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Michele Norris Giveaway

[Update, 9.22.10: We're pleased to announce the winner, selected by our staff: Julie Lueker from Portland! We hope she and her husband will enjoy their free tickets to Michele Norris's reading while sitting next to each (but not in their respective vehicles). Thanks to everyone who entered!]

Michele Norris, the host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered and author of the new memoir The Grace of Silence, is reading at the Bagdad Theater in Portland on October 5th. Tickets are $24.95, which includes admission and a copy of her book.

But don't worry — we've got a pair of tickets to give away!

In the wake of talk of a "post-racial America" upon the ascendance of Barack Obama as president of the United States, Michele Norris...set out, through original reporting, to write a book about "the hidden conversation on race" that is going on in this country. But along the way she unearthed painful family secrets — from her father’s shooting by the Birmingham police within weeks of his discharge from service in World


“Mockingjay” Midnight Release Event

It's been a long, hot summer of re-reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire and wrestling with anticipation... and now, at last, the moment has come...

On Monday evening, August 23rd, come celebrate the release of Mockingjay, the third and final chapter in Suzanne Collins's phenomenal #1 New York Times-bestselling Hunger Games trilogy.

A festive line will wrap its way around the store, starting at 9:00 p.m. at Powell's City of Books on Burnside and include a costume contest, trivia battle, and giveaways. Copies of Mockingjay will go on sale at midnight.

On Tuesday morning, expect your friends, lovers, and co-workers to be bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, yet jittery from the thrill of finishing the trilogy. Don't be left out!

Win Scott Pilgrim’s Odds & Ends (and Stickers)!

Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, the sixth and final volume in Bryan Lee O'Malley's brilliant and hilarious graphic novel series, has just been published. This week the feature film adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. the World smashes into theaters.

Could anything make us more Scott Pilgrim-crazy?

Yes: stickers. And also Scott Pilgrim — Full Colour Odds & Ends 2008, a collection of short stories and color pieces that O'Malley has created over the last few years. Originally printed for the 2008 San Diego Comic Con, the book is being published by Oni Press on August 12th.

But you can win one of two free copies (and did I mention stickers?) from! You don't have to fight seven evil ex-boyfriends, either. Just leave a comment below informing us how many evil exes you have. (We don't need details, just a number. Unless you want to share...)

Hurry! The contest ends on 11:59 pm PST Thursday, August 12, 2010. We will randomly select two lucky winners who will be notified via email (so make sure you include your actual email address ...

Mother’s Day at

Mother's Day is May 9, people. The 9th!!! Does that inspire panic? Are you suddenly frantic for the perfect last-minute gift for Mom?

Email a Powell's eGift Card (delivered within hours or on the date of your choosing) and we'll credit 10% of the gift price to your own account.

Use the free credit toward any future purchase at — it's our gift to you!

If time allows, visit our Mother's Day Gift Ideas aisle to find a wide range of book suggestions, for moms who don't fit in a mold.

Earth Day Special Offer

Buy any three used books and get a free Powell's reusable tote!

In honor of Earth Day, buy any three used books and get a reusable Powell's tote, free!

Powell's is no stranger to green initiatives , if you'll allow us to toot our own horn for a moment. In 2008 we mounted solar panels on our warehouse — 100 kilowatts worth, one of the biggest installations in Oregon. Our delivery trucks run on biodiesel, and since 2007 we've purchased clean wind power, offsetting 165,000 pounds of CO2 each year. Employees even get subsidies for alternative transportation in the form of discounted public transit passes and an annual bicycle maintenance credit.

But one could argue that our biggest contribution to the environment is something we do all the time, with little fanfare, for the last 39 years — buying and selling used books. Did you know that we sell enough used books every day to save half an acre of trees? And, every year, that acreage adds up to enough greenery to provide oxygen ...

Happy Valentine’s Day! (Special Offer Inside)


First, let's set the mood. Dim the lights and click play for the proper soundtrack:

Thaaaaaaaaat's better.

We've got a huge selection of books for everyone, no matter where you fall on the matter of Valentine's Day. Here's just a sampler:

Donald Ray Pollock Q&A

Describe your latest project.

Knockemstiff is a collection of short stories set in the holler of the same name in southern Ohio where I grew up. I tried to link the stories together through the place and some recurring characters. Most of the people in the book are trapped in situations that they wish they could escape from (addiction, a bad relationship, a dysfunctional family, mental illness, etc.). There are no blatantly redemptive or "feel-good" endings to my stories, though I think tiny slivers of hope can be found here and there. In other words, I tried to remain true to the way the world really works for the poor and the troubled.

What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?

I worked in a meatpacking plant in Greenfield, Ohio, in the early '70s, and one of my jobs there involved "pushing" hogs in the basement freezer. The hogs were hung from hooks that were connected to metal wheels on a track. You would get behind five or six of them (they were stiff from the cold) and shove them with your shoulder to ...

Win the 20-Volume Oxford English Dictionary!

Update: The deadline has passed! Our OED contest is officially closed.

Update #2: What's taking so long? When will you pick a winner? Oy. Unfortunately, our first "winner" did not respond to four separate notifications. According to the official contest rules (see rule #3), therefore, we must pick another winner. We'll notify that contestant today (January 23rd) and post the winning entry as soon as we get a response. Check your email!

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With nearly 2.5 million quotations, more than a half-million illustrated words, and 22,000 pages of definitions — from writers as disparate as Charles Darwin and John le CarreThe Oxford English Dictionary is a work like no other. The Washington Post once observed, "No one who reads or writes seriously can be without the OED." (Alas, I've been found out. A serious writer I am not.)

But now we want to hear from you.

What's your favorite word? And why? What, in your opinion, is the strangest, or most useful, or ridiculously specific word in all of the English language?

Don't be ...

What Would Wilsey Say?

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America co-editor Sean Wilsey had a chance to meet President-elect Barack Obama in person, press the flesh, and hand him a copy of his book!

As you can see in the photo, Wilsey is saying something to the future leader of our country. But what?

Put your imagination to work and give us your suggestion by noon PST, Friday, December 5th.

We'll pick our favorite and send the winner a free State by State set, which includes a copy of the book our President-elect is reading and a DVD of the film, Out of the Book, Volume 3: State by State.

Just keep it clean, people. (Creative uses of asterisks are encouraged.)

Holy First Ladies, Batman!

Curtis Sittenfeld, the author of two best-selling books, Prep and The Man of My Dreams, is about to release a very controversial book called American Wife. It's a thinly veiled novel based on Laura Bush's life that is sure to send the White House into a fury. American Wife tells the story of Alice Blackwell, a quiet librarian whose husband Charlie becomes the, um... intellectually challenged president of the United States. It is being marketed as a fictional examination of the life of the First Lady that mixes real facts and incidents from her life with an author's wild imaginings and sometimes sexually charged prose. Says, "The result is a masterful highbrow-lowbrow mash-up that satisfies as ass-kicking literary fiction and juicy gossip simultaneously."

On the gossip side, Sittenfeld uses Alice Blackwell to titillate: discovering that her grandmother is a lesbian, killing her high school crush with her car at age 16 (This incident is based in fact. Laura Bush was involved in a fatal car accident at that age), having sex with the future leader of the free world's brother, getting an ...

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