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Author Archive: "Powell's Staff"

Required Reading: Books That Inspire Travel

Required Reading Ahead of a trip, many of us gravitate toward books that depict the history and culture of our travel destination. But it can work the other way around, too. Sometimes a book provides such a powerful sense of place that we find ourselves longing to visit the area we read about. Some of us even act on this urge. Here are the books that inspired us to pack our bags and explore someplace new.

Required Reading: Books That Changed Us

Required Reading We tend to think of reading as a cerebral endeavor, but every once in a while, it can spur action. The following books — ranging from inspiring biographies to evocative fiction to instructional guides — motivated us to step out of our comfort zones and make significant, lasting changes in our lives.

Required Reading: 25 Great Comic Novels

It's spring! The sun is shining. The flowers are in bloom. We're in a good mood. So for our latest round of Required Reading, we lined up our 25 favorite funny novels. Whether biting, riotous, savage, or slapstick, each of these books consistently makes us laugh.

Required Reading: 40 Books Set in the Pacific Northwest

This round of Required Reading is dedicated to the place we at Powell's Books call home: the great Pacific Northwest. Whether you're from the area or you simply appreciate the region for its beauty, history, or temperament (or legendary bookstore), these titles will give you a more nuanced understanding of this peculiar corner of the U.S.

Required Reading: 20 Best All-Around Cookbooks

At Powell's, we love a good cookbook: the recipes that make you want to head straight for the kitchen, the mouth-watering photos, the advice on how to approach cooking and how to make recipes your own. We treasure cookbooks so much that many of us have shelves and shelves — and in some cases entire bookshelves — devoted to them at home. While we're not about to pare down our collections, we thought it might be interesting to consider what would happen if we had to give up all of those books except for one. What cookbook would get us through meal after meal, day after day? We asked Powell's staff this very question. Here's what they chose.

Required Reading: Books Scarier than the Movies They Inspired

While we here at Powell's are always up for a good horror flick, many of the most iconic scary movies were adapted from books. And no amount of special effects, creepy soundtracks, and camera tricks can outdo a chilling story written by a master. Below is our selection of books that trump their film adaptations in the fear department. While you might not find all of these books in the horror section, spooky mansions and supernatural forces aren't the only things that keep us up at night.

Required Reading: Best Unconventional Memoirs

In an age when everyone and their niece has written a tell-all book, when even fictional characters like Ron Burgundy are penning the stories of their lives, how does a memoir stand out among its peers? What qualities make it like nothing we've seen before?

Sometimes truly extraordinary experiences can launch a memoir into uncharted territory. Jewish-Austrian Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal was troubled for years by questions surrounding forgiveness; his book, The Sunflower, became an investigation of these uncertainties. In other cases, such as Joe Brainard's I Remember, the subject matter may be familiar, even mundane, but the author's unorthodox method of storytelling creates a singular, unforgettable experience.

Below is a full selection of what we at Powell's consider to be the best unconventional memoirs. They do things a little differently, and they're better for it.

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