A community reading program will have local readers learning more about the outdoors and the history of Kentucky hiking trails, as well as cooking Appalachian-themed treats.
One Book One Bluegrass 2012 encourages everyone in central Kentucky to read and discuss the same book, and counties participating include Clark, Fayette, Bourbon, Madison and Woodford. This year, readers will be reading “A Walk in the Woods” with author Bill Bryson.
The Clark County Public Library will host seven programs in April in conjunction with the event.
“They wanted to go a different route, and that’s why they ended up picking an older book ... which is hilarious, because, you know, we have all these people who walk the Appalachian Trail and who are super fit and they train for months, and Bryson was a middle-aged writer who decided he was going to walk the Appalachian Trail, and he’s not the camping guy at all,” said Julie Maruskin, library director.
The book was published in 1999, and its full title is “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.” Bryson, who’s back in America after living 20 years in Britain, wants to reintroduce himself to the country by walking the 2,100-mile trail. The book details the experience he — and his overweight friend from college — have on the trail. Maruskin said it engages all types of readers, not just those interested in hiking or the outdoors, because of its humor.
Maruskin coordinated the local events to go along with the outdoors theme, and they include a session on the history of Kentucky trails, readings given by the Write Local group, a hike at the Lower Howard’s Creek Nature Preserve and a contest to see who can make the best Appalachian-themed treat.
The book choice this year was good, she said, because it tied into a more active theme, “and we were able to do more programs that go with the book.” Several of the other counties participating have hikes planned, too.
“And we coordinated the hikes so that if somebody wanted to, they could do every single one of the day hikes in all of the counties,” she said.
John Maruskin, adult services librarian, is involved with several of the events planned, including Appalachian Books2Eat. Books2Eat is an international edible book festival held annually around April 1. It began as a celebration of the birthday of the famous French food connoisseur, Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who is famous for a book about food, according to the event website.
John Maruskin first held the event at the Clark County library in 2007.
“It was really neat because I think the Clark County Public Library is listed with places like, you know, places in France, and Italy, Switzerland,” he said. “So one of our staff members ... said ‘Oh let’s do that in April,’ so we decided we’d give it another try in April. And then when this came up, the One Book One Bluegrass thing, it became sort of like a nice fit.”
The first scheduled event is for Tuesday, April 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., when Brook and Barb Elliott, authors of “Hiking Kentucky,” will give a look into the history of Kentucky hiking trails and will go over basic planning for day hikes. Books2Eat is scheduled for Saturday, April 7, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. My Appalachian Trail, a reading from members of the Write Local group, is scheduled for April 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. The hike at Lower Howard’s Creek is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to noon.
All events require prior registration except My Appalachian Trail and the hike at Lower Howard’s Creek. For a full list of One Book One Bluegrass events, or to register for an event, visit the library, 370 S. Burns Ave., or call 744-5661.
“It helps us promote the natural wonders that we have in Kentucky and getting in touch with those,” Julie Maruskin said. “It’s not just about the library, it’s about using the library as a way to examine your whole community and the state.”
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