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Calvin Joins One Book, One County Effort
January 3, 2005

Calvin College is one of seven local organizations joining forces on the third annual "One Book, One County" reading initiative. The program encourages all adults and young adults in Kent County to read and discuss the same book at the same time.

The book chosen for this year's "One Book, One County" effort is Plainsong, the award-winning novel by Kent Haruf.

Patterned after successful One Book, One City programs in Seattle and Chicago, the primary goal of One Book, One County is to promote a life-long love of reading and to highlight the importance of literature in peoples' lives. Countywide book discussions are intended to provide an opportunity to build a sense of community, as neighbors, friends, and family gather to discuss the book as a shared activity.

Resource guides, available free of charge, provide discussion questions, facts and resources for related topics that are key to the story. The guide, say organizers of the project, is a useful tool for anyone interested in leading or attending a book discussion group on Plainsong. The resource guides are available at all participating libraries and bookstores, as well as on the One Book, One County website at

The program is sponsored by the Kent District Library, Grand Rapids Public Library, Cedar Springs Public Library, Sparta Township Library, Schuler Books and Music, the Humanities Council and Calvin.

Both The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times selected Plainsong as a Notable Book of the Year in 1999 and Plainsong has been translated into nine languages since its release. Haruf grew up on the high plains of northeastern Colorado, the son of a Methodist minister. In addition to Plainsong, he is the author of The Tie That Binds (1984), Where You Once Belonged (1990) and Eventide (2004), a follow-up to Plainsong.

Readers will have the opportunity to meet Haruf at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 22 at the Calvin College Fine Arts Center. There will be limited seating with free tickets available at any library in Kent County, both locations of Schuler Books & Music and at the "Life Journey with Books" event, sponsored by the Humanities Council. Tickets are not available at the Calvin Box Office.