Long Beach Chooses “One Book” for 2011: Listening is an Act of Love

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Listening is an Act of Love - Book Week

Long Beach will read Listening is an Act of Love for Book Week in April.

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation committee of community representatives has selected Listening Is An Act of Love by Dave Isay for the 2011 book week selection. The 10th Anniversary of Long Beach Reads One Book will take place April 1-10, and the committee is working on dozens of activities that will take place all around the City.

Long Beach Reads One Book, which began in 2002, engages the city by encouraging everyone in the community to read the same book and discuss it in a variety of venues and formats. All Long Beach area residents, including high school and college students, senior citizens, book clubs, elementary school students will have an opportunity to get involved.  The Long Beach Public Library Foundation coordinates this multi-faceted program, which includes participation by dozens of Long Beach organization partners.

About the Book Week Selection: Four years ago, StoryCorps set out to record an oral history of America with the voices of everyday people. Listening is an Act of Love is a collection of the most compelling excerpts from more than 10,000 interviews recorded, compiled by StoryCorps founder Isay (Flophouse), a radio documentary producer and MacArthur fellow. And they are compelling. Each one captures a moment in time—historical, emotional or personal—that make us who we are.

“Dave Isay’s vision of collecting the everyday stories of Americans is so simple and yet so powerful. Listening Is an Act of Love will make you laugh, cry and think. These stories come from the souls of individual Americans. Collectively, they are who we are as a people. You cannot read this book without feeling proud of your country.”
-Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley

As simple stories of humanity, each one has its own potency, with themes of family, love, dedication and struggle. In one of the most emotionally wrought stories, a father sits down with his daughter and remembers her late mother and older brother, who both died of cancer within months of each other. To gather the stories, StoryCorps provides a facility, recording equipment and a facilitator, then waits for people to invite loved ones, friends, grandparents to sit down for a 40-minute session. A copy of the tape is filed in the Library of Congress, and parts have aired on NPR.

As Isay says, “I realized how many people among us feel completely invisible, believe their lives don’t matter, and fear they’ll someday be forgotten.”

If you would like to participate in Long Beach Reads One Book by holding a Book Week activity/event contact the Long Beach Public Library Foundation by emailing: lbpl.foundation@charter.net

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