Friday, April 29, 2011

Avel Gordly to Read from Memoir

We hope you can join us on Tuesday, May 3, to hear Avel Gordly -- the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate -- read from her memoir Remembering the Power of Words: The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader, co-written with her Portland State University colleague Patricia A. Schechter and recently published by Oregon State University Press.

Avel Louise Gordly was born in Portland shortly after WWII, to a father who was a Pullman porter with the Union Pacific Railroad and a mother who had worked in the shipyards during the war. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from PSU and has completed the Program for Senior Executives at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

She began her working life operating business machines for Pacific Northwest Bell, and, after earning her bachelor's degree, worked as an adult parole and probation office for the Oregon Department of Corrections. She then worked as the Director of Youth Services for The Urban League and as the Community Liaison for the Multnomah County Health Department.

In 1991 the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners appointed Gordly to fill a vacancy in the Oregon House of Representatives, beginning a long career in the Oregon legislature. She won the general election in 1992 and re-election in 1994 before winning a Senate seat in 1996. She served three terms in the Senate. In 2007, the city officially honored her many years of public service as a state legislator with an official proclamation from then-Mayor Tom Potter.

Currently, Gordly is an associate professor in the Black Studies Department at PSU. She has made numerous trips to African nations during her career and led an official mission to increase trade between Oregon and South Africa. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work over the years.

Gordly has earned a reputation as a bridge builder who puts principles above politics, consistently forming bipartisan coalitions to work on key issues. In 2006 she officially switched her party affiliation from democrat to independent. She is a long-time advocate for pre-school and for quality education for all children; a tireless worker on environmental, economic, and social justice issues; and someone who believes in the need for transparency in government. Not too surprising -- and music to our ears -- she is also an avid reader.

In her memoir, Gordly addresses the challenges she faced growing up Black in Portland in the '50s and '60s, as well as her long career as a legislator and community activist. "If you ever wondered how a principled woman lives a public life, read Remembering the Power of Words," writes professor and author Nell Irvin Painter. "Writing as a black female pioneer, she combines the personal with the political in a fascinating way that speaks to all of us."

We hope you can join us for what is sure to be an inspiring and interesting evening. The fun begins at 7 pm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's Raining Back Up at Broadway Books

Please join us Tuesday, April 26th, at 7pm for a free performance of poetry and music entitled Raining Back Up.  Local poet John Sibley Williams has coordinated a multi-media blend of contemporary poetry and experimental music that includes Anatoly Molotkov, David Cooke, Ragon Linde, and Carrie-Ann Tkaczyk.

John Sibley Williams is a poet and agent/publicist in Portland. He has two Master’s Degrees (Creative Writing and Book Publishing) and has served as Acquisitions Manager of Ooligan Press and as freelance agent/publicist for Three Muses Press, Carpe Articulum Literary Review, HoboEye, and individual authors. He has also worked with organizations, such as the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

Williams’ poetry was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize and won the 2011 Heart Poetry Award.  His debut chapbook, A Pure River, was published in 2010 by The Last Automat Press.  Anatoly Molotkov is a writer, composer and co-founder of the Inflectionist poetry movement (  He is the author of several novels and short story and poetry collections and won the 2010 New Millennium Writings and the 2008 E.M. Koeppel Awards for fiction.  Carrie-Ann Tkaczyk has recently finished her second book, Only Ghosts, about the clash of the mystic and the modern in Nepal.  David Cooke’s debut poem, Edges, won the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize and was nominated for the 2010 Pushcart prize.  Ragon Linde is a musician specializing in eclectic jazz and has played in a wide range of musical groups over the last 35 years.

Oregon Book Awards Were Rockin'!

Last night's Oregon Book Awards kicked off with a performance by novelist and singer/songwriter Willy Vlautin, an especially appropriate way to launch an evening in which Willy took home two awards: The Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and the first-ever Readers' Choice Award, sponsored by The Oregonian, in which more than 4000 Oregonians voted for their favorite of the books across all categories.

The event was hosted by Kurt Andersen, host of NPR's Studio 360 and the author of the novels Heyday and Turn of the Century, as well as the nonfiction book Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore our Values and Renew America. He is also one of the founders of Spy magazine and the co-founder of the "Portland Brooklyn Project," which nurtures connections, partnerships, and new opportunities for the arts, education, and private businesses between Portland and Brooklyn.

You can read about all of the finalists at our previous blog posting or at the Literary Arts site, sponsors of the Oregon Book Awards. Here are last night's winners:

As previously mentioned, Willy Vlautin took home the prize for fiction (presented by our very own Roberta Dyer!)  for his novel Lean on Pete (Harper Perennial), about fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson and a failing racehorse from Portland Meadows named Pete. Willy, who lives in Scappoose, is the author of two previous novels: The Motel Life (which has just been made into a movie starring Emile Hirsch and Dakota Fanning) and Northline (which comes with its own CD soundtrack). Willy is the lead singer/songwriter for the band Richmond Fontaine, which has a new CD coming out this summer.

The Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry went to David Biespiel for his collection The Book of Men and Women, published by the University of Washington Press. David is the founding director of the Attic Institute ("a haven for writers") and was the editor of Poetry Northwest from 2005 to 2010. His most recent book, Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces, published by Kelson Books, cracks open the creative process and takes a fresh look at the mysterious pathways of the imagination.

Paul VanDevelder from Corvallis won the Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction for his book Savages and Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America's Road to Empire through Indian Territory (Yale University Press), a "profound dismantling of the whole mythical edifice surrounding the westward expansion that shaped the republic." Paul's previous book, Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial that Forged a Nation, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award.

John Daniel, who lives in the foothills of the Coast Range outside of Eugene, won his third Oregon Book Award by winning the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction for his book of essays, The Far Corner:  Northwestern Views on Land, Life, and Literature. He previously won for The Trail Home and Looking After (the "momoir" accompaniment to his "popoir," Rogue River Journal -- two of my favorite books).

The Angus L. Bowmer Award for Drama went to Susan Mach of Portland for her play, The Lost Boy. Susan teaches writing and literature at Clackamas Community College and has had plays produced by Theatre for the New City in Manhattan, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Portland Repertory Theatre, and Icarus Theatre Ensemble.

The awards for books for younger readers went to a debut novelist and a five-time Oregon Book Award winner. Scott William Carter received the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature for his debut novel, The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys. His second novel, a fantasy called Wooden Bones chronicling the untold story of Pinocchio, is scheduled to be published in 2012. Scott lives in Salem.

Winning his fifth Oregon Book Award -- a record for individuals -- was Graham Salisbury for his book Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix. Before he started his Calvin Coconut series, which targets middle readers, Graham's previous books were written for young adults. Graham grew up in Hawaii, where the Calvin Coconut books are set, but now lives in Portland.

George Hitchcock was a poet, teacher, playwright, and painter who was born in Hood River and who died last September in Eugene at age 96. George was the founder of Kayak magazine and served as its editor for twenty years, publishing the early work of Raymond Carver, James Tate, and Philip Levine. He received the C.E.S. Wood Distinguished Writer Award from Literary Arts in 2003. Last night Joseph Bednarik of Copper Canyon Press read a tribute to George, who lived quite the life (I'm linking to his NY Times obit here so you can see for yourself) . His long-time companion Marjorie Simon was also in attendance.

The Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award went given to The Children's Book Bank of Portland, a nonprofit that strives to  improve the literacy skills of low-income children by giving them books of their own before they reach kindergarten. The Book Bank also administers the Leading for Reading program, an internship program for high school students.

The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, which is presented to a person or persons in recognition of outstanding long-term support of Oregon's literary community, was awarded to John Laursen of Portland, with John Daniel doing the presenting. Most recently John is probably best known for the book he produced with the late Terry Toedtemeier, Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge: 1867-1957, one of the most gorgeous books I have ever seen. John is a designer, typographer, writer, editor, and publisher. For four decades he has run Press-22, a studio specializing in the design and production of high-quality books and text-based public art projects. His design imprint can be found throughout the Portland area.

Also acknowledged at last night's gala were the recipients of Literary Arts' most recent fellowships: the writers Jennifer Richter, Crystal Williams, Michelle Penaloza, Brenden Willey, Gretchen Icenogle, Michael McGregor, Claire Willett, and Barbara Liles and the publishers The Grove Review and Octopus Books, both of Portland.

A big round of applause for Literary Arts for another great awards show but especially for all of the wonderful and important work they do in our state. Since 1987, Literary Arts has distributed $680,000 and honored more than 574 writers -- and counting! Keep up the good work. Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. We've got copies of most of the books -- some of them signed -- at the store, in case you weren't able to make it to last night's event.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trailer for The Help

The  movie based on Water for Elephants premieres this weekend. Now here's the trailer for this summer's likely blockbuster-based-on-hit-novel: The Help, which premieres in August. Will you see these movies or stick to the written versions?

John Daniel and Ehud Havazelet for Comma

We're loving the Comma monthly reading series that local writer Kirsten Rian is hosting with Broadway Books on the third Thursday of each month. This month features John Daniel and Ehud Havazelet reading on Thursday, April  21, at 7 pm. Regional authors scheduled to join us for upcoming Comma readings include Barry Sanders, Bette Husted, Paulann Petersen, Paul Merchant, Molly Gloss, BT Shaw, and others. Comma readings offer an opportunity to hear two regional authors read from their work and engage in conversation about writing. You won't want to miss a one!

John Daniel's most recent book, The Far Corner: Northwestern Views on Land, Life, and Literature, is a finalist for the 2010/2011 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. (Awards will be announced on Monday, April 25th.) The author of nine books of poetry, essays, and a memoir, Daniel won a 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, as well as two Oregon Book Awards and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ehud Havazelet is the author of two story collections and most recently the novel Bearing the Body, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction in 2008. Recent work has appeared in TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, Tin House, and The New York Times. He has been awarded fellowships from Stanford and the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Rockefeller Foundations. Havazelet teaches creative writing at the University of Oregon (but lives in Corvallis).

This is sure to be a great evening -- come early for a good seat!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Poet Jim Moore to Read Tuesday Night

Please join us Tuesday night (April 19th) at 7 pm to hear Jim Moore read from his newest collection of poetry, Invisible Strings, published by Graywolf Press. Moore is the author of six previous collections of poetry, including Lightning at Dinner, The Freedom of History, and The Long Experience of Love. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, the Nation, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, the Threepenny Review, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and in many other magazines and anthologies.  He has received numerous awards and fellowships from the Bush Foundation, The Loft, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Moore grew up in Illinois and began writing in the mid 1960s. He spent ten months in prison during the Vietnam War for refusing induction. Currently he teaches at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, as well as online through the University of Minnesota Split Rock Arts Program.  He is married to the photographer JoAnn Verburg.  They live in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Spoleto, Italy.

The poems in his newest collection are brief, jagged, almost haiku-like. One reviewer called them "tricky masterpieces of revelation," and another said that Moore "elevates economy of phrase to an art." The author says the poems, which address "ordinary everyday kinds of moments and why they matter," came out of a time in his life when he was very busy, traveling a lot, with much disjointedness in his life. After his last book, Lightning at Dinner, which was a more narrative collection about the death of his mother, the author said he wanted to experiment with writing shorter, quicker pieces.

In a recent interview Moore said, "Oddly enough, I often feel more connected to the world (feel less distance from it) when I am in solitude than when I am with others."  Regarding the influences on his work, he said, "Anything that takes me out of myself is a major blessing and important  influence:  passion, love, nature, particular cities (Venice, Calcutta, New York, Spoleto) and places.  Blizzards work beautifully this way, as do mountains, the sea, the plains, certain rivers…anything that reminds me forcefully that my own ego is not the be all and end all.  Of course, poems by poets I love do that very well." 

We hope you can join us to hear Jim Moore read from and discuss his latest collection of poems. And don't forget that we're still celebrating National Poetry Month here at Broadway Books: For each book of poetry you buy at regular price, you can buy a second book (of equal or lesser value) for HALF PRICE! You can do this all month long, because we're nuts for poetry here. Or maybe we're just nuts.

Jennifer Egan Wins Pulitzer for Fiction

Winners of the 2011 Pulitzer Prizes have just been announced! Here are the winners in the book categories:
  • Fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Alfred A. Knopf) 
  • History: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner (W. W. Norton & Company) 
  • Biography: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (The Penguin Press) 
  • Poetry: The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan (Grove Press) 
  • General Nonfiction: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner)
A Visit from the Goon Squad also recently won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. 

Finalists for the Pulitzers include The Privileges by Jonathan Dee (Random House) and The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead Books) in fiction and The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brain by Nicholas Carr (WW Norton) and Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne (Scribner) in general nonfiction. You can read more about the winners and finalists, as well as about the other Pulitzer categories, at the Pulitzer site.

Look Out for Wicked Bugs!

My partner spent the weekend slogging through work in the garden -- and has the aches and pains to prove it -- so it must be time to talk about garden-related books. Amy Stewart's newest book, Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects (Algonquin Books), offers a captivating mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue in an A-to-Z presentation of creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs, from the African bat bug to zombie bugs -- bugs that actually inhabit other bugs and force them to do their bidding. Ok, so perhaps this isn't your standard issue gardening book. But it's fascinating nonetheless.

Stewart, who lives in Eureka, California (where she also owns an antiquarian bookstore, Eureka Books), is the author of five books, including Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers, a New York Times bestselling behind-the-scenes look into the flower industry, and Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. Wicked Plants was also a NY Times bestseller, won the 2010 American Horticulture Society Book Award, and was named one of the best gardening books of 2009 by The Washington Post and NPR. NPR described it as "Bram Stoker meets Agatha Christie in this sophisticated little brew of botanical bogeyman," and the Los Angeles Times called it "deliciously eerie."

"I've always been interested in creepy-crawly creatures," says Stewart. "Like most gardeners, I'm very interested in all the living things that inhabit my backyard." Wicked Bugs, however, goes well beyond the bugs in her backyard! She chose the bugs to portray in her book by considering their negative impact on human affairs. And speaking of portray, the book is wonderfully illustrated by the artist Briony Morrow-Cribbs,

In conducting her research for Wicked Bugs, Stewart visited a number of living bug collections (gak!), such as the bug zoo a the LA Natural History Museum and The Insectarium in New Orleans. She also interviewed scientists all over the world and pored through newspapers, medical journals, and other related reading material.

The following "news reel" introduces the book and gives you an idea of the author's style and sense of humor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The State of the Union at Broadway Books

We live in interesting times. It’s an understatement to say that the world is in a state of flux. Some changes are scary to contemplate, and others give us hope for the future. It’s also fair to say that we have mixed feelings about many of these changes.

Our little corner of the world (that is, publishing and bookselling and reading in general) is changing so fast that we all struggle to keep up. And because so many of you have asked us how these changes are affecting our business, we’d like to keep you up to date.

First, to all of you who ask and to all of you who are afraid to ask, we say thank you. Really, from the bottom of our hearts. Your concern for our continued existence means more to us than we can possibly say. It’s because of your concern and support that we’re still here.

It’s been a bumpy few months. Recently, many good friends have fallen by the wayside (fellow indie bookstores, publishers’ sales reps, and others). We’ve also lost a few old competitors (some of the biggest box stores have closed). Here at the store, we had a great December (thank you!), but since then sales have been lackluster. We’re keeping within shouting distance of last year because of several out-of-store gigs at which we’ve been asked to sell books. But overall, since December, our in-store sales have been down.

In large part, we attribute this phenomenon to the advent of the e-reader. We know that thousands (millions?) of people received e-readers as holiday gifts, and the existence of e-books is taking a toll on the sale of print books everywhere.

Can we weather this change? Yes, with your help.

Here are ten things that we’re doing:

1. We are going to sell e-books. We have just signed up for a new website through our trade organization, the American Booksellers Association. It will take about three months to get up and running, but when it’s ready you will be able to purchase e-books for virtually every e-reader except the Kindle, which remains a proprietary product. Our prices for e-books will be competitive with the big box stores and online retailers.

2. Our new website will also enable you to buy books from us 24/7, no matter where you are. You can arrange to pick your books up at the store (please – we love seeing you!), or you can have them shipped to wherever you want. You will be able to shop for books from our inventory or special order, easily and at your convenience.

3. As we embrace all this new technology, we want to emphasize that we remain big fans of ink on paper. We love the physical fact of books as well as the ideas they contain, and we are resolved to do what we can to keep real books in our lives. They are the bricks and mortar that keep us together.

4. We are expanding our schedule of readings and other events in the store. These events are your chance to discover new talent as well as bask in the glow of established writers. They’re a time to gather with other booklovers and schmooze in person about what matters to all of us: words and ideas and how they fit together. These events are always free, and the experience of attending one cannot be replicated by any computer.

5. We continue to support our local schools and literary entities by hosting student readings, book club gatherings, and other events such as our annual school library fundraiser (last year’s beneficiary, St. Andrew Nativity School, was given almost $1000 for library and classroom books). We also donate hundreds of dollars in gift certificates and books each year for local schools and other fundraisers.

6. We make a point of supporting local authors by taking their books on consignment and actually paying them when the books sell. We also actively support creative local publishers such as Hawthorne Books and Oregon State University Press, whose titles provide us with inspiration and insight every single day.

7. As always, we employ people who are passionate and knowledgeable about what we sell. Our staff works hard to be the very best booksellers in town, helping you to find just the right books for you or as gifts.

8. And speaking of “in town,” we all live here. That might seem obvious, but think about it: independent bookstores return 40% more money to their local communities than the chains, and 99% more money to their local economy than national online competitors.

9. We are continually refining our inventory mix (new, used, and sale books) to be a more accurate reflection of what our customers want. Books that don’t sell after their fair time on the shelf get returned to the publishers so that we can bring in newer titles. This constant motion keeps our stock fresh and eclectic. And because we’re small and must edit our selection, you can always trust us to carry only titles of the highest quality. Of course, this last bit is a matter of opinion. But we’re of the opinion that opinions are good things – both yours and ours. And let’s agree to disagree sometimes! Life is much more interesting that way.

10. The pink card! Whenever you purchase a new book from us, you get that little punch on your frequent buyer card that counts toward a free book after you purchase twelve.

This bookstore is a partnership. We hope that you will continue to join us in this dance. And so,

Here are ten things that you can do:

1. If you read e-books, get as many of them as you can from us.

2. Know any former customers of stores that have closed? Send them our way!

3. Remember that a locally owned business is a valuable asset to a thriving community. Think locally, and shop locally whenever you can.

4. When you can, pay for your purchases with cash or check, or use a debit card rather than a credit card. Bank fees are an increasingly large part of every retailer’s overhead.

5. Bring your own bag.

6. Spread the word! Forward our blog to your friends who read. If you have media connections, talk us up. Retweeting is a wonderful thing. And we love our Facebook friends!

7. Buy Broadway Books gift certificates for friends/family who haven’t been here yet. We promise they’ll have a new friend in the reading business. They also make great gifts for teachers and service providers.

8. Come to an event at Broadway Books. Where else can you get such an entertaining evening for free?

9. Encourage your book club, your children’s schools, and any other group that reads to embrace your local bookstore. If your group or school can join together to purchase ten copies of one title in a single transaction, we’ll give you a 10% discount. Twenty copies earns 20%. Even one copy earns a pink card punch.

10. Talk to us! Your opinion matters. We hope to embrace as many of yours as possible. Nobody can respond as quickly as we can to an actual customer whose opinions and preferences are important to us.

Just like you, we are in this for the long haul. For nearly twenty years, we’ve been an active part of this community. With your support, we plan to be here for many years to come. We participate in the Northeast Broadway Business Association, which is committed to keeping our community vibrant and diverse, with lots of great locally owned shops, restaurants, and other services. We firmly believe that small neighborhood stores contribute to the quality of life in these transitional times. We hope that you agree.

Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson
Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Portland OR 97232
(503) 284-1726,,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 Orange Prize for Fiction

The shortlist for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction was announced today. You can read about the full list of nominees in our previous blog posting. A little drum roll, please......Here are the shortlisted authors:

  • Room, Emma Donoghue (Irish)
  • The Memory of Love, Aminatta Forna (British/Sierra Leonean)
  • Grace Williams Says It Loud, Emma Henderson (British)
  • Great House, Nicole Krauss (American)
  • The Tiger's Wife, Tea Obreht (Serbian/American)
  • Annabel, Kathleen Winter (Canadian)

The Orange Prize for Fiction, in its sixteenth year, celebrates excellence, originality, and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world. This year, three of the finalists (Henderson, Obreht, and Winter) are debut novelists! The winner will be feted in an award ceremony on June 8th and will receive, in addition to a cash prize, a limited edition bronze statue known as "The Bessie." Who do you think the winner will be??

Indies Choice Book Awards

The American Booksellers Association recently announced the winners of this year's Indies Choice Awards, as voted on by ABA-member independent booksellers throughout the country. "In the first year that all ABA member booksellers had the opportunity to vote for both the Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B White Read-Aloud Awards, the result is an outstanding list of winners that reflect the types of books independent bookstores champion best," said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. Winners and honor recipients will be saluted at the Celebration of Bookselling Author Awards Luncheon in May at Book Expo America. Here are this year's winning authors:

  • Fiction: Room, Emma Donoghue
  • Nonfiction: Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
  • Adult Debut Book of the Year: Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes
  • Young Adult: Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly
  • E.B. White Read-Aloud Award for Middle Readers: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Tom Angleberger
  • E.B.White Read-Aloud Award for Picture Book: Children Make Terrible Pets, Peter Brown
  • Most Engaging Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

The independent booksellers also voted to add four books to the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame:

  • Corduroy, Don Freeman
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Virginia Lee Burton
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
Tough decisions, picking the best books of the year -- so many great books to choose from -- but I think this is a great start on a reading list. Karl Marlantes, author of the Adult Debut Book of the Year, hails from the northwest, having grown up in Seaside and now living outside of Seattle. The novel about the Viet Nam war, many decades in the making, will be available in paperback next month.

Here are the honor award recipients for each of the categories:

Great House, Nicole Krauss
How to Read the Air, Dinaw Mengestu
The Surrendered, Chang-rae Lee
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell
A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

At Home,  Bill Bryson
Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff
Let's Take the Long Way Home, Gail Caldwell
The Tiger, John Vaillant
The Wave, Susan Casey

Adult Debut Author:
Beneath the Lion's Gaze, Maaza Mengiste
The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Helen Simonson
The Quickening, Michelle Hoover
The Wake of Forgiveness, Bruce Machart

Young Adult:
Bamboo People, Mitali Perkins
Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Out of My Mind, Sharon Draper
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan

E.B.White Read-Aloud for Middle Readers:
Because of Mr. Terupt, Rob Buyea
The Familiars, Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Penny Dreadful, Laurel Snyder (Abigal Halpin, illust)
The Sixty-Eight Rooms, Marianne Malone (Greg Call, illust)
A Tale Dark and Grimm, Adam Gidwitz

E.B White Read-Aloud Picture Books:
Bedtime for Bear, Brett Helquist
Chicken Big, Keith Graves
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Eric Litwin (James Dean, illust)
A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, Michael Ian Black (Kevin Hawkes, illust)
The Quiet Book, Deborah Underwood (Renata Liwska, illust)

Most Engaging Author:
Jonathan Evison
Kevin Henkes
Mitali Perkins
Richard Russo
Terry Tempest Williams

I have to give a special shout-out to one of my favorite picture books of the year, which is also an honors recipient: The Quiet Book, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Renata Liwska. The book is adorable, and I'm happy to report that the follow-up book, The Loud Book, has just been published. My guess? The first book will be more popular with parents, but kids might opt for loud.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy all of these great books, one bite at a time!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More from The Tender Bar Author

We were thrilled to learn recently of a forthcoming book from the author of one of our all-time favorites, The Tender Bar. JR Moehringer has signed with Hyperion to publish a historical novel based on the story of the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton, who robbed 100 banks between 1925 and 1950 without firing a single shot.

"I've been fascinated by Sutton since I was a boy," Moehringer said. "My grandfather used to talk with some amusement, and some awe, about Willie 'The Actor,' about his disguises, about his commitment to non-violence. He was the Gandhi of gangsters. He was also a lover, a reader, a thinker, and a social critic ahead of his time: he detested banks. He thought bankers were the root cause of everything wrong with society. No wonder he became such a folk hero." 

The Tender Bar, Moehringer's first book (2005), is a memoir that tells of his life being raised by a single mom in Manhasset, New York, and the group of guys at the local bar who provide the father figures in his life. It's a beautiful story, beautifully written, from the point of view of the journalist that Moehringer became -- he actually went back and interviewed the people from his past for the writing of this book. When Moehringer went on tour for the book's launch, he took his mother on tour with him -- I got to meet both of them when they came to Portland, and they were delightful.

Moehringer earned a BA in history from Yale University and then became a news assistant for The New York Times. He spent many years as a reporter and then bureau chief for the LA Times, earning a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. In 2009 he collaborated with Andre Agassi for the writing of Agassi's memoir, Open. Agassi contacted Moehringer after reading The Tender Bar and asked him to work with him.

Moehringer's as-yet-untitled novel is scheduled to be published sometime in the fall of 2012 -- we can't wait!!!