What would it be like if everyone in Dublin read and discussed the same book? Well, Dublin Library is launching a major reading event called “Dublin Reads.”  Half the fun of reading a good book is talking about  it — this program gets the whole community talking about the same book.

The chosen book is Snow Mountain Passage Dublin Reads displayby James D. Houston.  In the 1840s, thousands of Snow Mountain Passagepioneers sought a better life by heading West.  Among the many who attempted this difficult journey was a party lead by George Donner and James Frazier Reed. Inspired in part by the glowing descriptions of California as a “new Eden,” the Donner party started west out of Springfield, Illinois, in 1846.  In vivid, cadenced prose, Snow Mountain Passage tells the story of these ill-fated emigrants who found themselves stranded in the Sierras during the Winter of 1846-47.

Copies of the book are ready for you to pick up at the Library and will also be seeded around the community.  The Dublin Friends of the Library have purchased multiple copies that people can “read and release” into the community — to a neighbor, at Starbucks, and other locations. By filling in the log inside the book, we’ll know where in the community the book has been.

During the course of the series, the Library is offering drop-in book discussion groups, film showings of the PBS documentary The Donner Party: an American Experience, and a series of James D. HoustonSunday afternoon Chautauqua programs that bring to life the historical context of the time period covered by the novel. You can get a full listing of programs on the library’s website. Our grand finale is a visit with author James D. Houston on April 13, 2008, so there is plenty of time to get involved!

Dublin Reads is offering a unique component differentiating it from similar “one city, one book” programs: the inclusion of a children’s book, Patty Reed’s Doll by Rachel Laurgaard. It was important to Library staff, if we were going to take on such an ambitious PattyReedsDollprogram, that it be all-inclusive and intergenerational. By including Patty Reed’s Doll as an option for children, people will have the chance to make this a family activity.

Join the journey! Attend a program, create your own reading group, pass the book along to a friend, discuss both books around the dinner table.