Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Big Read is fast approaching!

It might seem a little early to start pumping The Big Read, but why not let the excitement build?!

If you aren’t familiar with The Big Read, it is intended to bring the community together by reading and discussing the same book over a six-week period. The community event is sponsored by local libraries and businesses to encourage literacy and community interaction through the common thread of a single book. The Big Read strives to involve the community every step of the way by having the public vote for the book from a group of committee selected texts in October. Once a winner has been decided, the work of planning multiple events across several library systems begins. The intent is to make sure the calendars are filled so anyone can find a discussion or event to attend. In the past, author visits have also been scheduled, but (sigh) the 2014 Big Read will not include a visit from Cheryl Strayed. Speaking of Cheryl Strayed… from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail is the 2014 Big Read winner! Many of you might have already read Wild or at least heard of it. Oprah selected this to be her first book for the Oprah Book Club 2.0 in 2012, and the book continued to build momentum. The story recounts Cheryl Strayed’s eleven-hundred-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  At twenty-two, Strayed thought she had lost everything. After her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon shattered. Four years later, she made an impulsive decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State all on her own. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed weaves heartache, addiction, grief, and humor into her memoir to create a memorable experience for all readers.

Whether you are an avid reader or a dabbler, consider participating in The Big Read. You stand the chance of making new friends, potentially finding a long-term book group to fit your schedule, or just having a great book discussion. Also, don’t be afraid to attend more than one event! Just because it is the same book does NOT mean you will encounter the same discussion in more than one place. The Big Read begins on March 10 and runs through National Library Week until April 19. Here are some important links to keep you connected: (for events sponsored by WCPL) (the author’s official website)

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