One Read panel narrows book suggestions to two finalists

Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 10:22 a.m. CDT; updated 3:40 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 12, 2012

CORRECTION: *An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed how long the program has been in existence.

COLUMBIA — "The vote is going to be close," predicted Lauren Williams, a panel member on the One Read committee. 

One Read is a community-wide reading program coordinated by the Daniel Boone Regional Library. The program is in its *11th year.

Book Summaries

"The Tiger's Wife" by Téa Obreht: 

"In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea ... Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death ... Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel. Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child."

Source: Book summary from Téa Obreht's website

"Turn of Mind" by Alice LaPlante: 

"A stunning first novel, both literary and thriller, about a retired orthopedic surgeon with dementia, 'Turn of Mind' has already received worldwide attention. With unmatched patience and a pulsating intensity, Alice LaPlante brings us deep into a brilliant woman’s deteriorating mind, where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse. As the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend, Amanda, who lived down the block, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect and she herself doesn’t know whether she did it."

Source: Amazon book description

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The committee, consisting of a 15-member panel, has narrowed down more than 100 book suggestions to two finalists: "Turn of Mind" by Alice LaPlante and "The Tiger's Wife" by Téa Obreht. 

People may read the chosen One Read book this summer and participate in discussions and events relating to the book in September.

Although both books are fictional murder mysteries with the main character being a physician, "the voices of both of them are very unique," Williams said. 

Doyne McKenzie, a panel member since One Read began in 2002, said it's coincidental that both books deal with death and mystery. They were chosen in part because they are well written, accessible, engrossing and will stimulate discussion, she said.

Both novels are "extraordinarily well-written books," Marty Riback, who has been on the panel for five years, said. 

They are the first mysteries to be chosen as finalists by the One Read reading panel.

"Turn of Mind" is told by an "unreliable and interesting narrator" who has dementia, Williams said. "The Tiger's Wife" explores the aftermath of World War II and superstition in southeastern Europe. 

Columbia citizens are encouraged to vote on which book they want to win. Voting closes on April 20 and the winner will be announced May 21. 

Once the winner is chosen, the One Read committee will start planning events such as book discussions, a panel of expert for questions, movies and possibly a visit from the author, McKenzie said. Citizens wanting to participate can check out the book from the four regional libraries and will have the summer to read it. 

When One Read began in 2002, about 880 books were checked out. Last year's event totaled around 2,500 books, McKenzie said. 

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