Chicago Picks ‘The Right Stuff’

“One Book, One Chicago” has picked Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book on the Project Mercury astronauts, The Right Stuff as their fall selection. Mayor Daley explained the selection in his announcement yesterday;

by selecting a book about the early days of space travel we take part in celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA this year, as well as the city-wide celebration of science and technology, “Science Chicago.”

Wolfe, who will come to Chicago to receive the Carl Sandburg Literary Award in October, will discuss his work at free public program. The city will also feature an outdoor screening of the movie based on the book and many other events. The Chicago Public Library has 2,000 copies of the book available for circulation, in addition to copies of the movie on DVD.

Time Out Chicago praised the library’s choices;

…the Library’s done an impressive job with selecting books that are both intriguing and have wide appeal… It’s a tough assignment: The best choices seem to be minor classics, books that people feel they should have read by now, but for whatever reason haven’t. But they also have to appeal to new readers, so they should seem somewhat fresh. That’s why recent choices like Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye and now The Right Stuff make smart selections: They’re great books that don’t feel like reading assignments.

According to the Library of Congress database of “One Book” programs, The Right Stuff has been selected by just one other program; Bakersfield, CA in 2002.

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