Sunday, February 1, 2009

About The Soloist

Did you enjoy January's Book of the Month selection? I did--I'm a big fan of Bill Bryson to begin with but I thought the Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid was particularly charming.

Our February Book of the Month selection is equally compelling but in an entirely different way. It's The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music, by Steve Lopez. This nonfiction title is based on LA Times columnist Lopez’s newspaper articles about musician Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, whom he met on LA’s Skid Row. Ayers studied at Juilliard before developing schizophrenia and spending decades on the streets. It's an inspiring story of music and friendship, as well as a compelling examination of homelessness, mental illness, public policy, and race in America. A movie based on the book starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jaime Foxx is expected to debut this spring.

The Soloist is also the featured title for On the Same Page, our annual community reading event. On the Same Page has been going strong for eight years--it's one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the country! In conjunction with the program, book discussions and special events will be taking place all over the city throughout February and March. I'll highlight a selection of them in upcoming posts but be sure to check the On the Same Page website for the complete list.

Happy reading!

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