February 2021 Book Club Selection

Never Leaving Laramie
Haines, John W.: Never Leaving Laramie: Travels in a Restless World (2020)

Discussion: Monday, February 15, 2021, 6:30-8:00 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information. Participating in our discussion will be John Haines, the book’s author!

Synopsis: John Haines spent the better part of two decades traveling the world: biking through Tibet, kayaking the length of the Niger River, taking the Trans-Siberian Express from Beijing to East Berlin. Various friends and compatriots—frequently from his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming—accompanied Haines on his trips. In 1999, everything changed. While leaping from a moving train in the Czech Republic—something he’d done many times in many places—Haines fell and broke his neck. Damage to his spine left him without use of his legs and radically changed his life. In the years since, Haines has added writer to a résumé that already included baker and banker. In Never Leaving Laramie, he pulls stories about traveling into an exploration of home: How a rural home fueled and sustained a worldview. How beauty and danger blend together with humility and ego. How itchy feet combine with the comfort of home in Laramie, a tough railroad town turned college town and a launchpad for wanderers. Throughout, Haines returns to ideas of rivers and movement. He ends with a chapter on a different kind of travel, reflecting on how his accident did and did not change him and the varied ways that people can move through the world.

Where to find it:
Vendors: OSU Press | Amazon

January 2020 Book Club Selection

Timbuktu
de Villiers, Marq, and Sheila Hirtle: Timbuktu: The Sahara’s Fabled City of Gold (2007)

Discussion: Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the home of Carol McCormac Wild, 7865 SW Parrway Dr in Portland, 503-292-3385. Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Review: © Booklist: Timbuktu is a city in central Mali near the Niger River. Founded in the eleventh century by the Tuareg, it became a major trading center primarily for gold and silver by the fourteenth century. It was invaded by a Moroccan army in 1590 and later was seized by Tuareg nomads. In their copiously researched book, the authors write of the city’s origins, its relation to the Niger River, its first and second golden ages, the coming of the Moroccans, and its long decline. De Villiers and Hirtle are co-authors of Sahara: The Extraordinary History of the World’s Largest Desert (2002) and Sable Island (2004), and this book, with maps and 12 black-and-white photographs, is a work of large scope, absorbing in its detail.

Where to find it:
Libraries: Clackamas Co | Ft Vancouver | Multnomah Co | Washington Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble