Brian Doyle's book, 'Mink River' is the selected choice for reading program

The Lake Oswego Public Library has selected award-winning 'Mink River,' by Lake Oswego's own Brian Doyle, as the book for the 2012 city-wide reading program, Lake Oswego Reads.

The steering committee for Lake Oswego Reads, consisting of librarians, community leaders, high school Eng-lish teachers and high school students, selected the book. 'Mink Riv-er,' the first book by a local author to be picked by the committee, is the story of the small Ore-gon coast town of Nea-wanaka and its people. ForeWord Reviews, a journal dedicated to reviewing independently published books, awarded 'Mink River' the Editor's Choice for Fiction, the top prize available for a novel.

'Mink River' is Doyle's tenth book and his first novel. His previous books have been finalists four times for the Oregon Book Award. His essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion, The American Scholar, and in newspapers and magazines around the world. They have also been reprinted in the annual Best American Essays, Best American Science and Nature Writing and Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. Doyle has received a Catholic Book Award, two Pushcart Prizes and a 2008 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland.

'In a very real sense, I think Lake Oswego Reads is a wonderful prayer beyond any religion's grasp - it's something we all do together with humor and reverence and respect and wonder and communal affection and warmth. I cannot wait to hear what everyone thinks … I wanted to catch some bit of the extraordinary song that is Oregon, different from every other song. There's a salty cheerful grace about Oregon that I love, and if that's the feeling some readers get from 'Mink River,' I will be a very happy hairy mammal … This is going to be an entertaining ride, I bet.'

Bill Baars, director of the Lake Oswego Public Library, said, 'Every year we seem to raise our game with this program and for Lake Oswego Reads 2012 we will be taking the phrase 'community reads' to a whole new level. Brian Doyle's 'Mink River' is Northwest literature in a joyous, exuberant, Ken Ke-seyesque way, with an emphasis on uniquely Oregon characters, history, flora, fauna and rainfall. I loved the inhabitants of this novel and their sense of community, and celebrating that sense is the reason we started the LO Reads program five books ago. At its core, this book gets to the heart of what defines a community - in all its complexity - and in Brian's hands that beating heart is a loving heart. That Brian is a Lake Oswegan is icing on this big birthday cake. It's going to be a terrific program.'

The official kickoff of Lake Oswego Reads will be Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, at the library.

The Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, Lake Oswego Rotary Club and the Lake Oswego Review sponsor Lake Oswego Reads.

Books can presently be checked out at the library at 706 Fourth St. or purchased at Graham's Book and Stationery at 460 Second St. An audio version and ebook will be available in the near future.

For Lake Oswego Reads updates, visit

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