BookShop West Portal
80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127
Open 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Every Day

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

In appreciation for your support and to celebrate the holiday season, we are continuing our tradition of hand-selecting more than 100 titles to satisfy a wide variety of tastes and interests - books that make ideal gifts. All 100+ titles are discounted 20% through the month of December. We've included a sampling below of the many excellent titles to choose from.

2013 Holiday Picks are in! We also stock a great selection of gifts, including boxed holiday cards, calendars and datebooks, local West Portal honey, handbags by Reign, Overland, Amano and Elling, wooden toys, kid's science kits - and a huge inventory of puzzles and games, including small-sized games for under $12.95 that would make great stocking-stuffers!

Gift wrapping is free of charge, and we are happy to help you find books and gifts for those trickier folks on your list. We can special-order titles, which usually arrive within a day or two.

Don't forget that your support of our neighborhood merchants and the many independent businesses throughout San Francisco is crucial to the continued character of our city. It is the independent businesses that bring the vitality, creativity and diversity to our community. Locally-owned businesses also bring in more jobs, keep dollars in our community, support local schools and non-profits, and deliver sales tax revenue.

Thank you for keeping San Francisco vibrant by shopping local!

Most importantly, we would like to extend a very warm thank-you and our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. It is truly a privilege to be your neighborhood bookstore.

Neal Sofman, Kevin Atkin and the Staff at Bookshop West Portal

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats The Big New Yorker Book of Cats
by Anthony Lane, Haruki Murakami, Calvin Trillin

This fun and worthy follow-up to last year's Big New Yorker Book of Dogs features short stories, articles, humor, poems, and charming color covers from the magazine's archives - all on the feline subject. Contributors include John Updike, Ted Hughes, James Thurber, Elizabeth Bishop, Margaret Atwood, Roald Dahl, Susan Orlean, Peter Matthiessen, William Steig, Sam Gross, and more!

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian's latest book continues her presidential coverage, this time constructing a narrative around the friendship of two very different Presidents: Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

"By shining a light on a little-discussed President and a much-discussed one, Goodwin manages to make history very much alive and relevant." - Publishers Weekly

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
by Eric Schlosser

The author of Fast Food Nation blends a minute-by-minute account of an atomic bomb accident with a chilling look at the grave threat Western nations still face from nuclear weapons.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell

The author of bestsellers The Tipping Point and Outliers examines and challenges our concepts of advantage and disadvantage in his new book. Beginning with the classic tale of David and Goliath, Gladwell moves through history with figures such as Lawrence of Arabia and Martin Luther King Jr., showing how players labeled underdog use that status to their advantage and prevail through cunning and surprise.

Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington
by Terry Teachout

The drama critic for the Wall Street Journal and author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong tackles the life, work and music of the great jazz composer Duke Ellington. Although Ellington wrote an autobiography (Music Is My Mistress) and has been profiled in several other books over the years, few have captured the complexity of Ellington's private life and his personality as a bandleader.

"An entertaining and valuable biography." - Booklist

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
by Jung Chang

In this groundbreaking biography, Chang reveals how Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) - the most important woman in Chinese history, who as a concubine launched a coup to be ruler of China after the emporer's death in 1861 - fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her rule, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like "death by a thousand cuts" and put an end to foot-binding.

The Flamethrowers The Flamethrowers
by Rachel Kushner

Kushner's bestselling debut novel Telex from Cuba was nominated for a National Book Award. Her ambitious new novel is about a young artist and the worlds she encounters in New York and Rome in the mid-1970s.

The Good Lord Bird The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, the author of The Color of Water offers a fresh perspective on abolitionist firebrand John Brown. Fleeing his violent master, young slave Henry Shackleford attempts to escape pre-Civil War turmoil by pretending to be a girl to hide his identity, and finds himself riding with John Brown's retinue of rabble-rousers from Bloody Kansas to Harpers Ferry.

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World
by Thomas Cahill

The sixth book of the author's excellent and accessible Hinges of History series focuses on how the innovations of the Renaissance and the Reformation changed the Western world. A truly revolutionary book, Heretics and Heroes shows how events and a change in philosophical views can uproot and reconfigure entire civilizations.

The Library: A World History The Library: A World History
by James W. P. Campbell, Will Pryce

Campbell, author of Brick: A World History (also with Will Pryce) and Building St Paul's, is director of studies in architecture and history of art at Queens' College, Cambridge. For The Library, Campbell and award-winning photographer Pryce traveled the globe together, documenting over 80 libraries that exemplify the many different approaches to thinking about and designing libraries, from the great dome of the Library of Congress, to the white facade of the Seinajoki Library in Finland, to the ancient ruins of the library of Pergamum in modern Turkey. One of the first books to tell the story of library architecture around the world and through time in a single volume.

Lonely Planet's Beautiful World Lonely Planet's Beautiful World
by Lonely Planet

This collection of spectacular photographs from around the globe, compiled by the world's leading travel guide publisher, is a lavishly produced work that provides a thought-provoking portrait of our world.

The Lowland The Lowland
by Jhumpa Lahiri

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author comes a tale of two continents in an era of political tumult. Two brothers in India are inseparable, yet completely different: Subhash is serious, cautious, and reliable, while Udayan is brash, impassioned, and rebellious. One prepares to go to America to earn his PhD, while the other experiences a life-altering political awakening.

"Haunting...A novel that crosses generations, oceans, and the chasms within families...A formidable and beautiful book." - Publishers Weekly

The Most of Nora Ephron The Most of Nora Ephron
by Nora Ephron

This book is a giant celebration of the work of the late, great Nora Ephron, one of America's funniest writers, known for her brilliant takes on life. Here are her superb writings on journalism, feminism, and being a woman (the notorious piece on being flat-chested); her hilarious and touching screenplay for the movie "When Harry Met Sally;" her recent play "Lucky Guy" (published here for the first time); her love of food and recipes, and her takes on controversial women like Lillian Hellman and Helen Gurley Brown; her blogs on politics, and her meditations on aging and dying.

Mountains and Rivers Without End Mountains and Rivers Without End
by Gary Snyder

A new edition of Snyder's landmark work celebrates the brilliance of one of our most important poets. Begun in Berkeley on April 8, 1956, this collection encompasses Asian art and drama, Native American performance and storytelling, and the practice of Zen Buddhism, in a moving celebration of earth and sky, rock and water, nature and humanity from one of America's finest poets.

One Summer One Summer
by Bill Bryson

One of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers transports readers back to one amazing season in American life. The summer of 1927 began with one of the great events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop. Bryson explores other major developments involving baseball (Babe Ruth), boxing (Gene Tunney), criminal justice (Al Capone; Sacco and Vanzetti), and politics (Calvin Coolidge's "I do not choose to run" statement).

"A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known." - Booklist, Starred Review

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste
by Luke Barr

In the winter of 1970, more or less coincidentally, culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without realizing it, they were shaping today's tastes and culture, the way we eat now. M.F.K. Fisher's great-nephew Luke Barr (the author) discovered journals and letters in which she chronicled those conversations.

A Reader's Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year A Reader's Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year
by Tom Nissley, Joanna Neborsky

This eclectic and wide-ranging collection of literary trivia for book lovers, delightfully illustrated by acclaimed artist Neborsky. features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Eight-time Jeopardy! champion and former bookseller Nissley offers anecdotes, quotes, reviews, diary entries, and letter excerpts in this charming guide that is also a love letter to literature.

A Short History of the Twentieth Century A Short History of the Twentieth Century
by John Lukacs

The great themes woven through John Lukacs's spirited, concise history of the twentieth century are inseparable from the author's own intellectual preoccupations: the fading of liberalism, the rise of populism and nationalism, the achievements and dangers of technology, the continuing democratization of the globe, and the limitations of knowledge.

"Compressed history as sharp and provocative as it is short." - Kirkus Reviews

The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects
by Richard Kurin

Lincoln's hat, Dorothy's ruby red slippers, and Harriet Tubman's hymnal - these are among the 101 objects from the Smithsonian's museums that together offer a new perspective on American history. Author Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, has intimate knowledge of the organization's inventory of over 137 million items - but for this book, he has had the challenge of selecting a mere 101. With colorful photos throughout, each object comes to vivid life, providing a tactile connection to American history.

"Kurin does a terrific job of expanding upon the story of each object, whether it's a pair of slave shackles or a damaged door from one of the New York City fire trucks that responded to 9/11. This humanistic approach to storytelling makes for immersive, addictive reading." - Publishers Weekly

Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?
by Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he describes the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. He revisits the most powerful and memorable moments of his life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, the film "When Harry Met Sally," and his long run as host of the Academy Awards.

Year Zero: A History of 1945 Year Zero: A History of 1945
by Ian Buruma

Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the great drama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and a new, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come on a global scale: across Asia and all of continental Europe. Out of the often vicious power struggles that ensued emerged the modern world as we know it.

"A stirring account of the year in which the world woke up to the horror of what had just occurred and - while some new horrors were being committed - began to reflect on how to make sure that it never happens again." - Adam Hochschild, The New York Times Book Review

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