Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Connie Bennett.

Book Review: iZombie

Mar 13, 2015

I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "iZombie" by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred.

This is not a book for everyone.
Oceans of words, swelling waves of paragraphs, long sinuous sentences running on for a page or more like a rare variety of seaweed.
And a compelling story as well.
Author Brian Doyle, best known as the editor of “Portland” magazine and books of essays, has written two novels.  The first, “Mink River,” is invariably described as a “sprawling” novel of Oregon.  And now, “The Plover” – not really a sequel but more a companion piece – about Irish Oregonian Declan O’Donnell, a minor character in “Mink River.”

Random House

I have to tell you: I both loved and hated this book.  But it took me a while to figure out why.

Let me tell you about the buzz surrounding "All the Light We Cannot See."  A finalist for the National Book Award.   On the bestseller list for the past 28 weeks.  At the top of The New York Time’s list of "100 Notable Books of 2014".  Goodreads, the online book community, chose it as this year’s Best Historical Fiction.  And on his Christmas shopping trip last weekend, President Barack Obama made the news when he purchased a copy of his own.

Oregon Reads

It starts with little things.  “Flowers jump from the tracks of Big Foot all over the uplands.”  William Stafford’s poem “Everyone Out Here Knows” was originally published in “Starting with Little Things,” a 1983 teaching guide for poetry writing in the classroom.

One of the serendipitous joys of reviewing Pacific Northwest writers for KLCC is how it has expanded my own reading.  It’s always exciting to discover a new favorite.  Frankly, in the case of Seattle writer Erica Bauermeister, I’m surprised I hadn’t encountered her before.
She came out with the delightful “Joy for Beginners” in 2011, and her new novel, “The Lost Art of Mixing,” is a sequel to 2009’s bestselling “The School of Essential Ingredients.”   How could I have missed them?

I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Dream Animals” by Emily Winfield Martin.

First the disclaimer.  I’m a physicist’s daughter.  And, I have two brothers and two nephews who are engineers.  So, it was with at least a bit of skepticism that I cracked the cover of Portland author Christine McKinley’s new book, “Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You.”

“Hi, I’m your neighbor, and I’d like to eat your weeds.”  In her book “Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness,” author Becky Lerner accepts her editor’s challenge to survive for a week on the wild plants growing within Portland’s city limits.  She quickly discovers that collecting leafy weeds and brewing pine-needle tea costs far more in energy than it provides in sustenance.  Exhausted and near starvation, she gives up on the experiment by the end of chapter 2.

In her first adult novel, Seattle writer Deb Caletti has crafted a mesmerizing internal journey for her protagonist, Dani Keller.  The story grabs us with the first sentence:   "I used to imagine it sometimes, what would happen if one day I just didn't come home."   But it isn’t Dani who disappears.  She wakes one morning to find her husband gone – from their bed, their Lake Union houseboat, just vanished from her life – with no explanation.