Rate This

No votes yet

Events at BookShop West Portal

We are always happy to have any of these great books signed for you! When ordering online, simply request a signed copy using the order comments box in checkout.
 

 

Thursday, January 22nd at 7 PM

Armistead Maupin

The Days of Anna Madrigal 

Now ninety-two, Mrs. Anna Madrigal has seemingly found peace with her "logical family" in San Francisco. Some members of Anna's family are bound for the otherworldly landscape of Burning Man, the art community in Nevada where sixty thousand revelers gather to construct a city designed to last only one week. Anna herself has another destination in mind. With her former tenant Brian Hawkins and his beat-up RV, she journeys into the dusty troubled heart of her Depression childhood to unearth a lifetime of secrets and dreams and attend to unfinished business she has long avoided.

  
Thursday, February 12th at 7 PM
Lee Bruno

 

 

 

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), and this fully illustrated coffee table book focuses on the groundbreaking exhibition and its fascinating participants. The book opens with a large-scale map of the exhibit, with arrows pointing to events and individual people who were there: historic figures including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Maria Montessori, aviator Lincoln Beachey, composer John Phillips Souza, and Charlie Chaplin. Subsequent pages have blow-ups of map sections with stories about the exhibitors and their impact on early 20th-century America. The book also contains a history of the development of the fair through the eyes of the author's great-grandfather, Reuben Hale, who was responsible for its vision and realization, against long odds.
 
 

Thursday, February 26th at 7PM

Matt Richtel

The Doomsday Equation

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author of A Deadly Wandering comes a pulse-pounding technological thriller--as ingenious as the works of Michael Crichton and as urgent and irresistible as an episode of 24--in which one man has three days to prevent annihilation: the outbreak of World War III.

Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has designed a machine that can predict global conflicts and ultimately head them off. But he's a stubborn guy, very sure of his own genius, and has wound up making enemies, and even seen his brilliant invention discredited.

There's nowhere for him to turn when the most remarkable thing happens: his computer beeps with warning that the outbreak of World War III is imminent, three days and counting.

Alone, armed with nothing but his own ingenuity, he embarks on quest to find the mysterious and powerful nemesis determined to destroy mankind. But enemies lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Could they have figured out how to use Jeremy, and his invention, for their own evil ends?Before he can save billions of lives, Jeremy has to figure out how to save his own. . . .

  

 

 

 

  

Tuesday, March 10th at 7PM

12th Annual Irish-American Crossroads Festival 

Poetry Reading

Poets TBD

  

Tuesday, March 17th at 7 PM

Cara Black

Murder On the Champ de Mars

Paris, April 1999: Aimee Leduc has her work cut out for her--running her detective agency and fighting off sleep deprivation as she tries to be a good single mother to her new "bebe." The last thing she has time for now is to take on a personal investigation for a poor "manouche" (Gypsy) boy. But he insists his dying mother has an important secret she needs to tell Aimee, something to do with Aimee's father's unsolved murder a decade ago. How can she say no? 

The dying woman's secret is even more dangerous than her son realized. When Aimee arrives at the hospital, the boy's mother has disappeared. She was far too sick to leave on her own--she must have been abducted. What does she know that's so important it's worth killing for? And will Aimee be able to find her before it's too late and the medication keeping her alive runs out?
  
 

Thursday, March 19th at 7 PM

Jacqueline Winspear

A Dangerous Place

Four years after she set sail from England, leaving everything she most loved behind, Maisie Dobbs at last returns, only to find herself in a dangerous place . . .

In Jacqueline Winspear's powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy, a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gilbraltar leads Maisie into a web of lies, deceit, and peril.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability--and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England; her aging father Frankie Dobbs is not getting any younger.

But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn't ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, "You will be alone in a most dangerous place," she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

Yet the danger is very real. Days after Maisie's arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on "the Rock"--arguably Britain's most important strategic territory--and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

  
 

Thursday, March 26th at 7PM

C.W. Gortner

Mademoiselle Chanel

For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel--the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman's daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother's death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle's exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco--a seamstress and sometime torch singer--the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco's reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 7th at 7 PM

Jane Hirshfield

The Beauty: Poems

 This incandescent new collection from one of American poetry's most distinctive and essential voices opens with a series of dappled, ranging "My" poems--"My Skeleton," "My Corkboard," "My Species," "My Weather"--using materials sometimes familiar, sometimes unexpected, to explore the magnitude, singularity, and permeability of our shared existence. With a pen faithful to the actual yet dipped at times in the ink of the surreal, Hirshfield considers the inner and outer worlds we live in yet are not confined by; reflecting on advice an elder long ago gave her--to avoid the word "or"--she concludes, "Now I too am sixty. / There was no other life." Hirshfield's lines cut, as always, directly to the heart of human experience. Her robust affirmation of choice even amid inevitability, her tender consciousness of the unjudging beauty of what exists, her abiding contemplation of our moral, societal, and biological intertwinings, sustain poems that turn and re-tune the keys of a life. For this poet, "Zero Plus Anything Is A World." Hirshfield's riddling recipes for that world ("add salt to hunger," "add time to trees") offer a profoundly altered understanding of our lives' losses and additions, and of the small and larger beauties we so often miss.

 

  

Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

A dazzling collection of essays on how the best poems work, from the master poet and essayist 
"Poetry," Jane Hirshfield has said, "is language that foments revolutions of being." In ten eloquent and highly original explorations, she unfolds and explores some of the ways this is done--by the inclusion of hiddenness, paradox, and surprise; by a perennial awareness of the place of uncertainty in our lives; by language's own acts of discovery; by the powers of image, statement, music, and feeling to enlarge in every direction. The lucid understandings presented here are gripping and transformative in themselves. Investigating the power of poetry to move and change us becomes in these pages an equal investigation into the inhabitance and navigation of our human lives. 
Closely reading poems by Dickinson, Bashō, Szymborska, Cavafy, Heaney, Bishop, and Komunyakaa, among many others, Hirshfield reveals how poetry's world-making takes place: word by charged word. By expanding what is imaginable and sayable, Hirshfield proposes, poems expand what is possible. "Ten Windows "restores us at every turn to a more precise, sensuous, and deepened experience of our shared humanity and of the seemingly limitless means by which that knowledge is both summoned and forged.


Thursday, April 30th at 7 PM

Sam Quinones

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

 In fascinating detail, Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin--the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, 2 to 3 times purer than its white powder cousin--to the veins of people across the United States. Communities where heroin had never been seen before--from Charlotte, NC and Huntington, WVA, to Salt Lake City and Portland, OR--were overrun with it. Local police and residents were stunned. How could heroin, long considered a drug found only in the dense, urban environments along the East Coast, and trafficked into the United States by enormous Colombian drug cartels, be so incredibly ubiquitous in the American heartland? Who was bringing it here, and perhaps more importantly, why were so many townspeople suddenly eager for the comparatively cheap high it offered?

With the same dramatic drive of "El Narco" and "Methland," Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of American capitalism: The stories of young men in Mexico, independent of the drug cartels, in search of their own American Dream via the fast and enormous profits of trafficking cheap black-tar heroin to America's rural and suburban addicts; and that of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut, determined to corner the market on pain with its new and expensive miracle drug, Oxycontin; extremely addictive in its own right. Quinones illuminates just how these two stories fit together as cause and effect: hooked on costly Oxycontin, American addicts were lured to much cheaper black tar heroin and its powerful and dangerous long-lasting high. Embroiled alongside the suppliers and buyers are DEA agents, local, small-town sheriffs, and the US attorney from eastern Virginia whose case against Purdue Pharma and Oxycontin made him an enemy of the Bush-era Justice Department, ultimately stalling and destroying his career in public service.

"Dreamland" is a scathing and incendiary account of drug culture and addiction spreading to every part of the American landscape.

  

Diane Frankenstein's Literature Series
Call or stop by with questions!

Dates for upcoming classes in the adult series:

Tuesday 
November 11th, December 9th, January 13th, February 24th, March 24th and April 21st

Thursday
November 13th, December 11th, January 15th, February 26th, March 26th and April 23rd 

For more information contact Diane at diane@dianefrankenstein.com

Texts purchased for Diane's literature series are discounted 20%.  Use the coupon code DIANE and your discount will be taken at checkout.                                                                                                

  

January      

Fiber Arts Classes with Thea Gray

 

 

Fiber Arts Classes with Thea
DROP-IN CLINIC & FREE SOCIAL
Alternating Wednesdays from 7-9:00 PM

Drop-in sessions, which combine a knitting clinic and social circle, are generally held 7 to 9 pm on alternating Wednesdays at Bookshop West Portal. Sometimes you'll find folks have brought skeins of yarn, knitting needles, and other goodies to give away or trade.

Here are the upcoming dates:          

                           
  • January 14th 
  • January 29th
  • February 11th
  • February 25th
  • March 11th

 

Knitting Clinic: $10 per hour.
If you can't commit to an ongoing class, or you only need a bit of help here and there, this beginning and intermediate knitting clinic is for you. Bring your questions and whatever project you're currently working on and get the help you need. Help is free to those folks who are working on a pattern from a class they'd previously taken with me at BSWP.

Social Circle: Free
No help needed? You're welcome to drop by for our free social circle and enjoy a fun, relaxing evening in the company of other knitters. Crocheters, needlepointers, sewers—all are welcome!