Skip to Main Content

Lake Oswego Reads 2016

City of Lake Oswego Oregon Official Website

Author Timothy Egan will Speak in Lake Oswego in February

The Lake Oswego Public Library announced that thanks to the organization, Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, the author of the Lake Oswego Reads 2016 book Shorts Nights of the Shadow Catcher will speak in Lake Oswego in February.  National Book Award Winner Timothy Egan will talk about Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher on February 10, 2016 in the Lake Oswego High School auditorium at 7 pm.

Egan said, “It's an honor to be picked by Lake Oswego, and I'm really looking forward to it.  Edward Curtis always said his main goal was to ensure that the people he tried to capture with his camera lens would live forever. With this selection, you've helped his subjects along to immortality."

Admission is free but a ticket is required.  Members of the Friends of the Library will have the first opportunity to pick up their tickets on Saturday, January 9 at the Lake Oswego Library.  Tickets will be available to nonmembers on January 23 at 10 am at the Library.  To join the Friends for $15 per person (1 ticket) or $25 for family (2 tickets), visit

Nancy Niland, President of the Friends of the Library said, “We are thrilled with this year’s Lake Oswego Reads selection and with it, the promise of an engaging and interesting community conversation. Timothy Egan is sure to be a wonderful speaker. Tickets for his presentation will be highly prized.”

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher is the product of Egan’s extensive archival research as well as arduous travel to many of the locations and tribes studied by Curtis. The book has won praise for its compelling narrative, graceful prose, originality, and humanizing of Curtis and the Native people he photographed and admired. Among other awards, the bestselling biography won the Carnegie Medal for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2012, and also was recognized with starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.

Egan worked for 18 years as a writer for The New York Times, first as the Pacific Northwest correspondent and then as a national enterprise reporter. He continues to write a lively opinion column for the Times. His other books include the National Book Award winning history of the people who lived through the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time, as well as The Big Burn, The Good Rain, Breaking Blue, and Lasso the Wind. Mr. Egan also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 as part of a team of reporters who wrote the series How Race Is Lived in America. He lives with his family in Seattle.

The official kickoff of Lake Oswego Reads will be Monday, January 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Library, with complimentary books distributed to Lake Oswego Public Library cardholders, also thanks to the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library.  The committee is presently developing a schedule of programs for February so that Lake Oswego residents can not only discuss the book but also experience the book by listening to speakers and music and viewing displays, art and more.

This will be the program’s tenth year and is sponsored by the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego Rotary Club, Lake Oswego Women’s Club and the Lake Oswego Review.

For Lake Oswego Reads updates, visit or contact Cyndie Glazer at 503-675-2538 or


The Lake Oswego Public Library has selected Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan as the book for the 2016 annual citywide reading program.

Lake Oswego Reads Announces Book for 2016

The Lake Oswego Public Library has selected Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan as the book for the 2016 annual citywide reading program.

The Book
Edward Curtis was dashing, charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, a famous photographer, and thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea. He would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared.  With the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, Curtis (the charming rogue with a grade-school education) would go on to publish twenty volumes, and fulfill his promise to make the Indians live forever.

NOTE:  Can't wait to read the book? ACE Hardware in Lake Oswego has Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher on sale for $15.95.   ACE is located at 55 S State St.

After reading and discussing close to 20 books, the committee is excited and shared their thoughts about the 2016 book:

I’ve always loved the Edward Curtis photographs, but I had no idea of the level of his struggles, sacrifices and dedication until I read Tim Egan’s book. Curtis’ work was enlightening and haunting, and it remains one of the great records of those who first lived on this land. When Brian Doyle spoke during our month of programs around his book Mink River, I loved his passion about community.  Especially as he spoke of us here, as Walugans. Reminding us that it is essential to remember, honor, and maintain that unique sense of place, just as his characters had manifested theirs in Mink River. Developing that sense is, for me, central to our program, and this book will provide a great opportunity to continue that conversation.
The Lake Oswego Reads Steering Committee has and continues to do great work, and they have been extremely generous with their time, input and enthusiasm. Short Nights is going to provide us with some excellent programming ideas, and I have to say that our discussions of this book have been among the most engaging we have had so far. We are excited to be sharing this with our community. It’s going to be another terrific February.

          - Library Director Bill Baars

One of the many challenges as well as joys of selecting a community reads book is finding the most engaging work for a wide, diverse audience of readers. Egan's account of the life and photographs of Edward Curtis is that book: telling the fascinating story of this mountaineer, businessman, and photographer in his quest to document the lives of American Indians as those traditions fade nearly as quickly as Curtis documents them.
          - Daniella Bonanno, Lakeridge High School English Teacher

A very informative read with memorable stories about the Pacific Northwest, an obsessive photographer, Indian culture, and life at the turn of the century.
          - Andrew Edwards, Lakewood Center's Executive Director

Our 10th LO Reads Anniversary needs an epic tale. And now we have it! Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan starts close to home in Seattle, before taking us throughout the US. This gripping, non-fiction adventure begins humbly with an innately skilled photographer before passion changes his life. It touches on perseverance, family, presidents, men of wealth, the Indian tribes that came before them and leaves a unique legacy.  As I read it, I wondered why I hadn’t encountered the amazing life of Edward Curtis and his photographs before now!
          - Paul Graham

Lake Oswego Reads has a very loyal following. No matter the book, fans come for the book and enjoy the events. The hard part is finding a title that will bring in a different segment of our town to explore a book they may not have ever picked up and go on to experience more at the events. The joyful part is seeing all the new faces meeting our fans and learning something new, together. One book can pull a community together.
          - Lilly Logan

I believe Short Nights is a great choice for the LO Reads Program due to the unique perspective of Timothy Curtis on Native American life. Curtis' life experiences and adventures make for an enthralling historical biography.
          - Rhys Richmond, Lake Oswego High School student

The L. O. Reads selection process is in and of itself a truly collaborative community-building process and reflects what we hope will take place when readers come together to read and discuss our next book.   Shorts Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan promises great opportunities to learn more about Native Americans, the photography of Curtis and the work of a Northwest author.
          - Joann Geddes, Lewis & Clark College Faculty member

I feel thrilled that we selected this book! I am already looking forward to the engaging conversations and programs we’ll enjoy as a community for our 10th year of Lake Oswego Reads.
          - Nancy Niland, President of the Friends of the Library & Chair of the Library Advisory Board

The hard part is finished.  Now the fun part begins of finding displays and 30 events that will tie into the book.  We really appreciate the suggestions that our community will come forward and share.  We look forward to hearing from you!
          - Cyndie Glazer, Lake Oswego Library Program Coordinator