‘One Book’ pick makes big noise

Libraries select 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ for 2009 program

Dr. Janine Rider, co-chair of Mesa County Reads, introduces this year’s One Book, One Mesa County selection at the Mesa County Public Library’s central branch. The book is “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Immediately after Angie Allen finished reading “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer, she wanted to talk about it.

As a member of the One Book, One Mesa County committee, she hopes everyone else in the county will want to talk about the book, too.

Mesa County Libraries launched One Book, One Mesa County 2009, the annual communitywide book club, on Thursday and announced a month and a half full of events and programs culminating with a presentation and booksigning by the bestselling author on March 27 at Avalon Theatre.

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” is about 9-year-old Oskar Schell and his quest to learn more about his father, who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Another voice in the story is Oskar’s grandfather, who is dealing with trauma he experienced in the Dresden bombings in World War II. Eventually, the two characters’ stories cross.

Allen was drawn to the character Oskar for two reasons. “There were times when I thought he was the wisest human being, and there were times when I just wanted to hug the little kid,” she said.

Allen thinks people will like this book because it’s about the “great human truths” — happiness, suffering and love.

Through the rest of February and into March, various Mesa County branch libraries will host book discussions, expert panel discussions relating to the unique content of the book and film screenings of movies about New York City, the book’s setting. Read more about the events going on in a special One Book, One Mesa County insert in today’s Out & About entertainment section.

New this year is an “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” blog updated daily at http://www.mcpld.org with video, audio and more information.

The library also is encouraging readers to try out Book Crossing, a free book tracking Web site. Once a person finishes reading the book, he or she can register it through http://www.bookcrossing.com with where he or she is going to leave the book, such as a coffee shop or dentist’s office, for someone else to find and read. A label or bookmark with registration information will accompany the book.

Foer was in his late 20s when he wrote “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” His sense of youthfulness and unconventional style is illustrated with graphic elements, photographs and various typesettings throughout the pages, Allen said.

Foer also is the author of “Everything Is Illuminated,” named book of the year by The Los Angeles Times and winner of various prestigious awards. The book was made into a major motion picture that will be screened from 6–9 p.m. March 26 at Avalon Theatre.

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” is available for check out at several library branches in many formats including audio CDs and downloadable books.


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