|September 2015 Staff Reviews, Readings, Sports Books, and More!
We hope you enjoy these new additions to our Staff Favorites table. Plus, check out the great author readings coming up and see our roundup of the latest books from our Sports section.
New Staff Reviews
|Here are three new Staff Favorites:
Liar Temptress Soldier Spy
by Karen Abbott
reviewed by Broche
A new take on the Civil War, viewed through the lenses of four women heavily involved. Young Southern Rebels Belle Boyd and Rose Greenhow worked for the Confederates to gain and deliver confidential information. Emma Edmonds dressed as a man to fight for the North, while Elizabeth van Lew hid Union soldiers in her Southern home. These four women are instrumental in how the Civil War played out, both in politics and in battle. Fascinating and informative.
reviewed by Karen
Gloss writes so vividly that I found myself searching a map of Harney County for places that don't actually exist. Her protagonist, nineteen-year-old Bud Frazer, is no less convincing as he sets out in 1938, determined to become a Hollywood stunt rider. Bud leaves behind his parents, who are attempting to recover from the loss of their ranch and their daughter. The pacing is deliberate, reflecting a time when traveling meant days on the road and healing took longer than anyone expected. Read for the rich prose, the history, and the truths of how grief affects a family.
by Victoria Jamieson
reviewed by Rosanne
Comics fans and middle grade novel fans alike will find something to love in this fresh and engaging graphic novel by Oregon author and illustrator Victoria Jamieson. It's got tons of roller derby action, a few tips on dying your hair an outrageous (but roller derby appropriate) shade, and a sweet but not too sweet story of friendship in that tricky summer before middle school. Friendship is not easy to navigate for any preteen, and this book is refreshingly honest as the spunky but somewhat clueless Astrid learns to channel her inner roller derby queen to face the hard truth about friendship. Sometimes you need to put on your war face and sometimes you need to say you are sorry and sometimes you need to ask your roller derby hero for advice via secret letters hidden in her locker.
We've got some great authors coming up:
TONIGHT! Tuesday, September 15, 7pm
The skills and experience of seasoned hospice nurse Deborah Birch are tested when her husband, Michael, returns from his third deployment to Iraq. Tormented by nightmares, anxiety, and rage, Michael has become cold and withdrawn. But Michael is not her only challenge. Deborah's primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and fierce curmudgeon. Barclay's last wish is for Deborah to read to him from his final and unfinished book--a little-known story from World War II that may hold the key to helping Michael conquer his demons. Together, nurse, patient, and soldier embark on an unforgettable emotional journey that transforms them all, offering astonishing insights into life and death, suffering and finding peace.
Never Look Down
Thursday, September 17, 7pm
In the latest mystery from local author Warren Easley, Oregon lawyer Cal Claxton encounters Kelly Spence, a tagger and teen at risk. Kelly is four stories up at 3:00 one morning when she looks down and witnesses the brutal murder of a woman in the parking lot below. Unluckily, the killer spies her, but Kelly escapes. Cal is drawn into the case by his volatile Cuban friend and landlord who is devastated by the murder: the dead woman had just become his fiancee. Her ex is the obvious suspect, but Cal's instincts lead him in a different direction, where he will run into Kelly. Can he get her to talk, or will the killer find her first?
The Deception Artist
Tuesday, September 22, 7pm
Fayette will read from her quirky novel for adults. Eight-year-old Ivy has a vivid imagination and tells lies so that people will like her. With her brother, Brice, in the hospital, life at home feels unsettled and things become even more strained after her father loses his job, along with his sense of purpose. Ivy's parents might divorce and her best friend hates her but, ever creative, she abandons her escapist fantasies and determines to uncover the truth. In this sharp and funny literary debut set in Northern California during the 1980s recession, Fayette Fox delves deep into the dark heart of an ordinary American family--and finds out that make-believe isn't just for kids.
The Man Who Wasn't There
Wednesday, September 23, 7pm
This novel is the third in Nedry's mystery series which features the middle-aged amateur sleuth Emma Golden. At the International Pinot Noir Celebration's traditional Salmon Bake, Oregon wine pioneer James Ryder confronts land developer Max Weatherman, who is planning to build a destination resort uphill from Ryder's vineyards. Fisticuffs ensue, and a short while later Ryder is found murdered, and Max Weatherman has vanished. Fans of the series will welcome the return of Emma Golden and her hilarious sidekick, the frequently in error but never in doubt Melody Wyatt. Judy Nedry is a native Northwesterner and veteran journalist and editor. She spent more than 20 years documenting the rise of the Northwest wine industry.
Death on Alder
Thursday, October 1, 7pm
In Portland author Everett's debut novel, take a trip that's a little bit Nancy Drew, a dash of Cheech and Chong, and just enough Streets of San Francisco to make you want to hop on a cable car. Lee Harding needs some time away from the harsh East Coast winter, from motherhood and from her husband. A trip to her hometown of San Francisco doesn't go as planned when her sister's eccentric landlord is found dead in her apartment. An unlikely partnership with the starched and pressed detective on the case could mean the end of her marriage. The city doesn't feel like home anymore and Lee wonders if San Francisco died too. Death on Alder is a foggy celebration of San Francisco, sisterhood, and the myth of home.
The Sound of Murder
Thursday, October 8, 7pm
From Multnomah Village author Cindy Brown comes the second Ivy Meadows mystery, The Sound of Murder.
All Ivy wants is to be an actor. And a private investigator. She's just landed her first real PI case, a seeming suicide in a retirement community. Not only that, but a big New York producer is coming to Arizona to see Ivy in the world premiere of The Sound of Cabaret (singing nuns AND Berlin burlesque). But all is not raindrops on roses. A creep in a convertible is tailing Ivy, a local posse member is way too interested in her investigation, and something is seriously wrong with one of her castmates. And that suicide: could it be murder? As the curtain rises, Ivy finds herself smack in the sights of a serial killer.
Monday, October 26, 7pm
Rosner will read from the paperback issue of her new novel. Set in upstate New York in three time periods, Electric City is a vital, pulsing, epic novel of America, of its great scientific ingenuity and its emotional ambition; one that frames the birth and evolution of its towns against the struggles of its indigenous tribes, the immigrant experience, a country divided, and the technological advancements that ushered in the modern world.
Approaching Winter: Poetry
Wednesday, October 28, 7pm
Skloot's eighth poetry collection evokes the fluid and dynamic nature of memory as it ebbs and floods through our daily lives. Traveling from Portland's Willamette River, which borders Skloot's home, to the hushed landscapes of the afterlife, the poems in this collection acknowledge the passage of time and the inevitable darkness that lies ahead. Yet Skloot also remains attuned to the urgency of the present moment, as he admires the plumage of the local birds in the short days before their journey south for the winter. By turns whimsical and meditative, Approaching Winter gives voice to the struggle to find coherence in a fragmented world.
New in Sports
Here are some of the latest releases in our Sports section:
by Steve Almond
Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves. Using a synthesis of memoir, reportage, and cultural critique, Almond asks a series of provocative questions: Does our addiction to football foster a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia? What does it mean that our society has transmuted the intuitive physical joys of childhood--run, leap, throw, tackle--into a billion-dollar industry? How did a sport that causes brain damage become such an important emblem for our institutions of higher learning? There has never been a book that exposes the dark underside of America's favorite game with such searing candor.
The Ugly Game
by Heidi Blake & Jonathan Calvert
This meticulously reported account by two award-winning, investigative journalists at Britain's "The Sunday Times" explains how the 2022 World Cup was secured for Qatar--a key element in the ongoing, international FIFA controversy. How did a country with almost no soccer infrastructure or tradition, a high terror risk, and searing summer temperatures, beat more established countries with stronger bids? In 2014, Blake and Calvert were at the center of an investigation that utilized hundreds of millions of secret documents to reveal how Mohamed Bin Hammam, Qatar's top soccer official, used his position to help secure the votes that Qatar needed to win the bid. This book is a comprehensive account of what happened and who was involved.
The Best Team Money Can Buy
by Molly Knight
In 2012 the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Now Molly Knight tells the story of the Dodgers' 2013 and 2014 seasons with detailed, previously unreported revelations. She shares a behind-the-scenes account of the astonishing sale of the Dodgers, and why the team was not overpriced. Exciting, surprising, and filled with juicy details, Knight's account is a must-read for baseball fans and anyone who wants the inside story of today's Los Angeles Dodgers.
Stars of Women's Soccer
by Illugi Jokulsson
This one's for the kids, age 7 and up. Inside this exciting and vivid book, read about the great long-standing stars of women's soccer, along with the sport's new breakout stars, including the United States great Abby Wambach and goal queen Alex Morgan. Featuring a detailed look at the personal backgrounds, strengths, and playing styles of each player, Stars of Women's Soccer
assembles the top women in the world. Pick your favorites and learn more about the players who made names for themselves in this year's Women's World Cup.