|September 2017 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:
by Michael Poore
reviewed by Karen
We Will Not Be Silent
Milo has ten thousand chances to get it right--to earn his place in the cosmic soul. But Milo is already on life number 9,995, and if things keep going the way they have, instead of becoming one with everything, he may just slide off into nothingness. Still, there are plenty of laughs, heartbreak and growth in his last five lives, and always the companionship of Death (or Susie as she prefers to be called) to keep him company between incarnations. A novel for those who love Vonnegut and Gaiman, with a touch of Steinbeck too.
reviewed by Rosanne
At the beginning of Hitler's rise to power, Austrian teenagers Hans and Sophie Scholl were glad to join the Hitler Youth, which they saw as a patriotic organization. But, as the Hilter Youth moved from scout-like campouts to militia training and racist indoctrination, the Scholl siblings knew they had to resist at any cost. They put together The White Rose, a society devoted to making Hitler's war crimes known and turning the tide of German popular opinion against the Nazis. They succeeded, although it cost their lives. Freemen's book is well researched and includes many historical photographs. The author handles this very dark subject matter in such a way that most elementary school students can understand without being emotionally overwhelmed. This book won a Jane Addams honor for writing that advances the cause of peace and social equality.
Bad Dreams and Other Stories
by Tessa Hadley
reviewed by Erin
A young girl accepts a ride from a car full of restless young men. A mother wakes to find her house mysteriously in disarray. A housekeeper becomes burdened by secrets from her employer's past. A young women reads the diaries she finds while housesitting. In unexpected ways, Bad Dreams explores ordinary moments and decisions that shape and influence a person. Hadley pinpoints moments of friction between our rational brain and our animal instinct and expands on those moments. Readers of her previous books won't be disappointed, and folks new to one of Britain's acclaimed contemporary novelists will find this collection a great jumping off point.
Upcoming Author Readings:
Wednesday, September 20, 7pm
The Portland author's novel is about two momentous days in the life of a tribe of suburban L.A. teenagers set in 1976. Bunkie, whose view of the world is as charming and skewed as the malapropisms that come out of his seventeen-year-old mouth, begins the tale with a girl and a rock concert. Bunkie maintains his essential honesty and innocence through two days filled with illicit drugs, sex and violence, and celebrates his dawning understanding of the failings of youth, the fight of good over evil, peace on earth, and the clashes that exist between humans and nature.
Tuesday, September 26, 7pm
The Oregon author will read from her memoir, Loving Lindsey. Atwell and her strong-willed daughter, Lindsey--a high-functioning young adult with intellectual disabilities--have always had a complicated relationship. But when Lindsey graduates from Silverton High School at nineteen and gets a job at Goodwill, she also moves into a newly remodeled cottage in her parents' backyard--and Linda believes that all their difficult times may finally be behind them. Life, however, proves not to be so simple. Lindsey soon quits Goodwill, runs away with a man more than twice her age, and slips away from her family. Linda, determined to save her daughter, refuses to give up.
Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart
Monday, October 2, 7pm
Stabile's parents were murdered when he was fourteen. Nine years later, his brother died of a heroin overdose. Soon after that, Stabile joined a cult that would dominate his life. Through all these challenges, Stabile grew stronger and more committed to living his life from love. He forgave the man who murdered his parents, found compassion for his late drug-addicted brother, and finally walked away from the cult leader who had controlled his life for thirteen years. He writes about these experiences and many other personal milestones in ways that are universally applicable, uplifting, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Whether trying (as we all must) to silence shame, show up for friends, or overcome dreaded what-ifs, Stabile shares hard-won insights that return readers to love, both of themselves and others.
Swearing Off Stars
Wednesday, October 11, 7pm
Danielle Wong will read from her novel Swearing Off Stars. Lia Cole is one of the first women studying abroad at Oxford University in the 1920s, where she falls for Scarlett Daniels, an aspiring actress and hardheaded protester. When their secret love clashes with political uprising, their relationship is one of the casualties. Years later, when a mysterious letter surfaces, she is immediately thrown back into their unsettled romance. Lia will stop at nothing to win Scarlett back, but she soon realizes that uncovering lost love might not be attainable after all.
Tuesday, October 17, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes back Portland poet Noël Hanlon, to read from her new collection, about which Molly Gloss writes: "Like letters from a cherished friend, Noël Hanlon's poems are intimate and generous, unconcealing, deeply observant of loss, of family, of love. Her connection to the natural world runs deep, and when she reflects on the mysteries of the earth and the heart--the solace of the night sky, the death of pigs, the weeding of a garden, "these little questions of life like love/I cannot answer but intuit"-we begin to see, word by word, how everything holds together, and we are brought closer to an understanding of the inexplicable."
Build Stuff with Wood
Wednesday, October 18, 7pm
The Portland's author's book is a true beginner's guide to woodworking, aimed at anyone who is interested in the craft but has little to no tools and no real idea where to start. The idea behind the book is to begin with a few portable power tools (cordless drill, jigsaw, etc.), build a bunch of cool projects with that basic kit, and then add skills and tools as you go. For example, adding a small router to your arsenal allows you to gracefully round edges on tables and shelves; buying a simple doweling jig opens up the world of joinery. In all, 14 fun projects will be presented, all built with just a few woodworking tools and off-the-shelf lumber.
Alex Behr and Jenny Forrester
Monday, October 23, 7pm
Alex Behr will read from her debut story collection, Planet Grim, a vivid, unsettling portrait of the gritty fringes of San Francisco and Portland, where complicated characters long for connection just out of reach. Behr is an idiosyncratic, unpredictable prose stylist with an edge and willingness to cut to the bone that makes her writing truly original. Jenny Forrester will read from her memoir, Narrow River, Wide Sky, about growing up in a community situated on the Colorado Plateau between slot canyons and rattlesnakes, where she lived with her mother and brother in a single-wide trailer proudly displaying an American flag. Forrester's powerfully eloquent story is a breathtaking, determinedly truthful story about one woman's search for identity within the mythology of family and America itself.
The Hunt for Winter
Tuesday, October 24, 7pm
This sequel to the Portland authors' Journey to Wizards' Keep features a stolen child, a wizard thought long-dead, and a plot to resurrect an evil menace. Queen Irene's son, Winter, is missing. His wizard teacher, Seever, has tried to find the boy using his "far-away vision," but it is blocked when he looks to the north. Since only a powerful enchantment can block his sight, Seever concludes an unknown wizard must have taken the young prince. But aside from Winter, Seever and Kaza, there are no other wizards left alive. Or are there?
New in Sports
Here are some of the latest releases in our Sports section:
When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World
by Carli Lloyd
In 2015, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team won its first FIFA championship in sixteen years, culminating in an epic final game that electrified soccer fans around the world. It featured a gutsy, brilliant performance by team captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd, who made history that day, scoring a hat trick during the first sixteen minutes. But there was a time when Carli almost quit the sport. In 2003 she was struggling, her soccer career at a crossroads. Then she found a trusted trainer, James Galanis, who saw in Carli a player with raw talent, skill, and a great dedication to the game. Together they set to work, training day and night, fighting, grinding it out. Despite all the naysayers, the times she was benched, the moments when her self-confidence took a nosedive, she succeeded in becoming one of the best players in the world.
Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever
by Kevin Cook
The 1947 World Series was "the most exciting ever" in the words of Joe DiMaggio, with a decade's worth of drama packed into seven games between the mighty New York Yankees and underdog Brooklyn Dodgers. It was Jackie Robinson's first Series, a postwar spectacle featuring Frank Sinatra, Ernest Hemingway and President Harry Truman in supporting roles. It was also the first televised World Series. Kevin Cook brings the '47 Series back to life, introducing us to men whose past offered no hint they were destined for extraordinary things. For some, the Series was a memory to hold onto. For others, it would haunt them to the end of their days. And for us, Cook offers new insights--some heartbreaking, some uplifting-into what fame and glory truly mean.
Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope
by John Saunders
During his three decades on ESPN and ABC, John Saunders became one of the nation's most respected and beloved sportscasters. In this moving, jarring, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Saunders discusses his troubled childhood, the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011, and the severe depression that nearly cost him his life. As Saunders writes: "Playing Hurt is not an autobiography of a sports celebrity but a memoir of a man facing his own mental illness, and emerging better off for the effort. I will take you into the heart of my struggle with depression, including insights into some of its causes, its consequences, and its treatments." John Saunders died suddenly on August 10,2016, from an enlarged heart, diabetes, and other complications. This book is his ultimate act of generosity to help those who suffer from mental illness, and those who love them.
Under the Lights and in the Dark: Untold Stories of Women's Soccer
by Gwendolyn Oxenham
In 2004, journalist and award-winning documentary maker Gwendolyn Oxenham played futebol feminino for Santos FC, Brazil. The team hitchhiked to practice, shared their field with a horse and wore hand-me-downs from the men's team. Under the Lights and in the Dark takes us inside the world of women's soccer, following players across the globe, from Portland Thorns star Allie Long, who trains in an underground men's league in New York City; to English national Fara Williams, who hid her homelessness from her teammates, and to a refugee camp in Denmark, where Nadia Nadim, now a Danish international star, honed her skills after her family fled from the Taliban. Whether you're a newcomer to the sport or a die-hard fan, this is an inspiring book about stars' beginnings and adventures, struggles and hardship, and, above all, the time-honored romance of the game.
Storytellers Telling Stories
Here's the schedule of episodes for October:
Storytellers Telling Stories is a literary "radio theatre" podcast starting October 3rd, new episodes every Tuesday. Annie Bloom's is a proud sponsor.
For new episodes and teaser trailers, subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or any smartphone podcast app by searching for "Storytellers Telling Stories". You may also visit http://sttspodcast.buzzsprout.com. Storytellers Telling Stories was created to focus on what shapes our constructive discourse: point of view, narrative, community, and culture. Stories are how we jump into others' lives and feel what they're feeling. Our stories tell of raising children, falling in love, talking to the dead, protesting hatred, being objectified, falling out of love, and playing music in front of strangers.
Season 1, Ep.1 - Kate Ristau (part 1)
Season 1, Ep.2 - Kate Ristau (part 2)
Season 1, Ep.3 - Jason Arias
Season 1, Ep.4 - Rios de la Luz
Season 1, Ep.5 - DeAngelo Gillispie
Season 1, Ep.6 - David Ciminello