Joseph Bernt

Joseph Bernt

The Cannon Beach Library continues to ply patrons with a steady supply of recently published titles and special events, giving us more reasons to take advantage of door-side pickup and limited browsing services introduced to keep us intellectually stimulated and healthy during this season of the plague.

In December, the library added four recently published novels. They include: “Homeland Elegies” by Ayad Akhtar, “A Splendid Ruin” by Megan Chance, “At Night All Blood is Black” by David Diop and “The Arctic Fury” by Greer Macallister.

Also added to the library collection were seven mysteries, including:

“Daylight” by David Baldacci, “The Mystery of Mrs. Christie” by Marie Benedict, “Almost Midnight” by Paul Doiron, “Troubled Blood” by Robert Galbraith, “The Night Swim” by Megan Goldin, “The Missing American” by Kwei Quartey and “One by One” by Ruth Ware.

Nonfiction books added in the past month include:

“Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America” by Stacey Abrams, “Humankind: A Hopeful History” by Rutger Bregman, “The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution” by Paul David Kuhn, “Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times” by Katherine May and “Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-up and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House” by Rachell Maddow. These represent a rich addition of books to the library’s nonfiction titles.

Kuhn’s “The Hardhat Riot” was reviewed positively in the December 11 “At the Library” column, and—as I just started reading Abrams’ “Our Time Is Now”—readers can expect to find a review of her analysis of voter suppression in this column on February 5.

Shortly thereafter readers will likely see a review of “Bag Man,” Maddow’s treatment of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew’s years of corruption that led to his resignation October 10, 1973, ten months before that of President Richard M. Nixon on August 9, 1974.

The Northwest Authors Series presents Manzanita author Jennifer Greer, Saturday, January 23, at 2 p.m., on Facebook Live. Greer will discuss “A Desperate Place,” her debut crime thriller set in Medford, Oregon.

Published in August 2020, “A Desperate Place” features Whit McKenna, a former LA Times reporter now writing for the Medford paper, and Katie Riggs, the local medical examiner working to solve what emerges as a series of murders disguised as accidents.

Both sleuths have baggage or experience, and both are competing to solve the murders using differing investigative techniques related to their training and experiences in journalism and medicine.

Judging from early reviews, Greer has produced a winner that has readers looking for future thrillers based on the McKenna-Riggs formula and Greer’s ability to capture the attention of readers.

“Greer’s series launch gives the women convincing backstories. Riggs is a cancer survivor, and McKenna is suffering from PTSD after being kidnapped in Afghanistan,” an Audiofile reviewer argues. “She artfully delivers indelible character portraits, twisty plotlines, and high-stakes motives, making this a must listen.”

Another reviewer concluded, “Fans of crime fiction who like strong female characters will find a lot to like here. This is a strong series start from a debut writer, and judged on that basis, is worth a look.”

And Publishers Weekly wrote “The friendship between the two strong female protagonists rings true. . . . Readers will look forward to their future exploits.”

Greer, who majored in English at California State University, Fresno, worked as a crime reporter at the Fresno Bee. She also has travelled extensively in Europe and Russia, particularly focusing on war zones in Croatia, which yielded an award-winning article on women and children refugees.

The Friends of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series will present “Seeking Balance Through Sustainable Fishing,” Saturday, February 13, at 7 p.m.

Duncan Berry and Kipp Baratoff, co-founders of Fishpeople Seafood, will discuss sustainable fishing practices that protect quality, reduce bycatch and overfishing, create jobs and support rural fishing communities.

This presentation is accessible on Facebook Live@Friends of Haystack Rock.

Cannon Beach Reads, still discussing current and classic fiction and nonfiction via Zoom every third Wednesday at 7 p.m., will continue doing just that after their enjoyable meeting devoted to reading and discussing favorite poems this past Wednesday.

Next up, members of the reading group will discuss Brian Doyle’s “Martin Marten” via Zoom on Wednesday, February 17, at 7 p.m. Bob Lundy will lead this discussion of Doyle’s young adult story set in Wy’east, the Native American place name for Mt. Hood.

Doyle edited the award-winning and nationally prominent University of Portland alumni magazine from 1991 until his passing in May 2017.

While writing for and editing Portland magazine, Doyle authored two dozen books, including my personal favorite, “Mink River,” set in a mythical Oregon coast village. His writing also appeared in Atlantic, Harper’s, American Scholar, the Oregonian and the New York Times.

The Third Annual Writers Read Celebration has received more than 50 submissions. The judging committee will soon ask about a dozen writers to read their selected writings via Facebook Live, Saturday, February 20, at 7 p.m.

Writers will soon be contacted by telephone or email. Those who submitted writings selected by the judging committee will be asked to read at this year’s celebration.

I physically attended the first two Writers Read Celebrations surrounded by an overflowing, supportive and joyous crowd. Let’s see if this year’s virtual event can compete.

Finally, the Cannon Beach Library has no changes to report this week about library services.

Limited browsing continues on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., and residents of Cannon Beach and Arch Cape may still call or email the library to reserve books and arrange door-side pickup appointments between noon and 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.


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