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Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Author Archive: "2008 Top 5s"

The Final 2008 Employee Favorites: Lynn Roethler-Green

1. Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries by Naomi Wolf
My favorite book for 2007 was Naomi Wolf's The End of America, and Wolf tops my list again for 2008 with Give Me Liberty. While The End of America explained how and why we lost our liberties, Give Me Liberty presents us with the tools to reclaim them. Wolf's passionate and clear voice is refreshing amongst the plethora of books denouncing the Bush Administration's crimes. She reminds us that it is not enough to "hope" for change but that it is our duty to be active participants in the work necessary to restore our democracy to what our Founding Fathers intended.

[Read Naomi Wolf's posts on the Powells.com blog.]

2. The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism by Ron Suskind

3. The Broken Window (Lincoln Rhyme Novels) by Jeffery Deaver

4. Continue »

2008 Employee Favorites: Gerry Donaghy

1. Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock
I had a feeling when I first read this book (back in 2007, before it was actually published) that it would be my favorite book of 2008, and nothing I read in the interim has dislodged it. Visceral yet humbling, the nasty and brutish short-story collection Knockemstiff is not for the fainthearted. However, the courageous reader can be assured at discovering a searingly original voice in Donald Ray Pollock.

2. X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Filmmaker by Alex Cox

3. The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

4. Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell

5. The Crow Road by Iain Banks

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Gerry Donaghy is the New Book Purchasing Supervisor for Powell's City of Books. His highlights for 2008 include these books, the election, Joachim Trier's film Reprise, and ...

2008 Employee Favorites: Suzanne

1. The Good Prince: Fables #10 by Bill Willingham
Fairy tales are adult again — noirish, literary, ironic, and in graphic-novel form. When a new Fables collection comes out, I rush home, set it facedown on the coffee table, and reread the back cover blurb. Then I plan for time — I schedule enough time to read it through uninterrupted, though I'm just as likely to suddenly set it down to save for later, or flip back to the beginning to start afresh. I'm easily entertained and perpetually overexcited, it's true, but these are drastic measures even for me.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

3. Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer

4. Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

5. Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman

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Suzanne saves time by reading at stoplights and while walking. She is ...

2008 Employee Favorites: Chris P.

1. 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
Amongst the most keenly anticipated and highly acclaimed literary releases of 2008, 2666 is as vast in its ambition as it is in volume. Comprising characters and stories in the hundreds, utilizing several genres, and abounding with literary and cultural references, Roberto Bolaño's posthumously published masterwork is a compelling read, global in outlook and unflinching in its gaze.

2. The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa

3. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

4. The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre

5. Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya

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Chris P. works in the Powell's Books Contact Center by day, and at night he dreams of opening a cornish pasty food cart. He likes long walks, Margaret Rutherford, and B. S. Johnson.

2008 Employee Favorites: Robin Fruitticher

1. Firmin by Sam Savage
This story about a book-addicted rat will make you contemplate writers, bookshops, and life in general. It will break your heart even as it makes you smile. Firmin is definitely a book to be thoroughly savored.

2. State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey

3. The Economist Book of Obituaries by Keith Colqhoun

4. Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook by Martha Hall Foose

5. Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

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After 13 years with Powell's, Robin Fruitticher can confidently say she was lied to in her interview: her addictive need to possess the books she loves has not decreased in any way with the constant exposure that comes with working for a bookstore. She can only limit the addiction by spending most of her work week ...

2008 Employee Favorites: Carson Smith

1. Lush Life by Richard Price
Richard Price is a professional. His genius is in, among other things, the vernacular — he does his research and knows his lingo. Overall, this is a top-notch New York cop novel: scenes are tight, the plot is well crafted, and the characters come to life.

2. The Night of the Gun by David Carr

3. The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel

4. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

5. Portland Happy Hour Guidebook 2009 by Cindy Anderson

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Carson Smith shelves dictionaries for a living. He's been flossing twice a day since Thursday.

2008 Employee Favorites: Kelly Lenox

1. The Wilde Women by Paula Wall
This book is a delightful romp through the lives of two sisters who defy both convention and stereotype in depression-era Tennessee. While the townspeople's attitudes toward these women may be predictable, Pearl and Kat never are. Wall can really twist a phrase, and she achieves poignancy, hilarity, and grace. The Wilde Women is laugh-out-loud funny from the very first sentence.

2. Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort, translated by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Franz Wright

3. The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

4. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

5. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

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Kelly Lenox helps phone customers track down the books they want (to see a photo, click on the 800 number at the top left of the page — she's third from the right). When not taking calls, she's a poet who ...

2008 Employee Favorites: Gloria Moe

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Four by Rick Riordan
I find myself drawn again and again to the books coming out in Middle Readers and Young Adults as they are really great reads for both kids and adults. The Percy Jackson series is no exception. They are all great, but The Battle of the Labyrinth is a real page turner and left me wanting more.

2. What-The-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy by Gregory Maguire

3. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller

4. A Lion Among Men: Volume Three in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire

5. The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

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Gloria Moe is one of the assistant managers at Powell's City of Books. While an avid reader ...

2008 Employee Favorites: Tracey Trudeau

1. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
This is the story of an ancient book whose passage through time is marked by an insect’s wing, a crystal, and a wine stain, each representing an era of human disaster. The protagonist, herself flawed, seeks the history of the book while she restores it for a museum. People of the Book is woven of intellectual intrigue, romance, family drama, and religious history, all resting on an ultimate hope for peace.

2. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

3. Mind the Gap: A Novel of the Hidden Cities by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

4. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

5. Beyond-The-Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman

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When not bookselling, Tracey Trudeau can be found weaving, doing other crafty things, or spending way too much time with Lara Croft. Tracey makes great dolmades and ...

2008 Employee Favorites: Ann Ellenbecker

1. The Outlander by Gil Adamson
The Outlander is a rare novel. Its beautifully breathless language seduces your attention to the smallest detail. From the first sentence you find yourself running, running with a woman you've just met, for reasons unclear, from pursuers unknown. Yet you don't stop running, nor does she. She runs, in fear and confusion, across fields and up mountainsides, in her mind and through her dubious memory. The frenetic pace carries you through the story and uncovers a world of survival and isolation, brutality, freedom, and love, and introduces you to an extraordinary cast of reprobates, rugged outsiders, and a pair of unusually large, red-headed twins. So incredible is Adamson's description of this journey, I believe The Outlander will be my number one pick for years to come.

2. State by State:A Panoramic Portrait of America edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey

3. The Wild Trees by Richard Preston

4. The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad by John Stape

5. The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt

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Ann Ellenbecker prefers happy ...

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