"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that [books make the best gifts]"
Okay, so perhaps Jane Austen didn’t quite phrase it that way, but there’s a reason books make excellent gifts. Their luster doesn’t fade like clothing, diminish quickly like food, or become obsolete like electronics. Instead, our favorite titles seem to grow more powerful and poignant with time. So make your shopping simple—and meaningful—this holiday season. Browse below to find the perfect literary gift for everyone on your list. Place your orders this week to ensure their timely arrival!
Thinking of Thanks
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s easy to get lost in the fervor of the holiday season or the concerns that surround family gatherings. Author Penelope S. Easton joins us today with a reminder of what the Thanksgiving celebration is truly about. Below, she details an incident that occurred early on in her stint as a dietary consultant in Territorial Alaska. You can read more of Penelope’s adventures in her recently published book, Learning to Like Muktuk.
Happy University Press Week!
“Oregon’s only university press, OSU Press has shined a bright light on the Pacific Northwest and Oregon by publishing exceptional books about its people and landscapes, its flora and fauna, its history and cultural heritage for more than fifty years. A vital part of Oregon State’s mission to serve the people of Oregon, the Press reflects our commitment to new ideas, research, and innovation in service to others. Through the Press, Oregon State engages the broader public as well, extending our reach and influence far beyond our borders.”
Fitting into the Forest
In 1982, Susan Marsh had just arrived at the Gallatin National Forest in Montana. As part of the Supervisor’s Office staff, she visited each of the five ranger districts to introduce herself. Marsh narrates this experience in her forthcoming memoir, A Hunger for High Country:
At the Gardiner Ranger District I was greeted by a woman with graying blond hair, a tanned face full of wrinkles, and dark, friendly eyes. She led me down a hallway to a collection of map tubes and mismatched file cabinets where half a dozen employees gathered at a folding conference table over day-old doughnuts. Veiled eyes assessed me from under cowboy hats as I stood there in my Birkenstocks. The district ranger was a tall, florid-faced man with sun creases at the corners of his eyes. He had the long arms and large hands of a farmer. When I held my hand out, he declined to shake it.
The Last River
A most commanding muse, nature continually captivates scientists and citizens alike. Perhaps few understand the call better than author and photographer Tim Palmer, who has spent decades traversing the Pacific Northwest by both foot and water. A prodigious writer and celebrated paddler, Palmer joins us today to share a piece of the beauty he found while researching his latest work, Field Guide to Oregon Rivers.
Books on the Rocks: Celebrating Earth Science Week
Rock on, friends: it’s Earth Science Week! And from a geological standpoint, there are few better places to celebrate than the Pacific Northwest.
“Earth’s Connected Systems” reigns as this year’s point of emphasis, according to the American Geosciences Institute. Daily activities across the nation will “help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the earth sciences and encourage stewardship of the Earth.” From coast to coast, organizations are hosting events that cover a variety of topics, from engineering to plate tectonics.
Obsessions, Otters & and Other Brian Doyle-isms
Author Brian Doyle chats with former OSU Press intern Maya Polan about his passionate writing style, unusual obsessions, and why kids are “like the otters of human beings.” Catch Brian yourself at one of his upcoming readings promoting his latest book, Children and Other Wild Animals:
· Fri., Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.: Powell’s City of Books (Portland, OR)
· Thurs., Oct. 16 at 7:00 p.m.: Broadway Books (Portland, OR)
A Novelist's Journey: From Mount Hood to Hanoi
He teaches creative writing in public schools. He's a dad. And most recently, a novelist. Author Mark Pomeroy joins us to share how a kid from northeast Portland, Ore. found vivid and lasting impressions in the forests of Vietnam and shadows of Mount Hood. His debut novel, The Brightwood Stillness, is available now.
I was raised partly by a Vietnam veteran stepfather whose anger and silences over the war both terrified and intrigued me. What had happened to him in that mysterious far-off land? What had he done? What was so difficult for him to talk about?
The Expanding Universe of Citizen Science
This month marks the two-year anniversary of the first national conference on citizen science, held in Portland, Oregon in August, 2012. Nonfiction writer and citizen scientist Sharman Apt Russell, whose book, Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World comes out this fall, was in attendance. Russell, a native of New Mexico, joins us on the blog to reflect on her time here in Oregon, and on the lessons she carried with her back home.
The Tree House in Utopia: Justin Wadland Revisits Home
New non-fiction from Justin Wadland, Trying Home: The Rise and Fall of an Anarchist Utopia on Puget Sound, explores the historical realities of Home, Washington’s turn of the century “practical experiment in anarchy,” and an array of colorful former residents, whose experiences ranged from practicing free love, spying for a detective agency, defending free speech at the Supreme Court, and for one couple—who resided in a tree house that doubled as a popular dining spot—an elf-life existence.