Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies on the Way!

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at Broadway Books in approximately 20 minutes -- come and get 'em while they're hot!

David Remnick on Book TV this weekend

NPR's Michele Norris will interview New Yorker editor David Remnick on C-SPAN2's Book TV this weekend about his new book The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama (Knopf). The 600+ page biography thoroughly examines every detail of Obama's life before his election as president, based on extensive research and interviews with scores of people who knew Obama during his formative years. The book only briefly touches on his time as president.

Remnick gives particular emphasis to his involvement in community organizing and the role it played in developing his approach to politics: listening to people from all sides of an issue and attempting to engage them in the solution. He presents Obama as a perpetual outsider who wins acceptance in whatever company he joins. "He changes styles without relinquishing his genuineness."

Researching and writing this exhaustive book while serving as editor of The New Yorker meant no weekends off and no vacations for more than a year for Remnick, but he's certainly not unfamiliar with hard work. He grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey, and, after college, went to work for The Washington Post for ten years, the last four as its Moscow correspondent. He joined The New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has been the magazine's editor since 1998. His last book was King of the World, a biography of Muhammad Ali. His book Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

Check Book TV's website to confirm the time of the airing of this interview, which is scheduled for this coming Sunday (May 2). I've got this book sitting on my to-be-read stack, as I am a big fan of David Remnick's writing and a huge fan of President Obama and am eager to learn more about him.

Decemberists Frontman to Pen Kids Series

Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for the Portland-based indie rock band The Decemberists, has just signed a contract with Harper Collins for a three-book illustrated adventure series for kids, illustrated by his wife, the acclaimed illustrator Carson Ellis. The first book in the series is scheduled to be published in Fall 2011.

The series, Wildwood, will be a "classic tale of adventure, magic and danger set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland." Meloy says, "I grew up on a steady diet of Lloyd Alexander, Roald Dahl, and Tolkein; this is our humble paean to that grand tradition of epic adventure stories." Ellis adds that this collaboration is something she and Meloy "have been dreaming about for years." In signing the book, Donna Bray, co-publisher of Harper imprint Balzer & Bray said, "Storytelling and rich imagry are hallmarks of Colin's songs, so writing a novel seems like a perfect next step for him."

Meloy was born in Helena, Montana, and attended the University of Oregon before switching to the University of Montana in Missoula to major in creative writing. His sister, Maile Meloy, has published several books including her most recent, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, a collection of short stories named one of the top ten books of 2009 by the New York Times Book Review. Meloy formed the band The Decemberists in 2000. The band's most recent album is 'The Hazards of Love."

Carson Ellis was born in Vancouver, Canada, was raised in suburban New York, and earned a BFA in painting at the University of Montana. According to her website, she has been a nanny, a hot dog vendor, a chairlift operator, an artist's model, and a cocktail waitress, among other occupations. She is the illustrator-in-residence for The Decemberists, creating album covers, posters, websites, t-shirts, and stage sets. She illustrated the bestselling children's book The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart -- one of the most popular kid's series at Broadway Books -- as well as The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths, Retold, by local author Cynthia Rylant, along with other books.

The Decemberists are playing a benefit tonight with Michael Hurley at the Liberty Theater in Astoria (8 pm) to help offset the medical debt for local artist Jessica Shleif. As Ellis says on her website: "One day we'll look back and laugh at a health care system so dysfunctional that we had to organize benefits to help our friends pay their emergency hospital bills. ha ha." Ha ha is right! That is such a ridiculous concept, and I hope this country is on its way to correcting that. But I digress....

I don't typically have high hopes for books written by "celebrities," but I have a good feeling about this series. And in fact there is a good parallel precedent in the books by local (ok, Scappoose) writer -- and singer/songwriter -- Willy Vlautin. Vlautin, frontman for the alt-country band Richmond Fontaine, has written three terrific novels: The Motel Life, Northline, and his newest, Lean on Pete. [One of my favorite quotes about Vlautin is another author saying that he "writes like the secret love child of Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor." What a great recommendation! But again, I digress....] So good songwriting and good fiction writing can go hand in hand.

Suffice it to say that I'm excited about Wildwood, and I look forward to a great series from Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis. I hope they raise tons of money in the benefit tonight, even though it sucks that that's what we have to do to pay medical bills these days.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

David Oates to Read at Broadway Books

In his newest book What We Love Will Save Us, David Oates finds wildness and grace breaking out in unexpected places – from city streets to mountain peaks – offering a crucial balance to his dramatically personal account of what it has been like to be a “citizen of the regime” during eight years of unprecedented propaganda, torture, waste, and war. What is the right response, when the government that belongs to us goes seriously off course? How does a person’s private and creative life relate to the life we share in common?

What We Love Will Save Us offers moments of transcendence and hope, told in personal essays that are tender and funny, searching and human. This book is about keeping faith and experiencing darkness. The brief and beautifully intense lyrical essays explore hope, pleasure, and creativity (and the outrage that must never be allowed to eclipse them). Readable, memorable, smart but straight from the heart – these essays give voice to our shared experience of a dark and frustrating time in the nation’s life.

After graduating from Westmont College, David earned a PhD in literature in 1978 from Emory University in Atlanta, on a Danforth doctoral fellowship. He has been living in Portland since 1992. For most of his adult life he has made his living as a college teacher of literature and writing. Once or twice a year David offers a private workshop in writing from nature called “Wild Writers Seminar," for experienced or aspriring writers. The next Wild Writers Seminar will be offered in Fall 2010.

David's previous books include City Limits: Walking Portland's Boundary (Oregon State University Press) and Paradise Wild: Reimagining American Nature (OSU Press). In 1989 he published what Daniel Philippon has called one of the first books of ecocriticism, Earth Rising: Ecological Belief in an Age of Science.

His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Yellow Silk and Poetry LA. A book of poetry, Peace in Exile, was brought out by Oyster River Press in 1992, and his long poem "The Heron Place" was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in 1998.

David's essays have appeared in many periodicals, including Orion, Earth Island Journal, Creative Nonfiction, Northern Lights, and High Country News. Occasionally his perspectives appear on the Oregonian op/ed pages.

Currently David is at work on a wildly genre-bending story of race-mixing and scientific genocide on the Columbia River that he labels "a Chinook-kabuki nonfiction prose opera."

"My work as a writer and teacher explores how our human world connects with the larger world of natural wildness." In an interview in Creative Nonfiction magazine, David passes along this advice to aspiring writers: "Read everything. Write the sort of thing you wish you could find to read. Write a lot and don't stop writing."

David will be reading from What We Love Will Save Us at Broadway Books on Tuesday, May 4, at 7 pm. Please join us!

Like Sands Through the Hourglass

Saturday is May 1, which, besides being the day before my mother's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!), is also the first day of May. You might be thinking, so what? It is significant because it means today and tomorrow are the last two days of April, and thus the last two days for you to partake of our delicious annual poetry sale. During this annual feast of delights, when you buy one book of poetry at  full price you can buy a second book of poetry for half price -- what a deal! And you can do this repeatedly. But only through Friday night at 7 pm when we close. This deal won't come around again for another year, so don't let it slip away.

Don't Forget About Mom!

Mother's Day is just around the corner -- in fact, it's May 9th, a week from this Sunday. Yikes! Fret not, sons and daughters, because we've got a table full of great gift ideas for Mom. And if you don't think anything on the table will do the trick for your particular Mom, we've got lots more ideas for you. And there's always the tried and true Broadway Books Gift Certificate.

Did you know that we also are selling the Irvington Home Tour tickets? The 28th annual tour is Sunday, May 16th, the week after Mother's Day. Tickets are $20 each (cash or check only). How about this for a plan: Take Mom to brunch on May 9th, at which you give her a book or BB gift certificate, into which you have tucked Home Tour tickets. That turns Mother's Day into two Sundays of treats! We look forward to helping you shop for Mom.

We've got lots of great Mother's Day cards from you to choose from as well, so stop in soon!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Harper Lee!

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was born on April 28th, 1926, making today her birthday! [For those of you who are interested in such things, today is also the birthday of our fifth president, James Monroe (1758), the American actor Lionel Barrymore (1878), the Swedish-born actress Ann-Margret (1941), comedian and talk-show host Jay Leno (1950), and bad-boy golfer John Daly (1966).]

She was born Nelle Harper Lee in Monroeville, Alabama, a descendent of General Robert E. Lee and the youngest of four children. Her father was a lawyer and newspaper editor who served  as state senator. Lee was a voracious reader with a big imagination and an admitted tomboy.

After studying law in college, she moved to NewYork City and worked as an airline reservations clerk until the financial and emotional support of friends helped her pursue writing as a career. After she put together a group of stories about life in in the South, her editor at Lippincott, Tay Hohoff, encouraged her to work them into a novel. She did, and To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960.

The book was an immediate bestseller and won the Pulitzer for Fiction in 1961. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publishing of this book -- the only book Harper Lee has ever written (or at least that has been submitted for publication). Next month Harper -- the publisher, not the writer -- will bring out a special hardbound 50th anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. There are more than 30 million copies of TKAM in print, in many languages, and in a rare feat for any book, the book has never been out of print since it was first pubished. That is an amazing accomplishment.

In another rare feat, the movie based on the book is just as spectacular as the book itself. Lee became close friends with Gregory Peck, who played Atticus Finch (Finch was her mother's maiden name) in the movie -- in fact, his grandson Harper Peck Voll is named for her.

In 2007, Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature -- having only written a single book, which reinforces just how monumental that one book has been. If you haven't read TKAM in awhile, Harper Lee's birthday and the book's 50th anniversary are perfect incentives to dig into it again. And if you've never read the book -- OMG, as they say in the texting world, get off the computer and start reading it pronto!

Happy Birthday, Harper Lee, and thank you for your beautiful book.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Combat in Vietnam Brought Vividly to Life in Matterhorn

Thirty years in the making, Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes's epic debut, is a dense, vivid narrative spanning many months in the lives of American troops in Vietnam as they trudge across enemy lines, encountering danger from opposing forces as well as on their home turf. The book follows a smart but nervous young reserve lieutenant, Waino Mellas, as begins his first tour of duty commanding a squad ordered to take out a North Vietnamese machine gun nest. The title of the book refers to a hilltop in South Vietnam near the Demilitarized Zone, but it could also refer to the long, uphill slog the author endured to bring the book to life -- although the author notes that the long wait to publication made the book a better one, as the wisdom of the more mature Marlantes gave him better insight into the younger lieutenant than he had when he first began writing the book.

Jungle rot, leeches dropping from tree branches, malnourishment, drenching monsoons, mudslides, and exposure to Agent Orange all factor into the book's narrative, along with bitterness, rage, disease, alcoholism, racial and cultural tensions, and hubris. Published in a partnership by Atlantic Monthly Press and El Leon Literary Arts, Matterhorn is neither cheery nor brief -- it clocks in at almost 600 pages -- but it is an engrossing, authentic portrayal of combat.

Marlantes, who grew up in Seaside, is a former marine who served in Vietnam and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts. He is a Yale graduate and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. The father of five, he and his wife currently live in Woodinville, Washington. Writing in Publishers Weekly about why he stuck with this project with so many painful memories through so many years, Marlantes said, "I think it’s because I’ve wanted to reach out to those people on the other side of the chasm who delivered the wound of misunderstanding. I wanted to be understood. Ultimately, the only way we’re ever going to bridge the chasms that divide us is by transcending our limited viewpoints."

The Emperor's Children in Hollywood

The Emperor's Children, Claire Messud's contemporary comedy of manners set in New York City around 9/11, is making progress toward the big screen. Noah Baumbach (who directed "Greenberg") has signed on to direct the movie for Imagine Entertainment, with Ron Howard and partner Brian Grazer producing.

Also attached to the movie -- expected to begin shooting this summer -- are Keira Knightley, Eric Bana, and Richard Gere. Baumbach, the Oscar-nominated writer of The Squid and the Whale," is adapting Messud's 2006 bestselling novel about a trio of Brown University graduates with big plans and expectations who are approaching their 30s with little accomplished thus far. This novel about the gap between the real and the perceived takes wicked shots at intellectual pretension as well as pretentions of class and gender.

The Emperor's Children was one of those rare novels that I thoroughly enjoyed reading despite disliking every single character. It will be interesting to see what happens to it as a movie.

Small Publisher; Big Prize

For the first time in almost thirty years, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction comes not from one of the large well-known publishers but from a very small publisher: Tinkers, by Paul Harding, is published by Bellevue Literary Press, a nonprofit publisher connected to New York University's School of Medicine. The last book from a small publisher to win the Pulitzer for fiction was A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, published by Louisiana State University Press in 1981.

In Tinkers, an old man -- a repairer of clocks -- lies dying. As time collapses into memory, he travels deep into his past where he is reunited with his father and relives the wonder and pain of his impoverished New England youth. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.

Tinkers is Harding's first novel. The publisher signed the book because she was so taken by Harding's exquisite prose: "Paul is a poet who writes prose, and his ability to evoke nuanced emotions through the images that he creates is remarkable." Publisher's Weekly, which gave it a starred review and named it one of the year's best books said "The real star is Harding's language, which dazzles whether he is describing the workings of clocks, sensory images of nature, the many engaging side characters who populate the book, or even a short passage on how to build a bird nest. This is an especially gorgeous example of novelistic craftmanship."

No one called Harding to tell him he'd won the Pulitzer; he learned of his surprising honor when he logged on to the Pulitzer web site to see who had won. Random House has signed Harding for his next two books. Harding has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has taught writing at Harvard and the University of Iowa. He lives near Boston with his wife and two sons.

The finalists for the fiction prize this year were Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet (Soft Skull Press) and In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (which also won this year's Story Prize) by Daniyal Mueenuddin (W.W. Norton & Company) -- both are collections of linked stories. Last year's winner was Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, a novel told in stories and published by Random House.

Other 2010 Pulitzer winners are Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed (The Penguin Press) in history; The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf) in biography; The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman (Doubleday) in general nonfiction; and Versed by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press) in poetry.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How are YOU Celebrating Earth Day?

Happy Earth Day!! What are you doing to commemorate and celebrate this day? Better yet, what are you doing to help nurture and appreciate this wonderful planet?

Here's a thought: how about walking or bicycling down to Broadway Books and picking up some inspirational reading material? Need some ideas? Here are some relatively new books that might inspire you to take action to save the planet:
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, Bill McKibben. The bestselling author of Deep Economy shows that we're living on a fundamentally altered planet and opens our eyes to the kind of change we'll need in order to make our civilization endure.
  • Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy, Daniel Goleman. The bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence reveals the hidden environmental consequences of our decisions as consumers and explores changes we must make to save our planet and ourselves.
  • Settled in the Wild: Notes from the Edge of Town, Susan Hand Shetterly. The author takes us into the woods and along the shorelines, mudflats, and paths of rural Maine, focusing her attention on the ways humans and animals share the land, especially as our mutual habitat is changing.
  • In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape, Gretel Ehrlich. By the author of one of my all-time favorite books, The Solace of Open Spaces, this book presents a vivid portrait of the indigenous cultures that inhabit the Arctic and the challenges to those cultures as a result of the unimaginable changes taking place on Earth from a warming climate.
  • Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History, Diana Wells. This sweet book is all about trees, from the origins of their names to their use in sacred rituals, from their medicinal properties to their place in art and literature -- an exploration of our deep-rooted connection to trees.
  • For the kiddies: The Earth Book, by Todd Parr. This kid-friendly, eco-friendly picture book explores the importance of environmental protection and conservation on a level kids will enjoy.
And how about some books by Northwest authors to get you excited about the natural world:
  • Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature, Kathleen Dean Moore.This book offers a collection of accounts of carefully observed excursions into the wild, as well as a profound meditation on the healing power of nature.
  • The Far Corner: On Land, Life, and Literature, John Daniel. The essays in this book take readers to beaches, old-growth forests, sagebrush steppe-lands, and deep-river canyons -- wild places and places scarred by human uses -- as well as through inner terrains exploring mortality, creativity, and spirituality.
  • Wild Things: Adventures of a Grassroots Environmentalist, Donna Matrazzo. This book tells the story of the author's environmental activism in the Portland area and provides information on how each of us can get more involved in saving the places we love.
  • Another Way the River Has: Taut True Tales from the Northwest, Robin Cody. In this collection of essays, the author brings the ear of a novelist and the eye of a reporter to the people and places that make the Northwest distinctive -- from the streams to the woods, his prose rings with a sense of place.
We've got lots more books along these lines; these are just some of the newer ones. Come see for yourself and find just the right one(s!) for you. And for goodness sake, bring your own bag!

Elizabeth Eslami Reading from Bone Worship

Last month, Iranian-American author Elizabeth Eslami, who lives outside of Eugene, read at Broadway Books from her debut novel, Bone Worship, published by Pegasus Books. Elizabeth was born in South Carolina and holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Prior to publishing this novel, Elizabeth published several short stories. She is currently working on a novel set in Montana. Here are some clips from her reading at the store.

Biespiel and Kuipers to Read Friday, April 24

Two poets, one established and the other at the beginning of a promising career, will read together at Broadway Books on Friday, April 24th, at 7 pm. David Biespiel and Keetje Kuipers have much in common. Both have had books published by BOA Editions, one of the most distinguished poetry publishers in the country, and both have been Wallace Stegner Fellows at Stanford University. Both of them also have recently published books, and we are happy to have them together in the store reading from their new works.

David Biespiel is a poet, editor, writer, and founding executive director of the Attic Writers' Workshop in Portland, an independent literary studio that has provided workshops and individualized consultation to more than 300 writers annually since 1999. Born in Tulsa, raised in Houston, and educated at Stanford, the University of Maryland, and Boston University, David moved to Portland in 1995.

Since 2003 he has been the poetry columnist for The Oregonian, which has the longest-running column on poetry in the United States. In 2005 he was named editor of Poetry Northwest, serving in that capacity until 2010 and reviving a magzine that had ceased publication in 2002. In 2010 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle.

He currently divides his teaching time among the MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University, Oregon State University, and Wake Forest University, where he will serve as poet-in-residence in the fall. His newest collection of poems is The Book of Men and Women, published by the University of Washington Press. David has written three other collections of poetry and edited two anthologies, including Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets, published in 2006 and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

Since 2008, he as been a frequent contributor to Politico's "Arena," a cross-party, cross-discipline daily conversation about politics and policy among more than a hundred current and former members of Congress, governors, mayors, political strategists and scholars.

In an interview about The Attic, David talked about what's involved in teaching creative writing: "Other times, it's asking you to give more: write more deeply, think more clearly, feel more passionately about your experiences and how you transform those into your writing. I mean: Write as if you have just this one chance to Say the Thing. That's what it means to "find your voice"....In other words, we teach an attitude about caring for the art of language as it exists in your writing. He goes on to recommend that writers read, read, and then read some more: "Immerse yourself in reading the kind of writing you're doing. Writing screenplays? Read them and watch movies. Constantly. Writing a memoir?  Read them. Writing poems? Read them -- and not just the latest National Book Award finalists or whatever is fadish."

Keetje Kuipers is a native of the Northwest. She earned her BA at Swarthmore College and her MFA at the University of Oregon. She is now a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

In 2007 Keetje was the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident in Oregon's Rogue River valley. She used the residency to complete work on her new book Beautiful in the Mouth, published by BOA Editions and awarded the 2009 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.
In addition, Keetje has been the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Oregon Literary Arts, and Soapstone, as well as awards from Atlanta Review and Nimrod. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, West Branch, Painted Bride Quarterly, Willow Springs, and AGNI, among others, and have been nominated four years in a row for the Pushcart Prize.
Beautiful in the Mouth tackles what happens when the things we care for -- children, lovers, parents, dreams, homes -- are taken away? What populates our landscapes and how do we perceive those objects? Written over the course of five years and a geographic journey spanning Paris to New York to Montana to Oregon, Keetje's debut collection of poems examines contemporary female loss in terms of literal and figurative geography: the empty bedroom of a dead child, a clear-cut hillside outside of a logging town. She continues in the spirit of poets like Elizabeth Bishop to examine how loss forces itself upon unwilling landscapes and how those landscapes must alter to receive that loss. Keetje divides her time between San Francisco and Missoula, Montana, with her dog Bishop.
We hope you can join us for this wonderful evening of poetry and discussion. And don't forget that our annual April Poetry Sale is still in session -- buy one book of poetry and you can buy a second  of equal or lesser cost for half price! And you can do this over and over until your poetry shelves groan with satisfaction.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 Orange Fiction Prize Short List

Last month we told you the long list for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. Yesterday the short list for this year's prize was announced. The winner will be announced on June 9th. The prize is open to any full length novel, written in English by a woman of any nationality, provided that the novel is published for the first time in the United Kingdom between April 1st of the year before the prize is awarded and March 31st of the year in which the prize is awarded. Why Orange, you might ask? Why not the Green Prize? Or the Mauve Prize? Or the Lavender Prize? Because Orange is the name of the UK-based communications company that has sponsored the prize since its inception in 1996 (when Helen Dunmore won for A Spell of Winter).

Many of my favorite books and authors can be found on Orange Fiction Prize short lists and long lists. One of the books I thoroughly enjoyed -- Small Island, by Andrea Levy (winner of the 2004 Prize) -- will premiere in a Masterpiece Theater adaption next Monday, April 26, at 9 pm on OPB.

Here are this year's six finalists:
  • Rosie Alison, The Very Thought of You
  • Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna
  • Attica Locke, Black Water Rising (this just came out in paperback yesterday)
  • Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (this one is raking in the awards and nominations!)
  • Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs 
  • Monique Roffey, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle.
Congratulations to each of these women for her accomplishments!

2010 Locus Award SF & Fantasy Finalists

Locus magazine is a monthly publication based in Oakland, California, that has been covering the science fiction and fantasy field since 1968. The magazine recently announced the finalists for the 2010 Locus Awards. Some of the categories are listed below. You can read about the other categories, as well as learn about the publication and how to subscribe to it at the Locus website. Winners will be announced during the Science Fiction Awards Weekend in Seattle in June. We have some of these books in stock at the store, and others we can likely get upon request. Here are the finalists:

Science Fiction Novel:
  • The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker (Subterranean; Tor)
  • Steal Across the Sky, Nancy Kress (Tor)
  • Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor)
  • Galileo's Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperVoyager; Ballantine Spectra)
  • Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
Fantasy Novel:
  • The City & The City, China MiĆ©ville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
  • Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)
  • Drood, Dan Simmons (Little, Brown)
  • Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam Spectra)
  • Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland)
First Novel:
  • The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
  • The Manual of Detection, Jedediah Berry (Penguin)
  • Soulless, Gail Carriger (Orbit US)
  • Lamentation, Ken Scholes (Tor)
  • Norse Code, Greg van Eekhout (Ballantine Spectra)
Young Adult Novel:
  • The Hotel Under the Sand, Kage Baker (Tachyon)
  • Going Bovine, Libba Bray (Delacorte)
  • Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic; Scholastic UK)
  • Liar, Justine Larbalestier (Bloomsbury; Allen & Unwin Australia)
  • Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)
  • Lovecraft Unbound, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Dark Horse)
  • The New Space Opera 2, Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan, eds. (Eos; HarperCollins Australia)
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin's)
  • Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Subterranean)
  • Eclipse Three, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade)
Non-fiction/Art Book:
  • Powers: Secret Histories, John Berlyne (PS)
  • Spectrum 16: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
  • Cheek by Jowl, Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct)
  • This is Me, Jack Vance! (Or, More Properly, This is "I"), Jack Vance (Subterranean)
  • Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess, Charles Vess (Dark Horse)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reading in Defense of Human Rights

Lost Horse Press, a nonprofit independent press based in Sandpoint, Idaho, recently published an anothology of poems in defense of human rights: I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights. The press received both first-hand accounts of violations and writings by people disturbed by the blows enacted on others. "We were surprised at the range of issues spoken to by the poets. While torture remained a critical topic, as well as issues at stake in the Iraq War, there were also poems that addressed immigrant rights, prisoners’ rights, the Holocaust, the wars in Cambodia, Vietnam, Serbia, South America, Palestine and Israel. We received poems that spoke of suicide bombing, violence against women, the aftermath of 9/11, and outlawing marriage for gay Americans."

The collection is edited by Melissa Kwasny and M.L. "Mandy" Stoker. One of the many contributors to the anthology, Portland poet Willa Schneberg, will read from I Go to the Ruined Place at Broadway Books on Tuesday, April 20th, at 7 pm. Willa will be joined by several other writers, including Fraces Payne Adler, Patricia Bollin, Edith Mirante, John Paisley, Kirsten Rian, and Sandy Polishuk, who will read poems from the anthology and perhaps a poem or prose piece of his or her own.

For each book sold, the publisher will donate $2 to the Bonner County (Idaho) Human Rights Task Force. We hope you can join us for this important event.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Talking with Rebecca Skloot

On Tuesday, April 12, Rebecca Skloot read from her new book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks at OHSU, as a guest of the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute, The Foundation for Medical Excellence, and the OHSU School of Medicine. Rebecca is the daughter of local poet and memoirist Floyd Skloot, who introduced Rebecca at the reading and also played a big role in creating her book tour. We wrote about Rebecca's book on our blog last week.

Here's a little clip showing us getting ready for the reading at OHSU, the long lines of eager readers waiting to get Rebecca to sign their copies of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and a brief conversation with Rebecca talking about her tour thus far. The book is terrific. I can't recommend it strongly enough -- and we have signed copies! They'll go fast, I'm sure, so don't delay.

Robin Cody's Launch Party

This past Monday night (April 12), we were honored to co-host a publication party with Oregon State University Press for Robin Cody's new collection of essays, Another Way the River Has: Taut True Tales from the Northwest.  What a night!  More than 150 people attended to hoist a glass to one of Oregon's most accomplished and beloved writers.  Robin has worn many hats in his life, and the essays in this book go back as far as 1982.  Many cover Robin's life on the various rivers he loves (Clackamas, Willamette, Columbia), some are about his work as a basketball ref and a baseball umpire, and some deal with his career as a school bus driver.  Also included are pieces on other truly Oregon topics: Ken Kesey, Pendleton Roundup cowboys, gyppo loggers, and more. Whether Robin is writing about life on the water, the excitement of high school sports, or the incredible kids on his "special ed" bus, he is telling us the truth about what it means to have your ear to the ground and your heart in the world around you.  We hope you enjoy this little video we made of the party.

This video is longer than our usual clips because there were so many wonderful moments to capture that night. Yet even at this length we had to edit out too many of Robin's wonderful sentences and yes even paragraphs, so we're going to post a second video of greater length for all of you eager for more Robin -- and really, who isn't? You'll find it on our Youtube channel. If you're new to Robin's writing (is that possible?), after you read Another Way the River Has, check out Voyage of a Summer Sun, about canoeing the Columbia River, and his novel, Ricochet River.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Irvington Home Tour Tickets On Sale Now

Irvington is such a delightful walking neighborhood. I just love strolling through the neighborhood, checking out all the cool houses and gardens. Whenever I walk to the library, or to a restaurant or store, or just walk, I try to always take a different route, so I can see different places. What's really great is when people have their drapes open, so you can peek in and and get a glimpse of their built-ins or decor -- or when I'm really lucky a cat sitting in the window. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a voyeur or stalker or anything. I just like getting decorating ideas from other people. Not that I ever actually implement them; I just like getting them.

Once of the best opportunities for doing just that is at the annual Irvington Home Tour, which takes place this year on Sunday, May 16th, from 11 am to 5 pm. On this glorious Sunday each year, you get to not only peek at houses and gardens from a distance but actually tromp around inside, and learn the specifics about how various Irvingtonites have chosen to remodel their homes. Such an opportunity!

You can get tickets to this marvelous event at Broadway Books -- we just got our allotment today! An extra bonus to this year's tour will be the lecture by Mary Piper, neighborhood historian and chairperson of the Irvington Historic Preservation Committee, about the name behind the neighborhood: Elizabeth Dixon Irving, born in Indiana in 1833, was largely reponsible for the development of the Irving household in East Portland into what we know as Irvington, following the death of her husband, Captain Irving. The lecture will be offered at 1 pm and 3 pm at a location to be announced in the tour brochure. The lecture is free to anyone with a home tour ticket, but seating is very limited and will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Tour tickets are $20 each, payable by cash or check when you buy them here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Artwork from Syd!

Hey -- did you hear we have new artwork from Syd McCutcheon? All very colorful and whimsical -- guaranteed to brighten up any room and put a smile on your face. For some reason I'm particularly taken with "A Wild Hair." But I love them all. Come see for yourself! And the prices are incredibly reasonable.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rebecca Skloot Returns to Portland

In early January 1951, a young African-American woman and mother of five went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for treatment of what turned out to be cervical cancer. She died in October of that year from the cancer. Before administering radium to treat her, attending doctors took samples of her tissue, both cancerous and healthy, and gave them to Dr. George Gey, a scientist at Johns Hopkins who had been trying to establish a continuously reproducing or "immortal" human cell line for use in cancer research. No one asked the woman's permission first. In fact, she was not even told that the tissue samples had been taken. The samples were marked "HeLa," an abbreviation of the young woman's name, Henrietta Lacks.

Thirty-seven years after Henrietta's death, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Skloot sat in a biology classroom at Portland Community College, where she heard that name for the first time. She also learned that Gey was not only able to reproduce Henrietta's cells in the lab, but that they had never stopped growing. Her cells, the cancerous ones, became the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory. "HeLa cells were one of the most important things that happened to medicine in the last hundred years," her professor told the class. They've been bought and sold repeatedly for use in research to study diseases and develop treatments. They were instrumental in developing an understanding of the human genome.The original tissue sample has generated an estimated 50 million metric tons of HeLa cells.  But no one could tell Rebecca anything about the woman whose cells made all this medical progress possible. And thus a lifetime obsession was born.

Rebecca, the daughter of local poet and memoirist Floyd Skloot, went on to earn a BS in biological sciences from Colorado State University and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh and became a well-respected science writer whose work has appeared in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies. She has taught in the creative writing and science journalism programs at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and NYU. Currently she is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine, a science writer and speaker, and a teacher of writing workshops. She served for eight years on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle, where she was a vice president and judge for their yearly book awards.

But through all this time her fascination with learning about Henrietta Lacks never faltered. In part, it was because the same year she learned about Henrietta her father got sick with a mysterious illness that no one was able to diagnose. (It turned out to be a virus that caused brain damage.) As Rebecca drove her father to various doctor appointments, she wondered about Henrietta -- did she have children, and if so what did her children think about her cells being used like they were?

Rebecca provides the answers to those questions and more in her new book -- almost eleven years in the making -- The Immortal Life on Henrietta Lacks. The book was published by Crown in February and became an instant NY Times bestseller. In fact, this is what NYT book reviewer Dwight Garner had to say:

“I put down Rebecca Skloot’s first book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” more than once. Ten times, probably.  Once to poke the fire. Once to silence a pinging BlackBerry.  And eight times to chase my wife and assorted visitors around the house, to tell them I was holding one of the most graceful and moving nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time …It has brains and pacing and nerve and heart.” He went on to add that it is "as if someone had managed to distill and purify the more addictive qualities of Erin Brockovich, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and The Andromeda Strain.

Rebecca learned that Henrietta's family didn't find out about the use of her immortal cells until the '70s, and that although her cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits and in fact couldn't even afford health insurance. Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences. This is a remarkable story, beautifully written.  I am reading it right now and I can vouch for that! And how exciting for us that it comes from a Portland native!

We are thrilled to be working with Oregon Health Sciences University to host Rebecca on Tuesday, April 13th, at 4 pm at the Old Library Auditorium (3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road). And we are thrilled that her father will be there to introduce her. You can click here to get more information. The event is free and you don't need to register to attend, but we encourage you to register to ensure adequate seating. After Rebecca speaks, she will be signing books and we will be there to sell them.

We hope you will be able to attend this event, as it is sure to be one to be remembered. You can learn more about Rebecca and her book at her blog, Culture Dish.

You are Not a Gadget, but Recycle Yours!

We are in the midst of the EPA's National Cell Phone Recycling Week (April 5-11). Estimates are that only 1% of the four billion cell phones in use worldwide get recycled after their users move on to brighter shinier toys (or in my case, after I've dropped it on the floor or in water one too many times). In the United States that percentage is higher -- of the roughly 130 million phones replaced each year, about 10% are recycled.

You can click here for a list of national cell phone recycling programs. AT&T announced last week that it will offer three simple ways to donate and recycle phones: Wireless customers of any carrier can drop off used cell phones and accessories at any of the 2,000-plus AT&T stores across the U.S.; go to to download free shipping labels and mail them in for recycling or request that a free shipping envelope be mailed to them for recycling. Part of the proceeds from these efforts benefits Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS), a charity that recycles cell phones and uses the proceeds to buy free phone cards for troops overseas.

A relatively new company, eRecyclingCorps, is partnering with a variety of retail outlets to offer trade-in value when you return a phone and upgrade to a new one.

Now how, Sally, you might ask, are you going to connect this posting to the book world?? That's an easy one. Here's a book we should all read: You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, by Javon Lanier, published by Knopf in January. Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the '80s and the man who coined the term "virtual reality," based on his early work in computing, has written a provocative and cautionary look at the way the World Wide Web -- in particuar Web 2.0 -- is transforming our lives for better and for worse.

The supposedly democratic "open culture" of Web 2.0 is actually elevating the "wisdom" of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and judgment of individuals -- say, for example, online sites that recommend books or music based on previous purchases. The Web can be a better place, Lanier argues, if we work toward a "new digital humanism," rather than continuing in the current direction, which "undervalues humans" in favor of "anonymity and crowd identity." This book is a fascinating and important exploration of both the problems and the potential that the Internet -- which many people now access through their cell phones -- offers our society. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Howie Kazowie and the Chirpy Toy

Enough about books, let's talk about CATS!! Here's a little (really, it's MUCH shorter than my other kitty video) clip of Howie chasing after the chirpy toy that Roberta bought for him at Furever Pets. I know Roberta is more of a dog person, but believe me she still has a soft spot in her heart for the kitties. She brought Howie and Sam a bag full of wonderful welcome-to-your-new-home cat toys, but the chirpy toy is by far their favorite. I don't know where Howie gets his need to burrow, but burrow he does -- under blankets, under pillows, under newspapers, and, as you can see here, under boxes. We were thinking maybe he was an otter in a previous life, but now I'm thinking maybe a meerkat.

This morning Howie finally learned the joys of the fireplace ("Hey, this thing puts out heat!"). Sam had already caught on to it and had enjoyed several peaceful mornings stretched out in front of the fireplace until his bones were rubber. But no more. Now he has to share the space with his little brother, who can enjoy it for about one minute before he has to sit on his brother's head and initiate a little wrassling. Poor Sam.

Holy Cow - It's New-Release Tuesday!

It's New-Release Tuesday in the bookselling world, and boy howdy there are some great books going on sale today! Here's just a taste of the new delights that await you in the store: New hardcover fiction from Elizabeth Berg, Martha Grimes, Sue Miller, and Anne Lamott; paperback versions of fiction by Jay McInerney (How It Ended: New & Collected Stories), Anne Michaels (The Winter Vault), Katherine Howe (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane), Geoff Dyer (Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi); a new biography of Barack Obama by New Yorker editor David Remnick (The Bridge: The Rise of Barack Obama); a new memoir in hardcover from Carol Burnett (This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection) and in paperback from Ruth Reichl (For You Mom, Finally); new nonfiction in paperback by Jeffrey Zaslow (The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-year Friendship), Mark Kurlansky (The Food of a Younger Land), and the Believer magazine (You're A Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice); The Best of the Best American Science Writing -- and no, that's not a typo; it's the best of ten years of "Bests"); the new edition of Paul Gerald's 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland; and, last but undoubtedly not least, Book Eight in The 39 Clues Series: The Emperor's Code, by Gordon Korman. We've got something new for everyone!

Yummy Hot from the Oven!

Sally's freshly baked chocolate chip cookies will be served to lucky customers at Broadway Books starting at approximately 11:35 this morning -- or as soon as the last batch cools enough for me to box them up! Come enjoy a little wicked delight.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Peter Rock to read Thursday Night

We hope you can join us Thursday night (April 8th) at 7 to hear Peter Rock read from his novel My Abandonment, recently issued in paperback.

A thirteen-year-old girl and her father, a war veteran, are living in Forest Park in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water's edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight. Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of a young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

In January, My Abandonment was selected as one of the winners of the 2010 Alex Awards, honoring the top ten adult books published in the previous year with appeal to readers between the ages of 12 and 18. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, and sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards trust. The award is named in honor of the late Margaret Alexander Edwards, fondly called “Alex” by her closest friends, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults. At Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Edwards used adult books extensively with young adults to broaden their experience and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world.

Peter was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended Deep Springs College and earned his BA in English from Yale. He has taught fiction at the University of Pennyslvania, Deep Springs College, and in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. He has been teaching at Reed College in Portland since 2001 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing program. He held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford and was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

My Abandonment, published in hardcover in 2009, is Peter's sixth book. He has four previous novels (The Bewildered, The Ambidextrist, This is the Place, and Carnival Wolves) and a collection of stories (The Unsettling). His novels frequently focus on loners, people living on the fringes of society and usually searching for something. We hope you can join us Thursday night at 7 for a fascinating evening with local author Peter Rock.

Diane Hammond to Read at Broadway Books

We hope you'll join us tomorrow night to hear Diane Hammond read from her recently published fourth novel, Seeing Stars, a novel about child actors in Hollywood based in part on Diane's own experiences with her daughter during a two-year sojourn in LA for Kerry to pursue acting.  Here's a brief description of Seeing Stars:

Ruth Rabinowitz believes. She believes that her daughter Bethany is a terrific little actress, so they have come to Hollywood, where dreams come true. Hugh Rabinowitz, who thinks their quest for stardom is delusional, has stayed behind in Seattle. Joining Bethany Rabinowitz in Hollywood's often toxic waters are fellow child actors Quinn Reilly, who has been cast adrift by his family and excels only on Hollywood sets; beautiful Allison Addison, who is misled by her powerful need for love; and Laurel Buehl, who brings a desperate secret to LA that makes the stakes impossibly high. As talent managers, agents, coaches, directors and teachers nurture—and feed on—their ambitions, stars will be made, hearts will be broken, children will grow up, and dreams will both be realized and die.

As I mentioned, the novel is based on some of Diane's family's own experiences. On her website, she talks about the inspiration for the book. (And by the way, if you want a good chuckle, check out Diane's bio on her website. You certainly get a good idea of Diane's terrific sense of humor!)

"Seeing Stars, the story of four child and teen actors seeking fame in Hollywood, was inspired by the two years my own family spent in Hollywood supporting our teenage daughter as she pursued a professional acting career. While Stars is not autobiographical, I certainly relied heavily on the things I saw, heard and discovered while we were there....I will always be grateful for the amazing, exhilarating, alarming and transformative experience those years proved to be for all three of us.
"Stars addresses many of the real-world issues and obsessions shared by most young actors and the families that love and support them: ambition, talent, drive, guts, hard work, justice, injustice, and more than a small measure of luck. It also explores the roles that adults inevitably play in the lives of child actors—the parents of other child actors, as well as photographers, managers, talent agents, coaches, teachers, casting directors, movie directors and producers, and more."

Diane was born in Queens and grew up in Upper Nyack, a suburb of New York City. She earned her BA from Middlebury College in Vermont. She has lived in Honolulu, Washington DC, LA, and Tacoma. While living in Newport, Oregon, she was the press secretary for Keiko, the killer whale star of the movie Free Willy. Currently Diane lives in Bend, Oregon, where her husband is the wildlife curator for The High Desert Museum. Her daughter Kerry, having seemingly lost the acting bug, is a student at Evergreen College in Olympia.

Diane's previous books are Hannah's Dream, Homesick Creek, and Going to Bend. She is currently at work on her fifth novel, which focuses on "three middle-aged misfits." Diane loves to participate in book-group discussions of her books by phone or in person when logistics allow for that. Diane read at Broadway Books when her previous book, Hannah's Dream, came out, and we are so excited to welcome her back to the store! Please join us Tuesday night at 7 for a wonderful evening of entertainment.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Batter Up!!! Let's Play Ball

The regular season of Major League Baseball opens Sunday night, as the Yankees take on the Red Sox. My team of choice, the Seattle Mariners (hope springs eternal) opens its season in Oakland against the Athletics on Monday. It's hard to think too much about baseball when I'm still in NCAA basketball (Go, Stanford women!) and Trail Blazers playoff mode, but I do love baseball. And I particularly love going to Seattle on a sunny day and watching the Mariners play at gorgeous Safeco field, drinking beer and eating garlic fries (in case you've been wondering how I'm able to keep my girlish figure....)

A good book to read to get you in the mood for baseball this year is the new highly acclaimed authorized biography by James Hirsch, Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend. Willie Mays is arguably the greatest player in baseball history, still revered for the passion he brought to the game. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades.Willie is perhaps best known for "The Catch" -- his breathtaking over-the-shoulder grab in the 1954 World Series. But he was a transcendent figure who received standing ovations in enemy stadiums and who, during the turbulent civil rights era, urged understanding and reconciliation.

Bob Costas, broadcaster for NBC Sports and Major League Baseball Network calls this book "the complete and definitive biography of the 'Say Hey Kid.'" Play ball!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Where to Walk in Portland

Repaving of the 21-mile multi-use Springwater Corridor -- one of my favorite places to walk -- will take place starting in April and will continue through August. The repaving will involve periodic closures of the trail. Detours will be provided, and no continuous segment longer than two miles will be closed at any one time. But several small segments could be closed simultaneously. Bummer. But it will be so nice when it's all done.

In the interim, we've got lots of great books full of wonderful walks in and around Portland to get your through the construction phase. Two of our favorites are the ones by Laura O. Foster: Portland City Walks (for when you want your walks to be relatively flat) and Portland Hill Walks (for when you feel like going up and down). Metro publishes a great little pocket guide to local walks, Walk There! 50 Treks In and Around Portland and Vancouver. Or there's the little guide from Falcon, Walking Portland, by Sybilla Avery Cook.

If you want to get a little more rugged, there's Portland Forest Hikes: Twenty Close-In Wilderness Walks, by James D. Thayer. Or if you want to go even further afield, we've got lots and lots of guide books for you, including all of the William Sullivan books, and the new edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald.

Walk on over -- we'll take care of your guidebook needs!

No Fooling, It's Poetrypalooza Time!

It's April 1, which means it's the first day of National Poetry Month, which means its the first day of our annual poetry sale!! For the entire month of April, whenever you buy one book of poetry, you can get a second book of poetry (of equal or lesser cost) for half price! No fooling! And you can take advantage of this sale as many times as you'd like throughout the month of April. What a deal -- the perfect opportunity to replenish your poetry shelves, or stock up on gifts, or support great poets, or whatever other motivation you might have.

Perhaps you need some more Mary Oliver in your life -- who doesn't need more Mary Oliver?? Speaking of Mary Oliver, she has just come out with her second collection of poems on CD: Many Miles: Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver, which contains 41 poems selected and read by Ms. Oliver herself. Such a treat.This wonderful collection follows her first CD Collection, At Blackwater Pond. Fabulous. Or maybe you're pining for Billy Collins, or Pablo Neruda, or Gracy Paley, or Nikki Giovanni (Bicycles: Love Poems is just out in paperback). Possibly you're in the mood to ruminate on Rumi. Or how about Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker. Maybe the newest from Robert Hass, The Apple Trees at Olema? A little taste of Leaves of Grass?

Perhaps you're thinking about something a little more local, say, something from William Stafford, or Paulann Petersen, or John Morrison, or David Biespiel, or Carlos Reyes, or Judith Arcana, or the wonderful anthology Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon -- Oregon is blessed with a coterie of wonderful poets. And now is a great time to welcome them all into your home -- figuratively, of course, although I'm sure they'd be happy to pop in for a visit.