For both Manuel and Nevenka Gigena, childhood Christmases meant church, parties, dancing and special foods such as roast lamb or pig. Nevenka celebrated in chilly Cleveland, Ohio, where her Croatian parents ...

 

 

Reviews (More)

 
Book: The Last Thing She Ever Did

I must admit that the Oregon setting, not the synopsis, convinced me to check out “The Last Thing She Ever Did” by Gregg Olsen. The cover proclaims “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author” ...

 
Book: The Big Chili

In the first installment of the “Undercover Dish Mystery” series, Julie Buckley introduces us to Lilah Drake, who works part time in her parents’ real estate office during the day and ...

 
Book: My Ex-Life

In his novel “My Ex-Life,” Stephen McCauley ticks all the boxes covering present-day hot topics: renting rooms in your home, hiring a consultant to help your child get into a good college, ...

 
Tomb of the Unknown Racist

Ellen and her brother, Royce, grew up together in an old plantation house in South Carolina. Royce loved to catch snakes, and he idolized the African-American couple who were caretakers on the property; ...

 
Book: Devil May Care

Elizabeth Peters gives us a funny, suspenseful thriller in “Devil May Care,” a story set in a sprawling mansion whose eccentric owner, Kate, would like nothing more than to have some ghosts ...

 
Book: Pierced by the Sun

Lupita, the protagonist of Laura Esquivel’s wonderful novel “Pierced by the Sun,” is a survivor.  She has been through all sorts of trouble and heartache: Her stepfather raped her, ...

 
The German Girl

Blonde, blue-eyed Hannah is photographed on the street in Berlin in early 1939. The precocious 11-year-old thinks the photographer is spying for the Nazis; he’s actually taking pictures for Das Deutsche ...

 
Book: The Last Ballad

Wiley Cash’s highly readable novel about an impoverished cotton mill worker who becomes a labor organizer is based on the life of a real woman with the same name as the character, Ella May Wiggins. The ...

 
Book: At the Edge of the Orchard

The family at the center of “At the Edge of the Orchard” is named Goodenough. But their life in 1830s Ohio isn’t very good at all. The parents, James and Sadie, moved from well-established ...

 
Book: My Beloved World

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor offers an interesting and powerful story in “My Beloved World,” her 2013 memoir. Her book starts with her childhood in an economically poor but culturally ...

Features

 
Holiday Traditions: A marrying of cultures

For both Manuel and Nevenka Gigena, childhood Christmases meant church, parties, dancing and special foods such as roast lamb or pig. Nevenka celebrated in chilly Cleveland, Ohio, where her Croatian parents ...

Rohse: Is a psychic power too much to ask?

On this year’s Christmas wish list, I have a request that I doubt that Santa can fill. It’s a gift I didn’t even know existed until I recently read about it. Rohse Colored Glasses McMinnville's ...

Savvy Senior: Social Security statements may contain errors

DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: I’ve heard that Social Security sometimes makes mistakes on our earnings record, which can reduce our monthly retirement benefits. How can I make sure this doesn’t happen ...

 
A love set in stone

Something about rocks appealed to Hollee McGrew as a young girl growing up in Dayton. “I guess I was just always fascinated by them,” she said. Her interest began on the playground. “I ...

 
Offbeat Oregon: Sting on secret saloon didn’t go well

In 1899, the spiritual leaders of Forest Grove had a problem: There was a serpent in their Garden of Eden. Forest Grove was founded by members of the Congregational Church — a denomination directly ...

 
Stopping By: Loving the food of Christmas all year

When Dario Pisoni was growing up in northern Italy, Christmas celebrations — all celebrations, really — meant a trip to his paternal grandmother’s house. He helped his nonna cook the ...

 
Carlson: The science of affection between pet, owner

During heroic rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina, many people, knowing their own lives were in danger, refused to leave their homes because FEMA did not evacuate pets along with their people. My ...

Rohse: Birth of bloomers helped bury the odious hoopskirt

Amelia not only won the battle, she won the war. In doing so, she gave women of all ages a gift for which they can forever be grateful. Amelia Jenks Bloomer helped put women in pants. Rohse Colored Glasses McMinnville's ...

 
Offbeat Oregon: Sordid love triangle gone bad ended in deadly car explosion

Late on the evening of April 21, 1955, 35-year-old Portland attorney Oliver Kermit Smith left the Columbia Edgewater Country Club and walked to his car. He was probably a little tipsy; there had been a ...

 
Being George Bailey

Grant Stephens wanted to be George Bailey as soon as he saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” listed on Gallery Theater’s 2018 schedule. Caden Stephens wanted to be George Bailey, ...

 
Holiday traditions: Keeping the faith

Christmas ended in Cuba two years before Angel Aguiar was born. Officially, at least. But Christians quietly kept celebrating. Their belief in God led them to ignore the dictates of Fidel Castro, ...

 
Home tour: A very vintage Christmas

It could be Christmas in the mid-1960s, or even earlier, in the home of Melinda Mathiesen and Dave Anderson. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, from the 1964 cartoon narrated by Burl Ives, illuminates the ...

Home tour: Five decorated homes, party featured

Melinda Mathiesen and Dave Anderson are among homeowners who’ve decorated for the 2018 Wine Country Holiday Tour of Homes. This is the 30th annual Christmas tour sponsored by Soroptimist International ...

Rohse: A tree tale

Perhaps it is time to put Arbor Day on our calendars in bigger type so we’ll take greater notice of it. Arbor Day is “Celebration of Trees Day,” and our trees need all the help they can ...

 
Pick of the literate

Librarians and booksellers offer their choices for gifts for bookish children

Carlson: Can your dog sense ghosts? Do you care?

I don’t know if I should be proud or worried that I’m starting to recognize an article by Dr. Stanley Coren as soon as I read the title. Granted, he is prolific. And his submissions to Modern ...

 
Stopping By: Leading with confidence

Marti Crook had always considered herself pretty quiet and not very outgoing. Yet there she was, standing in front of a room full of her peers at a Venture Club convention — an organization for ...

 
Writing on the border: Award-winning playwright brings his voice to McMinnville

No one remembers the moment of birth — except, that is, award-winning playwright Octavio Solis. He was born at Riverside High School in El Paso, Texas, in 1972, during a read-through with fellow ...

 
Christmas Cantata sets its 2018 schedule

Members of the 2018 Community Christmas Contata will present “Born is the King: It’s Christmas” during nine performances in December. The choral contata, now in its 32nd year, ...

 
Offbeat Oregon: Pioneering aviators were undeterred by danger

Part of the problem with owning and operating the only flight school in town in the 1920s and 1930s was, every time one of your students slapped together some home-built piece of kit, you’d ...


News-Register Columnists

Jeb Bladine -- Starla Pointer
Nathalie Hardy -- Nicole Montesano
Worth Mathewson -- Elaine Rohse
David Bates -- Finn J.D. John
Nancy Carlson -- Jim Miller

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