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A community-wide reading program of the Daniel Boone Regional Library.
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Suggested One Read: Station Eleven

December 18, 2014

Book cover for Station Eleven by Emily St. John MandelNominations for the 2015 One Read program are now closed, and we are highlighting just some of the titles area readers think the community should read together. Next up is “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

This novel opens with a famous Hollywood actor dying onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve as a fast-acting and deadly strain of the flu spreads around the world. Our nominator writes, “This is very different take on a well-worn narrative – post-apocalyptic fiction. The topic is timely (pandemic – echoes of Ebola), and the book is beautifully written. It’s about the importance of love and art, the social contract, and what matters when the world we know falls away.”

Check out what others in your community are reading and enjoying!

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Suggested One Read: Orange Is the new Black

December 16, 2014

Book cover for Orange Is the New BlackWell-reviewed and popular when first published in 2010, Piper Kerman’s best-selling memoir “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in A Women’s Prison” gained even more attention after Netflix launched a series based on the book. The narrative follows the author’s incarceration for drug trafficking, during which she gained a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and met a varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances.

The reader who nominated “Orange Is the new Black” for One Read writes, “This book is a very accurate and eye-opening description of life in a women’s prison. Discussion topics include: the war on drugs, the overpopulation of American prisons, women’s issues, prisoners’ rights, mental illness, incarceration and opportunities to volunteer in prisons. As a women’s prison volunteer myself, I highly recommend this book.”

Thank you to everyone who suggested books to be considered for the 2015 One Read program. As the reading panel begins its work, we will continue to highlight nominated titles so you can learn what others in the community are reading and discussing.

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Suggested One Read: The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

December 11, 2014

Book cover for The Sleepwalker's Guide to DancingWe continue our review of just some of the more than 100 books local readers nominated for next year’s One Read program. Next up is “The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing” by Jacob Mira. In this emotional and atmospheric debut, decades after an interrupted visit to his mother’s home in India triggers a haunting series of events, brain surgeon Thomas Eapen begins having conversations with his dead relatives, prompting his career-beleaguered wife to investigate a painful family history.

The nominator of  this book describes it as “a book about about the uneasy generational divide among Indians in America and about family in all its permutations … Similar issues haunt immigrant families from everywhere.”

Want to know what others in the community are reading and enjoying? See other books nominated for One Read 2015.

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Suggested One Read: City of Thieves

December 9, 2014

Book cover for City of Thieves by David BenioffEach year we receive many nominations for One Read that fall into the category of historical fiction. Being set during different time periods, these books inspire rich discussion and offer up plenty of possibilities for educational programs. This year a local reader nominated David Benioff’s “City of Thieves,” a novel set in Russia during World War II. Documenting his grandparents’ experiences during the siege of Leningrad, a young writer learns his grandfather’s story about how a military deserter and he tried to secure pardons by gathering hard-to-find ingredients for a powerful colonel’s daughter’s wedding cake.

Our nominator describes this book as a “really fantastic coming of age story. I could not put it down when I was reading it and was sad to see this moving story come to a close. It’s great historical fiction, but the writing will appeal to readers who don’t normally pick up that genre because it is full of compelling characters and moves at a thrilling pace. I think this is a book that will appeal to readers of all ages and backgrounds.”

Read about other books nominated for One Read 2015.

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Suggested One Read: Still Alice

December 2, 2014

A local reader has recommended “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova for One Read 2015. Our nominator writes, “It seems that Alzheimer’s is increasingly prevalent in our society. This is the first novel by a neuroscientist who lives the successful life of a top academic, much like her main character.”

That main character, Alice Howland, is happily married and at the height of her career as a Harvard professor when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Nominations for One Read 2015 are now closed, but we will continue to highlight nominated titles throughout the month of December. Check out what others in your community are reading and enjoying!

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Suggested One Read: Empathy Exams

December 1, 2014

Book cover for The Empathy Exams by Leslie JamisonNominations for our 2015 One Read book are now closed, but we will be highlighting some of the more than 100 suggested titles throughout the month so  you can check out what your fellow mid-Missourians are reading and recommending.

Next up is “Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison. Recently named one of the best books of 2014 by Publisher’s Weekly, this collection of essays explores empathy, using topics ranging from street violence and incarceration to reality television and literary sentimentality to ask questions about people’s understanding of and relationships with others.

Our nominator writes, “It tackles a lot of interesting questions: what do we care about and how much control do we have over that? It’s got some pop science and some deeply reflective writing. It’s witty and fun and full of ideas that challenge in a good way.”

See what other titles have been nominated for One Read 2015.

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Suggested One Read: The Warmth of Other Suns

November 25, 2014

Book cover for The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel WilkersonThis is the last week that the Daniel Boone Regional Library will be accepting nominations for the 2015 One Read book. Make your suggestion at any of our branches, on the bookmobile or online.

In January, a reading panel will consider all of the books nominated. In the meantime, we are highlighting some of your suggestions here at oneread.org.

One recent nomination is “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson. This book chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Our nominator writes, “[This book is] gripping, beautifully written and very readable. It’s carefully researched and tells a story few of us know and everyone should know that is of crucial impact to our country’s past and current social landscape.”

What one book tells a story you think the whole community should know and discuss? Make a nomination today!

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Suggested One Read: I, Robot

November 20, 2014

I, Robot book coverDuring the month of November we are taking your nominations for One Read 2015 and highlighting some of those nominations here at oneread.org. One local reader thinks we should prepare for the eventual take-over of Earth by machines (!) and read “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov.

Our nominator writes: “Isaac Asimov would have turned 95 in 2015. ‘I, Robot’ is a great collection of sci-fi short stories that might introduce some to the sci-fi genre without trying to tackle something too thick or extreme. Also, a university in Texas created an AI system, then purposely gave it schizophrenia. We need this book to prepare for the impending Robot Wars.”

In “I, Robot,” Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future – a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

What one book do you think our community should read together in 2015? Nominate a title online, at one of our branches or on the bookmobile by November 30.

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Suggested One Read: Destiny of the Republic

November 18, 2014

Book cover for Destiny of the Republic by Candice MillardAll month Daniel Boone Regional Library is taking your nominations for One Read 2015 and highlighting some of the suggestions we’ve received so far.

An area reader nominated “The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President” by Candice Millard. This narrative account of the twentieth president’s political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment and Alexander Graham Bell’s failed attempt to save him from an assassin’s bullet. Our nominator thinks this would make a great One Read because “it’s set during a historical turning point; it touches on the difference between medicine then and now; and one learns about Garfield (an extraordinary person), Alexander Graham Bell and the assassin Charles Guiteau. It’s in multiple formats and a relatively easy read.”

Have a suggestion of your own? Let us know what you think our community should read in 2015 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile, or online at oneread.org.

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Suggested One Read: The Invention of Wings

November 14, 2014

Book cover for The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk KiddWe are currently taking your suggestions for our 2015 One Read title, and we’ll be highlighting some of these books here at oneread.org so you can see what other community members are reading and enjoying. All of these titles will be considered by our reading panel as they begin narrowing the list of suggestions. Let us know what you think our community should read in 2015 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile or online at oneread.org by November 30.

First up is “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd.  The story follows Hetty “Handful” Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. The book follows the next thirty-five years of their lives.

Our nominator writes, “Given the events of Ferguson, this book would give people a good understanding of slavery. It could spark a good discussion of race relations and a discussion about oppression and social justice.”

What one book do you think our community should read together in 2015? Nominate a book today!

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Nominate a Book for One Read 2015

November 1, 2014
// What one book should our community read next? We would like your suggestions for next year's community-wide reading program. The One Read reading panel is looking for books that have a broad-based appeal to readers of different backgrounds and reading levels, that are available in paperback and other formats, and that address themes and issues that will encourage and sustain spirited discussion. (See the full list of general criteria here.) Submit your suggestion by November 30. Book Suggestion Title
Author
Why would this be a good choice for a community-wide read?

Thank you for your suggestion!

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Flash Fiction Contest Winners: Underdog

October 10, 2014

As part of this year’s One Read program and inspired by the grit, perseverance and the way those “Boys in the Boat” overcame the odds, we challenged writers to craft tales containing an element of the underdog for this year’s flash fiction contest.

We received plenty of stories about unexpected triumph on the playing field, but we also read tales of cheating death, of immigration and unlikely survival – all told in no more than 250 words. Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the worlds of your imagination with us. Our two winners are Carl Kremer and Von Pittman.

We are pleased to share with you the winning stories.

James Earl by Carl Kremer

James Earl, named for the great basso profundo actor (whom he resembles, except for being green) – is the biggest bullfrog in my pond. His great call silences smaller creatures in the area and attracts females (cowfrogs?) from miles away. Others who, while old enough to croak for sex – sound timid when James Earl occasionally tunes up.

He is a miracle, not just for his age (13 is ancient for his kind, and I’ve listened to his calls for nearly that long) but for his phenomenal luck, his resourcefulness, his amphibian intelligence. While he was part of a mass of thousands of eggs, most did not hatch, and most of those who did fell prey as tadpoles to snakes, fish, birds, raccoons and even other frogs. Some of his siblings were eaten as children by larger frogs, perhaps their grandparents. The struggle to survive was fierce, and he might have been a pollywog for years, while other tadpoles grow to adulthood in one season.

He has mastered patient vigilance, sitting in one moist spot for hours, alert both for prey – insects, small snakes, and even smaller frogs – and for predators. Stealthy cats haunt the edges of his pond at night, along with foxes, raccoons, snakes and owls. By day herons, kingfishers, and even hawks drop silently from the sky and he is a prize entree to any carnivore.

And still, aged, wise and wary, he sings, reverberant, stentorian, and deep – for love.

Obstacle Number Three by Von Pittman

Josh Carter stood number one in Tactics and number two in Seamanship, with just two weeks of Naval Officer Candidate School left. Nonetheless, he was about to wash out.

A six-foot wooden wall – Obstacle 3 on the obstacle course – stood between Josh and his ensign’s bars. Every officer candidate was required to clear every obstacle on the course at least once. They learned to run at Obstacle 3, throw a stiff leg at the wall, then let their momentum carry them over. The few OCs who had trouble tended to be short and pear-shaped, like Josh. Sixteen tries, sixteen failures. In spite of his academic record, he feared he wouldn’t be a naval officer. He would probably become an enlisted mess cook, slinging chow and swabbing decks.

Everyone in Josh’s training company wanted him to top Obstacle 3 and graduate. Suddenly, the 17th week arrived, his last chance. Josh ran, hit the wall, and got both forearms over the top. He struggled to lift his body, then suddenly pitched over the wall, head first.

Dizzied by the impact, he stumbled through the rest of the course. In the intensity of his effort, he never saw the two classmates who had grabbed his wrists and snatched him over, or heard the cheers from his company.

At graduation, Josh received an academic award in addition to his ensign’s commission. He figured that the lingering sprain in his left wrist had to be from falling over the top of Obstacle 3.

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Thank You for Being a Part of One Read 2014

October 1, 2014

Boys-Boat-PB-web-medA big thank you to all of you who read or listened to “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown and joined us for one of this year’s outstanding One Read events.  Over the past month we have explored the Great Depression and the build up to WWII. We have celebrated Olympic sport and the American spirit. We have investigated the themes and topics in this book through discussions, lectures, films and art. We appreciate the hundreds of you who attended events and promoted this book to your book clubs, your coworkers and your families. Thank you for your support.

We capped off the month with Brown delivering his keynote address at Columbia College’s Launer Auditorium, and he graciously shared his own story as a writer and researcher, as well as that of Joe Rantz and his teammates.

Our sincere thanks to you for being a part of this year’s One Read!

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Author’s Talk With Daniel James Brown

September 17, 2014

DanielBrown_c_+RobinVBrown.colorHear One Read author Daniel James Brown speak about his research and writing process in the creation of “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” He will answer questions from the audience and sign books following the talk.

Tuesday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m.

• In person: Launer Auditorium, Columbia College
• Via videoconference: Library Auditorium, William Woods University, Fulton
• On the radio: 89.5FM/KOPN

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On the Water: Art Exhibit Winners

September 11, 2014

For this year’s One Read art exhibit, we asked area artists to contribute works that explore a range of experiences and views of water, whether from shore or flying across the water itself, “in a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades.” We were absolutely thrilled by the response and the range of artworks submitted.

At the exhibit’s opening reception on September 9, the following winners and honorable mentions were announced.

First place: “Row, Row, Row,”  fiber art, paint and paper, by Leandra Spangler

Photoe of artist Leandra Spangler

Second place: “Down by the River,” fiber art, by Rebecca Douglas

Fiber Art by Rebecca Douglas

Third place: “Sunset,” oil on wood panel, by Katherine Barnes

Oil painting by Katherine Barnes

Honorable Mentions:

Hannah Ingmire, “The Magic World of Under the Water” (mixed media)
Scott McMahon, “Light on Water” (video)
Robert Sherman, “Silver Fish” (photograph)
Tom Stauder, “Boys in the Boat” (wood sculpture boys)
Jerry Thompson, “Booth Bay” (water color)

A very big thank you to the Columbia Art League, Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Orr Street Studios for their support and promotion of this event. The One Read art exhibit will be on display at Orr Street Studios through September 20.

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The One Read 2014 Event Calendar is Here!

August 29, 2014

OR-2014-insert-coverThe full line-up of this year’s One Read programs is now available! Pick up a copy at any library branch or bookmobile, or see our online guide.

We have a wide range of exciting programs scheduled for the coming weeks as we explore the themes and topics in Daniel James Brown’s book, “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” We will even have a visit from the author himself on September 30.

Join us in September for:

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