Monday, January 23, 2012

Join World Book Night on April 23

Do you want to be part of an awesome million-book giveaway? To volunteer to change a life? You can, as part of World Book Night on April 23, 2012

The deadline to sign up to be a volunteer quickly approaches – February 1 – but give us a moment to explain what this is all about.

World Book Night is a campaign to find light- or non-readers in the Portland community and hand them each a book -- a person-to-person sharing of the joy of reading. It was started in the UK, and it is coming to the US on April 23, 2012 – Shakespeare's birthday, not coincidentally! Below you'll find a video clip showing some scenes from the inaugural World Book Night in the UK last year.

The World Book Night organization is printing hundreds of thousands of special free paperback editions of some of this country's most well-loved books. The organization needs thousands of volunteers to go out on April 23 and distribute these free books across America. You pick the place: hospital or diner, school or ... well, lots of possibilities. Be creative. If you are selected to be a book giver, you will give away twenty copies of a single book on that day.

Sign up by February 1 to be a book giver on World Book Night! Please go the website to read more about the mission, some rules and regulations, and the books you can choose from to give away (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Little Bee, The Things They Carried, Just Kids, Kindred, The Book Thief, and a little book you might have heard of called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are just a few of the titles). All you need to become a giver is a little time, a love of books, and the desire to give something to your community.

Think about where you’d like to give away the books before you go online to apply. And thank you! We love this idea and hope to be your community center for World Book Night support. If enough people sign up and choose Broadway Books as their pick-up spot for books, we're thinking we'll host a little pick-up party the week before World Book Night. World Book Night overlaps with the award ceremony for this year's Oregon Book Awards, so if you're attending that you can give away your books in the afternoon.

But don't delay -- February 1 is just around the corner. Come be a part of this fabulous moment in time to share the love of reading.

Allen Say at Broadway Books Tonight!

We're so excited to be hosting local author, artist, and treasure Allen Say tonight at 7 pm! We last blogged about Mr. Say a little more than a year ago, with a link to a wonderful article about him by Jeff Baker of The Oregonian.

Tonight he will be here with his newest book, Drawing From Memory -- part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history. It is the story of the author's path to becoming the renowned artist he is today. Shunned by his father, who didn't understand his son's artistic leanings, Say was embraced by Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist and the man he came to love as his "spiritual father." The book, accompanied by Say's wonderful illustrations, tells the complex story of the real-life relationship between a mentor and his student.

Allen Say won the Caldecott Medal for Grandfather's Journey and won a Caldecott Honor and Horn Book Award for The Boy of the Three-Year Nap. Some of his other books include The Bicycle Man, Tree of Cranes, Ericka-San, and Tea with Milk. Say came to the United States when he was 16 and moved to Portland in 1999.

We hope you can join us tonight to meet this delightful author/illustrator.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Oregon Book Awards

Hello, 2012!!!! It's been a while since I've posted -- taking a bit of a breather after the 24 Days of Books blogging. Lots of exciting stuff coming up in 2012, including our 20th anniversary celebration (more on that to come). But first, a look back at 2011 highlights. In my next blog I'll announce the 2011 Broadway Books Bestsellers. Yesterday, Literary Arts announced the finalists for this year's Oregon Book Awards, as well as the recipients of this year's LA fellowships.

The award ceremony will be held Monday, April 23rd, at 7:30 pm at the Gerding Theater at the Armory in Portland (128 NW Eleventh Ave). This year's host will be one of my favorite authors, Timothy Egan (seriously, I might swoon -- literarily speaking). Egan is the author of The Big Burn, The Worst Hard Time (which won the National Book Award), and -- one of my personal favorites -- The Good Rain, among other books.  You can get tickets to the award ceremony by clicking here.

The list of finalists for this year's Oregon Book Awards is very impressive, full of lots of great reads and wonderful authors. Two books in particular stand out because they are not only finalists for the Oregon Book Awards but also won this year's Pacific Northwest Booksellers awards and were listed in the top ten of best local//NE books by The Oregonian, The Portland Mercury, and The Willamette Week: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (which also made the shortlist for both the Man Booker Prize and Canada's Giller Prize) and The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch (which was also named to numerous "best books of 2011" lists from publications outside of the area AND was the third bestselling nonfiction book at Broadway Books in 2011). What a year for these two outstanding authors. Best of all, The Chronology of Water comes not just from a local author but also from a publisher based right here in our own neighborhood: Hawthorne Books.

Other finalists for this year's Oregon Book Awards include Brian Doyle for his debut novel Mink River, the top selling book at Broadway Books in 2011 (and also published by a regionally based publisher, OSU Press), and Carl Adamshick, whose poetry book Curses and Wishes was also a Broadway Books bestseller this year. 

Don't forget that YOU can be involved in the selection of one of the OBA categories, the Readers' Choice Award. On the Oregonian's book site, look on the left-hand side to find the link for voting. Last year's winner of the inaugural Readers' Choice Award was Willy Vlautin, for his novel Lean on Pete.

Congratulations to all of this year's finalists!