Archive for the ‘One Book Programs’ Category

Philadelphia Chooses ‘The Soloist’

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

The 2009 selection for One Book, One Philadelphia is The Soloist. The book’s author, Steve Lopez, is a former Philadelphia Inquirer writer. Now a Los Angeles Times columnist, Lopez befriended a homeless violinist on the streets of L.A. and wrote about him in his columns. Those columns lead to a book and now a movie to be released on Nov. 11, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx.

Lopez appeared with Philadelphia Mayor Nutter at a press conference announcing the book yesterday. The Inquirer quotes Nutter on the book’s relevance to Philadelphia, “The issue of homelessness will be the serious topic of discussion here.”

The SoloistA Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music Steve Lopez

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (April 17, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0399155066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155062
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $19.95
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, (May 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1433215225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433215223
  • Audio Cassette: Unabridged, $44.95
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, (May 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1433215217
  • ISBN-13: 978-143321521

  • Paperback: $15.00
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (September 30, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 042522600X
  • ISBN-13: 978-042522600

One Book/One New Orleans

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

One City/One Book programs rarely (if ever) select a brand new book.

But One Book/New Orleans has chosen the just-released (as of yesterday) City of Refuge by Tom Piazza.

Piazza has lived in New Orleans since 1994. An author of several books on jazz and blues as well as fiction and a memoir, his response to Hurricane Katrina was the book Why New Orleans Matters. According to the Times Pacayune, the signing for that book in Oct. 2005 was “one of the first great literary homecomings after the flood.”

The title of City of Refuge comes from a 1920’s gospel song by New Orleans singer Blind Willie Johnson. The Times Pacayune heralds it, saying

…the big Katrina novel here at last, reconstructing a city’s stubborn spirit through a writer’s keen vision into singular human hearts. It remembers the life before, honors the lives lost, and adds its urgency to the struggle that continues.

Piazza appeared at a kick-off event in a New Orleans bookstore last night and will continue to make appearances in the city throughout August.


City of Refuge

Tom Piazza

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Harper (August 19, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061238619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061238611
  • Large Print Paperback: $24.95
  • Publisher: HarperLuxe (September 9, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061669024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061669026

Chicago Picks ‘The Right Stuff’

Friday, August 1st, 2008

“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.

The Power of One Book

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

In the Waterloo Region of Canada, the recent One Book program is having lasting effects. As the local newspaper, The Record puts it,

The One Book, One Community selection this year, The 100-Mile Diet, is sparking debate around local dinner tables. The book describes the challenges and benefits of eating food from within a hundred miles of the home. Salmonella in tomatoes, E. coli in spinach and mad cow disease have people thinking about the origin of their food.

The program also sparked another program — a bus tour to showcase produce from local farms. In addition, a local politician has introduced a “resolution in the legislature that will promote local food in schools.”

The Waterloo Region’s One Book program began five years ago and community participation has exceeded expectations. This is the first year they have selected a nonfiction title.

In the US, the he 100-Mile Diet was published as Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon (Harmony, 2007). It’s no longer available, but a title with a similar theme, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver has been selected by some communities. It is now available in trade paperback.

  • Paperback: $14.95
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (April 29, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0060852569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060852566
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $39.95
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; (May 1, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0060853573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060853570

One Book/One Reader?

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008


Today’s Rocky Mountain News analyses the One Book/One Denver program. Launched in 2004, the annual program resulted in an estimated 16,000 people buying or borrowing the first selection, Peace Like a River. As many as 800 people attended the final author events. But numbers dropped off dramatically last year, so much so that one Denverite refers to it as “One Book/One Reader.” The columnist compares Denver’s experience to Seattle’s program (including budget comparisons), which is still growing. Great insights for anyone involved in such a program.

For more “One Book” programs, check the “One Community/One Book” page.