Brian Doyle, The Plover

At sea.


Books
Mink River, the 2010 novel by University of Portland professor Brian Doyle, ends with protagonist Declan O’Donnell sailing away into vast sea. Four years later, O’Donnell is back in Doyle’   More
 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 KATHRYN PEIFER

Sharon Kay Penman, A King’s Ransom

The Lionheart in winter.


Books
He spoke no English, sired no legitimate heir, and spent only six months of his 10-year reign on English soil, just long enough to levy taxes to pay for his military adventures in France and the   More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction

A hairy biped takes on survival of the fittest.


Books
“One weedy species” will destroy earth as we know it, writes Elizabeth Kolbert in The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt and Co., 336 pages, $28). As you might guess, we are that   More
 
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 KATHRYN PEIFER

McKenzie Funk, Windfall

Dead polar bears, rich old white dudes.


Books
Follow the money, Deep Throat said. McKenzie Funk has done just that in Windfall (Penguin Press, 310 pages, $27.95), which takes the author to two dozen countries to examine the economics of global wa   More
 
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 LYLA ROWEN

Willy Vlautin, The Free

She healed my leg, and then my heart.


Books
When WW asked author Willy Vlautin in 2010 what he was working on, he said he was writing a “nurse novel.” You know, kind of like Hemingway did with A Farewell to Arms. Alongside the penny W   More
 
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Time and a tapestry of narratives.


Books
Time is a tricky thing. We are all subject to its effect, yet it remains smugly intangible. Writing a novel about the concept of time has the potential to be dangerously abstract or cliché. But R   More
 
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 PENELOPE BASS

Langdon Cook, The Mushroom Hunters

You can’t spell fungus without fun.


Books
There’s a bit of a vogue in mushroom pickers. From Burkhard Bilger’s picaresque 2007 piece in The New Yorker to a photo essay published this year on Slate.com that might as well have been fund   More
 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

The Best Thing I Read This Year

From memoir to nonfiction to poetry, Portland’s literary community weighs in on the best books of 2013.


Books
My pick—Antidote by Corey Van Landingham—is unabashedly biased. Van Landingham was my student at Lewis & Clark College, and, for me, part of the thrill of reading this book comes from my   More
 
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 WW Culture Staff

JD Chandler, Hidden History of Portland, Oregon

Localizing Howard Zinn.


Books
JD Chandler’s Hidden History of Portland, Oregon (History Press, 190 pages, $19.99) isn’t the usual cult Portland chronicle of Shanghai Tunnels or tittered-about former brothels. Rather, it�   More
 
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Mark Russell, God Is Disappointed in You

The gooder news Bible.


Books
In 1966, someone had the radical idea of publishing the Bible in the everyday American language. The translation technique was called “dynamic equivalence,” which holds that good translation   More
 
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 MARTIN CIZMAR

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