Representatives from libraries in Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York Counties announced The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan as the 2014 One Book, One Community (OBOC) selection. As part of the campaign’s 10th anniversary, organizers wanted to promote community involvement in the selection of the title, rather than handing over a single title for the 2014 campaign. The public was asked to help choose a book from a narrowed-down list of titles. The public vote took place during the month of October 2013 and it also established a new timeline for the community read project. The three titles that were chosen by the Selection Committee were Still Alice by Lisa Genova; The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan and The Blue Cascade by Mike Scotti. This year’s OBOC regional campaign represents collaboration between 85 libraries in six counties: Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York.
New This Year!
Reading campaign organizers encourage residents of the six-county region to read the book during December and January in preparation to attend free programs and discussions that will be held at public libraries during February, which is designated as both Library Lovers’ Month and Book Lovers’ Month. The public will also be invited to a “Post Read Celebration” that will be held the end of February or early March.
Libraries in the six counties will stock copies of the book that can be borrowed free of charge in January 2014. Books will also be available for purchase at local Giant Food Stores, Weis Markets, and Wegmans stores as well as Barnes & Noble Booksellers and at local booksellers. Program schedules for book discussion groups, expert lectures and other innovative activities will be published in the January 29, 2014 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine, available at all participating libraries or online at www.oboc.org.
About the Book
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan is a non-fiction book that tells story of the 1930's dust bowl primarily through the eyes of the those who did not flee but stayed and watched the disintegration of their homes. The farmers of the dust bowl – located in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle – were living "high off the hog." Crops had been doing great and land values soared. The farmers mortgaged their land to buy equipment that allowed more land to be plowed and planted. Then came the drought. It was followed by the dust. The result was no crops, no money, and foreclosures. But that wasn't the worst. The wind whipped and the resulting dust storms created havoc. The personal stories are gripping and told in the words of those who lived it. As only great history can, Egan's book captures the very voice of the times: its grit, pathos, and abiding courage. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history.
About the Author
Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of seven books, most recently Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, named Best of the Month by Amazon.com. The Worst Hard Time won a National Book Award for nonfiction and was named a New York Times Editors' Choice, a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington State Book Award winner, and a Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Book. He writes a weekly column, "Opinionator," for the New York Times.
How the Books on the Public Vote Ballot were Selected
The books on the Public Ballot were selected by a Book Selection Committee that reviews a number of books before making their final decisions. The choices for the public vote were based upon the following criteria:
- • A good, discussable book. Books that make successful subjects for discussion have well-developed characters who are challenged by issues in their lives with which readers can identify
- • A book that is available in quantity at reasonable cost, in various media formats (paperback, large print, audio, CD, DVD, or video)
- • A book that is written at a high school reading level
- • A book that varies in type from others previously selected
- • An author, or recognized experts on the author, who would be willing to engage in discussion with readers at several events
This regional reading campaign, dubbed OBOC, is intended to promote the value of reading by recommending a compelling book that links the community in a common conversation. Several communities across the country have initiated “One Book” efforts, but OBOC is the largest such effort in Pennsylvania with 85 participating libraries.
Major sponsors of OBOC are WGAL TV 8, Isaac’s Restaurant and Deli, ShowcaseNow, K & L Gates, The Fowler Family Foundation and Giant Food Stores. Additionally, Library Trustees and Friends Groups from the region’s libraries have contributed to this initiative. Glatfelter provided copies of this year’s book for outreach purposes throughout the seven counties.
For more information an updates about the Campaign, go to: www.oboc.org