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

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Download the free Kobo app to read on your phone or table. Or buy an e-reader from us. We have two new outstanding models: The Kobo Aura ($139.99) and the Kobo Aura HD ($169.99).

Looking for more in-depth discussion than you get in a book club but not as intense as a class with essays and finals? Try a Delve Seminar, through Literary Arts

Next available Delve Seminar is The Americans: Award-Winning Novels by Louise Erdrich, Julie Otsuka, and Jesmyn Ward. 
Wednesdays from April 2 to May 7.

New in Paperback

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See you next month!
Broadway Books
A Great Little Store with Great Big Service
April 2014 Newsletter

March was such a great month! We are still reeling from attending Portland's most glittery literary experience, The Oregon Book Awards. For twenty-seven years a part of Oregon's literary landscape, this celebration of the very best writing in our state never fails to remind us of the gifted and promising writers and publishers that live here. This year's emcee, writer Luis Urrea, started the evening off with a paean to Ursula K. Le Guin (who won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction later in the evening), calling her (with much justification) "The Queen of the World." Ms. Le Guin responded by urging the audience to pay attention to what Mr. Urrea writes, but not what he says. 
We were so honored to be included in the evening's festivities at the reception after the ceremony, where we sold copies of all the nominated books. Thank you, Literary Arts, for sponsoring this award as well as many other worthwhile and empowering projects for readers, publishers, and writers across the state! A special shout out to Susan Denning, who for several years has coordinated this event. Literary Arts' Executive Director Andrew Proctor calls her "indefatigable," and she's that and more. Susan, you rock!
As the sweet breath of spring wafts over Portland, we greet the month of April with a renewed appreciation for the sunshine (although it's still too cold to wear sandals - we know this from a few unsuccessful attempts to air our toes in the frigid wind) and a great lineup of events. From poetry to fiction, memoir to a fundraiser for a cause we believe in, we've got our bases covered like rookies at spring training.
Won't you join us for one (or some, or all) of these evenings? Let us entertain you!
Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson
Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
(503) 284-1726
April Readings

Tuesday, April 1, 7 pm: Nicole Mones 

Night in Shanghai,by Nicole Mones, is the first novel to illuminate the pivotal role of African-American musicians in the Chinese jazz age. Recruited from the depths of the Depression and whisked to the epicenter of Asia's hottest nightlife, these jazz players found wealth, freedom, and fame beyond their dreams, only to be caught up in the outbreak of World War II. The story focuses on Thomas Greene, a classically trained Baltimore piano player tapped to lead a Shanghai swing orchestra, whose life is pulled apart by war and revolution.


 The book introduces three little-known historical stories: the untold saga of American jazz men in Shanghai, the saving of thousands of Jewish lives by Chinese Consul Ho Feng-Shan, and the Chinese government's attempt to save 100,000 more Jewish lives by establishing a permanent resettlement zone for Jews next to Burma.


Nicole Mones brings thirty-seven years of experience in China to this sweeping novel. Her previous novels, The Last Chinese ChefLost in Translation, and A Cup of Light, are in print in more than twenty-two languages and have received multiple juried prizes. Her nonfiction writing on China has appeared in the New York Times MagazineGourmet, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Mones is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Her home is in Portland, but much of her life is on the road, especially in China.


Tuesday, April 8, 7 pm: Amy Schutzer 

Spheres of Disturbance, by Amy Schutzer,

is a haunting, sensual, and cunning novel about America's impossible need to deny death. Over the course of one day in 1985, as Helen is dying, nine people in her life - among them her daughter, an art thief, a high-strung housewife and crochet artist, a lesbian poet, and a pregnant Vietnamese pot-bellied pig - grapple with her impending end, as they resist or accept, impact or impede the trajectories of Helen's death. Spheres of Disturbance explores how we can bear to approach, or even choose, our inevitable end.


Author Joanna Rose says that Schutzer "peels away the layers of fear and despair and loneliness to reveal the dark, and sometimes zany, messiness of the human condition."  


Schutzer's first novel,  Undertow (Calyx Books) was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, a Violet Quill Award finalist, and a Today's Librarian "Best of 2000" Award winner. She is the recipient of an Astrea Foundation Grant for Fiction and a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. In 2011, Finishing Line Press published her chapbook Taking the Scarecrows Down.   


Thursday, April 10, 7 pm: Tom Spanbauer, and a fundraiser for Oregon United for Marriage Equality

We are so excited about this ticketed event. Check out the details below. 


Tuesday, April 15, 7 pm: Sandra Stone 

The Inmost House, by Sandra Stone, is a work of poetic nonfiction, a transformative event in the life of an artist. Ms. Stone also has much to say on culture and custom, epiphany and mortality. Here are occasions for beauty, loss and plenitude, of transcending divides, of folly and reverence.


The author Brian Doyle describes this book as a "beautifully braided story," "meditations on weathers of our lives relentless against the welter of darks," with "startling, quick, brilliant insights."  


Ms. Stone is the author of Cocktails with Brueghel at the
Museum Cafe, winner of the Oregon Book Award and later selected as one of 150 outstanding books of poetry by 
Oregon poets. Her poem "Snow Whippets" was named the 2010 winner of the Lucille Medwick award for a single poem on a humanitarian theme by the Poetry Society of America. Her work has appeared in The Hudson ReviewNew RepublicSW Review, and other publications. 


Thursday, April 17, 7 pm: Brian Doyle

We are so thrilled to welcome back our good friend Brian Doyle, who will read from his hot-off-the-presses novel, The Plover.


Fans of Mink River, one of Broadway Books' biggest bestsellers ever, need no introduction to Brian's work. He's our homeboy whose fiction, poetry and essays have become beacons in the rain to many Oregonians. Mink River was a novel so steeped in the rich smells, sounds, light, flora, fauna, and people of Oregon coastal life that we believe it stands beside Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion as a love letter to this green and soggy place.
The Plover is not exactly a sequel to Mink River, but more of a companion volume. It begins where Mink River ends, as a middle-aged fisherman named Declan O'Donnell sets out to sea in  his boat, the Plover. Not knowing exactly what he's doing or where he's going or why, Declan has no ties to the land and no intention of turning back. As this man of "flinty soul" and "salty confidence", sails across the wide Pacific ocean, his encounters with the weather, a pirate ship, an old friend from Oregon, a boy from a forest, a shining seagull, a brain-injured girl, and much more help weave a mystical tale, full of symbolism and metaphor and great good humor. As always, Brian's words tumble and rumble in long, rambling, beautifully crafted sentences that discuss everything under the sun, everything in the sea, and quite a lot about the condition of being alive.  


Tuesday, April 22, 7 pm: Mountain Writers Poetry

Tonight we celebrate the release of Just Now: 20 New Portland Poets, edited by Peter Sears (in collaboration with Michael Malan) and published by Cloudbank Books. This group of poets has been working together under the guidance of Peter Sears for more than two years. Reading tonight will be Carol Ellis, Jane Greenbaum, Dan Hannon, and Martha Ragland -- and perhaps some surprise visitations! 


Thursday, April 24, 7 pm: Dan Berne and Rob Yardumian

Dan Berne's debut novel, The Gods of Second Chances, has just been published by Portland's own Forest Avenue Press. Family means everything to the main character, Ray Bancroft, a widowed Alaskan fisherman. He is raising his granddaughter with the help of a multitude of gods and goddesses -- not to mention rituals ad-libbed at sea by his half-Tlingit best friend. But statues and otter bone ceremonies aren't enough when Ray's estranged daughter returns from prison, her search for a safe harbor threatening everything he holds sacred.  


Berne has been an active member of a select writing work group led by Karen Karbo for ten years. His short stories and poetry have been published in a variety of literary magazines.


The Sound of Songs Across the Water, a first novel by Rob Yardumian, takes place in the summer of 1995 in Los Angeles. Fifteen years have passed since Riley Oliver's band flamed out. He sees the life that his former guitarist, Will Taylor, has built for himself and he wants some of that luck himself. Together Will and Riley build an album, and long-buried conflicts darken the sunny southern Californian scene. "In this wonderful debut, Rob Yardumian tells an irresistible story about the struggles of two old friends. In doing so he writes brilliantly about music and sex, art and love, the power of money and the lure of charisma."


Yardumian spent ten years in the music business. His fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, The Antioch Review, The New Orleans Review, and other literary magazines. He currently lives in Portland. 

Special Event - April 10, 7 pm

Please join us for a very special event on Thursday, April 10, at 7 pm:

  Tom Spanbauer, reading from and signing his newly published novel I Loved You More, and a fundraiser for Oregon United for Marriage


Tom Spanbauer is the author of Faraway Places, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, In the City of Shy Hunters, and

Now is the Hour.

His newly published novel, I Loved You More, is published by Portland's own award-winning Hawthorne Books. 
Tom grew up on a farm twelve miles outside of Pocatello, Idaho. He received his BA in English Literature from Idaho State University and then served two years in the Peace Corps in Kenya, East Africa. He moved to New York and received an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University in 1988. In 1991 he moved to Portland and founded the Dangerous Writing group. Dozens of his Dangerous Writing students have gone on to publish novels and/or memoirs.  


During this event we will also raise funds for Oregon United for Marriage, a coalition of individuals and organizations working to win and defend the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Oregon. To encourage you to donate at the event to this very important campaign, Broadway Books offers this incentive:

  • Donate $50-$99 and receive a $5 gift certificate from Broadway Books.
  • Donate $100-$199 and receive a $10 gift certificate.
  • Donate $200 or more and receive a $20 gift certificate. (Gift certificates will be mailed to donors after the event.)

Tickets to this event are $18.95, and can be purchased through Broadway Books' website (credit card only) or at Broadway Books (cash, check, or credit card). All ticket holders will receive a copy of Tom's new book at no additional charge. Tickets will go on sale at 11 am on Monday, March 24th. A limited number of tickets will be sold for this event, so don't wait to get yours! (No refunds.)

2014 Oregon Book Awards
Congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year's Oregon Book Awards! The ceremony this year was better than ever, with host Luis Urrea telling stories about his first meeting with Ursula K. Le Guin, including taking her to see her first "Star Wars" movie.

We were treated to creative and heartfelt acceptance speeches from the winners, and poet Scott Poole once again found a way to include all of the finalists and winners in a poem that had us all chortling.

Here are this year's winners: 
New Art in the Store
Many of our customers have enjoyed the original art we always have hanging in the store. Some of it is for sale, and some is not. At the end of this month, we'll be changing it all up for a few months.

We are happy to be hosting a reception and art show on Sunday, March 30, from 1 pm to 5 pm. "Broadway Books Features Mt. Scott Studio Painters and Friends" will feature original work from many artists, and most of it will be for sale. We'll leave the show up for two months, but we encourage you to come to our reception to meet the artists!

Scheduled exhibitors are Kate Bennison, Mary Burke, Elizabeth Ereckson, Honnie Sorenson Freyer, Joan Gordon, Louise Gray, Pat Reser, Kerry Stevenson, Paula Wade, Nancy Walsh, Pati Waterfield, Cjantal Wyatt, and a few others.
Many of these artists have studied with the northwest treasure Bonnie Allen. Please come check out these new pieces of art -- perhaps you'll find one that's just right for your home!
New in Hardcover
A bestselling book here and one of our favorites was Gail Caldwell's Let's Take the Long Way Home. We're thrilled to tell you about Caldwell's new memoir: New Life, No Instructions, the story of a dramatic turning point in her life, which unexpectedly opened up a world of understanding, possibility, and connection.

Caldwell wrote this book because "I wanted to say something about hope and the absence of it, and how we keep going anyway. About second chances, and how they're sometimes buried amid the dross, even when you're poised for the downhill grade." New Life, No Instructions is about the surprising way life can begin again, at any age.

Astoria, Peter Stark
Sally just finished reading a book that she loved, about the quest to settle a colony on the Pacific Northwest coast: Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival.

Astor began his life in this country as a near-penniless immigrant in New York City but soon accumulated a vast fortune in the fur trade. In 1810 he sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast and capture the lucrative fur-trade possibilities it offered -- one party by ship around Cape Horn and one overland across the Rockies and the rugged, barely known terrain that lay beyond.

The book is a fascinating tale of high adventure and incredible hardship, drawing extensively on firsthand accounts of those who made the journey. Though the colony itself would be short-lived, its founders opened American eyes to the remarkable potential of the western coast, discovered the route that became the Oregon Trail, and permanently altered the nation's landscape and global standing.
Barbara Ehrenrich, best known for her social activism and investigative reporting, as exemplified in her bestselling book Nickel and Dimed, now turns to a book best described as part memoir and part philosophical and spiritual inquiry.

After coming across the journal she had kept as a teenager, Ehrenrich -- a former scientist and life-long atheist -- began reexamining the "mystical experiences" she'd had in her youth. With frequent quotes from her journal, Living with a Wild God brings an adult woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's uninhibited musings on the questions that trouble many of us.

Did you know that Ehrenrich was born in Butte, Montana, and earned a degree in physics from Reed College in 1963?

Frog Music, Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue, whose most recent novel Room was an international bestseller, returns to her roots in historical fiction with Frog Music, a literary crime novel set in San Francisco in 1876. 

Based on a true story, Frog Music tells the story of Blanche Beunon, a French burlesque dancer who risks everything to bring to justice the person who murdered her friend Jenny Bonnet.

"Aside from the obvious whodunit factor, the book is filled with period song lyrics and other historic details, expertly researched and flushed out.... Donoghue's signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d'oeuvre."

The newest novel from Gabrielle Zevin tells the story of A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, at a time when the store is experiencing the worst sales in the store's history. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly. But then a package arrives at his bookstore.

In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin's enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books -- and booksellers -- that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds. It's an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.
Redeployment, Phil Klay 
In his debut collection of short stories, former Marine Phil Klay vividly portrays the gritty day-to-day life of soldiers in combat, as well as the equally gritty and unsettling experience of returning to the "real world."

Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth and received an MFA from Hunter College, where he studied with Colum McCann and Peter Carey. He served as a Marine in Iraq during the Surge. His stories about the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what happened to the soldiers who returned are interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival.

"Harrowing at times and blackly comic at others, the author's first collection could become for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts what Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried is for the Vietnam War."
All Our Names, Dinaw Mengestu
This new novel from award-winning writer Dinaw Mengestu (The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears) tells the unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in the 1970s. The book begins with the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution. The story tells of their friendship within the confines of a university campus, and also the intensifying clamor of the streets outside their cloistered life. As the lines between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart.

One of the men moves to the American Midwest, where he pretends to be an exchange student and falls in love with a social worker, settling into small-town life.Yet he remains haunted by the acts he committed, the work he left unfinished, and -- most of all -- by the friend he left behind.

In this story of the names we are given and the names we earn, "neither the country nor the time matter much in a tale about human universals, in this case the universal longing for justice and our seemingly universal inability to achieve it without becoming unjust ourselves."
 Is your book club looking for ideas for new books? We're always glad to brainstorm with you. And we're happy to let you know if books are readily available, and when they'll be out in paperback.
Contact Information
Roberta Dyer or Sally McPherson
Broadway Books
(503) 284-1726