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Hot Reads, Cold Nights plants icy focus on Russia

Librarys adult reading program kicks off its third season


by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - While it doesnt really mean Ludlum spy thrillers, the Wilsonville Librarys Hot Reads, Cold Nights: Sochi 2014 will focus adult readers on the rich literary tradition found in Russia. From Dostoyevsky, Solzhenitzyn or Tolstoy, to Nabokov or even Andrei Sakharov, it hardly matters.

If you take part in the third annual Wilsonville Public Library’s Adult Reading Program this winter you will likely be exposed to one or more of these famous Russian authors. Dubbed “Hot Reads for Cold Nights: Sochi 2014,” the program kicked off Jan. 6. It’s themed after this year’s winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, said coordinator Andrea Erickson, with a concurrent focus on Russian authors - of which there are many.

“One of the cool things I like about this is it’s trying to stretch people’s reading genres,” said Erickson, a library staffer. “We’ve had categories with different formats. We did short stories, we did poetry and we even did graphic novels. It’s the experience of having read it and saying, ‘Oh, I like this,’ or ‘No, I don’t like that, but I know what it’s about.’”

To register, just go to the library at any time or visit the library website, wilsonvillelibrary.org, to take part in a wintry season of reading and prizes. All you need to do is complete a registration form in the shape of a tic-tac-toe game or book review log and read. Once you complete the form you note which prize you’d like to become eligible to win and receive a finisher’s coupon from the library’s Twice Sold Bookstore.

The last day to turn in completed forms is not until March 10, so you’ve still got more than two months to become eligible to win prizes that include a Kindle e-reader, dinner and a movie or gift certificates to Barnes and Noble.

Wilsonville readers may already be familiar with the library’s popular summer reading program for children. Kids read 20 minutes a day for 20 days to earn prizes as they are exposed to literature. There’s an adult program in the summer as well, but in the winter there is no concurrent children’s program.

“With the adults we do, essentially, books,” Erickson said. “With tic-tac-toe there’s a three by three grid, and you read three books in a row. As long as it fits the category we’re good to go.”

The grid holds nine categories, and readers can choose which direction to take. Regardless of the choice, however, they are likely to become exposed to Russia’s rich literary tradition ranging from familiar classics such as “Dr. Zhivago,” “Fiddler on the Roof” or “Anna Karenina,” to more nebulous topics such as Olympic cities that were war zones and the Cold War.

The narrow focus on Russian literature is a new twist on what Erickson called “diabolical” tic-tac-toe, so-named because it is not nearly as simple as filling in the blanks.

“Last summer we started doing a diabolical tic-tac-toe as well,” she said. “It’s a bit more challenging. It generally involves specific topics, and this winter it’s particularly diabolical. No matter which way you go, you’ll have to read a really big Russian novel.”

In lieu of tic-tac-toe, readers may elect to fill out a book review card instead. There is a separate prize drawing in this category for a Barnes and Noble gift card.

It’s the third winter season for adult reading at the library. The first two programs, “Cozy Up With a Classic” in 2012 and “Reading in a Winter Wonderland for 2013,” involved mysteries and fantasy and sci-fi, respectively.

Between 60 and 80 adults have taken part in each winter program so far, Erickson said, which is as many or more than the number who register for the summer version.

“Honestly,” she said, “I’m just excited with any of the adult reading programs and just getting people to read more and reading things that really move them.”

For information, visit the library at 8200 SW Wilsonville Road, call 503-682-2744 or visit wilsonvillelibrary.org.




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