Start reading now — the kickoff for One Read is only days away.
Each year, the libraries in the Daniel Boone Regional Library system team up with area colleges and businesses for a community-wide book club during September. In the event's 18th year, the chosen book is Jessica Bruder's "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century."
"We are ready to dive in, I think," said Lauren Williams, adult and community services manager for DBRL.
Following the Great Recession, a growing number of older adults have taken to the roads as travelling workers. "Nomadland" tells their stories and examines how the American economy got to this point.
While many of the details of the book are sad and grim — grandmas shivering in trailers between shifts sorting beets — the book has a hopeful tone, One Read task force members noted. Some of the workers Bruder follows embrace the freedom they feel life on the road offers. Others find community with their fellow travellers.
Bruder will be visiting Columbia to speak Sept. 24.
"If people can't travel to Columbia, I definitely recommend going to the livestream in Fulton," Williams said. "She'll be speaking about her research and immersive process of living in a van while reporting."
Well Read Books in Fulton has plenty of copies available, as does Callaway County and Holts Summit public libraries. The two libraries also have digital and audio formats.
The One Read team has planned a wide variety of interesting events, contests and more for the month.
"I think one of the more unique events is one of the presentations English professor Matt Dube is doing, 'What Makes Intentional Communities Work,'" Williams said. "One of the aspects of the book that I think some programs might not explore so much is how we create intentional communities and communities of choice, and how we can support one another."
Below, you'll find events planned for Callaway County locations. For the full list, including events taking place in Columbia, visit oneread.dbrl.org.
One Read flash fiction contest opens. Until Sept. 27, Callaway and Boone county residents ages 16 and older may submit pieces of original fiction, 250 words or less. Your story can be about anything and anyone, but make sure it evokes the notion of transition, change or a journey, be it literal or personal. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published online and in the Columbia Missourian, and the winners will receive bookstore gift cards. Submit online at the One Read website or at any library.
First Thursday book discussion on Nomadland, noon-1 p.m. at CCPL.
"Nomads on the Road: Jessica Bruder and the Legacy of the Beats," 4-5 p.m. at William Woods University (Center for Human Performance, Room 100). Matt Dube, professor of English, will discuss the legacy of books from the Beat Generation — such as Jack Kerouac's "On the Road." Dube will discuss how author Jessica Bruder reflects on and modifies these earlier stories of carefree countercultural dropouts through her reporting.
Holts Summit community book discussion, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the HSPL meeting room.
"Upcycling; Creating Something from (Almost) Nothing," 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the CCPL Friends Room. Registration required (call 573-642-7261). Many of the travelers featured in this year's One Read book, "Nomadland," have mastered the art of re-purposing items to improve their tiny living spaces. Come and get ideas on how to re-purpose used stuff into useful items for your own home.
"How Our Perceptions Affect Others," 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the CCPL Friends Room. In this year's One Read book, "Nomadland," many of the subjects strongly object to being considered homeless. Why? It could be tied to unconscious bias. Our personal biases and experiences influence what we think of others. Join us to discover how our unconscious perceptions — whether positive or negative — impact our personal lives, jobs and communities. Presented by members of the Fulton State Hospital Diversity Action & Respect Team.
One Read author talk, 7-8 p.m. at CCPL Friends Room. One Read author Jessica Bruder's presentation at Columbia College will be broadcast live at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton. Bruder will talk about her bestselling book "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century" and discuss her research and writing process.
"What Makes Intentional Communities Work," 7-8 p.m. at WWU, Kemper Arts Center, Room 112. Nomadland's itinerant workers cluster for yearly get-togethers and settle into ad hoc, impromptu intentional communities. Matt Dube will explore how that community is similar to other collective or cooperative communities in America historically and in the present day. What can we learn from these communities about how people come together or splinter apart when they try to live together according to shared values?
First Thursday Book Discussion: One Read Runner-Up, noon-1 p.m. at CCPL Friends Room. Gather to discuss "Sourdough" by Robin Sloan, the One Read runner-up book. The novel's protagonist, Lois, codes software for a San Francisco robotics company, surviving on nutritive gel and suffering from burnout until an about-to-be-deported acquaintance entrusts her with the care of his mysterious sourdough starter and the delicious bread she bakes changes the course of her life.