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Oregon joy

Oregon Pinots are all over the news lately:

Our own recent experience:



– Coeur de Terre 21000 SW Eagle Point Rd, McMinnville, OR 97128


– Anne Amie 6580 NE Mineral Springs Rd, Carlton, OR 97111
– Lemelson Vineyards 12020 NE Stag Hollow Rd, Carlton, OR 97111
– Soter Vineyards 10880 NE Mineral Springs Rd, Carlton, OR 97111
– Fairsing Vineyard 21455 NE Burkett Hill Rd, Yamhill, OR 97148
– R. Stuart 528 NE 3rd St, McMinnville, OR 97128


– Winderlea 8905 NE Worden Hill Rd, Dundee, OR 97115
– Dusky Goose 8355 NE Warren Rd, Dundee, OR 97115
– Lange 18830 NE Buena Vista Dr, Dundee, OR 97115


– Lady Hill 8400 Champoeg Road St. Paul, OR 97137
– Argyle 691 OR-99W, Dundee, OR 97115
– Roco Winery 13260 NE Red Hills Rd, Newberg, OR 97132
– White Rose Estate 6250 NE Hilltop Ln, Dayton, OR 97114
– Purple Hands 1200 N 99w, Dundee, OR 97115

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Spring, 2015

Back in the saddle. ~700 miles by eo May – not so good. Cold, cold, wet. But no targets, no goals. Reading H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald; ferocious memoir/bio/guide to falconry. Should be interesting.

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2011 Reads

#60 The Spies of Warsaw, Alan Furst. terrific WW2 spy novelist. to “weigh patriotism against self-interest” – timeless dilemma.
07 Dec

#59 The Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka. prequel to Emperor/Divine; first person plural style reads more like a catalog than a novel
30 Nov

#58 Complete Wine Course, Kevin Zraly. “The Most Famous Wine Book in the World”? comprehensive introduction to the world of wine
28 Nov

#57 The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides. throwback to a victorian model of a novel. well crafted tale, esp of living w/ mental illness
28 Nov

#56 The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes. “a highly wrought meditation on aging, memory and regret”. quiet, powerful – one of the best
20 Nov

#55 Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver. personal/political (9/11) essays; some very good, others less powerful. Read Poisonwood instead
16 Nov

#54 1493, Charles Mann. The post-Columbian world (vs his earlier 1491). “unintended consequences” writ large. 1491 is the one to read
9 Nov

#53 The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt. western with perfect mix of comedy & sadness. Eli Sisters = best 2011 fiction character yet
7 Nov

#52 We the Animals, Justin Torres. engaging slim work about boys figuring out their place in a mysterious adult world. violent & tender
1 Nov

#51 Incognito, David Eagleman. “the neural underpinnings of everyday thinking.” ‘team of rivals’ model for brain function is compelling
26 Oct

#50 Daytripper, Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon. “exquisite study in existentialism” beautifully drawn stories of life, death & possibilities
18 Oct

#49 Tiger’s Wife, Téa Obreht. amazing debut; (recent) history as myth. fantastic storyteller w/a bit more style than heart (for now)
14 Oct

#48 The Arctic Marauder, Jacques Tardi. Fabulous blend of woodcut style, the foundations of steam (or ice) punk and a Jules Verne plot
8 Oct

#47 Reamde, Neal Stephenson. ‘Bourne’-style international thriller; brilliant if by almost anyone else; a bit conventional for NS
7 Oct

#46 Habibi, Craig Thompson. graphic novel of the shared heritage of Islam & Christianity. overly dark at times, but in all, astonishing
22 Sep

#45 Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik. essays re: his time as an expatriot in Paris. insightful descriptions of our differing cultures
21 Sep

#44 2030, Albert Brooks. Entertaining vision of one possible (likely?) future. Some good guesses, maybe a bit less humor than expected
14 Sep

#43 The Little Book, Selden Edwards. when dual time travel isn’t the least likely part of a story, there are flaws. pleasing but fluffy
9 Sep

#42 Solace of Open Spaces, Gretel Ehrlich. beautifully plain spoken paean to WY via filmmakers eyes. to be tender is to be truly fierce
4 Sep

#41 Program or Be Programmed, Douglas Rushkoff. 10 arguments for critical thinking about networked technology #tweetingisnotprogramming
29 Aug

#40 Bicycle Diaries, David Byrne. not so much about cycling as “an impressionistic glimpse of visited cities”, but an ideal tourguide
29 Aug

#39 Swamplandia!, Karen Russell. dazzling and original writing, but also “a creepy and sinister” story. #mixedbag
21 Aug

#38 Turn Right at Machu Picchu, Mark Adams. funny, insightful; dismissive of the usual woowoo re: MP, yet – appropriate use of #sublime
16 Aug

#37 The Shallows. What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr. the web is tinkering with our brains, and not in a good way
11 Aug

#36 Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann. homage to NYC & Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the towers. riveting & gorgeous
7 Aug

#35 True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey. gripping drama, deadpan humor, and a voice that rings true on every level #adjectival
29 Jul

#34 State of Wonder, Ann Patchett. Heart of Darkness but with women? “alive to the nerve ends of philosophical life” reliably terrific
17 Jul

#33 Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder. Deo’s story, a journey to hell & incredibly, back again, through the Burundi genocidal war
15 Jul

#32 Netherland, Joseph O’Neill. living in a post-9/11 world; love, marriage – and simply brilliant writing. read fast. pause. reread
6 Jul

#31 Letters to a Young Novelist, Mario Vargas Llosa “world’s cheapest MFA”? I prefer “will make you a subtler taster of novels.”
30 Jun

#30 Bossypants, Tina Fey. she’s brilliant, but reading about how comedy is made is never as good as… comedy #planetripbook
27 Jun

#29 Parrot & Olivier in America, Peter Carey. improv on life of de Tocqueville; terrific scenes of 19th c America & France. more Carey!
23 Jun

#28 Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan. colorful, interwoven character stories (tracks?); technically perfect, but missing heart?
12 Jun

#27 How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne, Sarah Bakewell. engaging biography w/a novel format. you’ll want to read his Essays = perfect
1 Jun

#26 The Reserve, Russell Banks. surprisingly disappointing work by a terrific writer. dull soaper set amidst the lives of the idle rich
24 May

#25 Becoming Odyssa, Jennifer Pharr Davis. latest AT thru hiker read, impressive effort. 30-40 mile days; unclear to me how that’s done
24 May

#24 Cloud Forest, Peter Matthiessen. retelling of a 1960 journey across South America. first 1/2 lags, but trip on the Pongo = amazing
24 May

#23 Skippy Dies, Paul Murray. a universe “built out of loneliness”, or so it seems to a 14yr old. brilliant, funny, sad – huge talent
15 May

#22 Trail Life: Ray Jardine’s Lightweight Backpacking. best overview yet of the state of lightweight backpacking. best advice & ethos
5 May

#21 A Year in the Merde, Paul West. account of year in Paris by a randy young Brit. entertaining, but a few too many easy stereotypes
3 May

#20 Hiking Through, Paul Stutzman. recent AT thru hike story; good detail of the challenges & also a fair amount of ‘walking w/God’
3 May

#19 A Dirty Job, Christopher Moore. goofy, twisted, Tom Robbins-ish fun. not great, but solid guilty pleasure. satisfying, like bear!
1 May

#18 Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Nancy Pearl. Reliable recommendations from a beloved Seattle librarian. Corfu!
21 Apr

#17 The Unnamed, Joshua Ferris. “biblical degree of suffering and sorrow”, but hard to empathize. even readers are exhausted by the end
16 Apr

#16 Driving Over Lemons, Chris Stewart. NOT another “we had just 2 mill to spend but a real story of pastoral life in a new land. great
12 Apr

#15 The Storyteller, Mario Vargas Llosa. literature as profound force in culture, particularly the telling of stories. strange & lovely
6 Apr

#14 In Praise of Shadows , Junichiro Tanizaki. lovely piece on Japanese aesthetics, esp shadow / subtlety & mindfulness in architecture
31 Mar

#13 Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe. best selling book, 19th c! Sentimental & uneven; powerful & timeless (see migrant labor)
30 Mar

#12 A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson. 2d (3d?) read, still hilarious & more detailed on some AT challenges than many ‘serious’ titles
12 Mar

#11 Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination, Hugh MacLeod. so many ‘business’ titles = awful; Evil is smart & refreshing
8 Mar

#10 My First Crush: Misadventures in Wine Country, Linda Kaplan. informs & engages, albeit the “we bought a great biz & then…” genre
6 Mar

#9 The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk masterful meditation on time, desire & possession; a Proust for our time:
4 Mar

#8 The Long Road Turns to Joy, Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Peace is Every Step’ is better, but Hahn is a prescient guide to the art of mindfulness
3 Mar

#7 Bring It! Tony Horton. it’s a book length Men’s Health article (2/3 pix), but it’s as good as these get. holistic in the best sense
2 Mar

#6 Gryphon: New & Selected Stories, Charles Baxter. amazing ability to observe, and no one does the midwest better. “Feast” still my #1
2 Mar

#5 Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Backpackin’ Book, Allen O’Bannon. entertaining stuff, and good sketches = surprisingly useful (+funny)
1 Mar

#4 Under the Poppy, Kathe Koja. read Poppy solely on Cory Doctorow’s recommend. Lush, original style; 1st half more compelling than 2nd
1 Mar

#3 Long-Distance Hiking

#2 Secrets of the Sommeliers, Rajat Parr interesting glimpse into the life of a sommelier, and their relationship to the wine business
28 Feb

#1 How to Hike the A.T., Michelle Ray some good research. first of many of these this; I have a lot to learn, and winter is the time.
28 Feb

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The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

I’ve seen the main theme of Innocence described as the building of “a mausoleum of love”, and it does have a certain slow, stultifying quality, but even more than – and mind you, not in spite of that – it powerfully describes the obsession of love and possession. Istanbul and Turkey of the late 20th century are also very much a part of this effort; hard to recall a novel that portrays a place and time with such extraordinary care.

“With the engine stalled, we would notice the deep silence reigning in the park around us, in the summer villa before us, in the world everywhere. We would listen enchanted to the whirring of an insect beginning vernal flight before the onset of spring, and we would know what a wondrous thing it was to be alive in a park on a spring day in Istanbul.”

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Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder

Kombucha brewing, espresso machine hacking, chicken ranching, beekeeping, cigar box ukes – the joy of making cool stuff yourself. The successes were the least interesting bits; his repeated failures are far more instructive and fun to read about. Best blurb:

“What Mark Frauenfelder knows is that making a ukulele out of a cigar box is not just fun (and finally a good use for your thousands of old cigar boxes), it’s a way of restringing and retuning your whole life. Buy this book, read it, and then maybe make it into a clarinet. I bet you can!”
– John Hodgman

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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman

Brilliant, sad story of clashing cultures in the venue of medical treatment. Arthur Kleinman’s “Eight Questions”, describing the explanatory model of illness is a concise guide to cultural perceptions:

“If you can’t see that your own culture has its own set of interests, emotions, and biases, how can you expect to deal successfully with someone else’s?”

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On Whitman by C.K. Williams

Terrific introduction to Whitman, and of course primarily, Leaves of Grass. A brief but rapturous overview and defense of his place among the great voices of poetry. A start (for me) to an understanding of the power of these words.

“All great poems . . . by the way they colonize and amplify and enhance the music of our own inner voices, of consciousness and conscience, ask us to be greater than we are, and if we read them well even show us how to begin.”

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Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser

There are comparisons to Twilight Zone episodes, but Calvino seems more accurate to me, specially his “Impossible Architecture” pieces (best of the collection). Martin Dressler is still the best of his work, but the familiar precision and style is evident throughout these stories.

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Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy

The Moviegoer was brilliant stuff, and Lost in the Cosmos was a strong favorite long ago, but rereading now, a slight disappointment. Some dated references, and a very technical middle section “Semiotic Primer of the Self” which even he recommends most readers will want to skip. This description is probably best “the flat-out weirdest nonfiction book by one of the great novelists of the last century.”

“Why is it no other species but man gets bored? Under the circumstances in which a man gets bored, a dog goes to sleep.”

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The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

Tarquin Winot is the most compelling sociopath you’re likely to come across in a foodie travelogue philosophical tract. Actually won a Julia Child Award for ‘literary food writing’, but I suspect the section on the proper selection of mushrooms was not a factor… An all time favorite.

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