Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Book, One Community

Imagine you are walking down Main Street in whatever town you live in.... It's a beautiful sunny day.... There are a lot of people walking along the street because it's a beautiful day.... And then you notice... while you are walking along.... Everyone is carrying a book.... the SAME book!... Isn't there something a little strange about that? Are we walking thru a George Orwell novel? Of course not! It's just the One Book, One Community program! If your community is participating in the program EVERYONE reading the same book is the goal!

One Book, One Community is a program designed to get people talking thru their shared interest in reading. It's a way for a diverse community to connect and since 1998 when the Washington Center for the Book (Washington as in Seattle, Washington) sponsored 4 days of programs and discussions about a single book, communities all over the United States have adopted similar programs. There are city, state and even countrywide programs! I recently read about a One Book, One Community nationwide read in Trinidad & Tobago!

Where I live in Danbury, Connecticut our "One Book" last year was Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake, a touching story of first and second-generation Indian immigrants and their struggles to adapt to a new world. Thru grants and sponsors there were all sorts of events - lectures on Indian cuisine, various film screening of Indian movies, oodles of book discussions and even a meet the author event starring Jhumpa Lahiri! Every incoming freshman at our local University was given a copy to read, and our local library had plenty of copies on hand to borrow.

Well, I'm here to let you know what Danbury, Ct.'s 2009 "One Book" selection is! It's Michael Greenberg's memoir Hurry Down Sunshine! I'm not really letting the cat out of the bag, Random House Library Services made the announcement on their website March 26th. Hurry Down Sunshine tells the story of Greenberg's 15 yr. old daughter Sally and "her first full-blown manic episode - an event that in a 'single stroke' changed her identity and, by extension, that of her entire family. Simply told and beautifully written, Greenberg's memoir shines a stark light on mental illness". The events haven't been announced for our 2009's One Book, One Community selection, but I'll keep you posted...

In the meantime... Is your community planning a One Book, One Community program? Please leave a comment and share what book you're reading! Or what book your community has read in the past! Interested in planning a community read? Here's a link to the American Library Association's online resource center where you can download a guide, and look to see what other communities have chosen in the past:

Happy Reading! And let me know what you think about One Book, One Community!


Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I've never heard of this I wonder if New York has one. In any case I ready Hurry Down Sunshine last year and thought it was a great book.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Nicole!
I went to the American Library Associations online resource center and NYC has a program. Last year it was a childrens book, but previous to that some of the selections were James McBride's Color of Water and a young adult book "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson. NYC hasn't chosen their 2009 book according to the ALA website. BUT if you live in other areas there are other areas that have made a choice for 2009. Schenectady has chosen Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, a wonderful story that revolves around a circus. I'd check with your local library and the ALA site. And if anyone else hears of a NY "Book" chose please list away! Thanks for stopping by! And joining the blog!

Suzanne Yester said...

Oh and Nicole,
Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed the book! I have had this on my "to read list" and can't wait to read it. I heard thru a source that the author and his daughter will be coming to participate in the local events...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Suzanne. Just dropped by to pass on an award:
Really love the blog.

Suzanne Yester said...

Thank you! Thank you! And as always thanks for your kind words about my blog! Now I'll have even more blogging fun passing along the award!

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