Yes, I know, grammar and punctuation is always the thing. And despite the title of this post sounding a bit strange, it conveys exactly what I want it to.
As it is written, I’d like to tell you a bit about community reads and how to survive them.
Community Reads encourage the masses to read the same book, thus providing a common experience and a nice platform for discussion with anyone who partook in the read–regardless of age, gender, stage of life, or general interests. This book is for everyone. It is universal in our attempts to live our daily lives with grace, courage and dignity.
Reading a book outside your typical genre sometimes isn’t easy. However, it is worth it to broaden your literary experiences. The nice thing about Andy Steiner’s How to Survive: The Extraordinary Resilience of Ordinary People is that she tells the story of courage and triumph in bite-sized pieces. It’s easy to find a story that speaks to you.
As we know time is short, we try to pick community read books that are quick and easy. This allows readers to spend minimal personal time while still being able to participate. So, I would say, don’t be afraid to cut your teeth on this book. Take a chance that you will find a sliver of time to read at least one story of survival.
Sharing is caring. Sometimes we fall in love with literature and are reluctant to pass it along to others in case the pages get crumpled or someone might love a story with their morning coffee. The beauty of a community read is that these books are meant to be shared. The more widely read they are, the more successful our endeavor becomes. Read, share and discuss. Pass along the book to others who are going through tough times and who might need a bit of encouragement, or who enjoys similar writing as you do.
Attend a book discussion. Yes, I know that is uncomfortable sometimes. But listening is also participating. Nobody expects to hear and speak with authority on the topics presented in Steiner’s book. Rather, everyone is encouraged to simply absorb the book as a community, listening to others and yourself about how a story touched you personally.
Lastly, community reads are a no-cost endeavor. Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Cultural and Heritage Foundation, Meinders Library has 30 free copies of How to Survive for your reading pleasure. Simply stop in and nab a book.
How To Survive Events
Monday October 30 @ 6:00pm: Community Book Discussion
Friday November 10 @ 6:30pm Books-n-Brew Book Club
Saturday November 11 @ 2:00pm Publisher’s Presentation on How to Survive with Adam Wahlberg
It’s not very often that a book grabs hold of you and won’t let go. It’s even more rare that a virtually unknown writer is the one to do the grabbing. However, The Girl Before, Rena Olsen’s debut novel, did just that.
By her own admission, Rena Olsen is “a writer, therapist, teacher, sometimes singer, and eternal optimist. By day she tries to save the world as a school therapist, and at night she creates new worlds in her writing.”
This book is haunting, beautifully written and a thrilling ride. It’s also an eye opener into the grittier side of human nature.
It opens with a raid and takes you on a wild ride of innocence broken. Told in alternating then and now snippets, the story of a young woman used and abused unfolds, revealing a tale of utmost strength and survival.
The Girl Before has been chosen for the October reads for both book clubs. We will also use it as a Community Read which will culminate with an author visit by Ms. Olsen on November 12.
Books-n-Brew meets at 6:30pm on October 14th.
Early Bird Book Club meets at 8:30am on October 18.
Stop by the library to reserve your copy today, and stay tuned on our blog for other events surrounding our Community Read.
The Early Bird book club meets at 8:30 am in the library on the third Tuesday of each month. Our July book was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
Book club was indeed passionate as we discussed the merits, the point and the worth of reading this young adult novel. It was decided by the majority of the members that while it was a book they were happy to discuss, it wasn’t necessarily a happy book to read.
But then again, that’s the point of a good book, right? A book that makes you think and feel and look at the world from a new perspective? In that respect, We Were Liars was definitely successful. The ensuing conversation delved into the life of privilege, familial and social dysfunction and the way in which we all bend our experiences to fit our own truths.
The August 16th book club pick is “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker” by Jennifer Chiaverini.
In a life that spanned nearly a century and witnessed some of the most momentous events in American history, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born a slave. A gifted seamstress, she earned her freedom by the skill of her needle, and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by her devotion. A sweeping historical novel, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker illuminates the extraordinary relationship the two women shared, beginning in the hallowed halls of the White House during the trials of the Civil War and enduring almost, but not quite, to the end of Mrs. Lincoln’s days.
Stop by the library to reserve your copy today, or go online and place a hold. Everyone is welcome to join a book club discussion.