Lake Oswego Reads - Honor

For Its 18th Anniversary Year, Lake Oswego Reads Selects Honor by Thrity Umrigar

Lake Oswego, OR: The Lake Oswego Public Library has selected Honor by Thrity Umrigar for its award-winning citywide reading program, at the recommendation of the Lake Oswego Reads Steering Committee.

“On behalf of the City, the Library and the Steering Committee, we are excited to present Honor by Thrity Umrigar as our 2024 Lake Oswego Reads selection!” announces Library Director, Melissa Kelly.  “At once witty, brave and heartbreaking, Honor is a gripping read that lingers long after the final page.  Umrigar takes us on a journey to beautiful India in this compelling novel that exposes the consequences of religious extremism, through the intertwined stories of two women, Smita and Meena, and their strikingly different lives and love stories.  The themes of Honor provide many opportunities to foster discussion and strengthen community relationships, in Lake Oswego and beyond.”

Andrew Edwards, Executive Director of Lakewood Center for the Arts, adds, “It is a searing tale of how honor is revealed in love, betrayal, and sacrifice.”

“Umrigar invites readers to consider cultural divides, the power that identity holds over people, and how misogyny and hate can poison a community,” shares committee member Alana Baldwin-Joiner.

Honor is a heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful story of love. It is at once an ancient and thoroughly modern tale of fear, tribalism, and the harm we cause when we refuse to see the humanity in others. I am excited to share it with the Lake Oswego community,” exclaims librarian Alicia Yokoyama.

Retired Library Director and creator of the Lake Oswego Reads program, Bill Baars, reminds us that, “Community has always been the cornerstone of Lake Oswego Reads. The opportunity to gather, discuss and interact has always been the goal. Those interactions have led to many conversations around the idea of community itself, a concept that is central to this stirring book. What happens when there is a challenge to traditional belief? What are the consequences - short term and long term - to the status quo? How does that look to us as readers in our community? Are there parallels? Honor is one of those books that will provide fascinating discussions and I know it will be another wonderful month of programs, events and interaction. I can’t wait to get started!”

The 2023-24 Steering Committee for Lake Oswego Reads is composed of librarians, community leaders, high school English teachers, retired professors, and high school students.  Books were suggested for this volunteer committee to read and consider. For a listing of proposed books, go to


Join Us

Thanks to a grant from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, 1,000 free books will be distributed to Lake Oswego Public Library card holders on Saturday, March 2, 2024. As in recent years, the book giveaway will be held as a drive-through in the library parking lot beginning at 11:00 am. The street address is 706 Fourth Street in Lake Oswego.

The Lake Oswego Reads Events Committee is developing April’s schedule of free programs that includes speakers, craft classes, demonstrations, music, art and more. Additionally, thanks to the Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library, Ms. Umrigar will visit Lake Oswego in person and speak with the community at Lakeridge High School on ­­­­­Thursday, April 25 at 7:00 pm. Tickets will be available on March 9th inside the library. See the Lake Oswego Public Library website for details on all the April 2024 events as they are added to this exciting month of reading.



The Lake Oswego Public Library has been recognized by national organizations such as the 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 among all age groups. This will be the program’s 18th year and all events will be free thanks to financial support from the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego Rotary Club, Lake Oswego Review, and the City of Lake Oswego.


About the Author

Thrity Umrigar is the best-selling author of the novels Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found, The Story Hour, Everybody’s Son, The Secrets Between Us, and Honor. She is also the author of the memoir, First Darling of the Morning, as well as children’s books Sugar In Milk, When I Carried You in My Belly, and Binny’s Diwali. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in over twenty countries. Her most recent novel, Honor, was a Reese Book Club pick for 2022. 

Thrity was born in Bombay, India and came to the U.S. when she was 21. As a Parsi child attending a Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu country, she had the kind of schizophrenic and cosmopolitan childhood that has served her well in her life as a writer. Accused by teachers and parents alike of being a daydreaming, head-in-the-clouds child, she grew up lost in the fictional worlds created by Steinbeck, Hemingway, Woolf and Faulkner. She would emerge long enough from these books to create her own fictional and poetic worlds. Encouraged by her practical-minded parents to get an undergraduate degree in business, Thrity survived business school by creating a drama club and writing, directing and acting in plays. Her first short stories, essays and poems were published in national magazines and newspapers in India at age fifteen.

After earning a M.A. in journalism in the U.S., Thrity worked for several years as an award-winning reporter, columnist and magazine writer. She also earned a Ph.D. in English. In 1999, Thrity won a one-year Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University, which is given to mid-career journalists.

While at Harvard, Thrity wrote her first novel, Bombay Time. In 2002 she accepted a teaching position at Case Western Reserve University, where she is now the Armington Professor of English. She also does occasional freelance pieces for national publications and has written for the Washington Post and the Boston Globe’s book pages.

Thrity is active on the national lecture circuit and has spoken at book festivals such as the L.A. Festival of Books, the Tucson Book Festival and the Miami Book Fair International; at universities such as MIT, Harvard University, and Spelman College; and at literary societies, civic and business organizations and public libraries all across the country.

For questions, please contact Nancy Niland at 503-675-2538 or