The most recommended books about Portland Oregon

Who picked these books? Meet our 43 experts.

43 authors created a book list connected to Portland Oregon, and here are their favorite Portland Oregon books.
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What type of Portland Oregon book?


Edible Wild Plants

By John Kallas,

Book cover of Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate

Thomas J. Elpel Author Of Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat

From the list on gourmet wild food foraging.

Who am I?

Growing up, I spent summers and weekends with my grandmother, who introduced me to wild food foraging. Grandma Josie and I harvested purslane and lambs quarters weeds from her garden, dandelions and meadow mushrooms from the pasture, and watercress from a nearby spring. On daily walks we gathered peppermint, yarrow, and other wild herbs for tea. She cooked on a wood stove and kept a pot of tea warm at all times. Grandma nurtured my interest in wild plants, wilderness survival, and self-sufficiency. Inspired by her, I built my own stone and log house, teach survival skills and botany, and I still cook on a wood stove just like she did. 

Thomas' book list on gourmet wild food foraging

Why did Thomas love this book?

John Kallas has rebranded foraging from 'alternative roughage' to 'five-star dining.' No other wild foods book has this kind of in-depth text, mouth-watering recipes, or eye-popping pictures of culinary delights, such as wild spinach pizza, pickled purslane, and homemade marshmallows.

Edible Wild Plants is rich with photographs, giving the reader the tools to be successful early and often at identifying, gathering, and dining on these plants. Based on the experiences of John Kallas, a lifelong, full-time wild food researcher, teacher, and author, it catapults a novice into many early triumphs, provides plenty of new useful and practical information for the seasoned professional, and offers naturalists a resource from which to teach wild food concepts. In no time, readers go beyond just tasting to incorporating these foods into regular meals.

By John Kallas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edible Wild Plants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Wild spinach about 7 feet tall and fully mature. Well-fed wild spinach is well-branched and produces a huge quantity of seeds when mature. The leaves are still edible at this stage but are reduced in quality, taking on a somewhat off-flavor. According to research on other mature plants, the leaves on these older plants retain most of their nutrients and phytochemicals as long as they are still green."

Imagine what you could do with eighteen delicious new greens in your dining arsenal including purslane, chickweed, curly dock, wild spinach, sorrel, and wild mustard. John Kallas makes it fun and easy…

Book cover of Burnside Field Lizard and Selected Stories

Robert David Crane Author Of Beyond Where the Buses Run: Stories

From the list on to combat loneliness and quiet desperation.

Who am I?

I have always followed writer Christopher Isherwood’s words: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” I am most comfortable as an observer, a documentarian, someone who gathers details, tries to make sense of them, lays them down in a presentable order, noticing colors, light, sounds, people’s behavior. Trying to make sense of life. I come from a divorced family, my father was murdered, and my first wife died of breast cancer. Still, there was plenty of laughter. I’m interested in and trying to figure out why we’re here.

Robert's book list on to combat loneliness and quiet desperation

Why did Robert love this book?

One of the joys of the Internet is meeting people – writers – who give the reader a kick in the ass, an unexpected journey down an alley or a dirt path where we spend time with a character who changes our opinion, our outlook on society. Meeting writer Theresa Griffin Kennedy was that kick for me. Kennedy writes non-fiction, reportage, poetry, opinion, and fiction. Burnside Field Lizard took me down back roads and introduced me to larger-than-life characters that stung me with truths and observations that felt more like a documentary. I love realism and Kennedy knows and writes about her town Portland, Oregon, like no other writer. These short stories smack of a reporter in the trenches of a foreign war zone. The characters are in battle with themselves. Kennedy is also an observant translator of sexual behavior that can, at times, be another kind of war, internal…

By Theresa Griffin Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Burnside Field Lizard and Selected Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this collection of five short stories Theresa Griffin Kennedy's assortment of unusual characters are sharply insightful and as damaged as they are intriguingly complex. Jolting the reader into regular double takes, "Burnside Field Lizard and Selected Stories," gives an authentic, place-based portrayal of some of Portland's less privileged inhabitants. Gender, class and sexual based consciousness seep into the grain of each story but most importantly Kennedy examines a universal question from the perspective of the Portland neighborhoods she knows intimately: What are people willing to take from others in order to survive and what does it mean to be…

This Is Me

By Fiona Myles,

Book cover of This Is Me: I'm Adopted

Anna Anderson Author Of Survival Without Roots: Memoir of an Adopted Englishwoman

From the list on growing up adopted.

Who am I?

I am adopted. I am a birth mother and also a mother through adoption. I have lived through all ‘three faces’ of adoption and know how each ‘face’ affects millions of people's lives all over the world. I am passionate that conversations around adoption need to come out of the closet and the secrecy surrounding the subject must disappear. By writing my books, I am on a mission to support adoptees, birth mothers, and adoptive parents and help them realise they are not alone. After publication of my first book in the Survival Without Roots trilogy, I am humbled that people are reaching out to say that reading Book One has helped them so much.  

Anna's book list on growing up adopted

Why did Anna love this book?

As a follow-on from her first book, Fiona tells us of her never-ending search for love and affection and the difficulties in forging relationships. I was rooting for her to have a happy ending. If you have read This is Me: No Darkness Too Deepthen you must read this second book in Fiona's trilogy to see where her adoptee journey takes her. It's not the ending I expected!

By Fiona Myles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Is Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Is Me: I'm Adopted

Fiona Myles author of This is me – No Darkness to Deep presents her second book This Is Me – I’m Adopted a true-life autobiography.
Fiona was adopted at 8 months old. From the age of 6 when her first real memory of being told she was adopted registered, she started to feel different. Always being reassured she was special, chosen and wanted seemed to just enhance that feeling of not being the same as her brother and sister. Emotionally the struggle was intense as instead of being able to speak about how she was…

Smoke Signals

By Martin A. Lee,

Book cover of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific

Robyn Griggs Lawrence Author Of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Edibles, from Tinctures and Cocktails to Entrées and Desserts

From the list on for people who are curious about cannabis.

Who am I?

I discovered cannabis as good medicine in 2009, when my gynecologist recommended it for severe dysmenorrhea. When I couldn’t find a cookbook offering healthy, sophisticated cannabis-infused recipes, I decided to write one. As an amazing group of cannabis chefs taught me how to cook with cannabis and shared their recipes, I fell in love with the plant as well as the open-hearted community that supports it. I followed the Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, published in 2015, with Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis, a textbook tracing the plant’s culinary history to ancient Persian and India, in 2019. I’ve learned how to grow my own, and I write regularly about cannabis trends and liberation.

Robyn's book list on for people who are curious about cannabis

Why did Robyn love this book?

Published in 2012, before cannabis liberation had truly begun to take hold, this is a lively look at the illicit cannabis market as it’s morphing into a legitimate industry. Irreverent and richly written, this book tells it like it is, tracing the racist roots of marijuana prohibition to its popularity among Mexican immigrants and jazz musicians and teasing out the vast implications of the US government’s attempts to eradicate it. Everyone needs to know this history, whether they enjoy cannabis or not.

By Martin A. Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Smoke Signals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Hallelujah and glory be to Smoke Signals, Martin Lee’s bodacious new book…Lee chronicles everything and everyone worth chronicling in the annals of marijuana” (High Times).

This is the great American pot story, a dramatic social exploration of a plant that sits at the nexus of political, legal, medical, and scientific discourse. From its ancient origins, to its cutting-edge therapeutic benefits, to its role in a culture war that has never ceased, marijuana has evolved beyond its own illicit subculture into a dynamic, multibillion-dollar industry. Since 1996, when California voters approved Proposition 215, dozens of state and local governments across the…

Rustic Fruit Desserts

By Cory Schreiber, Julie Richardson,

Book cover of Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More

Tammy Donroe Inman Author Of New England Desserts: Classic and Creative Recipes for All Seasons

From the list on seasonal baking.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning cookbook author, photographer, and culinary instructor with a passion for local food and dessert. As a trained chef, I’ve worked behind the scenes of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and the TV show America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and CBS Evening News. For cookbooks, I love beautifully styled photography that pulls me in and delicious, well-written recipes that work in a real home kitchen. I also like a cookbook that you can curl up with and read like a novel. I live outside Boston with my family, two high-maintenance cats, and a pair of well-worn roller skates.

Tammy's book list on seasonal baking

Why did Tammy love this book?

This charmingly compact cookbook is a favorite of mine and never far from my kitchen.

It’s chock full of recipes for old-fashioned, seasonal fruit desserts by the owner of Portland, Oregon’s Baker & Spice. I particularly love the rustic berry crisps, wholesome cakes, and boozy bread puddings inspired by the ingredients of the Pacific Northwest.The Sour Cherry Cobbler is a delightful recipe I come back to again and again.

Organized by season for easy reference, the luscious, up-close photographs are half the appeal. But the recipes for this irresistible assortment of desserts are reliable, unfussy, and delicious, making it my favorite seasonal cookbook of the bunch.

By Cory Schreiber, Julie Richardson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rustic Fruit Desserts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

James Beard Award-winning chef Cory Schreiber teams up with Julie Richardson, owner of Portland’s Baker & Spice, to showcase the freshest fruit available amidst a repertoire of nearly 75 satisfying old-timey fruit desserts, including crumbles, crisps, buckles, pies, and more.

An early fall cobbler with blackberries bubbling in their juice beneath a golden cream biscuit. A crunchy oatmeal crisp made with mid-summer’s nectarines and raspberries. Or a comforting pear bread pudding to soften a harsh winter’s day. Simple, scrumptious, cherished–these heritage desserts featuring local fruit are thankfully experiencing a long-due revival.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect ending to a…

Ways to Make Sunshine

By Renée Watson,

Book cover of Ways to Make Sunshine

Deborah Clark Vance Author Of Sylvie Denied

From Deborah's 10-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Family woman Retired professor Truth seeker Gardener & environmentalist

Deborah's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Deborah's 10-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Deborah's 10-year-old love this book?

My granddaughter likes how the girl Ryan always wants to be good and be a good friend, but is undergoing lots of changes. The family is moving to another house, is going to be in a talent show and she's afraid that no one will like her or her talent.

She is inspired by how Ryan believes she'll be fine, despite her fears.

By Renée Watson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ways to Make Sunshine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times-bestselling and multi-award-winning author Renee Watson comes the start of a character-driven, young middle grade series starring a black girl and her relatable and lovable family 'Without ever shying away from difficult topics such as racism and financial hardship, this is a positive, optimistic story. For readers who are going through tough or troubling times, this book will be a welcome dose of happiness' BookTrust Great Books Guide 2021 Ryan Hart and her family live in Portland, Oregon, and her dad lost his job a while ago. He finally got a new one, but it pays less,…

The Time Cleanse

By Steven Griffith,

Book cover of The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Eliminate Wasted Time, Realize Your Full Potential, and Reinvest in What Matters Most

Alana Stott Author Of She Who Dares

From the list on helping you escape victimhood and keep you winning.

Who am I?

In life my motto has always been “The buck stops with me.” There is no room in life for excuses, blame, and victimhood. You need to build your own strength and resilience and not rely on others when it comes to your own successes. I have spent my life putting this mindset into practice and have surrounded myself with people, and books that keep me winning. 

Alana's book list on helping you escape victimhood and keep you winning

Why did Alana love this book?

The Time Cleanse is a fantastic book for kick-starting your life into action.

It will help you realize exactly where you are spending and wasting your time and where to apply your focus. Time precious, it is limited and it cannot be replaced. Mastering time is the key to lasting happiness and success.  

His book contains his proven system that shows you how to do more, get more, be more by changing your relationship with time, and get back wasted time every week! I personally discovered 28 hours of wasted time, no more excuses! 

By Steven Griffith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Time Cleanse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

MASTER YOUR TIME PERFORMANCE IN ORDER TO ADD HOURS BACK TO YOUR DAY Most people blame time for not being able to accomplish their goals. The Time Cleanse provides a proven program that helps you realize that time isn't the problem, it's your relationship with time. The Time Cleanse provides a proven program you can use to achieve your goals, begin focusing on tasks that matter most, and gain back a minimum of 7-10 hours a week. The author takes you through a systematic program to rescue your time and reallocate it in ways that bring a more fulfilled life…

The Patina of Place

By Kingston Wm Heath,

Book cover of The Patina of Place: The Cultural Weathering of a New England Industrial Landscape

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Author Of Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier

From the list on architecture and social identity in industrial America.

Who am I?

When I was a kid I would cut out graph paper to design my ideal house. When I was in college, I walked into a class called American Material Life and had my eureka moment: “This is how I want to learn about people in the past!” I realized. I’ve been doing that ever since, first as a museum curator and now as a history professor. Houses, furnishings, and the way people interact with the built environment can reveal the complexity, diversity, and beauty of human lives.

Sarah's book list on architecture and social identity in industrial America

Why did Sarah love this book?

Kingston Heath’s captivating book Patina of Place investigates human relationships with working-class living spaces so powerfully. Sometimes I think parts of my book would have been better as a film for capturing what it feels like to move through a neighborhood and into a house. But Heath has managed to do it on static printed paper by combining historic photographs, first-hand accounts, childhood memories, and—most importantly, his gorgeous drawings!—to convey everyday experiences in New England’s three-decker housing units. What sets this book apart are Heath’s textured stories of women rearranging their furniture to make room for another family member; a child’s-eye view of his grandmother’s upholstered sofa; and one couple’s reflections on demographic change around their apartment of 50 years. 

By Kingston Wm Heath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Patina of Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the booming textile industry turned many New England towns into industrialized urban centers. This rapid urbanization transformed the built environment of communities such as New Bedford, Massachusetts, as new housing styles emerged to accommodate the largely immigrant workforce. In particular, the wood-frame "three-decker" became the region's multifamily housing design of choice and is widely acknowledged as a unique architectural form that is characteristic of New England. In The Patina of Place, Heath offers the first book-length analysis of the three-decker and its cultural significance, revealing New Bedford's evolving regional identity within New…

The Perfect Family

By Robyn Harding,

Book cover of The Perfect Family

Eileen Cook Author Of You Owe Me a Murder

From the list on a twist you won’t see coming.

Who am I?

My previous job was as a counsellor, so I’m fascinated with why people make the decisions that they do. When a writer can craft a great story, that also explores a character’s motivations, I’m always a fan. As someone who writes, and teaches creative writing to others, the ability to set up a great twist with realistic characters that both surprises me and also leaves me with the: “Of course! Why didn’t I see that coming? impresses me. 

Eileen's book list on a twist you won’t see coming

Why did Eileen love this book?

Robyn Harding’s secret skill is peeling back the layers of a family to expose both the love and the possible darkness hiding inside. When a “perfect” suburban family begins to be harassed by a mysterious stranger they first chalk it up to random vandals, until they begin to suspect that it’s being done for a very particular reason. 

The trick that Harding does is to give each family member a reason to be the target. She unravels the myth of perfection and kept me turning pages to determine the motivation behind the crime. I am always much more interested in the why of a mystery novel than the who—and this book delivers exactly that.

By Robyn Harding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Perfect Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of the The Swap explores what happens when a seemingly perfect family is pushed to the edge... and beyond in this "propulsive, constantly surprising" (Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here) thriller.

Thomas and Viv Adler are the envy of their neighbors: attractive, successful, with well-mannered children and a beautifully restored home.

Until one morning, when they wake up to find their porch has been pelted with eggs. It's a prank, Thomas insists; the work of a few out-of-control kids. But when a smoke bomb is tossed on their front lawn, and…

So Done

By Paula Chase,

Book cover of So Done

Cathleen Barnhart Author Of That's What Friends Do

From the list on #MeToo for middle grade readers.

Who am I?

In That’s What Friends Do, the #MeToo experience that Sammie’s mom shares with Sammie is my story. I was thirteen. I never told anyone. Even as I started writing my novel, it didn’t occur to me to share with my husband, or my teenage children, my experience. But one evening, as the #MeToo movement was exploding in the media, I was sitting around a dinner table with several other couples. All of the women had had a #MeToo experience. Most of us were young teens when it happened. Shame and guilt had kept us silent for far too long. My novel – and the others on my list – are working to break through that silence.

Cathleen's book list on #MeToo for middle grade readers

Why did Cathleen love this book?

When Tai’s useless, always-high dad touches her best friend, Mila, where he shouldn’t, the girls’ friendship is challenged and changed. Tai, already ashamed of her father, wants to pretend the moment never happened. But, Mila can’t pretend because she lives every day with the fear and shame of that moment. After a summer apart, the two friends struggle to reconnect while also competing for acceptance into the same gifted-and-talented arts program. As both work to be seen for who they want to be, they must also learn to look back together at what really happened. I loved the portrayal of the girls’ friendship and the honesty of a story in which the “happy ending” doesn’t mean a return to the way things were.

By Paula Chase,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked So Done as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program.

Fans of Renee Watson's Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls-and the importance of speaking up.

Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can't wait for…

Six Seasons

By Martha Holmberg, Joshua McFadden,

Book cover of Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables

Peggy Paul Casella Author Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook

From the list on making pizza from scratch.

Who am I?

I am a cookbook author, editor, local food enthusiast, and the creator of the blog Thursday Night Pizza, where I share weekly recipes and de-snobbify the process of from-scratch pizza for home cooks of all skill levels. When I’m not in the kitchen or behind my computer, I enjoy gardening, working on house projects, tending to my Little Free Library, and roaming my city of Philadelphia with my husband and son.

Peggy's book list on making pizza from scratch

Why did Peggy love this book?

Not only is this book a beauty, but it’s also a great way to discover new pairings for your favorite seasonal pizza toppings. Many of my favorite pizza recipes have been adapted from combinations of ingredients found in recipes for salads, casseroles, fancy meals, sandwiches, and more. If you’re a farmers’ market fiend and a homemade pizzamaker, you need more books like this one.

By Martha Holmberg, Joshua McFadden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Seasons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Six seasons - each with its own character. The first vegetables of spring are all about tenderness and new growth. We've been eating sturdy winter fare for so long that slender, tender, and delicate is exactly what we need ...a ripe juicy tomato would feel too much, too soon. Early summer steps up that game a bit - the flavours aren't yet intense, but the fresh and green notes are deeper and all is livelier. Midsummer starts the flavour riot - more variety, more colours and textures. Late summer is the lush period - the richest colours, most vibrant flavours,…

Book cover of Women Are the Fiercest Creatures

Tanmeet Sethi Author Of Joy Is My Justice: Reclaim What Is Yours

From the list on to find joy.

Who am I?

I’ve worked on the frontlines of the hospital, clinic, and delivery rooms for the last 25 years and in global settings after traumatic disasters…As a physician activist, Justice is my act of service. And yet, the moment I found out my young son had a fatal illness, fighting for Justice felt elusive. Until I started fighting for myself. Until I realized that if I walked back toward my unfathomable pain, I could find something revolutionary... Joy. Now, this work of finding Joy has become my most potent medicine for my patients and myself. It is my mission to make sure everyone knows Joy is accessible. No matter what. 

Tanmeet's book list on to find joy

Why did Tanmeet love this book?

I had to put this book in because sometimes it gives me great Joy to get lost in a good story, especially one where women come out victorious.

This is set in Seattle, where I currently live, which also was fun and literally I turned page to page and lost track of time. It’s been a long time since I’ve read fiction and reading this was pure Joy. At the end, I wanted it to keep going and am secretly hoping for a sequel!

Book cover of The Accidental Alchemist

Daryl Wood Gerber Author Of A Flicker of a Doubt

From the list on mysteries that will make you wonder whodunit.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by paranormal stories for years. One of the first books I truly loved was A Wrinkle in Time. I loved the Dragons of Pern, as well. As a girl, I read more stories featuring witches and magical creatures than one ought. But I also loved mysteries—Nancy Drew, as well as all the Agatha Christie books. At present, I’m working on my fifth Fairy Garden Mystery, and I recently completed a mystery novella featuring an elf. To round out the experience, I have personally crafted over fifty fairy gardens. I’m pretty certain a fairy spirit had something to do with my obsession... or perhaps it all started when I kissed the Blarney Stone.

Daryl's book list on mysteries that will make you wonder whodunit

Why did Daryl love this book?

Years ago, I met Gigi Pandian at a mystery conference. She is a gifted and spiritual woman. I adore her writing.

In this book, Zoe Faust, an alchemist, moves to the Northwest and discovers a stowaway in her luggage—a live gargoyle named Dorian who can cook French cuisine! Oh, man, wouldn’t you love to have a “familiar” that cooks?

Zoe moved, hoping to put her old life behind her, but she can’t when she discovers her new friend Dorian is turning to stone and only she can save him. 

This story is clever beyond words. FYI, Gigi is a gargoyle expert! If you meet her, ask to see her collection of photographs.

By Gigi Pandian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Accidental Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Filled with magic, intrigue, and humor, this series is sure to delight fans of cozy mysteries and urban fantasy."―Bookriot

A chance for a new beginning in Portland, Oregon. A stowaway from Paris. Can alchemist Zoe Faust solve the mystery of an ancient book in time to save her new friend? Don't miss the first novel in the award-winning series from USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian!

Unpacking her belongings in her new fixer-upper house, alchemist Zoe Faust can't help but notice she's picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing gargoyle―not to mention a master of French cuisine―and…


By Holly S Roberts,

Book cover of Inferno

KC Klein Author Of Mi Familia

From the list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance since before dirt was old—(okay, I’m not actually that old, but some days I feel like it)—and I have a deep belief that romances can be our shining light in a sometimes very dark world. Which is why when I wrote my own stories, my very first editorial letter started out with, “Wow, you really like to torture your characters.” I wanted to create genuine characters that make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes are their own worst enemy but you still want to root for them. My list of books on Heroines That Won’t Get Nominated For Sainthood will take you on a journey far more interesting than sainthood—the human experience.

KC's book list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood

Why did KC love this book?

Out of all my recommendations, this one is a true mafia romance in the Hotter Than Hell series. But make no mistake, this isn’t the typical mafia romance where the hot/rich/dangerous guy comes in and sweeps the virgin/young/beautiful girl off her feet into a glamourous life where she’s pampered, but never loses her “I’m just a down-to-earth kinda gal” personality. I’ve met Ms. Roberts personally, and know she’s worked as a sex crime detective in real life, which has enabled her to bring some of those experiences to her books. While she never shies away from the hard stuff, she also never glorifies violence, and instead focuses on the emotional aftermath of trauma and the message that love really can conquer all.

By Holly S Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inferno as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An epic mafia romance not for the faint of heart. The Hotter Than Hell series crosses the line into dark romance. The books are steamy, unethical, and HOT! Written by USA TODAY Bestselling Author Holly S Roberts.

The Hotter Than Hell series is filled with violence, passion, and filthy language and is not for everyone.

The INFERNO has arrived:


Madison’s life is on the line and nothing will stop me from saving her and bringing destruction to those responsible. I’ll find her before more body parts arrive at my doorstep.


I never thought I would find myself in…

Say Hi to Hedgehogs!

By Jane McGuinness,

Book cover of Say Hi to Hedgehogs!

Julia Rawlinson Author Of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

From the list on nature and the seasons.

Who am I?

I grew up in London, close to Richmond Park, where I got to know many of the characters who have since popped up in my stories. I bird-watched, caterpillar-collected, and pond-dipped, and my bedroom had a floating population of minibeasts. My first picture book, Fred and the Little Egg, was about a bear cub trying to hatch an acorn, and my stories have continued to reflect my love of nature. My Fletcher’s Four Seasons series follows a kind-hearted fox cub as he explores his wood through the changing seasons. I hope my books will inspire children to explore and care for the natural world too.

Julia's book list on nature and the seasons

Why did Julia love this book?

There’s a leaf-collecting hedgehog in Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, and Say Hi to Hedgehogs! teaches you more about these wonderful animals, following a hedgehog’s story through the seasons. I love everything about this book – the illustrations are beautiful, with a ridiculously cute hedgehog family, magical night scenes, and cosy autumn and winter pages; I learnt some fascinating hedgehog facts from the notes scattered through the story; and the book even includes tips for making your home hedgehog-friendly.

By Jane McGuinness,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Say Hi to Hedgehogs! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With words and pictures by a debut author-illustrator, this is a new Nature Storybook about a very popular little animal - the hedgehog.

A delightful Nature Storybook about hedgehogs from debut author-illustrator Jane McGuinness. There's someone we'd like you to meet - someone small and spiky. Say hi to Hedgehog! Follow this lovely little creature through the year and learn what hedgehogs like to eat, how they hunt for their food, where they build their nests, the time it takes for them grow from tiny hoglets into healthy adults and, as the seasons turn, how they prepare for hibernation. The…

The Breaks of the Game

By David Halberstam,

Book cover of The Breaks of the Game

Jonathan Weiler Author Of Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide

From the list on basketball books with larger societal issues.

Who am I?

I am a professor of Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and I have written about the intersection of sports, media, and politics for many years. I am also the co-host of a podcast, Agony of Defeat, with Matt Andrews, that explores the connections between sports, politics, and history. Basketball is an especially rich topic for mining these intersections. And I’m also a lifelong sports fan.

Jonathan's book list on basketball books with larger societal issues

Why did Jonathan love this book?

David Halberstam's classic, a chronicle of the Portland Trailblazers during the 1979-80 season. Three years removed from a stunning run to the NBA title, and with their mercurial superstar, Bill Walton, injured and then traded, the Blazers scuffled through the long slog of the season, trying in vain to recapture old glory. The book isn't just a chronicle of a team of interesting characters, though. It's an unflinching look at the cold financial calculus of professional sports and what it means when athletes know that they are, in the end, high-priced and expendable commodities. The book also captures the NBA at a critical inflection point in its history. It became a predominantly black league in the 1970s and its popularity declined to the point that the finals were televised on tape delay. Halberstam, the players and management are acutely aware of the tightrope the sport was compelled to walk as…

By David Halberstam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Breaks of the Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller, David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been NBA champions.
More than six years after his death David Halberstam remains one of this country's most respected journalists and revered authorities on American life and history in the years since WWII. A Pulitzer Prize-winner for his groundbreaking reporting on the Vietnam War, Halberstam wrote more than 20 books, almost all of them bestsellers. His work has stood the test of time and…

Dispatches from Anarres

By Susan DeFreitas (editor),

Book cover of Dispatches from Anarres

Gigi Little Author Of City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales

From the list on sci-fi & fantasy that take you to unexpected places.

Who am I?

I’ve been a sci-fi and fantasy fan ever since my childhood when I thought looking for spaceships and dragons in the night sky was just a normal kid nightly activity and not, you know, fiction. When seeking stories for my anthology City of Weird, I reached back into my childhood obsession with all things out of or beyond this world, but I found that I wanted tales that took my favorite themes and slanted them. Went to unexpected places, not only in time and space, but also in theme and approach. Like these five books, which I hope you will enjoy.

Gigi's book list on sci-fi & fantasy that take you to unexpected places

Why did Gigi love this book?

And speaking of, who better than Le Guin to inspire sci-fi and fantasy stories that are truly unexpected? Dispatches from Anarres, edited by Susan DeFreitas, is an anthology of stories by Northwest authors, all inspired by and in tribute to Le Guin, and the offerings are rich and unique. Like Michelle Ruiz Keil’s poetic war cry of ghost cats in “The Kingdom of the Belly,” Jason LaPier’s fascinating tale of the life of a bee colony—with some of the coolest names I’ve encountered in fantasy—in “Bee, Keeper,” and Stevan Allred’s clever Ib and Nib folk-story interludes. I read much of this book in an ER waiting room as my husband was being examined and then treated for a scary collapsed lung, and the uniqueness of these stories kept me beautifully distracted.

By Susan DeFreitas (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dispatches from Anarres as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named for the anarchist utopia in Ursula K. Le Guin's science fiction classic The Dispossessed, Dispatches from Anarres embodies the anarchic spirit of Le Guin's hometown of Portland, Oregon, while paying tribute to her enduring vision.

In stories that range from fantasy to sci fi to realism, some of Portland's most vital voices have come together to celebrate Le Guin's lasting legacy and influence on that most subversive of human faculties: the imagination. Fonda Lee's "Old Souls" explores the role of violence and redemption across time and space; Rachael K. Jones's "The Night Bazaar for Women Turning into Reptiles" touches…

Book cover of Orange World and Other Stories

Jacqueline Vogtman Author Of Girl Country: and Other Stories

From the list on magical realism by women writers.

Who am I?

I’m a writer who loves all kinds of fiction, but I’m most passionate about magical realism and related genres (like fabulism and speculative fiction). I love when writers skirt several genres, especially when their use of the “strange” holds a funhouse mirror up to our world and allows us to see a deeper truth. My favorite writers craft prose that rivals poetry and delve into their characters’ interior worlds; for me, one of fiction’s greatest magic tricks is the ability to enter another’s world and create empathy. The five authors on this list do all of these things and more, and they serve as some of my greatest inspirations.  

Jacqueline's book list on magical realism by women writers

Why did Jacqueline love this book?

In Orange World, Karen Russell guides readers expertly through a multitude of weird worlds, but in her hands the weird becomes familiar as we enter her characters’ inner lives.

The title story—about a mother striking a deal with the devil to protect her child, only this deal involves breastfeeding the devil himself—struck a chord with me, as my collection also focuses on motherhood, and I wrote many of the stories while in the throes of taking care of my young child.

Other standouts in Russell’s collection are “Bog Girl,” a love story between an ordinary teenage boy and a two-thousand-year-old bog girl; and “The Prospectors” a Depression-era ghost story. I’m inspired by Russell’s level of inventiveness and empathy, her richness of language, and her wide-ranging settings. 

By Karen Russell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Orange World and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I loved Orange World... a collection of short stories in which demons live in drains, bog women come back from the dead and trees can grow inside the human body' Daisy Johnson, New Statesman BOOK OF THE YEAR

'A rare combination of literary brilliance and unbridled entertainment' Mark Haddon

These exuberant, unforgettable stories showcase Karen Russell's comedic and imaginative talent for creating outlandish predicaments that uncannily mirror our inner lives. In 'The Bad Graft', a couple on a road trip stop in Joshua Tree National Park, where the spirit of a giant tree accidentally infects the young woman, their fates…

Effortless Mastery

By Kenny Werner,

Book cover of Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, Book & Online Audio

Kourosh Dini Author Of Workflow Mastery: Building from the Basics

From the list on people who want to do work they find meaningful.

Who am I?

I love playing music and games, helping others in therapy, being a father and husband, among other things. It’s taken me some time to figure out how to not only stay on top of them all, but to enjoy myself along the way. The answer to doing so is about finding and guiding play in work. Picasso's statement rings true: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Mastery and feelings of success flow when work is imbued with play. As a psychoanalyst and now as a writer, I work with both clients and readers to help them find meaning and mastery in the day-to-day.

Kourosh's book list on people who want to do work they find meaningful

Why did Kourosh love this book?

When I read Werner's Effortless Mastery, the first thing that happened was that my style of piano playing and composing transformed. What was once very methodical became free-flowing. Secondly, whatever I learned at the piano, then seemed to transfer to my writing and other projects. An absolute unsung hero of both mastery and productivity, Werner does a fantastic job of describing the work of getting your mind into that state of play where learning and creating happen best. 

By Kenny Werner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Effortless Mastery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Playing music should be as simple and natural as drawing a breath, yet most musicians are hindered by self-consciousness, apprehension, self-doubt, and stress. Before we can truly express our inner self, we must first learn to be at peace and overcome the distractions that can make performance difficult. Kenny's remarkable work deals directly with these hindrances, and presents ways to let our natural creative powers flow freely with minimal stress and effort. Includes an inspiring Includes Online Downloadable code of meditations designed to initiate positive thought. This book has become a favorite of many musicians who credit it with changing…

Witch of the Glens

By Sally Watson,

Book cover of Witch of the Glens

Laura Strickland Author Of Daughter of Sherwood

From the list on historical romances with a touch of magic.

Who am I?

When I think of the distant past, I imagine it being populated by those who were a bit closer to the magical world than we. The men (or were they wizards?) who raised the standing stones. The druids of the ancient Celtic world. Figures like Arthur, Robin Hood, and the Viking shamans who harbored a kinship with the waters, with the trees, and with the land. The magic of the past is like a song played on a harp, the echoes of which still waft through our world. Some of us can hear those echoes yet, and some of us write about them.

Laura's book list on historical romances with a touch of magic

Why did Laura love this book?

Although this is, strictly speaking, a Young Adult level book, it belongs here in my cadre of stories that have woven a measure of magic through my being. I first read this as a young girl, and loved it so much I saved my pennies to buy my own copy (I still have it). Sally Watson showed me how to create a real, believable, and magical heroine. One with flaws, and fears, and a call to be other than those who surround her. Other than those who surround her. The story also takes place in the Scottish Highlands, a place very dear to my heart, and presents a wealth of actual historical characters who come to life between the pages. This one will forever have a place in my heart.

By Sally Watson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Witch of the Glens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The time was 1644 in Inverness, Scotland. As the "wicked wee lass" raced along the steep streets, just ahead of the stones and cries of briosag! hurled at her, she wished with all her heart that she were a witch. What a spell she would put on them all! For all her seventeen years, Kelpie could remember nothing but belonging to Mina and Bogle, gypsies who lived by their evil wits. The only law any of them knew was that of self-preservation. Bogle said she had been kidnaped because of her blue ringed eyes of the "Second Sight," and she…