy of

Worthy Brown's Daughter 

by Phillip Margolin 


The kids' book prize is:

I Am Amelia Earhart 

by Brad Meltzer

PLUS a Matching T-Shirt! 

Valentine's Day Books

by Simon Rich & Farley Katz

How to Love: A Novel
by Katie Cotugno

Princess Hearts (Disney Step Into Reading)
by Jennifer Lieberts Weinberg

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories
by Simon Rich

Young House Love
by Sherry & John Petersik
Join Our Mailing List

February 2014: Readings, New Biographies, First Friday,
Valentine's Day Books, and More

We have some great author events coming up! Plus, find out which new books indie booksellers across the country are loving. Get some Valentine's Day gift suggestions, and read about the latest biographies and memoirs. Drop by and see us on First Friday! 
Author Events
Upcoming Events at Annie Blooms:

Kathy Masarie
Face to Face: Cultivating Kids' Social Lives in Today's Digital World
Tuesday, February 4, 7pm
As caring adults, we must protect the building blocks of kids' vitality and wellness. Outdoor play, family ties, safe havens, creativity, and rituals-these critical assets are especially vulnerable in a time of unprecedented busyness and ever-present media influence. To assist parents, grandparents, educators, and counselors in helping their children navigate the complexity of fostering relationships, we have written an inspiring guide: Face to Face: Cultivating Kids' Social Lives in Today's Digital World. The more people who read our book or hear our authors speak, the sooner we can shift the consciousness toward the value of real relationships in our kids' lives.

Mark Braverman
A Wall in Jerusalem
Thursday, February 6, 7pm
An American Jew, Braverman thought he understood the reasons for Israel's existence. But when he began to understand the forces perpetuating the conflict, he realized just how far we are from achieving peace. Drawing on the historical lessons of the Civil Rights movement and the struggle against South African apartheid, Braverman offers a course of action both at home and abroad that will bring about a just and lasting peace. He delivers a strong message to Jews and Christians alike: it is not anti-Semitic to stand up for justice for the Palestinian people. A Wall in Jerusalem offers a provocative and unique perspective on this controversial issue and specific, real-time prescriptions for action, with specific emphasis on the role of the church in our time.

Harriet Scott Chessman
The Beauty of Ordinary Things
Wednesday, February 12, 7pm

Back from a tour of duty in Vietnam, Benny Finn, eldest son in a large Irish-American family, strives to find his bearings amid the everyday life of 1973 New England. At a Benedictine abbey in rural New Hampshire, Sister Clare, a young novice, confronts the day-to-day realities of a cloistered existence. Linking these two is Isabel Howell, a college student soon to discover that she must chart the course of her own life in a way she could not have imagined. Deeply felt, often luminously moving, The Beauty of Ordinary Things carries forward the promise of Harriet Scott Chessman's earlier work, revealing a writer richly aware of the range of human tragedy and tenderness.


Oregon Poets Jenny Root, Dawn Diez Willis, and Carl Adamschick
Thursday, February 13, 7pm

Jenny Root is the author of the collection The Company of Sharks. She lives in Eugene, working as an editor and event planner at an educational nonprofit in criminal justice.

Portland poet Carl Adamshick is the author of the collection Curses and Wishes. His new collection, Saint Friend, will be published by McSweeney's in August 2014.

Dawn Diez Willis is a poet, editor, and teacher. The author of Still Life with Judas & Lightning, she holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon.


Suzy Vitello & Kate Scott 

Portland Teen Read Novelists

Tuesday, February 18, 7pm


Both of these young adult novels are set in Southwest Portland! In Kate Scott's Counting to D, Sam is sick of being known for her dyslexia. When she starts at a new school, she decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Sam's got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight--without being able to read. Suzy Vitello's The Moment Before is a novel about a 17-year-old girl, Brady Wilson, whose popular sister has just died in a tragic cheerleading accident. And the boy everyone blames for the accident seems to be her only ally in her search for answers surrounding her sister's death.  


Judy Nedry
The Difficult Sister
Wednesday, February 19, 7pm
The Difficult Sister is the newest mystery/suspense novel featuring Emma Golden. This latest adventure takes Emma and her friend, Melody, to a remote, southern Oregon Coastal town to search for Melody's missing, ne'er-do-well younger sister, Aurora. However, they quickly both realize that at the very least, Aurora is in some sort of major trouble and may even be dead. Emma, a snarky, fifty-something, former food and wine writer, is recovering from a series of sad, drunken escapades that successfully ended her career. Melody, rich, high-handed and spoiled, expects those around her to do her bidding. Instead the two women discover that there are secrets to protect, bodies to uncover, and unexpected passions that threaten to derail the investigation.

Mary Anne Radmacher & Liz Kalloch
She: A Celebration of Greatness in Every Woman
Tuesday, March 11, 7pm
Each page spread of She features a collection of vintage art and ephemera elegantly designed by Liz Kalloch paired with a love letter by Mary Anne Radmacher to each quality, along with a tribute to women's strength, character, and the extraordinary capabilities within each and every woman. She gathers the wisdom of many wise women including Madeleine L'Engle, Laura Schlessinger, Erica Jong, Rachel Carson, Oprah Winfrey, Harper Lee, Lucille Ball, Mother Teresa, Pearl Buck, Cheri Huber, Julia Child, Drew Barrymore, and many more.
February Indie Next List 
Every month, the coalition of independent bookstores puts together a list of titles recommended by booksellers across the country. Come in to browse all the picks for February. Here are a few of the selected titles (click on a cover or title to read more on our website):   

The Free
by Willy Vlautin

Cody at Square Books in Oxford, MS, writes: "In his best book yet, the plights of three characters intertwine as each struggles to overcome hardship and create a better life. In a story full of heartbreak yet ultimately uplifting, Vlautin once again demonstrates the power and beauty to be found in our own humanity."

Dept. of Speculation
by Jenny Offill

Janet at Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA, says: "I found myself gasping at the sheer beauty and conciseness of Offill's sentences in this portrait of a marriage. Despite the darkness and sadness of the story, when I closed the book I was left more alert and attentive, and feeling more alive."

This Dark Road to Mercy
by Wiley Cash

Tova at Brown University Bookstore writes: "Two young motherless girls in North Carolina are approached by their estranged and unpredictable ex-baseball-player father. Told in alternating voices, this spellbinding novel is reminiscent of the dark, spare work of Cormac McCarthy."

Under the Wide and Starry Sky
by Nancy Horan

Beverly at Redbery Books in Cable, WI, writes: "Just as she did in Loving Frank, Horan brings to life the story of a strong woman and a talented man--in this case Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson. This multifaceted book demonstrates all the twists and turns of life--love and loyalty, wealth and poverty, privilege and survival, success and disappointment, darkness and joy."

Plus, these previous IndieNext picks are now out in paperback:

The Son
by Philipp Meyer

by Kent Haruf

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
by Edward Kelsey

New Biographies & Memoirs 

Here are some of the most notable new Biographies and Memoirs:  

The Death of Santini
by Pat Conroy
Conroy's great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. This memoir is an act of reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to one of the most-often quoted lines from Pat's bestselling novel The Prince of Tides: "In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."

by Robert M. Gates
From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vividly written account of his experience serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We journey with him to both war zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed by their courage, and also witness him greet coffin after flag-draped coffin returned to U.S. soil, heartbreakingly aware that he signed every deployment order. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human cost of war, and his admiration for those brave enough to undertake it when necessary. Duty allows us an unprecedented look at two administrations and the wars that have defined them.

The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood
by Roger Rosenblatt
Resisting the deadening silence of his family home in the elegant yet stiflingly safe neighborhood of Gramercy Park, nine-year-old Roger imagines himself a private eye in pursuit of criminals. With the dreamlike mystery of the city before him, he sets off alone, out into the streets of Manhattan, thrilling to a life of unsolved cases. Six decades later, Rosenblatt finds himself again patrolling the territory of his youth. Just as Rosenblatt invented a world for himself as a child, he creates one on this night--the writer a detective still, the chief suspect in the case of his own life, a case that discloses the shared mysteries of all our lives.

Low Down
by A.J. Albany
Albany's recollection of life with her father, the great jazz pianist Joe Albany, is the story of one girl's unsentimental education. Joe played with the likes of Charles Mingus, Lester Young, and Charlie Parker, but between gigs he slipped into drug-induced obscurity. It was during these times that his daughter knew him best. Wise beyond her years and hip to the unpredictable ways of Old Lady Life at all too early an age, A. J. Albany guides us through the dope and deviance of the late 1960s and early 1970s in Hollywood's shadowy underbelly and beyond. What emerges is a raw, gripping, and surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a young girl trying to survive among the outcasts, misfits, and artists who surrounded her.