WORDSTOCK'S THEMES for this year's festival are journalism, dystopia, and sex. If you're the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson, that probably sounds like a blast. But just in case you're not the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson, here are some recommendations for tantalizing readings, conversations, and workshops grouped by alternate themes:


Absolutely the Height of Writing

For those literature connoisseurs of exceedingly rare tastes, here is a list of festival titles containing puns, for better or for worse.

Necromancing the Stone, a young-adult novel by Lish McBride (TriMet YA Stage, Sat 4 pm)

Capitol Murder, a political thriller by Phillip Margolin (KinderCare Stage, Sat 3 pm; Comcast Stage, Sun 4 pm)

Thousands Flee California Wildflowers, poetry by Scot Siegel (Attic Institute Stage, Sat 5 pm)

Honorable mention goes to Doug Fine's nonfiction book Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution, because it's about "ganjaprenneurs," legal sellers of medical marijuana. (McMenamins Stage, Sun 3 pm)


Bettye LaVette

The apparently ubiquitous soul-shredding R&B singer can be seen discussing celebrity memoir with Diane Farr and Randy Fertel (Comcast Stage, Sat 3 pm), reading alongside Storm Large (Comcast Stage, Sat noon), and as a guest on the Wordstock Extravaganza edition of Live Wire! (Aladdin Theater, Sat 8 pm).


God Complexes

We can forgive a certain arrogance in writers. They often, after all, are creators of entire worlds and their inhabitants. Often, however, writers' interests in mythologies both contemporary and ancient are mixes of reverence and irreverence, belief and skepticism, old and new ways of seeing. For instance:

Putting Words in the Mouth of God (panel, Work for Art Stage, Sat 11 am)

Poetry from Bruce Beasley's Theophobia and Suzanne Paola's The Lives of Saints (author appearance, Attic Institute Stage, Sat 3 pm)

Poetry from Andrew Feld's Raptor (author appearance, Attic Institute Stage, Sat 4 pm)

Author Erin O'Connell and illustrator Diana Thewlis' Loowit's Legend: The Story of the Columbia River Gorge (author appearance, KinderCare Stage, Sun 11 am)

Nonfiction from Colin Dickey's Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith (author appearance, OCT Stage, Sun noon)