December Literary Lineup

Our top picks for December book events

By Kristin Leigh December 3, 2013


Courtesy Rick Smolan

Amy Tan
December 4 at 7, Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
The author most famous for her 1989 bestseller The Joy Luck Club reads from her new novel—Tan’s first in eight years—The Valley of Amazement, another tale of mothers and daughters that spans from San Francisco to Shanghai and across four decades of Chinese history, including the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty

Don’t Look Back: The Moth in Portland
December 5 at 7:30, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 
It’s time to call in some favors and hit up that friend who knows how to weasel tickets to a sold out show, because the     Moth Mainstage is back in town for a Portland retrospective.

December 9 at 8, Portland Center Stage Gerding Theater at the Armory
Giving Portlander’s one more thing to celebrate this December, the local storytelling powerhouse is celebrating its big 5.5 year anniversary (we didn’t know that was a thing either). This live, unscripted storytelling throw-down showcases stories from an eclectic mash-up of west coast performers, half of who will tell stories around the theme “Great Expectations” in the first half, and half will spar in the Russian Roulette format, where storytellers have five minutes to prepare a story chosen from a wheel of prompt and a winner is crowned.


David Shields
December 12 at 7:30, Powell’s
If you need some motivation to make it through the winter doldrums, Shields might have some tips for you. Author of 15 books, including New York Times bestsellers The Thing About Life is that One Day You’ll be Dead and Salinger, Shields reflects in his new book, How Literature Saved My Life, on his own struggle overcoming loneliness and how he has found purpose and human connection through literature.

Planned Parenthood 3rd Annual Holiday Party
December 11 at The Mission Theater 

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon will celebrate women's health at its 3rd annual holiday benefit, "Naughty Listed: Stories of Holiday Misbehavior". Standup comic Barbara Holm will host a festive evening in which some of Portland's sharpest storytellers will share hilarious memories of holiday mischief and wintry discontent. Storytellers include: 

• Stacy Bolt, author ("Breeding in Captivity: One Woman's Unusual Path to   Motherhood") 

Courtesy Planned Parenthood

• Pauls Toutonghi, novelist ("Evel Knievel Days," "Red Weather") 

• Belinda Carroll, standup comic and columnist (PQ Monthly) 

• Alex Falcone, talk show host ("Late Night Action") and podcaster ("Read It and Weep")

• Kristine Levine, standup comic 

• Marty Hughley, arts journalist 

• Cameron Whitten, community activist

• Felisa Hagins, political and labor activist 


Clemens Starck

Mountain Writers Series
December 18, Press Room
This series closes out its 2013 year with with a reading by poet-farmer Paul Hunter (Stubble Field) and award–winning poet Clemens Starck (Rembrandt, Chainsaw), so sidle up to a booth with your favorite adult beverage and enjoy a laid back evening of spoken word. 


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