- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Holiday Staff Picks
Boone H., cashier at Powell's City of Books, recommends America Again by Stephen Colbert.
"Stephen Colbert strikes again. This guy has delivered a plethora of laughs for decades now. I fell in love with his style of humor when I first watched him on Strangers with Candy, and it's never gotten old. I love the new title... reloaded! Every page of the book is filled with sidesplitting funnies and ha-ha's. America, pick up this book now! If you don't, you might risk being less American, and I don't think Stephen would approve."
Give this to: true patriots, your congressman, college students
Tracey T., new book buyer at Powell's City of Books, recommends Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch.
"In apparel design school I learned that the secret to sewing amazing vintage wear is to use old-school tailoring techniques. Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing is a tailoring teacher in book form. Besides the sewing lessons, Gertie (Gretchen Hirsch) walks you through exactly how to achieve the 25 patterns included, as well as how to decipher tricky vintage patterns you may already have."
Give this to: pin-up girls, DIY fanatics, vintage vixens
Dot D., graphic designer at Powell's Books, recommends The Diviners by Libba Bray.
"The Diviners is one of those books you can wallow in, with vintage slang peppering the dialogue in all the right places, era-specific fads crisscrossing the pages, and the sparkle and spangle of clothing styles draped all over our main characters. From the sultry Valentino to the gory H. H. Holmes, I loved catching echoes of familiar historical events tucked into a plotline of dark mysterious forces and sassy dancing girls. This story of flappers and fiends is, overall, a gloriously fun and creepy read for long rainy days."
Give this to: Fans of Downton Abbey and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, your steampunk kid sister
Jeremy G., events coordinator at Powell's Books, recommends Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon.
"Telegraph Avenue is a sonorous, sweeping portrait of a contemporary American neighborhood, with a compelling and imaginative plot, richly-conceived characters, and gorgeous, elegant prose. This resonant new novel may well be his finest yet!"
Give this to: your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, friend, enemy, and barista
Jordan G., bookseller at Powell's Books at PDX, recommends This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.
"Jon Klassen first stole my heart with his breakout hit, I Want My Hat Back. Now, he has taken his dapper-animal adventures under the sea with this endearing tale of a small fish who steals from a big fish. Spoiler alert: it doesn't work out. Fans of marine biology, fashion accessories, and vigilante justice should all read this book to a child, today!"
Give this to: sartorially inclined Pisces, recovering kleptomaniacs, your favorite kid
Heidi M., marketing manager at Powell's Books, recommends the Geek Battle.
Within each Geek Battle box exists a magical place where geeks and their loved ones can meet, interact, learn some stuff, and be impressed with each other. (Note: Actual geekiness is not required for gameplay. If you can reference a ‘plus 4 to your Mystical Helmet of Knowledge,’ though, all the better.)
Give this to: Fans of Dr. Who and Battlestar Galactica (and your cousin who's really into cosplay)
Kristi L., gift department head at Powell's Books, recommends the Kobo Glo eReader.
I love books — the feel, the smell, the sight of a full shelf. But let’s be honest: I read so many books that I couldn’t possibly keep them all in my house (or my purse). That’s why I love the Kobo Glo. Kobo has millions of current titles for sale, and its open format allows you to tap other book sources, like your local library. The screen is crisp and the built-in light is adjustable, with very little ambient glow, so you can read in bed without bothering your partner!
Give this to: night owls, globe-trotters, obsessive readers
Chris F., marketing coordinator at Powell's Books, recommends the The Onion Book of Known Knowledge by the Editors of The Onion.
This book claims to be an encyclopedia — but there are errors all over the place. For example (and taken at random): Citizen Kane is not a 'brilliant, groundbreaking work of artistic genius that has unfortunately been completely invalidated because the man who made it later gained weight.' I mean, Google it: that's John Travolta's career! Really dumb book.
Give this to: fans of faux news and hyperbole, little brothers
Sarah M., bookseller at Powell's City of Books, recommends the The Sandman. by William Joyce.
William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood series may be the best series you haven't heard of. They tell the story of the extended war between Pitch the Nightmare King and several heroes of Western folklore. The Sandman, as told by Joyce, will blast your heart and mind open with the dazzling power of reawakened myths.
Give this to: sleepy little friends, fairy-tale devotees of all ages
Kate B., bookseller at Powell's Books on Hawthorne, recommends Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.
Mo Willems's retelling of this classic is a hoot! I dare you to try to read this book and not giggle out loud. And the pictures are peppered with hidden jokes for kids to discover – even the pigeon shows up hiding in a jar of cookies!
Give this to: paleontologists, kids prone to "the giggles"
Kelly S., gift buyer at Powell's Books at PDX, recommends Theo Chocolate Winter Caramel Collection.
At Powell's, we love Theo Chocolate. And by love, I mean really love — like you can’t just have one because they’re so addictively delicious. And what’s not to love about the company itself? Theo is one of just a handful of bean-to-bar companies, and their sole mission is to make the world a better place through fair-trade, organic chocolate.
Give this to: people who share, your calorie-counting BFF, socially conscious neighbors
Patrick D., bookseller at Powell's Books for Home & Garden, recommends The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman.
"Millions of people have flocked to Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen blog for her beautiful photography and no-nonsense recipes. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is like having her right by your side, commiserating and encouraging – and did I mention the recipes are fantastic?"
Give this to: gourmands, aspiring home chefs, food-blog addicts
Jen C., merchandiser at Powells.com, recommends Building Stories by Chris Ware.
"This box set takes Ware's penchant for untraditional formats to a whole new level. A variety of pamphlets, newspapers, books, and even a 'game board' allows readers to start and end wherever they like, making for a unique reading experience. Aficionados of print ephemera and graphic novels will love this collection."
Give this to: graphic designers, friends with complicated tastes, comic collectors