Variety of events and appearances are planned around Timothy Egan's 'Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher'

'Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher' is the selection for this year's Lake Oswego Reads. One thousand free copies will be available at the library on Jan. 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m.Cyndie Glazer faced quite a challenge as she began to put together this year’s version of Lake Oswego Reads, the citywide book club-of-sorts that starts with a story and builds into a month-long series of musical performances, art exhibits, special events and more.

Glazer’s dilemma: How do you top one of the annual event’s most popular years ever?

The 2015 selection, “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 2015 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and numerous other awards. Choosing “All the Light,” which told the story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide during World War II, was also especially appropriate, falling on the 70th anniversary of that global conflict.

“We knew we had to pick a really, really, really good book” to mark this year’s version of Lake Oswego Reads, says Glazer, the program’s coordinator. And she thinks a steering committee of librarians, community leaders, teachers and students has done just that.

“Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis” has been selected as the Lake Oswego Reads title for 2016 — the first nonfiction book ever chosen for the reading program.

Seattle author Timothy Egan’s latest work tells the story of Edward Curtis, a dashing, charismatic, passionate mountaineer and famous photographer who set out in 1900 to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

“People are thrilled that this book is nonfiction and that it’s true, but it reads like a novel,” Glazer says. “This year, we’ll have more programs than ever before, and that is why this year will be better than any other. It will all be just amazing.”

Lake Oswego Reads kicks off on Monday, Jan. 11, with a book giveaway at the library, which is located at 707 Fourth St. Starting at 6:30 p.m., anyone holding a Lake Oswego Library card can pick up a free copy — while they last — of Egan’s book. Friends of the Lake Oswego Library is donating 1,000 copies to local bookworms.

“The library will be pretty crazy that night,” Glazer says. “It will bring in people who haven’t been here in a while.”

The kickoff celebration will also include soup shots and Douglas fir tea prepared by Andrew Lintz, a member of the Native American Church, as well as a Ravenstail weaving demonstration by John Beard. And that’s just the beginning: Just about every day in February will feature a Lake Oswego Reads event, and Egan himself will visit Lake Oswego on Feb. 10 to discuss his work.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: LISA HOWE VERHOVEK - Seattle author Timothy Egan will visit Lake Oswego in February to read from his award-winning book, 'Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher.'“We are thrilled with this year’s Lake Oswego Reads selection and with it, the promise of an engaging and interesting community conversation,” says Nancy Niland, president of the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, which is sponsoring Egan’s visit. “Timothy Egan is sure to be a wonderful speaker. Tickets for his presentation will be highly prized.”

Members of the Friends of the Library will have the first opportunity to pick up those tickets — and their free copies of Egan’s book — from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, at Booktique in the Mercantile Medical Plaza, which is located at 3975 Mercantile Drive. Remaining tickets will be available to nonmembers at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23 at the library.

Admission to Egan’s presentation in the Lake Oswego High auditorium is free, but seating is limited and tickets are required.

“It’s an honor to be picked by Lake Oswego, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Egan says. “Edward Curtis always said his main goal was to ensure that the people he tried to capture with his camera lens would live forever. With this selection, you’ve helped

his subjects along to immortality.”

“Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher” is the product of Egan’s extensive archival research as well as arduous travel to many of the locations and tribes studied by Curtis. The book has won praise for its compelling narrative, graceful prose and originality, as well as for humanizing Curtis and the Native people he photographed and admired over the course of three decades.

Among other awards, the bestselling biography won the Carnegie Medal for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2012, and also was recognized with starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.

“I’ve always loved the Edward Curtis photographs, but I had no idea of the level of his struggles, sacrifices and dedication until I read Tim Egan’s book,” says Bill Baars, director of the Lake Oswego Library. “Curtis’ work was enlightening and haunting, and it remains one of the great records of those who first lived on this land.”

Now in its 10th year, Lake Oswego Reads is designed to strengthen civic pride, foster discussion among the city’s residents and bring the community together through the common bond of reading. The program turns the library into a cultural hub, with a variety of special events that feature speakers, music, food, art and more.

Glazer is especially excited about a traditional salmon bake planned for Feb. 26 at the Parks & Recreation Department building on Greentree Road. Traditional and contemporary Native American dance and music will be performed while Northwest salmon cooks over an open-pit fire.

“This is a special event that I really wanted,” Glazer says.

Also planned for February: Native American drumming and singing, food sampling, art shows and tours, hikes, a bike ride and a variety of lectures, workshops and presentations. Many of the events are free, thanks to the financial support of the Friends of the Library, the Lake Oswego Rotary Club, the Lake Oswego Women’s Club and The Lake Oswego Review.

For more information about the 2016 Lake Oswego Reads, including a complete list of events, see the Special Section inside Thursday's issue of The Review or go to

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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