About Lake Oswego Reads

The Lake Oswego Public Library has been recognized by national organizations, such as U.S. Conference of Mayors, for this immersive program that encourages all members of the community to read the same book, discuss its message, and celebrate an atmosphere of learning amongst all age groups. This will be the program’s 16th year and all events will be free thanks to financial support from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego Rotary Club, and the Lake Oswego Review.

What is the purpose of this program?
Lake Oswego Reads provides an enriching common reading experience for the entire Lake Oswego community, while promoting the Lake Oswego Public Library as an educational and cultural hub for the community. This program is designed to bring the community together by inviting participants to read a book and enjoy a series of events which expand on the book's cultural, social, and political themes.

What opportunities are available to participate?
Read the book, discuss it and/or attend events! 800 free books will be distributed to library cardholders, thanks to the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, and many copies are available in the library system, in print, audio and digital formats. Events are free of charge and all events and activities will follow Covid-19 safety protocols.  

Who selects the book?
An 18-member Steering Committee for Lake Oswego Reads, consisting of librarians, community leaders, retired professors, high school English teachers, and high school students:  www.ci.oswego.or.us/loreads/steering-committee

The book is selected from suggestions from the public and the committee. In selecting How Much of These Hills Is Gold for 2022, the committee read and reviewed more than 50 highly rated and recommended titles to select one of exceptional writing quality that would create discussion within the Lake Oswego community and lead an array of complimentary events.

Community members are also welcome to suggest books for subsequent years.  Suggestions can be submitted to Nancy Niland at: nniland@lakeoswego.city 


Lake Oswego Reads Selection Guidelines

What are the guidelines for book selection for Lake Oswego Reads?
The Lake Oswego Public Library is committed to the freedom to read, and to the values of anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  As such, the library seeks to lift up historically marginalized voices in our programs, with the goal of engaging all community members and fostering many learning opportunities. 

The selected book should:

  • Strengthen community relationships, foster discussion among residents, and explore our shared humanity, through reading.
  • Demonstrate high quality writing.
  • Be appropriate for high school aged readers and older.
  • Appeal to a wide range of readers.
  • Offer opportunities for additional citywide special events.
  • Be affordable and available in alternative formats such as audiobook and eBook.
  • Have an author and/or authority available to speak.

What is this year’s book about?
Zhang’s debut novel is an immersive, affecting piece of historical fiction that retells the often homogenized story of the American West from a fresh perspective. Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.

Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and reimagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature. On a broad level, it explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But page by page, it’s about the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.

Why was programming moved to April this year?
In an effort to create more manageable printing deadlines for the Lake Oswego Review, reduce weather cancellations and to allow space for Black History Month and Lunar New Year during the month of February, the month of events for Lake Oswego Reads will be moved to April. Distributing the book on February 28 allows for an entire month of reading before events begin.

What if I don’t agree with the author’s point-of-view?
The views expressed by the author are her own. Views do not reflect an official policy or position of the library, city, organizers, or sponsors. As with all literature, we invite you to engage with the materials and come to your own conclusions.

Libraries are non-partisan institutions with a mission to serve everyone and provide forums for free speech. Within the Lake Oswego Public Library’s collection, the community will find materials expressing a full range of viewpoints, including opposing viewpoints, to explore.

How are artists selected for the Lake Oswego Reads Art Exhibition?
To qualify for the LO Reads Art Exhibition, an Artist must:

  • Be a Professional Artist
  • Create in a medium that complements the exhibition
  • Be responsible for:
    • Deadlines
    • Following the exhibition requirements
    • Participating in the:  
      • Critique 
      • Reception
      • Author/Artist audience
      • Lecture
      • Transportation & curation of the traveling show 
    • Other jobs such as:  Artist name tags/Lecture ticket coordination/Curation/Show cards/Scheduling of traveling show/Distribution of returned paintings

To be considered, the Artist should send the following to Jan Rimerman @janrimerman@gmail.com

Five (5) examples of their work
Artist Statement
Website address

  1. Five (5) examples of their work
  2. Resume
  3. Artist Statement
  4. Website address