‘Tale’ title’s unveiling set

Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:30 am 
By Ben Beagle bbeagle@batavianews.com 

After reading more than 40 different titles, including mysteries, historical fiction and even a novel with gothic undertones, organizers of “A Tale for Three Counties” have found the community reading project’s next book.

The selection will be revealed Tuesday during four simultaneous announcements in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, the three counties served by the program.

Receptions are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Albert C. O’Connell Library at Genesee Community College, 1 College Rd., Batavia; Corfu Free Library, 7 Maple Ave., Corfu; Yates Community Library, 15 North Main St., Lyndonville; and Perry Public Library, 70 North Main St., Perry.

Copies of the book — which will make its debut in paperback next week — will be available for sale at the announcement parties.

“The Tale book this year is a quintessential American story, full of hope and characters you have to root for, that combines rural life and New York State history into a wonderful storytelling stew that readers will surely find to their liking,” said Leslie DeLooze, the community services librarian at Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, who has led the Tale project since its beginning.

Tuesday’s events will include refreshments — GCC will serve Irish Soda Bread with Irish butter and jam, tea and water — and decorations that give hints about the book’s content. Each location will unveil a poster-size copy of the book’s cover. Door prizes are also planned.

Nina T. Warren, director of library services at GCC, said her library will feature music and a display of similar books and poems “to spark curiosity.” There will also be a reading and report on what kind of Tale-related events and activities will happen at GCC during the spring semester.

Emily Cebula, director of Yates Community Library, will provide glimpses of the author via the writer’s website.

Most programs will be brief. GCC is extending its program until 2:30 p.m. so that those who miss the main program can stop and talk with members of GCC’s Tale committee to learn plans for the 2013 project and how it might be incorporated into spring courses and plans.

“I think people will really like this book and this author, so I’m looking forward to announcing and getting things rolling,” Warren said.

Following Tuesday’s announcement, readers will spend the next several months reading and talking about the book; official discussions begin in late January and February. The author will visit each county in March 2013 for a series of talks and booksignings. This year, Albion’s new Hoag Library will host the author’s Orleans County visit as the space can better accommodate a crowd. Richmond and GCC will continue to host the author in Genesee County and the Perry library will present the author in a program at Perry Elementary/Middle School Auditorium.

Tale, which will enter its 11th year in 2013, has been presenting coordinated announcement events in each county for the past four years. For the first time, Richmond Library, is not hosting one of the announcement parties. The decision, DeLooze said, allows organizers “the chance to share Tale events in participating libraries.”

Nineteen public libraries in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, GCC and The Daily News present the Tale program, which began in 2003 with Minnesota author Leif Enger and his acclaimed debut novel, “Peace Like a River.” The project encourages readers to read the same book, come to a discussion event and then meet the author. The goal is to foster literacy, promote discussion among all kinds of people and create a positive experience for the community.

Books for consideration come from participants own reading, reviews, book discussion guides and other sources. Organizers look for books that have received acclaim from reviews or awards, have an accessibility to readers of many ages, a story that encourages discussion of literature and a themes that includes small town or rural family life.

At least several organizers read all of the considered books and discuss their appropriateness for the Tale program. Some were found to have limited appeal, and others, while engaging, were too similar to themes or settings from previous works.

Tale librarians said this year’s was the hardest book yet to choose.

“We found it challenging to find one that was a little different from some we had chosen in the past, that would be compelling enough for more casual readers, that would appeal to a wide range of readers and that wasn’t too dark of violent,” DeLooze said.

Past ‘Tale’ Selections

Past authors and their featured books for the “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties:

2012: Yannick Murphy, “The Call.”

2011: Hillary Jordan, “Mudbound.”

2010: Garth Stein, “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

2009: P.L. Gaus, “Separate From the World.”

2008: Thomas Mullen, “The Last Town on Earth.”

2007: Mark Spragg, “An Unfinished Life.”

2006: Jennifer Donnelly, “A Northern Light.”

2005: Julia Spencer-Fleming, “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

2004: Howard Frank Mosher, “Northern Borders.”

2003: Leif Enger, “Peace Like a River.”

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Courtesy of Batavia News

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