Jess Walter is North Idaho Reads Author for 2014

Bestselling author Jess Walter – the speaker for the Idaho Humanities Council’s upcoming lecture and dinner – is the focus of the North Idaho Reads (NIR) programs for 2014.
NIR is a joint project of regional libraries. The NIR committee each year selects a book – or in this case a regional author – that the community is encouraged to read and programs are developed around the themes in the books to create a dialogue.Jess Walter
The project is in its fourth year. Previous NIR books have included “The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” by Jamie Ford; “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury; and “The School of Essential Ingredients,” by Erica Bauermeister.
Participating libraries now include those from Liberty Lake to the Silver Valley and from Benewah to Boundary Counties. In addition to libraries participants have included bookstores, entertainment venues, other businesses.
Walter is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, a new collection of stories, and a work of nonfiction, including the widely praised novels “Beautiful Ruins” (2012) and “The Financial Lives of the Poets” (2009).
A career journalist, his work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, including The Washington Post, Esquire, Harpers, Playboy, and the Boston Globe.
Winner of the Edgar Allen Poe Award, and finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, Walter covered the Randy Weaver/Ruby Ridge case for the Spokesman-Review, and later wrote a book about the deadly 1992 standoff between the Weaver family and federal law enforcement in northern Idaho.
His books have been translated into 28 languages.
His six novels – which also include “Over Tumbled Graves,” “Land of the Blind,” “Citizen Vince,” and “The Zero” – have won awards and accolades by some of America’s best writers as well. Novelist Richard Russo called “Beautiful Ruins” an “absolute masterpiece.” The Boston Globe called the novel “a literary classic.” The Washington Post called is novel “The Zero” – a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award – “a new thriller not only with a conscience but also full of dead-on insights into our culture … and the often surreal post-9/11 world.”
He will be the speaker at the IHC’s 11th Annual Northern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m., at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.  Tickets are available by calling the IHC at 888-345-5346. General tickets are $50. Benefactor tickets are $100, offering an invitation to a pre-dinner reception with Walter in a private home and close-up seating at the dinner and lecture.
English classes from Lake City, Coeur d’Alene, Lakeland, Timberlake, and Post Falls high schools and North Idaho College are reading excerpts from “We Live in Water” and “Citizen Vince” as part of the NIR program.
The Pageturners Library Book Club at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library has selected two Walter titles for its September and October discussions. “Citizen Vince” will be discussed Sept. 24, at 10:15 a.m., in the Community Room of the library, 702 E. Front Ave., with Erin Davis leading the discussion.
“Ruby Ridge: the Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family,” will be discussed at the Oct. 22 session, also at 10:15 a.m., with Norm Gissel leading the discussion.
Pageturner discussions are open to any adult reader. Copies of the book will be available to check out at the Coeur d’Alene library’s Research and Information Desk in the month preceding each discussion.
The public is invited to a discussion of Walter’s book “Beautiful Ruins” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Blanchard Public Library, 412 Railroad Ave.
Participating libraries will features displays of Walter’s books and some are offering drawings for tickets to the Humanities banquet on Oct. 2 and other prizes.
Book clubs at other libraries are also discussing the author and his books. Visit your local library for details.