|Mountain View palm tree|
|Carlos Santana street art in the Mission district of San Francisco|
On the way to Portland we did an overnight in Ashland, a resort-like town with a Shakespeare festival and three bookstores that we had time for.
Again, I didn't buy anything in Ashland, although I was tempted to pick up a paperback of A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower (I own the hardcover, unread) for a comfort read but decided against it.
|Oregon House of Mystery|
- The Book Exchange was a nice general-interest used bookstore, where I saw the Byatt,
- Bloomsbury Books, a beautiful new-book independent bookstore, very like where I used to work, and
- Shakespeare Books & Antiques was a fun used-and-antiquarian bookstore that also stocks antiques and knicknacks.
Predictably, I was overwhelmed by Powell's, and while J bought more than I did (he found a lot of collectible editions and rare things in their science fiction section) I found some treasures. My purchases included
- All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews,
- The Sympathizer, by Viet Than Nguyen (which just won the Pulitzer Prize),
- The Sea Beach Line, by Ben Nadler,
- Modern Book Collecting, by Robert A. Wilson,
- Evil and the Mask, by Fuminori Nakamura,
- Tel Aviv Noir, edited by Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron,
- Unmarketable, by Anne Elizabeth Moore, and
- Bruno's Dream, by Iris Murdoch.
I was surprised but I wasn't that crazy about Portland as a city. I was expecting to love it- I'm a fan of the show Portlandia- but I didn't. All those trees were setting off my allergies off like crazy and the whole place felt like a hippie commune. Not my thing. But the donuts were great. And there was Powell's.
|"My Wife's Lovers"|
|Used bookstore in Seattle|
Hopefully we'll come back to the area in the next few years. There are definitely things we didn't get to see, like Bainbridge Island off of Seattle, and some friends in Eugene I would like to visit. The wonderful thing about traveling is you're never really done and there is always something to look forward to next time.