Truckee sits down with a good book | SierraSun.com

Truckee sits down with a good book

Renee Shadforth

It all started in Washington in 1998 with “If All of Seattle Reads the Same Book.” The Washington Center for the Book started the program to broaden the appreciation of literature through reading and discussion by encouraging the entire city to read the same book, “The Sweet Hereafter,” by Russell Banks.

In the last few years the concept spread like wildfire to cities like Chicago, Rochester, N.Y., Boise, Idaho and more.

Now it’s Truckee’s turn.

“We live in a region that appreciates culture, books and the library,” said Ruth Hall, president of Friends of the Truckee Library. “It’s a real community spirit event.”

Truckee Reads, an event sponsored by Friends of the Library and the Bookshelf, will encourage the town to read “Snow Mountain Passage,” by James D. Houston.

The work of historical fiction centers on the Donner Party’s journey to the California territory.

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Truckee Reads will culminate into a weekend of events featuring the author and panel discussions. Hall said she also has activities in the works for Truckee students.

“[The book] should give a new perspective on area history,” said Lydia Sparksworthy, manager of the Bookshelf.

Cannibalism, which is usually a main feature in stories about the Donner Party, is not a main feature of “Snow Mountain Passage,” she added.

“A lot of research went into this book,” Sparksworthy said.

Because the novel is historical fiction, she said she expects some history buffs to stand up during panel discussions and refute some parts of the book.

“It should be interesting,” she said.

“Snow Mountain Passage” is available at the Bookshelf in Truckee for 15 percent off the cover price.

Several copies of the novel will also be available at the Truckee Library. For more information on Truckee Reads, or to volunteer for the event, call 582-0515 or 582-7846.