Summer Reads: Mo Daviau, Monica Drake, Phil Knight, Victoria Jamieson

↑ Via OPB’s State of Wonder:

Summer came early this year, and it has us already dreaming of weekends at the beach or up in the mountains, kicking back in a hammock with a book between our hands. So we put together a show to highlight some of the season’s top reads, in case you’re thinking of packing your knapsack and heading for the hills (or at least the park).

Every Anxious Wave by Mo Daviau

Mo Daviau is a former college radio DJ who dreamt up her novel, Every Anxious Wave, over the turntable. It centers around a middle-age dive bar owner named Karl Bender, who’s only kind of hung up about the loss of his glory days playing guitar in an indie rock sensation. When a super-smart friend opens up a wormhole in the space-time continuum, Karl does what any self-respecting middle-aged hipster would do: he starts going back in time to see his favorite shows. And he meets his match, a brainy physicist named Lena.

Remembering Katherine Dunn, the author of Geek Love – 11:34

We remember writer Katherine Dunn with Willamette Week editor and publisher Mark Zusman. Dunn, best known for her 1989 award-winning novel Geek Love, passed away Wednesday at the age of 70. (This story replaced the interview with Katie Chase about “Man and Wife” in the original podcast. It will air next week.)

On the Folly of Loving Life by Monica Drake – 20:24

Monica Drake is one of Portland’s better known contemporary bards. Her 2007 novel, Clown Girl, followed a young woman navigating a scene not unlike Northeast Portland’s famous Alberta Street Clown House. The Stud Book, which followed in 2013, was a scathing, hilarious, and surprisingly tender meditation on how we create family. This week we had Monica in to tell us about her newest adventure — into the world of interconnected short stories — with The Folly of Loving Life.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – 30:28

The notoriously private Nike founder and philanthropist Phil Knight has taken to the court and the spotlight with the release of his memoir, Shoe Dog. Complex magazine called it “more like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ than a typical mogul memoir,” and it brought ESPN’s Darren Rovel to tears. Earlier this month, Knight sat down with New Yorker writer and essayist Adam Gopnik at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall to talk everything from the origins of the swoosh to going to school with Ken Kesey. You can hear their full conversation at the Literary Arts’ Archive Project.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson – 39:10

Victoria Jamieson has written other books for kids and teaches children’s literature at Pacific Northwerst College of Art, but in her spare time, she skates with the Rose City Rollers Wreckers team under the name of Winnie the Pow. So perhaps it’s no surprise her graphic novel for middle-grade readers, Roller Girl, is a coming-of-age tale in which girls get in touch with their deeper selves by skating around and hitting each other. The book is also about the very messy social geometry that happens when kids move beyond their elementary school friendships. The book was published last year, and this year was listed for a Newberry Honor.

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