Readers Invited to Help Select Next One Book/One Community Title
The Adult Programming Committee has selected the five finalists for JCPL's next One Book/One Community event in February 2011. The final decision is up to you.
Visit any JCPL branch in June or July, or click here, to vote for the book you'd most like to see at the center of this month-long series of events:
The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
When we first meet Michael Oher, he is one of 13 children by a mother addicted to crack. He does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or how to read or write. He takes up football—and school—after a rich, white, evangelical family plucks him from the streets. Then two great forces alter Oher: the family's love and the evolution of professional football itself into a game in which the quarterback must be protected at any cost. He becomes the priceless package of size, speed, and agility necessary to guard the quarterback's greatest vulnerability: his blind side.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
After starving for five months with his family in famine- and poverty-stricken Malawi, 14-year-old Kamkwamba's supercharged curiosity leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using "electric wind" to harness energy for his farm. Salvaging a motley collection of materials, from his father's broken bike to his mother's clothes line, he is often greeted to the tune of "Ah, look, the madman has come with his garbage." This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there, finds reason for hopes and dreams.
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The protagonist of Booth Tarkington's great historical drama is George Amberson Minafer, the spoiled and arrogant grandson of the great patriarch. Eclipsed by a new breed of developers, financiers, and manufacturers, this pampered scion begins his gradual descent from Midwestern aristocracy to the working class.
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Late one night in the city of Sydney, Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, gets a phone call. The Sarajevo Haggadash, which disappeared during the siege in 1992, has been found, and Hanna has been invited by the U.N. to report on its condition. From here, Brooks spins her story in two directions. In the present, we follow Hanna through her thrilling first encounter with the beautifully illustrated codex and her discovery of the clues that will help her to discover its provenance. Along with the book, she also meets and falls in love with the Muslim librarian who recovered it. In the other strand of narrative, we follow the book's journey backward through time from 1940s Sarajevo to 15th century Seville.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
In her final novel, as in her earlier ones, Jane Austen uses a love story to explore and gently satirize social pretensions and emotional confusion. Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth, who were happily engaged before Anne's friend Lady Russell persuaded her that Frederick was unworthy. Now, eight years later, Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the army, while Anne's family teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. They still love each other, but their past mistakes threaten to keep them apart.
About One Book/One Community
One Book/One Community is a month-long event designed to promote the value of reading by recommending a compelling book that links the community in a common conversation. The program encourages dialog about a particular book, but also fosters lifelong learning and the development of a strong community identity.
The program includes not only book discussions but also activities related to the book's characters, setting, and themes.
Launched in Seattle in 1998 with great success, the "One Book" concept has swept the nation, including such cities as Chicago, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Houston. Johnson County Public LIbrary organized its first community-wide read in 2006.
Since 2009, library patrons have selected JCPL's One Book/One Community title from a list of five finalists submitted by the Adult Programming Committee.
Past One Book/One Community titles include The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Marley and Me by John Grogan, Bean Blossom Dreams by Sallyann Murphey, and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.
Please contact the Adult Programming Committee for more information about One Book/One Community at JCPL.