Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Big Read: Cherokee County and Atlanta
So you think reading is a solitary pursuit? Would you like the opportunity to read a really worthwhile book in conjunction with your neighbors and the people of your community? This shared experience can spark lively discussions. What if you could also attend special events related to the book you were reading?
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. It provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. The initiative includes innovative reading programs in selected cities and towns, comprehensive resources for discussing classic literature and an extensive Web site providing comprehensive information on authors and their works.
This year the Sequoyah Public Library System (encompassing Cherokee, Pickens and Gilmer counties) has selected Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird for The Big Read. All this month you can attend events related to this classic novel. Check out the public library's Web site for more details and a complete list of activities.
The Atlanta History Center has selected Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God as their Big Read Project, and they too will be offering free activities related to this book, including a Harlem Renaissance-themed kickoff party today, living history performances and tours of the History Center’s exhibition Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits.
Whichever book you choose to read (or you could choose to read both), you'll have opportunities to share your experience with other people in the community. Before the advent of television, the movies and the Internet, people connected with each other through the books they read. Give it a try! You might be surprised by what you learn, about the book, about your neighbors, and about yourself.