Writers Reading

Portland author Alice Hardesty presents her new book, " An Uncommon Cancer Journey: The Cosmic Kick That Healed Our Lives"

Sat, 02/21/2015 - 3:00pm

Portland author Alice Hardesty will present her new book, " An Uncommon Cancer Journey: The Cosmic Kick That Healed Our Lives". The book tells the story of Hardesty's husband Jack's extraordinary healing from esophageal cancer in the 1980s, despite two "terminal" diagnoses. After conventional medicine failed to provide a cure, Jack tried every alternative and complementary treatment he could, including nutrition, acupressure and other kinds of bodywork, vitamins and enzymes, spiritual healing, and intensive psychotherapy. Alice accompanied and supported him throughout this journey, and found that, along with the physical healing, came the healing of their marriage.

This is a FREE event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.

Orca Books event: local author Bill Lindstrom discusses his bestselling book, "Villain or Victim?: The Untold Story of the Wildman of the Wynooche"

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 3:00pm

A FREE event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave in downtown Olympia:

Northwest author Bill Lindstromwill talk about his popular new book, "Villain or Victim?: The Untold Story of the Wildman of the Wynooche".

The book is about John Tornow, alleged killer of six men, including his two nephews on Sept. 3, 1911. This triggered a 19-month manhunt, the longest in Northwest history at the time.  He killed two deputies in March, 1912, before he was killed in a shootout on April 16, 1913, but took two more deputies’ lives before he was gunned down. “Villain or Victim?” asks if the man was ever guilty of the murders, for he was never charged with a crime, though a $5,000 warrant was on his head. John is pictured as a wildman of the Wynooche, referring to the area in which he roamed and subsisted in for two bitter winters in a feat that bewilders those who know the area.

The John Tornow the author introduces is a far more compassionate individual, who only wanted to be left alone in the solace of the woods he so much enjoyed. Was he a “Villain or Victim?” The book attempts to find the truth as through the examination of newspaper articles, trial transcriptions and interviews with descendants of friends and neighbors who knew him. It is a novel based on actual events, utilizing actual people who knew him, befriended or was sympathetic to him. The story is told through the words of an actual reporter, who writes his narratives after interviews with sheriffs, posse members and Tornow advocates. Many news articles of the day are reproduced.

“Villain or Victim?” leaves readers to decide by arming them with enough facts and fallacies to formulate their own opinions after studying the numerous conspiracy theories that have kept this story alive for more than 100 years.

Allison Cobb reads at Evergreen

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm

Allison Cobb: Wednesday, February 11th
11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1, The Evergreen State College

Allison Cobb is the author of Born2 (Chax Press) about her hometown of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Green-Wood (Factory School) about a nineteenth-century cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Times called Green-Wood “a gorgeous, subtle, idiosyncratic gem.”

Cobb’s work combines history, nonfiction narrative and poetry to address issues of landscape, politics, and ecology. She is a 2015 Djerassi Resident Artist; a 2014 Playa Resident Artist; she received a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission; and she was a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. She works for the Environmental Defense Fund. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

“Torment Saint” - The Life of Singer/Songwriter Elliott Smith

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
No one could honestly claim to be surprised when they heard Elliott Smith had committed suicide,” wrote Alexis Petridis in “The Guardian” in March 2004. The troubled artist, who suffered from depression and had talked about suicide many times, died in 2003 of two stab wounds to the chest, said to be self-inflicted.

Local author Laura Swan presents her new book "The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement"

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 3:00pm

Laura Swan will read from her new book, "The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement." This is a free event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia. 

From the publisher:

The Beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago, around the year 1200. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and thus did not take solemn vows and did not live in monasteries. The beguines were a phenomenal movement that swept across Europe yet they were never a religious order or a formalized movement. But there were common elements that rendered these women distinctive and familiar, including their common way of life, their unusual business acumen, and their commitment to the poor and marginalized. These women were essentially self-defined, in opposition to the many attempts to control and define them. They lived by themselves or together in so-called beguinages, which could be single houses for as few as a handful of beguines or, as in Brugge and Amsterdam, walled-in rows of houses (enclosing a central court with a chapel) where over a thousand beguines might live--a village of women within a medieval town or city. And each region of Europe has its own beguine stories to tell.
Among the beguines were celebrated spiritual writers and mystics, including Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrijs of Nazareth, Hadewijch of Brabant, and Marguerite Porete, who was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in Paris in 1310.

Local author Michael Shurgot talks about his memoir "Could You Be Startin' from Somewhere Else?"

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 3:00pm

Local author and retired SPSCC Professor Michael Shurgotwill read and discuss his new memoir "Could You Be Startin' from Somewhere Else?: Sketches from Buffalo and Beyond".  The title is the punch line from an Irish joke the author's mother told every St. Patrick's Day. The obvious answer to the question is "No"; no one can start from somewhere else. With this as his premise, Shurgot explores his early years growing up in a middle-class, multi-ethnic neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s to find the roots of his adult life. The book evokes an era and a culture in post-war America that is worthy of remembrance. These "sketches" evoke fond memories of the author's childhood: an exuberant, witty Irish mother; a reserved, quiet Ukrainian father; often turbulent relations between siblings and parents in an era of prescribed parenting roles in traditional families; and the enduring love that kept this family intact during economic hardships and personal difficulties.

This is a free event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.

Amaranth Borsuk and Andy Fitch at Evergreen

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
Amaranth Borsuk and Andy Fitch
Wednesday, January 21st
11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1
The Evergreen State College


John Tornow: Villain or Victim?

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 2:30pm - 4:30pm

Author Lindstrom Discusses Infamous Grays Harbor Man

Was John Tornow a murderous wildman or misunderstood loner? Veteran newsman Bill Lindstrom has pursued the truth about John Tornow for almost 3 decades. The outcome of this work is a new book, “John Tornow: Villain or Victim?” Lindstrom will present a slide show and discuss the book, the research and the Tornow legend at the Lacey Timberland Library on Saturday, January 31 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

This meticulously researched history reads like a blend of mystery and tragedy as it reinterprets the life of an enigmatic man accused of heinous crimes. A veteran news reporter, Lindstrom poured over century-old court documents, transcriptions, contemporary news articles and interviews to produce an authoritative and compassionate account. He brings the Tornow family’s life and times alive, describing the daily routines and personal sorrows that led up to multiple murders, a 19-month manhunt and an enduring Northwest legend. Books will be available for sale and signing at this event. All programs at Timberland libraries are free and open to the public.

The Lacey Timberland Library is located at 500 College Street SE. For information, contact the library at (360) 491-3860 or visit www.TRL.org.

Media Contact: R.J. Burt, Public Relations Specialist, 704-4508; 877-284-6237 x 2508

Orca Books Author Reading: Christine Wallace presents her memoir "Prepare to Come About"

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 7:00pm

Join us in welcoming Washington author Christine Wallace, who will read from her new memoir "Prepare to Come About".  Christine will share some of her adventures as an award winning CEO and first mate on Zodiac—the largest wooden schooner on the west coast of North America.

This is a free event. It's at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.

Prepare to Come About is a gripping memoir written with clarity and honesty--and at times, with humor--about navigating the highs and lows of family, career and love.  Wallace chronicles her wildly successful business that brought her accolades and awards, radio and TV interviews. However, as her professional life skyrockets, her family's lives spiral downward. She unflinching shares tales of teenage children in crisis, family pressures and chaos that illuminate the struggles of many working families.

Deborah Ross and Richard Brandt-Kreutz talk about the making of "Tales from Schneider's Creek"

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 7:00pm

Author Deborah J. Ross and therapist Richard Brandt-Kreutz will speak at Orca Books. This is a free event. Orca Books is at 509 4th Ave East in downtown Olympia.

In writing her newest history-based novel, Tales from Schneider's Creek, Deborah Ross had difficulty fleshing out one of the book's central historical figures, August Schneider. She enlisted the help of therapist Richard Brandt-Kreutz, who looked at the historical record, as well as an early draft of her book, and provided some valuable insights into August's character, putting believable flesh onto the bones of the historical record. In their joint appearance at Orca, Deb and Rick will make a brief presentation on their collaboration, answer questions from the audience, and sign books.

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