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

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

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Tobias Wolff Reading and Q&A

Tobias Wolff is this year's recipient of Oregon State University's Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement.
The public is invited to attend the award presentation and lecture on Wednesday, May 21st, at 7:30 pm in the Fields Ballroom of the Portland Art Museum. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students and can be purchased through the PAM ticket office.(

Book sales, signing, and a reception will follow.

New in Paperback

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Mincing Mockingbird, Curly Girl, Letterary Press, Lark Press, Rifle Paper Co., Mina Lee, New Yorker Cartoons, and many more  -- for every occasion

Broadway Books
A Great Little Store with Great Big Service
May 2014 Newsletter

May has always been one of our favorite months because it's when we celebrate our anniversary. This year we will be marking twenty-two years since our opening day on May 15, 1992. We're not sure how that happened. Back in 1992, did we expect to still be here in 2014? Were we thinking that far ahead? We can't remember.

What we DO remember is how excited we were to be opening our doors to our friends and neighbors. We also remember that to our delight, our list of friends and neighbors grew exponentially over the ensuing years. That list continues to grow every day. Because of your amazing support, we're still here and doing better than ever.

In honor of our 22nd anniversary, we've cooked up a sale we think you will like: On May 15, if you come in to wish us a happy anniversary we'll give you 22% off your entire purchase!  This is a one-day-only deal, and the magic words are "Happy Anniversary." (Sorry, no pink card punches on this offer.)

So: mark your calendars and come to see us on May 15. Even if you don't buy anything, we'll give you a cupcake.    
Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson
Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
(503) 284-1726

May Readings
Tuesday, May 6, 7 pm: Rita Golden Gelman
Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad, will be here to discuss her life. Ms. Gelman is an ordinary woman who is living an extraordinary existence. At the age of forty-eight, on the verge of a divorce, she left an elegant life in Los Angeles to follow her dream of connecting with people in cultures all over the world. In 1986 she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with the sea lions on the Galapagos islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces. 

She has observed orangutans in the rain forest of Borneo, visited trance healers and dens of black magic, and cooked with women on fires all over the world. Her example encourages us all to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy that so many of us bury when we become adults.


Ms. Gelman is also the author of Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World and more than seventy children's books. To this day, she lives as a nomad with no permanent address. She has been staying with friends in Portland for the past few months.   


Tuesday, May 13, 7 pm: Willa Schneberg  

Portland poet Willa Schneberg, author of Rending the Garment, will be here to read from this new collection.

Philip Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry, said about Willa's new collection: 
"Rending the Garment tells a familiar tale: the Jewish immigrant family romance, but with an important difference. Using shifting points of view and narrative interruptions, biographical essays, scolding notes from school principals, diary entries, not to mention a cast of characters as lively as a Borscht Belt revue, Willa Schneberg tells her story from the inside, where grief and love live side by side in bed."
Ms. Schneberg is the author of a dozen books of poetry. Her second collection, In the Margins of the World, was awarded the 2002 Oregon Book Award for Poetry. She is also a ceramic sculptor and photographer whose work has been widely exhibited, including an interdisciplinary exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum in 2012. She was a U.N. volunteer in Cambodia from 1992 to 1993. She works as a private-practice clinical social worker in Portland.     


Wednesday & Thursday, May 21 & 22, Grant High School Writers in the Schools

Grant High School students who have been working on projects with writers from Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program will be here on these two nights to read from their own work.

On Wednesday, May 21st, students from James Zartler's two classes, who are working with WITS writer Apricot Irving, will read their work.

On Thursday, May 22nd, students from Kris Spurlock's, Dylan Leeman's, Stephanie D'Cruz's, and Mary Rodeback's classes, who are working with WITS writers Serena Crawford and Carter Sickels, will read.

The Writers in the Schools program is sponsored by Literary Arts and sends professional writers into Portland's public high schools for extended periods to teach and foster an awareness of creative writing. Most of these young writers will be reading their own work for the first time in public.  


Thursday, May 29, 7 pm: Windfall


The Spring 2014 issue of Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place will be presented. Windfall is a journal which captures the spirit of place as part of the essence of the poem. The journal particularly emphasizes poetry written in the Pacific Northwest that is attentive to the relationships between people and the landscape.

Windfall is edited by Bill Siverly and Michael McDowell, who are scheduled to read along with Barbara Drake, Wendy Willis, and John Morrison.
Irvington Home Tour
The Irvington Home Tour takes place on Sunday, May 18th, from 11 am to 5 pm. This annual event is always a big draw - what fun being able to explore the interiors of interesting houses in the neighborhood, learning their histories and stealing remodeling ideas. You can purchase tickets ($25) at Broadway Books, cash or check only.

Here's a thought: Mother's Day is fast approaching (May 11th). We bet Mom would love tickets to the Home Tour, tucked inside a wonderful new book!
Gifts for Mom
How about tucking those home tour tickets for Mom into one of these new books?

A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren. In her new book, an unlikely political star tells the story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works -- and really doesn't. As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher -- an ambitious goal, given her family's modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington DC to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws? Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. Now a Senator, Ms. Warren tells her story with passion, humor, and a call to action. Her goal is the survival of American middle class working families.

Let's Just Say it Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton. An Academy Award-winner (and woman of a certain age) has written a candid, hilarious, and deeply affecting look at beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. In a voice that is unique and welcome, Ms. Keaton offers up a message of empowerment for anyone who has ever dreamed of kicking back against the "should"s and "supposed to"s that can undermine our pursuit of beauty in all its forms. Throughout, her wry wit and sense of style remind us that we are in the presence of a woman who has learned that a life well lived is the most beautiful thing of all.

Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen. This new story by a beloved novelist is a powerfully observed, deeply moving, and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman. Rebecca Winter is a photographer whose work made her a heroine to many women. Her career is now fading, her finances are shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she meets Jim Bates, a roofer who teaches her that what she sees through a camera is not all there is to her life. This is Ms. Quindlen's seventh novel. All have been bestsellers.

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. From the author of the word-of-mouth sensation  The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, this wildly picaresque new novel begins in a tiny shack in the largest township in South Africa, where Nombeko Mayeki is born. Put to work at five and orphaned at ten, she quickly learns that she is not expected to do well in this world. That doesn't stop her from learning to read and write and making her way out of Soweto. Unfortunately, her way out includes millions of smuggled diamonds. She escapes to Sweden, of all places, and learns of a plot to kidnap the King. It becomes up to our heroine to save the day. A charming and hilarious story.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. This mesmerizing novel is the story of a passionate love affair between two vastly different people during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century. Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. She meets Eddie Cohen, a dashing Russian immigrant photographer whose pictures of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire grab her attention as Eddie grabs her heart. With its colorful cast of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York City itself becomes a riveting character in this illuminating tale of love in tumultuous times.
New in Hardcover
From highly acclaimed author Anthony Doerr comes a dazzling new piece of epic fiction, a ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

When Marie Laure is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood -- every house, every manhole -- so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Their paths converge in Saint-Malo on the Brittany Coast.

Doerr was awarded the 2010 Story Prize for Memory Wall. His other books include The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. He is the Writer-in-Residence for the state of Idaho.
The Snow Queen, Michael Cunningham
From the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of The Hours comes a darkly luminous novel set in New York. Barrett Meeks, a poetically minded man in his late thirties who has just been dumped by his most recent boyfriend via text message, shares a Brooklyn apartment with Tyler, his older musician-bartender brother, and Beth, Tyler's great love.

It's November 2004. Barrett is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn't believe in visions, or in God, but he can't deny what he's seen. At the same time, Tyler is trying -- and failing -- to write a wedding song for Beth, who is seriously ill. Tyler is determined to write a song that will be not merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of love.

Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers. Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can summon.

Michael Cunningham is an elegant writer whose novels have been compared to Henry James and James Joyce.
The Serpent of Venice, Christopher Moore
As he did in his bawdy, pun-filled novel Fool, Christopher Moore once again delivers a rousing literary satire, a dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to) foul plots, counterplots, true love, jealousy, murder, betrayal, revenge, codpieces, three mysterious locked boxes, a boatload of gold, a pound of flesh, occasional debauchery, and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in "o"; a trio of comely wenches -- Desdemona, Jessica, Portia; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff, the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there's always a bloody ghost).

Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can.
 Can't and Won't, Lydia Davis
In stories of several pages, a paragraph, or even a sentence, Lydia Davis wows us with her sharp observations, her wry and witty poignancy, her bracing candor, her sly humor, and above all her deft and precise prose.

Davis was awarded the 2013 Man Booker International Prize for achievement in fiction. Her most recent collection, Varieties of Disturbance, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is also the acclaimed translator of Swann's Way and Madame Bovary, both of which were awarded the French American Foundation Translation Prize.

Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, Dee Williams was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. Building an eighty-four-square-foot house -- on her own, from the ground up -- was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire abode. It's left her with more time to spend with family and friends and given her the freedom to head out for adventure at a moment's notice or to watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch.

Williams is a teacher, designer, woodworker, and sustainability advocate. She is the owner of two businesses, Portland Alternative Dwellings and Boxcar Woodcraft, where she designs and builds tiny houses. She conducts green-building workshops across the country with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and is the author of Go House Go, a manual for building small homes. She lives in Olympia, Washington.
Boyd Varty had an unconventional upbringing, growing up on Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa -- a place where man and nature strive for balance, where perils exist alongside wonders. Founded more than eighty years ago as a hunting ground, Londolozi was transformed into a nature reserve beginning in 1973 by Varty's father and uncle, visionaries of the restoration movement. But it wasn't just a sanctuary for the animals; it was also a place for ravaged land to flourish again and for the human spirit to be restored. When Nelson Mandela was released after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, he came here to recover.

Cathedral of the Wild is Varty's memoir of his life on the reserve. It was there that he and his equally adventurous sister learned to track animals, raised leopard and lion cubs, followed their larger-than-life uncle on his many adventures filming wildlife, and became one with the land. Varty survived a harrowing black mamba encounter, a debilitating bout with malaria, even a vicious crocodile attack, but his biggest challenge was a personal crisis of purpose. An intense spiritual quest takes him across the globe and back again -- to reconnect with nature and "rediscover the track."
Roz Chast 
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Told through four-color cartoons, family photos and documents, and with a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.

When it came to her elderly mother and father, Chast held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction.While the details are specific to Chast, the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care. An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant shows the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller.
 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