“I wanted to let you know a few books on my bedside table.  These include (but are not limited to):

“‘American Urbanist: How William H. Whyte’s Unconventional Wisdom Reshaped Public Life.’ William “Holly” Whyte’s work is incredibly important to those of us who work in urban place management (UPM). Having watched the documentary The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, first in graduate school and more recently at a showing this summer in Congress Square Park, his lessons continue to inform decades later. It re-inspired a group of us to host a Jane’s Walk this May here in Portland.

“I’d never read ‘Maus’ but was motivated to pick it up after reading about it being banned in Tennessee. I love comics and graphic novels and my general rule of thumb is to buy any book that’s banned. They’re always the best.

“I also just picked up ‘Bourdain’ by Laurie Woolever. I loved Anthony Bourdain. Travel, words, food, music — all the things he touted, plus his love of Portland and J’s Oyster. I went to J’s the night I heard the terrible news about Mr. Bourdain. He was doing a book signing here in Portland five-ish years ago. They reserved a table for him at J’s. We had guests in for our wedding and took them to J’s. They let us eat at that table so long as we promised to finish before he was expected. We did, of course. I wouldn’t

be the one who stands in front of Anthony Bourdain and a legendary J’s Lobster Roll. I’m having a hard time picking that one up as it’s just such a sad situation.

“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t encourage folks to pick up their books at your downtown independent bookstore — Longfellow, Sherman’s, Print and don’t forget Coast City Comics!” —  CARY TYSON, Executive Director, Portland Downtown

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. We want to hear what you are reading as, we all hope, the pandemic winds down? Send your selection to [email protected], and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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