Take a mental trip with these local writers

The Oregon Book Awards ceremony was held on April 8. Among the winners were Storm Large, who won the Creative Nonfiction category for her book “Crazy Enough,” a memoir about the singer’s rough life before discovering her musical talent, and Ismet Prcic, who won the Fiction category for “Shards,” about a young Bosnian who escapes to California.

We are lucky to have a lot of great writing talent in the Pacific Northwest. Here are some books by Oregon authors that you might enjoy.

“Listening for Coyote”

by William Sullivan

In 1985, William Sullivan (known today for his “100 Hikes” book series) set off on a trip to walk across Oregon. He started at the state’s westernmost point, Cape Blanco on the southern coast, and then walked east, traveling through the Klamath Mountains, north up the Pacific Crest Trail, then through the Ochoco and Blue mountains before ending at Hat Point in Northeast Oregon. Along the way he meets a geologist, a deer hunter and many other interesting characters, is nearly poisoned by wild mushrooms and encounters many days of rain. He also describes the cultural and natural history of the places he is traveling through.

“Voyage of a Summer Sun”

by Robin Cody

In June 1990, Robin Cody launched his canoe into Columbia Lake in British Columbia. This lake is the headwaters of the Columbia River and Cody’s mission was to paddle the entire 1,200 miles from the lake to the Pacific Ocean. The journey took him three months. In addition to describing the scenery, he frequently discusses the many ways that the river has been changed by man, from the 14 dams and the thousands of acres of drowned land behind those dams, to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation where millions of gallons of radioactive waste sit in underground tanks, leftover from the Cold War era. 


by Alexis Smith

Isabel is a solitary soul who repairs books in the basement of the library. This book is the story of one day in Isabel’s life, her hobby of collecting postcards of other cities, her search for the perfect vintage party dress and her unrequited love for colleague and war veteran Spoke, who is about to be shipped back to Iraq.

“My Abandonment”

by Peter Rock

In 2004, a man and his 12-year-old daughter were discovered living in Forest Park. Authorities offered them a home and employment at a Washington County horse farm. But the father and daughter left the farm and haven’t been seen again. Intrigued by the story and how little was known about them, Peter Rock decided to write a fictional story about the pair. The story is told from the perspective of 13-year-old Caroline, who dutifully follows her father’s lead, rarely questioning his actions or motivations. He loves and cares for his daughter, even though other people see his purposefully homeless lifestyle as being detrimental to his daughter’s well-being.

Contract Publishing

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