Notes from The Oregonian/OregonLive's books desk.
Thomas Dolby: Yes, that Thomas Dolby, the one who sang "She Blinded Me With Science." The reference to science was no throwaway line; the reason you haven't seen Dolby on the Billboard charts in years is that he left music for Silicon Valley, where he embarked on a second career in MP3 files for cell phones. Now he's written a memoir, "The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology" (Flatiron Books, 288 pages, $27.99). He'll sign copies at noon Monday, March 6, at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St.
Devoted dogs: A Klamath Falls dog is among 38 dogs from throughout the U.S. given the spotlight in the new book "Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism, and Devotion of Dogs" (National Geographic Books, 160 pages, $14.95). Xander, a pug, is a therapy dog that interacts with children as an ambassador for the organization Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting. The book - heavy on heartstring-tugging photos - publishes Tuesday, March 7.
Design solutions: Nike, Intel and Portland's Grant High School all get mentions in the new book "Defined By Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places" (Prometheus Books, 320 pages, $18). Author Kathryn H. Anthony, a prominent architect and designer, cites Intel when discussing workplace treadmills and Nike when talking about designing products for women. She also cites Grant's renovation of its bathrooms to be fully gender-inclusive. Then there's the Eugene middle school that reduced misbehavior with a simple design tactic. The book publishes Tuesday, March 14.
The Moth book: If you're a fan of real-life storytelling, you've no doubt come across The Moth's podcast, radio show or live stage events. Now some of the best Moth stories have been collected in a book, "All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown" (Crown Archetype, 352 pages, $25). The 45 contributors include not only celebrities such as Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro and Jessi Klein but also Portland writer Arthur Bradford and longtime Ashland resident Cybele Abbett. The book publishes Tuesday, March 21. Meanwhile, The Moth has a series of Portland events from March through June, including a GrandSlam Championship on Thursday, March 30, at the Aladdin Theater.
Selling a life: Oregon is approaching the 20th anniversary of its Death with Dignity Act, which legalized physician-assisted suicide. That law is a key plot point in the new young adult novel "Life in a Fishbowl" (Bloomsbury, 336 pages, $17/99), which revolves around a Portland state lawmaker who's just received a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer and realizes that his death could leave his wife and two teenage daughters penniless. His solution: He'll sell his life - and death. The plot moves quickly from there into a sardonic yet ultimately optimistic dissection of love, family and relationships. Fun fact: Author Len Vlahos is a co-owner of the Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver's answer to Powell's Books.
That was fast: Portland author Fonda Lee's young adult novel "Exo" (Scholastic, 384 pages, $17.99) has been on bookstore shelves for less than a month and she's announced a sequel. "Exo" is a highly engaging science fiction tale, thanks to Lee's adeptness at world-building, intense action and character development. The story in a nutshell: Earth has become a remote colony of an alien empire; most humans have accepted this way of life, but a small network of rebels continues to resist the mushroom-shaped overlords. Donovan Reyes, an elite teenage soldier with bio-armor borrowed from the aliens, finds himself caught in the middle when a mission goes awry. Look for what Lee's calling "Exo 2" in summer 2018.
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