Thursday, July 28, 2011

Former Oregonian to Read Short Fiction Tonight

Joining us tonight is former Oregonian Diane Simmons, who will read from her recently published collection of short stories, Little America, which won the 2010 Ohio State University award for fiction.This book is for anyone who has ever considered just getting in the car and driving away. Here the ribbon of Western road is a metaphor for the heart's strange longings, providing hard, sometimes hilarious, lessons on the improbability of escape, the possibility of salvation, and the elusiveness of self-knowledge. With deadpan humor, perfect-pitch voice, and keen love of place, Simmons's stories illuminate the abiding American desire to "light out" -- if not necessarily for something better, at least for something new.

Simmons grew up on a farm in Eastern Oregon and worked as a newspaper reporter in Idaho, Alaska, and Washington before moving to New York. Currently she is a professor of English at The City University of New York. She has published two novels, one of which -- Dreams Like Thunder -- won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction in 1993. The novel is set in Eastern Oregon in the 1950s. Simmons has also written book-length critical studies of Jamaica Kincaid and Maxine Hong Kingston, as well as a study of narcissism in popular British Imperial writing.

Her short fiction has been published in Missouri Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Blood Orange Review, and Northwest Review. Simmons holds an MA in creative writing from The City College of New York and a PhD in English from The City University of New York Graduate Center.

We hope you can join us tonight to hear Ms. Simmons read from her new award-winning collection of short fiction. The fun starts at 7 pm!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Emotional Currency of Money

Money is a weird thing. It can be the source of great pleasure, but it just as readily brings about great angst and fear. Tomorrow night we are joined by psychotherapist and author Kate Levinson, who will read from and discuss her recently published book Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money, published by Celestial Arts.

Before beginning to explore the psychological and emotional roots of her relationship with money, Levinson always assumed that her discomfort with money was caused by "the amount I had and how I mismanaged it, never glimpsing that most of my money dilemmas had to do with my feelings and what it meant to me....Though financial advisers suggest that we just be rational in our dealings with money, this is rarely possible for most of us, as we attach a complex set of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings to money." These emotions affect every aspect of our lives, whether we have lots of money or not nearly enough.

Emotional Currency, according to Levinson, is "a guide to exploring your personal experiences of having, not having, making, not making, spending, saving, giving, investing, inheriting, and losing money....It will teach you how to integrate your feelings into money matters." The book includes dozens of real-life stories, as well as questions and exercises to help the reader explore the emotional and psychological aspects of  money and to provide strategies for working through confusion or struggles.

Interestingly, Levin's husband, Steve Costa, owns Point Reyes Books -- a profession I can easily confirm for you does not typically lead to great wealth. In fact, the author says it's a good thing she made her discoveries about the emotional component of money before he decided to buy the bookstore: "Without having done some of my inner money work, I would certainly have said, 'We can't! We don't have the money.' And our lives would have been poorer. Instead, our world has been immeasurably expanded and enriched, but of even more value to me has been the deepening of our partnership."

Levinson holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a member of the teaching and supervising faculty at The Psychotherapy Institute, and has also taught and supervised students at J.F.K. University’s Graduate School of Clinical Psychology. She specializes in helping individuals and couples deal with money from a psychological perspective.

Please join us Thursday, July 27th, at 7pm for what is sure to be an eye-opening discussion. I am eager to learn from the author's insights. Here is a link to an article about the book to whet your appetite.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comma Features Bridges and Skye

It's almost the third Thursday of the month, which means it's time for our monthly Comma reading series! Joining us this month are Sharon Wood Wortman and Skye Leslie. Sharon is the author of The Portland Bridge Book, as well as a book of poetry, Walking Bridges Using Poetry as a Compass: Poems about Bridges Real and Imagined. Skye is a member of Tom Spanbauer's group of Dangerous Writers and has been published in The Comstock Review and The Criterion. She is currently at work on memoir, short stories, and poetry.

Each month, the Comma reading series brings together two regional writers from different genres who are free to read from new projects, published pieces, or ongoing works-in-progress. And then discuss. With your participation. If you've attended before you know just how great an evening it is. Please join us! The fun starts at 7 pm the third Thursday each month. Which this month means tomorrow, July 21.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Matt Love is IN Love!

One of our favorite local-ish authors just dropped by the store to bring us some of his books, including his newest book: Love & the Green Lady: Meditations on the Yaquina Bay Bridge: Oregon's Crown Jewel of Socialism (Part Two of the Newport Trilogy). Yes, I'm talking about Mr. Matt Love -- author, editor, historian, and passionate, passionate teacher.

Conde McCullough headed the Oregon State Highway Department's bridge design and construction program for eighteen years. The Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, which opened on Labor Day in 1936, was his brainchild. Matt Love is in love. With this bridge. “One sunny afternoon, I looked at the bridge’s soaring sinuous green lines and saw a woman. Call it personification or call it a writer’s pretentiousness, or call Dr. Freud, but the Yaquina Bay Bridge suddenly appeared to me as a very attractive woman. Right then, I dubbed her the Green Lady and I was in love."

The new book blends an eclectic variety of literary genres, including memoir, essay, vignette, autobiography, letter, homework, meditation, ode, commentary, oral history, polemic, curriculum, and confession. It also offers more than 100 photographs of the bridge taken by Matt and some of his students. On the cover of the book is Daisy, who has a tattoo of "the Green Lady."

The book is published by the Nestucca Spit Press, which Matt founded in 2003. We've got signed copies of Love & the Green Lady here, as well as signed copies of some of Matt's other books. He'll be back in the fall to do a reading at the store -- the video from his reading last year here with Willy Vlautin is one of the most frequently watched videos on our website. Keep an eye on our calendar of events to find out when he'll be here. In the interim, come get your own copy of Love & the Green Lady.

Fun, Sun, and Incredible Bargains This Weekend!

It's looking like the sun is going to be shining on NE Broadway this weekend for the spectacular summer super sale -- once we get this little rain thing out of our system. And that's a very good thing, because this year's sale is going to be even more spectacular than ever!!

The party launches Friday, with great bargains up and down the street and a kickoff celebration in the parking lot of the Helen Bernhard Bakery offering music, beer, wine, food, and even fire jugglers!! How cool is that?

The fun continues on sunny Saturday, with more sales, a block party on 16th with music, beer/wine, and food vendors, a pet fair on 19th with Furever Pets, a wellness fair in the parking lot of the 2100 Broadway building, and a family fun zone on 12th near the Newport Seafood Grill.

Sunday brings more sunshine, more great deals, musicians along Broadway, and of course the weekly Irvington Farmer's Market.

Here at Broadway Books we are so excited about the weekend that we will be selling all new hardcover fiction titles at 25% off!!! It's first come, first served -- no special orders and no holding titles; when we run out of a title that's it, so be sure to come early for the best selection.

If you've been biding your time, waiting for a book to come out in paperback, here's your chance to pick it up now at almost paperback price! Perhaps it's the third book in the Stieg Larsson series (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) you've been lusting after. Or Ann Patchett's new novel, State of Wonder. Or the book from George R.R. Martin everyone's been waiting for (A Dance with Dragons). Or maybe a new book by a local writer, say Chelsea Cain's Night Season,  Kevin Scribner's The Oregon Experiment, Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers, Daniel Wilson's Robopocalypse, or Jean Auel's The Land of Painted Caves. Or maybe you're in the mood for the latest from Jacqueline Winspear, or Geraldine Brooks, or Ursula Hegi, or Donna Leon, or David Baldacci, or T.C. Boyle -- oh gosh, there are just so many to choose from!

We also have a special selection of paperbacks that we'll be selling for $4 each, or 3 for $10 -- those of you who have been to our summer sidewalk sale before know what I'm talking about. Lots of treasures to be found here too. In most cases we only have one copy of each - -come early, come often, as we'll be restocking the tables throughout the weekend.

Just a reminder: these special weekend sale prices only apply to books in the store -- no special orders and no online orders -- we want to see your smiling faces as you enjoy the sunshine and all that NE Broadway has to offer! We'll be open our usual hours: 10 to 7 on Friday and Saturday; noon to 5 on Sunday. 

To get the full schedule for the weekend's events and see what other participating merchants are offering, you can go the the NE Broadway website. This year's summer extravaganza is sponsored by Kitchen Kaboodle, Sofa Table Chair, McMenamins on Broadway, Minuteman Press Lloyd Center, Home at Last, Kettleman Bagel Company, Great Wine Buys, Billy Grippo/Windermere Real Estate, Postal Annex, Umpqua Bank, and the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations.

Did I mention that we just got a new shipment of yummy Theo organic chocolate bars in? Just thought you ought to know.....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Helping Portland's Mobile Library

We were so moved by the article in last week's Oregonian about Laura Moulton and her Street Books project! If you missed the article, here's a link to it. Street Books is a pedal-powered mobile library serving Portland's homeless population. It is open Wednesdays at Skidmore Fountain and Saturdays in the South Park Blocks. To get a library card with the Multnomah County Library System, you must have a regular address, but patrons of the Street Books mobile library are issued a card with just their name, and Laura keeps track of what books are borrowed and returned and what books are requested.

Laura originally began this project through an "art as social practice" grant, which she defines as art that has an interactive, public component -- that creates a person-to-person exchange -- and often, though not necessarily, serves a public good. Her mobile library gives access to readers who previously had no way to borrow books. And she's paying attention to her clients by actively searching out requested titles.

One of the sentences that most caught our eye in the article was this: "She pulls out a display drawer holding about 50 carefully chosen books." And there's the key: carefully chosen books. Not tons of books donated by people just cleaning out their shelves, but an inventory that matches the needs of the population that uses it.

How cool is that?  And how can we help? Our answer: a Broadway Books Gift Certificate, to be spent on whatever books Laura needs. So we've donated a Broadway Books Gift Certificate, and Laura will spend it in the best possible way.

We're hoping that this donation will start a ball rolling, and that some of our customers will want to make the same gesture. If you want to send Laura Moulton a Broadway Books Gift Certificate to help supply Street Books you can easily order BB Gift Certificates -- by coming to the store, calling the store (503-284-1726) or ordering them on our new website.We can give you the certificate to send to Laura, or you can leave it here for her to pick up (and spend).

What a unique and creative project! And how easy it is to become involved in it.  Thank you, Laura Moulton, for finding a need and attending to it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Suzanne Sigafoos Reads from Held in the Weave

One of the saddest parts of editing the video clips from author events at Broadway Books is deciding what stays in and what gets left on the cutting room floor. Given that the videos range from ten to fifteen minutes, and most authors read and/or take questions for close to an hour, clearly a lot gets left on the floor -- all stuff that you really shouldn't miss. But then you would have had to be there. The good news, though, is that the clips give you a flavor of the night, and hopefully inspire you to want to read the book yourself.

I had to take several passes at this video before I could get it under the time limit -- there were so many moments I wanted to share with everyone! Suzanne Sigafoos recently had her first collection of poems published by Finishing Line Press, and we were delighted to celebrate the launch of her book with her. Held in the Weave is a beautiful collection of poems, most of which are quite short but pack power loads of thought and vision. Some will prompt tears, some laughter, and some will leave you holding your breath with awe. I wish you ALL could have been there that night; it was magical. But for those of you who couldn't make it, here's a taste of what you missed. [PS: Copious apologies for the frog that was living in my throat that day, which made for a somewhat raspy/squeaky introduction!]

Mink River Wins Editor's Choice Prize

At a ceremony during the recent American Library Association Conference in New Orleans, the 215 Book of the Year Award winners in 60 categories were honored. These books, representing the best independently published books from 2010 were selected by a panel of librarian and bookseller judges. The award is sponsored by ForeWord Reviews.

Two books were also named Editor’s Choice Prize winners: The fiction prize went to Oregon State University Press for Mink River, written by Portland's very own Brian Doyle. The nonfiction prize went to Welcome Books for The Last Good War, with photographs by Thomas Sanders and written by Veronica Kavass.  

 "Mink River is one of the most generous books I've ever read. From the schoolteacher to the sculptor, the cop to the child beater, the humanity of its characters soils every inch of ground and perfumes each molecule of air in a remote place we're lucky to pause in for a while. Brian Doyle breathes new life into the novel of small-town America,” said ForeWord Book Review Editor Julie Eakin.

McPherson & Company was named ForeWord's Independent Publisher of the Year. McPherson & Company published this year's National Book Award winner for fiction, Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon

 ForeWord Reviews' Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors. ForeWord Reviews, established in 1998, is the only review trade journal devoted exclusively to books published by independent houses.

Get Free Access to Book Reviews Weekly!

One of the publications we read regularly to get news on the book industry, along with copious other booksellers nationwide, is now publishing a version for book lovers! Shelf Awareness: Enlightenment for Readers is a FREE emailed newsletter with reviews on the 25 best books publishing each week along with author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more. Right now Shelf Awareness is running a contest for new subscribers. You can sign up for this new publication below to be entered for a chance to win Thick as Thieves, a new thriller published by Knopf/Random House. Give it a try! You'll find links on many of the book ads that will take you to Indiebound, along with other booksellers, and Indiebound will lead you to our website. Or, better yet, just come see us!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Celebrate Your Independents at Our New Site!

It's a brave new world, and we at Broadway Books are marching forward bravely: we are excited to announce the launch of the new and improved website for Broadway Books! The address is the same (, but the content is totally new, and you have significantly more options available to you:
  • You can shop our inventory and our distributor's inventory 24/7 -- even in your jammies from the comfort of your own home.
  • You can order books and pick them up at the store, or have them shipped to you (or to someone else) -- or even delivered to your home by a BB elf, if you live in 97212, 97213, or 97232 zip code area.
  • You can purchase Google eBooks and download them to the device of your choice (except the Kindle; they don't allow that).
  • You can see what books each staff member is currently recommending -- and drop them in your shopping cart with the click of a button!
  • You can read about the Broadway Books bestsellers and the bestsellers at independent bookstores across the nation.
  • You can read each month's IndieNext list, with recommendations from booksellers nationwide.
  • You can find our events calendar to see what authors will be coming to the store.
  • You can watch video clips of past author readings at the store.
  • You can link to local literary sites such as Literary Arts, Reading Local: Portland, and Northwest Book Lovers.
  • You can link to book-award sites such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Man Booker Award, and the Newbery/Caldecott Awards.
  • You can link to our blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed.
  • You can read archived newsletters (The Broadway Review).
  • You can read about the history of Broadway Books and the bios of each staff member.
Having said all the things you can do with our website from the comfort of your own home, we'd like to add this: We LOVE it when people come into our store. Nothing makes our smiles broader than seeing oodles of book-loving folks cracking open real, ink-on-paper books to find the ones that make their smiles broad. We have no intention of seeing this website replace or reduce those moments of bliss. But, for those times when you just can't make it in, or for those folks who live too far away to visit in person regularly, or those who from time to time like their reading material on small, electronic devices, we are happy to offer this option for you.

On the home page of the site you can click on the "Ordering Online" option on the "About Us" drop-down menu to learn the specifics about placing an order online. As we mentioned in our April State of the Union, we're big fans of cash or check, so if you're picking up your order at the store it's especially wonderful if you can pay that way. But we're flexible.

To learn more about buying Google eBooks from us, click on the eBooks menu item, go to the instructions page, and then click on "Buying Your First Google eBook." You can click on the individual devices -- Nook, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, Sony eReader, Kobo, computer, or just about anything -- for specific instructions on downloading to each device. All you need is a Google account and an account with us, both easy to set up from our site.

We have plans to add more to the site -- photos from the store, videos, other reading suggestions (mystery bestsellers, local authors, books of local interest, etc); it will always be a work in progress. Please send us your suggestions and thoughts about the website; we care about what you think.

The decision to move to this more robust (and more expensive) website came after much deliberation. And it came in great part because we had customers telling us that they want to buy eBooks but want to support us, and customers telling us they wanted to be able to order online but want to help us stay in business. We think this is a solution that can work for everyone.

As always, thank you from the bottom of our book-beating hearts for your love and support. We couldn't do it without you.