Lake Oswego Reads The Book of Unknown Americans is finished! What an amazing February and we thank our speakers, sponsors, artists, venues and attendees.
Read what our authors have to say about Lake Oswego Reads, how it all comes together and more about the programs from the last 12 years...
"Being a part of Lake Oswego Reads was without a doubt one of the most moving and extraordinary experiences I've ever had as an author--and probably ever will. The tributes, the art, the conversations, and the poetry that this community created in celebration of my novel absolutely floored me. I am deeply grateful to have been included in such a magical community event, and to have had my work read by so many insightful, curious, and enthusiastic readers. It is an experience I will never forget."
--Lily Brooks-Dalton, author of Good Morning, Midnight
“I have never met with a more vibrant group of readers than those of Lake Oswego. There exists a level of experience, enthusiasm, and wit within this community that is unlike any other. I was incredibly moved by the many passionate individuals I met, the beautiful artwork I viewed, and the vitality of the events I participated in. The experiences of the last few days will stay with me a long time—a treasured memory.”
--Nathalia Holt, author of Rise of the Rocket Girls
“If there is an earthly heaven for authors, it has to be Lake Oswego Reads. The art, the inspiration, the warmth, the crowds, the appreciation of storytelling and the American literary experience are pinch-me terrific.”
--Timothy Egan, author of Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
"Participating in Lake Oswego Reads was an astonishing and deeply gratifying experience. The library organized dozens of events that extended into every area of the community—plus there were displays of old radios, WWII uniforms, letters, bombs, photographs, scrapbooks, and lots more. A local jeweler even manufactured a replica of a gemstone that appears in my novel! One highlight among so many was meeting 19 visual artists who generated pieces of art inspired by the novel; I was deeply moved to see their work and hear their stories. In short: the audience, the coordination, and hospitality all exceeded my expectations."
--Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See
“When I saw the lineup of programs for Lake Oswego Reads, I wept. The honor, care, attention, and depth of connection to the spirit of Running the Rift overwhelmed me. When I got to Lake Oswego and saw the beautiful blue banners for Lake Oswego Reads hanging all over town, I smiled. I kept smiling for my entire visit. It was like being in a dream I never wanted to wake from. I felt wrapped in a bubble of care, buoyed on the wings of the town’s impressions of my book. What a truly amazing month of events! I can’t begin to explain how honored I feel, not just that Running the Rift was selected, but that an entire community traveled through its words to the small East African country of Rwanda and returned with its beauty, its food, its indescribable spirit. I am going to invent a machine, a sort of circular time machine that lets me replay February 2013 over and over and over again. Either that or hurry up and finish my next novel and pray that it gets selected for Lake Oswego Reads. THANK YOU!!”
--Naomi Benaron, author of Running the Rift
“Other than the fistfights, and the broken glass, and the Town Tattoo Day idea which went completely awry – no one should have a tattoo of Ken Kesey on his or her neck, no one – I was awed by the incredible welter of LO Reads events. To draw in and stimulate and engage and absorb and interest and excite citizens of every age and stage, to make it a celebration not of the author or even the book but of storytelling, storycatching, community, and creativity at play in so many ways – that was the deft genius of the program, the essence of its remarkable accomplishment. It’s different every year, but it grows more and more inclusive and stimulating. That’s amazing, and to be absolutely honest, that is a treasure."
--Brian Doyle, author of Mink River
"This was an absolutely fantastic visit, a dream from an author’s point of view. Having this extremely well-read, literate and engaged community pick my book, Cutting for Stone, and then discuss it and aspects of it in a month long celebration culminating with my visit—what more can one ask? Combine that with a lovely setting, terrific hosts and a program that works like a Swiss clock, and you have one of the best experiences an author can have."
--Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“Your Lake Oswego community has surpassed any other community that we have been involved in. What you are doing is inspiring communities all across the country.”
--Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea
“It had to be one of the most amazing reader programs I’ve ever seen, and I’ve done a lot of them.”
--David Oliver Relin, author of Three Cups of Tea
"My narrator ... would have fully known the value of a community read such as Lake Oswego’s spirited one, all the way from its linguistic beginnings. “Communitas,” the root of our usage of “community”—these several meanings are given: sharing, partnership, social ties, fellowship, togetherness. What better rewards than these could readers and writer alike ask for, by way of the blessed common ground of reading?"
--Ivan Doig, author of The Whistling Season
When a city comes together to read and discuss the same book, they create the sorts of bonds that make a true community. This is the goal behind the Lake Oswego Reads program, and the Lake Oswego Public Library would like to invite you to join us next January.