It’s that time of year when Best Books lists abound! Today, Paper Fort steps into the fray, with our annual series on Oregon’s writers and readers favorite books of the year. As most people’s reading material in any one year is not limited to books published in that year, these lists can include, but are not limited to, books published in 2011.
We’ll start with Justin Hocking, Executive Director of the IPRC. Here’s his list of favorites:
A Simple Machine, Like the Lever by Evan P. Schneider. This unforgettable first novel effectively taps into bike culture—but on a deeper level it’s about the emotional and financial deficits faced by our recession-battered generation. The climactic scene at the Oregon Coast is both cathartic and haunting. Published by local press Propeller Books, the physical book itself is beautiful, complete with French flaps. Forget about using them for bookmarks, though—you won’t put this one down.
One More For the People by Martha Grover. Though this is technically a compilation of Grover’s hilarious and heartbreaking zine Somnambulist, in my opinion it coheres into one of the freshest, most compelling memoirs I’ve ever read. Without the slightest trace of bathos but quite a lot of humor, Grover details her struggle with Cushing’s Disease, whose 81 symptoms include dramatic changes to her appearance, not to mention the dreaded possibility of moving back in with her eccentric family. Published by promising upstart Perfect Day Publishing, and featuring a letterpress-printed cover, this is also hands down the best-looking book of 2011.
A Visit From the Goon Squad (paperback version) by Jennifer Egan. What more needs to be said about a National Book Award-winner? The unconventional form–it’s really a collection of interconnected short stories–renewed my faith in the novel genre. More than anything, this book spoke to me about the ungraspable nature of time–especially as we drift away from the omnipotentiality of youth toward middle age and beyond. Yet, as Egan so beautifully illustrates, while our options may shrink in adulthood, the possibility of redemption never fades.
Reading and conversation with Anastacia-Reneé and Ashley Toliver
October 19, 2018
Join us for a reading and conversation with Ashley Toliver and Anastacia-Reneé…
Stranger in the Pen
October 25, 2018
panel discussion featuring Mohamed Asem, Dana Ghazi, Ramzy Farouki, and Dr. Priya…
Lit Crawl® Portland, 2018
November 9, 2018
Join us for the official kick-off party for the Portland Book Festival,…
2018 Portland Book Festival presented by Bank of America
November 10, 2018
Join Literary Arts for the annual Portland Book Festival (formerly Wordstock), presented…
The Moth Mainstage in Portland
December 10, 2018
The Moth returns to Portland on Monday, December 10. This extraordinary performance…
Everybody Reads 2019: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
March 14, 2019
In partnership with the Multnomah County Library and The Library Foundation, Literary…