The BIG READ: Lane County

The Big Read Lane County

Join the Shelton McMurphy Johnson House and Wordcrafters of Eugene for an event series funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, “The Big Read” Lane County edition! From November to March, we will be reading, talking about, and creating art around Roz Chast’s memoir in comics, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant.

How to get a FREE copy of the Big Read book:

  • Attend an event
    • We will also be passing out books at the Springfield Art Walk on Nov 10, and the Cottage Grove Artwalk on November 24th
  • Reach out to one of the event partners to arrange to pick up a copy.
  • Prefer your Kindle? Email us for a link to receive a digital copy.

Adults (Ages 16+)

These are both In Person and Virtual Events. Check each event to see where it will be held.

Most of these events are FREE! For the couple of events that are not, we offer Pay from the Heart Pricing. We want everyone to be able to participate. Please email us if an event is inaccessible.


November 28, 2023, 5-7pm | Kick Off Event at Springfield Library with Alisa Freedman and Jorah LaFleur

December 11, 2023, 4-6pm |  Book Discussion: How Do We Process Grief? at the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House

January 20, 2024, noon | Author Visit with Roz Chast on Zoom, emceed by J.C. Geiger | Watch Party at Wordcrafters in Eugene

January 25, 2024, 6-8 pm |  BONUS EVENT at Wordcrafters: Thumbnailing Scenes: Comics and Graphic Novels with Jen Hernandez

January 27, 2024, 12-2 pm | Book Discussion at the River Road Community Center Annex

February 8, 2024, 12-2 pm | Panel Discussion at the Campbell Community Center: Can’t it all just go away?

February 15, 2024, 4:30 pm | Book Discussion in Cottage Grove

February 17, 2024, 12-2 pm | Book Discussion at the Fern Ridge Library, Veneta

February 27, 2024, 5-7 pm | Book Discussion: Shapes of Grief with Jeaux Bartlett, at the Springfield Public Library

February 29, 2024, 6-8 pm | BONUS EVENT at Wordcrafters: Have the Last Laugh: Humor Writing with Sarina Dorie

March 4, 2024, 4-6 pm | The Secret World Of You: Comics or Telling Your Story – Youth Event at Ophelia’s Place with Jen Hernandez!

March 7, 2024, 6-8 pm | Book Discussion: Reading Like a Writer Edition! with Mia Bowman at Wordcrafters

March 19, 2024, 4-6 pm | Book Discussion at the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House

March 23. 1 pm| Closing Event at MECCA: The Art of Comics and You! with Isaac Parris

About the Book:

From the NEA website: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, written by Roz Chast, a longtime cartoonist for the New Yorker, is a “tour de force” (Elle), “remarkable” (San Francisco Chronicle), “revelatory” (Kirkus), “deeply poignant and laugh-out-loud funny” (New York Times), and “one of the great autobiographical memoirs of our time” (Buffalo News). A finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Kirkus Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Books for a Better Life Award, the memoir tells the story of Chast’s parents’ final years through cartoons, family photos, found documents, and narrative prose. “So many have faced (or will face) the situation that the author details, but no one could render it like she does” (Kirkus). “Anyone who has had Chast’s experience will devour this book and cling to it for truth, humor, understanding, and the futile wish that it could all be different” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). “I want to recommend it to everyone I know who has elderly parents, or might have them someday” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).