Beat The Heat Book Beans Pt.1

61320c2189a7c67808a67c621ee2520dThis last week Portland has had some hot days, summer is well underway.
I don’t do well in the heat so I need some good reading and nice cold drinks to get me through.
So with more hot days ahead and summer just around the corner, I’ve done a roundup of good summer reading, and some recipes to beat the heat.

Simmer down with these cool books and icy drinks:

“Love & Gelato”

Jenn Evans Welch
gives us a a summer in Italy that turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

“But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long.
It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.”

Rated 4.9 on amazon.com

green-tea-frappe.png
Book Bean:
Frappalato-Licious
One scoop of your favorite Gelato (I like pistachio and/or mint) in a blender add 1 shot of chilled espresso and cream or use 2 scoops of Gelato and 8 oz of brewed coffee chilled, Blend, top with  whip cream, and enjoy.

“Of Mice and Men”

John Steinbeck
wrote this classic gem in 1937. It’s been a Broadway play and there have been several adaptations of it in movies and TV. It is a timeless treasure. Steinbeck’s descriptive narratives are like a mellow summer breeze.

“The powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.
But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.”

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Often go awry.)
Robert Burn’s poem “To a Mouse”

Mango-smoothie2
Book Bean: 
Orange Marmalade Chiller
In a blender: A hefty scoop of orange marmalade, fresh squeezed orange juice and a little zest, add ice. Blend, pour, and garnish with mint. Now cool your jets.

“The Girls”

Emma Cline’s has written a great debut novel. It is beautifully written and captivating, with precision and startling psychological insight.

“This novel takes place Northern California, and follows a lonely and thoughtful teenager. It begins in the summer of the violent end of the 1960s. An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong.”

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
Malted Ovaltine Frappe
blanche_ovaltine_milkshake022x.jpgThat’s right get out the ole Olvatine and whip up this tasty freeze. In a blender add a 1/4-1/2 cup of milk (of choice), Ovaltine to taste ( I like a lot :D), a little ice, 2 shots of chilled espresso or brewed coffee (chilled, but use cream instead of milk and less of it), blend until smooth, pour and sprinkle with malt.

“Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants”

by Ann Brashares
“Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.”

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

lemon-cream-soda-5Book Bean: Twisted Italian Soda
Steep or pull concentrated white tea (same amount of tea only 2 oz water) and chill, mix chilled tea with aprx. 4oz of simply lemonade juice (or the like), pour over ice, add carbonated water leaving a half inch of room, squeeze in a splash of lemon juice, and top with a bit of half and half or whip. Add a straw and lemon wedge, stir lightly if you like.

This was just part 1 of 2, stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

What’s your favorite drink to beat the heat?

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A Flight of Fantasy

magic_ball_library_columns_castle_63093_602x339I love fantasy fiction, especially when it is a bit different and outside the box (as fantasy fiction goes anyway.) I love books that enchant and leave the mind twinkling with imagination and magic. That is the inspiration behind this article and I hope it will captivate even the skeptics.

Worthy Fantasy-Fiction reads in all their phantasmagorical splendor:

Neverwhere
by Neil Gaiman
Richard is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. One night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her and the life he knows vanishes. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He’s fallen through cracks in reality and landed somewhere that is Neverwhere.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke
An epic tale of the two magicians who emerge to change Englands history. In the year 1806, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England — until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers and becomes a celebrity overnight. Another practising magician emerges: the young and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s pupil and the two join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic and soon he risks sacrificing everything.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Dynamic Duo Mocha
Orange-Mocha-Recipe-1.jpgA magical mix of cinnamon and orange in a mocha that’s to die for! Step 1: start slowly heating 1/8 cup or 3 small squares of dark chocolate (temping in double boiler or in microwave.) Step 2: When melted move to stove-top and mix in 1-2 drops of orange extract (or use orange flavored chocolate) and cinnamon powder to taste, then slowly whisk in 4-5 oz of milk of choice till smooth. Step 3: make coffee preferably pull a shot of espresso. Once your chocolate is hot and frothy and your coffee is ready cup your chocolate and pour in your coffee. Top with marshmallows and garnish with orange zest and cinnamon.

Dracula
by Bram Stoker
“There he lay looking as if youth had been half-renewed, for the white hair and moustache were changed to dark iron-grey, the cheeks were fuller, and the white skin seemed ruby-red underneath; the mouth was redder than ever, for on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck. Even the deep, burning eyes seemed set amongst the swollen flesh, for the lids and pouches underneath were bloated. It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leech, exhausted with his repletion.”

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
by Stephen King
Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.
Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” (appropriate don’t you thik 😉 ) The Gunslinger is “a compelling whirlpool of a story that draws one irretrievable to its center”

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
The King’s Tea
a9241d03_snickers-pousse-cafe-001_thumb.jpgPour 6 oz of black or spiced hot tea into a pousse cafe glass, using a spoon in glass to prevent cracking. Add 2oz’s amaretto almond liquor, but do not stir. Top with on oz chilled whipped cream. Garnish with nuts and chocolate flakes. Enjoy.

 

The Once and Future King & The Book of Merlyn
by T.H. White

51yf9TfEUML._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg The Once and Future King:
A masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance and magic that has enchants.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

The Book of Merlyn:
This magical account of King Arthur’s last night on earth. Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

The Eye of The World: Book 1
by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs (a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts,) five villagers flee into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and the light.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Tea & Cake Latte
4d0362963d474978c371f7bd88d94948Another magical dynamic duo, this time in respect to England it’s with tea! Start with  4 ounces of strong steeped black tea (brew 2 tea bags in 5 ounces of water.) Steam 8 oz of milk (or boil and put in a blender, to make hot and frothy.) Pour .5-1 oz Real vanilla bean syrup (if you’d like to make it yourself heres a link!) in to cup of choice. Add in white chocolate powder and/or flakes to taste. Next add the tea and stir. Last add the steamed milk. Sprinkle with white chocolate flakes and vanilla bean.

The Queen’s Poisoner
by Jeff Wheeler
King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life. Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. When new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Under Heaven
by Guy Gavriel Kay
It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father’s last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses.

Inspired by the glory and power of The Tang dynasty, Guy Gavriel Kay evokes the dazzling 8th-century China in a story of honor and power.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Masala Chai
shutterstock_168107177Bring two cups of water to the boil. Add 3-4 tsp tea leaves, 1 chunk dried ginger, 3-4 crushed cardamom pods, 3 whole cloves, one piece of cinnamon, and 1-2 whole black peppers. Bring to boil again for about 15 seconds. Let stand for one minute. Warm milk in a pot. Filter the above tea into cups. Warm desired amount of milk in a pot. Filter the above tea into cups. Add warmed milk and sugar to taste. Garnish with Anise.

The Golem and The Jinni
by Helene Wecker
A chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on an enchanting journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem; creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.
Ahmad is a jinni; being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in NYC, though entirely free.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

That concludes the list but here are A few other notable fantasy reads:
            

I purposely left off selections that I have featured before,
I want to keep it interesting.
So for more of my fantasy picks and favorites click HERE
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and HERE
Narnia, The Count, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Ring, Potter etc. and a few other great titles are featured elsewhere as well.

What are your fantasy favorites?

Reading The Pacific Northwest

20130602opart-m-630x571.jpgExpanding upon my Oregon reads, I thought I would dedicate to The Great Northwest as a whole. It’s vast and natural splendor is astounding and I love literature that captures it’s spirit, grit, and enchanting beauty.
I’ll of course throw in a few well-known coffee roasters that are sure to impress.


Here are the books that I feel really showcase the quality of the NW:

The Orchardist
by Amanda Coplin

At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he’s found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit at the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

download
C
oava

on Hawthorne
Our espresso bar is about community.

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The gorgeous shop expands on the simplicity of Coava’s signature menu with direct-trade Cocanu mochas, house-made Madagascar vanilla, and elegant teas from Portland’s Jasmine Pearl Tea. We always offer two origins for espresso based drinks alongside our rotating black coffees. Our pastries are crafted locally by the incredible folks at Little T American Baker. We always have fresh bags of our current coffee offerings. Whether for a gift, a special occasion, or just daily drinking, we can help find the perfect one for you.

The Boys in The Boat
by Daniel James Brown

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com (out of almost 20k reviews!)

logoVictrola Coffee Roasters
Seattle, Washington
Victrola Coffee Roasters We source premium coffees, roast them to highlight the natural beauty in bean and prepare them with care and intention as we tell the global story of coffee.
From the beginning, Victrola, named for the popular home phonograph of the 1920’s, victrolaseattle_612embraced the liveliness, exuberance and fun of the Jazz era. In our popular imagination the roaring 20’s represent excess, prohibition, flappers, and speakeasies. The era’s fingerprints mark much of what we do, from our passion for live vintage jazz to our cafes unique architectural charm.

The Good Rain:
Across Time and Terrain in The Pacific Northwest

by Timothy Egan

Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

download (1)Ritual Roasters
San Fransisco, CA
Forty years ago, a cup of coffee was nothing more than a caffeine delivery vehicle. It didn’t really matter how it tasted, it just had to slap you awake in the morning or prop you up through a long afternoon. 470555875_cb228d4481But in the last decade or so, things have changed. A lot. A few people scattered across the country discovered how amazing a cup of coffee can be when you source the beans directly from farmers you know. When you roast the beans yourself in such a way that nothing intrinsic to the coffee is removed. When you brew the coffee with down-to-the-second precision.

Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson

On San Piedro, an island of rugged, spectacular beauty in Puget Sound, home to salmon fishermen and strawberry farmers, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial, charged with coldblooded murder. The year is 1954, and the shadow of WWII, with its brutality abroad and internment of Japanese Americans at home, hangs over the courtroom. Ishmael Chambers, who lost an arm in the Pacific war and now runs the island newspaper, is among the journalists covering the trial – a trial that brings him close, once again, to Hatsue Miyomoto, the wife of the accused man and Ishmael’s never-forgotten boyhood love.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

vivace-logoEspresso Vivace
Our charter is to research, develop, and prepare caffe espresso as a new culinary art. “Espresso Vivace” translates loosely as great enthusiasm and excitement for espresso, the new world coffee.
Vivace is a partnership founded by David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan in 1988. espresso-vivace-roasteriaSince 1992 we have been roasting in the Northern Italian style: searching the world for the mildest arabicas and bringing each bean in our blends to the fragrant peak of caramelized sugar content. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has described Vivace espresso as the best coffee in the US, if not the world. Check out their Professional Barista Course as well.

The Absolutely True Diary
of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

This award winning book tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written; this story is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Sherman Alexie is Also the Author of 2 other great NW novels:
His first book “Reservation Blues” (winner of the American Book Award and The Murray Morgan Prize,) and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fish Fight in Heaven” and many many others.

reserve-logo
Starbucks Reserve

Roastery and Tasting Room

OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH COFFEE KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

Starbucks_Reserve_Roastery_and_Tasting_Room_03_galleryIntroducing a one-of-a kind coffee shrine in our hometown that captures the past, present and future of Starbucks.

This is our Roastery, a place we had to create. The Siren called. We listened.

A Building as unique as the coffee.

Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Caffe_Vita_Logo_2013Caffe Vita
We’ve been roasting coffee in Seattle since 1995.
We are an independent, locally-owned company.  From our beginnings at the base of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, Caffe Vita now operates nine cafes in the Pacific Northwest, a caffe-vita-LES-NYC-outside-1200x887roasteria cafe in New York City, and a cafe in Los Angeles.
We are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement, meticulously sourcing the best coffee available while developing long-term, mutually fruitful relationships with coffee growers in more than 11 countries.

PBS_0They also have the Public Brewing School A complimentary class that delves into the world of understanding and brewing better coffee at home. PBS focuses on manual brewing methods but is also an open forum to talk all things coffee!

Trout Fishing in America
by Richard Brautigan

Brautigan was a literary idol of the 1960s and 1970s whose comic genius and iconoclastic vision of American life caught the imagination of young people everywhere. He came of age during the Haight-Ashbury period and has been called “the last of the Beats.” His early books became required reading for the hip generation, and on its publication Trout Fishing in America became an international bestseller. An indescribable romp, the novel is best summed up in one word: mayonnaise.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

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The motivation behind our coffee is simple: uncompromising quality. We are a specialty coffee roasting company aiming to bring people a focused and an exceptional coffee experience.

We begin with some of the best green coffee from mainly Central America, South America, and Africa.
487f096a0a008c5539f41f4542016f65We roast our coffee to the ideal degree, while fully developing complex flavors, and bringing out delicate clarity. The coffee is then cupped in the lab and must pass the standard of excellence before reaching our customers.
We believe that starting with quality green coffee enables us to put the care into the roasted coffee we serve—from the source to the final cup. We love what we do and want to share it with you.

Take a seat, let it cool a little, and enjoy the difference in heart coffee.

Tibetan Peach Pie
by Tom Robbins

Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. His warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

fb-og-image-default-b0bce82fbf6759deaa8fb9b4b848783f6108edc78c42af454c1f82e7e999e093Blue Bottle Coffee
In the early 2000s, in Oakland, California, a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic, weary of the commercial coffee enterprise and stale, overly roasted beans, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee.
Blue Bottle BrooklynUsing a minuscule six-pound batch roaster, he made a historic vow: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.”
In honor of Kolshitsky’s heroics
(see story here), he named his business Blue Bottle Coffee and began another chapter in the history of superlative coffee.

Winterkill
by Craig Lesley

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award: a deeply moving and evocative novel of fathers and sons. Danny Kachiah is a Native American fighting not to become a casualty. His father, Red Shirt, is dead; his wife, Loxie, has left him, and his career as a rodeo cowboy is flagging. But when Loxie dies in a car wreck, leaving him with his son, Jack, whom he hardly knows, Danny uses the magnificent stories of Red Shirt to guide him toward true fatherhood. Together, Danny and Jack begin to make a life from the dreams of yesterday and the ruins of today’s northwestern reservations.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

thundermuck-logoColumbia River Coffee Roaster
Coffee That Floats the arts
On the Coast, where we’ve been roasting fresh beans to order since 1992. We are ever-mindful of presenting a lovely cup of coffee to accompany our varied and ever-changing lives.
Joshua Bessex - Daily Astorian - Jan 5, 2015 - AR-150109903Our ongoing work includes a journey to expand our offering of direct-trade, organic, shade-grown, sustainably-harvested coffees, which also benefits the growers and their family of workers.

Our roasting facility makes its home below the Megler Bridge in the historic Uniontown District of Astoria, Oregon

The Curve of Time
The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest
by Wyle Blanchet

The fascinating true adventure of widowed Muriel Wylie Blanchet who packed her five children onto a 25-foot boat at the end of the 1920s, and acting as skipper, navigator, engineer and mother, took her family into the coastal waters of Vancouver Island, summer after summer, charting a world they made their own, encountering storms, fogs, rough seas, cougars and bears with the high spirits, the courage and the respect for native cultures and the natural world of a bona fida pioneer.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Cave-near-Mt-JeffersonI am a proud Pacific Northwesterner and I hope these books give a, if not complete, at least true illustration of it’s dazzling allure, strength, & character.

Writes of Passage

downloadToday is World Book Day

So, inspired by their “Writes of Passage” for YA readers, I thought I do my own little list of of important literary books. These books are sure to create a well rounded, cultured, and mindful reader.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…
The man who never reads lives only one.”

~George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

So here are my 10 must-reads for early readers:

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

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Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.

Though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

One of the most moving and eloquent accounts of the Holocaust, read by tens of millions of people around the world since its publication in 1947. This book had a huge impact on me as a person as well as as a reader.

The Diary of a Young Girl
is the record of two years in the life of a remarkable Jewish girl whose triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear has made the book one of the most enduring documents of our time.

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Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Charlotte Doyle is excited to return home from her school in England to her family in Rhode Island in the summer of 1832. But when the two families she was supposed to travel with mysteriously cancel their trips, she finds herself the lone passenger on a long sea voyage with a cruel captain and a mutinous crew. Worse yet, soon after stepping aboard the ship, she becomes enmeshed in a conflict between them! What begins as an eagerly anticipated ocean crossing turns into a harrowing journey, where Charlotte gains a villainous enemy . . . and at 13 is put on trial for murder!

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Christie’s most famous book, the bestselling mystery in the world.
“Ten . . .”  Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U. N. Owen.”
“Nine . . .”  At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
“Eight . . .”  Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
“Seven . . .”  Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested.
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium–a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt’s first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster–except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s perfect comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. “Pride and Prejudice seems as vital today as ever, ” writes Anna Quindlen, and I couldn’t agree more.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

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Now go do something booky! 🙂

Oregon Reads & Portland Perks

“She Flies With Her Own Wings”

I love living in Oregon, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSo I thought I’d put together a list of Oregon books. Whether by a local author or set locally, these Oregon rooted reads are sure to entertain, amuse, and/or inspire readers of all varieties. Just like the state itself. I’ve also included a few special Book*Beans that are specifically found at local shops. So please, enjoy the weird and wonderful world I live in.

Here are my very special hometown selections:

Fugitives and Refugees
Chuck Palahniuk provides answers to all these questions and more as he takes you through the streets, sewers, and local haunts of Portland, Oregon. According to Katherine Dunn, author of the cult classic Geek Love, Portland is the home of America’s “fugitives and refugees.” Get to know these folks, the “most cracked of the crackpots,” as Palahniuk calls them, and come along with him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist.

Palahniuk is also the genius behind “Fight Club.”

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Café De Olla
Revolucion_logo_OK-300x205@ Revolución Coffee House
I could hardly choose just one from this colorful cafe
1200px-Café_de_olla_-_Restaurante_Don_Chon,_Mexicobut the Café De Olla won.
Its distinct flavor is provided by the ingredients of rich mountain grown Mexican coffee beans that have been ground and Italian roasted, added cinnamon and piloncillo or brown sugar. Cold bottled version coming soon!!

Bone River

From award-winning author Megan Chance, Bone River is a haunting tale of passion and identity. This beautifully written, lyrical literary novel engages with the themes of the despoliation of the Pacific Northwest’s native culture, and 19th-century concerns about race, degeneration and miscegenation.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

 

258sBook Bean: Orange Mocha
@ Rimsky-Korsakoffee House
A decadent real chocolate mocha made with orange infused sugar. It is delicious!
Rimsky is a Portland must visit:
8d864085662f5cacfccd899571098620An eerie, quirky, strange, and unique ambiance fills this old pdx style house turned cafe, and it is an experience you will not forget. You’ll wish you hadn’t gone to the bathroom alone (inside joke, sorry you’ll just have to visit to understand 🙂

Astoria
In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeletons in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation’s landscape and its global standing.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

1915511_58034154945_7993784_nBook Bean: Homemade Ginger Lemonade
Ginger-Lemonade@ Random Order Coffee
Fresh and delicious, a great treat for spring and summer!

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Starvation Heights

In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, came to a sanatorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary “fasting treatment” of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, waiting for death.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

 

DragonflyLogolamar copyshotdark2Book Bean: Shot In The Dark
@ The Dragonfly Coffee House
Double shot of espresso added to Drip. Great for a pick-me-up!


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s novel has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Turning conventional notions of sanity and insanity on their heads, the novel tells the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

email_signature_69b1f996-c18a-49ae-97a4-80fa94d8b035_95xBook Bean: Cascara Soda
@ Case Study Coffee
You heard it right, cascara soda, try it! There is also a Lavender Cold Brew 😀20150614_191603.jpg
Cascara = coffee cherry, an herbal tea is made from the dried skins of dried berries of the coffee plant. The word originates from the Spanish cáscara, meaning “husk.”

Sometimes a Great Notion
A bitter strike is raging in a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking the strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers: Henry, the fiercely vital and overpowering patriarch; Hank, the son who has spent his life trying to live up to his father; and Viv, who fell in love with Hank’s exuberant machismo but now finds it wearing thin. And then there is Leland, Henry’s bookish younger son, who returns to his family on a mission of vengeance – finding himself fulfilling it in ways he never imagined. Out of the Stamper family’s rivalries/betrayals, Kesey crafts a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

home-home_page_slider_04.jpghome-home_page_slider_02Book Bean: Dragonfly Chai
@ Bipartisan Cafe
Sweet Black + Spicy Black + Spicy Red (no caffeine)
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Ricochet River
Set in a fictional Oregon town in the late 1960s, Cody’s superlative coming-of-age novel is the story of Wade, Lorna and Jesse–teenagers preparing to break out of their small-town lives. Wade is the local sports hero. Jesse is his friend, a mythical athlete and the Indian kid who applies his own rules to sports and life. And Lorna is Wade’s sweetheart who knows there’s no hope in Calamus for a bright, independent girl. The river rushes past the town, linking the three friends with their pasts, their plans and the world beyond.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

lede_Klatch_TOV_EmilyJoanGreeneBook Bean: Karkadeh
Sweet Hibiscus Nectar (best iced)
and The Winey Mocha:
Mocha w/ a hint of wine.
I had to pick 2 for this location, the Winey Mocha is just too unique!
Tov-Caffeination-795x400

@ ToV Coffee and Tea
They also have tradition Turkish coffee and tea for the daring and adventurous 🙂
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My Abandonment
A girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight. Inspired by a true story My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

woodlawn.0.0Book Bean: Gassato
@ Wood Lawn Coffee and Pastry
woodlawn-coffee-pastry-portland-front-counter-1600x1067In addition to a regular iced Americano or latte, they also offer Gassato, an iced espresso with a little sweetened milk and a float of fizzy water, all made with Stumptown Hairbender.

The Lathe of Heaven
A classic science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man’s dreams control the fate of humanity.
In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

0b516eed815d1d264f654f54855cd07fBook Bean: Macciato
@ Common Ground Coffeehouse
ec915cf577ce9ecfb4996b9986d8cd0bSometimes called espresso macchiato, an espresso drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. In Italian, macchiato means “stained” or “spotted” so the literal translation of caffè macchiato is “stained coffee”, or coffee with a spot of milk.

Mink River
Like Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Brian Doyle’s stunning fiction debut brings a town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people.

In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Cardamom Lattedownload.png
348s (1)
@ symposium coffee
Symposium coffee is Sherwood and Tigard’s finest coffee house featuring Flag & Wire Coffee Roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Steven Smith Teamaker.

A Heart for Any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845
I was drawn to this book because of it’s title, which is from my Longfellow favorite, the poem “A Psalm of Life”
Based on the history of a company of real pioneers, this book tells the story of the King family, whose careful plans are challenged by the harsh, unforeseen realities of overland travel. The family makes the unfortunate decision to follow guide Stephen Meek, who leads them into blistering weather, drought, and treacherous river crossings along a shortcut that becomes known as the Terrible Trail.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

png;base642027a94ca3229fdd.png348s (2)Book Bean: Lavender Latte, Mocha, or Cocoa
@ Rain OR. Shine Coffee House
A seasonal specialty worthy of a Nobel pallet!

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“I wanted to go to Portland because it’s a really good book town.”
~Patti Smith

Indeed it is.

What are some of your hometown favorites?

Tsundoku Treasures

As I was at the Beach this weekend I of courses had to scope out the local hole in the wall bookshop. I found Bob’s Beach Books in Lincoln City, ORIMG_0026
It’s the sister store to Roberts Book Shop, the biggest books store on the Oregon Coast. Though I have not yet had a chance to visit that store, I was most intrigued by what I was told of it. I may just have to make a special trip back, solely to seek it out.
However, I did enjoy Bob’s, it was a perfectly quaint little books shops filled with new and used books; I loved the cozy Atmosphere and friendly staff. I (to no one’s surprised) picked up a couple of new books as well.

Here is what piqued my interest:

imagesThe Woman in the Dunes
By Kobo Abé
Translated by Dale Saunders

A book on which the highly acclaimed motion picture was based, is one of the most famous contemporary Japanese novels. It’s a story of a man held captive with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit in a remote seaside village which is in constant danger from the advance of the windblown dunes. It strikingly combines the elements of a suspense story with those of modern existentialist novel.

“It was the quality of a great myth, told with the exactness of realistic fiction. It reveals a talent unconditioned by geography: it is a major achievement.”
~ Chad Walsh (Book Week)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland
In a Ship of Her Own Making
By Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrated by Ana Juan

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, she of course accepts!

What made me buy the book was first, that I loved the title and second, was this printed on the back…

The Signpost before her now was made of pale wind-bleached wood
and towered above her. On the easterly arm, someone had carved the
deep elegant letters:
TO LOSE YOUR WAY.
On the northerly arm, pointing up to the tops of the cliffs, it said:
TO LOSE YOUR LIFE.
On the southerly arm, pointing out to seas, it said:
TO LOSE YOUR MIND.
And on the westerly arm, pointing up to a little headland and a dwindling of the golden beach, it said:
TO LOSE YOUR HEART.

Well, I’m intrigued! Are you?