Portland F R E E VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2 June - August 2011
www.portlandbookreview.com The Galloping Gourmet Rides Again!
ND A P
N •E X
• ED SE
Cooking, Food & Wine
FEATURES Fortunate Sons
120 Boys Changed Chinese Culture Forever!
Q&A: Steven T. Jones Author of The Tribes of Burning Man
Q&A: Dr. Mendelson
Author of The Great Singapor Penis Panic
Q&A: Robin Jones Gunn Author of Praying for your Future Husband
The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses
Perigee Book, $27.00, 315 pages
16 70 Reviews INSIDE!
Growing up with the Galloping Gourmet, it is thrilling to watch Graham Kerr take the next leap, not only in his career but in his own personal life. Growing at the Speed of Life: A Year in the Life of My First Kitchen Garden is an inspiration for anyone wanting a purer life, a life of simplicity and natural good health. Kerr takes us on a journey into growing the food we eat, realistically committing to self-containment and a neighborly attitude of authenticity by giving and sharing what we produce. He professes it doesn’t take a huge amount of time or effort, or require an extensive training program or even a large plot of land. Kerr’s book is broken down with the why including statistical data for rationale, then the how with soil treatment, managing the garden, composting and green-housing. Next, into the kitchen; Kerr teaches that by having your own gar-
den, you maximize the flavors and nutrition for the optimum enhancement for your health. In fact, the bulk of this book is dedicated to 60 different plants recommended for every garden and recipes to inspire even the most finicky palates. Finally, and equally important, he discusses how we should use our gardens to reach out to our communities, our neighbors and those in need, bringing this entire process to fruition…a better life! This book offers alternatives for smaller yards, city dwellers, meat-lovers and a full range of lifestyles to make it work. By eating healthier, living more self-sufficiently, being a better neighbor and a better human being, we are ultimately giving back to the circle of life. Brilliant, simplistic, creative and the right thing to do – who could ask for more? M. Chris Johnson
Rose City USED BOOK FAIR Fri, June 24th 2-8pm Sat, June 25th 10am-5pm
5626 NE Alameda Portland www.pauba.org $2 admission
(Benefits Oregon Food Bank) Sponsored by the Portland Area Used Bookseller Association
Spirituality & Inspiration Active Dreaming: Journeying Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom By Robert Moss New World Library, $14.95, 224 pages The commonly used phrase; what dreams may come takes on a whole new meaning in Robert Moss latest work, Active Dreaming: Journey Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom. Most of us find that our own dreams fascinate and confuse us as we try to analyze what our most bizarre dreams mean. In fact, Moss professes it should be just the opposite; that we should be trying to solve our life’s problems and seize the opportunities for our own growth in and through our dreams. The dream state can come in the form of meditation, contemplation and playful exercises that teach us to interpret our lives through our imaginational dream-state. This ground-breaking work by Moss is in three parts; Wake Up and Dream, Active Dreaming for Conscious Living and, Toward a Commonwealth of Dreamers that identifies the necessary steps and processes for active dreaming. If your dreams fascinate you and your life confuses you, pick up this book and straighten all that out! M. Chris Johnson Change Your Life! A Little Books of Big Ideas By Allen Klein Viva Editions, $14.95, 190 pages This book is a beautifully laid out compilation of inspirational sayings by many different writers, everyone from Joseph Campbell to Ann Landers and many more.
Categories are listed alphabetically, for example, ‘D’ is for Dream the Impossible Dream. Under ‘O’ for Overcome Obstacles, you will find, “If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap where everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart” Socrates. From Henry Ford, “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it’s sometimes hard to realize this.” Some sayings are ironic or humorous: “Do not take life too seriously, you will never get out of it alive” from Elbert Hubbard. Author Allen Klein is an award-winning professional speaker and best-selling author, as well as being a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Jack Canfield, co-author of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul begins the book with a short forward. Change Your Life is a most enjoyable reference book of inspirational sayings in which any reader will likely find some that speak to their own lives. ROSALIE WEST Moments of Peace in the Presence of God for Couples By Edited by: Lila Empson Wavering Bethany House Publishing, $14.99, 383 pages Handheld size, beautifully bound book, Moments of Peace in the Presence of God for Couples; Reflections on God’s Promises and Purpose for Your Marriage is written in the style of Our Daily Bread. A Bible verse, a daily encourager and an ending prayer make up each page without the pesky pressure of a date to follow or a commitment to finish at a certain time.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
I Corinthians 13:7
In Memory of Linda Our reviewers are like family to us. One of our reviewers, Dave Broughton, lost his wife. What he wrote to her touched us so much that we wanted to publish it. --The Staff at PBR
My sweet love, now you're gone forever from this earth, but never from my heart and soul. It wasn't supposed to be this way, if I had my way, we'd have taken the final step of this mortal coil together, as we did most every other step through this earthly life. Now I'm sad, not for you, for you are now free to be what I always knew you were, an angel of Love. I'm sad for me, and what I shall miss. Not just the big things, but simple things like folding sheets together, working as a team, like we often did in many things. I'll miss my companion, my best friend, and my lover. I'm angry, not at you, but at the conductor that left me off that train to Gloryland with you. I would have been happy to ride in the caboose. We always traveled together, I wanted it to stay that way even on that final trip. Feelings that cannot be named rack my body, as tears fill my eyes. Thoughts of "what if" cloud my mind. I feel guilty, what did I do or not do that could have prevented this separation? Was there anything I could have done? I know this not. I'm lonely, for you were more than a lover, you were my companion, confidant and best friend, so I lost not one but four in one. I shall miss you always, though somehow I hope to find a way to put it in a pocket to keep for private moments, so that I can do whatever job I was left behind to complete, for when that's done, I shall be with you again, for we are, and will forever be soulmates. I loved you with all my heart, the best I knew how to love. You taught me how to love, and how to receive love in return. Love is infinite, never ending. Your capacity to Love was unfathomable. No amount of time or space can put true love asunder. Linda, I really do hope you know how much you were loved by me, and everyone you met. Farewell my sweet, until we meet again in the golden sky. --Your husband
Each page gives couples something to ponder and discuss with one another to bring that peace of God and to learn more about how God wants us to love our mate even more perfectly. In a time of throwjoy God intends for us and the peace that gets us through those unbearable times. Coffeeaway marriages, shaky politics, wars and table book — yes, next to your Bible — yes, stuffed on a bookshelf — no! It is meant for perversion of all kinds, it is refreshing to quick pick-me-ups and for honest discussions. A book for all seasons! come to this simple, small book and feel the M. Chris Johnson love we should all be so blessed to feel, the
June - August 2011
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526 S. 15th Avenue Cornelius, OR 97113 firstname.lastname@example.org 503.701.6761 EDITOR IN CHIEF M. Chris Johnson email@example.com 503.701.6761 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Brad Wright firstname.lastname@example.org 503.577.5256 GRAPHIC DESIGN/LAYOUT Janet Wright email@example.com 503.577.4791 Heidi Komlofske firstname.lastname@example.org 877.913.1776 WEBSITE ADMINSTRATOR Janet Wright email@example.com 503.577.4791 COPY EDITORS M. Chris Johnson Mark Petruska Brad Wright ADVERTISING SALES Brad Wright firstname.lastname@example.org 503.577.5256 M. Chris Johnson email@example.com 503.701.6761 COLUMN COORDINATOR FOR WRITERS ON WRITING AND THE READER’S PERSPECTIVE Joseph Arellano The Portland Book Review is published quarterly and is licensed from 1776 Productions, producers of the San Francisco Book Review and Sacramento Book Review. The opinions expressed in these pages are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Portland Book Review advertisers. All images are copyrighted by their respective copyright holders. All words © 2011, Portland Book Review. June-August 2011 print run: 10,000 copies.
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IN THIS ISSUE Biographies....................... 12 Business & Investing........... 6 Children’s..........................16 Cooking, Food & Wine.......... 7 Current Events & Politics..... 6 Health, Fitness & Dieting... 13 Historical Fiction................. 4 History................................ 4 Mystery, Crime & Thriller.. 11 Philosophy......................... 14 Poetry & Short Stories.......15 Popular Fiction.................... 5 Religion............................. 14 Science Fiction & Fantasy... 11 Science & Nature................15 Spirituality & Inspiration... 2 Travel & Leisure.................10 Tweens.............................. 16 Young Adult....................... 12 Hundreds of reviews in a variety of additional categories are available at www.portlandbookreview.com To be updated when new reviews and articles are posted, Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/portlandbookreview
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FROM THE EDITOR
Welcome back to Portland Book Review! We’re very excited about returning for a second issue. My preconceptions of what the magazine would look like were far exceeded by what we actually produced. I was very pleased with the final product, and judging by the reception, so were you. The greatest feeling I’ve had as an editor so far, is seeing the magazine in print. This is the work of friends and family joining together and creating something fun. I can’t possibly heap enough credit upon our Editor-in-Chief, Chris Johnson, and our resident graphic design artist, and my (much) better half Janet Wright. They worked themselves to the bone. It’s hard work, and as I write these words, Janet is putting together the second draft, while I nurse a nasty case of either SARS, Cholera, or Bubonic Hemorrhagic Fever. “Don’t you DARE cough on me until this issue goes to the printer”. There’s no way to adequately thank you all for your kind response to our publication. Feedback has been tremendous, both for our magazine, and the website. Now it’s time for our second issue. We’ve made some improvements to the layout, we have a few more ads, a couple more author interviews, and added 4 more pages of color. I genuinely think our second issue is better, I count on you to tell us if that’s true. What do you like, and how do we improve on what we’ve done before? What I love about the magazine is what I love about reading. It’s at once a personal endeavor, and social activity. When I pick up a book, or write an article, or edit a review, it’s just me and the material. It’s immediate gratification. It’s good or bad, or needs work, but I get to decide. Then I get to share what I learned. I giggled like a school kid playing hooky when I read Society of Steam: The Falling Machine, it’s a fantastic steampunk superhero novel set in 1880s New York. I read a wonderful biography Madison and Jefferson about our 3rd and 4th Presidents. I had a terrific time reading Can You Survive The Zombie Apocalypse? It’s not art; it’s the book equivalent to a velvet Elvis painting. Summer is a great time for reading and many libraries hold used book sales. In fact, The Rose City Used Book Sale is happening June 24-25th. You can get the information for the sale on our website at www.portlandbookreview.com, Local Event Calendar. Happy reading,
Executive Editor, Portland Book Review firstname.lastname@example.org
June - August 2011
History The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of Little Bighorn By Nathaniel Philbrick Penguin Books, $18.00, 466 pages Custer’s last stand has been discussed, written about, dissected, reenacted, and analyzed ad nauseum over the years. How much more could possibly be discovered from that tragic yet historic event? The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn is here to put it all to rest…well, maybe not to rest but certainly to educate and entertain. New York Times bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick lays it all out moment by moment with historical data, artifacts, and pictures in astonishing detail. He is a genius of a historian; taking a known event and shaping it into what readers today can grasp and relive in a very real way, comprehending even the most bizarre behaviors. As in his other widely known books, In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ New World, the research is impeccable as he brings to life historical events complete with actual photos from the time of Custer and Sitting Bull. Even the most wary of history folks will enjoy and be engaged by the factual and yet, in some respects, fic-
tionalized storytelling talents of Philbrick. Easy to read and follow along the timeline of events, this is the perfect gift for history buffs and young readers alike! M. Chris Johnson America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation By David Goldfield Bloomsbury Press, $35.00, 632 pages David Goldfield’s America Aflame has been released at the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. It’s an amazing piece of historical scholarship and writing. America Aflame is dense with material, but never seems dry, or unemotional. Dr. Goldfield explores the role of sectarian conflict, Anti-Catholic, AntiJewish, Anti-Black Evangelical Christian ideologues, and their abolitionist counterparts who shaped the political discussion in “moral” terms. Goldfield reminds us that the Civil War was a very emotional event for people on both sides of the conflict. Although there have been a million books produced about the Civil War, I dare you to find one as engaging and readable as this one. America Aflame traces the entire period of the war, from the origins to the conclu-
120 Boys Changed Chinese Culture Forever!
Fortunate Sons By Liel Leibovitz, Matthew Miller Norton & Company, $26.95, 319 pages
In 1872 Beijing sent 120 young boys to America as members of the Chinese Educational Mission. The story of their lives, struggles, achievements, triumphs and heartbreaks are featured in Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller’s book Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization. The boys were China’s best and brightest. They came from a place where society and culture rarely, if ever, changed. But with the onset of financial problems, the Qing Empire accepted the fact that they needed a way to bring new ideas to the country. Readers will gain insight into one of the early steps taken to strengthen U.S.-China relations. The Empire placed all hope on these boys. Youngsters from ages 8 to 13 were shipped to America, a relatively new country. They were instructed to become part of the culture, learn all they could, and to meet dignitaries and prominent politicians. Then they were expected to return home to China and help rebuild the imperial regime by implementing all they had learned abroad. The main goal was to positively influence Chinese culture by bringing back the experience and knowledge gained in America. But readers will find out that the presence of the “Fortunate Sons” also impacted the United States in unexpected ways. Unfortunately, the boys were forced to return early and found an unwelcoming climate. Learn about the extraordinary achievements this small group of men made in the face of adversity. Included in the book are photographs capturing some of these profound moments. Other first-person accounts such as letters and diaries give a personal touch to a very significant story. This is a must read for those interested in American history and/or Asian American history. Leibovitz, an author and professor, and Miller, a New York writer, add a unique voice to the history of the Asian experience. While the book focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the authors make it clear that the cross-cultural lessons learned then apply just as much to the contemporary political and international issues of today. Consider yourself fortunate to get your hands on this captivating book. Elizabeth Franklin
June - August 2011
sion and the aftermath. Professor Goldfield’s book places the Civil War within the entirety of its context as a continuation and completion of the Revolutionary War. The Civil War didn’t begin with the firing upon Fort Sumter, nor did it end with the surrender at Appomattox. To Goldfield, the single greatest defining event in our history represented a great failure of conscience, sectarian violence and political will, but through the failure, the conclusion and aftermath that followed created the nation we see today. Brad Wright Portland’s Goose Hollow: Images of America By Tracy J. Prince Arcadia Publishing, $21.99, 128 pages What’s not to love about Portland’s Goose Hollow district in our beautiful, luscious city? Tracy J. Prince has taken on the task on putting together this wonderful historical look at this prestigious part of Portland’s many plentiful neighborhoods. Filled with chronological pictures and remembrances of times past from 1845 to present day, this book will walk you down memory lane with your own mental pictures of what is now a part of downtown. Ornate architectural homes, landmark buildings, cable cars and urban renewal will enlighten readers and spark their fascination about the city we love. Images of America: Portland’s Goose Hollow shows the oldest neighborhood in Portland in its infancy, with nothing but a tannery in its vast fields of tree stumps, horses and buggies, cabins and the promise of a dream. It deftly moves through history displaying the economic growth and expansions far beyond what the early settlers could have imagined. Prominent people and places, along with maps and blueprints, demonstrate the strengths and future plans of this thriving town. Charming, spellbinding and intriguing, this brilliant work is a must-have for any true Portlander! M. Chris Johnson
Madison and Jefferson By Andrew Burstein, Nancy Isenberg Random House, $35.00, 848 pages Louisiana State University history professors Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg have collaborated on a tremendously interesting and timely book about two of America’s founding fathers. Their work is at once scholarly and accessible. James Madison, our 4th President, and Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd, labored closely together in the gritty world of 18th century power politics, their work remains as important, and at the center of debate as ever. It has been said that if one likes sausages or Democracy that you shouldn’t watch either being made. This truism is made very evident within this excellent work. Madison and Jefferson is a joint biography that concentrates on their professional lives, especially the political developments which followed the American Revolution, and into the work surrounding the Constitutional Convention. Jefferson, who spent much of the 1780s as America’s ambassador in France, and Madison, who is now considered the prime mover behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787, developed a very close working relationship. With so much attention being paid to the intentions of the founding fathers, and the belief on the part of some to consider the document sacrosanct, this book shows us two powerful political animals plying their trade in uncharted waters. Far from being a divinely ordained piece of literature, the Constitution is the product of one part philosophy, one part compromise and two parts good ol’ fashioned horse-trading. Madison and Jefferson is well worth reading, while weighing in at a hefty 848 pages, Burstein and Isenberg’s lively biography is well worth the investment. Brad Wright
Historical Fiction Caleb’s Crossing By Geraldine Brooks Viking, $26.95, 320 pages Set in the 1600’s in Martha’s Vineyard, young Bethia Mayfield and her family struggle to make a new life as farmers while her father is the pastor of the town’s church. Bethia yearns to learn all she can; how to read and write and speak other languages, but women in those times did none of these things. She eavesdrops on her father’s teachings at night and sneaks out during the day to explore the island. On one of these outings,
she meets Caleb, a man from a local tribe who went on to graduate from Harvard as the first Native American to do so, in 1665. Caleb’s Crossing is a fictional tale of this young man’s quest for knowledge and his relationship with Bethia. The hard life they led in the early days of America shines through in author Geraldine Brook’s book, adding authenticity with the Old English dialect-style writing. It is difficult to get started reading but once readers get past the strange language, it’s hard to put down. Applause for Brook’s attention to detail and research in this heart-wrenching tale! M. Chris Johnson
Summertime, and the readin’ is easy w ith Portland Book Rev iew!
Popular Fiction The Life You’ve Imagined: A Novel By Kristina Riggle Avon, $13.99, 334 pages Are you living the life you imagined? Youthful dreaming, for better or worse, rarely materializes into adult reality, but it’s never too late to dream anew. Kristina Riggle’s The Life You’ve Imagined shares the intertwined past and present paths of four women navigating dysfunctional families, wounded hearts, and friendship. Haven, aptly named, is where Anna and Cami grew up as childhood friends. The pair drift apart following high school, but both return as thirty something women following unexpected life events. Amy has never left Haven, but struggles to create the perfect life she imagines. Maeve, Anna’s mother, is stuck in the past. She runs the Nee Nance Store since her husband walked out some twenty years before, and still awaits his gallant return. Each has a different past, but similarly struggle to reconcile their imperfect selves, families, and choices with their imagined future. The chapters alternate the first person narrative of the four women, and successfully weave the different story-lines despite the changing narrator. There are moments of wonderful descriptive writing and character introspection, but the reader shuffles through often stilted dialogue, plot development, and random sub-plot story lines. Overall, a chick flick reminiscent read exploring a universal theme. Julie Finley
Sponsored Book ReviewS Lucifer’s Guide to Life By Stanley Harris Smashwords, $4.99, e-book Wordclay, $11.55, 148 pages One might expect Lucifer’s lessons to be full of pro-evil propaganda and vitriol. On the contrary, his guide to life is designed to help people reach their full potential and get everything they can out of life. This might be surprising considering the source, but according to Lucifer, the image that most people have of him is a skewed misunderstanding of his relationship with God. Unlike the popular view of Satan as a fallen angel, he and God actually get along and Lucifer is really more of a messenger for God than a fallen angel at complete odds with him. Currently, God is annoyed with the human race and is considering writing the earth off as a failed experiment. Lucifer, who likes many things on earth (Disneyland being a favorite), has decided to impart his wisdom to humans to improve their lot and hopefully lead lives that have more personal gain and satisfaction than ever before. Channeling his thoughts through author Stanley Harris and bringing in occasional pinch hitter and ghost Sam Clemens, Lucifer gives the human race his thoughts and directions on everything from his general thoughts on humanity to witchcraft for daily use (helpful for work and for home). Particularly amusing highlights are his views on marriage (he recommends incorporation versus marriage as couples can then write more off their taxes), children (who, to learn the importance of money, should play with bankbooks and wallets instead of toys), and becoming a better criminal (criminals are valuable assets and support a huge job industry in the justice system). Stanley Harris, in channeling these life lessons from the wise, has created a hilarious, sometimes surprisingly thought provoking book that is delightful and will bring a smile to the face of the reader (and sometimes also bring strange looks from co-workers and spouses). He uses a deft hand to navigate the various topics of discussion and strikes a pleasant balance between funny and
serious and does a nice job in making the thoughts seem as if they are coming from a separate entity. Fans of humorous satire will particularly enjoy this Guide to Life. I Was Morgan Fairchild’s Love Slave By Stanley Harris MicroSkill Publications, $12.95, 228 pages I Was Morgan Fairchild’s Love Slave by Stanley Harris is a tongue-in-cheek farce about a chance meeting with Morgan Fairchild by a misogynistic, self-absorbed male with a wild imagination who directs this romantic comedy of a tale. Author and protagonist, Stanley’s childhood of nerdiness and obesity kept women at bay until, as a self-imposed hippie in the early seventies, Stanley heads to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco during a break from college for a much-needed adventure. He hitchhikes south to L.A. and is picked up by none other than Morgan Fairchild, who ends up offering to let him stay in her home with her for the duration of his visit to California. In the Author’s Notes at the beginning of the book, he admittedly confesses it is merely a fictionalized accounting and that the idea of Morgan Fairchild as his love interest is purely made up. The events themselves, however, were apparently true. Comedy abounds with uncultivated tangents in his fantasies like with his pet snake Satan and dreams of what may happen to him next or what he should be saying or doing. The story is engaging and believably clever, capturing character traits of the well known actress. It takes you on a moment by moment journey of his five days with her, sometimes to tedium but in the end, you can’t put it down; you’ll feel a burning need to know what happens in the end. While the title and premise are silly and make for an embarrassing book to carry around in public, the writing itself is hilarious, entrancing and forces you to relive your own memories, both good and bad, of that first love lost. All things considered, it is an entertaining tryst of a novel if you can get past the love-hate emotions you’ll feel for Morgan Fairchild as a person.
Sponsored Book Review The Angels of Mineral Wells By Jeff Moberly Xlibris Corp, $29.00, 112 pages The idea of heaven might seem like an unlikely setting—unless you think, The Divine Comedy was a sit-com. If you regard Dante as a poetic genius ahead of his time, you will definitely enjoy The Angels of Mineral Wells. Jeff Moberly paints a fantastic glimpse of heaven and sprinkles it with imperfect characters, guitar blues, state-of-the-art transportation, and cheeseburgers. In the story, Frank Tucker dies suddenly, before his preordained expiration date. His arrival in heaven leads to significant dissention among the angels. His angel guides have not quite perfected his transformation from human to angel, and the whole process is wrought with jealousy, revenge, and Frank’s unfinished earthly business. The angels take sides and attempt to destroy Frank’s guardian angels, which would leave him a lost spirit for thousands of years. Moberly portrays a breathtaking portrait of heaven—in explicit detail. So much so, that the story is probably more suited for the screen, much of the book is devoted to visual descriptions. The author takes certain biblical liberties, but honestly fesses up to them in the preface. A portion of the book is devoted to Christian beliefs in the Holy Trinity and the fundamentalist notion of Jesus Christ as a Savior. However, the book is character driven and because of the unique perspective, it could be re-written as an avant-garde screenplay much like the Black Swan. In spite of its unique appeal, the writing is slightly cumbersome and the reader may occasionally find themselves confused. The characters however, are likable, and the author’s wit saves the narrative from staleness. If you have never thought about day-to-day life in heaven or the personalities of those who keep it running, this is a chance to allow your spiritual side some levity. There are several sub-themes woven into the story—some of which should have been elaborated on, others could have been abandoned entirely.
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June - August 2011
author spotlight Q&A with Steven T. Jones aka Scribe Author of The Tribes of Burning Man PBR: How did you first become interested in Burning Man? Scribe: Burning Man first caught my attention in the mid-‘90s when I heard about it from some friends in San Luis Obispo. I was intrigued by it, but I’d been covering the counterculture for my alternative-newsweekly and I didn’t think I needed to attend to get what it was about. I thought I got it. But when I finally went for the first time in 2001, I was just astounded by the scale and intensity of it, a reaction that most people have. There really is nothing like a visit to Black Rock City. PBR: What is the most significant way Burning May has changed your life? Scribe: On an immediate level, it restores my faith in humans and their capacity for creativity and cooperation, every time I go. I’m a progressive political journalist and I’ve been pretty disgusted by the direction of this country since 1980, particularly with the greed and selfishness our economic system has instilled in people. But Burning Man is the antidote for that, a place in which people organize and work hard to create these amazing gifts for their community. It has reinforced my basic belief in progressivism and the notion that it’s possible for society to become more cooperative and selfless, if we can just reform our political and economic systems.
Read the rest of this interview at: http://www.portlandbookreview. com/author-spotlight/scribe
June - August 2011
Business & Investing The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business By Josh Kaufman Portfolio, $27.95, 416 pages This is a wonderful book that even an English major (like yours truly) can start a business with. Josh Kaufman breaks the fundamentals of business down into its simplest components. He explains the Iron Law of the Market, the Twelve Forms of Value, and Four Methods to Increase Revenue in understandable chunks, sections that are easily read in ten minutes. The dry field of finances and marketing are blended with the livelier topics of marketing, consumer psychology, and neuroscience. Kaufman synthesizes a great variety of resources so the amalgamation of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business is accessible to the layman, quick to read, to the point, and highly valuable to the self-educated small-business owner or entrepreneur. Written for the individual for whom business school is not an option, The
Personal MBA offers a valuable alternative to understanding the concepts of business without the $40,000+ price tag. Kaufman’s argument is that leaders are not formed in business school; they make themselves by seeking their own information and pursuing their own success. While there isn’t a diploma enclosed at the end, the principles remain true, regardless of the economy. Axie Barclay The Right-Brain Business Plan By Jennifer Lee New World Library, $19.95, 240 pages Designed for the specific audience of entrepreneurials at every level from beginner to seasoned business owner, this book offers a unique insight into writing the dreaded business plan to help them set attainable goals and grow their business. Left-brainers know that numbers are the key to success, but author Jennifer Lee rescues the right-brainers and gives hope
for a meaningful and successful business plan. The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success offers quick tips, new ideas, success stories, pictures and cool facts to assist owners in setting up their business for solid, achievable accomplishments. In fact, every page has visually pleasing diagrams or photos or successes in colorful boxes to keep the right-brain entertained while the left side absorbs the useful information. Every business needs a business plan to be successful but so many go unwritten because of the daunting task it is to document cost analysis, financial statements, cash flow and balance sheets. If you are a business owner, Lee offers a new approach to the necessary process that will liven up your thinking and give you the edge your business needs. M. Chris Johnson
Current Events & Politics The Tribes of Burning Man By Steven T. Jones aka Scribe CCC Publishing, $17.95, 288 pages Did you know that each year, for the past 25 years, people have gathered in Nevada’s barren landscape to celebrate art, change, community, music and life? It isn’t the party, lights, music – or even the art – that had come to define Burning Man. It was its spirit, its ethos, that certain burner something. This giant party is called Burning Man and for one week in late August Black Rock Desert becomes home to over 50,000 people. The Tribes of Burning Man: How An Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture is journalist Steven T. Jones’ new book. In it he provides a never-before-seen look at the event. He also includes the historical background of Burning Man and discusses the people who have helped make it the most popular countercultural event in the world. Jones, aka Scribe (his playa name), reveals the social impact Burning Man has on American society. Jones is a burner himself who has been a member of several tribes and has participated in building different art pieces and theme camps. Readers will enjoy this inside look at Burning Man and all it has come to symbolize. Although one of the basic principles of Burning Man is to leave no trace behind, this book is sure to leave an imprint on your heart and mind. Elizabeth Franklin
Green is the New Red:
An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege
By Will Potter City Lights Publishing, $16.95, 302 pages In 2002, Will Potter was arrested for handing out leaflets against animal cruelty. This event caused the author to begin a life quest to find the truth behind why the FBI is labeling and reacting to activist groups as terrorists. The author tells the tale of Daniel McGowan, who worked underground with the Earth Liberation Front fighting environmental causes and who is now imprisoned for his activities in a secret terrorist prison. Story after story is shared depicting the inequity of our government’s strong-arm tactics in dealing with the ambiguous term of terrorism. What is so endearing about Green is the New Red is that it’s written almost as a fictional novel, not a reference guidebook on government conspiracies, which adds so much more to its credence. Each chapter brings personal accounts of unfairness and malicious treatment of people who want to get involved with movements that would improve our society. Whether you believe in the methods of these activist groups or not, the facts are glaringly obvious; there is a need for a change in the definition of terrorism and treatment of activists. Shocking, often times unbelievable, this book presents true cases with verifiable evidence of our government’s inability to separate free speech from murder. M. Chris Johnson
The Communist Manifesto By Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Penguin Books, $13.00, 128 pages What can I say about The Communist Manifesto that hasn’t been said before? No other non-religious text has been either sanctified or vilified nearly as much as this one book. To the communist, this book explores the constant class struggle and isolation that the worker is forced to submit to just to earn money to survive. The committed capitalist says that democracy and capitalism significantly raise the standard of living for millions of people. Marshall Berman’s introduction reminds us that The Communist Manifesto remains an important piece of western political theory, and philosophy. The collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union does not negate the importance of the text itself. The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848 is very readable. Additionally, Penguin Classics have reproduced the Marx and Engels prefaces to the various language editions produced in the 1870s, 80s, and 90s. The English translation, is first rate, the book edge has that rough cut feel that I like. It’s not a smooth glossy edition. There are few books in the world that have changed the world, this is one. Drop all of your preconceptions, and take a look at it. Brad Wright
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F R E E VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2 June - August 2011
Cooking, Food & Wine Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily By Jessica Theroux Welcome Books, $40.00, 296 pages Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily is just that…but, in book form. This cleverly designed cookbook offers unique and authentic Italian recipes but with a grandmother’s touch – lots of love and spice in the making! The stories are endearing and will make readers wish they were Italian. As in any good chapter book, each chapter features a different grandmother and her favorite recipes, complete with a location map and her own individual story. Picturesque scenes from Italy’s shores, grandmothers making pasta from scratch, and delectable (and not-so-delectable) photos of dishes will keep you turning the pages for more. The recipes themselves are simple enough and sure to please, with the exception of Rosemary Steamed Anchovies. “Hold the anchovies for me, please!” But, all in all, this is a wonderful cookbook to have in your kitchen or even as a coffee
table book for some tantalizing conversations with guests. Well-rounded, charming and delicious! M. Chris Johnson The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Grower’s Guide: Steve Sando’s 50 Favorite Varieties By Steve Sando Timber Press, $19.95, 179 pages Dry beans are not on everyone’s shopping list — in fact, many dislike them. But those are people who are using canned beans as ingredients. Dry beans are totally different: far more tasty, healthier and very economical. The author of this book argues that dry beans harvested within a year are even more flavorful. Like heirloom tomatoes and other crops, heirloom beans are traditional varieties that have largely been passed over by industrial agriculture.
The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Grower’s Guide: Steve Sando’s 50 Favorite Varieties is mainly an heirloom-bean growing book but it also acquaints the reader with the fifty most common heirlooms, each one presented on a double page with a beautiful half-page photograph, a good description and the author’s stories that relate to that specific bean. The 34-page introduction describes beans’ botany, history, and growing tips, plus beans’ health benefits. The book concludes with 15 recipes using heirloom beans — some simple but most somewhat involved recipes, none beyond the average home cook’s ability. 100% Satisfaction The book is superbly produced Guaranteed! and illustrated, and the accomOver 20 Million Berries, panying stories are interesting Hand-Dipped. and entertaining. The index is
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What to Cook and How to Cook It By Jane Hornby Phaidon Press, $39.95, 416 pages I have searched high and low, I have shelves laden with unacceptable imposters, where have you been all my life dear cookbook? Have you ever picked up a cookbook to be faced with unpronounceable recipes or ingredients with a multitude of steps with no pictures? This cookbook is the standard by which all cookbooks of the future will be compared. I have never seen a cookbook that had so many photographs per recipe. Trust me, I own a plethora of cookbooks and I’ve looked at a lot more. A clear photograph of all of the ingredients in the amounts that are needed, a photo for each step so you can see if your dish looks like it is supposed to, you can almost complete the recipe without reading the directions. It’s like a friend holding your hand through every step and providing encouragement along the way. Another bonus; plenty of room in the margins for notes, though with all the great photos and easy to follow steps, who needs notes and who would want to detract from the beauty of the art contained within? Bold, colorful illustrations separate each section and each photograph of food is like an artfully prepared still life. French Toast with Poached Plums, 7 steps. Chicken & Corn Quesadillas, 4 steps. Lamb & Potato Curry with Fragrant Rice, 11 steps. Key Lime Pie, 9 steps. Four recipes, 31 steps, ONE PERFECT FOOD DAY! The next thing I would like to see is a series made in the style of this book help the nutritionally imbalanced meal planners out there. Many people are at a loss as to how make a healthy meal with the food groups represented proportionately. A book like this would help so many see that with a few ingredients and a few steps how their cooking lives could improve. If you want this book, you will need to pry it out of my cold dead Sticky Barbecue Rib covered fingers, because I’m not letting this one go. Go get your own, go get copies for gifts. This would be great for beginning cooks of any age. From walking you through the basics of working with a recipe to what staples to keep in your pantry, to pictures of what “finely chopped” actually looks like. This is a gem of a cookbook! Not everyone can afford a year at Le Cordon Bleu, but everyone can afford this cookbook. Janet Wright excellent and well cross referenced. George Erdosh Farmers’ Market Desserts By Jennie Schacht Chronicle Books, $24.95, 208 pages For many, Farmers’ Market season is the best time of year. In some areas, you may be able to find year-round markets. Though focused on markets throughout California, the seasons of fruit follow the same pattern. The idea of living more sustainably by shopping and eating locally is very popular. If you can’t live on a farm to experience eating fresh, visiting the Farm-
ers’ Market on a regular basis can help to educate you and perhaps help to gain an appreciation for farmers and shopping locally in season. That’s what this cookbook does for desserts. It’s important to know the freshest fruits have fuller flavor when they are in season. This cookbook helps focus on how being sustainable can also be delicious when it is time for dessert. It’s time for all of us to look up our local Farmers’ Markets and note them on our calendars. For Portland, berry season is just around the corner! Janet Wright
June - August 2011
Cooking, Food & Wine • Expanded Section Vino Argentino By Laura Catena Chronicle Books, $27.50, 239 pages The travel and tourism department of Argentina must be elated about the publication of this book. It is a beautiful travel guide that delves much deeper than the wines of Argentina. This book is beautifully designed, from the photographs and inclusion of recipes, to the graphics and typography, even down to the feel and the smell of the paper. These are all things we book lovers enjoy about reading, when handling and viewing the book is as much a part of the adventure as the words on the page. Laura Catena does a lovely job blending the culture of Argentina through the wines, the food, and the culture. Known mostly for producing Malbec wines, this book goes into much more depth than the wine. The descriptions and images of the terroir invite you to visit and experience Argentina and be among the people. Janet Wright
NPR’s Kitchen Window, Russo shares a varied compendium of sandwiches, po’ boys, and hoagies. What sets these sandwiches apart? Everything. Russo acknowledges that the great sandwich debate makes it difficult to define what is or isn’t included in this meaty tome. For a sandwich to be listed, it must be served between two sides or slices of leavened eatables, unless it’s an open-faced sammie. With that in mind, Russo dishes up recipes and variations on a recipe’s theme for well-known sandwiches like the BLT and Hot Brown while introducing new concoctions, such as the Caprese Sandwich or the Spiedie. The best part of this cookbook is the history lesson before each recipe. Russo presents culinary trivia and tidbits that make the book worth reading even if you aren’t a cooking fanatic. Add colorful photographs by Matt Armendariz and you have a complete book that’s good to the last bite. LuAnn Schindler
The Geometry of Pasta By Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kennedy Quirk Books, $24.95, 288 pages What happens when a cookbook designer and a high-end Italian restaurant owner decide to write a cookbook? A very unusual, authentic Italian cookbook illustrated by striking and dramatic black-and-white drawings. The recipes are so authentic that many home cooks would be scratching their heads in an attempt to figure out where to get some of the ingredients (brain, farmed rabbits, cured pig cheeks) though the authors often offer alternates. Nevertheless, an Italian grocery store within driving distance is essential. The pastas (nearly hundred) are listed in alphabetic order, describing each with full-page blackand-white designs based on their shapes. Following description, several recipes are suggested using that specific pasta shape, as well as alternative sauces that you may prepare with that pasta. This is a beautiful cookbook (even without the required color illustrations) but well beyond the interest of the average home cook, or even an average Italian cook. But a true Francophile would find a special place for it on the cookbook shelf. The book concludes with two indexes of sauces, one in Italian and one in English. George Erdosh
Delicious Latin Recipes for Effortless Entertaining
The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches:
Recipes, History and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread
By Susan Russo Quirk Books, $18.95, 300 pages Thick as two slices of homemade bread stuffed with tasty fillings, Susan Russo serves up delicious fun in The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia For Everything Served Between Sliced Bread. A writer for
June - August 2011
when her son was diagnosed with celiac disease. Many people choose to be gluten-free out of necessity, or just out of a desire to live a healthier life. The only gripe about this book is that there are a brief eight pages of photographs showing a small fraction of the recipes. They appear to be added as an afterthought. It seems this book would benefit by following a ostensibly new trend in cookbooks with photographs of the ingredients,
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Daisy’s Holiday Cooking: By Daisy Martinez Atria, $16.99, 163 pages Daisy’s Holiday Cooking Latin cookbook is written by Daisy Martinez who first appeared on a PBS series called “Daisy Cooks” and, in 2009, began a series on the Food Network called “Viva Daisy”. While she titles this book, “Daisy’s Holiday Cooking,” it actually contains versatile plans and recipes for a variety of entertaining, from casual to the most formal occasion. Each chapter begins with a particular event and its menu followed by a narrative history and other details. Finally are the recipes themselves; appetizers, soups, main courses, side dishes, and even delicious-sounding cocktails. Beautiful accompanying photos tempt the reader to explore the recipes more closely. Whether or not the reader is familiar with Latin cooking, this is a delightful cookbook. Some specific Latin ways to prepare basics like rice and beans are given too, but no breakdowns of calories, carbohydrates or fats. Many of these recipes are time consuming, but the sequence of preparation is planned to be done ahead, allowing time with guests. Each recipe makes enough for 8-12 people. If not entertaining, the recipes can be cut in half, but Daisy suggests instead making the full amount and freezing part of it. Indeed, the food is delicious and the recipes are well worth trying. Rosalie West
steps, and completed recipe. This book is written for real people, facing real economic issues, that can’t afford to dedicate a whole paycheck to groceries. It is a great resource for preparing whole foods at home and not spending all weekends and evenings in the kitchen. It is a planning guide to help you and your family be prepared to eat well on a budget. The ingredients are easy to find, the recipes are easy to follow, and there are tips included on doubling and storing for later use. Janet Wright
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Gluten Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap
By Nicole Hunn Lifelong Books, $19.00, 257 pages Nicole Hunn became known in the glutenfree world with her blog. She started after searching for affordable gluten-free foods
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Cooking, Food & Wine • Expanded Section Keepsake Coookbook:
Treasured Heirloom Recipes from Our Family to Yours
The Lazy Gourmet By Robin Donovan and Juliana Gallin Viva Editions, $15.95, 193 pages Many cooks prefer no-nonsense cookbooks with good recipes over those filled with highquality photo illustrations, sidebars, extensive headers, notes and stories. Those cooks will very much enjoy following the recipes in The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy. The layout is cook-friendly with one recipe on a page or adjacent pages, the choice of recipes is drawn from a wide international repertoire by the authors and, the cook is promised, every one was tested by a small army of volunteer recipe testers. The first 27 pages introduce ingredients, kitchen equipment and helpful kitchen tips for the novice. In fact, the target readers are beginner to intermediate cooks who like to serve good, healthy meals without hours of kitchen work. All recipes are fairly simple, well written and easy to follow and most contain fewer than ten ingredients, none of which you should have trouble finding in your neighborhood store. The book is a basic soft cover and did not contain an index, perhaps because it was an advanced reader’s edition. This puts me in a difficult position as a reviewer; to me a good, well cross-referenced index is essential in a good cookbook. Hopefully this addition will make its way into print. George Erdosh
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By Francoise Bernard Translated by Jane Sigal Rizzoli, $45.00, 806 pages La Cuisine; Everyday French Home Cooking 1000 Simply Recipes by Francoise Bernard is a luscious and enticingly thick cookbook with surprisingly few and simple ingredient requirements. One, to sometimes three recipes per page with a few seeping over to the next page. This doesn’t always allow the chef to prepare the meal without having to try and turn the page with sticky, wet fingers or a dry elbow. However, with so few ingredients needed and so little of the usual French-infused complication to recipes, page-turning is hardly a big concern. Chapters are broken down by course from soups to desserts with added chapters covering eggs, various meats and vegetables and cocktails and drinks . How about a watercress soup and mushrooms with lemon and herbs for starters? The main course, roast turkey stuffed with chestnuts, gratineed zucchini with onions and for dessert, a simple summer berry pudding. For this Reviewer, you can hold the traditional veal brains and steak tartar but there are enough recipes in this cookbook to satisfy even the most discerning taste buds or delicate of palettes. This Food Heroes 806-page cookbook is a must-have in any- By Georgia Pellegrini Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95, 240 pages one’s kitchen! You will not place this book on your cookM. Chris Johnson book shelf but on your pile of “must-read books.” The author presents sixteen food and beverage artisans who gave a significant contribution to preserving our food heritage. They are mostly from the domestic scene but a number came from Western Europe and one from Africa. Each one is described in a beautifully written, very readable short chapter of about a dozen pages depicting their role in preserving a tradition. The subjects vary widely such as heirloom potatoes, wild mushrooms, persimmons, salami, on olive oil and smoking hog, but also the whiskey distilling and beer brewing. Each chapter is introduced by a half-page mono45069KLJ Plus 3 Free Gifts chrome photograph of the artisan in action, to every shipping address. 2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons a thumbnail map of their location and ends with two or three recipes. It would be a chal6 FREE Omaha Steaks Burgers, 2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins a FREE 6-piece Cutlery Set, lenge just to find ingredients for some of the 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers and a FREE Cutting Board. recipes. Your local market will not carry them 4 (3 oz.) Gourmet Franks (purslane, raw cow’s milk, Schlenkerla Rauch4 (4 oz. approx.) Boneless Chicken Breasts bier, ramp, stinging nettle, to mention a few). One chapter even includes a poem. At the end 4 Stuffed Baked Potatoes $ 01 of the book you’ll find both recipe and subject $ 99 Reg. $ 00 | index. The author also includes e-mail adLimit of 2 packages. Free Gifts included per shipment. Offer expires 11/15/11. dresses and websites for 31 notable artisans. Standard shipping and handling will be applied per address. This book is a great reading. George Erdosh
By Gooseberry Patch Oxmoor House, $27.95, 420 pages A quarter century of love and old-fashioned home cooking fills the hefty Gooseberry Patch Keepsake Cookbook: Treasured Heirloom Recipes from Our Family to Yours. From delicious apple and brie toasts to tasty fiesta beef fajitas, you’ll find amazing munchies, beverages, and quick and easy recipes that will have family and friends asking for another helping. Appetizing soups, salads and sandwiches will fill you up, but after taking a look at the scrumptious dessert recipes, I imagine you’ll find a way to save a smidgeon of room for a bite. However, if you’re looking for low-cal recipes, this isn’t the recipe book for you, although, many of the recipes could be adapted to a lower calorie version. What’s impressive about this tome of recipes, besides the variety, is the exceptional photography. Nearly every recipe features a full-color photo, making this book a total package that every kitchen needs and deserves. It feels like a trusted friend you’d invite to your kitchen, share a cup of coffee, and reminisce about the bond between food and family. Extra recipe card pages at the back of the book allow readers to share their favorites with friends and family or add new-found culinary delights to an already-stuffed book. I’m excited to share this cookbook with my daughter. LuAnn Schindler
The Art of the Chocolatier By Ewald Notter Wiley, $65.00, 407 pages This book is geared toward education of chocolatiers, but is also beneficial for the casual chocolate lover to know the love and painstaking care that goes into making these luscious creations. The works of art from chocolate shown in the “Showpieces” section are awe inspiring, and must take extreme time and dedication to perfect. This book definitely gives new appreciation of chocolatiers and the works they produce. Molding, piping, painting, even weaving with chocolate; it’s all in this compendium. For those in cooking school who have not yet covered chocolate and confections, this should be required reading. The author kindly details measures for all ingredients in Metric (g), US (oz) and by Volume (cups + tbsp). All steps are listed as simply as possible, while including the science behind the construction. These creations were fashioned by professionals, using premium chocolate as well as professional candy tools. Trying this at home is not for the faint of heart. Janet Wright
June - August 2011
Cooking, Food & Wine • Expanded Section French Cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniques
By Hubert Delorme, Vincent Boue Flammarion, $49.95, 511 pages For the French food lover, this book could be the pièce de résistance. As an apparently French food adverse reader, this book left me wanting for the first 244 pages to be available in its own volume. However, as a dessert lover, I just might be convinced to purchase the whole volume. The basic techniques and practical guide make this a great encyclopedia for cooking. If you didn’t grow up in an environment where you really learned much about cooking, but really want to know how to make your food from scratch, following recipes can be daunting. What is great about this book is that when the basics are shared, they also indicate which recipes might be your venue to test your technique. A 90-minute DVD is included that shows professional chefs practicing 24 of the basic techniques. The practical guide is just that, practical. Seasons of fruit, cuts of meat, conversion tables, and more are discussed. Clay McLachlan has provided wonderful photography to entice you to continue browsing through the volume all the way to the desserts. Janet Wright
Baked Explorations By Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95, 207 pages Cookbooks with gorgeous illustrations double as coffee table books and are quite popular with publishers. Here is a great example having full-page, high-res, stunning professional photo images that are a pleasure to flip through. The recipe collection is also very good though most of them you readily find in most good baking books. A nice fivepage introduction gives the baker necessary equipment, tools and baking terms. The recipes are of classic regional American, some left nearly unchanged and others updated to suit the two authors’ high standards established in their professional bakeries. Each recipe is preceded by a descriptive and informative head note including stories, and sprinkled throughout the book are additional useful sidebars. The recipes are well written, easy to follow even for the novice, and ingredients are neatly listed in a sidebar, many with additional notes below. The collection is varied throughout the spectrum (Malted Waffles, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Tomato Soup Cupcakes). The layout is beautiful but not baker friendly. Many recipes flip over to a next page to the inconvenience of the baker with sticky fingers. Subject index is short but well cross referenced. A separate recipe index is helpful. George Erdosh
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The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes Plus Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life By Tom Hudgens Chronicle Books, $35.00, 608 pages This cookbook begins with a great little ditty about Deep Springs College, a working cattle ranch and the inspiration for this cookbook. Many of the recipes come straight from that boarding house kitchen, though many are from elsewhere in the author’s life experience. It is recognized that not everyone can eat as heartily as those living and working on the ranch, so there are variations available for some. There are two misses with this cookbook, apparently commonsense equates to
no pictures, and the variations are not easy to read as the layout uses a light brown text on the white paper. Since the main font is brown, it looks like the printer started losing ink and it causes eye-strain. A nice add that is not common is that there is a section for potential menus. Many of the menu items are recipes in the book, though it would be better if there were actual page numbers indicated instead of just an asterisk. What this cookbook has going for it is the large number of recipes (500) and the simplicity of the steps and easy to find ingredients. Janet Wright
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June - August 2011
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Travel & Leisure Experience British Columbia By Published by: Brian Carabet & John Shand Panache Partners, $60.00, 272 pages This has to be one of the best laid out travel books out there! Multiple pictures on the pages makes a fresh, clean atmosphere for the dialogue to market British Columbia in the fullness it lives up to and the people that make this destination so inviting. Picturesque landscapes accompany bustling city scenes with a smartly enticing marketing plan leading the viewer on a journey to all the desirable locales of interest available. Experience British Columbia with an introduction by basketball player Steve Nash, is aptly named leaving the viewer pining for the appetizing restaurants, the luxurious spas, adrenaline-fueled white-water rafting tours, cultural boutiques and tourist attractions. Beautifully broken into five gorgeous sections of; Enjoy – Sights and Attractions, Appreciate – Arts and Culture, Relax – Hotels and Spas, Indulge – Restaurants and Lounges and Shop – Boutiques and Showrooms, the book covers the gamut even to include British Columbia’s biggest business and industries. This book was published in tandem with The Steve Nash Foundation that encourages and promotes “thoughtful solutions to community needs”. You will never be disappointed with this breathtaking masterpiece of work. M. Chris Johnson
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Mystery, Crime & Thriller A Dark Dividing By Sarah Rayne Felony & Mayhem Press, $14.95, 407 pages Recently demoted journalist Harry Fitzglen is annoyed to be given the fluff assignment of covering a new art gallery opening. His interest is piqued, however, when he learns that the co-owner of the gallery is Simone Anderson, one half of formerly conjoined twins who disappeared from the public eye when they were infants. In his quest to solve the mystery, Harry stumbles upon records of another set of twins born a century earlier that may be connected to Simone. Pursuing this lead points Harry to a crumbling mansion on the Welsh border, Mortmain House, a foreboding place with a dark history. But bringing the truth to light can be danger-
ous and Harry may be unleashing secrets that put Simone’s life in danger. With A Dark Dividing author, Sarah Rayne has created a mystery with supernatural elements that slowly builds tension throughout the book. She slowly builds an atmosphere that is unnerving and tense as the stories, both present and past, are revealed. Using more classical elements of mystery and the paranormal in ways that are reminiscent of Henry James or Wilkie Collins, the author has crafted a novel that is riveting and hard to put down. Barbara Cothern
Fatal February By Barbara Levenson Oceanview Publishing, $22.95, 253 pages Oooohhh. This is a book after my own heart. I could really get to like Mary Magruder Katz, an attorney in Miami. I mean, how often do you end up loving (literally) the guy who rear-ends your car when you’re innocently leaving the car-wash? But that’s how she meets Carlos Martin, a high-roller who just happens to need an attorney. And away we go into a whirlwind of activity, both in and out of the office, frequently involving both Mary and Carlos. Mary’s attorney brother recommends her to Lillian Yarmouth, one of his clients (he doesn’t do criminal defense) who is accused of having murdered her husband. After meeting Lillian, Mary thinks there’s
something wrong somewhere. Being a curious person, Mary soon finds herself in all kinds of hot water, usually involving Carlos in some way. Then, Mary finds herself in court, facing an ethics charge brought by her former law partner and fiancé, a real dud, in my opinion. Fortunately, in addition to her own intelligence, Mary has good friends who can help her with all these problems. Luckily, there is at least one more book in this promising series. I’m hoping there’ll be many more. Kelly Ferjutz
of the staff and patrons. She’s decided to clean out the attic of her family home and begins a quest to find her roots and put to rest the nagging question of who she is and where she came from. Charlaine Harris is a master of storytelling with this crafty and wildly popular series. Readers can pick right up where they left off in the last Sookie book or, if you’ve been living under a rock for the last two years, you’ll still know what’s going on. The characters remain well fleshed-out and believable. As with the entire Sookie tales, caution to those young readers out there that this series is not for everyone. Graphic scenes of violence and gore, species racial issues and sexual content fill the pages to entertain those with strong stomachs and a yearning for intrigue! M. Chris Johnson
Mars. Cowles has invited numerous corporations, individuals, and nations to the Dream Park to convince them that the future is colonization of the red planet and the best means of doing so is the construction of the elevator. The book focuses on two groups, a set of gamers LARPing in a post-apocalyptic setting, and Dream Park’s security and research teams. As the gamers play through their fantasy, little do they know they are being manipulated by outside forces wishing to destroy Cowles Industries and Dream Park as well as the Park’s own security forces as they try to protect the gamers and their livelihood! The Barsoom Project is a great mix of fantasy and science fiction. Jonathon Howard
Science Fiction & Fantasy The Immortality Virus By Christine Amsden Phenix & Phenix, $18.95, 267 pages It has been over 400 years since The Change. A day that began like any other ended with the release of a virus that stopped aging and caused immortality. It was a gift to some, like the elite few who enjoyed power, life and health. But to the rest, it meant poverty, violence, starvation and desperation. The Immortality Virus is author Christine Amsden’s latest book. You can usually find her work in the science fiction and fantasy sections but her favorite genre is speculative fiction. As she does in this book, Amsden puts characters in extraordinary situations to find out how people define themselves under dire circumstances. Grace, the strong female protagonist, is forced to take a stance. Does she support immortality or will she fight to find a cure so people can die with dignity? How can this private investigator save all of humankind? She must risk everything to find the man who both created the virus and now holds the cure. What follows is an action packed, highly intense mission. The conversations are witty and the action is thrilling. You’ll be on the edge of your seat until the final page. Elizabeth Franklin A Discovery of Witches By Deborah Harkness Penguin, $28.95, 579 pages In Deborah Harkness’s enjoyable, pageturning debut, A Discovery of Witches, Diana Bishop, an Oxford scholar and witch, discovers a lost alchemical text called Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. The peculiar manuscript attracts the atten-
tion of a legion of underworld creatures— witches, vampires and daemons—including the mysterious Matthew Clairmont, a 1,500 year-old scientist, vampire and wine connoisseur. As Diana seeks to uncover the secret of Ashmole 782, she must come to terms with her past and the magical powers she’s shunned all her life. Along the way, she begins a forbidden interspecies romance with Matthew, who has dark secrets of his own. The text is bogged down in parts by too much detail (how many descriptions can there be of Diana drinking tea?) and some of the dialogue feels forced, but Diana and Matthew are a unique supernatural team that breathe new life into the tired paranormal romance genre, reminding readers that books and knowledge can be very sexy. Harkness’s background as a historian of science also allows for a fascinating look at a diverse range of subjects, including alchemy, evolution, genetics, mythology, and the ageold concern about the meaning of existence. So, grab your favorite glass of wine and curl up this winter with A Discovery of Witches. Laura Di Giovine Dead Reckoning By Charlaine Harris Berkley Publishing Group, $27.95, 336 pages The anxiously awaited eleventh novel of the Sookie Stackhouse and (HBO’s True Blood) series, Dead Reckoning finally made its debut to highly jittery fans. In this book, the story picks up with a fire bomb one night in Sam’s bar. Sookie’s not sure but she suspects it was a vampire who threw it through the window, setting the place ablaze and causing injury to some
The Barsoom Project By Larry Niven and Steven Barnes Tor, $15.99, 349 pages The Barsoom Project was originally released in 1989. The book is the sequel to the authors, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, Dream Park. The book is centered around Dream Park, a futuristic mash-up of Disney World and live action role play (LARP) and the gamers, actors, and people who visit the park. The Barsoom Project centers around the parent company of Dream Park, Cowles Industries’, sales pitch to private investors to help fund their next big project: a space elevator on
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June - August 2011
Biographies Packy & Me:
The Incredible Tale of Doc Maberry and the Baby Elephant Who Made History
By Dr. Matthew Maberry, Patricia Maberry as told to Michelle Trappen Arnica, $19.95, 180 pages Packy & Me: The Incredible Tale of Doc Maberry and the Baby Elephant Who Made History by Dr. Matthew Maberry and Patricia Maberry, as told to Michelle Trappen, is an inspiring bird’s eye accounting of one of Portland’s biggest and brightest moments in history…the birth of Packy, the elephant! Dr. Maberry takes readers on a play-by-play of Packy’s entire birth event but it doesn’t stop there. He recalls the history of Portland’s Zoo, once known as The Oregon Zoo, and the transformations, fund raising and growth it went through over the years. This book is a goldmine of information on the zoo’s challenges, historical successes and failures. Maberry also generously gives an account of his own upbringing, adding in a mixture of influential people and events. Readers will be enthralled with this book, reading it with morbid curiosity; they will consume every word, following the progression of Packy’s birth at a time of ignorance and innocence. So much is now known about the elephants’ natural
habitats and existence because of this man who once struggled to become a veterinarian and with all his heart wanted to help animals and humans coexist peacefully and naturally. Brilliantly written with historical pictures, documentation, biographical credits and heart-wrenching compassion, this inside accounting of Packy’s history, birth and future with the Portland Zoo will captivate any reader. Endearing, compelling, mesmerizing, and enlightening, Packy & Me is guaranteed to entertain any reader! M. Chris Johnson Packy & Me is available for purchase at these retail locations: The Oregon Zoo’s Gift Shop Jan’s Paperbacks OMSI
Or by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rockefellers and Their Astonishing Cultural Legacy
By Suzanne Loebl Harper Collins, $34.99, 448 pages Suzanne Loebl’s America’s Medicis celebrates the myriad contributions of generations of Rockefellers to the public enjoyment of art. It’s not quite the book one might expect from the Medici reference as much of the power behind the family’s acquisition of wealth, and just how some art, not to mention the site selected for
Rockefeller Center, was acquired, is not addressed. But the Medici did do wonderful things for the arts in their time, and the Rockefellers have certainly done that for the modern world. Loebl focuses on the fortune of the Rockefellers and how they chose to dispose of much of it. The book is mainly a chronology of the family’s rise and the major collections and endowments they created. There is no denying the significance of the Rockefellers to the cultural life of the country: Rockefeller Center, MoMA, the Cloisters, Colonial Williamsburg and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum of American Folk Art, Lincoln Center and the Nelson Rockefeller Empire State Mall. Loebl also looks at endowments: to Dartmouth, Vassar, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and numerous others. The layout of each chapter is consistent: some background on the relevant Rockefellers involved, a construction history of the building(s), and a few comments regarding the pieces on display. In essence, the author says it best when she says “America’s artistic landscape would be totally different were it not for the Rockefellers.” Johanna Bettis
Young Adult The Anti-Prom By Abby McDonald Candlewick Press, $16.99, 288 pages The Anti-Prom tells the tale of a prom night that isn’t about flowers and gowns and limos. It’s the story of three unlikely girls who are thrown together and reluctantly decide to help each other get what they’ve always wanted. The story is told alternately by Bliss--the popular gal, Jolene--the troublemaker, and Meg—the wallflower. Sometime before the sun rises they realize that their secret wish coming true isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Can they undo everything? The Anti-Prom moves at lightning speed -- after all, the entire story takes place during prom night. Even when the girls become closer, confessing secrets and revealing hidden parts of their personalities, it’s often done during wild scenarios including breaking and entering, bribing a little girl with Twinkies, and blending into a wild college party. This book captures the capricious spirit of teenagers. Even as they begin to become friends they still slip back into their old roles, meanly zinging each other. This is a book full of characters that every reader will recognize. Even if they weren’t the popular girl, troublemaker, or wallflower, they knew her…or thought they did. You won’t be able to put down this book until page 288. Jodi M. Webb
June - August 2011
Scars By Cheryl Rainfield Westside Books, $16.95, 248 pages Cheryl Rainfield’s account of a teenage cutter, Scars, is a poignant, fictionalized story based on the author’s own self-harming episodes. Fifteen-year-old Kendra is struggling to recall the identity of her sexual abuser. She has suppressed the memory of the abuse to a point where the only relief she has is self-mutilation. Kendra, who is also struggling with relationship and sexual issues, is fortunate to find support from her therapist and her art teacher. Her parents seem willing to support the therapy sessions, but become reluctant to spend the money on them after her father announces he has lost his job. Kendra’s problems become even worse when she begins to suspect that someone is stalking her. Kendra’s artistic endeavors are the one thing that she truly enjoys. Her art teacher, her dad, and her friends all consider her uniquely gifted, but her mother, who is a professional artist, can’t imagine Kendra’s unusual style ever being marketable. Then Kendra tries desperately to sell her artwork to pay for therapy . . . because until she can retrieve the memory of who abused her, she won’t be able to figure out who is stalking her. Self-mutilation has become a teenage epidemic. Rainfield’s willingness to use her own experience to explore the issue is both brave and lacking. Her dark subject is something many parents and teachers want to understand. Unfortunately, the cognitive and physiological aspects of self-mutilation addictions are not thoroughly explored. Sheli Ellsworth
An Improvised Life: A Memoir
By Alan Arkin Da Capo Press, $17.00, 201 pages Who would’ve thought one of the best books of the year would be written by an actor? Of course, Alan Arkin, star of Little Miss Sunshine, Catch-22 and about eighty other films, is no ordinary actor. He’s a man who has devoted much of his life (from the age of five, in fact) to the craft, and in this book he chronicles the development of an artist as a young man to the academy award winner he is today. To be clear, this isn’t the story of his life; this is the story of his life’s work. The book is never slowed down by any turgid recollections of the lows in his personal life, nor are there any sordid details to arouse gossipers. This is almost entirely about his maturation in theater and film. For the aspiring actor, it provides inspiration as well as clear-eyed instruction, and for the cinephile, it provides insights into what makes actors stand out. Also, there are reminiscences of friends, coworkers, and family like Madeline Kahn, Adam Arkin, and Groucho Marx. The one fault is that Arkin’s career has spanned many decades while the book spans a mere 200 pages or so. Corey Pung
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Health, Fitness & Dieting Sponsored Book Review The Great Singapore Penis Panic:
And the Future of American Mass Hysteria
By Scott D. Mendelson, MD, PhD CreateSpace, $15.49, 200 pages On October 29, 1967, a bizarre epidemic began in Singapore, an epidemic that would last over a week and would affect hundreds of individuals—mostly men of Chinese ancestry. This epidemic is known as koro and it is the fear that one’s penis is slowly receding into the abdomen and will eventually disappear completely, causing death. Most people, outside of the medical and mental health communities, are probably not terribly familiar with koro, which, in spite of sporadic outbreaks throughout the world, seems to mostly affect Chinese males (and occasionally females), and many have probably not heard of Singapore’s Penis Panic of 1967. However, if Dr. Scott D. Mendelson has his way, that will change shortly, as his book The Great Singapore Penis Panic traces the history of the koro outbreak, from its probable psychological and cultural roots to its ultimate resolution, and offers much insight into not only this particular epidemic, but into the nature of epidemics, of the toll politics and economics and society can play on the psyche, and the cultural foundations that help to engender and “normalize” different types of delusion, mental illness, etc. The Great Singapore Penis Panic is written with patience and compassion and is never judgmental about the unfortunate people who were driven to hysteria by a fear of losing their penises—and, ultimately, lives. Whether or not the book will make this sort of relatively culture-specific occurrence more understandable to Western audiences or not, it is an interesting and informative look into the psyche of another culture as it relates to mental (and physical) health, and provides the sort of illumination that is necessary if people are to be understanding and empathetic towards others. We’re ultimately the same, but culture and tradition impact our behaviors and beliefs, our paranoias and psychoses, and Singapore’s Penis Panic is a perfect example of this. The Tell-Tale Brain By V.S. Ramachandran Norton & Company, $26.95, 357 pages The Tell-Tale Brain is an insightful and intriguing look into some of the amazing ways the brain works. It looks at spe-
cific areas of the brain and some of the incredible ways it functions and adapts. From Synesthesia and phantoms limbs, to language and aesthetics, this volume is a must read for anyone who is interested in how the brain and the mind work. The only downfall to this book is that a basic understanding of the brain and its functions is helpful so that you can fully enjoy it. It takes a daring look at the brain in a way that makes us think carefully about what else it may be capable of. Challenging current concepts about how we view the world and how our brain uses and interacts with this, Ramchandran doesn’t look at the brain as separate and distinct departments but as a complex interconnected & interdependent system and this is clear throughout the book. Overall, this book is a fascinating, well written and, in places, humorous accounting of the human brain and the many mysteries it holds. Karen McKibbon Autism Solutions: How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child By Ricki G. Robinson, MD, MPH Harlequin, $24.95, 448 pages This is a wonderful resource for families who are concerned their child may have autism as well as for families who have recently received an autism diagnosis. This book is extremely comprehensive and covers everything from warning signs to the diagnostic process and other medical conditions that can occur with (or look similar to) autism, through treatment options, including sensory issues, diet and digestion problems, and medications. While this book is crammed full of valuable information, it may become somewhat overwhelming, particularly for families that are just entering into the world of autism and learning how to cope and maneuver within it. This may be better used as a reference guide to go through in smaller and more manageable sections as a family navigates their own path. However, this book is very helpful in that it provides information on increasing your child’s independence, and helping with their transition into adulthood. The information in this book includes the most current and up-to-date scientific research available
author spotlight Q&A with Scott D. Mendelson, MD, PhD
Author of The Great Singapor Penis Panic And the Future of American Mass Hysteria PBR: The Great Singapore Penis Panic is certainly an attention-grabbing title, but the event itself isn’t one that I had ever heard of prior to reading the book. When and how were you made aware of this event, and at what point did you decide you’d like to write a book about it? Dr. Mendelson: I had first heard of Koro, the delusion of fatal shrinking of the penis, when I was in medical school. Koro is one of those strange illnesses that gets briefly noted and giggled about in lectures, but soon forgotten because of its rarity. A few years ago, I happened upon a paper that mentioned the Koro epidemic in Singapore, and I became interested again. I had heard of outbreaks of Koro on small, primitive islands in Malaysia. However, the large epidemic on Singapore, a modern economic powerhouse, surprised me. No one had a good explanation for why it happened when it did. I decided I would find out and write about it. PBR: Western society is not free of delusion. Do you think there are any events in the west in recent histories, which are parallel to Singapore’s penis panic? Dr. Mendelson: There are many examples of mass delusion and hysteria in the United States. The Salem Witch Trials, The War of the Worlds radio show panic, The Seattle Windshield Pitting Hysteria, the Jonestown suicides, and the Heaven’s Gate suicides, are only a few. I am curious to see what crazy things people will do in 2012, when the world is supposed to end. I am looking forward to some wonderful garage sales that year!
Read the rest of this interview at:
http://www.portlandbookreview.com/author-spotlight/dr-mendelson and is clearly written and understandable to parents and professionals alike. It is certainly a must-have for any medical or mental health professional who works within this population. Karen McKibbon The One Day Way By Chantel Hobbs WaterBrook Press, $14.99, 213 pages The philosophy offered in this book is just what is needed to take off the pounds painlessly. The methods presented are simple and easy to follow. The idea of making a change for just one day is a proven method of success. The process is explained in detail. There is a genuine understanding of what works, and why other methods usually fail. Step by step suggestions are helpful in building the easily adopted changes by focusing on faith, food and fitness. This is not a temporary diet plan, but rather a new way of approaching eating and exercising each day. Easy meal suggestions are included along with descriptions of simple exercises to promote fitness. For anyone who has tried many different weight-loss plans over the years, and failed to keep the weight off, this could be just what is needed to move past failure and finally achieve the success desired. There are no long-term com-
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mitments to losing a certain number of pounds. By the time you finish the book, you will have all the knowledge and tools you need to sustain a healthy life. Fran Byram Read the Author Q&A with Chantel Hobbs at: http://www.portlandbookreview.com/ author-spotlight/chantel-hobbs The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats By Shawn Messonnier, DVM New World Library, $14.95, 256 pages As animal lifespans increase, so do cases of arthritis, or joint instability. Dr. Shawn Messionier, in his book The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats, offers a holistic approach to caring for arthritic pets. Vets do not need to immediately use potentially harmful medication when safer alternatives exist. The first step in helping your pet is to acquire the proper diagnosis before proceeding with a chronic treatment. Pet owners should analyze both conventional and alternative therapies and pick what is most beneficial. (Review continued on page 14)
June - August 2011
Religion Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His By Robin Jones Gunn & Tricia Goyer Multnomah Books, $13.99, 207 pages Every girl dreams about her Prince Charming and how they will fall in love. Each girl makes lists and daydreams about that special guy. Have you ever thought of praying for your future husband? Robin Gunn and Tricia Goyer invite you to do just that by sharing personal insights and experiences from their own lives in the book Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing your Heart for His. Prayer is powerful, and when you pray for your future husband, the Lord works in your life, changing you and preparing your heart for him. Some of the topics include Praying for Patience, Praying for Strength, Praying for Commitment and Praying He will be a God Lover. Each chapter includes stories and verses to support each topic as well as application and discussion questions for individuals or small groups. Although geared towards unmarried women,
this book is a great tool for those married as well. Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing your Heart for His is a must read book for every woman. Rebecca Eischen Departures: Two Rediscovered Stories By Robin Jones Gunn Multnomah Books, $9.99, 194 pages Departures is a novella about two teenagers embarking on a summer adventure. Although headed two different directions, Christy and Sierra’s lives intersect for a brief moment. Now Boarding Gate 10: Christy’s summer plans are interrupted when her family heads back to Wisconsin for her Grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Having just broken up with her boyfriend, Christy wants nothing more then to stay home and hang out with her friends. When she arrives at her grandparents’, Christy’s life is turned upside down when Matthew shows romantic interest in her. Could her summer vacation change the course of her future? Join
author spotlight Q&A with Robin Jones Gunn Author of Praying for your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His and Depatures: Two Rediscovered Stories PBR: What inspired you to write Praying for Your Future Husband? Robin: The unique story-behind-the-story is covered in the intro because Tricia and I both recognized this was a project that wouldn’t go away. The nudges kept coming and we knew we needed to pay attention to them. PBR: Did you find that while writing Praying for your Future Husband, God worked in your life and showed you new concepts that challenged or encouraged you? Robin: Absolutely! He does that, doesn’t He? Both of us were so challenged and motivated by all the scripture we kept going to in our preparation for writing the book. We saw the true battle that is going on in realms we can’t see and how prayer is the incredible, always accessible weapon available for us to employ. I know that more than once we both said, “I need to pray more for my husband NOW!” PBR: Did you ever imagine your life as it is now, writing books and lecturing to help others? Robin: Never. I sometimes think this is evidence that God’s dreams are far more extravagant and enormous than any dream we could wish up for ourselves.
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June - August 2011
Christy in her summer adventure as she learns about life, love and God. In the Event of a Water Landing: Sierra’s friend Jana invites her to come along with her to Montana for vacation. With a surprise stop at Mall of America, Sierra is sure this vacation is going to be relaxing and fun. However, it soon becomes clear that Jana’s only plans on this trip are getting a boyfriend. As the vacation progresses, Sierra starts wondering if this vacation will be what she expected. Having spent many afternoons reading about Christy Miller & Sierra Jensen, I was excited to hear about Departures! Readers who are familiar with Christy and Sierra’s stories will love these bonus tales. Although loosely tied to a series of books, this can be read as a standalone story. Once again, Robin Gunn’s creative storytelling comes through in these delightful stories. Rebecca Eischen You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment By Thich Nhat Hanh Shambhala Publications, Inc., $14.00, 160 pages This is the little book that packs a big
punch. The content in this modest text speaks volumes about how to appreciate the gift of our lives and provides guidelines for being mindful in all that we think and do. Author, Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen monk who has lived through many challenges in his life, but is able to quickly take the reader to a point where they can understand their own pains and turn them into joy and happiness. He also provides several antidotes about how other people’s lives were transformed by his book, Cultivating True Love. In fact, the only two criticisms of this book are that additional stories might have been even more helpful and a quick list of definitions would be more helpful if included. The language is simple, loving and to the point. An analogy for emotions as uncomplicated as describing a storm and the reader as a tree can succinctly illustrate all the elements and provide the reader with a visual springboard for their own self-exploration. A small paperback to be referred to over and over. Kim Van Allen
Philosophy How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks
By Robin Dunbar Harvard University Press, $27.95, 302 pages Author Robin Dunbar is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool. The catchy and clever title of his book refers to Dunbar’s Number, 150, which is understood to be the number of people any one person is able to interact with in their lives. These 150 friendships range from intensely personal in nature to people you might only know on sight. The ideas discussed only begin with Dunbar’s Number and extend through all human behavior, comparing it to that of animals and commenting on the evolutionary significance. This and other aspects of the unique human mind are further discussed in terms of archaeology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, geography, anthropology, and the cognitive and evolutionary sciences. The author has created this volume from a series of popular science articles he wrote for New Scientist magazine and also for the Scotsman newspaper, all between the years of 1994 and 2008, making this some of the most current research available. It is an entertaining as well as informative read. Rosalie West (Review continued from Page 13) The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats
Messionier intersperses anecdotes from his own practice into the text and uses an approachable, reader-friendly style. Each chapter ends with a succinct summary of his points. He begins by thoroughly explaining arthritis. Messionier reviews the pros and cons of conventional treatments for arthritis (steroid therapy, NSAIDs, surgery) before turning to an in-depth look at the holistic approaches: nutritional supplements, antioxidants (which reduce inflammation), supplements that rebuild cartilage, herbal treatments, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, magnetic therapy, homeopathy, dietary changes, exercise, and physical therapy. While the discussion centers on dogs, cat owners will benefit from reading the book as well. Kathryn Franklin
Summertime, and the readin’ is easy w ith Portland Book Rev iew!
Science & Nature Two brain hemispheres— two perspectives on the world. Are you taking advantage of both? An investigation into the effects of brain perspective on government, corporate life, war, and our personal lives.
ames Olson dives deep into interdisciplinary studies in order to bring fresh perspective to the issue [of brain perspectives]. Drawing on philosophy, science, theology, sociology, political science, and anthropology, Olson expertly culls insight from each discipline in order to create intriguing theories about how the brain can distort our perceptions and drive our actions based on which hemisphere is more dominant.” —Foreword Magazine
thewholebrainpath.com $21.95 • Cloth • Origin Press 335 pages • 978-1-57983-055-7
Human Anatomy: A Visual History from the Renaissance to the Digital Age By Benjamin A. Rifkin, Michael J. Ackerman and Judith Folkenberg Abrams, $16.95, 344 pages The new, illustrated history of human anatomy, Human Anatomy: A Visual History from the Renaissance to the Digital Age offers a fascinating view not only into the history of medical dissections and renderings of the human anatomy but into the complicated relationship between science, art and religion as well as into the history of printing itself. An artist should be something of a geologist to paint rocky scenes correctly, as he should be a botanist to paint flowers, and an anatomist to paint the human form. Though the ancient Greeks Aristotle and Galen dissected the dead, editors Rifkin and Ackerman explain that it was the during the Renaissance that the illustrated anatomy was born and that artists and surgeons returned to a considered analysis of the body. This beautifully produced book lends itself to hours spent poring over the detailed illustrations which present beautifully crafted cross-sections of the human body, though from occasionally
grotesque perspectives, and absorbing the substantive biographies of scientists, doctors and artists who studied human anatomy through the centuries. But most interesting is the visual timeline formed by the illustrations: we can see all that we have discovered, and sense just how much more there is to know. The task is a serious one, for as Rifkin points out in the introduction, “the doctor studies the body to improve its fate; the artist to improve its spirit.” Killeen Hanson The Whole-Brain Path to Peace By James Olson Origin Press, $21.95, 335 pages Don’t expect a panacea from this book; it does not cover how to convince all leftbrain dominant and right-brain dominant individuals that they should compromise (i.e. Democrats and Republicans). Part One takes a look at the universe and how we see it, Part Two goes more into the science and theory of the two halves of the brain. Part Three relates the finding from the prior parts and aims toward how using left- and right-brain thinking could lead to peaceful solutions to conflict. This book has been researched over 30 years and contains 30 pages of end notes and bibliography. The most heavily reference volumes are The Urantia Book and A Course in Miracles. For
those individuals seeking balance in a world of polarization, this book covers all theory behind why they might feel out of balance and attempts to prove that we can shift our individual perspectives to even the scales. This book would be a good read for those seeking this help, having interest in neuroscience, or dabbling in philosophy. Janet Wright Moon: A Brief History By Bernd Brunner Yale University Press, $25.00, 290 pages We Earthlings have a strange and wonderful relationship with our first satellite. It affects all life on our planet, it inhabits our dreams, it represents our greatest achievement, and our biggest aspirations. Benrd Brunner’s exquisite Moon: A Brief History explores our relationship to our nearest celestial neighbor. From poetry, religious texts, scientific journals and screenplays, humans have obsessed over her. Brunner traces the cultural impact, and the biological effects of life with, and speculates on what would happen without the Moon. Drawing on multiple, varied and unrelated sources, Brunner’s Moon, is emotional, and sensual. I deeply recommend this book to anyone who has ever looked for The Man in the Moon, and wondered, even for a moment, why it has taken us so long to consider going back for a return visit. Brad Wright
Poetry & Short Stories What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To and Letting Go of Their Daughters By Edited by Andrea N. Richesin Harlequin, $13.95, 261 pages The stories in What I Would Tell Her are a surprising mixture of hilarity and tragedy. In one light-hearted story, the father is accused by his wife of having an affair with his daughter, then the story directly after that discusses the tragic demise of a daughter in the womb. No matter the content, be it funny or tragic or a little of both, the father in it struggles with the dual joy and pain of letting his daughter grow up and away from him. Each parent has his own style of connecting with his daughter. He lists his own faults that he has gifted her with unabashedly and takes an active role in the rearing of his offspring, unlike the fathers of his previous generation. This day and age is a new time in society for fathers. Fatherhood is promoted in
car commercials that previously used sex appeal to sell. The trials and tribulations of child rearing are taken up as a mantle by male leads in popular sitcoms. Infant changing tables now appear in men’s restrooms as well as women’s. And this collection of 28 stories is compiled to celebrate the daddy/daughter relationship that goes beyond a night time story and a pat on the head at the end of a long work day. It is a wonderful compilation for fathers and daughters, be they old hats at the game, or just starting out. Each story brings with it a beauty and revelation about parenting a daughter that the authors at least hadn’t expected to learn. Reader be forewarned, just like life, one never knows when the page is turned, if it will be a happy ending or a tragic one. Rachelle Barrett Solace in So Many Words By Edited by Ellen Wade Beals Weighed Words, LLC, $9.99, 228 pages How do you define solace? How do you find it? Author Ellen Beals sought answers to these questions and put a call out to writers for fiction, poetry, and essays.
The result is a moving anthology, edited by Beals, titled Solace in So Many Words. Everyone experiences loss, whether of a family member, pet, or a greater loss (9/11, Haiti, Hurricane Katrina). Before reading this book my definition of solace was narrow - compassion, comfort, kindness. I now realize it is so much more. Solace is love, hope, honesty, ritual, humor, and connection. Susan Spaeth Cherry, in her poem Predictability, finds comfort in the expected parts of the day that mean life moves on and continues after loss. Ellen Bass’ poem Jack Gottlieb’s In Love describes an 88 year old’s second chance at love: “Life, that desperate addict, has mugged and robbed him in the street, and then she appears...” In a
Read “ Words from the Root Cellar” at PortlandBookRev iew.com
world filled with uncertainty and change, the need for solace will always exist. Give yourself a chance to gain new perspective from the words of 52 talented poets and writers. You’ll be thankful you did. Kathryn Franklin
June - August 2011
Children’s The Loud Book! By Deborah Underwood Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s, $12.99, 32 pages As any child (and parent!) knows, there are all kinds of “loud.” Good louds (HOORAY!) and bad louds (CRASH!) happen every day. If you loved The Quiet Book, you’ll love The Loud Book! by Deborah Underwood. Alarm clock loud greets a darling baby rabbit as he wakes up to greet the morning. His breakfast includes a last slurp loud. Proceed through the day with a group of precious baby animals who discover life’s loud moments. Kids will identify with and recognize each situation. With this book, parents and teachers can discuss cause and effect. When you drop your lunch tray in the cafeteria, everyone else gets silent and your crash is very loud. One illustration parents will love depicts two animals sneaking cookies from the cookie jar. Mother rabbit is standing over them and baby rabbit realizes she is there. The
caption reads “Deafening Silence Loud.” Renata Liwska’s illustrations are unique and enchanting. She has added small details that only a closer look will reveal. Adults can help kids brainstorm their own “loud” experiences. Teachers can write a class book based on the idea. Three cheers (a good loud!) for The Loud Book!. Kathryn Franklin Your Mommy Was Just Like You By Kelly Bennett G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $16.99, 32 pages What a treasure it is to see the astonishment on your child’s face as they realize that once upon a time, you were just like them. Your Mommy Was Just Like Youcaptures that moment as a grandmother gives her granddaughter a glimpse of what her mommy was like as a little girl. Your mommy had a favorite doll with a smooshed face. Your mommy had to learn to tie her shoes. Your mommy was even sent to time-out. Just like you! Colorful pictures and silly phrasing are sure to captivate little ones as they see their mommy in a whole new light. This
Tweens The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses By Shirin Yim Bridges Goosebottom Books, $18.95, 24 pages What do princesses do? I think most would say: wear beautiful dresses, wave to the crowds, and ride in horse drawn carriages. Enjoying the excitement of the recent Royal Wedding in England, it is easy to overlook the fact that many princesses did much more than look pretty. The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses series tells us the little known stories of what happened after the parades and parties. Each of these six books traces the reign of a princess who reigned between 1500 BC and 1600 AD: Hatshepsut of Egypt, Artemesia of Caria, Sorghaghtani of Mongolia, Qutlugh Terkan Khatun of Kirman, Isabella of Castile, and Nur Jahan of India. Each book traces the story of the princess’s reign ad influence on history as well as describing the culture of the time: where she lived, what she wore, what she ate, and who she married. The books contain illustrations, photographs and maps that help bring the women to life. The many references and comparisons to other princesses and time periods in the series make each story easier to understand while encouraging you to read the other books. The stories are divided into sections making the books easy and fun to read. At first glance you might assume these books are just for girls. But both boys and girls will be interested in this series as they make the connection between these princesses and other well-known names and places in history: Genghis Khan, King Tut, Christopher Columbus, the Taj Mahal. It’s amazing how these women had influence not only in their own lifetime but throughout history. Although they would serve primarily as a history lesson, these books could also be the starting point for conversations about equality, religion, exploration, charity, art, and many other topics. Adults should be ready to explain the varying beliefs of these time periods, especially the widely different ideas concerning marriage not for love unions but for monetary and political unions. Although these books could be very dry history books, Bridges adds enough personal details, emotional revelations and even humor to make them enjoyable to read. Even those not particularly interested in royalty will find the series fascinating…the royal intrigues, plots, and scandals are sometimes hard to believe as true! JODI WEBB
June - August 2011
delightful book will encourage grandmothers and mothers to share many warm memories with their precious daughters. Alicea Swett Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale By Karen Henry Clark, Patrice Barton, Illustrator Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 32 pages If you are looking for a unique way to tell an adoption story, you’ve found the right book. Author Karen Henry Clark has taken an approach that echoes a folk-tale in her book Sweet Moon Baby. The story begins with a baby’s biological parents releasing her down a river in China after they realize they don’t have enough food to feed her. First they wrap her in a red and yellow blanket, the colors of the Chinese flag. After holding her up
to the moon, they bid her farewell and let her go. She travels great distances to reach her new home. During the journey a turtle, peacock, monkey, panda, and fish help her find her way. Across the world a red haired man and woman are united with their new daughter. The picture montage of her early years shows a life any parents would want to provide. Patrice Barton’s illustrations are magnificent. Although Sweet Moon Baby doesn’t live in China, she is surrounded by reminders of her culture. This is a wonderful story for anyone touched by adoption. It also introduces the idea that there are many ways families are formed. What ties us together is unconditional love. Elizabeth Franklin
Chalk the Block By Michael Sherman Klutz, $12.99, 40 pages It’s a book about drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. Something this ordinary, which has happened for years, doesn’t warrant a book. On the contrary, this book sparks a creative flame. The sidewalk is not only a canvas; this book turns it into an art form. Using cracks, rocks and other “found” objects with your chalk is surprisingly novel. Limiting yourself to bare concrete is no longer necessary. Think brick walls, boulders, plant pots, even puddles. Give this book to your kids to help them spread chalk wonders through your neighborhood, or channel your inner kid and go out chalk blazing! Friendship Pixies By Karen Phillips Klutz, $16.99, 16 pages Have you got a creative lil girlie-girl who loves make-believe? This is the perfect gift for her to share with her friends! It’s a home kit for making your own pixies complete with how-to instructions, clever ideas book, glitter, ribbons, stickers and more! Great for summer fun, this kit is a must-have for your favorite little girl 8 years old & up. Thumb Wars: The Ultimate Guide By Michael Sherman Klutz, $12.99, 32 pages Sometimes Klutz hits a knockout, sometimes they go too far. The “Sleeve of Doom” would make a great gag gift. The best part of this book is seeing all the great ideas for thumb puppets. If you’re looking for a laugh, or something to occupy some pre-teens for an afternoon, you might want to check this out. For most, I would recommend staying out of the ring, there’s little worth to prize-fighting here. Me Vs. You: Head-To-Head Pencil Games Challenge By Michael Sherman Klutz, $10.99, 50 pages These fun activities for children 8 years old & up are a parent-saver especially for long car trips or other events to entertain kids for a good length of time. It’s portable and easily managed with a flip top, cardboard back and a pencil all included. It comes packaged in two tablets; one for each child and introduces friendly competitions on brain teasers, games, puzzles and many more activities.
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