March 2014 Newsletter
Issue: 5
Books In Common
Garth Stein
Featuring the Film: How Book Adaptations Get Patrons Reading


For many readers, news that their favorite book will be adapted to film can be thrilling. Films bring the words to life, create new worlds and transform beloved characters into living, breathing flesh and blood. Films make us see these books in new ways, especially when artistic license is taken in condensing and enlivening long books into neat, two-hour packages.   

 And yet... how often have we heard friends lament, or complain ourselves: the book was better!  Sure,  films are great, but they don't offer the same inclusion of the book.  Watching a film, the viewer is merely an observer, and doesn't feel everything the character feels, as you would when reading the book. There are no limits, no restrictions, no computer-generated-images trying to suspend your disbelief.


However, what most people don't understand is that the standoff between books and film is like trying to decide if chocolate bars or chocolate ice cream is better. They are two completely different mediums, and should be experienced differently, with different expectations.  Once we settle on the fact that there is no reason to qualify one over the other, films can become a terrific resource for programs intent on the celebration of reading!


Film screening tie-ins are a wonderful addition to any community or all campus reads programming.  Indeed, being introduced to the film first often encourages readers to pick up the book, enriches book discussions, and motivates reluctant readers to turn out.  Even better:  Invite the author of the book to attend a film screening during their community visit, and moderate a Q&A about the film adaptation!


Read the Whole Article... 

Evan Gets a Makeover: Garth Stein's How Evan Broke His Head (and Other Secrets) Re-Launched by Soho Press 


To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of its publication, Soho Press will release a new edition of
How Evan Broke His Head, by Garth Stein, the author of New York Times Bestselling and beloved contemporary classic, The Art of Racing in the Rain. The new edition, which will hit shelves on March 18th, will include a never-before-released conversation between Garth and his editor, Bryan Devendorf, drummer of The National.

Looking for a Community Reads selection that appeals to men, as well as women?  As many program coordinators can attest, young male readers can be the hardest demographic to engage.  With a music-obsessed, soul-searching male protagonist at its center, Evan tells the story of a contemporary American family.  As Evan deals with epilepsy, fading dreams, and the surprise parenthood of a 14 year old boy, Stein weaves in life lessons with honesty and compassion.  With many teachable moments, How Evan Broke His Head, is perfect for community members of all ages and genders. Add to that, the fact that Garth Stein is one of the most generous and popular speakers  with literary venues, and it's worth considering this title.  



Read the Whole Article...

Featured Venue: Mono County Community Reads                            

We recently chatted with Sulin Jones, senior librarian at the Mono County Free Library in California, about their community reads program. Mono County Community Reads recently hosted Luis Carlos Montalvan, author of Until Tuesday, and they'll be hosting David Carle, author of Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line Around the World, in April.


Books In Common: Would you tell us a bit about your program?  For instance, how long has the Mono County Free Library been hosting a Community Reads event, how did it get started, and how have you seen it change since your involvement with it?


Sulin Jones: Mono County library first hosted a community read in 2008, when we received a grant to participate in the NEA's Big Read. Fortunately, at the time, the NEA provided training, so we weren't completely in the dark about how to proceed. 


Where Are You Wearing?  Where Are You Eating?  Author Kelsey Timmerman on the "Engaged Consumer" and the Power of All Campus Reads               

We recently sat down with Kelsey Timmerman, journalist and author of two books, Where Are You Wearing? And Where Are You Eating?



Books in Common: Any idea about how many literary events you've done over the years? What do you enjoy about speaking to a crowd?


Kelsey Timmerman: Way more than 100.  I've talked to gymnasiums full of kindergartners, rotary clubs full of senior citizens, small library events where I was related to half of the people in attendance, and stadiums filled with thousands of people I've never met, and everything in between.


Whether on the page or stage, I love sharing the stories of the folks I've met on my global travels and how they've made me see the world differently.  When I write well, I can feel the words--the emotion, the humor, the joy, and the pain.  But writing is an act in isolation, as is reading.  The connection and the transference of those feelings to the reader is much more passive than that from a speaker on the stage to the audience. I like the immediacy of seeing my stories land on the hearts and minds of those in the audience.



We Recommend: Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena                                    

Danny has never felt that he fit in. In Matt de la Pena's Mexican WhiteBoy, Danny is a bi-racial teenager struggling to find his identity. After living with his mother in a primarily white culture he decides to spend the summer in Mexico. It is here he stays with his absent father's family and meets Uno. While his friendship with Uno is founded on a mutual love of baseball, the boys relate to each other on a much deeper level, as their life struggles are similar. It is within the confines of their friendship that Danny learns to accept his multi-cultural background and instead of trying to separate the pieces, learns to trust and accept himself as a whole.  


Although geared to young adults, Mexican WhiteBoy is a book that readers of all ages can relate too. The issues of culture, poverty, and self-identity are themes that are conveyed as we travel through Danny's journey. Real, witty and touching all at the same time, Matt de la Pena leaves you rooting for just one more inning.


Read the Whole Article...
Books In Common Supported Events! 


Christina Baker Kline, #1 NYT Best Selling author of Orphan Train, visited the community of Woodstock, CT in February. Coordinator Deb Sharpe: "Her presentation was loved by everyone.  I have gotten several positive emails from our patrons already!  I would highly recommend her to any library.  Thanks for your help in getting her here!"



   Jamie Ford Hosted by The Bancroft School.Cultural Events Coordinator Hannah Hall Alicandro: "Our students loved his program.  He spoke right at their level and struck a good balance between humor and answering questions about writing.  I think my only suggestion would be to include a few more stories about his father and what it was like for Jamie to grow up with his family heritage."


Chitra Banjerjee Divakaruni Named Margaret Jane Malone Lecturer. Caddo Parish Magnant High School welcomed Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of One Amazing Thing and Oleander Girl, to deliver the annual Margaret Jane Malone Lecture in October 2013. Event Coordinator Leslye Gilchrist: "I just wanted to let you know how very much we enjoyed having Chitra as our speaker.  She was a delight to work with, and the kids loved her.  I appreciate your putting us in touch!"

Garth Stein, best-selling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain and How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets
In This Issue
Featuring the Film: How Book Adaptations Get Patrons Reading
Evan Gets a Makeover
Interview with Mono County Community Reads
Kelsey Timmerman on the Power of All Campus Reads
Book Review: Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena
BIC Supported Events
NW Book Lovers

Graywolf Press
Check out these Upcoming Events Arranged by Books in Common  

March 23 - 27th 2014:
Reyna Grande, author of
The Distance Between Us, will be hosted by Grand Valley State University, Monroe County Community Read, and La Prensa Publications in Michigan and Ohio.


 April 7th 2014: 

Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Are you Wearing? Will deliver the keynote address at the travel-writing themed Tidewater Literacy Festival in Norfolk, VA.


April 8th 2014:

Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, will present a keynote address at the Creative Kids Care, Inc. annual fundraiser in Boca Raton, FL 


 April 24th 2014: 

Koethi Zan, author of The Never List, will be featured at the Alabama Writer's Symposium in Monroeville, AL.


April 26th 2014:

Chris Powell, a personal trainer, reality show personality and author of Choose to Lose, will visit the Arapahoe Public Library in Centennial, CO.


May 1st 2014:

Ivan Doig, author of Sweet Thunder and The Bartender's Tale, will visit Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.


May 1st 2014:  

Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, will visit the Tappan Free Library in Tappan, NY.


May 17th 2014:

Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, will visit the Eagle Valley Library in Avon, CO.


 Check out even more events schedule here


Books In Common