This year’s Lake Oswego Reads book selection, All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, is rich with themes that lend itself to a month of programming which will immerse Lake Oswegans in the World War II world of the book’s young protagonists: blind French girl, Marie-Laure LeBlanc, and an orphaned German boy, Werner Pfenning.
Program organizers are offering free copies of the book to library card holders this Tuesday, January 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the library, 706 Fourth Street.
All the Light We Cannot See was the frontrunner out of the 21 titles considered by this year’s LO Reads selection committee and I can see why. Its story is compelling as you see how survival drove many of the decisions of people like Marie-Laure and Werner. It also scored highly on one of the committee’s selection criteria: the book must offer opportunities for additional citywide special events.
Take a look at what I mean. Here are a few highlights from February’s offerings.
Why Did So Many Succumb to the Siren Song of Nazism? Professor Brian Els, Department of History at University of Portland will address the things that influenced even young people like Werner, during Hitler’s reign. Monday, February 2, 7:00 p.m. at Marylhurst University Library, 17600 Pacific Highway #43.
French and German Wine Tasting. World Class Wines will introduce you to a Riesling and red French wine with assorted French cheeses. Monday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lakewood Center for the Arts Gallery, 368 S. State Street.
Alter Wiener: Holocaust Survivor. Hear his message of tolerance and strength as he recounts the murder of his father by German invaders and his own experience in five different labor camps. Monday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street.
Enjoy Dessert and Discover Author Anthony Doerr. Enjoy a complimentary dessert buffet and hear the author discuss his 10-year journey that led to the publication of All the Light We Cannot See. Admission is free but a ticket is required. Tickets will be given away on Saturday, January 17, at 11:00 a.m. at the Lake Oswego Library, 706 Fourth Street. Arrive early—two tickets per person limit and a Lake Oswego library card required. Wednesday, February 11, 6:00 p.m. at Lake Oswego High School, 2501 Country Club Road.
Memories of World War II. Learn from this panel discussion with people influenced by World War II in a wide variety of ways from rationing and blackouts to firebombing raids. Thursday, February 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Holy Names Heritage Center, 17425 Holy Names Drive.
The Role of Radio with OPB’s Geoff Norcross. Radio plays a key role in the young Werner’s life. Listen to Norcross’ radio history as well as his perspective on the role radio has played in historical and current events. Saturday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th street.
Hitler Youth and Edelweiss Pirates: Childhood in Nazi Germany. Professor Maureen Healy of the Department of History at Lewis and Clark College will share the ways the Nazi Party tried to mobilize certain children to further their efforts. Tuesday, February 17, 7:00 p.m., Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.
Myths About Blindness. Richard Turner, Training Center Director at the Oregon Commission for the Blind will share his own personal experience of blindness as well as answer any questions you may have. Thursday, February 19, 7:00 p.m., Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.
Food Tasting with St. Honore’s Dominique Guelin. Sample food representative of both France and Germany and hear Guelin’s perspective as someone who grew up in France as World War II was coming to an end. Saturday, February 21, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., St. Honore Boulangerie, 315 1st Street.
Visualizing War: Pablo Picasso and Guernica. Gain insight into this controversial artwork depicting the horrors of war. Wednesday, February 25, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 510 Museum and ARTspace, 510 1st Street.
German Food at Stickmen Brewery & Skewery. Enjoy authentic German food based on co-owner, Tim Schoenheit’s mother’s family recipes. Foods to purchase include pork schnitzel and sausage and pretzels. Free brewery tours will be available. Friday, February 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Stickmen Brewery & Skewery, 40 N. State Street.
Find a complete listing of events here.