Cassie moved from Phoenix to Bend in 2011 with her husband and three children. They own and operate a solar company in Arizona and are working towards opening one in Bend. She founded Roundabout Books in 2016 simply because she loves books and bookstores, and wanted one in our community. Cassie travels every summer to the United States National Parks with her family. They have a goal to explore all 59 National Parks in the 13 Summers between Kindergarten and High School graduation. As of Spring 2018 they have 15 parks and 4 summers left to make their goal!
Cassie loves to read all manner of fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, and nonfiction. Some of her all-time favorite authors are Kazuo Ishiguro, Barbara Kingsolver, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Anthony Doerr, Donna Tartt, Victor Lodato, and and Margaret Atwood. Some of her current favorite books are listed below. Cassie is leading the Current Fiction, Classics, Out of This World, and the Not Your Average Book Clubs.
This is a really beautiful book to read during late summer. The story follows Kya, a young girl abandoned in the marshes of North Carolina at a very young age. She survives but draws the attention of townspeople who know her only as The Marsh Girl. I loved this beautiful book for it's deep immersion into the marsh setting, the intimate knowledge nature that envelopes you throughout the book, the lovely coming-of-age story for this young girl, and a deep look at lonliness, loss, and survival. Read this beautiful book, and end the summer on a really good note.
This incredibly well written book is one of the best novels I've read this year. In a truly transcendent piece of fiction, John Boyne tells us the story of Cyril Avery, born out of wedlock in a rural Irish-Catholic community in 1945, to a teenage girl who is cast out by her priest and her family. So begins Cyril's transformative journey of the next seventy years, as he learns to accept himself, find happiness, find love, and find peace with the past, while reconciling his differences with his family, the church, and his homeland of Ireland.
It's hard to describe all the emotions this book stirs up. I was laughing out loud throughout the story as Boyne's voice is full of humor and he writes with a sharp eye for the ironic and ridiculous. But other times I was deeply saddened by Cyril's circumstances and angry at all the injustices he was subjected too. I was engaged with every page though, every chapter of the book was captivating. I will recommend Invisible Furies for a long time to come.
I loved this beautiful memoir about a young couple who start their life together by spending four years immersed in the wilderness of Hells Canyon in eastern Oregon. Get to know the wilderness of the Wallowa and Eagle Cap Mountains, the Imnaha and Snake rivers, and everything you find in between. Experience the life of living off the land, packing and sheephearding, and creating a community out of a handful of people, mules, horses, and one incredible pup. You'll read this book and then plan your next family camping trip to the Wallowa's so you can get to another beautiful part of Oregon. Promise.
I'm (not so) secretly hoping that this is our bestselling book of the year. It is so incredibly well written, and tells such an inspiring, passionate, life-changing story. Educated is Tara Westover's account of her youth spent isolated in a survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho, and how it affected her reach for an education in adulthood. She was 17 when she first stepped foot in a classroom. With intelligent and engaging writing, Tara unfolds the stories of abuse, dangerous conditions, and complete isolation from the modern medical and educational world, followed by the monumental challenges she went through to overcome them as an adult as she attained an education, acclimated herself to another world, and overcame the self-loathing and shame so embeded in her psyche. This is not a story about homeschooling, because Tara was not schooled at home. This memoir demonstates what an education is, simply by displaying what you're missing without it. This story tells us how we are shaped by our experiences and our family and our environment, to infinite, unintelligible degrees, and how we find the strength to change ourselves if we can only see the way forward.
This timely and gripping book binds together the lives of two women whose stories intertwine through the love of one little boy. Soli, a young undocumented Mexican woman finds herself placed in immigrant detention and her son comes under the foster care of Kavya, an Indian-American wife overwhelmed by her own impossible desire to have a child. This story is about adoption, motherhood, and what it means to be an immigrant - legal or not. I found myself caught up in the desperation of both these women to just live their lives, contribute in a meaningful way, find some happiness, and be a family. Athough the focus of this story is not the politics behind both situations, the book can't help but spark compassion for what immigrants, and foster parents, are experiencing today.
Richard Powers's The Overstory is an enviornmental epic of new proportions. The 500 pages of this book takes some time, but whether you're a nature-lover or not, whether you're a tree-hugger or not, whether you've read a lot of biological nonfiction or not, this story will change how you see and feel the plants in your life. Consider this a 500 page meditation on current ecology. A philosophical and social exploration of what it means to do right. A question of human omniscience. "We need to stop being visitors here. We need to live where we live, to become indigenous again." Read it if you have the time, and maybe even if you don't.
Mike Muñoz is a broke, unemployed, sexually confused 22-year-old Chicano man living in Washington State, just trying to find the right path to his American dream. One setback after another is laid in front of him, and Mike wonders if he will ever make the leap from survival mode to working toward his goals. I loved this book for the sincere, engaging way the author addresses the issues of class distinction and cultural discrimination, and Mike is such a funny, tenacious, lovable human that you can’t help but ache for his disappointments and cheer for his victories. I hope everyone reads this lovely book.
Would you live your life differently if you knew the date you were going to die? Four siblings visit a fortune teller as children and the information they learn that day shadows them the rest of their lives. The story is told through the experiences of each sibling over the next five decades, and explores the themes of family relationships, religion, fate, destiny, magic, and ultimately the tragectory our lives take based on the decisions we make in our youth. This is the most unique and engaging family story I've read in a while and thourouly enjoyed it.
This highly engageing novels follows the stories of five women in a U.S. where abortion and invitro fertilization are illegal. I loved this smart and timely book whose characters are real, coarse, impolite, imperfect, lost, driven, and compassionate women. They all create their own paths instead of following the ones laid before them. ~Cassie
This book is so worth the hype. Drop what you're doing and read it right now. Jemisin has created a beautiful new world, full of complexitiy in ideas, characters, setting, and history. As the story opens you meet three female protaginsts with various orogenic skill levels, which is the power to move rock deep wihin the Earth's crust, and the world hovers on the brink of the next Fifth Season, an extended winter triggered by seismic activity or another natural disaster. As landscapes transform and secrets are revealed, you come to know characters who take your breath away as they discover new levels of love, humanity, and power. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy! ~Cassie
A masterpice! This book is an example of masterful storytelling, complex characters, and a plot that keeps you spellbound throughout. The story explores the aftermatth of great loss and intense grief, but ultimately I believe this story is about love. All the different kinds of love. The writing is outstanding, - succint and beautiful, and the story is so atmospheric that is feels like a modern gothic novel set in New Jersey. The story includes family secrets, haunting memories of the people in your past, wild and isolating woods, and characters that are cryptic, beguiling, complex. I hope you'll give it a try! ~Cassie
This beautiful books tells the story of the love affair of two young people admist the chaos and violence of their city as it is lost to war. They begin to hear whisperings about magical doors scattered around the city that whisk you further west into the world. A story of refugees, of love, of violence, of surivial, this books is both poetic and brutal, and a haunting look a the refugee experience.
This Pulitzer prize winner is a perfect read while you're traveling around the world yourself. Less is a failed novelist about to turn 50 when a wedding invitation for his ex-boyfriend arrives in the mail. He can't say yes because it would be too awkward, and he can't say no because it would look like defeat, so Less escapes on a a world adventure by answering a half-dozen invitations to B-list literary events around the world.
I loved this book for the swift yet sincere writing, the satire mixed with love story, the beautiful backdrops as Less travels from New York to Europe to India and beyond, and for Less's gentle and wise nature as he figures out what his next steps will be. You will too.
Out of all the contemporary literary fiction books to choose from, why is this little book a favorite? I think there is something very great about the hope of souls that know their time on this Earth is limited, that they are here only to serve a great sacrifice. If you take away the reward of a long life and long love and great achievements, what does it mean to be human? In some small way, this little book found an answer.~Cassie
I love books that teach me something in an enjoyable way, and this book is such a favorite to recommend for that reason. Lynch included so much detail and scientific information about the critters of the Puget Sound, carefully interlaced throughout this delightful, fast-paced, thoughtful, and hysterical coming-of-age story. I couldn't put it down. ~Cassie
On the surface this book seems to be about two young boys growing up somewhat abandoned and disillusioned. But really, I think it is about the inherent meaning and value of art. I have never before read a book that so perfectly captures what it is about art that inspires us, moves us, changes us, saves us. It doesn’t matter whether it is an art gallery painting, a dusty old piece of furniture, a hand-painted souvenir, or a simple poem we love, it represents something of the beauty and singularity that we all hold inside of us, and it deserves to be treasured.~Cassie
An elegant book about an elegant man written by an elegant writer. A richa nd wonderful novel set in Moscow during the Bolshevik revolution. Fall in love with the Coutn and the people that come in and out of his life while he lives under house arrest in the Metropol hotel. This book is perfect with a cup of tea or a glass of wine on a wintry day. ~Cassie
Yes, it's 800 pages and only part 1 of 2, but I'm STILL recommending it. It's so, so worth it and I promise that you will be so engaged by the story that the pages will fly by! If you loved Anna Karennina or Gone with the Wind, or Dr Zhivago, you will LOVE tthis book. A sweeping historiccal fiction set during the Russian Revolution and centering around a passionate young heroine as she comes of age during the turmoil that changed Russia's history. ~Cassie
WOW! Beatty wrote a laugh out loud racial-social-urban SATIRE that somehow manages to incorporate both shocking lagnuage and graceful, intelligentt prose. The story follow sthe activities of a forgotten town and speaks to what it means to be valued, wanted, appreciaetd. Read it if you're tired of the same old story and want something VERY different. Don't read it if you're easily offended. ~Cassie
A long wintry stotry of a fantastical medieval Russia. The novel features ancient pagan gods and magic, a historical setting, and the most beauitful storytelling. Escape into this fairy tale dream when you need a little time away from the real world. Loved it! ~Cassie
This book will change your perspective on poverty and how it effects our whole society. The brutal truth of what is happening in our inner cities across the country is devestating and infuriating, and we should be discussing how to fix this as a community. If you read any non-fiction this year, read this one. ~Cassie
In light of her new release (Manhattan Beach), I hope you'll revisit this masterpiece of a book. Goon Squad carries you across continents, time, and genre (everything from tragedy to satire to powerpoint) to uncover the secrets of several characters. An interplay of music and art and survival and transformation. Loved it! ~Cassie
It has been a very long time since I've finished a book and immediately wanted to turn it over and start again. I fell in love with these beautiful charactters, pondered and even dreamed of their stories. I hunted down pictures and maps of their cities and towns. An engrossing read. ~Cassie
A beautiful, elegant, and brilliant novel. This story expresses big ideas in a simple way through the beguiling 16 year old Japanese girl who is trying to find connections despite feeling isolated and alone. Spread over two stories that cross the pacific, the novel speaks of past and present, our connectedness, the Earth, and our need for home. A little sad, but incredibly beautiful portrait of the importannce of one human's story. ~Cassie