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Edmonds CC Community Read is Timothy Egan's 'The Big Burn'


The BIG BURN cover

Edmonds College invites the community to read "The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America" (2009) along with its students. The book by Timothy Egan is its Edmonds CC Community Read selection for 2011-12.

"The Big Burn" tells the true story of the fire that blazed through drought-stricken Northwest national forests in 1910 and the forest rangers, soldiers, college students and immigrants who fought it. It paints a portrait of president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, who turned public land into a national treasure and established conservation as a national value.

Egan will come to campus to talk about his book 12:30 p.m., Feb. 8, in the Black Box Theatre. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of six books, including The Worst Hard Time, a history of the dust bowl, which won a National Book Award for nonfiction and was a Washington State Book Award winner. He writes a weekly column, "Outposts," for The New York Times. The lecture is free and open to the public.

For Edmonds College students, the book read is also a scholarship opportunity. Students who read the book and submit a project inspired by it may apply for a scholarship that covers spring quarter tuition. The Edmonds College Foundation has funded three $1,200 Edmonds CC Community Read scholarships. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Fri., Jan. 13, 2012.

This is the fifth year of the Edmonds CC Community Read program. Books have included: "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" (2009) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World" (2007) by Dan Koeppel; "Middle Passage" (1998) by Charles Johnson; and "Zaatar Days, Henna Nights, Adventures, Dreams and Destinations Across the Middle East" (2007) by Maliha Masood.