Joseph Bernt

Joseph Bernt

Although still physically closed to patrons during Covid-19, the Cannon Beach Library is expanding safe access to book and DVD collections through door-side pickup services, use of an online catalogue, quarantine of returned books and the efforts of volunteers who process the telephone and email requests that patrons submit.

At its August meeting, the library board supported doubling the number of items a patron may borrow to as many as eight adult books, four DVDs and eight titles for children. Door-Side Pickup, available Mondays and Wednesdays, noon to 4 p.m., is explained on the library web site.

The governor’s 10-person limit on indoor social gatherings also threatened to close this year’s Northwest Authors Speakers Series.

With assistance from Doug Sugano, however, Astoria author Marianne Monson read from and discussed “Her Quiet Revolution: A Novel of Martha Hughes Cannon, Frontier Doctor and First Female State Senator” via Facebook Live, Aug.  22. During Monson’s presentation, 18 people logged in; and more than 200 have since accessed the recorded presentation, which can still be viewed through the library’s Facebook page.

The Northwest Authors Series will host a Zoom presentation by Paula Butterfield, Saturday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m. Butterfield will discuss “La Luministe,” her first novel, which focuses on the life of French impressionist artist Berthe Morisot as she experiences family turmoil, gender inequality, love affairs and the difficulties of life during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, a harsh but relatively short war that ended French hegemony in Europe.

Morisot emerged from her struggles for professional artistic recognition as one of the most important impressionist artists of her era. Butterfield’s discussion of her first novel will include a visual presentation of Marisot’s oeuvre.

Born in New York City, Butterfield grew up in Portland and now lives there and on the Oregon Coast with her husband and daughter. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in professional writing from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Thereafter, Butterfield worked as a story analyst for United Artists.

Throughout her studies and in her work, Butterfield noted the underrepresentation of women in the arts. When she began teaching college courses about women in the arts, however, she discovered an abundance of fascinating and accomplished women and has felt compelled to research and write about them.

She currently is following up on “La Luministe” with another historical novel about two American impressionist artists whom Butterfield refuses to identify before she finishes the book.

“La Luministe” has received considerable critical attention and received the Chanticleer Book Reviews First Place Award for Historical Fiction.

Information necessary for joining Butterfield’s Zoom presentation will be posted on the library website before the event.

The positive reaction of participants in Monson’s August presentation has encouraged the Northwest Authors committee to schedule virtual presentations for October and November in addition to Butterfield’s Sept. 19 discussion of “La Luministe.”

Apricot Irving will discuss her exploration of colonialism, ecology and humanity in her novel “The Gospel of Trees,” Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. The daughter of missionaries stationed in Haiti, Irving has taught literature and writing internationally. An award-winning nature reporter, she directs an oral history project focused on the changing landscape of Northeast Portland.

At 2 p.m., on Nov. 28, Seaside native and bestselling Northwest author Karl Marlantes will discuss via Facebook Live his popular books based on wartime experience in Vietnam (“Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War” and “What It Is Like to Go to War”) and immigrants, old-growth logging and union organizing in a pioneer community just north of the Columbia River during the early 1900s (“Deep River”).

Cannon Beach Reads will also return to monthly discussions of important fiction and nonfiction books starting this month, albeit via Zoom meetings and without the inducements of coffee and bakery items. Before the plague arrived, the group averaged about 10 participants, which approximates the response of the group’s usual suspects when surveyed about starting this month on Zoom.

Given this level of interest, Cannon Beach Reads plans to discuss “Mozart’s Starling” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. People who have attended Cannon Beach Reads regularly in the past will receive an email reminder that will also contain instructions for joining the Zoom meeting.

Cannon Beach Reads is open to anyone wishing to participate. Anyone wishing to join the Zoom discussion who has not participated in the reading group in the past should email their name, telephone number and email address to so they can receive information about how to join.

Finally, even though information about newly acquisitioned books is listed on the library website, this column would not be doing its job if new “green-dot” titles went unmentioned.

Seven new fiction titles added include books by Ted Bell, Max Brooks, Jim Butcher, Katherine Center, Emma Donohue, Debbie Macomber and Daniel Silva.

New mysteries include eight new titles by Ace Atkins, Diane Chamberlain, S.A. Cosby, Paul Doiron, Iris Johansen, Jonathan Kellerman, Spencer Quinn and Camilla Trinchieri.

New nonfiction titles include “Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality” by Jacob Hacker, “Leave Only Footsteps: My Acadia to Zion Journey Through Every National Park” by Conor Knighton; “Separated: Inside an American Tragedy” by Jacob Soboroff and “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” by Mary Trump.


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