1. 'Astrophysics for People In A Hurry'
by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
A most improbable bestseller that proves science is alive and well in Central Oregon. Tyson takes us from the Big Bang to the outer edge of our universe and beyond in a primer accessible to anyone, filled with 'wow' moments and ideas. Buy here.
2. 'Sun & Her Flowers and Milk & Honey'by Rupi Kaur
Co-#2 titles, Kaur may have single-handedly revived interest in poetry for women under 30. Pain, love and vulnerability are all tapped to create a beautiful pastiche of real life that speaks to an entire generation. Buy it here.
3. 'Temperance Creek' by Pamela RoyesRoyes 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. Buy it here.
Our favorite book of 2017. An incandescent, searing story of abuse and redemption set in the backwoods of Northern California. Turtle Alverson is a character you'll not soon forget and one you'll root for like no other. Buy it here.
5. 'Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu' by Joshua Hammerby Joshua Hammer
A heist worthy of Ocean's Eleven and adventure on par with Indiana Jones, this is the story of an archivist who smuggled 350,000 ancient manuscripts out from under the nose of Al Qaeda-controlled Timbuktu in Mali. This is narrative non-fiction at its best.
Tom Bean's Gives Us His Top Favorite Reads of 2017
1. 'The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O'by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
This farcical mash-up of sci-fi and fantasy is about as much fun as you can have in 700 pages. Magic used to exist and a fringe government organization attempts to use time travel to bring it back. Problems ensue. Buy it here.
A brilliantly crafted mystery wrapped in a mystery. A modern-day editor is sucked into the manuscript of an English countryside tale of murder that pays a dark and brilliant homage to the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie. Clever and suspenseful, Horowitz ties the past and present together in ways that you'll never see coming. Buy it here.
3. 'American War'
by Omar El Akkad
Portland author El Akkad has penned what may be the greatest dystopian novel of our time. A second American civil war, rising seas and resource scarcity have driven young Sarat Chestnut to become a weapon against her own country. Set 50 years in the future, it's a novel that's frightening in its plausibility. Buy it here.
4. 'Kill the Father'
by Sandrone Dazieri
A detective with PTSD teams up with a victim of a childhood crime that left him with crippling claustrophobia and incredible powers of observation to create the most original investigative duo you've met in a long time. The first in a bestselling series translated from Italian. Buy it here.
If you're a fan of "Stranger Things," a fan of all things '80s, or a nerd who used a Commodore 64, this is a book for you. The Vanna White Playboy issue as a central plot device may be the most original of the year. This is a book that'll leave you with a smile on your face. Buy it here.