A collaborative project of Flower Memorial Library, Jefferson Community College and North Country Public Radio

Shared Reading,
Shared Conversation,
Shared Community

A one-community, one-book project for the North Country

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North Country Reads Partners

We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our funders and friends:

  • Flower Memorial Library
  • Jefferson Community College
  • North Country Public Radio
  • Henry Keep Home
  • Watertown Daily Times
  • Verizon
  • Northern New York Community Foundation
  • Ronald McDonald House Children's Charities
  • Bernier, Carr & Associates
  • Pratt Northam Foundation
  • New York State Senate, via Senator James W. Wright
  • Public Funds were generously provided via The New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, managed by the North Country Library System in 2007 and the St. Lawrence County Arts Council in 2008

James O’Donnell, President of the Board of Trustees, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern New York, Inc., Susan Sweeney Smith, NCPR, Rosanne Weir and Karen Freeman, JCC, Maxine Quigg, North Country Reads Co-Chair, in front, Ronald McDonald

Check reflects a grant to purchase books for high school students around the region and also supports some of the author's expenses for the 2008 NC Reads Book: The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber.

Dear Friends of North Country Reads:

We are pleased to announce that renowned author Chris Bohjalian is our featured author and his most recent work, Skeletons At the Feast, is our book selection for 2009. Chris Bohjalian is the author of 11 previous novels, and in every work he has tackled serious ethical, moral and social issues that challenge his characters and his readers. Two of his prior works were made into successful TV movies.

Skeletons at the Feast was inspired in part by an actual diary a friend asked Bohjalian to read in 1998; it had been kept by his friend's East Prussian grandmother from 1920 to 1945. The historical novel takes place during the final six months of WWII and follows the evacuation of the Emmerich family from their estate in East Prussia. Their journey takes them through familiar and devastated countryside and they come to the full realization of the horrors and atrocities of their countrymen. The perspective of German families within Nazi territory adds much to our understanding of that time and the effects of war on everyday people. The group's efforts to survive and maintain human decency in the face of events completely beyond individual control creates a page-turning read. Skeletons at the Feast's focus on those displaced by the war--soldiers, prisoners, families and communities--has a great deal of appeal for today's world.

Our grant funds have pretty well been depleted and thus it is not going to be possible for us to distribute the book for free this year. Every library in the North Country Library System will get a copy of the book early in February. We will do one major event in each of the three counties: Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence. They will all be school-based events, at Jefferson Community College, Lowville Academy and Ogdensburg City School District. These events will be complemented by several public book readings and author presentations. All events are free and open to the public.

Your friends, group or book club are welcome to participate and we hope that by giving you such advance notice that you can begin to make other arrangements for securing books or planning travel costs.

Visit our tentative schedule for North Country Reads 2009 events. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us in person or listen via the live broadcast of Readers and Writers on the Air on Thursday, April 2 at 7 pm.

Stay in touch with us at North Country Reads (ncreads@ncpr.org) as together we celebrate literature and reading.


Susan Sweeney Smith
Executive Committee, North Country Reads


© 2008 North Country Reads, Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601
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