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December 2014

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that [books make the best gifts]"


Okay, so perhaps Jane Austen didn’t quite phrase it that way, but there’s a reason books make excellent gifts. Their luster doesn’t fade like clothing, diminish quickly like food, or become obsolete like electronics. Instead, our favorite titles seem to grow more powerful and poignant with time. So make your shopping simple—and meaningful—this holiday season. Browse below to find the perfect literary gift for everyone on your list. Place your orders this week to ensure their timely arrival!

Holly HollyHolly

Find a book for:


The Outdoorsman (or woman)

Field Guide to Oregon Rivers by Tim Palmer


The quintessential reference for all travelers, outdoor enthusiasts and resource professionals who wish to enjoy Oregon’s breathtaking waterways. Palmer profiles 120 regional rivers with notes about nature and fish, prospects for conservation and essential tips about where to see each river, find the best hiking trails and paddle to your heart’s content. With more than 150 vibrant color photographs, this volume is a vital outdoor companion for Oregonians and visitors alike.



The Semi-Obsessed Scientist

Diary of a Citizen Scientist by Sharman Apt Russell


A timely exploration of the burgeoning phenomenon of citizen science, Sharman Apt Russell’s book employs the author’s own study of tiger beetles to highlight the important role that citizen scientists play in global environmental activism and conservationism. From tracking bird migrations to counting stardust for NASA, citizen scientists are changing the way research gets done. Who knows, you might even be inspired to join a cutting edge project yourself!



The Kid at Heart

Children and Other Wild Animals by Brian Doyle


A compilation of short vignettes, Children and Other Wild Animals weaves the chaotic beauty of nature with the fresh optimism of youth. Doyle’s exuberant prose is at once lyrical, daring and refreshing. You’ll find a palpable sense of wonder on every page, bursting with reflections so startlingly true you’ll pause to reread. Join Doyle on this unexpected adventure and you just may find yourself celebrating the small things that are not small in the least.



The Actual Kid

Ellie’s Log by Judith L. Li


Bursting with colored pen-and-ink drawings, Ellie’s Log follows the story of ten-year-old Ellie and her new friend, Ricky, who set out on explorations around the forest near Ellie’s home. Together, they learn about habitats, the life cycle of forests and the delicate balance of ecosystems. This interactive book contains pages from Ellie’s field notebook, as well as tips and tricks for young readers who wish to keep a notebook of their own. Explore further with games and information online at ellieslog.org.



The History Buff

Lincoln and Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era by Richard W. Etulain


This cross-cultural history demonstrates Abraham Lincoln’s strong connections with the Oregon Country on various political issues—Indian relations, military policies, civil and legal rights, and North-South ideological conflicts—before and during the Civil War years. Contrary to the popular opinion that Pacific Northwest residents were disinterested spectators, Etulain stresses the active role many Oregonians played in shaping both Lincoln’s policies and the political future of the region.


Oregon’s Promise by David Peterson del Mar


A concise and compelling general history, Oregon’s Promise explores familiar and neglected people and movements in the state’s history, while challenging readers to view Oregon’s past, present and future in a new way. Peterson del Mar shows there’s more to our beautiful state than just Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail. Examining both the traditional center of Oregon history and its often overlooked margins, readers will discover that the state’s settlers were much more varied, contentious, complicated and interesting than conventional heroic stereotypes would suggest.


Breaking Chains by R. Gregory Nokes


Follow the riveting story of the only slavery case ever adjudicated in Oregon courts—Holmes vs. Ford. Drawing on the court record of this landmark case between Robin Holmes and the man who had promised him freedom, Nokes offers an intimate account of the relationship between a slave and his master. Breaking Chains offers an unparalleled view of the lives of slaves in early Oregon, examining attitudes toward race and revealing contradictions within the state’s history.



Your Daughter

With Grit and By Grace by Betty Roberts


You really can do it all, ladies. Take a page from Betty Roberts’ book and use a combination of tenacity, passion and dedication to chase your own dreams. In her memoir, Justice Roberts reflects on her role as a mother, wife and political trailblazer. Her story is important to the history of women’s struggles to challenge prevailing stereotypes, but it is also a deeply personal story of a life sometimes stark, sometimes humorous, often exhausting, and always brightened with friendships and family.



The Geology Junkie

Living with Thunder by Ellen Morris Bishop


One of the most beautiful books we’ve had the pleasure of publishing! In Living with Thunder, Ellen Morris Bishop offers a fascinating and up-to-date geologic survey of the Northwest. Intended as an introduction for the general reader, Living with Thunder enlivens the regional geological history with engaging writing and the author’s stunning color photographs. In addition, Bishop explores the deep connections between modern scientific findings and the rich cultural traditions of local Native American tribes.



The Fanatic Fiction Reader

Mink River by Brian Doyle


Delve into one of our best-selling titles and fall in love with Brian Doyle’s coastal village of Neawanaka. In this tiny Oregon town, nestled beneath hills that used to boast the world’s biggest trees, a lively community thrums with love affairs and almost-love-affairs, brawls and boats, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. You’ll be touched by the humanness and curious beauty of the town—and undoubtedly be a little sad to leave as you turn the last page.


The Brightwood Stillness by Mark Pomeroy


Two friends and colleagues, each faced with their own moral dilemma. When Hieu Nguyen, a Portland high school teacher, is accused of sexual misconduct by two of his students, his close friend Nate Davis tries to lend support. But Nate has recently been assaulted by a former student in the school parking lot, an event that catapults him into a long-deferred quest to find out what happened to his uncle, a drifter and Vietnam veteran. As Nate copes with his anxiety, Hieu seeks enough solitude to piece together the story of how he fled war and arrived in the United States. As their stories unfold, Hieu and Nate must confront the ways in which their pasts—each so linked to a mysterious far-off country—have left them isolated men.



The Wine Enthusiast

The Grail by Brian Doyle


A self-described “wine doofus,” Brian Doyle set out to spend a year in one Willamette Valley vineyard, tailing winemaker Jesse Lange and chronicling the creative and chaotic labor that accompanies the pursuit of the perfect pinot noir. Doyle serves as a cheerful tour guide through the world of wine, alert to the colorful and riveting stories that swirl around its creation and consumption. From the surprising buying habits of tasting room visitors to Jesse Lange’s assertion one must “get out of the way of great grapes,” Doyle keeps readers salivating for more of the quirky work—and a glass of pinot noir.


Voodoo Vintners by Katherine Cole


Sorry, no donuts--but we are talking wine! In Voodoo Vintners, wine writer Katherine Cole reveals the mysteries of biodynamic winegrowing, tracing its practice from Paleolithic times to the finest domaines in Burgundy today. At the epicenter of the American biodynamic revolution are the Oregon winemakers who believe that this spiritual style of farming results in the truest, purest pinot noirs possible. Cole introduces these “voodoo vintners,” examining their motivations and rationalizations and explaining why the need to farm biodynamically courses through their blood.



The Foodie

Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food by Ken Albala


Food often offers more than just sustenance. Mixing food writing and history with a dash of cookbook, author and scholar Ken Albala shares the story of what happened when he embarked on a mission to grow, cook and share food in the ways people did in the past. Obscure 17th-century Italian farmer-nobles, Roman statesmen and quirky cheesemakers offer lessons about our relationship with the food we eat, reminding us of the great pleasures of cooking food and the joy of sharing with family, friends and even strangers.


Pacific Northwest Cheese by Tami Parr


In this rich and engaging history, Tami Parr shows how regional cheesemaking found its way back to the farm. It’s a lively story that begins with the first fur traders in the Pacific Northwest and ends with modern-day small farmers in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Along with documenting the history of the region, Parr reveals some of the Pacific Northwest’s untold cheese stories: the fresh cheese made on the Oregon Trail, the region’s thriving blue and swiss cheese makers, and the rise of goat’s milk and goat’s milk cheese.



The Urban Explorer

An Architectural Guidebook to Portland by Bart King


Perhaps the unofficial “Keep Portland Weird” slogan should be changed to “Keep Portland Beautiful.” Writing for both layperson and professional, Bart King demonstrates why this city is one of the most admired in the nation. Portland’s civic planning, historic preservation and overall attractiveness are all explored in detailed profiles of structures ranging from 19th-century cast-iron front buildings to sleek modern skyscrapers. Find a unique piece of Portland splendor on every page.


One City’s Wilderness by Marcy Cottrell Houle


Escape into the magnificent beauty that is Forest Park, only moments away from bustling downtown Portland. This updated and expanded edition provides directions to twenty-nine hikes of varying length, difficulty, and scenery, covering every trail within the 5,100-acre park. Marcy Houle shares the history of the park, introduces the people who fought to preserve it, and explores the role stewards play today. One City’s Wilderness continues to be the authoritative, full-color guide to Portland’s greatest natural resource.


Wild in the City by Michael C. Houck and M.J. Cody


The essential guide to the Portland-Vancouver region’s wildlife-rich parks, trails, and greenspaces. Try your hand at one of the unique excursions suggested to experience nature from your own backyard to the farthest reaches of the metropolitan area. Interspersed throughout are essays by an impressive collection of local naturalists and essayists, including Ursula K. Le Guin and Robert Michael Pyle.



The Night Owl

Up All Night by Martha Gies


A baker, a nude dancer, a flower market wholesaler, a longshoreman, a newspaper distributor, a shelter worker, a zookeper: what do all these men and women have in common? The night shift. Martha Gies guides readers on a nocturnal tour of unique workplaces, offering a rare insider’s look at the unseen workers who keep the city humming after dark. This fascinating collection of voices from the graveyard shift shows us who is out there in the dark—by choice or by necessity—while the rest of us sleep.



The Person Who Has Everything

How to Live Longer and Feel Better by Linus Pauling


Eminently readable and challenging, Linus Pauling’s work is as powerful today as when it first printed in 1986. Since then, the essential tenets of his thesis on the importance of optimum nutrition remain largely undisputed. Pauling’s simple, inexpensive plan suggests avoiding sugar, stress and smoking, as well as finding joy in a career and one’s family. Supplemented by new information from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, this reprinted edition offers readers a unique insight into the lifestyle and successes of one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.




Did you find what you were looking for? If not, we have dozens of other titles to explore! Simply click on the “Find Books” tab at the top of your screen to browse our books by title, author, or subject. Our books are available in local bookstores, through our website, or by calling 1-800-621-2736.Have a wonderful holiday season!

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