We are tired of our dwellings. The COVID-19 quarantine has given us house fatigue and has made our precious casas mundane. But what if I told you there was a new way to look at your house? A path—no, a tour—that would help you see your humble abode with fresh eyes?
After minutes of research into our Ooligan titles, I’ve paired each book with a topographical feature of the modern American home. We’ve already endured many weeks of social distancing—during which we’ve learned new recipes or drunk our entire wine cellar—and this tour will provide you with the entertainment and intellectual stimulation you’ll need to get you through the rest of your time at home.
Kitchen: The Widmer Way by Jeff Alworth
According to George Costanza, the kitchen is the most sociable room in the house. But why not learn a little bit about the history of the beer industry with Jeff Alworth’s The Widmer Way: How Two Brothers Led Portland’s Craft Beer Revolution? It’ll catch you up on Portland’s craft beer scene and how Widmer’s Hefeweizen became Portland’s unofficial beer. So stay inside and “sociable” with a few pints and this read.
Living Room: Odsburg by Matt Tompkins
In what might be the quirkiest book on our frontlist, Tompkins takes us to the fictional Pacific Northwest town of Odsburg to experience strange tales and eccentric characters. While you won’t find Odsburg on a map, Tompkins fills the book with entertaining short tales and pokes fun at PNW tropes. “The entire book,” according to Locus Magazine, “is full of strange and inventive ideas.” So strange and original you’ll read long into the night.
Bathtub: The Names We Take by Trace Kerr
Coming in May 2020: you in your bathtub with a bunch of bubbles, reading this book by candlelight. In the wake of a devastating plague (stay with me), our characters must fend for themselves and stick together. This book is a perfect match for our time in quarantine. This may take a few sessions, so settle into that bubble bath and soak up a speculative-fiction story with a premise that might not be too far off in the future.
Dining Room: The Portland Red Guide by Michael Munk
A great conversation piece, The Portland Red Guide plots Portland with walking tours and guides readers through the city’s rich history of radical social dissent. Break bread (with yourself) and celebrate a town of ideas and activism, but also plot your next city activity for when our COVID-19 quarantine finally lifts.
Porch/Backyard: 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests by the Sierra Club Oregon Chapter
Speaking of planning, pick a bright spring day and a refreshing drink to help you select your next trail. With a wide selection of day hikes between Portland and the coast that range in difficulty, this guide has something for everyone. Summer is right around the corner, so get planning.
Office/Study: Elephant Speak by Melissa Crandall
One of our more recent releases, Elephant Speak is a nonfiction book that dives into one man’s career caring for our favorite pachyderms. Rated 5/5 by the San Francisco Book Review for its clarity and “wealth of information,” this book is one to dwell on and ruminate over as we get a behind-the-scenes look at a zoo through Roger Henneous’s eyes.
Bedroom: Iditarod Nights by Cindy Hiday
In Ooligan’s first romance (brought to you in partnership with our friends at the Multnomah County Library Writers Project), Cindy Hiday takes us to Alaska, where two wandering souls enter the famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in pursuit of healing and redemption. In this adventure near the Arctic, the two must navigate the treacherous path as their own paths intertwine. This is no snoozefest, but rather a steamy journey for your nightstand.
(Bonus) A More Optimistic Post-Quarantine Future: Rethinking Paper & Ink by Jessie Carver and Natalie Guidry
When we emerge from quarantine into a bright future, Rethinking Paper & Ink will give us a look into sustainable publishing. Bright, informative, and perfect for reading outside, this book is an optimistic title and a step toward a healthier future for our planet.
The end (of quarantine) is nigh, but instead of completing Netflix or thinking you’re actually going to get to your Duolingo, break up your time inside with a few Ooligan titles of various genres. Happy reading and stay inside.