The 10 Portland Books You Must Read This Summer

Whatever your tastes, we've plucked 10 newly published works for your summer reading pleasure.

By Fiona McCann May 26, 2015 Published in the June 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Amy Martin

The Dead Lands 
Benjamin Percy

A postapocalyptic reimagining of Lewis and Clark’s 19th-century expedition, which takes place 150 years after a deadly plague and nuclear fallout. (“Good God, what a tale,” quoth Stephen King.)

For fans of doom, gloom, utilikilts, and Cascadian separatism

The Picnic
Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, Jen Stevenson

This cookbook contains everything you ever wanted to know about how to pull off the perfect picnic, including site selection, recipes—even lawn game rules—all in one humorous, gingham-ribboned package.

For fans of Martha Stewart and croquet

Within These Walls
Ania Ahlborn

A struggling writer  is offered a mass murderer’s exclusive life story. The caveat? He is required to live, with his emo  teenage daughter, in the house where the killings took place. Big mistake—horrific, in fact.
For fans of sleepless nights 

The Spy’s Son
Bryan Denson

The true story of a CIA officer convicted of trading secrets with the Russians, and how he trained his son to follow in his footsteps. Oregonian reporter Denson’s tale is an exploration of family dynamics when the stakes are as high as treason.

For fans of John le Carré

The Great Detective
Zach Dundas 

Our executive editor’s tribute to his childhood fictional hero, Sherlock Holmes, The Great Detective traces the creation and legacy of literature’s finest sleuth.

For fans of deerstalkers, deduction, and Benedict Cumberbatch

Image: Amy Martin

Peter Stark

John Jacob Astor’s fool’s errand—to set up a trading epicenter on the Pacific Coast—involved two separate exploring parties. Both failed spectacularly in the remote Northwest of the early 1800s.

For fans of Astoria and postcolonial schadenfreude 

Turtleface and Beyond
Arthur Bradford 

Interconnected stories pack an injured turtle, a one-armed woman, a snakebite wound, and a mysterious backyard structure into one deadpan package. 

For fans of McSweeney’s, hapless protagonists, and turtles 

Mark Russell & Ben Caldwell 

This six-issue series is a reimagining of a vintage ’70s DC Comics character, in which the first teenage president of the US is a Twitter sensation in a
futuristic dystopia. 

For fans of kick-ass female protagonists and comics revivals 

One Thing Leads to Another
Dan Stiles 

Designer Stiles’s collection of more than 200 concert posters in his trademark geometric style—think Wilco and Sigur Rós—comes with an intro by rock poster expert Paul Grushkin. 

For fans of music memorabilia and hallucinogens 

Carson Ellis 

This gorgeous children’s book about belonging sets out all sorts of homes and the people who live in them, from tour buses to Norse palaces and every fantastical, far-flung dwelling in between. 

For fans of fairy tales, human connection, and the Decemberists’ artwork 

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