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Books by Brian Doyle

DoyleAcclaimed author Brian Doyle, an Oregon Book Award winner and recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, died last week at his home in Lake Oswego, Oregon after a short battle with brain cancer. While his wit, unique voice, and storytelling gift lives on in his work, this is a huge loss to the literary community. Our hearts go out to his family and friends in this time of fresh grief. I think of Doyle’s plea when he announced his illness late last year: “Hear all laughter. Be tender to each other. Be more tender than you were yesterday, that’s what I would like. You want to help me? Be tender and laugh.” Be tender, laugh, and read. –Becky

 

Books by Brian Doyle

minkriverMINK RIVER
Brian Doyle
In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There’s a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime committed, and there is an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born. A car is cut in half with a saw. A river confesses what it’s thinking. Mink River is the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and readers will close the book more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.

 
adventuresofTHE ADVENTURES OF JOHN CARSON IN SEVERAL QUARTERS OF THE WORLD
Brian Doyle
This is the last novel Doyle published before his death. The young Robert Louis Stevenson, living in a boarding house in San Francisco while waiting for his beloved’s divorce from her feckless husband, dreamed of writing a soaring novel about his landlady’s adventurous and globe-trotting husband–but he never got around to it. And very soon thereafter he was married … and on his way to becoming the most famous novelist in the world … Now Brian Doyle brings Stevenson’s untold tale to life, braiding the adventures of seaman John Carson with those of a young Stevenson, wandering the streets of San Francisco, gathering material for his fiction, and yearning for his beloved across the bay.

 
chicagoCHICAGO
Brian Doyle
On the last day of summer, a young college grad moves to Chicago and rents a small apartment on the north side of the city, by the lake. This is the story of the five seasons he lives there, during which he meets gangsters, gamblers, policemen, a brave and garrulous bus driver, a cricket player, a librettist, his first girlfriend, a shy apartment manager, and many other riveting souls, not to mention a wise and personable dog of indeterminate breed. A love letter to Chicago, the Great American City, and a wry account of a young man’s coming-of-age during the one summer in White Sox history when they had the best outfield in baseball, Chicago is a novel that will plunge you into a city you will never forget and may well wish to visit for the rest of your days.

theploverTHE PLOVER
Brian Doyle
Declan O’Donnell has sailed deep into the vast, wild ocean, having had just finally enough of other people and their problems. He will go it alone, he will be his own country, he will be beholden to and beloved of no one. But the galaxy soon presents him with a string of odd, entertaining, and dangerous passengers, who become companions of every sort and stripe. This is the story of their adventures and misadventures in the immense blue country one of their company calls Pacifica. Hounded by a mysterious enemy, reluctantly acquiring one new resident after another, Declan O’Donnell’s lonely boat is eventually crammed with humor, argument, tension, and a resident herring gull. The Plover is a sea novel, a maritime adventure, the story of a cold man melting, a compendium of small miracles, an elegy to Edmund Burke, a watery quest, a battle at sea–and a rapturous, heartfelt celebration of life’s surprising paths, planned and unplanned.

 

martinmartenMARTIN MARTEN
Brian Doyle
Dave is fourteen years old, living with his family in a cabin on Oregon s Mount Hood (or as he prefers to call it, like the Multnomah tribal peoples once did, Wy east). Dave will soon enter high school, with adulthood and a future not far off a future away from his mother, father, his precocious younger sister, and the wilderness where he s lived all his life. And Dave is not the only one approaching adulthood and its freedoms on Wy east that summer. Martin, a pine marten (of the mustelid family) is leaving his own mother and siblings and setting off on his own as well. As Dave and Martin set off on their own adventures, their lives, paths, and trails will cross, weave, and blend. Why not come with them as they set forth into the forest and crags of Oregon s soaring mountain wilderness in search of life, family, friends, enemies, wonder, mystery, and good things to eat? Martin Marten is a braided coming-of-age tale like no other, told in Brian Doyle s joyous, rollicking style.

 
childrenandotheranimalsCHILDREN AND OTHER WILD ANIMALS
Brian Doyle
Novelist and essayist Brian Doyle describes encounters with astounding beings of every sort and shape in this collection of short vignettes. The book gathers previously unpublished work along with selections that have been published in Orion, The Sun, and The American Scholar, among others.

 
howthelightgetsinHOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
Brian Doyle
How the Light Gets In is comprised of sixty prose poems (“proems,” by the author’s reckoning) on matters theological, spiritual, and mystical. Doyle’s “proems” are lyrical creations resemble poetry, but devoid of any meter or typical poetic structure – and yet they are not strictly prose either. These sixty selections will focus on the mundane and the everyday, but with a theological and a spiritual focus/gloss. According to Annie Dillard, Brian Doyle, the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland in Oregon, head up the finest spiritual magazine in America.

 
childrenandotheranimalsA BOOK OF UNCOMMON PRAYER
Brian Doyle
Acclaimed, award-winning essayist and novelist Brian Doyle presents one hundred new prayers that evoke his deep Catholic belief in the mystery and miracle of the ordinary (and the whimsical) in human life. Readers will find a series of prayers unlike any of the beautiful, formal, orthodox prayers of the Catholic tradition or the warm, extemporized prayers heard from pulpits and dinner tables. Doyle’s often-dazzling, always-poignant prayers include eye-opening hymns to shoes and faith and family. In Doyle’s words, “the world is crammed with miracles, so crammed and tumultuous that if we stop, see, savor, we are agog,” and the pages of his newest book give voice and body to this credo. By focusing on experiences that may seem the most unprayerful (one prayer is titled “Prayer on Seeing Yet Another Egregious Parade of Muddy Paw Prints on the Floor”), he gives permission to discover the joys and treasures in what he often calls the muddle of everyday life.

 
GRACENOTESGRACE NOTES
Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle might just be the most passionate storyteller in America. In this eclectic and compelling collection of stories about discovering the incarnated Spirit of God every time he turns around, often in the most unlikely of people, places, and things. In 37 short snapshots, he captures the spiritual essence of everyday life from the perspective of a committed Catholic who loves his faith, his family, his community, and his church, even with all their warts and failings.

 
childrenandotheranimalsTHE THORNY GRACE OF IT
Brian Doyle
Doyle’s trademark candor, wit, and humor make this collection of more than 40 essays eminently enjoyable to read. From preparing for his First Confession by creating a fake laundry list of sins, to observing his mom’s reaction to John F. Kennedy’s assassination, to pondering his friend’s surprising success with Catholic Golf Digest, Doyle’s passionate writing is as likely to make us shed a tear as it is to make us laugh out loud. In the end, The Thorny Grace of It proves that, far from being extinguished, the Catholic faith—imperfect as it is—is wildly aflame in hearts and lives everywhere.

 
leapingLEAPING
Brian Doyle
In this spirited collection of essays, Brian Doyle employs his wit, wisdom, and gusto for life as he shares with readers his thoughts on Jesus, the Mass, birds, bees, and so much more. What would be a good alternative name for Jesus? What does a honeybee at Mass have to tell us about Christ? What is, after all, the real point of saying prayers when someone is suffering? Through the good and the bad, the serious and the hilarious, Doyle finds just the right story and just the right words to help us better understand life and love—and to help us see our faith in a whole new light.

All of these books are available for purchase in Bloomsbury Books