Broadway Books - Independently owned and supporting the NE Portland community since 1992.

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That you can order books 24/7 on our website? Select "pay in store/pick up in store," and we'll notify you when they're ready for you to pick up!

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That our gift certificates never expire? If we don't expire, they don't expire!

That more than almost anything else we love helping you choose just the right gift? So don't hesitate to ask for ideas if you're stuck.

That we are long-time supporters of local literary and educational activities?


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Broadway Books
A Great Little Store with Great Big Service
October 2013 Newsletter

In 1957, Jack Kerouac wrote It's October in the Railroad Earth, an electric freewheeling meditation that spoke of his love for his adopted city of San Francisco -  the hustle of the people  during October as they move through the streets going to work, taking buses, holding crazy wild conversations, wending their way to this place and that, hanging out in alleys and at train yards. Every October, we are reminded of Kerouac's piece and can't help but think of those crazy people, hipsters and hobos and harried hooligans, stalking the streets of their city with a wild abandon. And every time we imagine it, each one of them has a book in their hip pocket.

Well, we're not in San Francisco and it's fifty-six years later, but it's October and we are feeling the season in the city of Portland. The air is crisp, the rains are starting, our mood is switching gears from summer mellow to the briskness of fall. And just as sure as the leaves turn and the wanderers hit the rails, the new books start arriving. Our favorite thing! Every day, more brand new titles come through the door and we rush to start reading them, to handle them, to smell the ink on the pages, to fall in love with them, and to get them into the hands of fellow readers. Don't you love this time of year? It's the time to come into the store and get a new book or two for your hip pocket.

Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson
Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
(503) 284-1726
October Readings
Tuesday, October 1st, 7 pm: Theron Humphrey, Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project about Physics and Dogs
Maddie, the rescued coonhound who has become an Instagram and Tumblr sensation, will appear at the store along with her human companion and photographer, Theron Humphrey.  They will present their new book, Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project about Dogs and Physics (Chronicle Books). Maddie's special talent is balancing on things. Beach balls. Horses. Shopping carts. Railroad crossing lights. Open refrigerator doors. Fire Hydrants. Much more. She has supernatural balancing and posing powers, and they are documented perfectly in this marvelous new book, which is a record of a trip she took in 2011 with Mr. Humphrey that took them to every state in the Union and covered more than 65,000 miles. The photographs can be seen on their website, but we love the book.

And this year, the pair are touring the country again, promoting animal rescue and appearing at one bookstore in each state. We are proud to be their Oregon bookstore! Maddie will meet everyone and perform a few balancing tricks, and books will be pawprinted with a special stamp. Since she prefers to be the queen of the show, we respectfully request that everyone else leave their dog at home. Also, food distracts her, so please, no doggie treats.  Please join us!


Thursday, October 17th, 7 pm: Lynn Partin, A Walkable Feast: Exploring Hemingway's Paris on Foot

 Please join us to hear local author Lynn Partin read from her recently published book A Walkable Feast: Exploring Hemingway's Paris on Foot. After falling under the spell of Hemingway's memoir A Moveable Feast, Partin retraced his meanderings through Paris as a struggling writer in 1920s Paris, when he was in love with his wife and indeed with life itself. Along the way she discovered that while some of the places mentioned in Hemingway's book have changed, the spirit of his Paris lingers.  


This book of history and walking tours includes the flats where Hemingway lived, as well as those of many of his friends - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and others; the cafes where Hemingway wrote and drank; and even the racetrack where he enthusiastically bet on horses. Interspersed throughout the book are quotes from A Moveable Feast to put each place in context.   


Thursday, October 24th, 7 pm: Matt Love, Of Walking in Rain

Of Walking in Rain is a work of creative non-fiction largely written in real time that assays the ubiquitous subject of rain in Oregon in as many ways as rain falls in Oregon. The book blends an eclectic variety of literary genres, including memoir, essay, vignette, diary, reportage, guide, criticism, satire, stream of consciousness, homework, meditation, review, commentary, oral history, weather report, discography, liner notes, polemic, curriculum, and confession.  


The book launches from one of Matt's favorite Ken Kesey quotations: "Give me a dark smeary shiny night full of rain. That's when the fear starts. That's when you sell the juice." Matt, winner of the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, is looking for the juice. Of Walking in Rain also features the exquisite etchings of rain by renowned artist Frank Boyden.  


Wednesday, October 30th, 7 pm: Maggie Stuckey, Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup

Soup brings people together, and tonight a book about soup will bring people together. Please join us as local author Maggie Stuckey presents her new book: Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community around a Pot of Soup, published by Storey Publishing. The book offers 99 recipes for soup, 40 more for accompaniments, and ideas for starting your own neighborhood soup nights. Many of the photographs in the book were taken in the kitchen of one of our best customers!  


The author of The Bountiful Container and seven other books on gardening and horticulture, Maggie is happiest when tending her vegetable garden and using the outcome to create new soups.


It's time for Portland's Literary Celebration! Books and authors become the talk of the town (aren't they always in this town?) at the beginning of October for Wordstock, Portland's Festival of Words.

Some of the highlights include a kick-off party at The Mission Theater, featuring Cheryl Strayed and Ayana Mathis, Oprah's first 2.0 Book Club authors, in conversation - about their books (Wild and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie), about life, about being strong women with very strong voices, and about whatever else might come up.

The bookfair, with dozens of author readings and workshops, takes place at the convention center on Saturday and Sunday (Oct 5-6) from 10 am to 6 pm. The festival features authors from near and far, including Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, whose second novel has just been published: Songs of Willow Frost. From Diana Abu-Jaber to Leni Zumas, the festival literally goes from A to Z.

The festival features books for readers of all ages and interests - fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture books, young adult and middle reader novels, and graphic novels. This year's festival also features a songwriting track and a celebration of all things Star Wars.

Please join us! We'll be in two booths: across from the McMenamins Stage and outside the poetry reading rooms.
Best American  (Fill in the Blank) Series
One of the pleasures of the season is the arrival of our favorite annual anthologies that feature collections of short pieces (mostly from magazines and literary journals) published during the past year. Most of them are collections of American writing, but some include writing from other countries as well. Each of these affordable paperback anthologies is edited by an expert in the field covered in the anthology. The discerning and experienced eyes of these editors are what make us such fans. There's not a bad essay or story or poem or illustration to be found.

The 2013 anthologies have begun to arrive. Here are some of the anthologies and their editors - if you look closely you'll see some of our favorite authors represented. Some of these are here now, and the rest will be here by the middle of the month.

Best American Essays (Cheryl Strayed)

Best American Infographics (Gareth Cook)

Best American Mystery Stories (Lisa Scottoline)

Best American Nonrequired Reading (Dave Eggers)

Best American Poetry (David Lehman)

Best American Science and Nature Writing (Siddhartha Mukherjee)

Best American Short Stories (Elizabeth Strout)

Best American Sports Writing (J.R. Moehringer)

Best American Travel Writing (Elizabeth Gilbert)

Best American Comics (Jeff Smith)

Best Buddhist Writing (Melvin McLeod)

Best Food Writing (Holly Hughes)

Twitter Tuesday/Facebook Fridays
Do you follow us on Twitter or Facebook? We're social media mavens (NOT!) and love to tweet and post (although we don't do it very often). We also love following our friends and customers and colleagues. It's a great way to discover new things and connect with people all over the globe as well as people around the corner. So now we're going to give Portlanders even more reason to follow us (we are @bookbroads): Twitter Tuesdays and Facebook Fridays!

Each Tuesday we post on Twitter a one-day-only, in-the-store-only discount on a book or other item that we love. On Fridays we do the same on Facebook. Get in on the action by adding @bookbroads to the list of people you follow on Twitter, and "friend" us on Facebook! 
Who's Reading What?

This month we're featuring Rose Lewin, who has been a Book Broad for about ten years and has tons of experience working in bookstores and libraries. This is what's been tickling her reading fancy lately:


I'm always drawn to authors who are observant, with a sense of humor - think Austen or Pym. In this century, Capital (John Lancaster) (A Spot of Bother (Mark Haddon) and We are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) are in this mode, but May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes is my current fave. Homes has a very deft touch that draws the reader deep into the mess the characters make of life.


In my opinion, Jasper Fforde is the current master of humor in fantasy. His "Well of Lost Plots" series makes anyone who loves books chortle, and the latest series, "Shades of Grey" (no, not that one) is one of the very few original fantasy ideas around.


If fantasy is not for you, another favorite of mine is Louise Erdrich's The Round House

, a starkly beautiful highly realistic book that won the National Book Award and is just out in paperback. 



Sometimes books are best in CD form. The audiobook memoir Still Foolin' Em by Billy Crystal is well worth hearing, because Crystal reads it himself and does pitch-perfect impressions of Christopher Guest, Orson Welles, Mohamed Ali, etc.


For decades, I've loved to cook but had become increasingly bored with it. Then Love Soup (Anna Thomas) came into the bookstore, and it's been a culinary renaissance chez Lewin. Love Soup led to Viva Vegan (Terry Hope Romero), which led to Appetite for Reduction (Isa Chandra Moskowitz), which led to Vegan Eats World (Romero again) and now I'm drooling for Isa Does It (Moskowitz) which will be published in October. Yum!

New in Hardcover
This extensively researched historical novel presents a sweeping saga spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and crossing the globe. The book centers on the Whittaker family and especially the brilliant daughter Alma, who becomes a gifted botanist and falls in love with a painter of orchids, pulling the clear-minded scientist into the realm of the spiritual and the magical.
Most of all, the novel bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas.
"Full of verbal sass and pizzazz, as well as conspiracies within conspiracies, Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful." "A precious freak of a novel, glinting rich and strange" "A hilarious, shrewd, and disquieting metaphysical mystery." "Exemplary... dazzling and ludicrous..."

These are some of the words reviewers have used to describe the latest novel from Thomas Pynchon, set in 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Maxine Tarnow - mother of two elementary school boys and in an on-and-off-again relationship with her sort-of ex-husband, is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. When she starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO, her life takes on a whole new level of complication.
A bestselling author of nonfiction and one of our favorites, Bill Bryson now takes us on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.That year the country celebrated Charles Lindbergh in the first nonstop plane trip across the Atlantic ocean, and Babe Ruth setting the single season record for home runs, which lasted until 1961, when Roger Maris topped him with 61.

Also on stage are Al Capone, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly, Mt Rushmore, Al Jolson and "the talkies," and Ruth Snyder, a housewife from Queens in a tabloid-sensation murder trial. Bryson captures all of the outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor.
Amanda Linhout's memoir tells the story of her life leading up to her trip to Somalia in August 2008, where she was captured by Islamic insurgents and held hostage for 460 days.

As a child, Linhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in exotic places. As a young adult she fulfilled those dreams, backpacking through Latin America, Laos, Bangledesh, and India. Next she moved on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In all, she traveled to fifty different countries. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she began to carve out a fledgling career as a television reporter.

Then, on her fourth day in Somalia, her life changed forever. When she is at her most desperate, she visits in her mind a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured. "In my mind," she says, "I was always free." The book illustrates humanity's capacity for cruelty, yet also its capacity for compassion, courage, and forgiveness. About six months after Linhout returned home to Canada, she started a foundation to support positive change in Somalia (and now Kenya as well), supporting a variety of educational initiatives, particularly for women.
Volume 1 of The Autobiography of Mark Twain was a surprise bestseller in 2010, even though it clocked in at 700+ pages. Volume 2 is equally door-stopping, and we're sure will be equally enthusiastically received.

Volume 2 delves deeper into Mark Twain's life, uncovering the many roles he played in his private and public worlds. Filled with his characteristic blend of humor and ire, the narrative reveals his views on writing and speaking, his preoccupation with money, and his contempt for the politics and politicians of his day. The book is affectionate and scathing by turns, reflecting Twain's intractable curiosity and candor.
Contact Information
Roberta Dyer or Sally McPherson
Broadway Books
(503) 284-1726