In August, the Cannon Beach Library added 20 recently released titles to its collection for guest enjoyment. These new “green dots” include nine novels, seven mysteries and four non-fiction works.
New novels added include “The Husbands” by Chandler Baker, “Fierce Little Thing” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, “Blind Tiger” by Sandra Brown, “Damnation Spring” by Ash Davidson, “Cul-de-sac” by Joy Fielding , “The Guide” by Peter Heller, “Falling” by TJ Newman, “A Woman of Intelligence” by Karin Tanabe and “Black Ice” by Brad Thor.
The new mysteries are “Another Kind of Eden” by James Lee Burke, “No Witness” by Warren C. Easley, “Sirocco” by Dana Haynes, “Lightning Strike” by William Kent Krueger, “The Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny , “Blooodless” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child and “The Coldest Case” by Martin Walker.
New non-fiction titles include “The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of WWII” by Mari Eder, “Fast Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelection) People Who Shaped Our Presidents ”by Gary Ginsberg,“ I Alone Can Fix It: The Last Catastrophic Year of Donald Trump ”by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker and“ The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal ”by Mary Trump.
Do you like science fiction, dystopian stories, magical tales? If so, don’t miss Portland’s author Karen Thompson Walker’s discussion and readings on her bestselling novels, “The Age of Miracles” and “The Dreamers,” when hosted by the Northwest Series Authors of the Cannon Beach Library via Facebook LIVE, Saturday, October 16 at 2 p.m.
“The Age of Miracles,” which depicts the earth slowing its rotation and the turmoil and terror this phenomenon engenders, created a buying frenzy among publishers keen to publish Walker’s first novel in 2012.
“The Dreamers,” in which sleeping sickness breaks out at a small college in Southern California and spreads from there, causing students and then townspeople to sleep and dream intensely for days on end, “was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and identified by Glamor, Real Simple and Good Housekeeping magazines as one of the best books published in 2019.
Walker studied Creative Writing at UCLA and earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Columbia University before working as an assistant and then editor of non-fiction books for Simon & Schuster. She is now an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Oregon.
Members of Cannon Beach Reads will meet via Zoom on Wednesday October 20 at 7:00 pm to discuss “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. Wanda Meyer-Price will lead the discussion of this life-affirming novel.
Haig follows Nora, her estranged character who, now in her thirties, feels useless in her world, as she walks into the Midnight Library. Here, each book opens a door to different versions of her life, the relationships she was able to develop and the career paths she was able to take.
As Nora explores these alternatives, a life affirming story unfolds about the choices made, the paths taken, and the worldly purpose identified.
British author and journalist living in Brighton, Haig has published six original adult novels, eleven children’s titles and seven non-fiction books.
Anyone interested in joining these Cannon Beach Reads discussions is encouraged to do so. Contact Joe Bernt by email ([email protected]) to find out how to join this Zoom discussion. He will send the information to Zoom a few days before the group meeting on October 20.
Members of Cannon Beach Reads generally interpret the books discussed through the lens of their own life experiences, current events, or recent history.
The group’s vigorous discussion last month on “A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and Vision for the Future” by David Attenborough offers a good example of the lively analysis and exchange that an important book can arouse.
Attenborough, a long-time producer of nature documentaries for the British Broadcast Corporation, became popular with most members of CB Reads when his nature series was rebroadcast in this country on the public broadcasting system.
“A Life on Our Planet” could only have been written by someone who has lived a long life centered on biodiversity and the interrelationships in the natural world, especially those between humans and what Attenborough calls a garden of Eden.
Attenborough released his report on the health of the planet as he reached his 94th year in what he frequently calls a Garden of Eden left to the stewardship of humans, the smartest species on Earth in the 70’s. Last 000 years.
Attenborough, unfortunately, must point out that humans have confused the stewardship of the planet with the conquest, domination and exploitation of a natural world, perfectly capable of maintaining and expanding its biodiversity, particularly absent from interference. human.
He discovers that the world he knew as a child no longer exists, a conclusion that the members of Cannon Beach Reads mostly agreed with. This management has brought whales to the brink of extinction; now threatens the survival of polar bears, cheetahs and tigers in what is left of nature; and brought Columbia River salmon and rainbow trout racing to a mere net from those present in the last century.
Document the continuing decline in planetary health. Attenborough uses his own life as a measuring stick. He begins his report with statistics of his life on planet Earth in 1937, when he was 11 years old. At that time, the world population was 2.5 billion; carbon in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million, and the remaining wilderness covered 66% of the planet.
Eighty-three years later, in 2020, as Attenborough reached 94 years of age and experience, the world’s population had reached 7.9 billion, carbon in the atmosphere reached 415 parts per million and the Wilderness covered only 35% of the Earth’s land mass.
Despite the grim report on the outlook for the future, Attenborough remains positive about the future of the planet, less so about the future of humans:
He writes: “The living world has already survived massive extinctions several times. But we humans cannot assume that we will do the same. We have come as far as we have come because we are the smartest creatures to ever live on Earth. But if we are to continue to exist, we will need more than intelligence. We will need wisdom.
Attenborough is truly an optimist.
He begins this book by describing Pripyat, a deserted and decaying city that the Soviets built in Ukraine to serve the needs of the technicians, engineers and scientists supporting the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin nuclear power plant, commonly referred to as Chernobyl.
Chernobyl, the costliest environmental disaster in history, left Pripyat virtually deserted 30 years after the power plant explosion dispersed 400 times more radioactive material over much of Europe than was produced by the combination bombs dropped in 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At the end of his report on Earth’s current health and future prospects, Attenborough demonstrates his hope for the planet by returning to Pripyat and describing the buried power station and the town still deserted and falling apart. .
“With or without us, nature will return,” writes Attenborough. “The proof of this is no more dramatic than that seen in the ruins of Pripyat, the model city that had to be abandoned when the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded.
“When you step out of the dark, empty corridors of one of its deserted apartment buildings, you are greeted by a most surprising sight. In the 34 years since the evacuation, a forest has invaded the deserted town. The shrubs shattered the concrete and the ivy tore off the bricks. Roofs sag under the weight of the growing vegetation, and saplings of poplar and aspen have erupted across the sidewalks. . . .
“The land comprising the town and the ruined reactor has now been designated a sanctuary for animals which are rare elsewhere,” Attenborough continues.
Attenborough seems much more optimistic for the planet, but far less optimistic about the future of homo sapiens.
The members of Cannon Beach Reads ended their discussion with much less hope than Attenborough. That life on the planet would continue, even as humans disappear, seemed hardly comforting.