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Brian Doyle

Everyday Heroes: 3 Novels about the Road to Redemption

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When facing life’s biggest challenges, even ordinary folk can become heroes. Events coordinator Sam Kaas of Village Books in Bellingham, Washington chose this week’s theme; “Three Tales of Messy Redemption and Defiant Perseverance.” He was influenced by the great Northwest writer Brian Doyle (Mink River, The Plover), who says that his books are about “ordinary, strange, flawed people who stare into the face of terrifying darkness, join hands, and march forward.” City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Knopf, October 13, 2015) “A massive, gritty, and ultimately triumphant novel, City On Fire follows an ensemble cast—artists, writers, journalists, cops, punks, kids—through six tumultuous months in New York City, from New Year’s Eve, 1976 to the devastating, city-wide blackout of July 13…

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A quick guide to a kick-ass book club

in Potpourri by

Book clubs have a bad reputation among people who like to read, mocked for being a nice excuse to sit with your friends and drink wine, but certainly not an opportunity to talk about books with fellow bibliophiles. At least, this is what I thought before I joined one. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and now, more than four years later, my book club meetings are my favorite monthly activity. Much of this, I’ll admit, has to do with the lovely women in my club who—I’m sorry—I can’t share with you. Beyond that, though, there are some factors that have contributed to my club’s success as a genuine space to talk about great books. Here are a few tips.…

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