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Book Notes: ‘Spokane is Reading’ revisits ‘Big Burn’

Sun., Oct. 3, 2010

“Spokane is Reading” descends upon the region this week like a … well, like a firestorm.

Timothy Egan’s “The Big Burn,” about the 1910 forest fires in Idaho and Montana, is this year’s “Spokane is Reading” book.

Egan, a Spokane-raised National Book Award winner, will give two presentations on Thursday:

• 1 p.m. at the Sons of Norway Hall, 6710 N. Country Homes Blvd. (Parking is available at the hall and across the street at the St. Matthews Lutheran School. The organizers ask that you not park at other businesses in the area.)

• 7 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

If you’ve never heard Egan speak, this would be a great opportunity. He’s exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate about this subject.

There also are two “Spokane is Reading” screenings of “Ordeal by Fire,” the documentary film by George Sibley: today, 2 p.m. at the Cheney Library, 610 First St., Cheney, and Monday, 6:30 p.m. at the Shadle Library, 2111 W. Wellesley Ave.

Sibley will be present at both showings to answer questions and sell copies of the film.

All events are free.

Green poetry

Samuel Green, Washington’s first State Poet Laureate, will read as part of the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. in the Cataldo Globe Room on the GU campus.

Green is the author of 10 poetry collections and has served for 30 years as the editor of Brooding Heron Press. He has taught poetry at Seattle University for several years and lives on remote Waldron Island in the San Juan Islands.

He’ll do another reading on Thursday, 11:30 a.m. at Spokane Falls Community College, Building 24, Room 110.

Both events are free and open to the public, funded with help from a Humanities Washington grant.

Green was named State Poet Laureate in December 2007 and his tenure lasted through 2009 (the program has, alas, been suspended).

A new Brett location

The Spokane appearance of Jan Brett, a massively popular children’s book author/illustrator, has been switched to the Bing Crosby Theater because … well, because she is massively popular.

The original location, Auntie’s Bookstore, might not have been able to handle the crowds. Auntie’s remains the event’s host, however.

The date and time remain the same: Oct. 20, 5 to 7 p.m. Brett will read from and discuss her most recent book, “The 3 Little Dassies,” about some cute creatures from Namibia.

Hemingway and Idaho

The University of Idaho’s annual Hemingway & Idaho Festival will take place Monday through Wednesday in Moscow. Here are two of the main events:

• “A Moveable Feast,” Monday, 6-9:30 p.m. at the 1912 Center, 412 E. Third St. – A Cuban inspired family-style feast with an after-dinner talk by Valerie Hemingway, daughter-in-law and former personal secretary to Ernest Hemingway. Tickets are $80, available at BookPeople of Moscow, Mix in the Eastside Marketplace, The Black Cypress in Pullman or the University of Idaho English Department.

• Reading by this year’s winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, Brigid Paskula, author of “A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True,” Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Kenworthy Performing Arts Center, 508 S. Main St., free.

For a complete schedule of events, go to

Upcoming readings

Here are few notable authors on the way to Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.:

John Keeble, Friday, 7 p.m. – The celebrated Inland Northwest author’s 1987 novel, “Broken Ground,” has just been reissued by the University of Washington Press.

Ann Rule, Oct. 16, 2 p.m. – The best-selling true crime writer will read from her newest book, “In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds.”

It’s about a Spokane-raised state trooper whose death was ruled a suicide until her mother, also from Spokane, began a campaign to get the ruling overturned.

Lois McMaster Bujold, Oct. 21, 7 p.m. – This Hugo and Nebula award winner will read from her latest, “Cryoburn.” She has an enormous sci-fi following.

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