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Archive for the 'What I’m Giving' Category

William Gibson: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is William Gibson, author of The Peripheral.

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What books are you giving to friends and family this holiday season and why?
Glow by Ned Beauman because it's brilliant, tight, funny.

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway because it's like Douglas Adams wearing Joseph Conrad, but better, and the author's imagination is utterly, delightfully peculiar.

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes because I love ardent intra-genre contemporary weirdness, and her Detroit is superb.


Fred Armisen: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is Fred Armisen, author of The Portlandia Cookbook.

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What books are you giving to friends and family this holiday season and why?
Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes across America by John Waters and Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Two very funny books by two of my favorite people in the world.

Have you ever bought a book that you intended to give as a gift but ended up keeping for yourself?
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn.


Mary Oliver: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is Mary Oliver, author of Blue Horses: Poems.

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What books are you giving to friends and family this holiday season and why?
Any volume of the Sufi poet Rumi translated by Coleman Barks. Additionally, The Gift by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

Is there a book you find yourself gifting year after year?
Perhaps not gifting every year, but I read every year Emerson: The Mind on Fire by Robert Richardson.


Cary Elwes: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is Cary Elwes, author of As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.

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What book are you giving to friends and family this holiday season?
Brando's Smile by Susan L. Mizruchi.

Have you ever bought a book that you intended to give as a gift but ended up keeping for yourself?
Never. The best gifts are the ones you want for yourself.


Edward O. Wilson: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is Edward O. Wilson, author of The Meaning of Human Existence.

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What book are you giving to friends and family this holiday season and why?
J. Craig Venter's Life at the Speed of Light. The ultimate discipline of the biological sciences will be synthetic biology, the radical modification and creation of new forms of life. This book is by one of the pioneers of the field and is clearly and cogently written.

What's the best book you've received as a gift?
As an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Alabama, it was Ernst Mayr's Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist, in which I learned about evolution.


Neil Patrick Harris: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is Neil Patrick Harris, author of Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography.

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Do you have a favorite children's book to give budding readers?
I love Roald Dahl. His books are so quirky and odd — and great bait to get kids interested in reading. They all have odd, dark elements yet are filled with humor and humanity. One of my favorites is Danny the Champion of the World — a beautifully written story of a boy and his father, and their adventures hunting quail. I'd love to make it into a movie someday.

Have you ever bought a book that you intended to give as a gift but ended up keeping for yourself?
Indeed! And often! It's one of my favorite pastimes: shopping for others and buying for myself. Most recently: ...


Eleanor Catton: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year.

Today's featured giver is Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries.

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What books are you giving to friends and family this holiday season and why?
I'm giving poetry to my partner, who is a poet himself and so very difficult to buy for, as his tastes are much more diverse and informed than mine. I know that the presses he most admires are New Directions, The Cultural Society, Flood Editions, Talisman House, and the recently formed Verge Books — I'll do some research first and find what's new and forthcoming on their lists.

Is there a book you find yourself gifting year after year?
I've given The Gift by Lewis Hyde to a great many people. For obvious reasons, it's a book that's best given away.

Continue »


Lidia Yuknavitch: What I’m Giving

In this special series, we asked writers we admire to share a book they're giving to their friends and family this holiday season. Check back daily to see the books your favorite authors are gifting.

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Well, I had my sights set on an entirely different wonderful novel by a woman, and then Doris Lessing died.

Her broad face and transparent eyes. Her unruly hair. Her brilliant, unkempt mind that took language to the interstices between the socius, the sexual, the intellectual. Her deep understanding of why we have to reject the scripts life hands us as so-called "women." Her smile and laugh and sharp-witted responses to the banality of media coming at her. The beauty of her imagination.

I choose The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing because the book changed my life path by giving me permission to write away from the Great White Western Male tradition. With abandon and pleasure and fire. In this book you will find not a traditional plot, but layers of writing and meaning that one must piece together to find the story. You will find how tenuous the line between subjectivity ...


Elizabeth Gilbert: What I’m Giving

In this special series, we asked writers we admire to share a book they're giving to their friends and family this holiday season. Check back daily to see the books your favorite authors are gifting.

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Well, this year I am celebrating ridiculousness by giving copies of The Stench of Honolulu, by Jack Handey, to pretty much everyone I know. It's a perfect Christmas book, on account of the fact that it can be read in one sitting (on Christmas afternoon itself, perhaps) and because it will reduce absolutely any reader of any age or background to fits of crazed laughter. Lots of books try to be funny, but this absurd, frenzied romp of a fake action-adventure mystery tale is funny on every single page. In fact, it is usually funny in every single sentence. It's as funny as a perfect Simpson's episode — that fast, that stupid, that awesome, that cartoonish.


Patton Oswalt: What I’m Giving

In this special series, we asked writers we admire to share a book they're giving to their friends and family this holiday season. Check back daily to see the books your favorite authors are gifting.

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If I could only give one book, it'd be Rick Perlstein's Nixonland. And I'd include a warning with it — something along the lines of, "This hilarious, cringe-inducing chronicle of Nixon's rise to power and the way it warped, mutated, and otherwise infected the American psyche is more readable than Wolfe, more horrifying than Ellroy, and more hallucinatory than Thompson." And it's all straight reporting. We lived, collectively, through a David Lynch film and never knew it.


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