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Library Topics: Results of ‘The Great American Read’


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“The Great American Read” was an eight-part television series from PBS that celebrated the power of reading by exploring one hundred of America’s best-loved novels that were decided via a national survey. It investigated how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how the readers are affected by these stories, and what these different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. The series culminated with the results being announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book with a list ranging from long-standing classics to modern pleasures. From “Don Quixote” to “Harry Potter” , “Catcher in the Rye” and “Charlotte’s Web”, the one hundred was pared down to the number one choice of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

This coming-of-age tale told during the Great Depression in the deep South had been lauded for the way it addresses difficult topics such as racial intolerance and injustice and class and gender roles through the eyes of young Scout as she watches her father, the lawyer Atticus Finch, defend a black man accused of rape. To find out why this novel was chosen as number one in the nation, you can read it from the Roswell Public Library in formats including large print, downloadable audio as well as on CD and eBook, or check out one of the many other favorites on the Great American Read list.

For more information, you can call 575-622-7101, visit 301 N. Pennsylvania, find the website at http://roswell-nm.gov/405/ and like us on Facebook and Instagram @RPLnm.

Book Talk by Bianca Cheney, YA/AV Librarian

Research proves that the happiest people in the world live in Denmark. Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, has written his second book, “The Little Book of Lykke” (LOO-ka), sharing the secrets of happy people around the globe. Research for this book was conducted in international coffee shops, studying people’s smiles. Causes and effects of human happiness are explored at the institute, and results are presented to people for improving one’s quality of life. Wiking’s first book, “The Little Book of Hygge”, shared secrets of happy Danish people.

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The first thing to know is how happiness is measured.

While most people think certain things will make them happy — money, love, health — Mr. Wiking goes into great detail explaining that these may be true and yet they are not the ONLY way to be happy. The intention of the book is to take you treasure-hunting in pursuit of the good in the world and then help it to spread. Just because Denmark is the happiest country in the world doesn’t mean that everything there is perfect.

There are six factors affecting happiness in people: sense of community, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness. Happiness comes from how we perceive our lives; it’s subjective, which makes it difficult to study. The author tells funny stories about his traveling adventures and shows us why some places are happier than others. Did you know in Denmark it is okay to leave your sleeping child in their stroller outside the café while you are inside having a cup of coffee? This is because Danes are trustworthy and don’t worry about someone taking their child (or their bike).

Pick up this great little book — you don’t have to read it cover to cover, just pick a section and get happy! There are pictures, happiness tips, graphs, and comparisons of similar situations across the globe. Both of Wiking’s books can be found in the Adult Non-fiction section of the library.

Weekly Calendar of Events at the Library
Wednesday, November 21
Preschool Library Program: Thanksgiving
10 a.m.
Thursday, November 22
Friday, November 23

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