Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In 1950, the very first National Book Award -- an award given to writers by writers -- was presented to Nelson Algren at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City for his novel The Man with the Golden Arm. Today the finalists for the 2009 awards in the now four categories were announced, and there's much to be excited about -- including an author (Laini Taylor) from Portland!
The judges for the fiction category this year are Alan Cheuse, Junot Diaz, Jennifer Egan, Charles Johnson, and Lydia Millet. Here are the five finalists for fiction, chosen from 236 nominees:
- Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
- Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
- Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
- Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
- Marcel Theroux, Far North.
- David M. Carroll, Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook
- Sean B. Carroll, Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species
- Greg Grandin, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City
- Adrienne Mayor, The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy
- T.J. Stiles, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
- Rae Armantrout, Versed
- Ann Lauterbach, Or to Begin Again
- Carl Phillips, Speak Low
- Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Open Interval
- Keith Waldrop, Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy
- Deborah Heiligman, Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith
- Phillip Hoose, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
- David Small, Stitches
- Laini Taylor, Lips Touch: Three Times
- Rita Williams-Garcia, Jumped
- Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country
- Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
- Mark Doty, Fire to Fire
- Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
We're so excited about tonight's reading at the store at 7: Emily Doskow, co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community. Sure hope you can join us! This morning we had a delightful breakfast at Bridges (we being me, Emily, and Emily's partner Luan). As we were walking home we stopped at another of my favorite neighborhood places, Foster & Dobb's, so I could introduce Luan to one of the owners, who is also named Luan (pronounced "Lou Ann"), because she meets so few Luans who spell their name the same way.
Anyhoots, Luan (Schooler, of Foster & Dobbs) told us that she and the owner of another cheese shop in town shared a cheese wheel, because a whole one was too big for either of them alone -- sharing in action! As a small bookstore, we sometimes would like to buy items for the store but the minimum purchase quantity is too large for us, so we could find another small store that might want to carry the same item, and we could buy the minimum together! These are just a couple of small examples of how sharing can work in the business environment. Emily has lots of ideas about other ways to share that can lead to a more sustainable and economically viable way of living in the world. And, if you really want to make Emily feel welcome, wear any clothing you might have from the San Francisco Giants. See you at 7!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Those are some eye-popping numbers! And I'm willing to bet they would be pretty similar in Portland. We greatly appreciate all of the loyal shoppers who have helped us to stay in business these past 17+ years; we wouldn't be here if not for you. And we do our best to do our own shopping at local businesses -- and even staying in the NE Portland neighborhood whenever possible; there are so many great local businesses within walking distance. That came in particularly handy last December when the snow storms kept us all pretty close to home.
There's another organization I've learned of recently: The 3/50 Project, founded by Cinda Baxter. The idea behind the 3/50 Project is to think about what three independent stores you would miss if one day you discovered they were gone. Then, "Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around."
The idea is to get as many people as possible to commit $50 each month to locally owned businesses, total. "Maybe that means rethinking where you currently invest your money, opting to pick up that birthday card or pair of jeans in a locally owned business instead of the big box you’ve been going to. Or maybe it means eating out once a month because you realize slamming the brakes on all spending stalls economic recovery. It’s just that simple."
"The 3/50 Project isn’t an 'all or nothing' campaign that insists consumers stop shopping in chains or franchises. Instead, our message is about balance—of the money you currently spend each month, we simply ask you to redirect an affordable $50 back to the locally owned independent businesses that may have been forgotten of late."
You'll notice the 3/50 Project badge on the home page of our website, because we think it's a terrific idea. Keeping diverse local independent businesses alive and healthy contributes to a vibrant and healthy community, and gives neighborhoods and cities their own personalities, which we think is important. How do you feel?
Spokane-based author Jess Walter has just produced a corker of a book, The Financial Lives of the Poets. In his funniest novel yet, Walter tells the story of small-time finance journalist Matthew Prior, who quits his day job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse. One day Matt wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, and on the verge of losing both his wife and his home. Is this really how things were supposed to end up for me, he wonders. The book follows Matt on his week-long quest to save his marriage, his sanity, and his dreams, starting the night he hits the 7-Eleven in the middle of the night to get milk for his boys and ends up falling in with two pot-smoking low-lives.
Writers as diverse as Richard Russo and Sarah Vowell have both raved about this new book, and the New York Times calls Walter "a ridiculously talented writer." The "Brief Political Manifesto" about mom's underwear presented in Chapter 4 (in fact, it is Chapter 4) will leave you wiping tears of laughter from your eyes. Reviewers have called it "cringe-inducing hilarity," "whip-smart satire with heart," and a "snarky sendup of modern life...[that] provides a surprisingly heartwarming portrait of a good man trying to find his way back home." Walter's book The Zero was a finalist for the National Book Award, and his novel Citizen Vince won the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Check out the trailer, then check out the book!