Schools, book clubs and residents throughout Yamhill County are encouraged to participate in the program, which will focus on six chapters of Quammens celebrated non-fiction book, "The Song of the Dodo." Chapters selected for reading are 1, 4, 6, 9 and 10. The culmination of the MacReads program is a presentation by Quammen Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield. Two discussions on the book will be scheduled in April and a reception will follow Quammens appearance.
MacReads is designed to create intergenerational conversations with a common book and discussion opportunities, said Anne Van Sickle, director of the McMinnville Public Library.
"A unique thing about McMinnville is that the college library and the public library work together to give the community a voice and something to talk about and share with one another," Van Sickle said. "A community read provides a topic for conversation as well as a forum."
Quammen, a former columnist for Outside magazine, is well-known for his ability to write about science, biodiversity and nature while maintaining the interest of the general reader, said David Sumner, assistant professor of English at Linfield.
"Quammen addresses our relationship with science in an important way that is accessible to non-scientists," Sumner said. "In Song of the Dodo, Quammen helps us understand evolution and extinction and our relationship with the more-than-human world."
Quammen, a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award, will be the first Renshaw Distinguished Visitor, under the newly established Philip Renshaw Endowment for the Liberal Arts. The endowment was established by Renshaw, a Linfield alumnus and former trustee and one of the colleges most avid supporters.
MacReads is organized by librarians from Linfield College and the McMinnville Public Library in addition to Linfield professors, Third Street Books and the Oregon Council for the Humanities. It is open to any person or group interested.
Books are available at Third Street Books in McMinnville. Dates of the community discussions will be announced later. For more information, please contact Susan Barnes Whyte, director of Linfields Nicholson Library, 503-883-2517.