By Melody Brunson
Washington Carnegie Public Library will play host to a well-known author in conjuction with its first-ever One Book One Community event.
Teresa Heidenreich, library director, is very excited about the program, which will bring author Michael Koryta to Washington for an event at Washington High School’s Auditorium. He will discuss his book, “So Cold the River,” answer questions and sign books.
One Book One Community is a grassroots program which started in Seattle, Wash., in 1990. Since that time its spread to other big cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Bloomington, and now is making its way to smaller communities. However, Heidenreich believes Washington may be one of the smallest communities in Indiana to take on such a project.
The program buildds a community around the shared experience of people reading and talking about the same book. Some communities have read books about racism, bullying or other social ills, but Heidenreich chose Koryta’s thiller, “So Cold the River,” because she thought “we needed some fun in Washington.”
Heidenreich selected this particular book because she was looking for fiction for an easier read, for a book by an Indiana author with local ties. “So Cold the River” fit the need perfectly, she said.
The first free 250 books for the program are just about depleted, but 100 more are due to arrive this Friday. Audio books, eBooks, large print and Spanish versions are also available.
All the books are being paid for with grant monies from the Daviess County United Way and Washington Rotary Club.
Heidenreich encourages those with the free books who might be finished reading to pass copies on to friends who might be interesting in joining the program.
Koryta, a native of Bloomington, is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in both Bloomington and St. Petersburg, Fla. He has authored many novels, some of which have won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Great Lakes Book Award and St. Martin’s Press/PWA Best First Novel prize, while also earning nominations for the Edgar, Quill, Shamus and Barry awards. His novel, Envy the Night was selected as a Reader’s Digest condensed book.
Koryta is a former private investigator and newspaper reporter.
Several book discussion groups are planned at the library, 300 W. Main St., where readers in One Book One Community can get together. Those times are 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, Oct. 9 and Oct. 23, and 1 p.m. Oct. 6, as well as a session just for teenagers at 11 a.m. Sept. 29. Also, a discussion group is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Plainville Library.
It is repetitive discussion; multiple dates were selected to fit busy schedules. However, one is welcome at any or all of the discussions, as the crowd will vary.
“Being able to talk to people face to face is important today. Technology has put a damper on that,” Heidenreich said.
Koryta will visit Washington on Oct. 27, where he will make an appearance at the Washington library at a fund-raisingwi dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Following the dinner, he will speak at WHS Auditorium, answer questions and sign books at 7 p.m. The event at WHS is free and open to the public, but tickets for the fund-raiser dinner are $25 and must be purchased in advance.
The book “So Cold the River” is set in West Baden and French Lick, and is a tale of irresistible page-turning suspense that is “terrifyingly real,” critics claim.
In conjunction with the book’s setting, a visual tour and history of French Lick/West Baden Springs Resort will be given at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the library, by Sandy Woodward, an historian with the Indiana Landmarks. Woodward will share photos and history, and will tell why the West Baden Springs dome was once called the “eighth wonder of the world.”
Koryta’s book, “The Prophet,” made the New York Times Best Seller List, and several of his titles have been bought for movies. CBS recently purchased one of the author’s works for an upcoming mini-series.
“We are really catching him on the brink of even bigger success,”Heidenreich said. “It’s an honor that he is coming here.”
Visit the library at 300 W. Main St. in Washington to learn more or pick up a free copy of “So Cold the River.” Library hours are: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays/Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays/Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The library is closed Sundays.
Or check the library website at washingtonpubliclibrary.org or visit the library on Facebook.