Book lovers in Boone and Callaway counties have the opportunity to choose between saving Earth from space aliens or exploring Afghanistan’s changing lifestyles and regimes.
They can participate in One Read and choose their favorite of three books picked by a panel of residents from Boone and Callaway counties: “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card; “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini; and “West of Kabul, East of New York,” by Tamim Ansary.
The public suggested book recommendations from Dec. 1 to Jan. 7 for the panel to review. In January, the panel narrowed the list to 10. Panelists read all 10 books and then presented three books to the public for voting.
The Daniel Boone Regional Library coordinated the One Read program, which is in its fourth year in the Columbia area. The program reaches cities across the country and its goal is to have as many people read the same book as possible.
“I participated on the reading panel because I wanted to meet others who also love to read,” said Karen Entrikin, a retired health care clinic manager and reading panelist for the One Read program. “It introduced me to things that I wouldn’t have discovered on my own.
“This is a wonderful program for (the library) to sponsor for the community. It brings people together with the common love of reading.”
Readers can vote for their book of choice at the Columbia, Southern Boone and Callaway public libraries or Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Ninth Street Bookstore. They can also vote online by going to the One Read Web site, oneread.dbrl.org.
“Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee and “Plainsong,” by Kent Haruf are previous One Read winners.
Voting continues through April 15, and the winner will be announced in early June; no date is set.
Author: Orson Scott Card
Year written: 1994
Plot summary: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is bred to be a military genius and save Earth from an impending alien attack. With the fate of the world at stake, his two siblings plot to wrest power from him. Full of twists and turns, this novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards.
About the author: Card is the author of science fiction, contemporary fantasy and biblical novels and The Tales of Alvin Maker series.
Panelist comment: “The opportunity for discussion in this book is tremendous. If you delve into the philosophical views, there is so much there,” Karen Entrikin said.
“The Kite Runner”
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Year written: 2003
Plot summary: Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant are inseparable as boys in early 1970s Afghanistan, until an unspeakable event changes their relationship forever. Amir’s family flees to America, yet he is haunted by his cowardice and disloyalty. His quest for forgiveness leads him back to Afghanistan under Taliban rule.
About the author: Khaled Hosseini moved from Afghanistan to California in 1980. This is his first novel.
Panelist comment: “It’s an incredibly, beautifully written book. It is well written and is topical with Afghanistan,” said Martin Riback of Riback Supply Co.
“West of Kabul, East of New York”
Author: Mir Tamim Ansary
Year written: 2003
Plot summary: Tamim Ansary thought he left Afghan culture behind when he immigrated to San Francisco. He was wrong. A harrowing journey had him questioning his identity. Ansary’s tale culminates with his e-mail to friends as he struggles to find his place after Sept. 11.
About the author: Ansary is a columnist for encarta.com and has written nonfiction, children’s books several novels and an educational comic book series.
Panelist comment: “(Ansary) writes things very clearly. He explains very well how eastern religion bumps up against western cultures. I thought it was eye-opening and simplifying,” Riback said.