Thursday, January 17, 2013

Newport Reads!

Newport Reads! kicks off its eighth annual reading program this week. This community reads program is sponsored by the Newport Public Library Foundation.

The idea of a community reads program started in Seattle in 1998 to deepen engagement in literature through reading and discussion – if everyone in the community read the same book there would be many discussions in many places, a community connection.

Mink River by Brian Doyle is the book selected this year for Newport Reads. The novel is set in a fictional Oregon Coastal town, Neawananka, at the mouth of the Mink River. It weaves together the stories of dozens of characters. Doyle’s style is inventive and might take a few pages to get used to, but it is reminiscent of ancient storytellers.

The book was described on a Newport Library blog as “a weird and charming novel that tells the tale of Neawananka. Skipping from character to character, it explores the town's geography and its wildlife, its myths and tales, its dark woods and flashing streams.” It is a portrait of one summer in the life of the town.

Two programs will be presented to foster discussion of the book. The first is a Readers Theater on April 11 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. This will be a cabaret style setting and will feature actors taking on the persona of characters in the book.

Brian Doyle will present an authors talk on April 18 at 7 p.m. in the McEntee Room at the Newport Library for the second program. He will discuss his book, take questions and autographs.

Doyle is a Portland author, the editor of Portland Magazine at University of Portland. He is the author of 10 books. His background in nature writing and humor is woven into Mink River.

This is an Oregonian Top Ten Northwest Book, which says: “The greatest gift of Mink River is that it provides every reason in the world to see your own village, neighborhood and life in a deeper and more nuanced and connected way.” What a perfect review for a community reads book!

Local bookstores have copies of the book, should you want to have your own copy autographed, or the library has many copies available to be checked out.

The Reading Circle at the library will be discussing Mink River on April 9, 2013 in the McEntee Room at the library from noon until 1:30 p.m. Bring your lunch and join the discussion. Mark your calendars now for all of the programs. - courtesy of Carol Ruggeri, Newport Public Library Foundation Board

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