Tag Archives: One Book One San Diego

Anticipation

My writing and reading schedule has been overtaken by rehearsals lately, but the next California Rhythm Project dance concert opens tonight!

Pass It On

March 8th & 9th, 7:30pm, Southwestern College Dance Studio Theater

I’m nervous, but excited and I feel so lucky that I get to dance with such an amazing group of tappers. I’m planning to enjoy this weekend to the fullest because I know it will be over in a blink.

Then, my rehearsal schedule will settle down for a while and I’ll be back at work on my novel and also on a short story that I plan to submit to Ashland Creek Press for their forthcoming anthology, Among Animals. This story doesn’t feature Lola, but perhaps my next one will.

Meanwhile, I’m also pondering which book I want to nominate for next year’s One Book, One San Diego selection. Should I choose an old favorite? Or a new one?

I just finished reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel (I know, everyone else has already read it) and I can see what all the fuss was about.

Next up in my TBR stack are:

American Umpire by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman

A new political science and history book by the award-winning novelist and historian who also happens to be mom to Lola’s Dalmatian pal, Casey.

Canada by Richard Ford

“First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then the murders, which happened later.”

Who wouldn’t be intrigued by that?

Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor

A mother/daughter travel memoir by an author whose novels I’ve enjoyed.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

This book club pick is earning high praise from NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers
Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Sounds like a winner!

I have until the end of the month to make my One Book, One San Diego nomination. But we all know how time flies. I’d better get busy reading!

What exciting books or projects are up next for you?

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Filed under Authors, Books, Dance, Reading, tap dance, Writing

Reading Together

Books

One of the greatest pleasures of a good book is sharing it with friends. We analyze plot twists and compare notes on our favorite characters. We ponder what made the author choose a detail to highlight or direction to follow. We examine our own lives and the choices we’ve made, whether they were similar or in opposition to how the characters behave. Our discussions can be love fests or debates, but either way, they increase the joy of the reading experience.

Imagine the possibilities when an entire city reads a book together.

In my area, we have One Book, One San Diego, a community reading program led by KPBS and the San Diego Public Library. This week I had the privilege of attending the kickoff event for the 2013 program.

I sat at a table with book-loving friends, new and old, from Adventures by the Book, KPBS, a Little Free LibrarySan Diego Writers, Ink and Write Out Loud.  Together, we learned about this year’s selection process and listened to publishers present their recommendations for our One Book. I suspect we were all thinking the same thing. There are so many great books and not enough time to read them all.

In the past, the Advisory Committee has chosen a few books and the community voted on the selection for that year. This year, to increase involvement, we all have the chance to nominate our favorite books. The committee will choose our One Book based on those recommendations.

From the KPBS web site…

Book Criteria for One Book, One San Diego Selections:

1. Story (fiction or nonfiction) is of high literary quality, is significant and compelling, and has a strong narrative and well-developed characters.
2. Themes resonate with local and/or global communities.
3. Inspires discussion, conversations, and action.
4. Available in paperback and hardcover.
5. Author is alive.
6. Should have professional reviews (the book is currently in print and available in large quantities).
7. Suitable for high school study and up (and for people of all backgrounds).

If you live in San Diego County and you have a favorite book that meets those criteria, nominate it today! Nominations are open through March 31st and forms are available online and at all San Diego Public Library locations. The 2013 One Book, One San Diego selection will be announced in May.

If you live elsewhere, your city might have a community reading program, too. Or you could participate in a national reading program like The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts. They select several books every year and many cities around the country hold literary events related to those books. In San Diego, Write Out Loud will present events based on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 during the month of April.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing information about the One Book, One San Diego selection process with my book clubs and reading friends, encouraging them to participate, and deciding which of my favorite books I want to nominate.

Do you have a favorite book that you think your whole city should read?

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Filed under Authors, Books, Friendship, novels, Reading

Chatting with an Author

I’ve loved books since I was a little girl and sharing the pleasure of reading with friends always deepens the experience, so I gravitate toward book clubs. Right now I belong to four different groups. One thing they all have in common is that it doesn’t matter if anyone likes the selection. Talking about the characters, plot and themes makes each story meaningful for every reader.

One of my groups has a leader who selects fascinating reads and guides our discussions. Another is delightfully disorganized; we choose books based on whim and our meetings are more like conversations. The other two groups rotate book selection responsibilities and whoever chooses the book leads the discussion. In all of the groups, our meetings successful because every opinion is welcomed.

Sometimes, though, there are special meetings when we listen instead of talking. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have the author as a guest. Last month, one of my book clubs had the pleasure of speaking with Zoreh Ghahremani, author of Sky of Red Poppies, a One Book, One San Diego selection for 2012.

This vivid novel tells the story of two Persian schoolgirls, one from a privileged background, the other from a deeply religious family, who become friends despite their differences. It’s a beautiful coming of age story set during the political upheaval of the 1960s.

Zoe shared her inspiration for the novel and answered our questions about the culture and history that she brings to life through her words. Her anecdotes and family stories, both funny and sad, added depth to my appreciation for her work and my enjoyment of her writing. Listening to her was delightful and now I want to read her novel all over again.

If your town has a program like One Book, One San Diego, try attending an author event. Or encourage your book club to read local authors and invite them to attend your meetings. I can almost guarantee that your reading experience will be enhanced. If you’re a writer, you’ll be inspired.

Has your book club ever invited an author to speak? What was the meeting like for you?

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Filed under Authors, Books, Writing