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Book Notes: Big events planned for O’Brien book

Sun., March 13, 2011

Spokane’s Big Read is in full swing, with events ranging from theatrical adaptations of Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” to Vietnam-themed film screenings to various veteran-oriented discussions.

I can’t list every single event in this space – there are 35 of them – but here are a few noteworthy ones:

• “The Things They Carried,” Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., Friday, 7:30 p.m., free: This stage production of O’Brien’s Vietnam-themed book, which is this year’s Big Read selection, has been getting rave reviews for its “deep, thorough characterizations” from those who saw its performances last week at Eastern Washington University, whose theater department is staging it.

• Big Read Film Series at the Spokane County Library’s Moran Prairie Branch, 6004 S. Regal St., free: A Vietnam-themed film series including “The Deer Hunter” on Wednesday, “American Experience: My Lai” on March 30 and “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” on April 6, all at 6:30 p.m.

• “Combat Boots and Bell Bottoms: The Sixties on Film,” Spokane Public Library’s downtown branch, 906 W. Main Ave., free: The film series will present “Platoon” on March 23 and “We Were Soldiers” on April 13, both at 5:30 p.m.

• VFW Post 51 Book Discussion, March 25, 5 p.m., 300 W. Mission Ave., free: A discussion about O’Brien’s book led by a Navy veteran, open to all.

• Veterans for Peace Panel on “The Things We Still Carry,” March 25, Community Building, 35 W. Main Ave., 7 p.m., free: A panel discussion featuring members of the Spokane Chapter of Veterans for Peace.

• Speaking Truth to Power with Jack Hamann, April 16, Riverpoint Campus, 3:30 p.m. free: A presentation by the author of “On American Soil: How Justice Became a Tragedy of World War II,” about the tragic events at Fort Lawton in Washington.

• “An Evening with Tim O’Brien and Brian Turner,” April 16, 8 p.m., Bing Crosby Theater: This is the Big Read and Get Lit! main event, featuring O’Brien along with Iraq war veteran and poet Turner. Tickets are $15 (students free with ID; $5 military discount), through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

Want more details, and lots of them? Go to

Lindholdt’s new book

Eastern Washington University English professor Paul Lindholdt has published a new book about our region’s natural history and ecology, “In Earshot of Water: Notes From the Columbia Plateau” (University of Iowa Press, $19).

His publishers say that Lindholdt “writes with the precision of a naturalist” and the “self-revelation and self-awareness of a personal essayist.” They compare his approach to writers such as John McPhee and Annie Dillard.

And it’s all focused on our corner of the country – its plants, animals, history and people.

Hear it for yourself when Lindholdt reads at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., on Friday at 7 p.m.

Mortenson at Gonzaga

Greg Mortenson, the author of the best-selling “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools,” will speak at Gonzaga University’s McCarthey Athletic Center on March 28, 7 p.m. in the Presidential Speaker Series.

The series is subtitled “Promoting Peace Through Education” and Bozeman author Mortenson is perfectly suited to that theme. His books are about his massively successful efforts to build schools in rural communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students and employees of any educational institution, through TicketsWest.

Beacon Hill reading

The next event in the Beacon Hill Reading Series will present three Spokane authors: fiction writers Neal Peters and Sharma Shields , and essayist and poet Linda Cooper.

The event takes place Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at Spokane Community College’s Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities, in the library, Building 16, 1810 N. Greene St.

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