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Tag Archives: reading disciplines

One Book One Lincoln!

I’ve been thrilled by the public response to our announcement of the One Book One Lincoln finalists.

People have also had good things to say about a twist to this year’s program–readers get to vote on the winner. Please do vote for your selection during June and July. We’ll announce the winner in mid-September.

As I’ve noted in previous entries, I heartily recommend that you acquire a reading “discipline” (I’m wishing for a more fun word for this) such as always reading the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, or the Edgar Award winner, or…the five One Book One Lincoln finalists. Summer’s a great time to set this in motion, and One Book One Lincoln a fine motivator.

The best part of One Book One Lincoln, to my mind, is the community conversation that swirls all around it. Please do read at least one of the books, and then starting talking…or join the conversation on Facebook or on our website.

So far, I’ve read “Finding Nouf” by Zoe Ferraris and “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan. I recommend them both. I tend to remember single images more than I recall the flow of the narrative. In “Finding Nouf,” I’ll keep an image of the man who helps to track her, a desert tracker who remembers footprints like most of us remember faces. I can’t see a footprint now without remembering him. In “Loving Frank,” I’ll remember when Mamah reads the letter telling about the death of a beloved friend, and how a stranger helps her in her distress.

What do you remember? And what do you think of our finalists? Let’s talk!

Reading Notable Books

Beginning in the early 1990s, I began an annual project of reading most of the books on the American Library Association Notable Books List.

It all started when I was the supervisor of South Branch Library. Lois, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, bopped in to return some books.  As we chatted, she mentioned that she organized a “Booklovers” group at the church.  They used to have an annual presentation on the ALA Notable Books list, but the previous presenter no longer lived in Lincoln.  Lois wondered if I’d be willing to do that.

And I did.  I’ve been doing so ever since, even though “Booklovers” is now a thing of the past.

Each year, I read all of most of the 25 or so books on the list, and read at last some of all of them.  Since I do this reading on my own time, I give myself permission not to finish the ones that just don’t grab me.  I do give all books at least two tries.

I encourage people to take on a discipline like this, whether the Pulitzer Prize winners, the National Book Awards winners, the Newbery books for youth, or whatever.  It has certainly gotten me out of my reading groove (which is sometimes a rut) and reading some fabulous books that I’d not know about otherwise.  I’m also reading much more nonfiction as a result, another Good Thing.

As I read each book on the 2009 list, I’ll keep you posted.