As truly fascinating as it is talking about the weather, shovel the snow topic out of your mind, and get ready for a new one. All cleared out? Ready? Pick up CNY Reads’ pick for 2011, David Baldacci’s Wish You Well (Warner/Grand Central, 2000).
CNY Reads is an initiative of the CNY Reads Consortium, which brings together the largest number of community partners in the state, including local education, non-profit and cultural organizations, to encourage community through reading. Each year, a different book is selected by representatives from the organizations.
“We picked the book because it is a very charming story that people will enjoy reading,” said Kathy Osmond, the library’s public information specialist. “We hope to have as high a readership as possible.” This is CNY Reads’ 10th anniversary.
Wish You Well is strongly linked to Baldacci’s maternal family history. In researching for this book, he spent countless hours talking with his mother. Wish You Well received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and was selected as the inaugural book for All America Reads,, a national reading program. Members of the community are encouraged to borrow the novel from their local library and participate in this year’s reading. The novel is available in paperback, large print, audiobook, downloadable formats and a book club kit.
After reading Wish You Well, people are encouraged to attend events relating to the novel and its themes spread out over the next few months. A reason behind the selection of Baldacci’s With You Well is the author’s upcoming lecture, part of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series, on Tuesday, May 10, at the Mulroy Civic Center. While you could contend that featuring Baldacci’s book as the CNY Reads tome of choice the same year he is speaking here is a bit self-serving and will likely help sell tickets to the May 10 lecture, it’s hard to argue with an initiative that promotes reading.
Along with being a best-selling author of 18 novels, Baldacci helped to establish the Wish You Well Foundation, a philanthropic effort to support reading in families through literacy and educational programs.
There will be many other events surrounding Wish You Well leading up to Baldacci’s talk. While many of them are still in planning stages, and can later be found through the library’s website (www.onlib.org).
High school students who wish to be involved in CNY Reads can participate in an annual essay contest through their school. This year, there will also be an essay contest for adults. Book clubs are also invited to participate in CNY Reads. Events concerning themes of the novel, such as genealogy and environmental issues, are also in the works. All events will be listed on the library’s CNY Reads website.
Past CNY Reads selections have ranged from classics to nonfiction to poetry, including picks such as Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Charles Simic’s Sixty Poems. Last year’s pick was Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants. “There’s no one genre, we’re open to anything,” Osmond said. “It’s good for the community. People like different kinds of books, and are encouraged to read different kinds of books.”
For more information, visit the CNY Reads website at www.onlib.org/cnyreads.htm.
David Baldacci: Author of 2011 CNY Reads book Wish You Well pays a visit to the Salt City on May 10.