This is a 2010 memoir by an Oregonian woman who must be in her early 70s or maybe 60s now. It's nature writing with a dash of rugged hippie individual...moreThis is a 2010 memoir by an Oregonian woman who must be in her early 70s or maybe 60s now. It's nature writing with a dash of rugged hippie individualism and theme of discovery of oneself by living in the woods. Hess and her architect husband in 1992 buy 20+ acres of wooded land in the foothills of the Cascades outside Eugene. They keep their in-town house, but buy a junky small trailer to live in on the land. The plans are to have a nursery and greenhouse on the land, and gradually they move to renting their Eugene house to pay the mortgage and to living full time in the woods, with no electricity or plumbing; it sounds quite like camping full time. They learn to live frugally & pretty lightly on the earth (there's no room for anything in the trailer!), and in tune with nature, which sends their way lots of blackberries, ivy, invasive weeds, and critters who find nursery plants delicious.
The writing is decent though not dazzling; the naturalist parts are the best, such as her description of finding baby jumping mice, seasonal changes, and observances of the plants and creatures that are attracted to their new irrigation pond.
I'm left with a decreased desire to buy land in the country - oof, that's a lot of work! And if I do, I'll be sure to build a cabin or "tiny house" (http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/) because unlike the elderly writer, I just do not have the fortitude to live in a damp dilapidated trailer for so long! Wow.(less)
Kind of academic, but has interesting details about microbusinesses in Portland (bikes, brews, fashion, coffee, distilled spirits, etc.) and what make...moreKind of academic, but has interesting details about microbusinesses in Portland (bikes, brews, fashion, coffee, distilled spirits, etc.) and what makes Portland such a hotspot for them. I skimmed parts though, because I m not so academically oriented.(less)
Loved this grief memoir of a woman finding herself on the Pacific Crest Trail after spiraling seriously downward (heroin, adultery) after her beloved...moreLoved this grief memoir of a woman finding herself on the Pacific Crest Trail after spiraling seriously downward (heroin, adultery) after her beloved mother dies young & unexpectedly from cancer. I'm not a fan of the Burroughs style messed-up-person memoir, but this book has wonderful writing and a very likeable narrator who is beautifully honest & candid about her faults and missteps and who finds her way to self acceptance at the end. Plus, funny moments, Oregon author, and takes place mostly on the California to Oregon parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, with lovely descriptive details of the scenery and the horribleness but sometimes beauty of hiking by oneself for 100+ days with a too-heavy pack and too-small boots.(less)
Fast moving thriller examining what might happen if some humans were technologically enhanced, for medical and then increasingly for elective reasons...moreFast moving thriller examining what might happen if some humans were technologically enhanced, for medical and then increasingly for elective reasons in ways that make them smarter or more athletically gifted than most of the populace. How might society and politicians react? The author's PhD in robotics lends a nice credibility to the technology concepts. Owen, a schoolteacher with a neural amp in his head that controls his seizures and that he learns has the capacity to do more, gets caught up in an incipient war between the amped and nonamped, or Pures. 3.5 stars, because I am a picky reader. (less)
This was an inspiring read about entrepreneurs who fairly recently started small businesses on a shoestring. It's more of a motivational type book tha...moreThis was an inspiring read about entrepreneurs who fairly recently started small businesses on a shoestring. It's more of a motivational type book than a thorough analysis; a glimpse of the businesses and the author provides an outline -a sketch, really - of basic steps for starting a business. The author's from Portland and he features a few Oregon busineses among the rest. I enjoyed it, not that I really have a yen to start a business. (less)
This has been getting a lot of buzz, so I gave it a try since it's also set in Oregon and by an Oregon author. It's a genre bending novel I'd call pre...moreThis has been getting a lot of buzz, so I gave it a try since it's also set in Oregon and by an Oregon author. It's a genre bending novel I'd call predominately horror, but it's also an unsubtle political allegory featuring lycanthropes and an apocalyptic read. Mostly a page turner, but it tries to do a bit too much. A good recommendation for fans of The Stand or The Passage. It reminds me of Kit Whitfield's Benighted in its exploration of racism, politics, and what it means to be human, but it's less creative in its approach and reflects history and current events too closely, I think.
In Red Moon, lycanthropes have always been among us, and are discriminated against in the U.S. in much the same fashion as we treat any "other" group now. Medication keeps the lycanthropy at bay, but also has negative side effects. Rebel lycanthropes commit terrorist acts; there's a lycanthrope homeland as well that the U.S. is coveting & menacing for its natural resources. Young Patrick has boarded a plane to Portland, but a lycanthrope terrorist aboard changes and slaughters everyone but him - he plays dead under a dead body and survives. Young Claire Forrester is a lycanthrope living in a pleasant typical middle class family, until the government raids her house and slaughters her family, whereupon she goes on the run and begins to learn about her family's revolutionary past. These two characters make their way toward each other through a fun-house version of Oregon (with the occasional real political figure thrown in - poor Wyden), the northwest, and America.(less)