by Deborah Madison, March 24, 2017 2:41 PM
Photo credit: Erin Scott
Describe your latest book.
My most recent book is In My Kitchen
, a collection of 100 recipes, some old favorites, some new ones, but all appropriate for today’s tastes and ingredients. Some are trusted favorites that are vastly simplified by the use of today’s new ingredients while others are just as good as they were originally and so they stay that way. Still other recipes are actually very new. Regardless of where they fit into my culinary life, all have a lengthy narrative section that, in many cases, gives a recipe’s backstory. For example, the reason we used black beans in the chili at Greens is that they were the most exotic beans we had then, in 1979. Today I prefer Rio Zape beans (among the many good heirloom varieties that are now easily available), and the recipe is written for them...
by Hannah Tinti, March 23, 2017 12:56 PM
Photo credit: Dani Shapiro
Describe your latest book.
Part coming-of-age story, part literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
is a father-daughter story that explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most. After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and begins to unravel clues about her mother’s mysterious death. Woven in between Loo’s adventures are tales from her father’s criminal past, spanning across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks. Inspired by the myth of Hercules’s 12 labors, Samuel Hawley’s “twelve lives” are the twelve scars he carries on his body — each from a different bullet that nearly took his life...
Portrait of a Bookseller
by Powell's Books, March 21, 2017 2:25 PM
How would you describe your job?
I’m responsible for putting out all the things you play with at Powell’s that aren’t books.
Where are you originally from?
Born and raised in Portland, I’m a Northwest native through and through!
What did you do before you came to Powell’s?
I ran a feminist pop-culture blog with a friend for several years, during which time I attended conventions and played indie games as if my life depended on it. But I still managed to read at least a book a week.
What is the best part of your job?
Once a week, I sit down with boxes and boxes of candy surrounding me as I enter the delicious treats into inventory. “Surrounding myself with mountains of candy” is a bucket-list item the five-year-old version of myself can satisfyingly check off.
by Bassem Youssef, March 20, 2017 11:49 AM
Photo credit: Mustapha Azzab
Describe your latest book.
My book Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring
is exactly what the title describes: a guide for people who have absolutely no idea about the Middle East or the Arab Spring. It is strange that we get used to hearing and repeating things without really knowing that the hell they are. In the book, I try to explain the massive shifts that happened in the region while also explaining the changes that occurred inside me while I was working as a heart surgeon, when I switched careers overnight to become the host of the biggest political satire show in the region. It’s a personal story combined with a background of international events. And don’t worry, if you don’t know what political Islam, military powers, Muslim Brotherhood, or Sharia mean or do, well, you will get a totally subjective explanation of all of that...
by Brian Barker, March 17, 2017 4:01 PM
Photo credit: Justin Myers
Take a Walk Portland
highlights close-to-home nature escapes in each corner of the metro area. It covers more than 75 places to walk, all under an hour away. Though I don’t listen to music when I am out researching walks with my own two feet — my goal is to plug into the landscape — I always listen to music when I sit down to write at home. With earbuds in and the volume cranked, I find a good headspace to work. I hope these 12 (mostly) walk-themed songs prime you to grab some sturdy shoes and plan a walk of your own...
by Lauren Grodstein, March 16, 2017 12:21 PM
Photo credit: Ken Yanoviak
Lauren Grodstein will appear at Powell's City of Books on March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Recently, my dog began taking medical marijuana. I was against the idea, and so was a friend of mine who’s a vet (actually, my friend is a veterinary oncologist, which is extremely boutique of her, but which also means she cannot be my
vet, because my dog is simply a nervous wreck and not, thank goodness, a cancer patient).
Anyway, I was against the marijuana, and so was my friend, and so, it turns out, was the FDA. But my dog was a mess and her (non-oncological) vet, from whom I had requested a tiny little Prozac prescription, suggested a more natural approach.
Doggy Prozac is like $12 for a month’s supply. Doggy cannabis is $110.
I said forget about it...
by Ariel Levy, March 14, 2017 12:45 PM
Photo credit: David Klagsburn
How long have I been after you? Four years? Five?
It depends if we start counting when I could take you or leave you — when I was interested in but not obsessed with you — or if we start the clock after you became the roiling desire at the core of my life. I’ve wanted things before, but I’ve never known a craving like you.
When I started pursuing you I was in my 30s — still part-girl: greedy, optimistic, striving. Now I’m all woman: 42; world-weary, relaxed, resigned.
But remember the beginning? I was so innocent when we first met! I expected you to be mine. I’d seen you break other girls’ hearts, but me? With these hips?...
by Thomas Shapiro, March 13, 2017 10:48 AM
Photo credit: Max Pearlstein
I didn’t fully know what I was getting into when, in 1998, I started interviewing families with young children about their finances and how money was shaping their hopes and plans. I wanted to learn how wealth influences vital family choices, and how assets affect families’ capacity for economic mobility. The entire project was animated by a desire to understand how race, wealth, and policy shape prospects and outcomes. But at the outset of this journey, I couldn’t have guessed that America itself and family fortunes would change so quickly and dramatically in the years that followed.
Getting ahead is hard work. Staying ahead is even harder. Families without adequate wealth are economically fragile and vulnerable to small mishaps that throw them off track. Our team interviewed nearly 200 families of different races and income levels...
by Andrea Bemis, March 10, 2017 9:59 AM
I never imagined this life for myself. A life that solely revolves around the seasons, the weather, and the dirt. Sometimes it feels like I’m watching someone else’s life from afar because this wasn’t supposed to be me... someone who doesn’t leave the house without a pocket knife. Someone who is up at dawn and asleep by sundown. I’m covered head to toe in dirt on any given day, and sometimes I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror. This may not be the life I thought I’d be living, but it’s more magnificent and brutal than anything I could have ever imagined for myself. I’m surrounded by six acres of land that has become my home, my livelihood, and has nourished my family with each passing season.
The cooking? This didn’t come naturally, but after spending full days in the dirt focusing on food, I began to explore in the kitchen...
by Ben Blatt, March 9, 2017 2:34 PM
Photo credit: Sierra Katow
My book, Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve
, is about what numbers can teach us about writing. It uses data to sort through thousands of books totaling hundreds of millions of words. But despite all this new information, I found myself rereading one mostly forgotten short story over and over throughout the writing process: Roald Dahl
’s "The Great Automatic Grammatizator."
The premise is darker and more science-fiction based than a typical Dahl work. An engineer named Adolph Knipe dreams of writing stories that people will read. Knipe looks at the beginning of his latest failed novel attempt, which begins, of course, “The night was dark and stormy.” Then he has a eureka moment...