Lake Oswego Reads


Book Author Events Classes Essay Contest Book Discussion & Guide

Colleen BennettLake Oswego Reads The Shadow of the Wind
Continues in North Plains


The Lake Oswego Public Library’s community reading program, Lake Oswego Reads The Shadow of the Wind, will continue in North Plains, Oregon.  It was announced today that hundreds of copies of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon that were read in February as part of the program, Lake Oswego Reads, will be donated to the new North Plains Library.

Cyndie Glazer, Coordinator of Volunteer Services and Lake Oswego Reads at the Lake Oswego Library said, “Last fall during a grant interview at the Library with Lake Oswego Junior Women’s Club philanthropy committee members, they asked what the Library would be doing with the hundreds of copies of the book after Lake Oswego Reads ended.  They encouraged us to pass them onto another community.”


There are 130 copies of the book in the Library’s collection and 800 free copies were distributed to patrons.  Because the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library purchased the 800 copies to be distributed at the kick off event for Lake Oswego Reads last January, the Friends were consulted about the community that could really use a donation like this.

“The Friends of the Lake Oswego Library met the Friends of North Plains Library while North Plains was in the planning and working stage of getting a new library. When the Lake Oswego Reads steering committee talked about sharing The Shadow of the Wind books with another community, our Friends group immediately thought of North Plains,” said Colleen Bennett, President of the Friends.  “Friends helping Friends, Libraries helping Libraries. That is what the spirit of community and friendship is all about. We know the North Plains community will have as much fun as we did."  Bennett is also a member of the steering committee of Lake Oswego Read.

The grand opening of the new building for the North Plains Public Library was on April 29, 2006.  No public funds were used to construct the building.  Wayne Holm, CEO and owner of Oregon-Canadian Forest Products, Inc. in North Plains, chose to construct a new building for the Public Library to give back to a community which has helped his company become successful over the past 25 years.  The Friends of the North Plains raised the money from foundations, corporate gifts and from local families to pay for the land, interior furnishing and off-site improvements.


The President of the Friends of the North Plains Public Library, Diane Vangrunsven, was very happy to receive a call from Colleen Bennett asking if they would like the books so that they could offer a community reading program.  


Vangrunsven said, “The Friends of the North Plains Public Library are very grateful to the Lake Oswego Library and the Friends for their contribution of books so that we can implement this exciting community reading event in North Plains.”  She added, “The past two years our group has been heavily involved in the building and operations of the new library and is now ready and anxious to start a fun project.  Without the donation of books from Lake Oswego, we would not have had the resources to plan an event of this type.”


North Plains will be offering some of the same events that the Lake Oswego Library offered in February by highlighting the Spanish culture from the book with music, food, art and history.  They particularly liked the idea of Sangria Saturdays.


If you would like to donate your copy of The Shadow of the Wind to the North Plains Library, please drop the book off at the Lake Oswego Library located at 706 4th Street or at Booktique, the used book store run by the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library at 3975 Mercantile Medical Plaza Building.  Books can also be dropped in the book drops in Lake Grove, Luscher Farm or City Hall.  The Library will be delivering the books to North Plains in August.

Lake Oswego Reads   The Shadow of the Wind   Photo Album

L.O. Reads Book Group L.O. Reads Book Group Kick-off Event! L.O. Reads Book Group Kick-off Event!

Essay Contest Winners

In The Shadow of the Wind, Daniel's father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a place full of books lost in time, and gives him the opportunity to rescue one book from oblivion. The contest was to write an essay about a favorite book of yours that you feel deserves to never disappear into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

Congratulations to Sylvia M. Ferguson and Charles Barnett!

In  February  2007,  what  if  everyone  in  Lake Oswego read
the same book at  the  same  time?

This exciting new reading project is for high school students and adults, creating a citywide experience that can be enjoyed by all segments of the community. 
Lake Oswego Reads sends the message that this community values books, intellectual pursuits and thoughtful discussion among readers. During the month-long festivities in February, a variety of special programs will be presented that connect with the book highlighted for Lake Oswego Reads, the highly-acclaimed The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz


Although many cities around the world have held successful community reading events, this will be the first time that such a program is offered in Lake Oswego.   


Everyone in the community is welcome to enjoy a month of fun and enrichment.  Readers can immerse themselves in the book by discussing its pages, eating its foods, drinking its beverages, dancing its steps, learning about its history and connecting to other readers who are also enjoying the month of delights.  Participate in this community reading program:

  • Read the book.  Copies are available at the Lake Oswego Library
    (706 Fourth Street, Lake Oswego) or can be purchased at Graham’s Book Store (460 Second Street, Lake Oswego).

  • Use a Lake Oswego Reads Book Discussion Guide to discuss the book with friends or get a book group together.  The questions are available here.

  • Discuss the book at the Online Book Discussion Forum.

  • Attend a Lake Oswego Reads event.  Many free events will take place during February at the Library and around town. 

Mayor Judie Hammerstad

From Mayor Judie Hammerstad:
"I am very excited that the Library is sponsoring the Lake Oswego Reads program and has chosen a "book about books" with intrigue, mystery, complications, romance and wonderful writing as their first choice.  It's a natural that our readers are going to love it (I did!), and will be excited about the discussions.  Thanks to the steering committee for choosing such an engaging book.  It is a book that you won't be able to put down.  But - I did.  I put it down and would come back to it and savour it!  I didn't want it to end.  It is delectable!"


West Coast Bank Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library
Rotary International Lake Oswego Review

Fred and Shirley Baldwin

Fred & Shirley Baldwin

Excelsior Management Group
Excelsior Management Group

The Shadow of the Wind

Barcelona, 1945-just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have  a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. Penguin Books.

Places in Barcelona found in The Shadow of the Wind
A nice site from Joakim Roubert

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Author Carlos Ruiz Zafón grew up in Barcelona where he currently lives.  Ruiz Zafón is also a screenwriter and musician, and speaks fluent English.

Translator Lucia Graves, was raised on the island of Majorca in postwar Spain.  She has published Spanish-language editions of the work of her father, the poet Robert Graves, and books by Katherine Mansfield and Anaïs Nin.


"Greetings from Barcelona. I've just received your letter concerning your choice of The Shadow of the Wind for your community reading event, and I wanted to write back to thank you for this honor and for your kind invitation to travel to beautiful Oregon next year to join your readers in this wonderful experience.  I am a big fan of the Portland area, which is one of my favorite places in America (too many great bookstores and great people to resist, I'm afraid...), and I'd love to be able to pay you a visit and participate.  However, I cannot confirm at the moment that I will be able to do so because around the scheduled time you mention in your letter there's a big bad chance I'll be dancing on the poisoned edge of the deadline to deliver my new novel to the usual gang of evil, greedy publishers and also I have an important project into which I should jump into as soon as I finish that book. Chances are that this project brings me to California early next year, so if there's even the slightest chance for me to go to Lake Oswego and be a part of this event, I'll be absolutely delighted to bring some Barcelonian shadows to your beautiful city."



Greetings from Barcelona. I am overwhelmed by all the wonderful events you have organized around shadow of the wind, celebrating culture, books and the joy of reading. It is truly an honor that you have chosen one of my novels as the stepping stone of this great project and I will always count myself the lucky bastard for having been along for the ride. As I mentioned months ago, I would have loved to be able to come to Lake Oswego and see all of this first hand. Unfortunately, the deadline for my next book is circling me like a hungry great white shark and I´ve been trapped like the count of Montecristo trying to tame the new beastie into shape. I have fond memories of the state of Oregon and the Portland area from the time I used to live in California, and more than once I´ve found myself wandering along the corridors of Powell´s City of Books thinking only a community of great people can support and make possible such a fantastic place. I would like to thank all of you who made possible this fantastic experience, and also to all of those who took a chance and plunged into the shadowy world of carax, fermin and daniel and the entire city of Lake Oswego. I´m pretty sure that in the near future I will spend again a lot of time back in America, which was my home for 12 years and where I wrote The Shadow of the Wind, which I always call a "west coast novel", and I mean it. I sincerely hope to be able to once again drive all the way to the great city where books are not forgotten, where people read, dance and celebrate life in the streets because they know that to read is to live more, and to live better.  And in case you enjoyed the novel, rest assured the adventures of the gothic and mysterious Barcelona of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books have just begun. There´s more on the way, and I sincerely hope we'll meet again between the pages."


 Your friend,



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Be sure to get your "passport" stamped at each Lake Oswego Reads event you attend. Receive a stamp at each event throughout the month of February, then bring your passport with at least three stamps to the Final Chapter event on February 28, and drop it in the designated Lake Oswego Reads box to win a deluxe gift basket from Moonstruck Chocolate, a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant Tucci or a $100 gift certificate to Graham’s Book Store!  Three winners will be drawn from the completed passports at the Final Chapter; must be present to win. Passports can be picked up from the Library or at Lake Oswego Reads events.

Masud and Mariano

Tuesday, January 9  from 6:30 - 9:00 pm

What better way to kick off Lake Oswego Reads than to distribute complimentary copies of The Shadow of the Wind?  On Tuesday, January 9, from 6:30 - 9:00 pm, enjoy the famous father and son Spanish music by Mariano Deorbegoso and son, and food from Spain at the Lake Oswego Library.  Just show your Library card to get your own copy of The Shadow of the Wind.  Copies of the book are compliments of the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library.

Read about the Party!


L.O. Foundation for the Arts

A  Feast  for  Your  Eyes
Presented  by  The  Lake  Oswego  Foundation  for  the  Arts

Daily  and  weekends  10am - 6pm,  at  Elegant  Interiors

Special Opening Reception:
Friday,  February  2  from  5:30 - 7:30 pm 
at  Elegant Interiors  

Come see the Special Exhibit of the Lake Oswego Foundation for the Arts during its February Art in the Heart of Lake Oswego event! Splash artists and selected student artists from Lake Oswego High School and Lakeridge, will fill the Special Exhibit with their interpretations of  ‘The Shadow of the Wind’, Barcelona, Spain and Spanish art. The exhibit will be hosted at Elegant Interiors at 464 First Street. Daily and weekends 10am-6pm.  Attend the special opening reception on February 2, 5:30-7:30 PM at Elegant Interiors.  Space is limited.  RSVP required to 503-675-2538 by 1/29.

Throughout the month of February, tour the wonderful art on display throughout Lake Oswego businesses during Lake Oswego Foundation for the Art’s Art in the Heart.


Sangria Saturdays
Graham's Book & Stationery will be hosting special Saturday events centered on Spanish food, travel, culture and love of Sangria in a bookstore setting, celebrating Carlos Ruiz
Zafón's engaging novel: The Shadow of the Wind centered in Barcelona. 

In addition, all copies of
Zafón's book may be purchased for 30% off the cover price and include a coupon for 30% off your next book purchase!  Graham's Book & Stationery is located at 460 Second St. in Lake Oswego.


Saturday, Feb. 3
,  12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

A delicious array of Spanish cuisine cookbooks, a tasting of tapas and Sangria from the south! A chef, schooled in the art of Spanish cuisine, will be on hand to answer questions and give tips!


Saturday, Feb. 10 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm  

Listen to lively Spanish music available on cds and have fun learning
a Spanish dance. Cool off with a lovely Sangria from a different part of Spain!

Millennium  Clarinets:  
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Lea Anne Bantsari, Dale Cleland, Nancy McIntyre and Don Barnes, performing.

Rafaela Gillette performs Flamenco:  1:00 - 2:00 pm

Millennium Brass:  2:00 - 3:00 pm
Rosemary Cleland, Scott Wood, Rob Bertini, Ken Peasley, Jay Klippstein, performing.


Saturday, Feb.  17,  12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Plan your Trip to Spain & Barcelona amidst a great selection of Spanish travel guides. Listen to travel tips while watching slides from throughout the beautiful Spanish countryside. Treat your taste buds to another new Sangria!

Touring the Pyrenees:   12:15 - 1:30 pm

Presented by Walking Softly Adventures    
Traveling Spain:   1:45 - 3:00pm

Presented by Kristin Johnson


Saturday, Feb.  24 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Creating Spanish Cave Art with Jan Rimmerman:  12:00 - 3:00 pm
For ages to 2 - 102!

*For more information contact:
Paul Graham at 503-636-5676,

Spanish Coffee at Gubanc's

Discuss   The Shadow of the Wind  with  friends
while  sipping  Spanish  Coffee.   Special price of
$3.00  on  Wednesdays  during  February at
Gubanc's  Pub  in  Lake  Grove (16008 Boones
Ferry Rd.).  You  must  show  a  copy  of the book
or   the  Lake Oswego Reads passport  to  receive
the  special  discounted  price.


Unsettled Ground: The Spanish War and its Aftermath

February 20 at 7:00 pm

Kathleen ReganDr. Kathleen Regan will speak at the Lake Oswego Library on the political background that underlies The Shadow of the Wind. This presentation will explore the origins of the Spanish Civil War and explore the devastating effects this armed conflict had in Spain for many decades after the battles were fought. Special attention will be given to the cultural dynamics in conflict and the way these dynamics continued despite the silence forcefully imposed on
Spaniards during the dictatorship of Generalissimo Franco.
Dr. Regan has taught Spanish literature and culture at the University of Portland since 1995.  She is also a frequent traveler to Spain.


Millennium Concert Band
Sunday,  February  25,  at 7:30 pm 
at the Lakeridge  High  School  Auditorium

The Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band will join the Lake Oswego Reads project, The Shadow of The Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The Band will present a concert on February 25 at 7:30 pm at the Lakeridge High School Auditorium, that will feature music from Spain. The Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band is a 72 member adult band that has performed regularly for a significant number of loyal concert goers from the Lake Oswego community and beyond, since the fall of 1999. The band performs three formal concerts at Lakeridge High School each season and generates much patriotism with their annual concert in Millennium Plaza Park on the fourth of July.

Trumpet SectionAlthough The Shadow of The Wind does not deal with music or band music specifically, one must realize that music has always played a significant role in the daily lives of the people of Spain. Many classical and popular music composers have written music dealing with Spanish folklore, the bullfights, and the many different regions and cultures of Spain. More than any other country, Spain has a vast wealth of National Dances that have inspired composers around the world to write music for and about those dances.

During the concert, the Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band will present music written by Spanish composers and composers of other nationalities who have written about Spain. The audience will hear Spanish classical music, popular music, ethnic music, exciting flamenco dance music and exquisite Spanish marches that will certainly focus your attention on the history, culture and musical entertainment of the Spanish people.  Students from Lake Oswego High School will display art work inspired by the great Spanish artist Picasso at the Millennium Concert Band event in the lobby of  Lakeridge High School Auditorium.


Monday evening, February 19

TucciMake your reservations now for a trip to Spain without ever leaving Lake Oswego. On Monday evening, February 19th, the beautiful ambiance of downtown restaurant Tucci will be used to complement an evening presentation of Spanish cuisine. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Pascal, Chef Roberto Alarcon, who has a background in Spanish cuisine, will create a menu highlighting the unique aromas and flavors of Spanish culture. This is a one-time event done especially for Lake Oswego Reads. Featured wines from Spain will be available beginning at 5 p.m. as well as entertainment with a Spanish flavor. Menu and pricing will be fixed to allow Chef Roberto the opportunity to focus on a truly special menu. Call (503) 697-3383 for reservations, support Lake Oswego Reads and become a part of The Shadow of the Wind.



Taste of Spain

During the month of February, our local grocers will be participating in the City's LO Reads program with a special "taste of Spain" table.  Stop by for free tastes of Spanish wines, olive oils, and more (and don't forget to get your "passport" stamp"). Library staff and members of the Library Advisory Board will be on hand to answer questions and talk about our book, The Shadow of the Wind.



Friday, Feb. 9, 4:00 - 7:00 pm

Location: New Seasons Market

3 Monroe Parkway


Saturday, Feb. 10, 12:30 – 3:30 pm

Location: Wizer’s Foods

Lake Oswego - 330 1st Street

Lake Grove - 16331 Bryant Road


Saturday, Feb. 17, 12:30 - 3:30 pm

Location: Wild Oats Market

7485 Bridgeport


Saturday, Feb. 24, 12:30 - 3:30 pm

Location: Palisades Market

1377 McVey

Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 pm.  Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th Street

Dave HoerleinTravel to Barcelona with Dave Hoerlein from Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door.  Barcelona is a place that everyone must visit.  See the sights and dream about visiting or returning to visit Barcelona with this travel expert.  Dave Hoerlein's user-friendly maps in Rick Steves' guidebooks have led hundreds of thousands of travelers through Europe's most popular destinations. He spent many years in the Consulting Department at Rick Steves' Europe, teaching thousands of customers how to save time and money on their trips to Europe. He is one of Europe Through the Back Door's most seasoned tour guides, with 20 years of experience leading tours through virtually every country in Europe. When he's not mapping or guiding, he loves to explore Europe with his Danish wife, Jane, a former ETBD tour guide. Dave teaches European travel classes at Rick Steves' Travel Center and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Last Chapter

Michael Powell
Speaker at the Final Chapter of Lake Oswego Reads

By any measure, 1979 was an earth-shaker. The bestselling novel Sophie’s Choice by William Styron hit the bookshelves, the shah of Iran fled into exile, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and... Michael Powell moved to Portland to join his father Walter at a rapidly expanding used bookstore called Powell’s Books. No one, save perhaps Michael, foresaw the bright future for the bookstore that has become a semantic superpower in the book/publishing world. 
Michael, whose only previous work experience had been on a fishing boat, had already established a successful book business in Chicago. He spent the next twenty years developing and expanding Powell's in Portland, as well as helping to cultivate the local literary community. His first major contribution to the Portland arts scene came in the form of significant seed money for the new Portland Arts & Lecture, Inc. “When we started bringing authors to town, you couldn’t get a decent author to visit Portland. Portland’s access to ideas, authors, and books has grown because Powell’s has grown. It’s... synergy.”

Because of Michael’s vision, Powell’s Books has intentionally become reader-centered. In addition to his literary vision, Michael helped shape the model that made Portland one of the most livable cities in the U.S.A. Michael’s energy has gone into civic organizations such as the World Affairs Council, Port of Portland, Association for Portland Progress, Metropolitan Arts Commission, Multnomah County Library, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Assoc., American Booksellers Assoc., Portland Public Schools Foundation, Portland State University Library Advisory board, and the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) program, which he was instrumental in founding and which Powell’s continues to support today.

Powell’s has been at the center of every significant free speech issue in Portland over the last 20 years, lending a large hand to defeat anti-freedom legislation. Lately, Michael has made sure Powell’s is a leading bookstore behind the petition to rescind section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.  Section 215 forces libraries and bookstores to release the names and book preferences of patrons.  Michael has been recognized with awards on numerous occasions for his significant civic contributions.


Register at or call 503-675-2549 


Tango I:
-a dance, an addiction, maybe both. Learn the lead and follow skills from a Tango expert, Remos Reynosa. He can have you dancing this popular social dance from the first class, as he shares the secrets of the Pro's. This class is for adults and is part of the LO Reads program related to the Spanish Novel-The Shadow of the Wind. 

‘Remos Reynosa and Sharon Spence,

the husband-and-wife team who run Satin & Latin Dance Studio, at 707 N.E. Broadway, are God’s gift to petrified beginners. Through humor and polite badgering, they’ll get even the most bashful wallflower performing…’

-excerpt from Dancing with Fire
BY Cristine Gonzalez  Issue date: 10/16/2001, The Tribune.

  Class #1340000 
  Instructor: Reynosa

  Age 18+
  Residents: $76.00 per person, Non-Residents $84.00 per person
  7:30 - 8:30 pm  
  Mondays, 2/5 through 3/12

   Location: Mountain Park Recreation Center

Cooking ClassThe Shadow of the Wind
Couples  Cooking  Class:

You and a friend deserve a night out and a great meal-join this class to get both! Classes feature sustainable foods, unique recipes focusing on what can be found within 100 miles of Lake Oswego. Participants prepare the food and then share the meal together. Price is per session, per pair (adults: spouse, friend, family member). In celebration of the Lake Oswego Reads The Shadow of the Wind program, the menu includes:  pork tenderloin churrasco, radicchio salad with Spanish blue cheese and peppered almonds, fresh oranges with spiced red wine syrup.

  Class #1327001
  Residents: $106.00
  6:00 - 9:00 pm  
  Saturday, 2/
10   NEW DATE!

   Location: Randall Test Kitchen, 732 Clara Street

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borderEssay Contest



Essay Topic:


In The Shadow of the Wind, Daniel's father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a place full of books lost in time, and gives him the opportunity to rescue one book from oblivion. Write an essay about a favorite book of yours that you feel deserves to never disappear into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

Click here for the contest winners!

Contest Rules:


  • Lake Oswego Library card holders, high school age and adults are eligible to enter.
  • Only one essay may be submitted by each contestant.
  • No literary form other than an essay will be accepted.
  • Include a cover page with the title of the essay, the contestant's name, address, phone number, email address and Library card number, and the name of the high school if a student.
  • The title of the essay, but not the author's name, must appear on the top of the first page of the essay text; number each page.
  • The essay text is limited to two double spaced, single sided typed or legibly written pages on 8.5 x 11 white paper. Type should be 12 point Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Essay must be written in English.
  • Submit an original paper copy at the Lake Oswego Library, 706 4th Street, Lake Oswego, Oregon.
  • All entries must be received by 9:00 P.M., February 19, 2007.
  • The Library has permission to publish the winning entry on the Library website and in the newspaper.




The winning essays - one adult and one high school - will win gift certificates for dinner at a Spanish Restaurant to be announced later. They will also have the opportunity to read their essays at the Lake Oswego Reads Final Chapter event on February 28, 2007 at 7:00 P.M. to be held at Lake Oswego High School.


This essay contest is sponsored by the Lake Oswego Public Library

and the Lake Oswego Rotary.

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Book Discussions and Guide
Starbucks  Coffee  Company
Book  Groups


Discuss The Shadow at the Wind at a neighborhood Starbucks, led by a Lake 
  Oswego Library librarian, and enjoy complimentary  
  coffee and treats.  Space is limited; register by 

  calling 503-534-5665.


  Thursday, February 1, 7:00 pm

  47 N State Street


  Thursday February 8, 9:30 am

  1175 McVey Avenue

  Thursday February 15, 7:00 pm

   47 N State Street State Street

  Thursday, February 22, 9:30 am

   3 Monroe Parkway, #Z2

Other  Book  Discussions:

At  the  Adult  Community  Center,   505  G  Avenue:

Friday, February 9, 1:00 pm

Friday February 16, 1:00 pm

Friday February 23, 1:00 pm

At  the  Lake  Oswego  Public  Library,  706  4th  Street:

Monday February 26, 7:00 pm


*Warning!  Plot  Spoilers  Ahead


1. Julián Carax's and Daniel's lives follow very similar trajectories. Yet one ends in tragedy, the other in happiness. What similarities are there between the paths they take? What are the differences that allow Daniel to avoid tragedy?

2. Nuria Monfort tells Daniel, "Julián once wrote that coincidences are the scars of fate. There are no coincidences, Daniel. We are the puppets of our unconscious." What does that mean? What does she refer to in her own experience and in Julián's life?

3. Nuria Monfort's dying words, meant for Julián, are, "There are worse prisons than words." What does she mean by this? What is she referring to?

4. There are many devil figures in the story-Carax's Laín Coubert, Jacinta's Zacarias, Fermín's Fumero. How does evil manifest itself in each devil figure? What are the characteristics of the villains/devils?

5. Discuss the title of the novel. What is "The Shadow of the Wind"? Where does Zafón refer to it and what does he use the image to illustrate?

6. Zafón's female characters are often enigmatic, otherworldly angels full of power and mystery. Clara the blind white goddess ultimately becomes a fallen angel; Carax credits sweet Bea with saving his and Daniel's lives; Daniel's mother is actually an angel whose death renders her so ephemeral that Daniel can't even remember her face. Do you think Zafón paints his female characters differently than his male characters? What do the women represent in Daniel's life? What might the Freud loving Miquel Moliner say about Daniel's relationships with women?

7. Daniel says of The Shadow of the Wind, "As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within" (p. 7). Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind unfolds much the same way, with many characters contributing fragments of their own stories in the first person point of view. What does Zafón illustrate with this method of storytelling? What do the individual mini-autobiographies contribute to the tale?

8. The evil Fumero is the only son of a ridiculed father and a superficial, status-seeking mother. The troubled Julián is the bastard son of a love-starved musical mother and an amorous, amoral businessman, though he was raised by a cuckolded hatmaker. Do you think their personalities are products of nature or nurture? How are the sins of the fathers and mothers visited upon each of the characters?

Penguin Books.


How  to  Read  a  book  for  Discussion:

The best books are those that insinuate themselves into your experience: they reveal an important truth or provide a profound sense of kinship between reader and writer. Searching for, identifying, and discussing these truths deepen the reader's appreciation of the book.


Reading for a book discussion - whether you are the leader or simply a participant - differs from reading purely for pleasure.
Asking questions, reading carefully, imagining yourself in the story, analyzing style and structure, and searching for personal meaning in a work of literature all enhance the work's value and the discussion potential for your group


Make notes and mark pages as you go.
Ask questions of yourself and mark down pages you might want to refer back to. Making notes as you go slows down your reading but saves you the time of searching out important passages later.


Ask tough questions of yourself and the book.
Asking questions of yourself as you read means you don't know the answer yet, and sometimes you never will discover the answers. Don't be afraid to ask hard questions because often the author is presenting difficult issues for that very purpose. Look for questions that may lead to in-depth conversations with your group and make the book more meaningful.


Analyze the themes of the book.
Try to analyze the important themes of a book and to consider what premise the author started with. Imagine an author mulling over the beginnings of the story, asking himself, "what if _ " questions.


Get to know the characters.
When you meet the characters in the book, place yourself at the scene. Think of them as you do the people around you. Think about their faults and their motives. What would it be like to interact with them? Are the tone and style of their dialogue authentic? Read portions aloud to get to know the voices of the characters.


Notice the structure of the book.
Sometimes an author uses the structure of the book to illustrate an important concept or to create a mood. Notice how the author structured the book. Are chapters prefaced by quotes? If so, how do they apply to the content of the chapters? How many narrators tell the story? Who are they? How does the sequence of events unfold to create the mood of the story? Is it written in flashbacks? Does the order the author chose make sense to you?


Make comparisons to other books and authors.
Compare the book to others by the same author, or to books by other authors that have a similar theme or style. Often, themes run through an author's works that are more fully realized by comparison. Comparing one author's work with another's can help you solidify your opinions, as well as define for you qualities you may otherwise miss.


Leading the discussion:

Research the author using resources such as Current Biography, Contemporary Authors, and Something About the Author. Find book reviews in Book Review Digest and Book Review Index. The Dictionary of Literary Biography gives biographical and critical material. These resources are probably available at your local library. The Internet is another good source for reviews of the book, biographical information about the author, and questions for discussion


Come prepared with 10 to 15 open-ended questions.
Questions that can be answered yes or no tend to cut off discussion quickly.


Alternatively, ask each member of the group to come with one discussion question.
Readers will focus on different aspects of the book, and everyone will gain new insights as a result.


Questions should be used to guide the discussion and keep it on track,
but be ready to let the discussion flow naturally. Often you'll find that the questions you have prepared will come up naturally as part of the discussion.


Remind participants that there are not necessarily any right answers to the questions posed.


Don't be afraid to criticize a book,
but try to get beyond the "I just didn't like it" statement. What was it about the book that made it unappealing? The style? The pacing? The characters? Has the
author written other books that you liked better? Did it remind you of another book that you liked or disliked? Some of the best book discussions center on books that many group members disliked.


Try to keep a balance in the discussion between personal revelations and reactions and a response to the book itself.

Of course, every reader responds to a book in ways that are intimately tied to his or her background, upbringing, experiences, and view of the world. A book about a senseless murder will naturally strike a chord in a reader whose friend was killed. That's interesting, but what's more interesting is how the author chose to present the murder, or the author's attitude toward the murderer and victim. It's often too easy to let a group drown in reminiscences. If that's what the whole group wants to do, that's fine, but keep in mind that then it's not a book discussion.


Sample questions for your discussion:

How does the title relate to the book?


How believable are the characters? Which character do you identify with? Is it possible to identify with any of these characters?


Is the protagonist sympathetic or unsympathetic? Why?


What themes - motherhood, self-discovery, wilderness, etc.  recur throughout the book? How does the author use these themes? Do they work?


Why do certain characters act the way they act? What motivates a character to do something that she would not normally do? Does she have an axe to grind, a political ideology, religious belief, psychological disorder? Is there anything that you would call "out of character"? Does the character grow over the course of the story?


What types of symbolism are in this novel? What do these objects really represent? How do characters react to and with these symbolic objects?


Think about the broader social issues that this book is trying to address. For example, what does the author think about anarchy versus capitalism as a means of life? How is a particular culture or subculture portrayed? Favorably? Unfavorably?


Where could the story go from here? What is the future of these characters' lives? What would our lives be like if we lived in this story? Could the civilization portrayed really exist? What if?


What does that character mean when he says "_"? How does the author use certain words and phrases differently than we would normally use them? Does the author make up new words? Why would he do that?


How does the arrangement of the book help or detract from the ideas in the novel? Does the arrangement contribute to themes or symbols? How is the book structured? Flashbacks? From one or multiple points of view? Why do you think the author chose to write the book this way?


Does this book fit into or fight against a literary genre? How does the author use [science fiction, humor, tragedy, romance] to effect in the novel? Does this book typify a regional (southern, western) novel? How?


How does this book relate to other books you have read? Would this book make a good movie? Is there a film adaptation of this book? How does the film compare to the book? What is brought out or played down in the film version?


Is the setting of the book important to the theme? Why? How realistic is the setting?


What did the author attempt to do in the book? Was it successful?


What is the author's worldview?


Were the plot and subplots believable? Were they interesting? What loose ends, if any, did the author leave?


What is the great strength - or most noticeable weakness - of the book?



*From: Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library

More Stories with Spanish themes:
Death of a Nationalist   by Rebecca Pawel

For Whom the Bell Tolls   by Ernest Hemingway

The Garden of Secrets   by Juan Goytisolo

Lara’s Child   by Alexander Mollin

The Last Summer   by Helen Griffiths

The More Deceived   by David Roberts

Shadows of Empire   by Allan Massie

Slow Lightning   by Mark Frutkin

Exemplary Stories   by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Scroll of Seduction   by Gioconda Belli

What’s it Like?:
Spain: A Literary Companion   by Jimmy Burnes

Culture Shock!: Spain   by Marie Louise Graff

Spain   by Susan McKay

A Woman Unknown: Voices from a Spanish Life   by Lucia Graves

Spain: The Culture   by Noa Lior

Travellers in Spain: An Illustrated Anthology   by David Mitchell

Spain: the Root and the Flower   by John A. Crow

Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, Dali  
by William H. Robinson

A Time of Silence   by Michael Richards

Spanish Vignettes   by Norman Berdichevsky

What Happened?:
Franco: A Biography   by Juan Pablo Fusi Aizpurua

The Spaniards: a Portrait of the New Spain   by John Hooper

The Spanish Civil War   by Antony Beevor

The Spanish Civil War   by Hugh Purcell

A History of Spain   by Simon Barton



Devil’s Backbone

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca

A Distant Thunder

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Land and Freedom


Eating & Drinking:

Cooking the Spanish Way   by Christian Rebecca

A Taste of Spain   by Bob Goodwin

The Spanish Kitchen   by Pepita Aris

Cooking from the Heart of Spain   by Janet Mendel

My Kitchen in Spain   by Janet Mendel

Williams-Sonoma Barcelona   by Paul Richardson

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The Lake Oswego Library would like to thank the steering committee for the many hours that they have worked on creating Lake Oswego Reads.  Without them, this community read would never have happened.  The committee has been meeting monthly since January 2006 and has done everything from selecting the book, naming the event to finding others to participate in Lake Oswego Reads.  We appreciate their dedication and their organizations for supporting this new event presented by the Library.  A special thanks to Fred Baldwin, chair of sponsorships of Lake Oswego Reads.


Andrew Edwards

Lakewood Center for the Arts

Brenda Suteu

Adult Community Center

Bill Baars

Library Manager / Librarian

Brian Monihan

Lake Oswego Review

Colleen Bennett

Friends of the Library, LONAC

Cyndie Glazer

Lake Oswego Library

Fred Baldwin                                  

Lime Financial                             

Gabrielle Williams Library Advisory Board

Jane Carr


Jerry Wheeler

Chamber of Commerce

Kiera Taylor


Michael Kaplan

Library Advisory Board

Paul Graham

Graham's Book Store

Ricky Korach

Lake Oswego High School & School District

Selection of Book Criteria:

  • A book for high school age and older that would appeal to a wide range of readers including new readers to present book group members.
  • A book that will strengthen civic pride, foster discussion among residents and bring the community together through the common bond of reading.
  • A book that would offer opportunities for additional citywide special events.
  • Affordable – paperback & audio


Books that were considered for Lake Oswego Reads 2007
by the steering committee:


The Once and Future King  By T.H. White

The Hobbit  By J.R.R. Tolkien

A Room with a View  By E.M. Forster

To Kill a Mockingbird  By Harper Lee

The Grapes of Wrath  By John Steinbeck

Wild Life  By Molly Gloss

Burning Fence: A Western Memoir of Fatherhood  By Craig Lesley

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  By L. Frank Baum

Caramelo  By Sandra Cisneros

Crescent, A Novel  By Diana Abu-Jaber

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak



For questions, please email




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