March 2016 Newsletter
Ah, March -- the Ides, the madness, the rites of spring! We are ready for this change in season and are already loving the blossoming of new ideas and new reads that arrive this time of year.

March is a busy month in the store, with lots of wonderful new books arriving each day. We are enjoying the extra bit of daylight to get in some extra reading.  We are happy to help everyone shake out the winter doldrums with exciting book group, gift, and the ever-necessary "I just need something fresh" suggestions.

We so enjoyed our reading with Ursula K. Le Guin last week. If you missed it, don't despair; you can still buy a signed copy of her new collection of poems, Late in the Day, through our website. Just indicate in the comments box that you would like a signed copy.

Natalie Serber and Ruth Wariner visit us this month with their poignant and humorous memoirs, and we get to celebrate TWO authors who have won Pacific Northwest Bookselling Association Awards for their writing. To top it off we add a couple of debut novelists, two wonderful short story writers, and another installment in our Comma reading series. Be on the lookout for the details about our party plans to celebrate our 24th anniversary and Independent Bookstore Day on April 30th. Please save the date, and we'll promise to save you a cupcake!

Happy reading!

Kim Bissell and Sally McPherson
March Events
Tuesday, March 1st, 7 pm: Taylor Zajonc
Taylor Zajonc joins us to read from his debut novel, The Wrecking Crew.

The Wrecking Crew is a thrilling adventure set in the world's last frontier, the story of a deep-water salvage diver set free from a Moroccan prison and forced to lead a covert mission into pirate-infested Somali waters. When his expedition threatens to expose the true source of an oceanic plague, he must assemble an unproven crew of former enemies and fight for the fate of the entire region.

Taylor Zajonc is an Explorers Club member and avid world traveler.  As a maritime historian and shipwreck expert, his real-life adventures parallel those of his fictional counterparts. In addition to personally setting a deep-ocean depth record, he did archival field research that contributed to the discovery of some of the most incredible treasure shipwrecks in history, including a 110-ton trove of sunken World War II silver. He and his wife have just welcomed their first child, so he'll be running on little sleep but lots of love and enthusiasm.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 7 pm: Natalie Serber
We welcome Natalie Serber to read from her new memoir Community Chest. Diagnosed with breast cancer, Serber did the only thing she could: she wrote her way through the confusion and fear. In this charming and good-humored memoir, she tries to maintain her sense of gratitude and grace.

Natalie Serber received an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Bellingham Review and Gulf Coast.  She has been shortlisted for Best American Short Stories and her awards include the John Steinbeck Award and Tobias Wolff Award. She teaches writing at various universities and lives with her family in Portland. Shout Her Lovely Name is her debut collection of short stories.
Tuesday, March 8th, 6 pm: Megan Kruse Award Ceremony
We are thrilled that Megan Kruse has been selected as one of the six winners of this year's awards from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association for her debut novel Call Me Home, published by Hawthorne Books. Please join us for an evening of celebration as we present this award to Megan. We'll have cake and a toast to Megan and her wonderful novel.

Call Me Home has an epic scope and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices. At its heart, this is a novel about family, our choices and how we come to live with them, what it means to be queer in the rural West, and the changing idea of home. Megan was also honored as one of this year's "5 Under 35" by the National Book Foundation. The 5 Under 35 program honors five young fiction writers selected by past National Book Award Winners and Finalists, or previous 5 Under 35 Honorees.

The annual PNBA book award is presented to authors who reside in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, or British Columbia. The award winners are selected by owners and staff of independent bookstore members of PNBA. Joining Megan as winners this year are Martha Brockenbrough (Seattle) for The Game of Love and Death, Patrick deWitt (Portland) for Undermajordomo Minor, Brian Doyle (Portland) for Children & Other Wild Animals, Thor Hanson (San Juan Island) for The Triumph of Seeds, and Dana Simpson (Auburn) for Unicorn On a Roll.

This event is open to the public. Please join us in celebrating Megan Kruse.
Thursday, March 10th, 7 pm: Ruth Wariner
Portland author Ruth Wariner joins us to read from her debut memoir The Sound of Gravel. Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father's forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of the local Mormon community, she lived in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. After her father was brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarried, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant.

Gradually she came to realize that perhaps the community into which she was born was not the right one for her. As she began to doubt her family's beliefs and question her mother's choices, she struggled to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.

After she left Colonia LeBaron, the polygamist Mormon colony where she grew up, Wariner moved to California, where she raised her three youngest sisters. She earned her GED and put herself through college and graduate school, eventually becoming a high school Spanish teacher.   
Tuesday, March 15th, 6 pm: Brian Doyle Award Ceremony
Along with Megan Kruse, Brian Doyle has also been selected as one of the six winners of this year's PNBA awards for his collection Children and Other Wild Animals, published by Oregon State University Press. We are equally thrilled for Brian!  Please join us for Brian's award ceremony as we have cake and toast Brian; we suspect he'll have a few words to share with us.

A novelist and essayist -- a storyteller at heart -- Doyle describes encounters with astounding beings of every sort and shape in this collection of short vignettes. The book gathers previously unpublished work along with selections that have been published in Orion, The Sun, and The American Scholar. He is also the author of Mink River, The Plover, Martin Marten, How the Light Gets In, and several other books. He is the editor of The University of Portland's award-winning magazine. We'll be hosting Mr. Doyle again on April 7th to read from his forthcoming novel Chicago.
Thursday, March 17th, 7 pm: Comma: Justin Hocking and Suzy Vitello
The Comma reading series, once again hosted and curated by writer Kirsten Rian, has returned, this month featuring Justin Hocking and Suzy Vitello.

Justin Hocking served as Executive Director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) from 2006 to mid-2014 and is highly active in creative community-building, small-press publishing, and the increasing synthesis of book arts with literary pursuits. His memoir, The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld, won the 2015  Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. He is a recipient of the Willamette Writers' 2014 Humanitarian Award for his work in publishing, writing, and teaching, and he was named as one of "Ten Writers Who Made Portland" by Willamette Week.
As the long-time coordinator of a robust weekly writing workshop whose members include Chuck Palahniuk, Cheryl Strayed, Chelsea Cain, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Monica Drake, Suzy Vitello is committed to writing about love in all of its guises, styles, and languages. Her novels include The Moment Before, The Empress Chronicles, and, most recently, The Keepsake (the second book in the Empress Series).
Tuesday, March 22nd, 7 pm: Joyce Cherry Cresswell
Broadway Books welcomes Portland author Joyce Cherry Cresswell to read from her debut novel, A Great Length of Time. Based on the true story of a female doctor during the American Civil War, the novel tells the story of Dr. Rose Barnett, who was assigned to a hospital ship. As a pacifist, her greatest challenge is coming to grips with the terrible casualties of war. A Great Length of Time is a woman's view of the politics and gender roles of the day, offering a fresh look at the war and at the women who nursed its soldiers. 

The novel is loosely based on Cresswell's great-grandmother. Cresswell worked as a lawyer and then as a non-profit director until she retired in 2010, at which point she eagerly began this novel. She has considered herself to be a writer since she was eight years old but had only written for her children before publishing this first novel.
Wednesday, March 23rd, 7 pm: Monica Drake and Rios De La Luz
Monica Drake and Rios De La Luz join us to read from and discuss their newest works.

The Folly of Loving Life is a new collection of linked stories from novelist Monica Drake. Future Tense, the book's publisher, calls this collection "the best of what we love about Monica's writing - the sly laugh-out-loud humor, the sharp observations, the flawed but strong characters, and the shadowy Van Sant-ish Portland settings." Drake's previous novels are Clown Girl (a finalist for the Oregon Book Award for Fiction) and The Stud Book.  

According to Rios De La Luz, "The Pulse between Dimensions and the Desert is a mixture of stories from the perspectives of raw women, inquiring teenage minds, and children still enchanted by the environments around them." Her stories incorporate magical realism and a bit of science fiction, including one about a grandmother who travels in a time machine! This is her first published collection.

Maisie Dobbs is Back!
We are thrilled to once again be hosting the wonderful Jacqueline Winspear, as she returns to read from Journey to Munich, the twelfth book in the bestselling Maisie Dobbs series.

In Journey to Munich, Maisie travels into the heart of Nazi Germany for the British Secret Service to retrieve a British subject held prisoner.

Tickets to the event will go on sale at 10 am on Monday, March 7th. You can purchase them in the store or through our website. The tickets are $26.99 and include a copy of Journey to Munich.
Purchasing the book alone does not equate to purchasing a ticket. You must purchase a ticket to attend this event.
We Celebrate National Independent Bookstore Day & Our 24th Anniversary
On Saturday, April 30th, we will throw an all-day party to celebrate the second annual National Independent Bookstore Day, as well as our 24th anniversary.

We will have food and beverages and lots of special one-time-only items for sale -- as well as a store full of great books, as always. We'll send you more details about this celebration in April, but we wanted to give you a heads-up now so you can get it on your calendars. We hope you will join us to celebrate the joys of independent bookstores!
New in Hardcover
This wonderful new book is a history set in our backyard but truly of national interest. It is equal parts science, economics, and politics told in a clear prose and enriched by the personal stories of geologists, loggers, and thrill-seekers. Cowlitz County Sheriff Les Nelson emerges as a realist trying to prevent deaths when others were afraid to offend logging and commercial interests. The interplay between government responsibility and private property rights reminds us of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and even the recent turmoil at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. It's hard to imagine living in the Pacific Northwest and not wanting to read Eruption, and after you read the book it will be hard to resist leaping into your car to get a better look at our volcanic neighbor.
Bonus quote: President Carter came to tour the damage; while flying toward the volcano he looked out the window and said, "I'm amazed at all this destruction," only to be told,"We're not there yet, Mr. President. Those are clearcuts."
Timothy Egan is back on our shelves with the story of "the immortal Irishman," Thomas Francis Meagher. The author of such histories as The Worst Hard Time and Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, Egan gives us the life of Meagher, a figure remembered in Montana but strangely unfamiliar to the rest of the country. Born in Ireland, sentenced by the British to be hung, drawn and quartered, and twice shot off his horse while leading the Irish Brigade in our Civil War, Meagher cheated death many times only to die under mysterious circumstances (or did he?) as Governor of Montana. A riveting tale, and who better to tell it than one of our favorite authors?
At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, by Sarah Bakewell
Break out your black turtlenecks and Gauloises, it's time to explore the lives and philosophies of those fabulous existentialists!  In At the Existentialist Cafe, Sarah Bakewell gives us serious subjects spiked with gossip. Yes, people who write books with titles like Being and Nothingness and Nausea also enjoy frivolous sex and fruit-flavored alcohol. Bakewell traces how existentialism was shaped by the times, and what times they were: global depression, Nazism, world war, decolonization, nuclear peril. Camus may have fought with the resistance, but Sartre and de Beauvoir are the major players in this history. De Beauvoir's Second Sex made her the first modern feminist intellectual, but she was also the first modern memoirist. James Baldwin and Iris Murdoch are two of the original minds drawn to scruffy cafes to talk about authenticity and freedom. Ah, we'll always have Paris!

Bakewell's previous book is the notable How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne.
A Doubter's Almanac, by Ethan Canin
What is it with these wacky theoretical numbers people? First we got the flawed but loving family of The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer, and now Ethan Canin writes of an even more deeply flawed clan in A Doubter's Almanac. Milo Andret is the mathematician at the center of the novel. Like Elizabeth Strout's Lucy Barton, his childhood has been shaped by his father's war experiences. Milo's genius is portrayed as a flaw that wounds generations; the male characters are well-drawn tortured souls, like those in Canin's earlier, critically acclaimed America, America. Fans of Jonathan Franzen will enjoy getting swept up in this beautiful, beefy novel.

New in Paperback

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