Books

A back-catalog gem from Portland food writer and publisher Andrew Barton (The Myrtlewood Cookbook). Autumn Wanderers is his travelogue of a two-month trek from London to Istanbul, following (albeit unintentionally) the path of the British writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.

104 pages, tall pocket-size, letter-pressed covers. Includes 12 color-plate images printed on a wax printer by Pine Island Press (Incandescent Photo Zine). Published by Two Plum Press.

"During the journey, the Wanderers walk through twilit parks in London, attend a children's rugby 'match tea' in The English Countryside, stroll along the houseboat lined canals of Amsterdam, visit underground art spaces in Den Haag, see innumerable places of dreams/book/films in Paris, feel at home amongst the snow/candlelight/people of Berlin, ride trains through vast snowy landscapes past broken towns and train stations, experience the deep, hardy beauty of winter in Krakow, in glorious winter sun visit the palatial baths in Budapest, and ferrying from shore to shore of the Bosphorus, soundtracked by the call to prayer, adventure through intoxicatingly magical sites and smells of Istanbul."

Set between the public outdoor pools of the UK and the mountain lakes of the Pacific Northwest, Body of Water is a brilliant series of essays about swimming by Alexis Wolf. Whether she's plunging into frigid water on her wedding day or considering ecological collapse while swimming through wildfire smoke, creating her own mikvah or dealing with chronic illness, Wolf's journey in Body of Water makes you appreciate all the beauty and difficulty of being in a human body on earth. 

84 pages, tall pocket-size, letter-pressed covers. Published by Two Plum Press.

The first ten years of Doris, one of the greatest and longest-running zines of all time. Much of what makes Doris so special is summed up by Cindy in the book's introduction, "Doris is about finding a life worth living and creating a world that will allow us to live: Creating a world full of meaning, that we can thrive in, that we can come together in, where we will be heard, where we will be able to believe in ourselves, where we won't think our thoughts and emotions are crazy. A world where we will know for real we are not alone."

315 pages, wide trade paperback. Illustrated throughout.

Reading Cindy Crabb makes me remember that there is magic in words. How truths told simply, written with a certain level of reverence, can add up to something so much bigger. The Encyclopedia of Doris collects a decade of her zine, Doris. The encyclopedia has alphabetized dives into ideas, places, authors, beliefs, ways to imagine the world differently. 

"I started writing a zine because I believed in the power of telling secrets. I believed that so much of our lives were closed up and hidden—the sweet things and the scary things and the small beautiful things and the ways we learned to survive."

322 pages, trade paperback. Illustrated throughout with Cindy's iconic comics.

Martha Grover's observations about life on earth are one-of-a-kind. In The End of My Career, the latest essay collection from the long-running Somnambulist zine author, her eye has never been more honed. It's a book about moving back in with her parents, finding work with a chronic illness, and living as a woman in a changing city. It will make you laugh while feeling the ever-present weight of the world. Highly recommended.

240 pages, trade paperback. ISBN #9780983632757. Published by Portland's Perfect Day Publishing. Nominated for the 2017 Oregon Book Award.

Everyday Mythologies is a sideways glance at the mundane myths that make up our lives. Or: three personal essays about collecting, cars, and dads (that are also about gender, masculinity, and strength). 

66 pages, tall pocket-size, letter-pressed covers. Published by Two Plum Press. ISBN #9781732159129.

"Wendy C. Ortiz was an only child and a bookish, insecure girl living with alcoholic parents in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her relationship with a charming and deeply flawed private school teacher fifteen years her senior appeared to give her the kind of power teenagers wish for, regardless of consequences. Her teacher—now a registered sex offender—continually encouraged her passion for writing while making her promise she was not leaving any written record about their dangerous sexual relationship. This conflicted relationship with her teacher may have been just five years long, but would imprint itself on her and her later relationships, queer and straight, for the rest of her life.

In Excavation: A Memoir, the black and white of the standard victim/perpetrator stereotype gives way to unsettling grays. The present-day narrator reflects on the girl she once was, as well as the teacher and parent she has become. It’s a beautifully written and powerful story of a woman reclaiming her whole heart."

Released on Future Tense Books. 242 pages, trade paperback. ISBN #9781892061706

From Portland writer and musician Nick Jaina, Get It While You Can is a memoir told in vignettes full of humor and soul-searching desperation. Released on the ever-awesome Perfect Day Publishing.

"When his beloved guitar is stolen, Nick Jaina finds himself untethered from the dream he’s pursued since he was sixteen. No matter how many albums he’s released or tours he’s led, he still can’t shake the feeling that he has failed at life. So the critically acclaimed, endlessly heartbroken singer-songwriter checks himself into a ten-day silent retreat. As those silent days unfold, Jaina attempts to rewire his own brain in a burst of unpredictable digressions and unsent love letters, musings on the miracles of science and the fallen heroes of popular music. Get It While You Can is a late-night ode to the pursuit of sanity."

Last copy! Ghost Pine: All Stories True​ compiles thirteen years of stories from Nova Scotia-based writer Jeff Miller. Collected from his long-running and glorious Ghost Pine zine, the book travels across Canada and the U.S., taking us on adventures, introducing us to a multitude of curious characters. Through it all, it's Miller's voice that stands out most—an open-hearted tour guide that you'd follow anywhere.

248 pages, trade paperback.  ISBN #9781926743042. Released on Invisible Publishing. 

Small glimpses of a life lived between places. These flash memoir pieces look deeply at moments spent in lakes, kitchens, and campfires.

Accompanied by 12 of Alex’s color film photos, printed by Pine Island Press (of the great Incandescent photo journal). 

Cover colors vary. 88 pages, tall pocket-size, letter-pressed covers. Published by Two Plum Press.