Lake Oswego Reads

Beginning in 2007, the City of Lake Oswego has used the month of February to host a city-wide reading program. The concept is to encourage everyone in town to read the same book at the same time. The community then hosts events to show-case and share the ideas found in the book. This year’s book selection is The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig.

The Whistling Season is a coming-of-age story set in 1910. It tells the tale of a rural family of 3 boys and their widowed father. The book was selected because, tying into the Lake Oswego Centennial Celebration,  it will transport the reader back to 1910, the year that the City of Lake Oswego was originally founded. The book was selected by a panel of librarians, community leaders, High School English teachers and High School students.

Throughout the month of February events will be held all over Lake Oswego to bring The Whistling Season to life in the community:
February 1, Lake Oswego Writes, Chuck’s Place, 7pm
February 2-28, Art Exhitition at Graham’s Book and Stationary and at Chrisman Picture Frame and Gallery. 18 artists have created original pieces based upon their vision while reading the book.

February 3, History of the Telephone, Heritage House, 7pm

February 5, Pioneer Lunch, Noon, Adult Community Center

February 8, Book Club Quilter’s Tea, 2 pm, the Library

February 9, One Room School House Panel Discussion, Holy Names Heritage Center, 2pm

February 10, Spelling Bee, Lakewood Center, 7pm

February 11, Tales of the Secret Life of Lake Oswego, Library, 7pm

February 12, Photo Scavenger Hunt for Teens, Library, 7pm

February 13, Apron Making Classes, The Pine Needle, 10 am for kids, 1pm for adults

February 17, Dream Analysis, Lake Oswego Country Club, $15, 11:45 am

February 17, Hear Ivan Doig in Person, Lake Oswego High School, 7pm, tickets are free and given out 1st come 1st serve on January 30, 11 am, at the Library (see you there!)

February 18, Star Gazing, Luscher Farm, 7pm

February 18, Book Discussion, 7pm, West End Building

February 19, Book Discussion. 1 pm, Adult Community Center

February 20, Horse Carriage Rides, 11am to 3pm, Graham’s Stationary

February 20, Hoe Down, 5-8pm, West End Building

February 24, Historic Recipe Tasting, 1pm, Adult Community Center

February 24, Book Discussion, 7pm, the Library

February 25, Book Discussion, 10am, Mt. Park Church

February 25, Hear a real hand whistler, 7pm, the Library

February 26, Book Discussion, 1pm, Adult Community Center

February 27, Horse Show/ Jumper Night, 5:30, Oswego Hunt

For specifics on each event, click here.

I am an avid reader.  I jumped into the Lake Oswego Reads idea when it was first introduced in 2007.  I don’t attend all of the events, but I do try to get to a few of them.  This year I will make the effort to get to the art show as well as the evening with Ivan Doig.  I also plan to take my Mom to the One-Room-School-House discussion on the 9th (she actually went to school in a 1-room school house).  I have  learned that the book discussions are interesting, both in person and on-line.  I think what I like most about Lake Oswego Reads is that it introduces me to really good books that I might otherwise not read.  Here is a brief list of past book choices and my take on them:

2007, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  This book takes place in post-WWII Barcelona.  I liked this book.  It reminded me of The Davinci Code with its intrigue and espionage.  I particularly enjoyed the setting.  You feel like you are meandering through alleyways and breathing in Barcelona.  I know that this book was selected  because one of the goals of LO Reads is to draw in High School students as well as adults.  The local High Schools use the selected book in their classrooms.  This is a fast-paced story that successfully appeals to diverse age groups.

2008, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin. This book is hands down one of the most important books of our time.  It is non-fiction.  It is about one man and his mission to bring peace to Afghanistan and Pakistan by building schools.  As I read it I found myself wishing that every world leader could take the time to read it too.  It is remarkable, amazing, and inspiring what one individual can accomplish.  And Greg Mortenson did it rather by chance.  You will find yourself with him as he comes off of climbing K2 and lands in a remote village in the Middle East.  He deals first-hand with The Taliban.  His mission is important and when your read about it you will be forever changed.

2009, Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler. This book traces 3 generations of Japanese immigrants from their early beginnings in the Hood River Valley, through their ordeals and the alterations of their lives during WWII, to the gradual assimilation into American culture after several generations.  I was completely touched by their story.  Like Three Cups of Tea, it is non-fiction.  This family came to the United States to find a better life, built a very successful business, and then lost nearly everything while being both jailed and put into Internment Camps.  And yet, they were and are  Americans, with lives of determination and patriotism.

I want to encourage you to get involved with Lake Oswego Reads.  If The Whistling Season is as good as the other book selections have been, then I know it will be a worthwhile experience.  And, let’s face it, one of the great things about February in Oregon is that it is the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book.