The 2019 North Idaho Reads book selection is “The Deep Dark” by Gregg Olsen.
In “The Deep Dark,” Olsen looks beyond the story of the 1972 Sunshine Mine fire and rescue to the wounded heart of Kellogg, a quintessential company town that has never recovered from its loss. A vivid and haunting chapter in the history of working-class America, this is considered one of the great rescue stories of the 20th century.
North Idaho Reads is a joint project of regional libraries designed to encourage area residents to read a single title and discuss the book and related topics.
The program began in 2011 with “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.
Olsen will attend programs at the Post Falls Library-Community Library Network, Tuesday, April 30, at 6 p.m.; the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, Wednesday, May 1, at 6 p.m.; Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum in Wallace, Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m.; and at the Hayden Library-CLN, Friday, May 3, at 5 p.m.
These programs are funded, in part, by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional support from regional Friends of the Library groups.
Copies of the book will be available at the Well-Read Moose bookstore in Coeur d’Alene.
In connection with the North Idaho Reads activities, Valerie Wade, an environmental scientist with the Panhandle Health District, will present programs on “The History of Mining — the Bunker Hill Superfund Success,” at programs at these libraries: Spirit Lake, Saturday, April 6, 1 to 2 p.m.; Pinehurst, Monday, April 22, 6 to 7 p.m.; Post Falls, Tuesday, May 7, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; and Hayden, Wednesday, May 8, 6 to 7 p.m.
Wade’s program includes photos of the Silver Valley before and after the mining cleanup.
The book will also be discussed by the Pageturners Library Book Club, on Wednesday, April 24, at 10:15 a.m. in the Community Room at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. Pageturner discussions are open to any adult reader. Copies of the book will be available to check out at the Research and Information Desk at the Coeur d’Alene library.
Throughout his career, Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.
A No. 1 New York Times, Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, 17 novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.
The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. He has also appeared on “Dateline NBC,” “William Shatner’s Aftermath,” “Deadly Women” on Investigation Discovery, “Good Morning America,” “The Early Show,” “The Today Show,” FOX News, CNN, “Anderson Cooper 360,” MSNBC, “Entertainment Tonight,” CBS’s “48 Hours,” Oxygen’s “Snapped,” Court TV’s “Crier Live,” “Inside Edition,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” and A&E’s “Biography.”
In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People, Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post.
“The Deep Dark” was named Idaho Book of the Year by the Idaho Library Association and “Starvation Heights” was honored by Washington’s Secretary of State for the book’s contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, “Envy,” was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival. “The Boy She Left Behind” was a finalist for the International Thriller Writers (ITW) award for best YA novel in 2018.
Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Wash., with his wife and twin daughters.