December 2015
Happy Holidays from
Broadway Books!
Holiday Gift Ideas

Welcome to our holiday newsletter. This year we've decided to focus on the theme of "gifts that surprise and delight." We've asked each staff person to tell you about one book that falls into that category for them this year. You can read about their selections below.
We've also created six pages on our website of more book gifts to surprise and delight within the following (admittedly arbitrary) categories: Our Wondrous Universe, Intriguing Lives, Seeking Solace and Sustenance, Pieces of the Past, Creatures Real and Imagined, and We Love Local. Within each of these categories you'll find suggestions for all ages, highlighting some special favorites of our staff as well as some stocking-size gifts. Coming up with our favorites from a store full of treasures is never easy; inevitably as soon as we hit "send" on this newsletter we'll think of at least ten more we wish we would have included!

Each book listing links to our website, for more information. You can also use the links to fill your online shopping cart if you'd like to have your gifts wrapped and waiting for you when you come in. Just let us know in the comments box the approximate date/time for pick-up and we'll have them ready for you. At the bottom of this newsletter is a link to our annual Holiday Book Guide, with even more great gift suggestions. And here's a link to the top ten books of the year, as declared by The New York Times.

Don't forget about our extended holiday hours this month: Monday through Friday we're open from 10 am to 9 pm, and weekends we're open from 10 am to 7 pm. We'll close at 5 pm on Christmas Eve. 

Happy holidays to all of you from all of us!



Sally McPherson and Kim Bissell 
Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232
I have fallen head over heels for this amazing new book that fuses storytelling, gorgeous art and visual design, and science reporting based on extensive research and countless interviews to provide an illuminating study of weather. Redniss, a finalist for the National Book Award for her previous book Radioactive, created a new typeface for this book: Qaneq LR, from an Inuit word for falling snow.

In images and words, Redniss relates the pleasure and trauma and human implications of weather -- extreme weather and everyday weather: Chaos, Cold, Rain, Fog, Wind, Heat, Sky, Dominion, War, Profit, Pleasure, and Forecasting. The chapter on fog is one of my favorites, with art depicting what it's like trying see in a pea-soup-thick fog.

Rebecca Skloot, Portland native and author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, says "Lauren Redniss is unique, one of the most creative science writers of our time....This is an important book about a topic that couldn't be more important to us all." Thunder & Lightning is truly a book to surprise and delight. ($35;Random House)  ~Sally
Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas, by David Banis and Hunter Shobe
This is truly one of my favorite books of the year. It's an eclectic and educational book of 150 infographic maps of Portland, representing the physical, social, and psychological aspects of our dear city. Written by two geography professors at Portland State University, this book combines some of the most fascinating information about Portland with enough whimsey to keep it, well, surprising and delightful!

You will learn about Portland's city chickens, wild coyote encounters, food-truck trends, coffee culture, house colors, and much much more that you didn't even realize you wanted to know.

The Portland Monthly calls Portlandness "the perfect gift for newcomers and natives" -- we wholeheartedly agree! ($24.95, Sasquatch Books) ~Kim
Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer 
Elizabeth Gilbert describes one of my favorite books of the year as "a hymn of love to the world." It is indeed this and so much more. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants is written by modern-day botany professor Robin Wall Kimmerer. Each of her essays draws on scientific findings, the personal story of her life, and a return to her Native American Roots.

To absorb this melding of science and Native American wisdom is amazing and hopeful. Rarely do I read a book more than once, but this one has earned permanent residency at my bedside. I consider it to be the perfect gift for anyone interested in appreciating and saving the gifts of the natural world. ($18, Milkweed Editions) ~
Beloved Dog, by Maira Kalman 
Not even Scrooge could resist artist and book writer/illustrator Maira Kalman's newest book,
Beloved Dog. It begins with a charming list of the things that dogs are to people: among these are the loyalist friend, the eager playmate, your fresh-air companion, your anchor, your pride, your muse, your baby. Then she tells the story of why and how she was afraid of dogs from her earliest years, and how she was taught to see dogs as untrustworthy, dangerous, and dirty.

Next comes the very tender story of how she came to be a dog owner, and at the same time (of course) a dog lover. In many ways her first dog, Pete, saved her sanity and her life.

The rest of this book is a tribute to the many dogs in her life and in her books. Sections from her previous work are included, and if you are one of Ms. Kalman's many fans, you will recognize them. Every page is so full of Ms. Kalman's very special art! Every page sings with her dog love! If you know someone or are someone (me! me!) who loves dogs in general or one dog in particular, you are lucky to have this book to keep and to give. ($29.95; Penguin Press) ~ Roberta
Mary Beard's S.P.Q.R. is a highly readable investigation of the mythical and factual origins of early Rome and its eventual empire. The Senatus Populus Que Romanus (The Senate and People of Rome) banner, by which the rulers and citizens of Rome first called themselves, soon became a defining catchphrase during the latter days of the Republic, roughly 200 BCE to 43 BCE, and was subsequently trumpeted about the expanding territories of the Empire down through the tumultuous days of the Caesars.

Exploring the Romulus and Remus creation myth for the beginnings of the city itself, and later taking as fact Virgil's great Aeneid, Beard proceeds down through the centuries with discussions and illuminations from primary source history such as Tacitus, Livy, Suetonius, Caesar, and others. A wealth of information and details spanning everything we know to date about Rome -- its peoples, its laws, its governments, its triumphs and tragedies -- is neatly and engagingly presented. The book is illustrated with photographs, maps, and line drawings. ($35; Liveright/Norton) ~Bob (Roberta's husband)
This compendium of creatures is a beautiful, fun, crazy love song to the amazing variety of animals with whom we share our planet. With more than six hundred creatures represented, there is something wonderful to discover on every page. The brightly colored, humorous illustrations make the book a delightful romp through the animal world.

Rather than limiting herself to the typical alphabetizing-by-animal-name structure, Barman organizes the book by inventive categories. In the "homebodies" section we meet animals who tend to stick close to home, like the adult sea sponge who clearly can't leave home no matter how much it longs for adventure because, sadly, it is firmly attached to the seabed. In "Champion Breath Holders" we learn that narwhals (or as most of us like to call them, the "unicorns of the sea") can hold their breath for thirty minutes, but that the real champions of breath-holding are elephant seals, who can stay below the surface for a whopping one hundred minutes! And one more fact to tickle your fancy: in the "Big Mouths" section, I learned that the aptly named natterjack toad has a call that can be heard several miles away. Thank goodness there are no natterjack toads living in my neighborhood!

Though the publisher and all the reviews tell me this book is geared toward younger readers, I'm pretty sure Creaturepedia will make the perfect gift for any sentient, animal-loving being on your holiday list this year, guaranteed to surprise and delight. ($22.99; Wide Eyed Editions) ~Jennie
Sidewalk Flowers, by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith 
Wordless picture books have been around for a long time, but of late we've seen some exceptionally wonderful ones.
Sidewalk Flowers is a gorgeous wordless picture book published earlier this year and sure to become a classic. The book is a moving depiction of a little girl finding small moments and objects of beauty in a big black-and-white world. 

Illustrator Sydney Smith has a great handle on perspective, and poet Jon Arno Lawson has constructed the perfect visual narrative to incite our holiday spirit. The New York Times gives the book a big thumbs up as well, naming it one of this year's best illustrated books for children. ($16.95; Groundwood Books) ~ Craig
Take a world tour through two hundred countries with this new edition of the bestselling kids' version of Lonely Planet's popular The Travel Book, loaded with thousands of amazing facts on wildlife, how people live, sports, hideous and mouthwatering food, festivals, and a wide range of other quirky insights on every page. Every single country gets its own dedicated page, and a mix of photography and beautiful illustrations brings each land to life. Perfect for keeping explorers aged eight  and older entertained on the road.

My twelve year old grandson, Reese, wrote: "This book is an amazing book and the perfect gift for your children or grandchildren. It has info on nearly every country in the world. It is great for enjoyment and also education" I would add, very colorful illustrations and a good resource for homework. ($19.99; Lonely Planet) ~Judy
Award-winning, US Poet Laureate, emeritus, Donald Hall is known for his strong and tender work, using simple direct language to evoke his imagery.

Although no longer producing new work, Hall has given us a new gift. Selecting from his vast body of work, he has presented us with his best -- a lifetime of experience and writing woven in this powerful little book.

Here is the perfect volume to introduce new readers and an absolute treasure to delight his long-time fans. Give it as generously to yourself and others as the poems have been given to us. ($22; Houghton Mifflin) ~Karin
Of all the temptations in the store this season, Water Babies: The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds is the one that most charms me. Eminent ornithologists are also charmed -- Roger Tory Peterson calls Burt "a perfectionist whose photographs of shy and elusive birds of the wetlands are unquestionably the finest taken." David Allen Sibley praises "his deep and sensitive appreciation of uniqueness of each of these most intriguing birds."

Water Babies is at the junction of serious birding and cuteness, a beautiful album of the downy and the clowny, the kind of ducklings you might see on Laurelhurst Pond, and chicks not to be seen without protection from polar bears. There is pathos, and humor too, as in the photos of juvenile egrets that he calls"sandbar hooligans." Some of these birds seem to call on Petra Mathers and Maira Kalman for fashion advice.

Burt, whose work frequently appears in magazines such as the Smithsonian, has made avian photography his life's work. ($29.95; Countryman Press/Norton) ~Rose
Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary, by The National Geographic Society
In images shot by some of the world's finest photographers, National Geographic's Rarely Seen presents places, events, natural phenomena, and manmade heirlooms seldom seen by human eyes -- 30,000-year-old cave art, volcanic lightning, giant crystals that have grown to more than 50 tons, the engraving inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch, and much much more.

If you have an armchair traveler or an adventurous traveler on your list, Rarely Seen is the gift book that is sure to delight. This astounding collection of hidden landscapes, little known moments captured in time, unusual animal species, ancient pieces of history, and natural phenomena just carries me away to sights I'll never see. It also fits the bill for those on your list who say they don't have time to read a book  but have the time to surf for their views! ($40; National Geographic Society) ~Luanne

Help Build a Library!

Through our book drive, you can

 continue to build the Roosevelt High School Library - 

one book at a time


Broadway Books will give you 20% off the price of any book
you purchase for Roosevelt and/or we will add 20% to any
gift certificate you purchase for the book drive.