Buying Books in Portland

We're having a pretty good time in Portland.

We ate Elephant Ears today.  I'm wondering if they have them in Australia--or something like it.

It's this fried pastry that you get at carnivals and fairs.   I ate them as a child, but then in my adult years, I never saw them anymore. Instead, we'd see funnel cakes. I assumed funnel cakes were the same thing as Elephant Ears--just a different shape and name.   But I did think they weren't as good.  I figured though that it was a matter of the quality going downhill, or that my positive childhood memories were exaggerated.

Today I realized I've been wrong all this time. Elephant Ears are NOT like funnel cakes. They taste different AND they taste much better.

The Elephant Ears were great, but the real highlight of the trip so far has been Powell books.  it's this huge awesome bookstore that has used and new books.  I went on Saturday by myself and was completely amazed. I found more Australian books there than I did in Australia. Not only that, but the books are so much cheaper here!

Here is a list of the treasures I found.

1. The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney.  (I've read two of her other books and really liked them)
2. The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes (I'm so excited to read this!!!)
3. Cattle King by Ion L. Idriess (About Sidney Kidman...I'm still not sure if he's related to Nicole or not. ??????)
4. Edward Koiki Mabo by Noel Loos and Koiki Mabo (about the Mabo land thingie)
5. Born Under The Paperbark Tree by Jan Wositzky (About an Indigenous man)
6. We of the Never Never by Aeneas Gunn (It seems to be a classic)
7. The Tiwi of North Australia by  C.W. M Hart and Arnold R Pilling
8. One Wet Season: A Saga of the Great North West by Ion L. Idriess (just realized this is the same guy who wrote the Sidney book)
9. Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (I saw the first five minutes or so of the movie on YouTube, but haven't gotten around to watching the rest yet.  I wonder what's better--the book or movie?
10. The Hawke Ascendancy by Paul Kelly (it does not seem to be the singer Paul Kelly.  The book has something to do with politics)
11. The Liberators: Australia's Struggle for Independence 1820-1855 by William Joy

I'm so excited to have these books. I might go back and get a few more.   I want to look in their travel section and see if they have anything good there--maybe Tracks by Robyn Davidson or the Australian book by Tony Horwitz.

I had a whole list of young adult authors to look for, but by the time I got around to leaving the countries section, I had too many books in my hand and couldn't manage to retrieve the list from my backpack.   Plus, I already had a heavy load to carry home so I was lacking in eagerness to find more books to add to it.

I did have a brief look at fiction books--just going by what names I could remember and not using any list.   I looked for Patricia Shaw and they didn't have anything from her. I did find Monica McInerney (mentioned above) which I was pleased about. I didn't find John Birmingham and forgot to look for Janette Turner Hospital.

I haven't began reading any of the books yet. I'm in the middle of reading a book from the library.  The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty.   It's such a good book!   I love it. It has made me laugh out loud several times.   It's very chick-lit--reminds me a little bit of Monica McInerney but has more humor in it.  So, maybe I should say it's more like Bridget Jones and the Shopaholic books.The book also deal with some serious a very touching way.

Before that I read a young adult book.  Black Juice. It's a collection of stories by Margo Lanagan.  It's won awards so it must be considered good by some people.  I didn't like it.   I think I'm just not smart enough for this type of book. I was totally lost for most of the stories.   They went WAY over my head.   It's probably one of those books that I could like if I had someone explain things to me--or if I could discuss it with someone.  It's like Shakespeare.  I liked the plays when we studied them in school or when I'd see one of the movies. But I'm usually very lost if I sit down alone and try to read it.  

Read my novel: The Dead are Online 


  1. I wish I could buy more books, there are so many good ones out there.

  2. Ion Idriess is a brilliant writer, try to hunt down his biography if you can, it's a real eye-opener of his life, his intellect and the many things he achieved, other than his books.
    You can read a summary of it HERE

  3. cherryblossom24,

    There are a lot of books out there!!! I usually buy used books. They're pretty inexpensive. I also try to use the library a lot. The prices can add up though. I'm not a big shopper, but I can go a bit crazy at a used bookstore. I'm often a bit shocked when I get up to the cashier and they tell me the total.

    I was actually surprised at Powells. I didn't add it up in my head at all. I assumed it would be over $100, but it was $67.


    Awesome! The books look interesting. I didn't even realize they were written by the same guy until I was writing about it for this blog. I'll keep an eye out for his biography.

  4. Two more brilliant Aussie authors you might like are D'Arcy Niland and his NZ-born wife Ruth Park

  5. oh God, Powells! I love that place so much. We'd always go on the way to/way home from visiting my grandmother in Washington. I haven't been in years and years though. I'm a little jealous of you today :)

  6. Jayne: Thanks! I had heard of Park, but not her husband.

    Rebecca: I'd be jealous of me too! I haven't been back there again. I think I'm going to return this afternoon.....

  7. Great finds! I used to go to Half-Price Books and clean out the Australia section. :)