Discover 32 Reasons Why Reading Is Not a Solitary Activity in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Reading transforms into a community event during Lake Oswego Reads 2012.

The Lake Oswego Public Library’s Lake Oswego Reads program is in its sixth year featuring the lyrical novel, Mink River by Lake Oswego author, Brian Doyle. Set on the Oregon coast in the town of Neawanaka, the story speaks to the sense of community that grows up amid a motley crew of characters from Irish immigrants and Salish descendants to a quirky Public Works Department and a talking crow.

Free copies of the book were handed out on January 9 at the kick-off event, but program organizers don’t expect you to read the book alone. They have scheduled over 32 events that tie in with the featured novel and give you an excuse to do things you may have never tried like operate a backhoe or attend a Gaelic class.

If you plan on participating, pick up a passport at the Lake Oswego Public Library or one of the Lake Oswego Reads events and get it stamped at each event. Passports with at least three stamps can be entered in a drawing at Maher’s Irish Pub on February 29 for a chance to win a Mink River gift basket.

Here are some of the month’s highlights:

FREE TICKETS TO AUTHOR PRESENTATION AND BBQ. Show up at the Lake Oswego Public Library early Saturday morning, January 21 to garner your two free tickets to attend a community “cow barbecue” followed by a presentation by Mink River author, Brian Doyle at Lake Oswego High School on February 8. In years past, these tickets go fast, so although the giveaway starts at 11:00 a.m., it’s best to arrive early to secure a place in line. There is a two ticket per person limit with a Lake Oswego library card. Tickets will be valid until 15 minutes before the presentation on February 8. People without tickets will be seated then.

 ART UNVEILING RECEPTION AND MONTH-LONG ART SHOW. Come see how Mink River has inspired 18 professional as well as local high school student artists as they unveil their works at Grahams’ Book & Stationery (professional artists) and Chrisman Picture Frame & Gallery (students). Meet the author, the artists and their works which will be on display all month long. Thursday, February 2, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 460 Second Street (Graham’s) and 480 Second Street (Chrisman’s).

OREGON WINE TASTING. Sample local wines and cuisine on Saturday, February 4, 2:00-5:00 the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way.

IRISH DANCING PERFORMANCE. Enjoy traditional Irish dancing introduced by Lake Oswego’s resident dance master, Gabrielle Maher and performed by a group of her students. Wednesday, February 8, 2:00 p.m., Lake Oswego Library, 706 Fourth Street.

LEARN HOW TO SILKSCREEN. Doyle’s wife, Mary Miller Doyle will demonstrate how to silkscreen, using the map of Mink River as the featured image to place on a t-shirt or apron that you provide. Saturday, February 18, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Lake Oswego Library Downstairs, 706 Fourth Street.

 OPERATE A BACKHOE. Not to be outdone by the Neawanaka’s Department of Public Works which provides haircuts, the Lake Oswego Public Works Department is offering anyone over the age of 16 a chance to operate a backhoe. Department tour included. Saturday, February 25, 10:00 a.m., Public Works Department, 5705 Jean Rd.

GAELIC CLASS. Learn how to toast, “Cheers” (“Slainte”) in Gaelic when you are sipping a glass of wine or mug of coffee by joining Professor Killeen for a one-hour presentation on Monday, February 27, 7:00 p.m. at Chuck’s Place, 148 B Avenue.

IRISH NIGHT. Celebrate the conclusion of  the month-long read-fest at Maher’s Irish Pub which will be offering half price on Irish desserts and Irish beer every Wednesday in February if you show a copy of Mink River, the LO Reads passport of the LO Reads button. Wednesday, February 29, 5:30-10:00 p.m., Maher’s Irish Pub, 352 B Avenue.

A complete schedule of events can be picked up at the Lake Oswego Library or by visiting the 2012 Lake Oswego Reads website. If you didn’t get your free copy of Mink River, the library has copies to check out or you can purchase it at Graham’s Book & Stationery, 460 Second Street, (503) 636-5676. I personally read the book and found it challenges the reader with a James Joycean style, leaving you feeling very satisfied at the end.

What’s your take on Mink River? Why not share your review with our readers. Leave your comments here.

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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