On the Same Page
Northampton, It's Summertime,
Time to Get Reading
Residents of Northampton are invited to join together this summer and fall for a community reading of “Water Witches,” a novel by Vermont author Chris Bohjalian.
The community-wide book reading program is similar to those organized in many cities and towns around the country. Northampton On the Same Page is supported by a state grant and by funds provided by the Northampton 350th Anniversary Committee, as well as by the Friends of Forbes Library and the Friends of Lilly Library.
The goal is to promote a sense of community and communication among the citizenry by encouraging a large number of residents to read and discuss a single book.
The Bohjalian book was selected from a long list of possible choices by a committee that has been meeting, reading and debating for nearly a year.
In making its choice, committee members considered novels dealing with regional issues, the overarching theme of community, availability in a paperback version, appropriateness for a range of age groups, and a possible visit by the author.
“Water Witches” deals largely with issues of the environment involving a ski resort in Vermont with a subtext about a group of women dowsers.
Copies of the Bohjalian book are available in substantial numbers for circulating from both Forbes and Lilly libraries and on sale at various bookstores in the community.
A score of venues have been selected that will provide space for small groups to discuss the novel during several weeks in the fall.
On Oct. 12, Bohjalian will visit Northampton and participate in a discussion of his book during an evening appearance at Northampton High School.
Among those involved in developing the Northampton on the Same Page program are Nancy Felton and Roxie Mack from the Broadside Bookshop, Jeff Krauth from Beyond Words, Lucy Hartry, who is a member of the Northampton School Committee, Chris Nolan, a librarian at JFK Middle School, director Martine Hargreaves and Charlotte Carver from Lilly Library, Blaise Bisaillon, former director of Forbes Library and his successor, Janet Moulding, Tom Riddell from Smith College, Marjorie Hess from the city’s Human Rights Commission, and Ed Shanahan of Bookends in Florence.
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