The One Read reading panel of community members from Boone and Callaway Counties narrowed the list of more than 200 book suggestions for the 2023 One Read title to two top contenders. Between April 10-28, the public can cast their vote for either “When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky” by Margaret Verble or “Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life” by Lulu Miller.
Vote online at oneread.org. Ballot boxes will also be set up at Daniel Boone Regional Library locations in Ashland, Columbia, Fulton and Holts Summit. The winning title will be announced May 24.
“When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky” by Margaret Verble
This richly imagined historical fiction follows Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show during the summer of 1926. After a dive gone terribly wrong — Two Feathers and her horse plunge into a sinkhole, killing the horse and injuring Two Feathers — strange things start to happen at the park. Fragments of the ancient past begin to surface, ghosts appear and animals begin to fall ill. Two Feathers, Black zoo employee Crawford, park manager Clive and an eclectic cast of characters work together to get to the bottom of these mysterious goings-on. An unusual, character-driven story exploring the conflicts of race and culture in the highly segregated society of the 1920s South.
“Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life” by Lulu Miller
In despair and feeling the need for life advice, science reporter Lulu Miller turned to an odd source: turn-of-the-century taxonomist David Starr Jordan, who attempted to collect and name thousands of species of fish over his lifetime. Through her research, Miller discovers that the urge to categorize and control can lead to some dark places, like Jordan’s endorsement of the racist practice of eugenics, and some surprising discoveries, like the fact that “fish” as a meaningful biological category may not exist. Part biography, part memoir, part science report, part meditation on chaos and loss, this work of nonfiction ultimately celebrates the diversity and unpredictability of existence.
Now in its 22nd year, One Read is a community-wide reading program coordinated by the Daniel Boone Regional Library that encourages adults of all ages to read and discuss a single book. It is co-sponsored by a task force of local businesses, agencies, academic institutions and other groups. More information about related One Read topics can be found at oneread.org.