In early February, Beaverton City Library wrapped up our fourth-annual One Book, One Beaverton community-wide reading program with a visit from Jess Walter, author of this year’s book, The Cold Millions. The author, who lives in Spokane, where the story is set, spoke to two rapt audiences on Feb. 5 about his inspiration for the story, his research into early 1900s Spokane and the Wobblies movement, and his process for bringing to life the vibrant characters that people his novel.
During the month of January, the library hosted 11 events that gave readers a chance to learn more about themes from the book and opportunities to participate in discussions. Steven Beda from the University of Oregon lectured on the Wobblies in the Pacific Northwest, giving valuable context to one of the main storylines from the book, the Free Speech Protests of 1909. We also hosted Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein, a performer who brought to life the art of Vaudevillian entertainment. Former Chairman of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, Warren Seyler, presented on the history of his tribe, and we invited three local women activists to speak about activism in the 21st century.
Thank you to all who participated this year. We were thrilled to see so many of you connect with the book and create community through reading and discussion. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and we can’t wait to get to work planning for next year!