Book Readings for August.
Wednesday the 1st, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
In Forever a Lady (Harlequin), the steamy second volume in Delilah Marvelle’s Rumor series, Lady Bernadette’s reputation is deteriorating, and she’s beginning to believe society couldn’t be more vile — or dangerous. So, when an attacker threatens her life, she finds safety in the most unseemly of places: the arms of a mysterious, Irish-American gang leader.
For more information, please contact: Lisa Wray, Harlequin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday the 1st, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
When John Brandon released his last novel, Citrus County, the New York Times declared that he had “join[ed] the ranks of writers like Denis Johnson, Joy Williams, Mary Robison and Tom Drury.” Now with A Million Heavens (McSweeney’s), Brandon brings his deadpan humor and hard-won empathy to a new realm of gritty surrealism — a surprising and exciting turn from one of the best young novelists of our time.
Thursday the 2nd, 6:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
First Thursday: David Morgan
This month we are pleased to welcome back Portland artist David Morgan to the Basil Hallward Gallery. In this show, Morgan uses the inherent layering qualities of wax to create a visceral palimpsest of color and ornament.
Thursday the 2nd, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
In Timothy Zahn’s Judgment at Proteus (Tor), the Quadrail that connects the 12 civilizations of our galaxy has been the locus of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, who has fought on the front lines, discovers that the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. If Compton can’t stop them, the Shonkla’raa will decimate all who oppose them, destroying the Quadrail and billions of lives.
Thursday the 2nd, 7:30pm / Powell’s on Hawthorne
Prepare to Die!
Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams. Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy’s life. But a few short days ago, he found himself at the mercy of a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs — and prepare to die! Now, the world’s greatest hero is returning to where it all began, in search of the boy he once was, and the girl he never forgot. Exciting, scandalous, and ultimately moving, Paul Tobin’s novel Prepare to Die! (Night Shade Books) is a unique new look at the last days of a legend.
Saturday the 4th, 11am / Powell’s City of Books
Kids’ Storytime with Victoria Jamieson
Today, we will be joined by Victoria Jamieson, who, just in time for the Olympics, will read Olympig (Dial), her book about an indomitable porcine athlete.
Monday the 6th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Wired for Story
The vast majority of writing advice focuses on “writing well,” as if it were the same as telling a great story. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify readers’ curiosity, it triggers a dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won’t hold anyone’s interest. Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story (Ten Speed Press) offers a revolutionary look at how the brain experiences stories.
Monday the 6th,7:30pm / Powell’s on Hawthorne
learning from the Octopus
Biological organisms have been living — and thriving — on a risk-filled planet for billions of years. Remarkably, they have done it without planning, predicting, or trying to perfect their responses to complex threats. In Learning from the Octopus (Basic Books), ecologist and security expert Rafe Sagarin takes us on an eye-opening tour of the challenges we face and shows us how, by drawing inspiration from nature, we might learn to respond more effectively to the unknown threats lurking in our future.
Tuesday the 7th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
In Seawitch (Roc), the seventh volume in Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series, it’s been 25 years since the ship known as Seawitch cruised away from her dock in Seattle and disappeared. Now, the boat has mysteriously returned, and P.I. Harper Blaine — a Greywalker, treading the thin line between the living and paranormal realms — has been hired to investigate. But she’s not alone. Seattle Police Detective Rey Solis will need to put aside his differences with Harper if they are to solve the mystery.
For more information, please contact: Peter at Beavo, or…
Romanello, Rosanne, Rosanne.Romanello@us.penguingroup.com
Tuesday the 7th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
At once terrifying and magnetic, “Beauty Killer” Gretchen Lowell returns with a vengeance in Chelsea Cain’s latest razor-sharp thriller, Kill You Twice (Minotaur Books). With Gretchen locked away in a psych ward, Portland detective Archie Sheridan throws himself into his next case: a man found gagged, skinned, and hanging by his wrists from a tree in Mount Tabor Park. But then Archie gets a message he can’t ignore — Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder. Now Archie must decide if catching a killer is worth facing his demons one more time.
Wednesday the 8th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Pyg: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig
Blending the sophisticated satire of Jonathan Swift with the charming exuberance of a Pixar film, Pyg (Penguin) tells the story of Toby, a truly exceptional pig who lived in late-18th-century England. After winning the blue ribbon at the Salford Livestock Fair and escaping the butcher’s knife, Toby tours the country and goes on to study at Oxford and Edinburgh — encountering such luminaries as Samuel Johnson, Robert Burns, and William Blake — before finally writing his own life story. Quirky, beguiling, and endlessly entertaining, this debut novel from Russell Potter is a sharp and witty delight.
Thursday the 9th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
Deadly Diversions Book Group
This month our mystery book group meets to discuss Ashes of the Earth: A Mystery of Post-Apocalyptic America by Eliot Pattison. Join us!
Thursday the 9th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
In Racing the Moon (Random House), the new work from Newbery Honor-winning author Alan Armstrong, it’s the spring of 1947 and outer space is an unexplored realm. But 11-year-old Alex Heart and her impulsive brother, Chuck, believe that the stars are within reach. In the midst of building their own rocket, Alex befriends an army scientist who is working to create food for future space travelers. The trio’s shared interest in space sets them on a series of adventures that the three will never forget.
Thursday the 9th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
When preschool teacher Leslie McCollom created the Preschool Gems Twitter feed, it was because precious jewels were slipping through her fingers every day, like “My mom lived in the ’90s” and “I don’t care about time outs. I only care about my life.” Preschool Gems (Perigee) is a collection of the most bizarre, hilarious, jaw-dropping things overheard at Leslie’s school. By turns sweet, sinister, and naively sincere, these treasures prove that kids are really just miniature people who are weirder and a lot less inhibited than their adult counterparts.
Thursday the 9th, 7:30pm / Powell’s on Hawthorne
Breaking the mold of traditional bicycling guides, Ellee Thalheimer’s Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-day Tours in Oregon (Microcosm) provides all the tools bicyclists need for multiple-day, self-supported bicycle tours in Oregon. All levels of cyclists and adventurers will embrace this handbook, which steers travelers through every turn, while pointing out attractions of note.
Saturday the 11th, 11am / Powell’s City of Books
Kids’ Storytime with Lindsay Ward
Today, we will be joined by Lindsay Ward, who will read When Blue Met Egg (Dial), her charming picture book about a bird who mistakes a snowball for an egg.
Monday the 13th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Scientologist, husband, father, tranny, sailor, slave, playwright, dyke, gender outlaw — these are just a few of the words that have defined Kate Bornstein during her extraordinary life. In A Queer and Pleasant Danger (Beacon Press), Bornstein’s stunningly original memoir, she shares her story: from a nice Jewish boy growing up in New Jersey to a strappingly handsome lieutenant of the Church of Scientology’s Sea flagship vessel, and later to Seattle in the ’90s, where she becomes a rising star in the lesbian community. It’s a disarmingly honest journey of self-discovery that will mesmerize readers.
Monday the 13th, 7:30pm / Powell’s on Hawthorne
William Bryant Logan
Bringing the same passion and erudition that have made his work a touchstone for nature lovers and environmentalists, William Bryant Logan takes on the quickest, most sustaining, most communicative element of the earth in Air: The Restless Shaper of the World (W. W. Norton). Every creature breathes to live, exchanging and changing the atmosphere. Water and dust spin and rise, make clouds and fall again, fertilizing the dirt. Twenty thousand fungal spores and half a million bacteria travel in a square foot of summer air. The chemical sense of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s awareness of its mother’s breast — all take place in the medium of air.
Tuesday the 14th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
Science Fiction Book Group
This month we meet to discuss A Cup of Normal by Devon Monk. Join us!
Tuesday the 14th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
A Writing Guide for Mothers
Motherhood inspired the powerful prose of Anne Lamott, Susan Cheever, Ayelet Waldman, and Alice Walker, launching them, and many others, to the top of bestseller lists. Award-winning writer Kate Hopper has spent nearly a decade teaching women to write down the bones of motherhood. Now, in Use Your Words (Viva Editions), her expert guidance will encourage you to write the stories you need to write, whether your goal is to blog, publish magazine articles, or pen the next blockbuster memoir.
Tuesday the 14th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Chuck Thompson encountered possum-hunting conservatives, trailer-park lifers, and prayer warriors during the two years he spent traveling the American South asking the question: Would we be better off without ’em? The result is a heavily researched, serious inquiry into national divides. From a church service in Mobile, Alabama, where the gospel entertainer announces “Islam is upon us!” to a store selling Ku Klux Klan memorabilia on a quaint little street in South Carolina, Better Off without ‘Em (Simon & Schuster) is a deliberately provocative book whose insight, humor, fierce and fearless politics, and sheer nerve will spark a national debate that is perhaps long overdue.
Wednesday the 15th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) realizes that the most mortifying moments of our lives are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (Amy Einhorn Books), she takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel,” “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband,” “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.”
Wednesday the 15th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Padgett Powell, an electric novelist with a pitch-perfect ear for the way Americans talk and the strange things we say and believe, returns with a hilarious Southern send-up of Samuel Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot. Two loquacious men sit talking on a porch. Funny and profound, daft and cogent, they argue about love and sex, how best to live and die, the merits of Miles Davis and Cadillacs and Hollywood starlets of yore, underused clichés, false truisms, and the meaning of nihilism. Together, they shoot the shit — and then go on shooting it long after it’s dead. You and Me (Ecco) is an exuberant and very funny novel from one of the enduring stars of American fiction.
Thursday the 16th, 6:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Write Around Portland 10-Week Workshop
Based on their acclaimed community writing model, this generative workshop incorporates favorite exercises to inspire the writing life. Workshop fee ($285) includes free parking and snacks and helps to fund workshops for low-income youth and adults. This workshop occurs on Thursday evenings, August 16 to October 18. To register or for more information, visit www.writearound.org.
Thursday the 16th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
From acclaimed author Cathy Lamb comes a warm and poignant novel about family, forgiveness, and loving someone enough to let them be true to themselves. Jaden realizes she needs to let go — of her 17-year-old son Tate, of her fears and anger, and of the responsibilities she uses as a shield. And through a series of unexpected events and revelations, she’s about to learn how, because as dear as life may be, its only real value comes when we are willing to live it fully, even if that means risking it all. A Different Kind of Normal (Kensington) is a story about embracing love and adventure and learning to look ahead for the first time.
Thursday the 16th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
A self-proclaimed “neurotic Jew,” Yuvi has a wife who wants things he can’t give her, an agent who wants a book he can’t deliver, and dead parents who don’t really want anything but that doesn’t stop the memory of them from haunting Yuvi at every opportunity. His life begins to unravel as quickly as his unfinished novel, until the two finally begin to intertwine. Soon, his real-life friends and family begin to intermix with his characters. A Brilliant Novel in the Works (MP Publishing) is the heartbreaking and hilarious debut novel from Yuvi Zalkow, praised by Cheryl Strayed as “the secret love child of the smartest person you’ve ever met and the weirdo who lives down the block.”
Thursday the 16th, 7:30pm / Powell’s on Hawthorne
Sweet Tooth (St. Martin’s) is a first-hand account of Kate Hopkins’s obsession with candy and a detailed look at its vast and complex history and development. The sugary treats we enjoy today have a prominent past entertaining kings, curing the ill, and later developing into a billion-dollar industry, all while playing a distinct part in the growth of the Western world. Filled with Hopkins’s trademark humor and accompanied by her Candy Grab Bag tasting notes, Sweet Tooth is a must-read for everyone who considers him/herself a candy freak.
Saturday the 18th, 11am / Powell’s City of Books
Join us every Saturday for kids’ storytime. Today we’re reading Marco Goes to School by Roz Chast.
Monday the 20th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
Melding facts with imagination, Adam Braver’s Misfit (Tin House) centers around the last weekend of Marilyn Monroe’s life, which she spent at Frank Sinatra’s resort in Lake Tahoe. Using this weekend as a springboard, the novel explores moments throughout Monroe’s career when, faced with various opportunities, she altered her persona — from her days as a child, to her marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, to her studies with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, and, finally, to her role in the film Miller wrote for her, The Misfits.
Monday the 20th, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Rick Bass first made a name for himself as a writer and seeker of rare, iconic animals, including the grizzlies and wolves of the American West. Now he’s on the trail of another fascinating, vulnerable species. The black rhino is a 3,000-pound, squinty-eyed giant that sports three-foot-long dagger horns, lives off poisonous plants, and goes for days without water. Human intervention and cutting-edge conservation have saved the rhinos — for now — from the brink of extinction brought on by poaching and war. In The Black Rhinos of Namibia (Houghton Mifflin), Bass probes the complex relationship between humans and nature and meditates on our role as both destroyer and savior. In the tradition of Peter Matthiessen’s The Tree Where Man Was Born, Bass captures a haunting slice of Africa, and, especially, of the black rhinos that glow ghostly white in the gleaming sun.
Tuesday the 21st, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
In And When She Was Good (William Morrow), New York Times-bestselling author Laura Lippman delivers a powerfully gripping stand-alone novel about a suburban madam, a convicted murderer whose sentence is about to be overturned, and the child they will both do anything to keep. With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life — again. Disappearing will be the easy part. A new name and a new place aren’t hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
Tuesday the 21st, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
Gerry Frank’s Oregon
Gerry Frank spent a good part of his life visiting every corner of Oregon’s geography as chief of staff to the late Senator Mark Hatfield. Now with Gerry Frank’s Oregon, he serves as your guide to the state, offering ideas of where to stay, eat, and play, combined with personal stories and tidbits of Oregon history and personalities (past and present).
For more information, please contact: Diana Miller, DIANAMILLER7@comcast.net
Wednesday the 22nd, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
Lisa Desrochers, Kendare Blake & Marta Acosta
In this joint event, three writers of young-adult paranormal fiction present their new work. In Lisa Desrochers’s Last Rite (Tor), the final installment of the thrilling Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it. But what happens when you can’t outrun Hell, or trust the ones you love? In Kendare Blake’s Girl of Nightmares (Tor), it’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it. Ghost-hunter Cas Lowood doesn’t know what happened to her. All he knows is that Anna saved Cas more than once — and it’s time for him to return the favor. In Marta Acosta’s Dark Companion (Tor), Jane Williams, orphaned at the age of six, somehow manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. But things seem too good to be true. The more Jane learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more she comes to suspect that there’s something sinister going on. As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove — and what she would risk to stay there.
For more information, please contact: Lisa Desrochers, Kendare Blake, and Marta Acosta
Wednesday the 22nd, 7:30pm / Powell’s City of Books
In Wake (Griffin), the first book in a new series by bestselling author Amanda Hocking, Gemma Fisher is living an ordinary life in the quiet seaside town of Capri. But all that changes when three stunningly beautiful girls arrive out of nowhere and seem to cast a spell on the whole town. After a chance encounter with them, Gemma wakes up alone on the beach with no memory of what happened — and a host of new powers she can’t control or understand. But Gemma is also overwhelmed by strange cravings, and she begins to suspect the girls have a dark side that goes beyond anything she knew existed.
Saturday the 25th, 11am / Powell’s City of Books
Join us every Saturday for kids’ storytime. Today we’re reading Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown. Join us.
Sunday the 26th, 4pm / Powell’s on Hawthorne
Portland Poets David Abel & Standard Schaefer
David Abel is the author of three new books: Float (Chax Press), a full-length collection of collage texts; Tether (Barebone Books), a chapbook of poems; and Carrier (c_l), a sequence of “hypergraphic” visual poems. Poet, essayist, and fiction writer, Standard Schaefer’s latest book of poems is The Notebook of False Purgatories (Chax Press).
Wednesday the 29th, 7pm / Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing
Classics Book Group
This month we meet to discuss King Lear by William Shakespeare. Join us!