April 25, 2024

Port Book and Newsletter April 2024

It has been longer than usual since you have heard from us here, but rest assured we have been busy. This next week alone, there is a bigger load on our calendars than they are rated to carry.

Independent Bookstore Day

We have readings from T.C. Boyle, Billy Collins and Tess Gallagher for the Writing Festival. John Vaillant comes to town. Today we are launching our new website. Oh and of course we cannot forget that this Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day.

So if we don't see you at one of this week's events, then consider dropping by the store for Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, as we will have 10% off all books and merchandise all day to celebrate.


We have been hard at work improving our website, portbooknews.com. We thought about replacing the carpet, since that had a positive effect in the store, but settled on an upgrade the to the usability and browsing experience, improving the search, adding useful product lists and related product links, wish lists, and more.

We're still moving some furniture around and unpacking everything, but we like the new digs so far. Let us know what you think!

New Books

Readings and Signings at the Creative Writing Festival

Creative writing Festival Banner

This year's inaugural Raymond Carver and Tess Gallagher Creative Writing Festival is here, and brings with it multiple readings, a film screening, presentations, pie and poetry at Carver’s grave, workshops, and more.

Port Book and News has the privilege of selling books during the keynote events at Field Arts & Events Hall. Tickets for each of these events is $15.

  • Tonight, Wednesday, April 25 at 7pm, acclaimed novelist T.C. Boyle will take the stage to read from his work with a Q&A and book signing to follow. More information can be found on our website.
  • Thursday, April 26 at 7pm, poet Billy Collins will read from his beloved poetry, followed by a Q&A and book signing. For more information, check our website or just wander into the store and ask Alan to recommend some of his favorite Collins poems.
  • Finally, renowned poet and Port Angeles' own Tess Gallagher will read, answer questions and sign books at 5pm on Saturday, April 27. More information is on our website.

The doors open for these books an hour before the start times. If you are thinking of getting books to have signed, it might be a good idea to arrive early. We are greatly looking forward to these events!

John Vaillant: 2024 Writer in Residence at Peninsula College

John Vaillant

John Vaillant, one of our favorite writers at the store, returns to Port Angeles as the Peninsula College 2024 Writer in Residence.

Among the events scheduled for Vaillant, there will be two featuring book signings with books from Port Book and News. Both events are on Wednesday, May 1. It is an delight to once again enjoy his reading and an honor to help share his writing with an ever-wider audience.

Books we are excited about


They are amazing creatures with eight legs and many eyes, capable of gravity-defying feats. Most of us have stories about an unexpected visit from a spider.

Have you ever found a fluffy spider nesting underneath your sofa like Betty does in Luigi: The Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten? Perhaps you discovered one making webs in a nice, dark well and hoarding spare change, like the newsboy in Spider in the Well. No? Spiders cannot be cute or collect salacious gossip you say. Au contraire! You only need to read these two books to learn otherwise.


Three Roads Back
by Robert D. Richardson

For Emerson, it was the deaths of his wife and son. For Thoreau, it was the loss of his brother. For William James, the death of his beloved cousin. In every case, the reckoning with profound loss shaped the life, thought and writing of these towering American writers and thinkers.

Fascinating from historical, philosophical and biographical perspectives, Three Roads Back is above all a book about resilience in the face of grief.

I did not know about this book until a coworker put it into my hands, but I read every bit of this slim volume within hours. Now I want to talk about it to everyone who walks through the door. Robert Richardson has authored masterful biographies of each of these subjects, and packs this little gem of a book with insightful gleanings from their lives and work.


Bullet Train
by Kotaro Isaka

Follow Nanao (Ladybug) and a group of eclectic assassins trying to carry out their respective assignments . . . all while in the confines of a bullet train. Pro tip: Track your progress on the train using the train cars at the head of the chapter. This is a GOOD book, and the first in Isaka’s Assassins Trilogy.



Get kids crafting outdoors with these new toys

Crafty Kids toys

Go outside on with Scavenger Hunt Potions and collect magical, natural ingredients, then combine them to create special magic potions, with seven recipes and space to write in your own.

Explore the natural world and its inhabitants with Make A Bug Hotel—no tools required! Wait a few days, then take a look and see which creepy crawlies have checked in and use the included guide to identify some of your guests.

With Make A Butterfly House, no tools are required to build a shelter for butterflies to keep them safe from harsh weather and predators. Use the included guide to learn a little about butterflies.

These are perfect for getting children outside and appreciating their natural world.

Joke of the Newsletter

Louis is in the hospital, on his death bed, breathing his last. His wife Muriel is at his bedside clutching his hand. The doctor rushes in exclaiming, “Muriel, we know what can save his life! He just needs a blood transfusion! We don’t know his blood type and there is no time to take a test! What’s his blood type, what’s his blood type?!” Muriel does not know and the doctor hangs his head and leaves. Louis clutches Muriel’s hand tighter and expires.

One week later Muriel is at the wake for Louis. In front of everyone gathered she is extolling his virtues, what a wonderful family man he was, how he always tried to inspire people, always tried to be uplifting. “Even on his deathbed, as he took his final breath, he clutched my hand tighter and said, “Be Positive.”

Take this as a public service joke, Know Your Blood Type.