We always say that while we call this program One Read, creating a successful month of events takes the work of many. This past year, a volunteer from Columbia Access Television, one of our community partners, filmed author George Hodgman’s charming, insightful and moving talk at Columbia College. He spoke about the writing of “Bettyville,” caring for his mother in her final days and the importance of a safe place to call home. If you were unable to attend that talk, or if you simply want to relive the magic of that evening, here is the recording. Enjoy!
“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman has been wildly popular this year, and so it comes as no surprise that it was nominated by multiple readers for One Read 2017.
This heartwarming story follows an old curmudgeon of a man, named Ove. He is dreadfully lonely after the passing of his wife, and so he decides to commit suicide to join her — except the new neighbors, a young rambunctious family, have other plans. One nominator explains that the book is “really a look at what makes life worth living.”
This is the last nomination we’ll be highlighting this month, so be sure to see the rest of the titles that have been suggested for One Read 2017.
We continue to share some of the books nominated by local readers for One Read 2017.
Books that have ties to Missouri are often suggested for our community-wide reading program, but occasionally some are sneaky in that their relationship to our state is not immediately apparent. “Mrs. Hemingway” by Naomi Wood is one such novel.
The story of Ernest Hemingway is interesting, but perhaps not quite as interesting as his four wives. As the nominator explains, “the narrative is told in the voices of the four wives, and the settings include the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.” With one wife having been a St. Louis native, another wife a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a son having been born in Kansas City, Hemingway did seem to have an unusual number of Missouri connections.
In January, our One Readreading panel will begin narrowing down the list of more than 140 books nominated for our community-wide reading program. In the meantime, we are highlighting just some of these suggested titles so you can see what other local readers are enjoying.
Controversial topics, such as end of life care, are explored in “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande. The author, a practicing surgeon, discusses the many triumphs of modern medicine and its impact on quality of life and how those triumphs should also apply to life’s end.
Here’s what one nominator has to say about the book: “This very readable book, written by a physician, deals with end of life decisions. He uses true stories and offers solutions to this very sensitive subject that puts the person nearing death in control. It offers a blueprint for anyone to use to make a loving plan for the last part of life. It is authoritative and would be a great book to discuss by just about anyone.”
During the month of November we are taking your nominations for One Read 2017 and highlighting some of those nominations here at oneread.org. One local reader recommends “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. In this novel, Victoria Jones, lacking family or friends, becomes homeless on her 18th birthday. She steals food and sleeps in San Francisco’s McKinley Square, where she covertly plants and tends a small garden, using knowledge learned from one of her previous foster parents. Her gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.
Our nominator writes: “It’s a novel that deals with difficult but important topics in an affirming way. What happens to young adults when they age out of foster care? This has been a topic of discussion locally the last couple of years. The book delves into the nature of forgiveness, responsibility and what makes a family. The descriptions of and information about flowers woven throughout could lead to some great programs and discussions.”
What one book do you think our community should read together in 2017? Nominate a title by November 30.