Saturday, May 30, 2015

Storyline Serendipity: King Arthur


The Lyre of Orpheus by Roberson Davies  (1988 book by a Canadian author)

The Cornish Foundation embarks on an ambitious project -- to finance the completion of an opera about King Arthur left unfinished by the death, in 1822, of the original composer. The lives of the characters in the book start to parallel the opera's plot in this brainy conclusion to Davies's Cornish Trilogy.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (2015 book by a British author)

In days of yore, elderly Britons Axl and Beatriceres encounter ogres, imps, dragons, and deadly monks when they wander from their misty hamlet in search of their son. Along their journey, they are aided by a Saxon warrior and Sir Gawain, King Arthur's now stooped and rusty knight of the Round Table.


Have you had the experience of something coming up in a book -- an event, place, idea, historical character, or even an unusual word -- and then shortly after, the same thing comes up in a different book completely by coincidence? I call this Storyline Serendipity.

I don't mean like when you take a class in Russian history and read two books about the Tsar. Or when you read two mysteries and there are dead bodies in each.

I mean random coincidence between two books. I like it when this happens because it makes me slow down and pay more attention to how the event or idea, place or character was treated in each book. I get a little more out of each book than I would have if the universe hadn't paired them on my reading list.

If you experience Storyline Serendipity, feel free to grab the button and play along. If you want to, please leave the link to your post in a comment. Or leave the link to your post on the Rose City Reader facebook page. If you want to participate but don't have a blog or don't feel like posting, please share your serendipity in a comment.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

2015 CHALLENGE: Chunkster Challenge

The CHUNKSTER CHALLENGE was started by Wendy at Caribousmom and is now hosted by Vasilly at 1330V. The sign-up page is here.

The basic idea is to read books with 450 pages or more. E-books and audiobooks count, as do collections of short stories, essays, or poems. Pretty much the only thing that doesn't count is graphic novels.

This is a self-motivating challenge. Now that audiobooks count, I am going to set a goal of 12 books, with a stretch goal of 15.


David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1024 pages)

The Collected Stories by Vladimir Nabokov (720 pages)

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (512 pages)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (512 pages)

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (525 pages)

The Lyre of Orpheus by Robertson Davies (480 pages)

The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (528 pages)

Night Fall by Nelson DeMille (528 pages)


We'll see what others pop up.

NOTE: Updated May 29, 2015.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book Beginning: The Humans


Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.



I know that some of you reading this are convinced that humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist.

-- The Humans by Matt Haig. My friend, the exuberant literary agent Fiona Kenhole, recommended this to me. It's not the kind of thing I would have picked up on my own and it took me a while to get into it because I found the tone a little too-cute-by-half (humor is hard). But once I got used to the premise and into the story, I decided I like it a lot.

NOTE: Thanks for your patience! I was slow getting my book beginning up because my law firm, Dumas Law Group, is hosting a workshop today for counselors who work with male survivors of childhood sex abuse. We've been busy this week getting ready.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Portland Food Cart Stories

Many food carts do specials as a way of expressing creativity and avoiding becoming too bored with making the same thing day in and day out. The specials that Ryan and Jace come up with are not only cleverly named, but they are always delicious too.

--  Portland Food Cart Stories: Behind the Scenes with the City’s Culinary Entrepreneurs by Steven Shomler. Here, Shomler discusses the success of Fried Egg I'm in Love, a Portland food cart cleverly named after a 1992 Cure song, "Friday I'm in Love."

In Portland Food Cart Stories, you will find 40 food cart stories, about the owners of 30 food carts, organized into eight parts: author's introduction, Iconic Food Carts, people who moved to Portland to open food carts, breakfast food carts, food cart boosters, vegetarian food carts, ethnic food carts, and comfort food carts.

Shomler is the go-to guy when it comes to Portland's food cart scene. Whether you live here or are planning a visit, prep yourself with his book and go mobile with his social media: website,; Facebook page, Portland Food Cart Adventures; and Twitter @GR8FoodCartsPDX. You can find his book at Powell's or on amazon.

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Mailbox Memorial Day

Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday! MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event. Mailbox Monday has now returned to its permanent home where you can link to your MM post.

I got one book last week:

The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker.

The lovely and dynamic Michelle Williams of Bloom Your Future has organized a new kind of book group here in Portland and The Gift of Fear is her book for the July meeting. Each month, Michelle will discuss a book of interest to the women invited, followed by a presentation by a thought leader from the community related to issues raised by the book.

Michelle asked me to be the thought leader for July because of my work with sexual abuse and assault survivors. I’m excited to work with Michelle and meet more of the women she works with. Her holistic approach to personal, business, and financial coaching – what she calls her Bloom Process – is inspiring.

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