Beaverton launches community reading event
The first community-wide reading event known as One Book, One Beaverton, will start with a novel that looks at the inner thoughts of three astronauts as they prepare for a long-duration simulation of a trip to outer space.
The event was launched Saturday, Nov. 3, with the distribution of paperback copies of "The Wanderers," donated by the New Friends of the Beaverton City Library.
It will culminate Feb. 2 with an appearance by the author, Meg Howrey, at the main library.
During January, the library will sponsor group discussions and other activities aimed at readers young and old. Check the website: www.beavertonlibrary.org
"One Book, One Beaverton is about the community coming together to celebrate reading and having a shared experience," Mayor Denny Doyle said at the Nov. 3 launch. "This is our first go at this program, and we want everyone to have fun.
"We need to learn how to talk to one another, face to face, and share ideas — and learn from others."
This is Beaverton's first community-wide reading event.
Multnomah County Library has sponsored Everybody Reads since 2003, and the Hillsboro City Library began Hillsboro Reads in 2015.
Multnomah County's 2019 program features adult and high school selections by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Hillsboro's 2018 featured work was "American War," by Portland author Omar El Akkad.
The Beaverton library has a main building at 12375 S.W. Fifth St. and a Murray Scholls branch. It will observe its 80th anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Meg Howrey's 2017 novel focuses on three astronauts — an American woman and Japanese and Russian men — in an isolated Utah valley preparing for a simulated 17-month first flight to Mars.
Library Director Glenn Ferdman said the book has parallels with two other science fiction books, both made into movies: "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel, and "The Martian" by Andy Weir.
Ferdman started his new job on Sept. 24, succeeding Abigail Elder, who became director of the mayor's office. He brings more than 20 years of experience to the job, most recently in Somerville, Mass.
He said the book selection was made before he arrived.
"It could serve as a good way station for those of us on Earth to learn how to bridge differences and work together in pursuit of a common goal — and gain an understanding of one another in the process," Ferdman said.
Howrey has said her novel was inspired by the Mars-500 experiment conducted by Russia, the European Space Agency and China between 2007 and 2011 to prepare for a long-duration space trip of 520 days. The experiment involved a crew of six near Moscow.
Beaverton's launch event invited library patrons to answer eight questions about space — including the names of two astronauts, one American and one Russian, who teamed up at the International Space Station for long-duration flight — for a drawing for two gift cards to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Mayor Doyle said he has been an avid reader since his childhood in the Midwest, and prefers reading to inflight movies during air travels.
"I used to live in the library when I grew up," he said. "Every summer we would have a contest for books, and the award was two tickets to see the Chicago Cubs."