The Fish Market by Lee van der Voo

Find in catalogWell, sure, I like to eat fish. And I’m concerned about sustainability. But beyond carrying the Seafood Watch list of endangered fish in my purse, I hadn’t really followed the recent changes in fishing policy in the United States. Occasional news updates were more confusing than elucidating, with lots of unfamiliar acronyms and bureaucratic red tape.

Fortunately, Lee van der Voo, a Portland-based independent journalist, has written a fascinating page turner in her book, “The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money Battle For the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate.“ She tells vivid stories of real people – David and Goliath stories – like Buddy Guindon betting his house on the chance to get shares in a Gulf fishery. Like Aaron Longton persisting against odds – and the big trawlers – to keep the tradition of artisan small-boat line fishing out of the port of Port Orford. She talks about Alaskan crab fishermen like Tom Miller going from earning $12,000 in sixteen days to being forced into retirement.
Moving from fishing boats and docks to the U-shaped board room tables where policy is decided, van der Voo clearly explains the new fish-shares system, where rights to fisheries are awarded not unlike the old land grants. Fish-shares have brought needed reforms and stability to our nation’s seafood markets, but – as implemented – at the cost of privatizing more than half the nation’s fisheries. It all seems rigged in Goliath’s favor.

The pages burst with passion and compassion and an underlying assumption that science-based policy makes intelligent sense. It’s easy to see why it’s the Oregon Book Award winner for General Nonfiction this year.

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Now I Can See the Moon by Alice Tallmadge

Find in catalogThis a disquieting book to read and, I imagine, an almost impossible one to write. In her recent memoir, Alice Tallmadge digs deep into the story of her niece Michelle’s struggles with an eating disorder and traumatic recovered memories that led to her death by suicide nearly three decades ago. In a search for understanding, the author uncovers something much larger than her niece – a story about human nature and human culture, good and evil, courage and fear. This is a story still alive today. Read it if you dare. You won’t put it down if you do.

The Shadow of His Wings by Fr. Gereon Karl Goldmann, O.F.M.

The Shadow of His Wings is about Fr. Goldman’s life before, during, and after his time serving in the German army during WWII. He was drafted while in seminary. The book tells about the horrific situations he faced and what he did to stay true to his Catholic faith despite the persecution from the Nazis and others. I enjoyed this book because I learned more about what it was like for some Germans who were in the army against their will and what they did to help others during that difficult time.

Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I Am One by Ginger Zee

Find in catalogThis book is a memoir of Ginger Zee, the ABC News Chief Meteorologist. She writes about her career path and the many personal and professional struggles she has faced along the way to get current job, including her mental health. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs.

The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

Find in catalogIf you like reading non-fiction with the pace of a fictional crime thriller then “The Feather Thief” is the book for you. Johnson explores the history of bird specimen collection in the 1800s, then fast-forwards to 2010 and a 20 year old musical prodigy who also is a genius at fly-tying. The two stories mesh when Edwin Rist, the 21st century character, plans and carries out a bird heist from a collection in an England museum. Johnson’s path to uncover the details of the crime are detailed as he pieces the puzzle together and the reader follows, captivated, along the path. “The Feather Thief” really is a page-turner to the end and one in which the reader will learn about the unique topics of ornithology combined with fly tying.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Find in catalogWhile I had always heard of the amazing life of Helen Keller and she’s always been a figure of strength and determination against adversity I’m so glad I found her autobiography. I’ve learned so much more about her and am even more encouraged and inspired by this amazing person! One of the best autobiographies I’ve yet to come across!

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlebben

Find in catalogThe Hidden Life of Trees transports one to a new and magical world of the forest like I’ve never experienced before. I’ve spent so much time among trees while hiking, camping, and backpacking and this book has greatly expanded my knowledge, wonder, and respect for the living giants! By far, one of my favorite nature books. I’m excited to read his next book.

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Years of Rice and Salt explores the alternative reality of a world where 99% (instead of 33%) of Europe was wiped out by the Plague. It’s an amazingly detailed history of a different world! It’s such an interesting and unique perspective having a major people wiped out and most of a religion gone.

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Find in catalogChris does an amazing job teaching some negotiating skills over by telling war stories from his FBI career, research, and teaching experience. It’s a great and entertaining read that is oddly the best and only self help book that I enjoy!

The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts

Find in catalogGreat writer, and an unusual story about the rescue of the Lipazzeners. Really enjoyed the story as I had no idea that horses were in WWII. If you are a horse lover or like WWII stories you would really enjoy this book!