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Indiespensable: Past Installments

Below you'll find a showcase of past Indiespensable shipments.

 


Standard Edition:
  1. $20.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Blazing World

    Siri Hustvedt 9781476747231

Volume 46

Orfeo

The Blazing World
by Siri Hustvedt

Shipped March 26, 2014

A signed first edition of The Blazing World and other surprises!

Read about this shipment on our blog!

Fluent in the concepts and the language of psychology, neuroscience, the visual arts, and more, Siri Hustvedt is a world-class polymath. So it came as no surprise that her new novel was as intellectually provocative as it was emotionally moving. Told in a patchwork of journal entries, personal reminiscences, interviews, and transcripts, The Blazing World tells from competing perspectives the story of middle-aged artist Harriet (Harry) Burden, who conducts an experiment in which three male artists agree to show her work and claim it as their own. It is Hustvedt's most masterful, page-turning novel yet. We also included an advance reader's edition of one of the most remarkable debut novels we've read in recent years, We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas. We were excited to give Indiespensable subscribers a first look at this incredibly assured, moving, and quietly heartbreaking novel. Finally, we included a set of seven postcards, each replicating one illustrated page from the forthcoming title from Tin House Books, Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself.


Standard Edition:
  1. $18.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Orfeo

    Richard Powers 9780393240825

Volume 45

Orfeo

Orfeo
by Richard Powers

Shipped January 22, 2014

A signed first edition of Orfeo and other surprises!

Read about this shipment on our blog!

Richard Powers has a deep knowledge of a remarkable array of subjects. He has written about physics, history, photography, computer science, genetics, economics, and more. But the motif he has returned to most often is music, which takes center stage again in his brilliant new novel based loosely on the myth of Orpheus. A tale of one man's quest to create something genuinely new, Orfeo is both a thrilling read and a deeply satisfying novel of ideas. We were thrilled to feature this gorgeously written, masterfully plotted, deeply moving story in Indiespensable Volume 45. Each package also included a bag of raspberry truffle popcorn from Portland's celebrated artisanal popcorn company, Poplandia, and a Hot Chocolate on a Stick variety bag from Popbar, a dessert shop based in New York's West Village known for their handcrafted treats-on-a-stick. Thrilling and deeply satisfying indeed.


Standard Edition:
  1. $30.00 New Hardcover add to wish list

    The Best of McSweeney's

    Dave Eggers 9781938073595

Volume 44

The Best of McSweeney's

The Best of McSweeney's
edited by Dave Eggers

Shipped November 27, 2013

• A signed first edition of The Best of McSweeney's and other surprises!

Read about this shipment on our blog!

Since its debut issue in 1998, Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern has published some of the most important, interesting, and just plain fun literary voices around. Known for its maverick spirit, its playfulness, its eye for talent, and its innovative experiments in style and form, McSweeney's has become, as the New York Times put it, "a key barometer of the literary climate." So when the editors decided to collect their favorites in a single volume, we knew it would be perfect for Indiespensable. We were immensely proud to feature The Best of McSweeney's, signed by a selection of McSweeney's writers, in Indiespensable Volume 44. We also included some delicious Blackberry + Tangerine Gumdrops made by local candy maker QUIN. QUIN describes their own candies as "reimagined, updated, modernized," which to us seemed the perfect accompaniment to the McSweeney's collection.


Standard Edition:
  1. $21.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Goldfinch

    Donna Tartt 9780316055437

Volume 43

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

Shipped November 6, 2013

• A signed first edition of The Goldfinch in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
• A collectible booklet featuring the Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Donna Tartt
• Other surprises!

Read about this shipment on our blog!

In addition to her novels, Donna Tartt is known for her obsessive fans. As a freshman in college, her writing had already caught the attention of an eminent editor, who introduced himself by saying, "My name's Willie Morris, and I think you're a genius." With the publication of her magnificent debut, The Secret History, Tartt became the focus of something like an international cult. Her second novel, The Little Friend, was one of the most anticipated literary events of the past decade. So it was with particular pleasure that we featured The Goldfinch, Tartt's long-awaited third novel, as our selection for Indiespensable Volume 43. This story about a boy named Theo, who loses his mother in an explosion, does so many things well, it's hard to know where to begin. Its sprawling Dickensian plot? Its extraordinary cast of characters? Tartt's sublime sentences? Or complex, compelling, heartbreaking Theo at the center of it all? We knew Tartt's fans old and new would devour it. To complement this delicious novel, we included a box of Smoked Salt Caramels from Seattle-based Fran's Chocolates.


Standard Edition:
  1. $9.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Childhood of Jesus

    J. M. Coetzee 9780670014651

Volume 42

Brewster

The Childhood of Jesus
by J. M. Coetzee

Shipped October 2, 2013

Subscribers received a signed first edition of The Childhood of Jesus in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable, plus other surprises!

Read about this shipment on our blog!

We love assembling each Indiespensable package. But this one was special. Not only were we featuring one of our favorite authors, Nobel laureate and two-time Booker Prize winner J. M. Coetzee, but the famously reclusive South African graciously agreed to sign copies of his new novel for us. A complex allegory about a man and a boy who arrive by boat in an unnamed land and set out to find the boy's mother, The Childhood of Jesus combines the character-driven narrative and gorgeous prose of Coetzee's early novels with the exhilarating philosophical explorations of his later work. Because the story begins with our heroes at sea, we also included a Powell's Anchor Tote, along with a jar of Oregon Pinot Noir Flake Salt from our friends at the Jacobsen Salt Company. Who knew salt could be both beautiful and delicious?


Standard Edition:
  1. $9.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Brewster

    Mark Slouka 9780393239751

Volume 41

Brewster

Brewster
by Mark Slouka

Shipped July 24, 2013

  • A signed first edition of Brewster in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • A collectible booklet featuring the Powells.com interview with Mark Slouka
  • Other surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Mark Slouka .

Read about this shipment on our blog!

Mark Slouka has been on our radar ever since God's Fool, his fascinating and beautiful first novel. When we heard that our dear friends at W. W. Norton were publishing his latest novel, Brewster, we couldn't let the opportunity to work with them pass us by. This heartbreaking coming-of-age story paints a vivid portrait of the claustrophobic working-class town of Brewster, New York, during the late '60s, with the threat of the Vietnam War ever present in the background. Brought to life in prose at once spare and visceral, Brewster is about violence and grief, but also love and friendship. It's about the urge to escape, as well as the price of standing your ground. Reading is thirsty work, so we thought perhaps some Steven Smith Teamaker Iced Tea might be just the thing to ease Indiespensable subscribers through the scorching days of summer. And because nothing goes better with tea than a cookie, we asked another Portland-area favorite, Elephants Delicatessen, to bake up a special treat for us.


Standard Edition:
  1. $12.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

Volume 40

The House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

The House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
by Matt Bell

Shipped June 19, 2013

  • A signed first edition of The House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • A collectible booklet featuring the Powells.com interview with Matt Bell
  • An advance reader's copy of an exciting new short story collection

Read the Powells.com interview with Matt Bell .

Read about this shipment on our blog!

When we read Matt Bell's debut novel, our first thought was, Wow! Our second thought was, Indiespensable. In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods is difficult to describe, though Lauren Groff (Arcadia) came pretty close when she called it "a big, slinking, dangerous fairy tale, the kind with gleaming fangs and blood around the muzzle and a powerful heart you can hear thumping from miles away." But it is well worth the effort. Once you sink your teeth in, we're confident you'll love it as much as we did. We also included in the package a signed paperback original of another title that took our breath away — Rebecca Lee's Bobcat and Other Stories. Lee's stories are so potent, her voice so assured, we're likely seeing a great writer at the beginning of a long career. You will not read a better story collection published this year. Period.


Standard Edition:

Volume 39

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
by Anthony Marra

Shipped May 15, 2013

  • A signed first edition of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • A collectible booklet featuring the Powells.com interview with Anthony Marra
  • Other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Anthony Marra.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

The moment we opened Anthony Marra's brutal, beautiful debut novel about an orphaned Chechnyan girl hiding from the Russians during the country's recent decade of war, we knew that for once our choice would be easy. Maile Meloy perfectly captured our experience with the book: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is "both devastating and transcendent....You'll finish it transformed." Also included in #39 was an advance reader copy of another remarkable debut, The Panopticon, written by one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, Jenni Fagan. The Panopticon wasn't available to American readers until July, so Indiespensable subscribers were among the first to get their hands on this extraordinary novel. Finally, we included a limited-edition Klean Kanteen stainless steel pint. It's handsome, sits comfortably in the hand, and is nearly indestructible.


Standard Edition:

Volume 38

The Death of Bees

With or Without You
by Domenica Ruta

Shipped March 20, 2013

  • A signed first edition of With or Without You in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • A collectible booklet featuring the Powells.com interview with Domenica Ruta
  • Other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Domenica Ruta .

Read about this shipment on our blog!

From the opening pages of Domenica Ruta's memoir about her chaotic childhood with her flamboyant, contradictory mother, her own eventual descent into addiction, and her painful journey back to health, we knew we had to get this book into as many hands as possible. With or Without You may delve into a good deal of anguish, but it was a joy to read. We also included a quartet of handmade artisan chocolates from our friends at Portland-based Marushka Chocolates: one Black Currant caramel, one Salt and Pepper caramel, one Cognac caramel with Vanilla Fleur de Sel, and one Beer caramel. And if gourmet chocolates inspire, we thought the enclosed Sea Decomposition Book might just be the perfect place for Indiespensable subscribers to begin recording their own life's story.


Standard Edition:

Volume 37

The Death of Bees

The Death of Bees
by Lisa O'Donnell

Shipped January 30, 2013

  • A signed first edition of The Death of Bees in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Lisa O'Donnell
  • An advance reader's copy of an exciting new novel, months before its release
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Lisa O'Donnell .

Read about this shipment on our blog!

We love the Scots. Kate Atkinson, Iain Banks, Alasdair Gray... The country regularly produces writers with a penchant for black humor and a delicious turn of phrase. So it's no surprise that we were drawn to Lisa O'Donnell's debut novel, The Death of Bees, a macabre coming-of-age story following two young sisters. The book contains a sort of murder-mystery, but at heart it's an exploration of family and community — those we're born with and those we choose to create. Also included in the box was a very early advance reader copy of The Illusion of Separateness, a gorgeous novel by Simon Van Booy. Andre Dubus III, a former Indiespensable author, wrote, "If F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marguerite Duras had had a son, he would be Simon Van Booy; this is a truly special writer." Finally, even though The Death of Bees isn't actually about bees (it's more of a metaphor), we included some beeswax lip balm from Worker B, creator of all things handcrafted and bee-related, and a 12-ounce jar of pure, golden, raw honey from the Wessels Family farm in Forest Grove, Oregon.


Standard Edition:
  1. $10.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Familiar

    J. Robert Lennon 9781555976255

Volume 36

Familiar

Familiar
by J. Robert Lennon

Shipped October 3, 2012

  • A special hardcover edition of Familiar, signed by the author and exclusive to Indiespensable
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with J. Robert Lennon
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with J. Robert Lennon.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

After reading Lennon's new novel, Familiar, we were all in agreement that this is his most remarkable, unusual, and moving novel to date. Familiar is an eerie, riveting exploration of identity and meaning, and with it, Lennon is at the top of his form. We were also glad to be working with the folks at Graywolf Press again, and with their help, we created a beautiful hardcover edition of Familiar — which was originally published only in paperback and is exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers. Also included in #36 was a special advance copy of Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry. Though it won't be published for another year, Barry's forthcoming book is already garnering awards and rave reviews in the U.K. To top it all off, we tossed in some handcrafted white-chocolate-almond toffee from local confectioner Broken Top Toffee. We will not admit how much toffee was consumed in the sampling process!


Standard Edition:
  1. $10.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    A Million Heavens

    John Brandon 9781936365739

Volume 35

A Million Heavens

A Million Heavens
by John Brandon

Shipped August 23, 2012

  • A signed first edition of A Million Heavens in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with John Brandon
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with John Brandon.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We've loved John Brandon for quite a while now, and when we heard from our friends at McSweeney's about his third novel, A Million Heavens, which showcases Brandon's deadpan, precise, and inventive language with an eerie, semi-magical story and lots of fascinatingly flawed characters, we knew it was time to introduce him to Indiespensable subscribers. Another McSweeney's project that has long excited us is David Byrne's How Music Works, and since it was scheduled to be published one month after Indiespensable #35 shipped, it seemed a perfect fit to include a chapbook of some of those essays alongside A Million Heavens, in which music plays such a central role. (And if you'd like to read How Music Works in its entirety, you can save 30% on it at Powells.com.) By now we were on a roll — or, at least, a theme: the "music box"! So, after reading so much fiction and nonfiction about music, if you're inspired to make your own, you'll have a Hohner Old Standby harmonica, in the key of C. It's particularly good for blues, but it'll work for rock, country, folk, or pretty much anything... including songs from the afterlife.


Standard Edition:
  1. $7.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Age of Miracles

    Karen Thompson Walker 9780812992977

Volume 34

The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker

Shipped June 27, 2012

  • A signed first edition of The Age of Miracles in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Karen Thompson Walker
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Karen Thompson Walker.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

From start to finish, The Age of Miracles had us mesmerized. With grace, intelligence, and startling realism, Karen Thompson Walker, in her haunting debut, creates a snapshot of a world changing beyond recognition. It should come as no surprise, then, that Walker's story piqued our paranoia. In the interest of maintaining some semblance of civilization amidst worldwide societal collapse, we outfitted our subscribers with our reusable Powell's To-Go Ware Utensils! Just as useful for an apocalyptic meltdown as they are for your next backyard BBQ or camping trip, the sustainable-bamboo knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks are practically indestructible. Plus, for those of you without a "direction auxiliary indication" (we still don't know what that is — but it sounds important), we included a multiuse survival tool, which fits in your wallet and is good for opening bottles, sawing through wood, or tinkering with your emergency generator.


Standard Edition:
  1. $10.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    The Listeners

    Leni Zumas 9781935639299

Volume 33

The Listeners

The Listeners
by Leni Zumas

Shipped May 2, 2012

  • A custom hardcover edition of The Listeners produced exclusively for Indiespensable and signed by the author
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Leni Zumas
  • A signed letter-pressed broadside featuring a short story from a debut author
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Leni Zumas.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Leni Zumas's debut novel, The Listeners, hit us like a bolt of lightning. Hypnotic and dazzlingly written, we couldn't put this deeply moving and disquieting book down. So, we got together with our neighbors, independent publisher Tin House Books, to create an exclusive hardcover edition of The Listeners (with an embossed purple octopus on the cover, which is probably our favorite detail). We knew that whatever we chose to accompany this book had to be equally remarkable, and an exclusive excerpt of Christopher R. Beha's forthcoming debut novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder was ripe to the task. No less so was a rather provocative essay by the enchanting Chloe Caldwell, taken from her collection Legs Get Led Astray and lovingly letter-pressed by the local artisans at Stumptown Printers. Last and very much not least: Chocolate! Portland-based Alma Chocolate created special octopus boxes just for our subscribers. Nestled inside was Alma's famous Habanero Caramel Crown, a rich lemon bonbon, and a traditional truffle sporting organic 74% Dominican chocolate mixed with organic cream. Volume 34 was quite possibly our most locally grown Indiespensable yet. We love it when these things work out so perfectly.


Standard Edition:

Volume 32

The Book of Jonas

The Book of Jonas
by Stephen Dau

Shipped March 28, 2012

  • A signed first edition of The Book of Jonas in a limited-edition slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Stephen Dau
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Stephen Dau.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Stephen Dau's fabulous debut novel, The Book of Jonas, impressed us. Significantly. And by the time we got to the end, we were more than impressed: we were moved to tears by Jonas's story. It was an easy choice to feature it in Indiespensable #32. We were also excited to include an advance reading copy of Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins. Her voice is utterly remarkable and this debut collection of short stories is garnering comparisons to Denis Johnson and Annie Proulx. Watkins's spare, lovely prose probes the physical and emotional landscapes of the American West, and, in one story, she takes on and reimagines her own history (her father was involved with the Manson Family). We were thrilled to be introduced to these remarkable new writers and hope you will be, too. Apropos of nothing, we've also included a set of Powell's magnets, for pinning whatever you like to your refrigerator. Or bike rack, car door, desk lamp, cocktail shaker... They look like tattoos, but they won't stick to your arm — unless your arm is made of metal.


Standard Edition:

Volume 31

The Marriage Plot

Running the Rift
by Naomi Benaron

Shipped January 25, 2012

  • A signed first edition of Running the Rift in a limited-edition slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Naomi Benaron
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Naomi Benaron.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Our first installment of 2012 found us rekindling our Indiespensable relationship with Algonquin Books. We had the perfect opportunity to work with them again when Naomi Benaron's Bellwether Prize-winning debut novel, Running the Rift, blew us away. In addition to the special edition of Benaron's novel, we included the marvelous inaugural issue of the Algonquin Reader, in which five Algonquin authors (including Robert Olmstead and former Indiespensable author Robert Goolrick) introduce their work in their own words. Also included in this package was a tea and postcard set from the book Glaciers, the gorgeous novel by former Powell's employee Alexis Smith. Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!, raved of Glaciers, "Alexis Smith's brilliant debut novel, is filled with kaleidoscopic pleasures....Line by line, in and out of time, this is a haunted, joyful, beautiful book — a true gift."


Standard Edition:
  1. $10.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Marriage Plot

    Jeffrey Eugenides 9780374203054

Volume 30

The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot
by Jeffrey Eugenides

Shipped October 19, 2011

  • A signed copy of The Marriage Plot, in a limited edition slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Jeffrey Eugenides
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Jeffrey Eugenides.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Given his previous success with The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides' newest book had a lot to live up to.  We're happy to say, it succeeded.  As Publishers Weekly put it, "[The Marriage Plot] so impressively, ambitiously breaks the mold of its predecessor that it calls for the founding of a new prize to recognize its success both as a novel — and as a Jeffrey Eugenides novel." Our inclusion of Silas Marner was greatly inspired by The Marriage Plot's protagonist Madeleine. Madeleine is many things, but at heart she's a student of literature. In homage to her tastes, we included a copy of the Penguin Classics Edition of one of George Eliot's greatest works. Not only is this edition particularly beautiful, it contributes to a good cause: Penguin will donate half the profits from the sale of the book to the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.   We thought it a good opportunity to revisit the beloved classic or discover the story for the first time.


Standard Edition:

Volume 29

The Night Circus

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern

Shipped September 14, 2011

  • A signed copy of The Night Circus, in a limited edition slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Erin Morgenstern
  • A special advance copy of a highly anticipated novel, months prior to its release
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Erin Morgenstern.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

After initial skepticism (circuses? magic? romance?!), we dove into Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and became thoroughly bewitched. Soon after, Jill announced that she was similarly taken with another book that combines elements of magic, darkness, whimsy, and whip-smart writing. The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits is set for a March 2012 release, but we thought our subscribers would enjoy giving it a read a full six months before the rest of the world does. Not surprisingly, all the circus talk had us salivating for caramel corn. So, from Salted Caramel — the Chicago-based company "where sweet meets savory" — we included a bag of their irresistibly tasty Smoked Pecan Bourbon Caramel Corn. It was difficult, but we were happy to share the sweet, sticky (and literary) magic.


Standard Edition:
  1. $4.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Turn of Mind

    Alice LaPlante 9780802119773

Volume 28

Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind
by Alice LaPlante

Shipped August 5, 2011

  • A signed copy of Turn of Mind in a limited edition slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Alice LaPlante
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Alice LaPlante.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

In choosing Turn of Mind, we once again had the pleasure of working with independent publisher Grove/Atlantic (who you may remember published Matterhorn, from volume 17). From the first paragraph of Alice LaPlante's debut novel, we were hooked (Jill and Heidi both finished it in one evening). And, with the long, hot days of summer upon us, we invited subscribers to join us in celebrating grilling season with a delicious Moroccan spice rub, from Portland's own Dulcet Cuisine, along with three recipe cards providing ideas to amplify meats, fish, vegetables, and tofu.


Standard Edition:

Volume 27

Bright before Us

State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett

Shipped June 23, 2011

  • A signed copy of State of Wonder in a limited edition slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Ann Patchett on collectible cards
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Ann Patchett.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Ann Patchett's State of Wonder was the perfect Indiespensable summer pick. This compelling page-turner, by a master of the form, infected the entire Indiespensable team with Patchett fever, and we just couldn't seem to devour the book fast enough. As a complement, we enclosed Jill's insightful and charming interview with Patchett, printed on our special custom-designed author cards. Old-school subscribers found a familiar name in this box — way back in volume 5, we featured Miriam Toews's fantastic novel The Flying Troutmans. Her latest, Irma Voth, the story of 19-year-old Irma and her life in a Mennonite outpost in Mexico, isn't due out till September, so we were especially delighted at the chance to include an advance copy. Finally, the discovery of Lucky Peach, the new food quarterly from McSweeney's and Momofuku's James Beard Award-winning chef David Chang, filled us with joy, as did including the first issue in this installment. A feast for all senses, Indiespensable #27 was packed with escapism, perfect for the onset of summer.


Standard Edition:

Volume 26

Bright before Us

Bright before Us
by Katie Arnold-Ratliff

Shipped May 5, 2011

  • A signed copy of Bright before Us, in a limited hardcover edition exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview and Indiespensable Q&A with Katie Arnold-Ratliff on collectible cards
  • A signed, bound excerpt from a critically praised debut novel
  • And other exciting surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Katie Arnold-Ratliff.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We've emerged from Volume #26 smitten with Tin House and the delightful Katie Arnold-Ratliff. The author visited our warehouse and not only signed every copy of the limited-edition hardcover of her debut novel, Bright before Us (we'll admit to bribing her with cookies), she also sat down with Jill for an exclusive interview. With insufficiently disguised glee, we also presented an exclusive, signed excerpt from Scott Sparling's debut novel, Wire to Wire. Like Arnold-Ratliff, Sparling is a Tin House New Voice author, and, also like Arnold-Ratliff, his book is garnering critical acclaim, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Impossible to resist were the eye-catching postcards featuring art by Matt Kish, whose book Moby-Dick in Pictures will be coming out in October. And just in case you're inspired, we also included a journal, for writing, drawing, recording past loves — whatever strikes your fancy. Finally, to keep everything (and anything) safe from spring rains, we included one reusable Powell's tote.


Standard Edition:
  1. $9.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Townie: A Memoir

    Andre Dubus III 9780393064667

Volume 25

Townie: A Memoir

Townie: A Memoir
by Andre Dubus III

Shipped March 16, 2011

  • A signed first edition of Townie in a specially designed slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview with Andre Dubus III on collectible cards
  • Plus, other special surprises!...

Read the Powells.com interview with Andre Dubus III.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

When we received advance copies of Townie, Andre Dubus III's page-turning memoir, we thought, Hmm... Indiespensable? After reading it, we were certain. As Jill put it, "I have loved all his books. But Townie is better. It's astonishingly good." To complement this heart-wrenching book, we included Jill's interview with Dubus on collectible author cards. It deftly touches on several of the book's themes — violence, memory, familial tensions. While intensely rewarding, reading Dubus's memoir can really put you through the ringer. So, we also included a pot of salted caramel sauce, hand-crafted in Portland by Xocolatl de David, as a sweet refreshment. Our favorite method of consumption? On a spoon, straight out of the jar. Refreshment to the 10th degree.

Indiespensable Cards Ten Thousand Saints

Standard Edition:
  1. $6.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Fates Will Find Their Way

    Hannah Pittard 9780061996054

Volume 24

The Fates Will Find Their Way

The Fates Will Find Their Way
by Hannah Pittard

Shipped February 2, 2011

  • A signed first edition of The Fates Will Find Their Way in a specially designed slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • The Powells.com interview with Hannah Pittard on collectible cards
  • An advance reader copy of a highly anticipated novel, months prior to its release
  • Plus, other special surprises!...

Read the Powells.com interview with Hannah Pittard.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We could spend hours gushing about how enamored we are with Hannah Pittard and her first novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way. Our Q&A with Pittard, plus Megan's interview — both of which we enclosed on a set of author cards — only solidified our adoration. We were equally excited about the other fun stuff included in this installment. It's not often that you get to read a book six months before its publication date, but we gave Indiespensable subscribers the opportunity to do just that, with an advance copy of Eleanor Henderson's Ten Thousand Saints, due out in June 2011. Finally, we thought these two debut novels might go well with another debut, our brand-new and — if we may brag a bit — truly handsome meadowlark mug, created by our surprisingly-knowledgeable-about-all-things-Oregon graphics team, to whom we say, well done.



Indiespensable Cards Ten Thousand Saints Handsome Meadowlark Mug

Standard Edition:
  1. $9.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Instructions

    Adam Levin 9781934781821

Volume 23

The Instructions

The Instructions
by Adam Levin

Shipped December 8, 2010

  • A signed first edition of The Instructions, bound in a custom cover exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers.
  • The Powells.com interview with Adam Levin on collectible author cards
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Adam Levin.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We were presented with so many fine options for inclusion in this year's special holiday box, we just couldn't say no to any of them. Jill's interview with the very charming and funny Adam Levin (The Instructions) was a clear choice. And what's a holiday without a sweet treat? After rigorous, and very taxing, quality-control testing, it was determined that Indiespensable #23 could not leave our warehouse without a fluffy confection from A Little Bit of Sweet, a local business that has become quite dear to our hearts. To top it all off, we included one of our limited-edition holiday tote bags in the package. Even the grinchiest in our ranks can't fight the warm feelings achieved from tossing this natural cotton bag over a shoulder and hitting the town with a few favorite books in tow.



Limited Edition Holiday Tote A Little Bit of Sweet Indiespensable Cards


Standard Edition:
  1. $8.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Wilding

    Benjamin Percy 9781555975692

Volume 22

The Wilding

The Wilding
by Benjamin Percy

Shipped October 27, 2010

  • A signed first edition of The Wilding in a slipcase custom designed for Indiespensable
  • The Powells.com interview with Benjamin Percy on collectible author cards
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Benjamin Percy.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

After Jill spoke with Benjamin Percy about his work, we knew we had to include her in-depth interview on collectible author cards, and, considering the novel's setting, it wasn't hard to decide what the special gift in this installment should be. The limited edition Indiespensable Klean Kanteen isn't just any liquid receptacle; it's a top-of-the-line model with double-walled vacuum insulation that keeps things hot for 6 hours or cold for 24. It's perfect for those ordinary days when you're looking forward to savoring some hot soup at work, or on the more adventurous days when you're in the woods... and your car won't start... and you hear something in the bushes... and... (We'd better stop there, or we'll need a spoiler alert!)



Indiespensable Klean Kanteen Indiespensable Cards

Standard Edition:

Volume 21

Freedom

Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen

Shipped September 22, 2010

  • A signed first edition of Freedom in a slipcase custom designed for Indiespensable
  • An exclusive printing of part 1 of Paul Murray's novel Skippy Dies
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Jonathan Franzen (2006).

Read the Powells.com interview with Paul Murray.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Skippy Dies, a mesmerizing display of literary aptitude from Irish writer Paul Murray, completely stole our hearts, and we're certain that it will quickly find its way onto many best-of-the-year lists. The one drawback to two dazzling books in one box? If you're anything like us, you'll be up till the wee hours devouring both, hence, delicious, freshly roasted coffee beans from an independent Portland staple, Stumptown Coffee. It all adds up to the material for hours of literary gratification, plus the java power to stay up all night absorbing it.



Skippy Dies Part I Stumptown Coffee Stumptown Coffee Postcard

Standard Edition:

Volume 20

I Curse the River of Time

I Curse the River of Time
by Per Petterson

Shipped August 11, 2010

  • A signed first edition of I Curse the River of Time in a custom slipcase, designed exclusively for Indiespensable
  • A special edition chapbook, excerpted from a brilliant upcoming novel
  • Original author content
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Per Petterson.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We can't argue with Time magazine's assessment of Per Petterson: "Reading a Petterson novel is like falling into a northern landscape painting — all shafts of light and clear palpable chill." It was our fascination with the Norwegian author's spare and limpid prose that brought us to work with Graywolf Press and to create the collectible, custom-designed edition of I Curse the River of Time featured in this installment. Graywolf is also to thank for introducing us to another brilliant writer to watch, Jessica Francis Kane. So, with delight, we added an exclusive chapbook preview of The Report to this package. Then, perhaps spurned by Petterson's references to the North Sea, our seasoned staff opted to include a delicious gourmet finishing salt from a local shop The Meadow, run by salt aficionado and (how apropos!) author Mark Bitterman.



The Report Finishing Salt from The Meadow Indiespensable Cards

Standard Edition:

Volume 19

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender

Shipped July 7, 2010

  • A signed first edition of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake in a custom slipcase, designed exclusively for Indiespensable
  • An advance readers copy of a highly anticipated novel
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interviews with Aimee Bender: 2005 and 2010.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

What a delicious installment! We were already devoted fans of Aimee Bender, and the interview we did with her further sealed the deal. Myla Goldberg is another favorite of ours, so we were thrilled to include an advance reading copy of her new novel more than three months before its release. Finally, we though it'd be torture to read Bender's amazing food descriptions without something nearby to sip — hence the limited edition coasters from Tin House inspired by Bernard DeVoto's The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto, a reprint of the 1950s classic that still proves an applicable and humorous treatise for the modern drinker... er, reader. Yes. Reader.



The False Friend Coasters from Tin House Indiespensable Cards

Standard Edition:
  1. $6.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Lonely Polygamist

    Brady Udall 9780393062625

Volume 18

The Lonely Polygamist

The Lonely Polygamist
by Brady Udall

Shipped May 12, 2010

  • A signed first edition of The Lonely Polygamist in a custom slipcase, designed exclusively for Indiespensable
  • Exclusive author content
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Brady Udall.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We were so impressed by Brady Udall's candor during our interview with him, that we couldn't resist sending along another set of collectible author cards. Over some fish tacos at ¿Por Que No? on N. Mississippi, Megan came up with the idea that perhaps our subscribers (and Golden Richards, the transgressing polygamist in question) could benefit from some soul-saving suds — thus, the "Wash Away Your Sins" industrial strength cleansing bar, guaranteed effective enough for most liars, cheaters, and general wrongdoers. Should temptation strike while out and about, the included moist towelettes are the ultimate in on-the-go redemptive purification.



Wash Away Your Sins Indiespensable Cards

Standard Edition:
  1. $6.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

Volume 17

Matterhorn

Matterhorn
by Karl Marlantes

Shipped April 7, 2010

  • A signed first edition of Matterhorn in a custom slipcase, designed exclusively for Indiespensable
  • Exclusive author content
  • And other special surprises!

Read the Powells.com interview with Karl Marlantes.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Since Matterhorn is over 600 pages, we thought we'd help readers tote around the husky hardcover by outfitting them with a stylish Powell's rucksack, an item exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers. Speaking of exclusive, Chris Faatz, a long-time fixture at Powell's City of Books, became such an evangelist for the book, he offered to conduct an interview with Marlantes, which we proudly presented in Volume 17 on our collectible author cards.



Powell's Tote Bag Indiespensable Cards

Standard Edition:
  1. $9.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Shadow Tag

    Louise Erdrich 9780061536090

Volume 16

Shadow Tag

Shadow Tag
by Louise Erdrich

Shipped February 3, 2009

  • A signed first edition of Shadow Tag, in a custom slipcase, designed exclusively for Indiespensable subscribers
  • An advance readers copy of a highly anticipated novel
  • Exclusive author content
  • And other special surprises!

Read an original essay by author Lionel Shriver.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Louise Erdrich's Shadow Tag has everything to do with diaries. We figured, if ever there was an Indiespensable volume meant to include a journal, this was the one. (Whether to fill it with truth or lies — well, we left that up to you.) Then, along with the custom-slipcased, signed first edition of our featured title, we were thrilled to include a pre-publication copy of So Much for That, the latest novel from Lionel Shriver, author of The Post-Birthday World. We'd also been itching for a reason to include some pint-sized delicacies from Two Tarts, a lovely bakery here in Portland. So, we went on a field trip to taste test their delicious morsels — just to make sure they were of the highest quality, of course! Happily, they passed our rigorous testing with flying crumbs — uh, colors.

Indiespensable Cards So Much for That Cookies Powell's Books Journal

Standard Edition:
  1. $5.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Wild Things

    Dave Eggers 9781934781616

Volume 15

The Wild Things

The Wild Things
by Dave Eggers

Shipped December 11, 2009

  • A signed edition of The Wild Things, in a specially designed slipcase, exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • An assortment of tasty goodies
  • A brand-new Powell's mystery item
  • More surprises!

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

While reading about Max's escape to the Island of the Wild Things, we thought our subscribers might appreciate a little escape themselves. Our friends over at Stash Tea hooked us up with an organic tea sampler, to be sipped with the tasty gourmet chocolates provided by our pals at Dagoba. Yum! But, not to be outdone ourselves, we decided to include our shiny new Powell's Oregon mug, along with a $5 Powell's Card, to put toward a future literary adventure. Indiespensable #15: everything needed to escape while in the comfort of your favorite reading chair. (Magical monster-filled islands are overrated.)


Dagoba Chocolate $5 Powell's Gift Card Stash Tea Powell's Mug

Standard Edition:

Volume 14

The Cry of the Sloth

The Cry of the Sloth
by Sam Savage

Shipped October 28, 2009

  • Exclusive to Indiespensable, the only hardcover edition of The Cry of the Sloth, signed and numbered by the author
  • Unique and interactive printing of a story from Fugue State by Brian Evenson
  • A surprise from McSweeney's
  • Plus, other thoughtful gifts, chosen by our staff

Read the exclusive Powells.com interview with Sam Savage.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Literal interpretation became the reigning theme in Indiespensable's 14th installment. McSweeney's #17, titled "Other People's Mail," a hilarious mélange in its own right, echoed the epistolary nature of our featured title, Cry of the Sloth by Sam Savage. Thumbs up to Coffee House Press for a broadside of an Edward Sanders poem, hand-pressed on 100% cotton rag paper from France; this seemed the perfect complement to Sloth and the references to ephemera peppered throughout its story. Intrigued (though mildly disturbed) by a selection from Brian Evenson's new book Fugue State, we gulped when those same crafty folks at Coffee House Press suggested that we print the short story "Invisible Box" on a DIY box — each signed by Evenson! We were in awe. Finally, we added our brand new Powell's Oregon sticker, to seal the deal.


Other People's Mail Whispering Books Invisible Box Powell's Sticker

Standard Edition:
  1. $14.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Stitches

    David Small 9780393068573

Volume 13

Stitches

Stitches
by David Small

Shipped September 11, 2009

  • A hardcover first edition of Stitches, signed by the author, in a custom slipcase exclusive to Indiespensable subscribers
  • Special gifts chosen by our staff

Read the exclusive Powells.com interview with David Small.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

We had a hard time deciding what goodies were worthy to be packed side by side with David Small's amazing Stitches. Finally, it came down to this: pair Small's gorgeous images with beautiful words. Sarah Hall's How to Paint a Dead Man, a paperback original long-listed for the Booker Prize, fit the bill beautifully. Then we thought, why not hear more from Small himself, who, in his interview with Dave, so eloquently expressed the motivation behind his masterpiece? Hence, the inclusion of the interview card. It should also come as no surprise that we have a soft spot for Merge Records, a scrappy independent record label celebrating its 20th anniversary, and so we happily added a sneak peek into Our Noise, the book celebrating their achievement.


How to Paint a Dead Man David Small's Interview Our Noise


Standard Edition:
  1. $9.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Into the Beautiful North

    Luis Alberto Urrea 9780316025270

Volume 12

Into the Beautiful North

Into the Beautiful North
by Luis Alberto Urrea

Shipped July 29, 2009

  • Hardcover first edition of Into the Beautiful North, signed by the author
  • The first-ever installment of Poor Claudia's Bucket Books Series, a signed and numbered, 4" x 9" hand-bound book with French flaps and original art, featuring new work by 12 up-and-coming poets

Read the exclusive Powells.com interview with Luis Alberto Urrea.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Poor Claudia? Nothing poor about it. This small, local press turned out an elegant little volume, chock-full of illustrations and works by Portland's up-and-comers — signed by them, too! — with the first edition of their sure to be popular Bucket Book lit journal series. We also learned a new trick with this volume: entice authors with bacon-maple bars from Voodoo Donuts. Jessica Anthony noshed hers while patiently signing a thousand (really — 1,000!) author cards for us. (She earned that pastry.) Clever design by Lenore combined with juicy tidbits revealed Q&A-style ("Turkey in the Straw"!) make it one of our favorite cards yet. Finally, we gave subscribers a challenge, how to fill the 16-ounce void presented by our new Powell's pint glass. We imagine you discovered (and possibly invented) dozens of tasty libations to do the job. Why not, share your favorites! We're always looking for delicious new ways to achieve maximum refreshment.


Poor Claudia Powell's Pint Glass (Coral) Indiespensable cards


Standard Edition:
  1. $10.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Twin

    Gerband Bakker 9780980033021

Volume 11

The Twin

The Twin
by Gerbrand Bakker
(Archipelago Books)

Shipped June 23, 2009

  • Hardcover first edition
  • Signed by the author
  • Also included a custom-printed excerpt from Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

To receive an Archipelago catalog, please email info@archipelagobooks.org.


Read specially translated excerpts from Gerbrand Bakker's interview with Libelle magazine.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Everybody's talking about the scoutbooks. Could they be Indiespensable's best gift so far? Dunno, but they may be the most useful. Dressed in Nikki McClure's gorgeous, paper-cut illustrations, one comes lined, a second with graph paper, and the third with blank pages. Following our crow theme (whose inspiration was an interloping bird in The Twin), we custom-printed an excerpt from Lyanda Lynn Haupt's fascinating Crow Planet. And we jumped at the chance to share a sneak peak at three novels (1, 2, 3) that McSweeney's will be publishing this summer, even if those aren't crow's feet on the cover.


Scoutbooks McSweeney's sampler Indiespensable cards


Standard Edition:

Volume 10

A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife
by Robert Goolrick

Shipped May 5, 2009

  • Hardcover first edition in custom, full-cloth slipcase
  • Signed and numbered by the author


Read the exclusive Powells.com interview with Robert Goolrick.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

How do you follow gourmet chocolate? With basil, apparently. When Kim introduced us to Garden-in-a-Bag, we thought, Cool — little did we know that the herbaceous goodie would prove almost as popular as the confection in Volume 9. And because Algonquin has been such a stellar Indiespensable partner (see Volume 2), we decided to round out the box with another literary treat from the Carolina-based publisher: a chapbook featuring "Me and Big Foot," from Jill McCorkle's forthcoming story collection, Going Away Shoes. We do harbor quite a Big Foot fascination round these parts.


Garden-in-a-Bag Me and Big Foot


Standard Edition:
  1. $8.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Sunnyside

    Glen David Gold 9780307270689

Volume 9

A Day's Pleasure

Sunnyside / A Day's Pleasure
by Glen David Gold

Shipped March 18, 2009

  • Limited edition, autographed, hardcover chapbook of "A Day's Pleasure," the first part of Sunnyside (56 pages). Printed on a heavy cream stock with 4/c frontispiece by artist J. D. King, two pen and ink interior illustrations by Patrick McDonnell (the creator of Mutts), and cased with a 6/c silk-screened image on cloth. Available only to Indiespensable subscribers.
  • Plus, an advance readers copy of Sunnyside — more than a month before the book will be available in stores.


Read an exclusive essay by Glen David Gold.

Read posts by Glen David Gold on the Powells.com blog.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

"Quick," went the cry in our office. "Let's include Alma chocolate before the summer heat makes shipping it too complicated!" And so it was done. In Volume 9, subscribers received a small box of delicious confections to enjoy while admiring their limited edition, autographed, 56-page hardcover chapbook of "A Day's Pleasure," the first section of Glen David Gold's forthcoming novel, Sunnyside. But we couldn't tease you with just the start of the book; that's why we also included an advance copy of the complete novel more than a month before its publication. But wait — there's more? Yes: two original stories from Amplified, a new collection of short fiction by great songwriters.


Alma chocolate Advanced readers copy of Sunnyside Amplified


Standard Edition:
  1. $8.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Tinkers

    Paul Harding 9781934137123

Volume 8

The Lit-Journal Collection

Tinkers
by Paul Harding

Shipped January 22, 2009

  • Special limited edition with custom endpapers and tipped-in limitation page
  • Signed and numbered by the author


Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Read the exclusive Powells.com interview with Paul Harding.

Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Sometimes — rarely, but it does happen — you don't want to read. Must you abandon the couch, however? Heavens, no! Not with more than three hours of DVD goodness curated by the fine folks at McSweeney's: Wholphin is a DVD magazine of short, independent films. (A wholphin, in case you're wondering, is a cross between a whale and a dolphin.) And while you're lounging in flannel pajamas, admire Andi Watson's beautiful cover art in our limited edition print autographed by Couch author Benjamin Parzybok.




Volume 7

The Lit-Journal Collection

The Lit-Journal Collection

Shipped December 2, 2008

Indiespensable subscribers received four of our favorite literary journals:

  • The Believer
  • The Paris Review
  • Open City
  • Tin House
  • Plus, two very special mystery items to enhance your reading pleasure!


Read about this shipment on our blog!

What we included in the box:

Nothing satisfies in winter like delicious, organic, fair-trade chocolate from Dagoba in Ashland, Oregon. We worried, however, that some subscribers might be a bit overzealous upon opening the package, so we included a limited edition Powell's mug (not available in stores), just in case. Understand, there's a reason why they call it hot chocolate. Use the mug, people, not your hands!


Dagoba Hot Chocolate Powell's Books Mug


Standard Edition:

Volume 6

The Crow Road

The Crow Road
by Iain Banks

Shipped October 23, 2008

  • Hardcover first edition, with laid-in bookplate signed by the author; packaged in a custom, full-cloth slipcase.
  • Full-length CD of original music by Portland artists and a limited printing of Graeme Thomson's 40 greatest death songs of all time.


Read the Powells.com interview with Iain Banks.

What we included in the box:

"Going down the crow road," we learned from Iain Banks, is a slang expression for death. Our Halloween edition of Indiespensable, then, quite logically brimmed with fatality. Dearly Departed features 15 original songs by some of Portland's best bands, each inspired by a resident of the Lone Fir Cemetery. Meanwhile, we were inspired by Graeme Thomson's book, I Shot a Man in Reno: A History of Death by Murder, Suicide, Fire, Flood, Drugs, Disease, and General Misadventure, as Related in Popular Song, so we asked the publisher, Continuum, to reproduce the epilogue ("The Forty Greatest Death Records") in 'zine form — and Graeme was kind enough to pen a special introduction for our subscribers. Volume 6 also included a deck of our famous (well, in the way that your corner pizza joint claims to be famous) Indiespensable cards.


Indiespensable Cards Dearly Departed I Shot a Man in Reno


Standard Edition:
  1. $8.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Volume 5

The Flying Troutmans

The Flying Troutmans
by Miriam Toews

Shipped September 30, 2008

  • Hardcover special edition
  • Signed by the author


Read the 2004 Powells.com interview with Miriam Toews .

Read the original essay by Miriam Toews.

What we included in the box:

What better complement to Miriam Toews's great road trip novel than a pocket atlas? And what's a road trip without a bumper sticker from your favorite independent bookseller? While you're cruising some blue highway, enjoy another installment of Indiespensable cards. But wait until a rest stop to unfold the John Hodgman poster. His taxonomy of complete world knowledge WILL SURELY BLOW YOUR MIND (and send you careening off the shoulder).


Indiespensable Cards Pocket Atlas More Information Than You Require Powell's Books Bumper Sticker


Standard Edition:

Volume 4

Clown Girl

Clown Girl
by Monica Drake

Shipped July 31, 2008

  • Hardcover special edition
  • Signed by the author


Read the INK Q&A with Monica Drake.

Read the original essay by Monica Drake.

What we included in the box:

Our first Portland-centric box — featuring the only hardcover edition of Monica Drake's critically acclaimed debut, Clown Girl — introduced subscribers to another local artist with a bright future, Aron Nels Steinke, whose Super Crazy Cat Dance is a joy for readers of all ages. Of course it was the rubber chicken keychain (to match Clown Girl's jacket photo) that got all the attention. People do love goofy toys. And author cards.


Indiespensable Cards The Super Crazy Cat Dance Rubber Chicken Keychain


Standard Editions:
  1. $23.95 New Hardcover add to wish list

    The Outlander

    Gil Adamson 9780061491252
  1. $4.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    David Wroblewski 9780061374227

Volume 3

The Outlander
by Gil Adamson

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski

Shipped May 30, 2008

  • Hardcover first editions
  • Signed by the author


Read the Powells.com interview with Adamson and Wroblewski.

What we included in the box:

Two signed first editions in one box?! It's true. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle would go on to become 2008's mega-selling debut; Indiespensable subscribers got copies long before the buzz. (Dave will tell you that The Outlander is just as good a novel, if not better. But do not trust Dave. He's irrationally infatuated with Canadian authors.) Two novels — that's a lot of reading. But we were so excited about Ecco's forthcoming State by State collection that we also included a 107-page sampler. And another deck of cards.


Indiespensable Cards State by State


Standard Edition:

Volume 2

Mudbound

Mudbound
by Hillary Jordan
(Algonquin Books)

Shipped April 17, 2008

  • Hardcover first editions
  • Signed and numbered by the author
  • Packaged in a custom, full-cloth slipcase
  • Available only to Indiespensable subscribers

Read blog posts by Hillary Jordan


What we included in the box:

Around the time we shipped Mudbound, Anchor Books published Ian McEwan's latest novel in paperback. Would readers of Hillary Jordan's debut enjoy On Chesil Beach? We thought they would — odds were favorable, certainly. So we added a DVD of Powell's very first Out of the Book film to subscribers' packages. And set number two of the author cards.


Indiespensable Cards On Chesil Beach DVD


Standard Edition:
  1. $11.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    How the Dead Dream

    Lydia Millet 9781593761844

Volume 1

How the Dead Dream

How the Dead Dream
by Lydia Millet
(Counterpoint Press)

Shipped March 5, 2008

  • Hardcover first editions
  • Signed and numbered by the author
  • Packaged in a custom, full-cloth slipcase
  • Available only to Indiespensable subscribers


Read the Powells.com interview with Lydia Millet.

See all books by Lydia Millet.


What we included in the box:

Volume 1 featured our first-ever batch of Indiespensable cards. In the die-cut deck, readers found three fancy author trading cards, an interview with Lydia Millet, and more. But it's the cookie they won't stop talking about. All this time later, it remains the gift that subscribers reference most often. Thank you, Elephants Deli, baker of delicious shortbread cookies dipped in mint white chocolate. You see, our debut Indiespensable selection, How the Dead Dream, featured an elephant on its cover. So we thought... Well, we'll let you connect the crumbs.


Indiespensable Cards Cookie from Elephants Deli
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Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.