September 2019: Staff Favorites, Author Readings, and New in Kids & Young Adult

September 2019: Staff Favorites, Author Readings, and New in Kids & Young Adult
Read reviews from our staff, find out which authors are reading here soon, and check out the latest books for children and teens. But first....
New & Upcoming Releases
These books are among the most anticipated new releases. Click on a cover or title to order from our website.
by Margaret Atwood
Out Now!
When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. "Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." —Margaret Atwood
by Malcolm Gladwell
Out Now!
Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland---throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. In his first book since his #1 bestseller, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times.
by Edward Snowden
Out: September 17
In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online—a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.
by Ann Patchett
Out: September 24
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. The story is told by Cyril's son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens to Danny and Maeve will stay with you for a very long time.
Staff Favorites
by Helen Phillips
reviewed by: Karen
The Need had me on edge immediately. Molly's husband is out of town as she hides in the dark with her baby and child, listening to footsteps in the next room. Exhausted by the demands of two young children and her work as a paleo-botanist, Molly is also troubled by some strange artifacts discovered at the site where she's been working. Members of various religious groups have been vocal in condemning the discovery, and now it seems one of the crazies who swarm the site may have followed her home. This scenario is frightening enough, but as the story progresses, Phillips adds a twist which leads both the reader and Molly to question her relationship with reality.
by Erin Entrada Kelly
reviewed by Rosanne
The Newbery award-winning author's newest book is a lush fairy tale of a book steeped in the mythology of the Philippines. The 12-year-old protagonist faces some dark and scary monsters and some equally monstrous men in her community, but persistence in spite of fear and honorable intentions guide her choices on an adventures reminiscent of a the movies Moana and Pan's Labyrinth. A great choice for fantasy and mythology fans ages 10-14.
reviewed by Rosanne
Looking for something uplifting to no matter your political point of view? We Are the Change is a beautiful collaboration between 16 picture book artists and the words of 16 people who worked for justice. Some quotes are well known like the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." Others are less well known but just as powerful, such as Queen Lili'uokalani's quote: "You must remember never to cease to act because you fear you may fail." Each artist has offered a short reflection on their art. Caring people of all ages, take a page a day to soothe your heart.
Upcoming Author Readings
Dancing to Broken Records
Tuesday, September 17, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland author Jack Moody to read from his fiction collection, Dancing to Broken Records. Henry Gallagher is a failure. Born into a broken family, now a young alcoholic struggling with mental illness, Henry is successful at one thing: destroying his life. While spending his time and waning finances at local bars and on any woman who will show him affection, Henry reflects on his past, seeing no future other than the one he believes has been preordained for him. From a funeral in Ireland, to a chance meeting with a German millionaire, to a booze-soaked and bloody version of Last Tango in Paris, Henry's life is both darkly humorous and unapologetically human. Accompanied by stories of other down and out characters fighting their way through the underbelly of society, Jack Moody's debut collection poses Henry's greatest question: Do we end up where we do purely because of the choices we've made, or are some of us simply doomed at birth to fail?
Western Waters
Thursday, September 26, 7pm
The Portland author will read from his book on Fly-Fishing Memories and Lessons from Twelve Rivers. In this collection of essays about well-known (and some not-so-well-known) Western waters, Alkire blends how-to, where-to, and natural history with lyrical prose and a deep insight that only comes with knowing a place well. From rainforest rivers to desert rivers, from tidal rivers to those along the Continental Divide, the author has waded and fished these waters over the decades. Along with his fishing adventures, the book also looks at the geography, the early explorers of, and the modern-day impacts on the rivers themselves.
Poetry Reading
Tuesday, October 1, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes Airlie Press poets Gary Lark, Jessica Mehta, and Hannah Larrabee. Oregon poet Gary Lark will read from his new collection, Ordinary Gravity. These haunting poems drop you into a world of logging towns of western Oregon in the fifties and sixties—a way of life undergoing change—with forays into the small towns, the woods, and on the rivers. Oregon poet Jessica Mehta will read from her new collection, Savagery, which joins Mehta's oeuvre as a reflection of what it means to be indigenous in today's increasingly hostile, post-colonial America. Hannah Larrabee will read from her new poetry collection, Wonder Tissue.
Poetry Reading
Thursday, October 3, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes local poets Sara Quinn Rivara and Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet to read from their latest collections. Animal Bride is the second collection of poems from Portland poet Sara Quinn Rivara. These poems are written at the crossroads of womanhood: to be a woman in captivity or a woman breaking free. Like a 21st century Persephone, the woman at the heart of Animal Bride journeys out of the underworld of a violent marriage to find strength in her animal self. In The Greenhouse, Portland poet Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet details the dual desires of new motherhood the struggle to make peace with both connection and separation, with being a self irrevocably tied to another self. In lines both fluid and broken, delicate and irreverent, these lyrics recount with boundless love the difficulty of finding oneself again as a parent, and the elemental joy of being transformed by the very life that tethers you.
Historical Fiction Reading
Monday, October 7, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes Northwest authors Jane Kirkpatrick and Rachel Fordham to read from their latest historical novels. Kirkpatrick new novel is One More River to Cross. In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stevens-Murphy company left Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When the party separates in three directions, each risks losing those they loved and faces the prospect of learning that adversity can destroy or redefine. Washington author Rachel Fordham's new novel is Yours Truly, Thomas. Penny Ercanbeck is a clerk at the Dead Letter Office. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, it becomes Penny's mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient. When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.
No Way to Die
Tuesday, October 8, 7pm
In the Oregon author's seventh book in the mystery series, attorney Cal Claxton is fishing with his daughter, Claire, the coastal area south of Coos Bay when a body is discovered in the river. As an investigation is launched into the suspicious death, Cal and Claire find themselves drawn into the life of the local bookshop owner and vocal environmental activist, whose grandson was convicted for murder at age sixteen. She believes he was wrongly accused and convinces Cal to reexamine the case. Together, Cal and Claire dig deep into the secrets and crumbling alliances that form the foundation of this small coastal community, and what they find could spell doom for them both...
Still Come Home
Wednesday, October 9, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes back Katey Schultz to read from her latest novel. When the odds are stacked against you, doing everything right still might not be enough to protect yourself and the ones you love. The three characters in Still Come Home are each searching for the best way to be, the best way to live—all the while fighting cultural, societal, and political forces far beyond their control. As their paths intersect over the span of three days, Still Come Home explores how their decisions will forever alter each other's lives.
Frank's Revenge
Monday, October 14, 7pm
Former Portland Police homicide detective Don DuPay is a crime fighter turned crime writer. Read along as he brings private eye Frank McAllister to life as he scours the back alleys and dead-end streets of Portland's dangerous Albina ghetto in search of a killer. Be his backup as he works to solve the murders the police don't care about. But why? And what about the council of old gangsters who lured him into the case using a pretty woman as bait? What do they really want? Things get messy as Black Bart returns from eight years in prison vowing to once again be the kingpin of the St. Johns drug business and take his old territory back, but now the ghetto dealers wear badges and, oh yeah, he wants his old girlfriend back, too. Then there's Indian Charlie, tenderloin denizen, with his secrets of death and destruction. And just where is the "Blind Pig" anyway? Written in the style of Boston Blackie and Mike Hammer...sorta.
The Scent of Buenos Aires
Tuesday, October 15, 7pm
Annie Bloom's welcomes Maureen Shaughnessy, translator of The Scent of Buenos Aires: Stories, by Hebe Uhart. the first book-length English translation of Uhart's work, drawing together her best vignettes of quotidian life: moments at the zoo, the hair salon, or a cacophonous homeowners association meeting. She writes in unconventional, understated syntax, constructing a delightfully specific perspective on life in South America. These stories are marked by sharp humor and wit: discreet and subtle, yet filled with eccentric and insightful characters. Uhart's narrators pose endearing questions about their lives and environments - one asks "Bees - do you know how industrious they are?" while another inquires, "Are we perhaps going to hell in a hand basket?"
Street Journalist
Wednesday, October 23, 7pm
Portland journalist Lisa Loving will read from her book, Street Journalist: Understand and Report the News in Your Community. Responsible journalism begins with you! A corrupt politician. A local business in trouble. A neighbor with a heroic story. An opportunity to work together for positive change. Whatever the stories are in your community that most need to be told, the best person to tell them is you. Whether you're writing for your local newspaper, producing a podcast or video series, or simply sharing what you see and learn every day on social media, the power of journalism is in your hands, as is the responsibility to use it ethically and wisely.
Joy Seeker
Tuesday, October 29, 7pm
Join Portland self-help author Shannon Kaiser for the launch of her new book, Joy Seeker: Let Go of What's Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Were Made For. The relentless pressure to succeed, measure up, and reach for ever higher goals can leave us feeling like we're just not good enough—or that something's missing. At the end of the day, after giving it our all, the last thing we want to feel is hopeless, anxious, and disconnected. Kaiser understands why so many of us, despite our best intentions, cling to these patterns. Better yet, she knows how to get us out of the vicious, draining cycle. Committed to finding meaning, connection, and joy in our day-to-day lives, she's traveled the world in search of the universal truths and spiritual wisdom we desperately need today. Joy Seeker is her transformational approach to life, drawn from her own life-changing experiences. It is a path to discovering our true self—the hero within.
Far West
Wednesday, October 30, 7pm
The Portland author will read from his latest collection of poems, Far West, which intertwines the past and present, as time alternates between racing and standing still. Crafting poems that confront memory lapses and painful recollections, Skloot traces his moments of purest perception and expression: his wife practicing music, his daughter finding delight in the presence of wildlife, Vladimir Nabokov able to lose himself when playing goalie in a soccer match. In poems that range from traditional forms and short lyrics to longer narratives and free verse, Skloot explores how emotional experiences--memory and forgetting, love and loss, reverie and urgent attention--all come together in our search for coherence and authentic self-expression.
Kids & Young Adult Roundup
Staff Favorite Picture Books
by Dr. Seuss and Andrew Joyner
Based on a manuscript and sketches discovered in 2013, this book is like a visit to a museum—with a horse as your guide! Explore how different artists have seen horses, and maybe even find a new way of looking at them yourself. Discover full-color photographic art reproductions of pieces by Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock, and many others—all of which feature a horse! Young readers will find themselves delightfully transported by the engaging equines as they learn about the creative process and how to see art in new ways.
by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael Lopez
Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful. In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.
by Ryan T. Higgins
In this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series, Bruce's home is already a full house. But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he'll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter--whether he likes it or not.
New in Middle Grade
by Dav Pilkey
In this seventh book of the Dog Man series, the Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain! Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li'l Petey. But when Petey's own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good.
by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
The creators of graphic novel Real Friends are back with a true story about popularity, first crushes, and finding your own path. Sixth grade is supposed to be perfect. Shannon's got a sure spot in the in-crowd called The Group, and her best friend is their leader, Jen, the most popular girl in school. But the rules are always changing, and Shannon has to scramble to keep up. She never knows which TV shows are cool, what songs to listen to, and who she's allowed to talk to. Who makes these rules, anyway? And does Shannon have to follow them?
by Neil Patrick Harris
Theo Stein-Meyer loves being part of the Magic Misfits. Armed with his trusty violin bow, he completes the team with his levitation skills, unflappable calm, and proper manners. But when a girl named Emily begins to spend time with the group, Theo is surprisingly drawn to her. She seems to understand the pull he feels between music and magic, between family and friends. Then a famous ventriloquist arrives in town, and the Misfits are sure he (and his creepy dummy) are up to no good. Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets.
Kids Nonfiction
by Vicki Conrad and David Hohn
As a young girl, Beverly Cleary struggled to learn to read and found most children's books dull and uninteresting. She often wondered if there were any books about kids just like her. With hard work, and the encouragement of her parents and a special teacher, she learned to read and at a young age discovered she had a knack for writing. Beverly Cleary's story comes to life in this narrative nonfiction picture book as she grows to follow her dreams of writing the books she longed for as a child, becoming an award-winning writer and one of the most famous children's authors of all time.
by Ben Hoare
This collection of amazing animals, plants, rocks and minerals, and microorganisms will wow children and adults alike. With 100 remarkable items from the natural world, from orchids to opals and lichens to lizards, everyone will find something to be captivated by. Discover how the dragon blood tree got its name, why a sundew means big trouble for insects, and what on Earth a radiolarian is. The storybook descriptions let you discover the myths and legends surrounding both organisms and gemstones, as well as key facts about their natural history. With reference pages packed with information you'll go away knowing something you didn't before, even if you return time and again.
by Jonah Winter and Bryan Collier
Thurgood Marshall was a born lawyer--the loudest talker, funniest joke teller, and best arguer from the time he was a kid growing up in Baltimore in the early 1900s. He would go on to become the star of his high school and college debate teams, a stellar law student at Howard University, and, as a lawyer, a one-man weapon against the discriminatory laws against black Americans. After only two years at the NAACP, he was their top lawyer and had earned himself the nickname Mr. Civil Rights. He argued--and won--cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most important cases in American history: Brown v Board of Education. And he became the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.
New Teen Reads
by April Henry
In the latest thriller from neighborhood author April Henry, a deadly shooting breaks out in a Portland shopping mall, and a diverse group of teens ends up trapped behind a store's security shutter. To her own surprise, seventeen-year-old Miranda finds the others looking to her as their leader. But she's hiding a big secret—and she's not the only one. The group has only three choices: run, hide, or fight back. The wrong decision will have fatal consequences.
by Sam Quinones
As an adult book, Dreamland took the world by storm, winning the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction and hitting at least a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Now, adapted for the first time for a young adult audience, this compelling reporting explains the roots of the current opiate crisis. In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. Quinones explains how the rise of the prescription drug OxyContin, a miraculous and extremely addictive painkiller pushed by pharmaceutical companies, paralleled the massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel.
by Kendare Blake
In the final book in the Three Dark Crowns series, an all-out war is brewing—one that will pit sister against sister and dead against undead. After the grim confrontation with Queen Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules's legion curse has been unbound, and it is up to Arsinoe to find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist lies heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared. Katharine's reign remains intact—for now. When Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce, Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share. But as the two circle each other, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted. Three sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn's history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested. But the fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens. It always has.
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