Ready, set ... Lake Oswego Reads!
It's not every day you see a snowmobile parked in the middle of a library, or library volunteers wearing parkas, ski hats and gloves. But Monday wasn't just another day in Lake Oswego.
Monday marked the kickoff of Lake Oswego Reads, the citywide book club-of-sorts that turns the library into a cultural hub, with a varety of special events that feature speakers, music, food, art and more.
To celebrate the beginning of the program's 12th year, hundreds of library card holders gathered to eat caribou jerky, discuss upcoming events and pick up their free copy of Lily Brooks-Dalton's "Good Morning, Midnight."
As anxious readers eagerly waited in a long line that twisted through the library's shelves to get their books, chatter grew from a restless whisper to an excited hum. One of those library members was Brett Baumann, who said he's excited to delve into Brooks-Dalton's narrative about the end of civilization and life in the Arctic.
"My wife and I are actually taking a trip to Greenland later this year," Bauman said. "I've also spent some time in Siberia."
Baumann said he's interested to see how his experience with the Arctic Circle compares to scenes from "Good Morning, Midnight," a post-apocalyptic novel that unfolds as the world has come to an end — or has it? — and tells the story of two outsiders who find themselves on the fringes of civilization with no idea about what has happened.
In February, the library and other Lake Oswego venues will host a month's worth of programming to enrich readers' experience, including discussion groups, an art show and keynote presentations on everything from the Arctic and polar bears to climate change, space exploration, HAM radios and more.
Brooks-Dalton herself will visit Lake Oswego on Feb. 13 to talk about her book. She told The Review late last year that she was inspired to use space and the Arctic as settings because they are both "so desolately beautiful. And I wanted that conflict between beauty and bleakness to be a theme throughout the story."
"Good Morning, Midnight," which was published in 2016, is Brooks-Dalton's second novel. It was named one of the best books of the year by both the Chicago Review of Books and Shelf Awareness, and has been praised as "ambitious," "masterful" and "powerfully moving."
Most of the Lake Oswego Reads events are free, thanks to the financial support of the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library, the Lake Oswego Rotary Club and The Lake Oswego Review. For a full schedule, visit the program's website at www.lakeoswegoreads.org.