Book sparks state of wonder among Wilmette program readers
Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder, the 2012 "One Book, Everybody Reads" selection at the Wilmettte Public Library
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:28AM
It may be fashionable in some quarters to call reading for pleasure passé, and books reminiscent solely of high school classrooms.
Hundreds of Wilmette area residents involved in this year’s “One Book, Everybody Reads” program who have set May 20 aside to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ann Patchett talk about her book “State of Wonder” would beg to differ.
Since last week more than 600 people have requested tickets to a 2 p.m. encounter that day with Patchett at Wilmette Junior High School, 620 Locust Road, where they’ll get a chance to hear about the novel, this year’s “One Book” selection, and discuss it with her, library spokeswoman Betty Giorgi said Tuesday.
“All the tickets were snapped up within days, but if people want to take the chance, we encourage them to come to the auditorium shortly before 2 p.m., because there are generally a few no-shows, and they might be able to get in,” she said.
The “State of Wonder” story takes its central character on a journey from Minnesota to the heart of the Amazon rainforest, and through her own transformation, in a narrative that explores themes of courage, friendship and ethical choices.
“One Book” participants already have addressed those themes in presentations on hidden tribes of the Amazon, and a discussion about the process of developing new drugs. On Wednesday, May 16, post-adoption therapist Judy Stigger is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at the library on cross-cultural adoption, Giorgi said.
Free flow of ideas
The book has engendered a free flow of ideas among program participants, Wilmette Public Library Director Ellen Clark said this week. Many of them already have taken part in program-related events leading up to Patchett’s appearance, she said.
“It really generates a lot of debate, which is what makes it a great book to read and to make part of what we’re doing,” she said.
The interest in Patchett’s book, chosen as the seventh annual “One Book, Everybody Reads” selection, has amazed program organizers, Giorgi said.
“We have been humbled by the community response so far. It really has been amazing,” she said. “We had more than 70 copies of the book in various formats, and they’ve all been checked out several times over.”
“One Book, Everybody Reads,” is funded by the Friends of the Wilmette Public Library. Community partners include The Wilmette Life, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, the League of Women Voters of Wilmette, the Rotary Clubs of Wilmette and Wilmette Harbor, Sheridan Road, the villages of Wilmette and Kenilworth, the Wilmette Chamber of Commerce, the Wilmette Park District and Wilmette School District 39.
For more information, visit wilmettelibrary.info/onebook, or call (847) 256-6930.