The 16th One Book One Valley community read program is underway. Sixteen public libraries throughout the region and White Birch Books have once again planned a two-month series of programs and discussions based on a common read. This year the featured book is “Night of the Living Rez” by Morgan Talty. The author’s first book, it was released in August to a host of positive and starred reviews, and has been nominated for this year’s New England Book Award.
Set in a native community in Maine, “Night of the Living Rez” examines the consequences and merits of inheritance. The interconnected stories create an unforgettable portrayal of what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century. Copies of the book are available at all participating libraries and at White Birch Books.
On Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.,Talty will be on stage in conversation with Laura Knoy at the Majestic Theatre in Conway Village. Knoy is a writer, speaker, journalist, and former public radio talk show host. A book signing will follow the program. This event will also be live-streamed. To register for the online live-stream, visit https://rentals.anywhereseat.com. There is no need to reserve a space to attend in-person.
In addition to the main event at the Majestic Theatre, there will be multiple opportunities in September and October – both in-person and virtual – for readers to meet at local libraries or at White Birch Books to discuss the book and learn more about some of the book’s themes. Presentations and panel discussions will cover the history of Indigenous peoples in this area, and the connections between mental health, trauma, and substance use disorder, among other topics. A full schedule of discussions and programs can be found on the One Book One Valley website, https://onebookonevalley.org.
Organizers of the series have also planned fundraisers to benefit this year’s and future One Book One Valley programs. A benefit night at Flatbread Company in North Conway will be held on Monday, October 10, when a portion of the proceeds from pizza sales will be donated to One Book One Valley. A “Meet the Author” soup, salad, and sandwich supper will be held prior to the main event on October 27 at the Conway Public Library from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Space will be limited for this fundraiser, and tickets will be on sale ahead of time at the Conway Public Library.
One Book One Valley is a community read program for the Mount Washington Valley. Its mission is to strengthen community ties and promote literacy through reading and discussing a book with a theme that resonates locally. Along with founding partner White Birch Books, participating libraries are Bartlett, Bridgton, Brownfield, Charlotte Hobbs Memorial in Lovell, Chocorua, Conway, Cook Memorial in Tamworth, Effingham, Freedom, Fryeburg, Jackson, Madison, Meredith, Moultonborough, Pope Memorial in North Conway, and Samuel H. Wentworth in Sandwich.
All One Book One Valley programs are free and open to the public thanks to the sustained financial support of participating libraries, Friends of Libraries organizations, independent bookstore White Birch Books, and business partners including Flatbread Company, Black Cap Grille, and The Samuel O’Reilly House. Friends of Jackson Public Library, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, is fiscal sponsor for One Book One Valley. To help support the One Book One Valley program, contributions can be made to Friends of Jackson Public Library, PO Box 276, Jackson NH 03846, or contribute online at https://gofund.me/843e53bb.