Joseph Bernt

Joseph Bernt

The Cannon Beach Library is adding additional time for limited browsing. Patrons can enter the library to borrow books from Noon to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Masks, social distancing, and hand washing are still required.

The Cannon Beach Library’s Northwest Authors Series sponsored its last author of the 2020-21 season on May 15. Lori Tobias, a Newport author and Oregonian reporter for the Oregon coast, discussed via Facebook “Storm Beat: A Journalist Reports from the North Coast,” her recently published memoir.

In gathering the following information about the Northwest Authors Lecture Series, I was struck by the quality of the authors the Northwest Authors Committee recruited last year and even more so for next year’s programming. The committee maintains, actually improves, the quality of authors lured to the library. Although most of the visits were virtual, I was most impressed by the quality of this year’s but especially the stature of authors scheduled for the 2021-22 lecture series.

Some of this quality can be attributed to the increasing number and talent of authors who have developed and congregated in the Northwest generally, and particularly along the North Coast and in Portland, Seattle but also from less glitzy areas of the Pacific Wonderland, to quote a classic license plate from Oregon’s past.

The Northwest Authors committee earns our praise for their determination in seeking this region’s top authors. The committee Phyllis Bernt, Jen Dixon, Nancy McCarthy, Wanda Meyer-Price and Doug Sugano.

The Northwest Authors Series begins its 2021-22 season in September. Authors already committed for series presentations next year include Dana Haynes, Karen Thompson Walker, Deborah Reed, Tina Ontiveros, Omar El Akkad and Karl Marlantes.

Additionally, the Northwest Authors committee again plans to schedule the popular Writers Read and Fisher Poets events.

Dana Haynes, who lives in Portland with his spouse Katy and their cat Violet, is tentatively scheduled for a Northwest Authors reading September 11. He has published eight thrillers and mysteries. His latest, “Sirocco,’ will debut in January 2022.

Karen Thompson Walker, a New York Times bestselling novelist, conquered the popular critics in 2012 with “The Age of Miracles,” a speculative novel praised by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly and Financial Times as one of the best books of the year.

A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, Walker published “The Dreamers,” another speculative bestseller, in 2019. A UCLA graduate who earned her MFA at Columbia, she is now an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon and lives with her spouse and two daughters in Portland.

Walker will read for the Northwest Authors Series October 16.

Northwest Authors also will sponsor a reading by Deborah Reed on November 13. Reed lives on the Oregon coast, and owns Cloud and Leaf, an independent bookstore in Manzanita. She has published seven novels.

“Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan,” Reed’s most recent novel, was published by Mariner Books in 2020 as was “The Days When Birds Come Back” in 2018.

Reed’s other published novels include “Olivay,” “Things We Set on Fire” and “Carry Yourself Back to Me.” She also has written two thrillers under the pen name Audrey Braun—”A Small Fortune” and “Fortune’s Deadly Descent.”

Tina Ontiveros, a writing instructor at Columbia Gorge Community College, also is a book buyer at Klindt’s Booksellers & Stationers in The Dalles. Founded 151 years ago in 1870, Klindt’s is the oldest continuously operating bookstore in Oregon.

On January 15, Ontiveros will read and discuss “Rough House” for Northwest Authors. This 2021 memoir documents Ontiveros’ experience living below federal poverty levels with her siblings and father, a logger who moved about the rural Pacific Northwest, living in tents, sheds and campers, and always near the forests that attract loggers seeking work.

Published by Oregon State University Press, “Rough House” received a 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Award and an October IndieNext Pick from the American Booksellers Association.

Omar El Akkad—who will read for the Northwest Authors Series April 16—gets around. He was born in Cairo, Egypt, grew up in Doha, Qatar, and moved to Canada before then settling in Portland, where he now lives.

An award-winning journalist, El Akkad chased many of the most significant grim news stories of the past decade—filing reports from the war in Afghanistan, trials at Guantanamo and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri.

He also made time to publish American War, a highly praised apocalyptic first novel set in 2074, supposedly during a Second American civil war.

Another upper. “What Strange Paradise,” his most recent novel set to debut in July, tells the story of the world refugee crisis through the eyes of a child.  

Karl Marlantes, no stranger to the North Coast, graduated from Seaside High School in 1963, where he was student body president and played football. He received a National Merit Scholarship, attended and graduated from Yale University, and received a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.

After one semester at Oxford, Marlantes left for active duty in the U. S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer, serving in Vietnam from October, 1968, to October, 1969. There he received the Navy Cross, a Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts and 10 Air Medals.

After military service, Marlantes returned to Oxford where he received a master’s degree.

Among his award-winning books, all published by Atlantic Monthly Press, are “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War,” “What it is Like to Go to War” and “Deep River.” He now lives in southwestern Washington and regularly visits Cannon Beach.

In May, the library added 21 new titles to its collection, including eight novels, eight mysteries and five works of nonfiction.

New fiction titles added in May include “While Justice Sleeps” by Stacy Abrams, “Mary Jane” by Jessica Anna

Blau, “Unsettled Ground” by Claire Fuller, “Sooley” by John Grisham, “The Plot” by Jean Hanif Korelitz, “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell, “Great Circle” by Maggie Shipstead and “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir.

Among new mysteries added to the library are “Bone Rattle” by Marc Cameron, “Garden of Lamentations.”

by Deborah Crombie, “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave, “The Final Twist” by Jeffrey Deaver,

“Stargazer” by Anne Hillerman, “Local Women Missing” by Mary Kubica, “Public Enemy #1” by Kiki Swinson  and “A Peculiar Combination” by Ashley Weaver.

New nonfiction titles include “A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Animal Rights Movement” by Ernest Freeberg, “Freedom” by Sebastian Junger, “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty.”  by Patrick Radden Keefe, “Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service” by Carol Leonnig and “The  Premonition: A Pandemic Story” by Michael Lewis.

Finally, consider this an official reminder that Cannon Beach Reads is again planning to gather about computers on Wednesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. to discuss Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and “Brave New World Revisited.”

Most of us encountered “Brave New World” with such clever Huxley satirical phrasings as “The Year of Our Ford” or a “Soma Coma” from high school or college English courses that assigned this all-too-attractive and pleasurable dystopian vision as required reading, side by side with George Orwell’s more oppressive “1984.”

This is a chance to go back to the future. If interested in participating in this Zoom discussion led by Arthur Broten, please email me at so I can add you to the monthly reminder that provides the necessary Zoom information to sign into the Cannon Beach Reads virtual meeting.


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