October's Pop Culture Hot List

A book about swimming and coming of age in Portland, some big-riffed rock songs, and several stately beasts: We've got the books and albums you can’t miss this month.

By Fiona McCann October 22, 2015 Published in the October 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

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The Bestiary

Portland’s Berkley Illustration herds its beloved animal portraits between the covers of Social Animals, a whimsical compendium of mannered beasts and their bios. Standouts include the Crafty Chipmunk, a professional whittler whose passion project is a life-size wooden replica of Babe the Blue Ox, and the Radical Raven, an “intellectual bad boy” with a double PhD whose cerebral adversary is his half-sister, a self-taught crow with spiritual roots. 

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The Album

All Across This Land, Portland alt-folk-rockers Blitzen Trapper’s eighth studio album in 12 years, drops October 2 and represents a return to their big-riffed rock roots, with some serious country funk and harmonica-heavy balladry rolled in. As the title suggests, these are road-tripping tunes.

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The Book

An ode to a semi-fictional 1990s Portland and a universally resonant coming-of-age tale, Sara Jaffe’s debut novel, Dryland, has been awash with plaudits since its September publication. If you missed Jaffe’s Powell’s reading last month, you can catch her at the University of Portland on October 7, ahead of her bicoastal book tour.

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