When it comes to choosing some of the best reads of 2016, we knew no one would be more well-read than Tom Beans, owner of Dudley's BookShop Cafe in downtown Bend.
These may not be the critics' picks for best books of the year, but they certainly were his favorites.
To The Bright Edge Of The World" By Eowyn Ivey
A beautifully written tale of Alaskan exploration in the late 1800s. Colonel Allen Foster leads an expedition into the Wolverine River Valley, leaving his wife Sophie behind to suffer the Victorian-era ideals placed on her. Infused with Native American mythology and creatively told through the couple's letters to each other, this is a must-read follow up to Ivey's Pulitzer-nominated novel "The Snow Child."
Central Oregon Interest:
"Bend, Oregon Daycations" By Kim Cooper Findling
With 19 daytrips within two hours of Bend, this book is perfectly planned with outdoor activities, natural curiosities, food stops and more. These places are the reasons we live here. It's OK to be a tourist for a day, we won't tell...
"The Nature of Bend" By LeeAnn Kriegh
The only guidebook devoted solely to the plants and animals of Central Oregon. A no-brainer addition to the bookshelves and backpacks of all locals.
"Sleeping Giants" By Sylvain Neuvel
Giant robot pieces found scattered across the globe and no idea where they came from or what they're for? Yes, please. Told through dossiers and interviews, this is sci-fi at its most fun. The sequel hits shelves this April.
"Dark Matter" By Blake Crouch
Jason Dessen is dropped in a multiverse and just wants to go home. The only thing standing in his way? Other (very angry) versions of himself. A mind-bending page-turner.
"Summerlong" By Peter Beagle
Beagle's lyrical brand of fantasy explores the myth of Persephone and Hades set in modern day Puget Sound. Absolutely wonderful.
"The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for The American West" By Peter Cozzens
You know the outcome, but it doesn't diminish Cozzens' even-handed account telling both sides of the story in intimate, heartbreaking detail. The most important recounting of the wars and the people that fought them since "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee."
"Temperance Creek" By Pamela Royes
Following a man she barely knows, Royes trades in classes at U of O for the life of a sheepherder in Hells Canyon country during the early 1970s. Her descriptions of a vanishing way of life and the beauty of Eastern Oregon are as good as anything found in the nature/outdoor classics of the last 40 years.