Wintersalen Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


February 4, 2009


Love in the time of quantum physics:
"what do i do with this thing?" sale
author event: mario livio
aisle 49
susan haack isepp lecture
tech q&a: joseph hallinan (why we make mistakes)
tech q&a: nick montfort and ian bogost (racing the beam)
featured books
tech q&a: james boyle (the public domain)
tech q&a: neil degrasse tyson (the pluto files)
doug brown's factoid


It's official. We're not sending out any Valentines this year. We've taken a pledge to be more "green" and stop wasting paper. Besides, it is so difficult to come up with romantic words that rhyme with "mathematician" and "computer programming." That's why we leave the mushy note writing to the literature team at the City of Books.


Huzzah! Santa was very good to you this year, and now you've got a new, shiny gadget that you haven't figured out yet. Between work, school, and spending time on Facebook, who has time to read those dull user manuals? Worry not! It's time for our annual "What Do I Do with This Thing?" promotion. New to the iPod Touch? Erica Sadun's Take Your iPod Touch to the Max teaches you all the new tricks. New to geocaching, or just want to go hiking with safety in mind? GPS Made Easy by Lawrence Letham will show you the way. Shop enthusiasts can't be without the classic text How to Run a Lathe by South Bend Machine Works. And for those of you who want to dig a well, but want to save on surveying costs, Dowsing: A Journey beyond Our Five Senses, by Hamish Miller, is just what you need.


On February 6, come early to the Tech store to get a seat for Mario Livio's first Powell's author appearance. His new book, Is God a Mathematician?, seeks an answer to the eternal question: does mathematics hold the key to understanding the mysteries of the physical world? Livio, author of The Golden Ratio, is a senior astronomer and the former head of the science division at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Don't miss this very special event!


A new month brings a new theme to Aisle 49, stocked full of books you covet and desperately want. The beginning of the year is time for fresh starts, new ideas, and even a radical thought or two. Check out our favorite selections by noted inventors such as Nikola Tesla (Tesla: The Lost Inventions) and Buckminster Fuller (Your Private Sky). And for reworking the way we think, there's no one better than James Burke (Connections). For those of you who are working on a project in the basement, Nolo Press's 13th edition of Patent It Yourself is the ultimate DIY book. Intrigued? Check out what else we've picked out for you!


On Thursday, February 12, at 7:00 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Dr. Susan Haack, a professor at the University of Miami, will present a lecture titled Beyond the Science Wars, sponsored by the Institute for Science, Engineering and Public Policy. Does science really discover truths about the world or only reflect the values of our culture? Dr. Haack believes we need a realistic understanding of the methods of the sciences and the scope and limits of the scientific enterprise. Be sure to show up early for the lecture, as Haack will be signing books for sale at 6:30 p.m.


"To err is human," Alexander Pope once said, but have you ever wondered why? Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Joseph Hallinan has. He describes his new book, Why We Make Mistakes, as "a field guide to human error" and also offers some helpful hints about making fewer of them. Adults tend to act and see in patterns, neglecting to notice the details. That's why your kids always know where your car keys are and you don't. In this Q&A, find out why Hallinan prefers the outdoors to chess, what famous scientist he'd like to be in his next life, and why the PedEgg is on his mind. Save 30% on Why We Make Mistakes for a limited time.


It's not hard to imagine how Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost spent their youth. Their new book, Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, is one of the first to explore the "systems" of the Atari game console, and explains the relationship between platforms and creative expression. They discuss and dissect popular Atari games such as Pitfall, Adventure, Pac Man and Star Wars. In their Q&A, find out why E. coli spinach makes Ian sympathize with Dilbert, why Nick believes laptops make people think differently, and why Ian hasn't yet mastered Latin. Plus, save 30% on Racing the Beam.


What's great about Lloyd Kahn is that he photographs homes that don't belong in glossy architecture magazines. His newest, Builders of the Pacific Coast, is a love letter to hippies who escaped to the West Coast back in the 1970s, when land and lumber were cheap or free. Their houses are hand-hewn, highly personalized, and never built for "resale value." It's a treat to pore over each page. This spirited, beautiful book makes you want to chuck it all and become a hippie carpenter in Bolinas. Bill Mollison's Introduction to Permaculture, newly revised, is the book on permaculture. Over 94,000 copies are in print! This highly readable book explores the basic concepts of "permanent agriculture" so that anyone can understand its benefits. Whether you live in the country or in an apartment, Mollison offers techniques that fit your particular situation. It makes you itch for spring.


James Boyle is a professor of law at Duke University and cofounder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain there, as well. Boyle's newest book, The Public Domain, asserts the importance of a richer public domain in an increasingly private and litigious copyright law environment. In his Technica Q&A, find out why elementary school teachers failed to inspire him, how he has "vicarious geek cred," and learn why he hopes the Internet will be as beneficial to science as it has been for shoe shopping. For a limited time save 30% on The Public Domain.


In The Pluto Files, New York Times-bestselling author Neil deGrasse Tyson chronicles America's irrational love affair with Pluto. In his typically witty way, Tyson explores the history of planet classification and America's obsession with the "planet" that's recently been judged as a dwarf. "[H]ighly entertaining," cheers Booklist. Read Tyson's Tech Q&A and save 30% on The Pluto Files.


You might think that the Galápagos have been thoroughly explored by biologists, but scientists have just recently announced finding a new species of land iguana. The iguana was first discovered in 1986 (151 years after Darwin missed it), but recent DNA studies confirmed it is a separate species from other Galápagos iguanas. The newly described species is pink with black stripes, has a prominent head crest, and only occurs on one volcano on Isabela Island. It also has its own distinct way of rapid head bobbing; many lizards head bob as a way of claiming their territory, and in courtship.


1. The Graphic Designer's Digital Toolkit, 3rd Edition by Allan Wood
2. Shot by Shot: A Practical Guide to Filmmaking, 3rd Edition by John Cantine
3. Production Management 101 by Deborah S. Patz
4. 2008 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code by Oregon BCD
5. New Perspectives on Computer Concepts, 11th Edition by June Jamrich Parsons
6. Oregon Electrical Safety Law by Oregon BCD
7. Technique of Film and Video Editing, 4th Edition by Ken Dancyger
8. Apple Pro Training Series: Shake 4, 2nd Edition by Marco Paolini
9. Final Cut Pro 6: Visual Quickpro Guide by Lisa Brenneis
10. Oregon Administrative Rules: Chapter 918, 2008 Compilation by Oregon BCD

By Carole R.

  • back to top


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