On-the-Water Book Reading with Brian K. Friesen

On July 29th, 2017, I will be reading various nautical stories (including excerpts from my recent novel At the Waterline) from the deck of a sailboat along the west and east waterfront docks near downtown Portland.  The reading event is sponsored by the Island Sailing Club. It was recently highlighted in the Sunday Oregonian along with this author interview.

The sailboat readings on 7/29 will start at 10:00 am in the small bay just downstream of the Hawthorne Bridge and just upstream of Riverplace Marina. The final reading location will be on the public transient dock (the Kevin J Duckworth Memorial Dock) at the north end of the East Bank Esplanade at 2:00 pm. Look for the sailing vessel labeled “Story Boat” on the west bank from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and on the east bank between noon and 2:00 pm.

List of locations and times for Saturday 7/29 sailboat readings on the Willamette River:

  1. River Place Marina Breakwater Dock – 10:00am
  2. OMSI submarine dock on the east bank – 11:00am
  3. Light Watercraft Dock – Just south of Hawthorne bridge on Eastbank Esplanade – 12:00am
  4. Madison Street Dock on Eastbank Esplanade – 1:00pm
  5. Kevin J Duckworth Memorial Dock – 2:00pm

Many thanks to the Island Sailing Club for sponsoring this reading and providing a 22-ft Catalina for the event.

Island Sailing Club

Sign up for the “At the Waterline” Giveaway on Goodreads

Put your name in the hat to win a copy of my novel, At the Waterline. No cost to enter. No cost to win. No cost to receive a free novel in the mail.

I’ve entered these giveaways on Goodreads before. I got a free book once.

3, 2, 1, GO!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

At the Waterline by Brian K. Friesen

At the Waterline

by Brian K. Friesen

Giveaway ends July 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Brian Doyle Birthday and Remembrance Reading – Broadway Books – 5/31/2017

Here is the audio from the reading and discussion between Robin Cody, me, and all the kindred souls there at Broadway Books earlier this week. Brian Doyle may have passed away, but he did leave word. Many words. He told Robin, before passing away: “I promise to hear your laughter.”

Support the Family of Writer, Brian Doyle, at Broadway Books – 5/31/2017

University of Portland - new faculty & staff photos

This last weekend, Oregon lost one of its most generous and active literary acrobats: Brian Doyle.  Please consider helping out his family in this difficult time by going to Broadway Books this Wednesday, May 31st, and purchasing as many books as you can afford to carry. A percentage of the proceeds from book sales this Wednesday will be given to his family to help offset medical and mortgage bills.

This Wednesday evening (May 31st), Robin Cody and I will be reading from Brian Doyle’s work, and from our own as a way to remember and honor Brian’s life and influence on so many writers and readers in the Pacific Northwest. Robin and I are donating sales of our books this Wednesday to Brian’s family, who could use the support and encouragement.  I hope you can help us pack the house with people who need literary comfort and joy during this difficult time.

Remembrance in the Oregonian


Brian Doyle Day, Wednesday, May 31st

Brian Doyle has read at Broadway Books dozens of times, has given the universe hundreds of thoughtful and gorgeously written essays and almost as many books, and wrote a beautiful piece for the store on our 20th anniversary. This fall he was diagnosed with brain cancer and is now in hospice. A GoFundMe site has been created by some of his friends to help retire the mortgage on his house.

On Wednesday, May 31st, Brian’s good friend Robin Cody will be reading at the bookstore, along with another Ooligan author, Brian Friesen. We are declaring the whole day Brian Doyle Day and will donate 20% of our sales the entire day (not just during the reading) to the campaign to retire his mortgage.

Many of our customers have asked what they can do to help Brian. Whenever you buy one of Brian’s books, you are contributing to royalty checks that will go to Brian and his family. On May 31st, however, ANY book you buy will help Brian’s family. In addition, Robin Cody is donating the profits from the sales of his books to the fund. Also, an anonymous (and very kind) donor has offered to match the Broadway Books donation to Brian’s fund!

Please join us for the reading that night at 7 pm – or at any time during the day — to lend support to the Doyle family.

Sally McPherson and Kim Bissell
Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

Praise for At the Waterline



“Brian is a talent, all right. Here’s a marvelous floating tribe of drifters and soul catchers, written with zest and grace at the waterline. While on board, wear a life jacket.”

Robin Cody, author of Ricochet River and Voyage of a Summer Sun

“At the Waterline is one of those books that hooks you on the first page but then slows down to reel you in. As the seemingly mundane events unfurl in the lives of an eccentric collection of river dwellers, Friesen’s novel gradually reveals a great truth: that every life—every life—hides remarkable drama and overpowering tragedy.”

Molly Gloss, author of The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses

“Reading Brian K. Friesen’s At the Waterline is like witnessing a musical story performed at the piano for two hands—the baseline rhythm of river, current, wind, season, island, and boat all playing against the melodic shenanigans of the human: love, tragedy, secrets, the slow repair of a life, gruff age against brash youth, and the mysterious search for some hints of harmony through it all. Before reading the book I’d always wanted to live “on the water.” Now I have.”

Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared

“A quick and enjoyable read, especially for someone like myself who lived aboard for close to four decades. Friesen understands the dynamics of living on land and living afloat, and the commitment that’s required when a home is not a house. “You can’t stand with one foot on a dock and another on a boat for long,” he writes early in the story. While his characters lead dramatic lives, it’s the sensations of ordinary living aboard that captured me most: how it feels and sounds inside a boat, the way a passing outboard engine “filled the small room with its soft hum and then faded downstream,” how a passing wake takes time to reach you from across the water. The scenes of marina life ring true, from the helter-skelter arrangement of yachts, cabin cruisers, converted barges, and derelict boats, to the way people from every social and economic background—underclass to high privilege—find a balance that doesn’t exist in most land-bound neighborhoods. “It doesn’t matter how big or fancy your boat is,” says Jack, the crusty self-appointed harbormaster. “Life on the water just isn’t possible unless you’re hanging on to something else”—a statement that applies as much to the people on the dock as it does to lines and cleats.”

Migael Scherer, author of A Cruising Guide to Puget Sound and Sailing to Simplicity: Life Lessons Learned at Sea

At the Waterline Scavenger Hunt – This Saturday: 5/13/2017


As more teams are signing up, I’d just like to remind people that a few of Saturday’s challenges will be based on events that take place in the book. To get ahead of the competition, you might consider picking up a copy of #AttheWaterline at Powell’s Books, Inc. – http://www.powells.com/book/at-the-waterline-9781932010923/62-0

List of Businesses sponsoring the At the Waterline Scavenger Hunt and Book Launch Party.



Since 1966, the PSU Outdoor Program has been helping PSU students and community members access and enjoy the outdoors. #AttheWaterline is focused around the natural spaces that connect us to this beautiful place we call the Pacific Northwest, and the Outdoor Program does much to provide people with the opportunity to explore nature and make connections with other outdoor lovers. The PSU Outdoor Program is awarding a $25 gift certificate to a winning team for equipment rental. If you’ve been looking to rent a kayak or raft, this might be your chance!


Willamette Sailing Club is located on the banks of the Willamette River, and is the only small boat sailing club in Portland. Dedicated to dinghy, sailing, and racing, the club hosts numerous activities throughout the year, and serves as a community for the water loving members of Portland. The Willamette Sailing Club’s tight-knit community reminds us a bit of the Rock Creek marina where the quirky characters of #AttheWaterline live. Willamette Sailing Club has generously donated quite a bit of swag: from pint glasses to hats!



#AttheWaterline character Emma takes in the beauty of the nature around her by kayaking down the Columbia River. An engaging, relaxing sport, kayaking lets you explore your surroundings from the perspective of the water. No one knows this better than the Portland Kayak Company, located just steps from the Willamette River. Offering kayak rentals, demos, guided kayak tours, classes, and a wide range of boats for sale, they make it easy to explore the river in a peaceful, unobtrusive way. Portland Kayak Company has generously donated a 2 hour kayak rental, so winners of our scavenger hunt could channel their inner Emma and explore the beautiful Portland waterline by kayak!



In #AttheWaterline, coffee is one of those magical things that brings people from all different backgrounds and walks of life together. This is a philosophy that Nossa Familia Coffee understands as well. A Portland, OR based roaster, Nossa Familia’s passion is for roasting outstanding coffee sourced through deeply-rooted relationships. Nossa Familia Coffee has donated not one, not two, but six bags of their famous Full Cycle coffee to our final prizes!



A handcrafted, small-batch artisan popcorn stop owned and operated by local Portlanders, you won’t find a more unique gift than the fresh popped popcorn at Poplandia Popcorn. Using only fresh, premium, locally sourced ingredients, Poplandia creates popcorn that not only tastes, great, but that you can feel good about too. Poplandia offers a variety of sizes of cafe bags, tins, and party bowls so you can share this unique Portland treat with your friends and family, much like Marge from #AttheWaterline shares her Loaves of Abundance. Poplandia has generously donated a gallon bucket of their scrumptious popcorn to the event!


Oregon’s original craft brewery, BridgePort Brewing Company is a destination for classic English Ales and cutting edge hand-crafted microbrews, paired with elevated pub food. Visit the source brews, grub and brewery tours in a historical industrial setting. They’ve donated one of their beautiful glass growlers, along with a gift certificate to get it filled with your favorite BridgePort brew!



Bull Run Distillery produces some of the best single malt whiskey in Oregon. Distilled right here in NW Portland, their craft whiskeys, rums, and vodkas can be sampled right in their tasting room, which serves as the perfect place for friends and community members to meet and catch up, much like the characters in #AttheWaterline do at the end of a long day. Bull Run has donated not only two of their branded shot glasses, but also a full bottle of their finest straight bourbon whiskey, to be awarded to winning team members of age!


The Daily In the Pearl is a bustling breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot in downtown Portland, serving up comfortable, unpretentious, but undeniably delicious dishes. Many of their ingredients are locally sourced, and the cafe itself is a meeting spot where locals can sit and chat over a steaming cup of Stumptown coffee, much like the residents of the Rock Creek Marina. The Daily Cafe has generously donated a brunch for two!



Pacific Pie Company specializes in handmade sweet and savory pies. They make everything from scratch, using only the finest ingredients. Like Marge’s Loaves of Abundance, the pies of the Pacific Pie Company bring downtown residents together to break bread and enjoy each others’ company. They’ve generously donated a gift certificate to be spent on one of their scrumptious pies or sweets!


The Meadow is a beautiful Portland shop for craft made salts, gourmet chocolates, and handmade cocktail bitters, but it’s also a full service florist offering fresh cut flowers and bouquets daily. A uniquely Portland stop, the The Meadow offers the finest quality goods from all over the world. Their focus on and love for food, culture, and travel reminds us of adventurous Marge, whose Loaves of Abundance starter comes directly from Venice, Italy. The Meadow has donated a very nice starter set of their signature finishing salts from around the world!


Crafty Wonderland is a local retail store that features handmade goods and art from over 200 Portland area artists. Their dedication to local art also extends to the two large craft markets they organize each year, the next of which is happening May 20th at the Oregon Convention Center. Crafty Wonderland’s dedication to local artists reminds us of whimsical Marge, who moves from one art medium to the next, searching for her passion. They’ve generously donated a set of their uniquely Portland, handcrafted enamel pins!


Set in a quaint Victorian house on vibrant 23rd Ave, Lela’s Bistro offers authentic Vietnamese comfort food in a familiar, homelike setting. Lela’s is truly a local’s favorite. It’s a place to go where you know you’ll be treated like family, which is why they’re such a great sponsor for #AttheWaterline, where the Rock Creek marina welcomes any and all residents home. Lela’s has also donated a gift certificate, as well as a limited edition t-shirt designed by their current artist in residence.



Ancestry Brewing is dedicated to building a lineage of family crafted ales, one brew at at time. Family owned and operated, this brewery in Tualatin is an integral part of the community. It’s a place where families and friends can meet for some good food, and even better brews. Their community feel reminds us of the brews and chatter that bring even the most different characters, like Chad and Dory, together. Ancestry Brewing has generously donated a branded hat, a full-size growler, and a gift certificate to get that growler filled with your favorite Ancestry brew.