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Spring pickings: Powell's Books, Portland, Oregon

March 6, 2009 | 12:25 pm

AreliablewifeThe independent Powell's Books  in Portland, Ore. has a huge main store in downtown, several satellites and the well-known online outlet Powells.com. Dave Weich, who does marketing and development for Powells, was the first person who told me to look out for a book called "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski. I was skeptical about the merging of dogs and Hamlet ... and then Oprah announced it as her book pick. So when Dave Weich tells me a book is going to be big, I trust that it will be; here's his latest recommendation.

Come a day, you might get sick of hearing about "A Reliable Wife" -- so many people will have read it and raved to you about it. Here's some preventative medicine: read it first. Seduction, marriage, money, sex, drugs, murder... when Catherine Land arrives in Truitt, Wisconsin, on a snowy day in 1907, we know she's an imposter -- but does her husband-to-be? Robert Goolrick has written a novel that you'll want to devour in a single sitting. Simultaneously, you'll want to luxuriate in its drama as long as possible. Whatever you decide, there's too much pleasure in these pages to leave to your friends.

-- Carolyn Kellogg