The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, August 06, 2015, Image 32

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    GRAB BAG book shelf • glimpse • wildlife • pop culture • words • q&a • food • fun
1. (Agriculture) a large pile
of hay covered with thatch or
other material with plenty of
ventilation for drying
2. Haystack Rock: this
235-foot sea stack juts out
of Tolovana Beach near the
southern end of Cannon
Beach and can be ap-
proached by foot during low
tide. Designated a protected
Marine Garden by U.S. Fish
and Wildlife since 1990, this
massive intertidal monolith is
home to many sea birds and
mammals and has appeared
in numerous fi lms, photo-
graphs and paintings
Hay enters before 1200 as
hei by way of the Old English
hēg, which referred to grass cut
specifi cally for fodder. The com-
pound haystack was commonly
combined by 1450 during the
late Middle English period.
The monolith takes its name
from its resemblance to the
agricultural pile. References date
back to the late 19th century. A
U.S.G.S report dating from 1980
mentions that the sea stack was
at some time called Inspiration
Haystack Rock in Cannon
Beach is one of six natural
rock formations in Oregon
registered with that specifi c
name; two others are present
on the Oregon Coast, at Pacifi c
City in Tillamook County and
in Coos County near Bandon.
The Clatsop County Haystack is
surrounded by smaller rock for-
mations known as “The Needles”
in reference to the idiomatic
phrase, “like fi nding a needle in
the haystack.”
“In 1968, the rock became a lia-
bility. Visiting tourists, who fancied
themselves rock climbers, continually
stranded themselves upon the rock.
Rescuers had grown tired of this almost
daily event. As a solution, Haystack Rock
was blasted in such a way to make it
inaccessible to climbers or climbing en-
—Elaine Murdy, “ The Seven Won-
ders of Cannon Beach – Haystack Rock,”
Cannon Beach Gazette, Aug. 29,
2014, P. A4
“Rock formations, rugged and
weather scarred, break the shore line.
There is Haystack rock, the Needles, Sil-
ver point, Arch cape, Jockey cap, Hum-
bug, Hug point—the names are simple
ones, but they are eminently expressive
of the appearance of these formations.”
— Charles E. Gratke, “Cannon
Beach,” The Sunday Oregonian,
July 12, 1925, P. 1
Just fi nished
“Vampires in the Lemon
Grove” by Karen Russell
Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
“Ready Player One”
by Ernest Cline
Oregon. Surrounded by waterfalls, the pic-
turesque scene is likened to Rivendell, the
home of the elf Elrond in “The Lord of the
Rings” series. It makes a nice shout out to
our home state.
Broadway Books, 2012
Recommended by: Rebecca Sed-
lak, Coast Weekend editor
“Modern Romance”
by Aziz Ansari
ly relocated to Portland. Perhaps
this is why a new ghost story, “The
Prospectors,” which appeared in The
New Yorker’s summer fiction issue
is set in Depression-era Oregon. It
is available to read for free on the
New Yorker’s website. In an inter-
view on the magazine’s blog, Russell
had this to say while discussing the
landscape of her new home state,
“Astoria seems to exist in the palette
of memory; it sort of ghosts away
and reasserts itself with the chang-
ing light.”
Penguin Press, 2015
Recommended by: Rebecca Sed-
lak, Coast Weekend editor
Other books
“The Little Paris Book-
shop” by Nina George
Crown, 1st Edition, 2015
Recommended by: Alex Bran-
don of Beach Books in Seaside
Plot Notes: In the title story
of her excellent second collection,
a pair of centuries-old vampires
retire to a lemon grove in Sorrento,
Italy where they drain armfuls of
sour citrus to satiate their thirst for
blood, though at least one of them
may harbor a desire for more. Here,
too, you will find imprisoned wom-
en in feudal Japan transformed into
silkworms only to be robbed of their
thread and schoolyard bullies con-
fronted by a scarecrow that looks
an awful lot like the boy they used
to terrorize before he one day disap-
Take Away: Armed with a poet’s
sense of metaphor and other verbal
pyrotechnics, Russell invokes impos-
sible worlds rendered in lush, de-
scriptive prose in these stories. These
aren’t worlds you’ve seen before, but
they wring emotional truths that
feel at home in our own dimension.
Many of her narrators are young, and
these stories brim with humor and
keen observation. I would gladly
enter any world Russell asks me to.
Recommended For: Fans of Ga-
briel Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass,
Aimee Bender and Kelly Link. Ver-
bose teens may also apply.
Bonus: Russell, a recipient of
a MacArthur “genius” grant and a
finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, recent-
A love letter to books: Mon-
sieur Perdu owns the titular book-
shop in George’s 26th novel, which
happens to be located on a barge
floating on the Seine in the middle
of Paris. Not one to sling the latest
bestseller, Perdu considers his shop
to be a “book apothecary,” Brandon
said, his quest being to find books
that will heal his readers. Adventure
comes when the appearance of a lost
love letter unmoors Perdu’s shop and
he travels down the Seine through
the French countryside with two
cohorts in tow. “It’s just one of those
nice summer reads,” Brandon said. “It
is a love letter to books.”
1980s mania: Reality in 2044 is de-
pressing and ugly: famine, no jobs, natural
disasters. But the virtual world off ered by
the OASIS? Exciting. Magical. Paradise. The
OASIS, designed by the late video game
genius, billionaire and 1980s-obsessed
uber-geek James Halliday, is humanity’s
favorite toy — people spend most of their
days inside it, designing the perfect avatar,
exploring new worlds and having fun. Be-
fore he died, Halliday hid three keys inside
the OASIS that lead to a hidden Easter egg;
the fi rst person who fi nds it will inherit his
vast fortune and control of the OASIS. Poor
18-year-old Wade Watts dreams of fi nding
the egg. He spends his days going to school
in the OASIS and studying clues left behind
by Halliday. Until one day, his quest for the
keys begins in earnest.
Recommended For: Fans of the ’80s
(movies, music, culture, etc.), classic video
games, sci-fi and adventure.
Bonus: At one point in the book,
Wade makes his way to a mansion set
at the base of the Wallowa Mountains in
Dating can be hard: In his debut
book, comic Aziz Ansari (alum of “Parks
and Rec”) teams up with NYU sociol-
ogist Eric Klinenberg to delve into the
topic of why love can be so confusing
in the digital age. Young people today
marry later, are looking for a soul mate,
and have thousands of choices at their
disposal; sorting through them can be
tough. As expected, technology plays
a part: Online dating websites, dating
apps like Tinder, texting, sexting, emot-
icons — all are tools prior generations
didn’t have. Ansari and Klinenberg
interview young people, parents and
grandparents in small towns and big cit-
ies, anonymous Internet users on Red-
dit, and even venture across the world to
Tokyo and Buenos Aires. It makes for an
interesting, often hilarious take on the
tragedies and triumphs of modern love.
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861-3305 Mon-Fri,
389 NW 13th St.,
August 6, 2015 | | 23