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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Pacific Northwest, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 55
1. Drowning in Facts: A Conversation with Amy Stewart and Masie Cochran

Amy Stewart is the author of the novel Girl Waits with Gun and six other books, including The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants. Some of her earliest research for the novel happened right here in Portland, and Tin House editor Masie Cochran was there to witness it all. We've brought them back together to reminisce [...]

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2. Just Passing Through: Embracing the Covered Wagon Mind-Set

When people learn that I recently spent a long summer riding 2,000 miles across the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by mules, they invariably ask the same question: "How did the adventure change you?" Unspoken, but deep implications are embedded in that question, especially from family and friends. Maybe I have stopped drinking [...]

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3. Sweet Thunder

This charming story from Ivan Doig reintroduces the personable Morrie Morgan — now newly married and finding himself in charge of a rundown mansion and as a novice newspaper editor in 1920s Butte, Montana. Readers will find much to love in this look back at a fascinating time in American history. Books mentioned in this [...]

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4. Sometimes a Great Movie (staff pick)

In the summer of 1970, out on the central Oregon coast, Paul Newman and company filmed a cinematic adaptation of Ken Kesey's epic 1964 novel, Sometimes a Great Notion. The final installment in Matt Love's Newport trilogy, Sometimes a Great Movie chronicles the film's production with an array of first-person accounts, photographs, and newspaper clippings [...]

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5. One Crucial Tip for New Writers

If you could dispense with a single point of advice/wisdom to a new but promising writer, what would it be? And why? Your best friend is in town and you haven't seen him or her in years. You have something very profound that has happened to you that your friend does not know about yet. [...]

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6. We Live in Water

For me the key to a good short story is one that I want to read over and over. We Live in Water does just that... as soon as I finished the collection, I wanted to start it all over again. Walter has the ability to make you laugh out loud reading one story and [...]

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7. The Enchanted

I finished The Enchanted in tears. My boyfriend looked over at me from the opposite end of the couch, asked what was wrong, and all I could say in response was, "That was such a beautiful book." Books mentioned in this post The Enchanted Rene Denfeld Used Hardcover $15.95

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8. Ask a Book Buyer: Tales of the Home Front, the Sea, and Overseas

At Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident experts. Need a gift idea for a fan of vampire novels? Looking for a guide that will best demonstrate how to knit argyle socks? Need a book for [...]

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9. Shimmer of Something

Possibly poems, possibly really (really) short stories, possibly mini essays, Brian Doyle's "box poems" — smallish bits of writing with perfectly aligned edges and not one word short or long — are so perfectly exact, they seem utterly intriguing even before you start to read. (How, exactly, did he do that?) Doyle is a man [...]

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10. One Man’s Beach/Waves of Consciousness, Part Three

During the winter, I like watching anything undulating in motion with the ocean. That might be seals or surfers. That might be mermaids or drift logs. That might be skinny-dippers or coils of kelp. My favorite day to watch is Sunday. Call it going to church. My favorite place to observe the winter undulations is [...]

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11. Full Rip 9.0 (staff pick)

When, not if. It has been over 300 years since the Pacific Northwest last endured a megaquake (in 1700, the region was struck by a temblor considerably more powerful than the one that devastated San Francisco in 1906). With the Cascadia subduction zone (stretching from northern California into British Columbia) (over)due for a magnitude 9 [...]

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12. Let’s Go Talk about Catering Events: A Conversation between John and Renee Gorham, Part One

With the Toro Bravo cookbook, three of my very favorite things have come together — Toro Bravo, McSweeney's, and Powell's. One of the reasons that I moved from Catalina Island to Portland in 2002 was Powell's. I can't count the number of times over the years that I applied for jobs at various Powell's locations [...]

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13. Fire at Eden’s Gate: Tom McCall and the Oregon Story

Written by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Brent Walth, Fire at Eden's Gate: Tom McCall and the Oregon Story chronicles Governor McCall's personal life and political career. Much like its subject, this engaging biography is characterized by its abundance of both verve and aplomb — an exceptional work that recalls the labors of an exceptional leader. Whether [...]

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14. Sky Time in Gray’s River

Pyle beautifully and poetically captures both time and place in this collection of essays. Village life and nature entwine in Gray's River, a tiny hamlet in rural southwest Washington, as Pyle meditates on the cycles of human, flora, and fauna. At once an accounting of both a year in passing as well as a simpler [...]

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15. The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow: The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley

The nature diaries of Opal Whiteley are amazing for their magical, wide-eyed descriptions of forest and farm life. Raised on a Willamette Valley settlement in the early 20th century, Whiteley claimed to write this diary on scraps of paper at the age of six. Though her claims were disputed both in her lifetime and after, [...]

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16. Hidden History of Portland, Oregon

As a fan of local history, I found this volume to be a fascinating and enlightening collection of vignettes on the subject of civil rights in Portland and Oregon at large. These are stories you have probably never heard — stories about the displacement, mistreatment, and murder of the native population, the isolation and domestic [...]

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17. Astoria

John Jacob Astor's ill-fated attempt to establish the first commercial settlement on the West Coast resulted in the tragic death of nearly half the expedition. Peter Stark recounts this captivating tale of madness, starvation, and survival under extreme hardship. It reads like a thrilling and harrowing mix of Shackleton's Endurance, the Donner Party and Custer's [...]

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18. Of Walking in Rain

Of Walking in Rain is the latest literary output from the one-man stone Oregon publishing empire that is Matt Love. His devotion to and celebration of all things Beaver State is often infectious (and perhaps ought to be classified as a contagion). His newest work, a stylistic torrent, is a paean to Oregon's "most famous [...]

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19. Trask

Published in 1960 when Don Berry was 27, Trask is often mentioned in the same breath as Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion as the finest Oregon novel ever written. Set along the northern Oregon coast range in the late 1840s, Trask was inspired by the life of settler, mountain man, and fur trapper Elbridge [...]

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20. Peter Stark: The Powells.com Interview

It's hard to believe that 200 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was one of the most remote and isolated regions in the world. In 1810, four years after Lewis and Clark's successful crossing of the continent, New York businessman John Jacob Astor organized and financed an expedition to establish the first commercial settlement on the [...]

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21. The Portlandia Activity Book

With activities like "How to Crowdfund Your Baby," diagrams such as the "Artisanal Diet Pyramid," and tools for anyone looking to get in touch with their inner Portland (see "Bird Stencils"), The Portlandia Activity Book, like the TV show, will amuse, perplex, and possibly even prompt a spiritual awakening. Books mentioned in this post

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22. Riprap and Rainbows

I stood in a downpour on my deck and looked across the street. The sun was throwing a narrow spotlight on my neighbor's dry roof. This meant it was raining like the Battle of Stalingrad: moving block by block, house to house. Normally, I would venture to my local beach near Newport and watch the [...]

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23. Oregon Deep Throats

I've had three Deep Throats in my Oregon literary career. Each put me on to something incredible that enriched my recounting of modern Oregon history. For the uninitiated, Deep Throat was the code name of the legendarily secret source who helped Woodward and Bernstein unravel Watergate and overthrow a paranoid criminal in the White House, [...]

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24. The Promised Sand of Oswald West

To lay hands on the Rock is to feel inspired and imbued: inspired to believe that a politician with vision can enhance the lives of all his constituents, and imbued to never give up fighting for the great birthright and soul of Oregon — our publicly owned beaches — which undergo constant siege by the [...]

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25. The Kelp Fountain

Question: What's the most memorably creative use of kelp you've ever witnessed on tan Oregon beach? My candidates: Jump rope Photographic subject for greeting cards Harness for a driftwood sled pulled by huskies Rotunda fort Telescope Whip for practice S&M Teenage fashion statement Dog toy Trampoline Riding crop Percussion instrument Coiled decoration on a pagan [...]

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