At a special “reveal” event at The Mill in the Haymarket this morning, May 29th, the three finalists for One Book – One Lincoln for 2017 were announced. They are:
Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure–and the forces that work to destroy us.
In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.
Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact–and the creative power–of keeping secrets and telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love between the narrator’s grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own imagination.
From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of the “American Century,” the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most moving and inventive.
A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.
He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility –a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel
“Towles’s greatest narrative effect is not the moments of wonder and synchronicity but the generous transformation of these peripheral workers, over the course of decades, into confidants, equals and, finally, friends. With them around, a life sentence in these gilded halls might make Rostov the luckiest man in Russia.” – The New York Times Book Review
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
“And the intrigue! … [ A Gentleman in Moscow ] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery… a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca -like drama.” – The San Francisco Chronicle
We are returning to a public vote on One Book – One Lincoln in 2017. Please visit our Finalists Page for information about the four ways in which you can express your preferences for any or all of this year’s nominated titles. On our Discussion Groups page, you can see the dates/locations of discussions of the three titles, all of which take place during the voting period.
This weekend features two of this year’s One Book – One Lincoln special programming events!
First, on Friday evening (November 7th), from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., visit the Bennett Martin Public Library downtown after our normal closing time, to participate in the First Friday Art Walk, and take in a One Book – One Lincoln display of lighthouse-themed artwork by artists from the Lincoln community! Artwork will officially be unveiled to the public this evening, and then will remain on display throughout the month of November at the downtown library, for your ongoing enjoyment. But…by joining us during the First Friday Art Walk, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the artists whose works are in the show!
Second, on Sunday afternoon (November 9th), starting at 2:00 p.m., at the Walt Branch Library (6301 S. 14th St.), join the members of the Lincoln and Lancaster County Genealogical Society for a look at the difficulties of tracking personal history years after the fact. What if Tom and Isabel had kept Lucy and she had only found out the truth many years later — what sources could she have used to track down her real personal history? For genealogy fans and One Book – One Lincoln fans alike!
We hope to see several of you this weekend at one of the One Book – One Lincoln special events! Don’t forget – at each public event, a signed copy of M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans will be given away to one lucky attendee! You can also fill out our online drawing form for one additional chance at a signed copy of this year’s book! (One online entry per person)
You can find two new One Book – One Lincoln recordings available online for you to hear more about this year’s book and related events.
From the One Book programming committee, Layne and Scott appeared on NET Radio’s “Friday Live” on September 12th. That “Friday Live” episode is available on the NET web site as a full-episode podcast. Listen to the whole thing if you’re interested in arts activities in the area, or zip ahead to the 49:40 mark to listen to the One Book – One Lincoln section.
Also, Layne, Marcy, Scott and Lisa, from the libraries, joined host Diane Gonzolas for an episode of 5 City-TV’s “City Focus” all about this year’s One Book – One Lincoln. The episode will be airing on 5 City-TV on Time Warner Cable’s channel 5, but is also available on the 5 City-TV web site and on YouTube. We’ve also embedded the YouTube version on this year’s One Book – One Lincoln web site [ click here for the page ] — so you have numerous viewing options. This episode runs just under 30 minutes.
Finally, your first opportunity to join in a public discussion of The Light Between Oceans takes place tomorrow (Monday September 15th) at the Gere Branch Library at 2:30 p.m. Join the members of the Gere BooksTalk group, who will be lead in a discussion of this year’s One Book title by Layne P. Come share your thoughts on this extremely popular novel! If you can’t join us, then watch for additional upcoming discussion opportunities. If you are a member of a book group, and would like to have the libraries provide a discussion leader for a group discussion of The Light Between Oceans, call us at 402-441-8503 to make that request.
http://lincoln.ne.gov/aspx/city/vod.aspx?vod=City%20Focus/One%20Book%20One%20Lincoln.mov [This year’s One Book discussion in a small window on the 5 City-TV site] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f9cxT4e9lo [This year’s One Book discussion on YouTube] http://lincoln.ne.gov/city/mayor/cic/5citytv/guides/guide-5.htm [Schedule of airings on Time Warner Channel 5 – use keyword search on this page for “One Book”]
The 2014 selection for One Book – One Lincoln has been announced. The majority of the popular vote was for The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.
You can find resources related to this year’s selection on our 2014 One Book – One Lincoln web site. Watch for additional programming and discussion opportunities coming soon!
One Book – One Lincoln fans…
We hope you’ve enjoyed (or are enjoying) reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, the book your votes helped to pick as this year’s One Book – One Lincoln winning title!
The next few days offer you two opportunities to actively engage with other fans of OBOL:
Sunday, October 13 2013, 2:00 p.m.
3600 “O” St.
Take a literary pilgrimage by joining Lincoln historian Ed Zimmer on a walking tour, as he guides you to various graves and points of interest in Lincoln’s largest and oldest cemetery — with a focus on individuals with a literary significance in Lincoln’s history — authors, editors, publishers, etc.
Participants should meet at the Chapel to begin this walk!
One Book – One Lincoln: Community Book Discussion
Walt Branch Library
6701 S. 14th St.
Monday, October 14 2013 – 2:00 p.m.
[if you have questions, call 402-441-4460]
All the other special programs are posted on the One Book – One Lincoln programs page for this year — check it out for full details. One specific note — If you wish to take part in the Tea & Talk event at The Ferguson House on Sunday, November 17th, reservations are needed for that event due to the limited seating. Information on making reservations is available on the events page.
One Book – One Lincoln web site manager / One Book – One Lincoln e-mail group manager
P.S.: If you’re on Facebook and have any interest in attending any of this year’s special programs or discussion opportunities, we encourage you to log onto Facebook, visit the “events” pages for either One Book – One Lincoln or the Lincoln City Libraries, and click the “Join” button for any of our events. Marking your plans to attend helps us to promote the events to a broader circle of potential One Book fans!