Category Archives: One Book One Community Adoptions

Discovering Oneself in America’s Disappearing Wilderness

9780307461247By James Campbell, author of Braving It: A Father, A Daughter, And An Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild (Crown, May 2016)

The Inupiat, of Alaska’s harsh Arctic coast, have a word to express the awe one feels in the presence of raw Nature. They call it uniari. In part, Braving It is about the pursuit of uniari. The book chronicles three trips that my teenage daughter Aidan and I made into the heart of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a far-off place that few will ever see. But some of the book’s other themes—that there is reward in courage and leaving your comfort zone and that often the best relationships are forged by adversity—lay closer to home. Continue reading

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A Young Doctor Comes Face To Face With His Own Mortality

9780812988406Dr. Paul Kalanithi died in March of 2015 while completing the manuscript for his book When Breath Becomes Air (Random House, January 2016).  Here, his widow Lucy explains why college students will be interested in his writing.

Dear Reader,

At the age of 36, my husband Paul Kalanithi was on the verge of finishing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon at Stanford when his health began to falter. A CT scan confirmed what we had both come to suspect: he had lung cancer, widely disseminated. In the very hospital where Paul had learned to perform surgery, he was checked into a room and handed a blue patient’s gown. We held each other tightly in his hospital bed, both understanding that the cancer was terminal. Continue reading

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Breaking Racial Barriers During WWI: A Visual Narrative

9780307464972By Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighers (Broadway Books, April 2014).

I first learned of the Harlem Hellfighters from an Anglo-Rhodesian named Michael Furmanovsky when I was 11. Michael was working for my parents while getting his MFA in history from UCLA. He taught me about the British Empire, the Falklands War, Hiroshima, the Holocaust, and a host of other topics not covered in my fifth-grade western civilization class. Of all his after-school lessons, the one that left the deepest impression was the story of a unit of American soldiers who weren’t allowed to fight for their country because of the color of their skin. To a white, privileged kid growing up on the west side of L.A. in the 1980s, that kind of prejudice was just inconceivable. When I confessed that I didn’t know about them, he assured me that I wasn’t alone. Continue reading

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Marjane Satrapi Announces Persepolis Speaking Tour

9780375714573Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis and co-creator of the award-winning 2007 animated film adaptation, will be kicking off her U.S. speaking tour October 15th in Washington, D.C. Her coming-of-age graphic memoir has been one of the most popular Common Reading choices nationwide with over 95 university adoptions. The story of growing up in Revolutionary Iran, it is both accessible for a variety of reading levels and profoundly relevant to American students’ rapidly expanding worldviews. Continue reading

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Orange Is the New Black: Piper Kerman’s Journey from Book to Netflix Series to Common Read

orangeBy Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (Spiegel & Grau, 2010).

In the early 1990s, I was a graduate from an elite women’s college, a little lost and very much looking for adventure and finding it in an unlikely criminal underworld. In 2004, I was a successful professional standing at the gates of a federal women’s prison, about to start serving time for a ten-year-old drug offense. My book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, details my plunge into the hidden world of America’s enormous prison system, the women and men I met there, and the profound effect that incarceration has on individuals and communities around the country. The book was adapted into the hit Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. Continue reading

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Momentum Continues for Muck City With “One Book” Adoption

Muck CitySarasota County Libraries in Florida has announced Muck City by Bryan Mealer as their 2014 “One Book” reading selection. Muck City tells the story of the Belle Glade (FL) high school football team, which has sent 27 of its players to the National Football League since 1985.  Despite excelling at football, the town also spawned chronic poverty, teeming migrant ghettos and violence that crippled the future’s of its young people. The book ultimately portrays a community grappling with a difficult past and uncertain future, but with the fierce will to survive and thrive.

“Since this year is the program’s 10th anniversary, we wanted to feature a book, which like the original Sarasota One Book, related to Florida’s history,” said Barb McDonald, outreach coordinator for the Sarasota County Library System.  McDonald added that the book will appeal to readers of all ages and was selected because of its inspirational message.  Mr. Mealer plans to attend “One Book” events beginning in early 2014.

Clear here to read more about Sarasota’s “One Book” program.

Clear here to listen to an interview with Bryan Mealer.

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Chicago picks The Warmth of Other Suns for One Book, One Chicago

The Warmth of Other Suns The Chicago Public Library has chosen The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson as the One Book, One Chicago selection for 2013! While the One Book, One Chicago festivities usually only last for one month, The Chicago Public Library has decided to extend them for a full year in order to fully explore Wilkerson’s powerful work.

“It’s a fascinating book,” says library spokeswoman Ruth Lednicer. “At first you’re daunted by the size, but it becomes engrossing very quickly.”

In previous years, area schools such as DePaul University have participated in One Book, One Chicago. The Warmth of Other Suns has been a popular common reading choice, adopted in Common Reading programs at schools such as Howard University, University of Northern Iowa, and University of California, Davis.

Lednicer hopes that extending the program will encourage more readers to engage with the One Book, One Chicago activities that will begin in April. Each month through April 2014, the library will sponsor a talk or panel related to The Warmth of Other Suns, and smaller discussions and programs will take place in the neighborhood branch libraries.

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