Whether it’s escapism through fiction or a dive into a nonfiction tome because you want to learn more about the world, the digital age hasn’t stopped us from reading and loving books. Whether we’re on a plane reading history on a Kindle or dropping ketchup on the paper pages of a novel we can’t put down, even to eat, at the kitchen table, books let us live more lives than just our own. Books provide us with a mimesis — a representation of reality — a lifetime in 250 pages. Every year Eugene Weekly staff and writers read the books that we love, or hate, and present them to you in our Winter Reading issue in hopes you curl up, read us, then read some more books.
After 21 years in business at its 2585 Willamette Street location, Tsunami Books is hoping it can hang on for another 20. But it’s going to take a bit of a Hail Mary, Tsunami proprietor Scott Landfield says.
People filled chairs, lined walls and sat on the floor for the duration of the special meeting of the city of Eugene Human Rights Commission (HRC) on Monday, Dec. 5. Professors, public school teachers, community members and activists were vocal in their concerns for undocumented people in their communities, classrooms and schools.
Lidia Yuknavitch is a beast of an author. Her writing is raw, uncensored and has a strength that can only come from living one hell of a life (check out her Ted Talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit”). Yuknavitch — a University of Oregon graduate and current literature workshop teacher in Portland — has gone from being a professional swimmer to a mother whose daughter died, and from a dazed lover of substances to a best-selling novelist. Her craft has always been constant in her life: She must write.
The Eugene Public Library says when it comes to reading, it’s going to stay out of the fray over print ebook versus audio. “In practice, most people enjoy books in each of these ways at different times,” the library’s director, Connie Bennett, says, adding: “At Eugene Public Library, we believe in freedom of format!”
When it comes to “buy local,” that suggestion can apply to your reading as well. Throughout the year, local authors drop off their books at EW or send links to their e-published work. We can’t read them all, but somebody should. So we offer you our annual self-published roundup.
• It’s time to celebrate the victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after the Department of the Army announced Dec. 4 that it will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Congratulations to Native Americans, allies, veterans (particularly Native veterans), who impressively gathered to stand up to the pipelines. As they, and we, celebrate this win in the fight for clean water and indigenous rights, celebrants are rightfully also cautious.
• Paul and Lisa Tostberg, owners of Corvallis’ Coffee Culture, have launched their roasting business as a standalone retail-wholesale brand in the greater Pacific Northwest, Holderness Coffee Roasters. The Tostberg’s have been in the industry since 1993, according to a press release, when they had a drive-thru coffee kiosk that also developed film. The Tostbergs say, “We had no way of knowing that coffee would be a successful enterprise, so we developed film as well!
• Oakridge area residents against the proposed Old Hazeldell gravel quarry at TV Butte on the edge of the town will hold a rally on Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, noon Tuesday, Dec 13, before packing into Harris Hall, where the Lane County Commissioners will be reading and discussing the proposal, rally organizers say. For the quarry proposal to move forward, the commissioners must decide to rezone the property from forestland to rock and gravel.
So the holidays are upon us — and it is likely we will be spending time with people who understand the world very differently than we do, as evidenced in the divisions of the recent election. As The Beatles famously sang at the end of their Magical Mystery Tour album: “All you need is love!”
A native of Clearwater, Florida, Sam Krop got her start in social and environmental activism as a student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “I was working with Food Not Bombs,” she says. “The city had made it illegal to share food with more than 25 people. They were trying to suppress the homeless population. Lots of people got arrested, but in the end, the law was overturned.
For 20 years, Xasthur’s Scott Conner didn’t tour. He didn’t do interviews. He recorded solo. He posed with nooses, called himself “Malefic,” recorded songs with names like “Slaughtered Useless Beings In A Nihilistic Dream,” recorded vocals in a coffin and became one of the most famous figures in American black metal — a mostly Scandinavian phenomenon when Conner started Xasthur in 1995.
A classic Broadway musical in every sense of the phrase, including its most ambivalent and queasy connotations, Annie Get Your Gun is a textbook example of American stage artistry at its mid-20th-century apotheosis: With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, the show oozes a charm and confidence completely devoid of cynicism, which is not to say the static stereotypes it trots out (racial, sexual, socioeconomic) are lacking in self-criticism, or even their own undoing.
I was incorrectly identified last week [Letters, 12/1], so I’d like to introduce myself properly. My name is Ana: I’m a queer, light-skinned Latina from a multicultural family. I have a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Willamette University. I was a campaign volunteer for Hillary Clinton.
Because of my mishmash of identities, I’m privileged in many areas, marginalized in others. My goal as a feminist is to recognize my privilege and use it to amplify the voices of those who are not being heard.
I’m a 37-year-old gay man who just got out of an abusive relationship. We were together five years, moved to Portland together, got married three years ago, yada, yada, yada. He suffered a traumatic injury earlier this year, which led to PTSD, which led to a nervous breakdown, which led to our savings being depleted, which led him to leave me in October. He moved back to the other side of the country, and I’m broke and on my own in a strange city.
Ed King of King Estate Winery created a mining company called the Old Hazeldell Quarry (OHQ) Project. East of Eugene in Oakridge, King and cohorts have applied to rezone 46 acres of forestland to quarry through Lane County. The quarry site is known as TV Butte and is proposed to be active for 50 years, extracting 17 million tons of andesite rock.
‘Tis the season, sure, but if you’ve got a wine geek on your love list, rejoice! For you have oodles of options, limited only by time (all gone, sorry) and money. Got gobs? No worries. Got little? Still lotsa options, some online.
Tom Ford’s second feature, Nocturnal Animals, is a movie within a movie, and while both are lushly attractive, full of precise light and deep reds, neither is very good.
Ford, who is more famous as a fashion designer, has an eye for a certain kind of pristine, art-directed beauty — an eye that served him well in 2009’s A Single Man, the film that made me take Colin Firth much more seriously. But no one in Animals can bring the same soul to the movie’s multiple narratives.