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Hundreds gather at the kickoff event for 2015's Lake Oswego Reads

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Heidi O'Connor passes out copies of 'All The Light We Cannot See' during Tuesday's kickoff event for the 2015 Lake Oswego Reads.Lake Oswegans’ appetite for learning about World War II — and their passion for reading great novels — was on display Tuesday night at the kickoff of the 2015 Lake Oswego Reads program.

More than 480 free copies of this year’s selection, “All the Light We Cannot See,” were distributed at the event, which also included 1940s-era music and historic displays. A month-long series of musical performances, art exhibits and other related events begins in February.

Now in its ninth year, Lake Oswego Reads has become one of the city’s more beloved traditions. But this evening was especially exciting because 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II.

Cyndie Glazer, the library’s coordinator of programs and volunteer services, says countless new books with World War II themes will be released this year. But “All the Light We Cannot See” was the selection committee’s choice.

“It’s a different story. It’s a fascinating book,” Glazer says. “It’s a different way of looking at World War II. It gives a true historical overview of what happened.”

Joann Geddes, whose father served as a medic on the beaches of Normandy, says the book “helps us talk about the war in an appropriate way, while veterans are still around to teach us. We know that door is closing. It’s better to do this sooner rather than later.”

For more on Lake Oswego Reads, see the special section inside today’s paper.

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