Category Archives: Issue #10

Author Interview: Peter Stark

Peter Start discusses his latest book, Astoria, and his experiences at literary events.

What are some of the “teachable” moments in your book that make it work well for a speaking engagement?

My book contains many moments of crisis, when a leader has to make a crucial decision:

When young New Jersey businessman Wilson Price Hunt, a neophyte to the wilderness, leading a large party, has to decide whether to follow the “known” route up the Missouri River and into a sure and bloody confrontation with the Blackfeet Indians, or strike out into a thousand miles of unknown terrain? Which should he chose: Sure trouble or total unknown? Later in the expedition across the Rocky Mountains, Hunt blunders into the deepest canyon in North America in the middle of winter and his 50-person party runs out of food. Does he stay with his loyal and dying men who are dropping beside the trail? Or does he abandon his collapsing friends to try to lead the rest of the expedition to safety?

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BIC Supported Events – February 2015

Recaps and quotes from recent Books In Common supported Events.

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A Look At: Club Book, Minn.

David Katz, Club Book coordinator, discusses how Club Book came about and how it enriches the participating communities in Minnesota through literature.

Would you tell us a bit about your program?  For instance how long has Club Book been coordinating literary events, how did it get started, and how has it changed over the years?

Club Book is a unique player on the Minnesota literary events scene. We collaborate with all eight library systems in the Twin Cities to bring bestselling and award-winning authors to library audiences in all corners of our metro area. In effect, this positions us to host big names in suburban communities that might otherwise not have this kind of cultural opportunity.

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A Look At: Grand Valley State

Brian Jbara from Grand Valley State Community Reads explains how his community comes together for a common book.

Would you tell us a bit about your program?  For instance how long has Grand Valley State been hosting the Community Reading Project, how did it get started, and how has it changed over the years?

The program is in its 11th year, and is focused on including all of campus and community (unlike first year read, per se). It was started specifically to provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities across campus, and to this day, it has stayed true to that. Each year we try to select a different themed book that addresses big issues or ideas, is accessible, and is “sticky” in nature – we want discussions to entail multiple perspectives.

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BIC Book Reviews – February 2015

Books In Common has identified these books as particularly well suited for your Community / Campus reading event!

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Joining Forces: Opportunities to Come Together

For many of our friends in library and university communities, 2015 will see some of the most significant budget shortfalls in recent memory.  As program resources increasingly diminish, even successful and longstanding Common Reads initiatives are left hanging in the balance. Worse still, these challenges come at a time when building common ground among students, citizens and diverse cultures is more important than ever. But it’s not all doom and gloom – sometimes the very challenges that threaten to divide us become opportunities to bring us together.  And that’s where Books In Common can help!

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Author Interview: Denise Kiernan

At the height of World War II, thousands of civilian women were recruited to work in a secret city, where they were told their efforts would end the war. Few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed in the hulking factories amid the Appalachian Mountains. Denise Kiernan, author ofThe Girls of Atomic City,rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity.  Here, she discusses how her book has resonated with students across the United States.

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