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Oregon booksellers recommend holiday gifts

Suggestions to delight book lovers include works by Charlie Mackesy, Madeline Miller, George Saunders, and Richard Powers.


With the holidays looming, you may be scrambling to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list before the USPS holiday shipping deadlines. Whether you’re stuck on what to buy the bookish people in your life or want some fresh literary ideas for yourself, we’ve got you covered with a round-up of staff picks, favorites, and recommendations from Oregon bookshops.

From fantasy, fiction, and children’s books to page-turning memoirs, take a look at suggested gift options for your favorite bibliophiles, and support your local booksellers while you’re at it.


Annie Bloom’s Books
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
7834 S.W. Capitol Hwy.

Now on the staff picks table at Annie Bloom’s is All the Horses of Iceland by author of The Fourth Island, Sarah Tolmie. A New York Times Best Fantasy of 2022 selection, All the Horses of Iceland brings to life a fictional history of Iceland’s unique horses in prose that incorporates magic, mystery, and an epic adventure.

Belmont Books
Open noon to 6 p.m. daily
3415 S.E. Belmont St.

Belmont Books has a large recommendation section on their website, and from their general fiction section comes Galatea: A Short Story by Madeline Miller, author of Circe and The Song of Achilles. Set in ancient Greece, Galatea tells the story of a sculptor who marries an art piece named Galatea that has come to life. Instead of obeying her husband, Galatea seeks a life of her own.

Broadway Books
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
1714 N.E. Broadway

Co-owner of Broadway Books, Sally McPherson, recommends Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery by Portland author Casey Parks. A heartfelt book about sexuality, identity, faith, and mother-child relationships, Diary of a Misfit recounts the experience of finding oneself through the lens of another’s story.

Green Bean Books
Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
1600 N.E. Alberta St.

If you’re shopping for children’s gifts, Green Bean Books features The Wondrous Wonders by Camille Jourdy, author of Juliette: les fantômes reviennent au printemp, as one of their recent favorites. In The Wondrous Wonders, protagonist Jo feels hurt by the recent divorce of her parents. She decides to run away into the forest, where she finds herself in a magical land of animals in a fight against tyranny and evil.

Around the state:

Betty’s Books
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
1813 Main St., Baker City

The Recent Staff Picks list at Betty’s Books highlights The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. This fantastical story follows Linus Baker as he runs a magical orphanage and goes to extreme lengths to ensure the safety of those around him. When Linus falls for a caretaker named Arthur, he must make a difficult choice.

Portland Playhouse A Christmas Carol Portland Oregon

The Bookloft
Open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. most days
107 E. Main St., Enterprise

One of The Bookloft’s recommendations for adults is Richard Powers’ Bewilderment, a story about grief told from the perspective of father Theo Byrne and his son, Robin. To deal with the pain of losing his wife and Robin’s mother, Alyssa, Theo creates detailed bedtime stories about aliens to help his son cope.

Roundabout Books & Cafe
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
900 N.W. Mount Washington Drive, No. 110, Bend

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse: The Animated Story by Charlie Mackesy is featured in the Roundabout Books holiday gift guide and new releases categories. This beautifully illustrated hardcover follows the tender story of the blooming friendships among the titular creatures. The book, initially released in 2019, has been adapted into an animated story and is featured as a gift for both children and adults.

Tsunami Books
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. most days
2585 Willamette St., Eugene

Among the Tsunami Books staff picks is recent release Liberation Day by George Saunders, a Booker Prize winner recently featured at the Portland Book Festival. Steve Gronert Ellerhoff from Tsunami recommends this short story collection, saying it “quickens around hope in uncertain times… Story after story, we are reminded of all that is precious and worth living for.”

In addition to shopping at the Oregon bookstores listed above, don’t forget the myriad other bookstores our state has to offer. If you’re in Central Oregon, consider visiting Dudley’s Bookshop & Cafe in Bend, Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, or  Klindt’s Booksellers in The Dalles. On the coast, Cannon Beach Book Company in Cannon Beach is a great option featuring local writers. In Portland, visit Third Eye Books, Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, Melville Books, Anthology Booksellers, and Powell’s Books.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Amy Leona Havin is a writer, choreographer, and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and is the Artistic Director of Portland-based multi-media dance company The Holding Project. Her works can be read in Humana Obscura, San Diego Poetry Annual, The Dust Magazine, The Chronicle, Mountain Bluebird Magazine, and others, and she has been shortlisted for the Bridport International Writing Competition Prize in Poetry. Havin’s artistic process is rooted in classical and somatic movement practices, non-fiction writing, and honoring the landscape of the natural world.

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