One Read Reaches Beyond Mid-Missouri

A St. Louis book club participates in One Read 2011

One Read may be a regional reading program, but its reach extends far beyond Boone and Callaway Counties–and even beyond books!

  • A book club out of St. Louis regularly selects the One Read title for one of its monthly discussions! They were kind enough to send us this picture of their members posing with this year’s book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.
  • One of our patrons, Jeff “Dr. Chordate” Moran, sent us a song he wrote and recorded at local community radio station KOPN. Hear his retelling of Henrietta Lacks’ story in “The Ballad of Henrietta’s Cells.
  • Another regular participant told us that her daughter back east reads the One Read book each year, and then they discuss the book together.

Let us know that you are participating in One Read by signing up. And feel free to share your unique One Read experiences!

The Immortal Henrietta Lacks on CBS News

“Somewhere in the humble family cemetery off a country road in the town of Clover in southern Virginia, a woman who died nearly 60 years ago lies in an unmarked grave.”

This statement begins correspondent Jim Axelrod’s moving piece for CBS News about Henrietta Lacks. This segment, devoted to the Lacks family and Rebecca Skloot’s efforts to tell the story of Henrietta’s contributions to science and medicine, originally aired in March of 2010. See footage of interviews with author Rebecca Skloot and the Lacks family.
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Flash Fiction Contest: “There’s a photo on my wall of a woman I’ve never met.”

While taking a community college biology course at the age of 16, author Rebecca Skloot learned about Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cells, cultured by scientists and used in research around the world. Skloot was so haunted by Henrietta – a young black woman who died at 31 but was otherwise a mystery – that years later she was driven to tell her story.

Skloot begins that story with the words, “There’s a photo on my wall of a woman I’ve never met.” Imagine your own mystery photo of an unknown woman (or maybe you already have one!) and, in 250 words or less, reveal her identity. Will you tell a tale of family lost and found or spin a yarn of celebrity infatuation? Take us wherever your imagination leads. Enter by September 21. Read More

Author Ivan Doig Wishes One Read a Happy Birthday

In 2008 our community read “The Whistling Season” by Ivan Doig, a celebration of education of all sorts. During that year’s program, Doig remarked, “My narrator in ‘The Whistling Season,’ Paul Milliron, educator and bookman and graduate of a one-room school that he was, would have fully known the value of a community read.” Recently, Doig sent these well-wishes to mid-Missouri:

Even from most of a continent away, Columbia’s warmth toward my book could be felt. “The Whistling Season” has had many community reads, including one entire state, but the enthusiasm of the One Read organizers in “bringing” me by video conference was memorably singular, as was the response of the library crowds. May One Read successfully count many more birthdays in bringing books and minds together in so spirited a fashion.

Read the words of celebration and congratulations from other past One Read authors and speakers. And thank you for making this program great!