May 2016 Newsletter
We realize that this is the May newsletter, but while we are getting ready to send it out through the magical airwaves to you it is still April, and what is foremost on our minds is National Independent Bookstore Day, which takes place on the last day in April: Saturday the 30th. We're so excited about it -- especially because it coincides with the store's 24th anniversary -- that we sent you a separate newsletter with all of the pertinent details (if you missed it you can find it here). Just to hit the highlights: cupcakes, music, specialty one-time items, prizes, temporary tattoos, 24% off all hardcover fiction all day, 20% off coloring books between 11 and 1, 20% off all used books all day. Sound good to you? We hope you will join us.

May is a packed month too, with a little something for everyone. We welcome back some Broadway Books favorites (Vivian Swift, Molly Gloss, Bette Lynn Husted, Joe Kurmaskie), while also welcoming authors reading at the store for the first time (Lauret Savoy, Lisa Congdon, Dmae Roberts). And we're thrilled to be hosting students from Grant High School on two nights, reading from work they've produced while participating in Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program. Whew -- it's a big month! Come early and often. As we celebrate our 24 years of being a part of your community, the word that most comes to mind is gratitude -- our gratitude for the wonderful authors and publishers we have the pleasure of working with, and our profound gratitude to you, our customers who continue to think local first when shopping for gifts or for books to read yourself. Thank you. Truly.

Happy reading!

Kim Bissell and Sally McPherson
Broadway Books
Open every day of the week:
Monday-Saturday: 10 am to 7 pm; Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
May Events
Tuesday, May 3rd, 7 pm: Lauret Savoy
PEN Open Award Finalist Lauret Savoy joins us to read from her new memoir, Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape.

In this provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across a continent and time, Savoy explores how the country's still unfolding history and ideas of race have marked her and the land. From twisted terrain within the San Andreas Fault zone to a South Carolina plantation, from national parks to burial grounds, from Indian Territory and the U.S.-Mexico Border to the U.S. capital, Trace grapples with a searing national history to reveal the often unvoiced presence of the past. The author Terry Tempest Williams says of this book, "I have never read a more beautiful, smart, and vulnerable accounting of how we are shaped by memory in place."

Lauret Savoy is a woman of mixed heritage and a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, where she explores the inter-twinings of natural and cultural histories. She writes about the stories we tell of the origins of the American land and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. Her books include The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World and Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology. She lives in Leverett, Massachusetts.
Wednesday, May 4th, 7 pm: Grant High School/Writers in the Schools
One of the events we enjoy most each year is when we get to host local high school students reading from their own work. Their level of talent and passion will knock your socks off. This month we have the pleasure of hosting students from Grant High School on two different nights: Wednesday May 4th and Tuesday May 10th.

The students have been working in Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program and are from James Gendron, Cooper Lee Bombardier, and Mark Pomeroy's classes. If you haven't yet attended a WITS reading, prepare to be amazed.
Thursday, May 5th, 7 pm: Vivian Swift
We are thrilled to announce the return of artist, writer, and Broadway Books bestseller Vivian Swift to read from her newest illustrated memoir Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler's Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening.

In her third illustrated memoir, Swift takes us on an around-the-world tour of nine idiosyncratic gardens from Morocco to Key West, Paris to Brazil. Just like our own lives, each garden has a story of grandeur, sorrow, disaster, triumph, discovery, and joy.  Swift deftly illustrates these stories with her lovely watercolor paintings and travel vignettes.

Swift is the author of When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put and Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France. When not traveling, she lives on Long Island Sound with her husband. Click on this link to watch a video excerpt from her previous reading at Broadway Books.
Tuesday, May 10th, 7 pm: Grant High School/Writers in the Schools
See the notes above for the May 4th reading.
Tuesday, May 17th, 7 pm: Lisa Congdon
With an introduction from Hall of Fame Swimmer Lynne Cox, this charming book, The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water, invites readers to dip into the many joys of swimming. Congdon brings her personal passion as a lifelong swimmer to this thoughtful celebration of getting in water. Hand-lettered inspirational quotes, watercolor portraits paired with personal stories, and illustrated collections of vintage objects evoke the beauty and inspiration of the subject. An emphasis on swimming as a way of life -- taking the leap, going with the flow -- makes this delightful volume one that will speak to serious swimmers, vacation paddlers, and anyone pondering their next high dive.

Fine artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful abstract paintings, intricate line drawings, pattern design, and hand lettering. She works for clients around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, Simon & Schuster, and Cloud9 Fabrics, among many others. She is the author of five books, including the starving-artist-myth-smashing Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist and the illustrated books Fortune Favors the Brave; Whatever You Are, Be a Good One; Twenty Ways to Draw a Tulip; and the "Just Add Color" series of adult coloring books. Congdon lives and works in Portland.
Thursday, May 19th, 7 pm: Comma: Bette Husted and Molly Gloss
This month's Comma reading features authors Molly Gloss and Bette Husted. Molly Gloss is novelist and short-story writer whose work has received, among other honors, a PEN West Fiction Prize, an Oregon Book Award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, and a Whiting Writers Award. She writes most often about the landscape, literature, mythology, and life of the American West. A fourth-generation Oregonian, she lives in Portland. Bette Lynch Husted lives in Eastern Oregon, but she gets a monthly infusion of literary Portland when she drives down the Gorge to meet with the Side Porch Poets workshop group. In Pendleton, she chairs the monthly First Draft Writers' Series. She has been a Fishtrap Fellow, an Oregon Arts Commission recipient, and an Oregon Book Award finalist. In her poems, personal essays, and fiction, she writes about the land and concerns of the people of inland Northwest.

The Comma reading series is hosted and curated by writer Kirsten Rian and takes place the third Thursday of each month at Broadway Books. The readings combine voices from different literary genres, and writers have the freedom to read from new projects, established pieces, or ongoing works in progress. Selected authors read for 15 to 20 minutes each, and following is a conversation between the two writers and/or the audience
Monday, May 23rd, 7 pm: Dmae Roberts:
Award-winning film and radio producer and writer Dmae Roberts will launch her new book, The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family at our store this evening. The book traces four decades of what it means to be a mixed-race adult who sometimes called herself "Secret Asian Woman." Through personal essays written over a ten-year period, Roberts journeys through biracial identity, Taiwan, sci-fi, and the trials of her interracial Taiwanese and Oklahoman family amid love, loss, and letting go of past regrets and pain.

Roberts is recognized for her body of work on interracial relations and equality, is the executive producer of MediaRites, and is a two-time Peabody-Award-winning radio producer. Her work can often be heard on NPR, and she is a regular columnist for The Asian Reporter.  She received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice Award, a United States Artists Fellowship, and the Oregon Book Award for Drama in 1996.
Tuesday, May 24th, 7 pm: Joe Kurmaskie
Wheel on in to Broadway Books on May 24th to be thoroughly entertained by the effervescent Joe Kurmaskie as he reads from his latest memoir, A Guide to Falling Down in Public: Finding Balance on and off the Bicycle. This is the fifth book in Kurmaskie's Metal Cowboy series and the first in five years. In it, he chronicles his most recent battle with hemochromatosis, the world's most common deadly genetic disease that is generally unknown. Stories in the new book, told in Kurmaskie's Mark-Twain-meets-David-Sedaris voice, highlight the fragility of life and the resilience of the human spirit in motion around the world.

Kurmaskie, AKA, "The Metal Cowboy," is an award-winning journalist, travel writer, performer, and author of seven memoirs and story collections packed with humor, pathos. and a full accounting of the human condition experienced and recounted from the seat of a bicycle. He has been a contributing writer to Bicycling Magazine, Details, Men's Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Outside, and Parenting. He lives in Portland with his wife and four boys.
Irvington Home Tour
Get your tickets for the 34th Annual Irvington Home Tour, taking place this year on Sunday, May 15th, from 11 am to 5 pm. We are once again selling tickets to this event that is not only fun but also a worthwhile neighborhood fundraiser.  For a mere $25 (cash or check only), you can see a collection of beautiful homes in the historic Irvington neighborhood.

Did you know that the Irvington Home Tour is the longest continuously running neighborhood home tour in Portland? The first Irvington Home Tour, conducted in 1967, was the first such tour in the city. The tour was scheduled intermittently until 1983, when the popular program became a permanent part of the Irvington Community Association's annual calendar. It's a great opportunity to explore some beautiful houses -- and while you're doing so we encourage you to also explore the shops, restaurants, and coffee houses the neighborhood has to offer.

Oregon Book Award Winners
Recently we had the pleasure of selling books at the ceremony for this year's Oregon Book Awards -- thank you, Literary Arts! We also had the honor of presenting the award for General Nonfiction, won by our good friend David Biespiel. Such a wonderful night celebrating all the literary wonderfulness this state has to offer. And how fun to welcome Heidi Durrow back to town to serve as the event's host.

Here are the winners of this year's Oregon Book Awards:
Also honored during the ceremony were Curtis Kiefer, who received the Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award, and Doug Spangle, who received the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award.

Our congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. We stand in awe of your talents and in appreciation for the pleasures you give us. 
New in Hardcover
 Before the Wind, by Jim Lynch
Jim Lynch's new novel Before the Wind offers beautiful Puget Sound descriptions, a dysfunctional yet loving family, and a touch of magical realism. For the Johannssen family, the Puget Sound was their backyard and sailing was in their DNA. But now at 31, son Joshua finds himself wondering what's gone wrong with his family, with its members distant both physically and emotionally. Then they unexpectedly reunite for a race on a vessel they made decades ago, and the revelations are shattering.
 Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide, Border Songs, and Truth like the Sun, is a strong favorite here at Broadway Books. Luis Alberto Urrea, whose novel Into the Beautiful North is currently being dramatized at Portland's Milagro Theatre, says that Before the Wind does for sailing what A River Runs Through It did for fly-fishing, calling it "a beautiful book that smells like the sea." 
For a Little While, by Rick Bass
Rick Bass is one of our very favorite authors. He has written novels and memoir and other longform nonfiction, but he is a master of short fiction, which is a difficult genre and has few practitioners that can write consistently at the level of excellence that Mr. Bass calls home. He writes about people living with passion and tenderness in the face of complex family and romantic entanglements, tempting fate and triumphing over it. There is a great feel for the magic and wonder of the earth, and for the ways in which we are bound to her. So it is with great anticipation that we received his just-published new collection, For a Little While: New and Selected Stories. This is a 470-page volume containing eighteen old stories and seven new ones, a perfect combination of familiar favorites and newer writing. We plan to read this one slowly, savoring each story and enjoying the distinct and exquisite voice of a master at the top of his game. 

The Little Red Chairs, by Edna O'Brien
Edna O'Brien is one of the greatest living Irish writers. Her new novel The Little Red Chairs has just been published to the delight of readers everywhere. It's her first novel in ten years, and the critics agree it is well worth the wait. This is the story of Fidelma McBride, a deeply troubled raven-haired beauty, who casts aside her marriage and defies convention to fall under the spell of Dr. Vladimir Dragan, a mysterious, brooding stranger who arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila, where the story begins. One morning, Dr. Vlad is arrested and revealed to be a notorious war criminal and mass murderer. Fidelma is devastated, and now must pay for her flagrant attachments. Disgraced and alone, she embarks on a journey of great hardship that holds the prospect of redemption. The story moves from Ireland to London and on to The Hague. It's a vivid and unflinching look at our capacity for evil and artifice as well as fierce love and forgiveness. Edna O'Brien is the author of twenty-two previous novels as well as four nonfiction works and five plays.  
Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren 
Lab Girl is getting a lot of press and for good reason. Newcomer Hope Jahren gives us a combination memoir/science book that leads readers to cross lines -- adults are reading it for insight into their science-inclined mothers, parents want it for their budding scientistas, gardeners and people who just enjoy a hike in the woods are intrigued by what's going on in that greenery. Jahren even has Ann Patchett wishing she was a scientist! Cheryl Strayed and Abraham Verghese are fans and you will likely be too, as Jahren shows how simple curiosity can make everyone a botanist.
The Vanishing Velazquez, by Laura Cumming, and The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer
It should come as no surprise that we love a good story. We are especially drawn to a story when it involves stolen or lost art or literature and the hunt to find it or the race to save it. Some of our favorite nonfiction books of the past few years have been Jonathan Harr's  The Lost Painting, which detailed the search for a missing Caravaggio painting and Robert Edsel's The Monuments Men (made into a disappointing movie, but still a great book) that told the story of hundreds of priceless stolen art objects rescued by American soldiers from secret Nazi hiding places at the end of World War II. These books often read like the best espionage thrillers, with the added bonus that they are true! We are delighted to find two new books that fit this category.

The Vanishing Velazquez: A 19th Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece, by Laura Cumming, is of course of great interest to us because of the subtitle. How could we not be intrigued by a bookseller's obsession? This is an historical thriller that begins in 1845 at an auction. Bookseller John Snare finds a dirt-blackened painting that is attributed to a Flemish painter, a portrait of Charles I of England. But he senses that something is wrong. The subject in the painting is much too young to have been painted by the artist to which it is attributed. And so begins Snare's search for the real artist. His research leads him to Diego Velazquez, the Spanish master whose portrait of Charles I has been missing for generations. We've already said too much so we'll give no spoiler alerts, but trust us, this book is a wild ride through a world of mistaken identities, politics, crime and passion. It's a page-turner of the highest order.

And here's a book we would love for its title alone, but there's so much more to love it for! The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer, is a story from the 1980s about how a mild-mannered archivist became a smuggler of historic texts. Abdel Kader Haidara worked for a government library tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in obscure places. When Al Qaeda began their systematic destruction of priceless and irreplaceable works of art and literature, Mr. Haidara found his true calling. He organized a dangerous and secretive operation to sneak books and manuscripts out of Timbuktu to the safety of southern Mali. This action taken by a historian and his underground army of librarians saved 350,000 volumes from certain obliteration. As far as we can tell, that's pretty much the definition of Bad Ass.  
New in Paperback

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