by Angela Saini, May 19, 2017 9:51 AM
Photo credit: Rainer Niermann
As a lifetime geek (you’re welcome to inspect my membership card — it comes in the shape of an engineering degree), I’ve long been a devoted worshipper at the altar of science. I’ve attended nerd nights on two continents. I’ve spoken at Google. I even wrote a book about geek culture in India. For me, as for millions of others, there’s no better way of understanding the world than the scientific method.
So imagine my horror when I finally learned that science wasn’t the perfect world of lab-coated, bespectacled good folk that I had always imagined it to be. Underneath the whiz-bang discoveries that populate the science pages, there are deep, dark problems...
by Kei Miller, May 18, 2017 2:58 PM
Photo credit: Naomi
In those days, we all wanted one. They were markers of class and achievement and modernity. It was desperate, that need in us to be modern. Maybe it was just another thing we had inherited from England — even from the Victorians. Right after the Mother Country had introduced the locomotive train to the world, there was Jamaica first in line. Strange that such a small island with such a rugged terrain should be the second country in the world with a train line. But the trains wouldn’t last, nor would the bauxite factories belching out smoke and trying to diversify our economy away from banana. We were trying to prove that we were more than just tropical fruits. We could also provide the materials for ships and for flying things. But the trains stopped running...
by Catriona Menzies-Pike, May 17, 2017 10:04 AM
Photo credit: Daniel Heckenberg
The first story I told about myself as a runner was that I was not a runner. I was a clumsy, bookish, late-night kind of lady. I was the kid who ran last in high school races — not one of those sleek, intimidating athletes I saw in the early morning as I was waiting for coffee. If ever I had to participate in anything resembling a sporting occasion, which was rarely, I’d wear an old T-shirt with "Riots Not Diets" printed on the front to express my dissent. I was not a runner. I told this story for the first 30 years of my life and it was a true story...
by Jeffrey Tambor, May 16, 2017 12:10 PM
Photo credit: Maarten de Boer Getty
Note: Jeffrey Tambor will be at Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in conversation with Kristi Turnquist on Monday, May 22, at 7 p.m.
Describe your book.
Like you, I love books. I love them so much I co-own a bookstore in Los Angeles called Skylight Books. I also wrote a book of my own called Are You Anybody?
During the process of writing the book, I realized the same thing that draws me to writing is what feeds my love of acting: connection. As E. M. Forster once wrote, “Connect, only connect.” That is the essence of what I’ve tried to do my whole life. From hosting a talk show in my basement as a kid to playing a talk show sidekick on television, I have always sought to entertain as a way of connecting with an audience...
by Claire Dederer, May 15, 2017 12:38 PM
Photo credit: Jenny Jimenez
is about going a little nuts at midlife, and rediscovering the girl I used to be. At 45 years old, I was a happily married mom of two when I suddenly found myself both extravagantly sad and sexually kind of woken up
— just as I’d been as an adolescent. I had worked hard to become a respectable worker and mom, but that terrible girl just came roaring back out of nowhere. The book toggles between my slutty, troublesome teenage self and my grown-up self, who’s overwhelmed with an unexpected, tidal lust and melancholy...
Portrait of a Bookseller
by Powell's Books, May 12, 2017 1:44 PM
How would you describe your job?
I try to provide a framework and let everyone else paint inside that frame.
Where are you originally from?
I was raised on the South Side of Chicago.
What did you do before you came to Powell’s?
I worked for seven years for a local chain called the J. K. Gill Company. They had about 50 stores on the West Coast that had book departments. I was one of the three book buyers for this company. I started my book career as a volunteer at A Woman’s Place Bookstore in its infancy (mine too!) in the mid-1970s.
What is the best part of your job?
I can leave my office at any time and walk through the store and be reminded of the power of books...
by Chuck Klosterman, May 12, 2017 11:30 AM
Photo credit: Jason Booher
Describe your latest book.
This is kind of an abnormal scenario, because I have one book coming out in paperback and another book out in hardcover within the span of a month. But What If We’re Wrong?
— a book that tries to view the present as if it were the distant past while examining the possibility that our most widely accepted views about culture and science are incorrect — was released in softcover in late April. But then in May, I’m putting out Chuck Klosterman X
, which is an anthology of the journalism and essay writing I’ve done over the past decade. They’re obviously both nonfiction, but the books themselves are not that similar. But What If We’re Wrong?
is about one big idea, considered in many different ways. X
is about a lot of disparate people and concepts, but all viewed through the prism of semi-traditional media...
by Jenny Forrester, May 11, 2017 12:26 PM
Photo credit: Intisar Abioto
When I wrote Narrow River, Wide Sky: A Memoir
, I wanted to say everything to everyone I’ve ever loved about everything I’ve wanted to say, but elegantly, artfully, succinctly, and with few adverbs.
As I began this blog entry, Ron, my soon-to-be ex-husband, drove his new all-electric car to his old house in Amity where he lived during his junior high years.
He sent a text, “They cut down my pine tree. I don’t know why I expected it to be there.”
I texted back, “It’s not too much to ask. My tree is still alive.”
My brother, Brian, and I sat in the trees of our young childhoods on the two-acre farm in Colorado, just off I-70...
by Ada Calhoun, May 10, 2017 11:28 AM
Photo credit: Jena Cumbo Photography
My new book is an essay collection called Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give
. In 2015, I wrote a Modern Love essay
about fighting with my husband of 12 years while we were attending a bunch of starry-eyed weddings. I kept sitting there thinking about all the things I wanted to say to the newlyweds about the ways in which marriage was hard, but I felt like I couldn’t say anything like that without it seeming like bad manners, or a downer. The book is more memoir than self-help, but I have one piece of advice: when you fight with your husband, immediately write about it for the New York Times