Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page is an annual regional reading initiative focused on promoting the simultaneous reading or listening to a selected title by those living along the upper Texas Gulf Coast.
Each year, a representative committee of librarians selects a title that has a broad appeal to adults in our communities, is recognized in authoritative and professional journals, is available in multiple formats from print to downloadable content, and preferably, is available in multiple languages. The title should also lend itself to related programming about the themes or subjects within.
The reading initiative’s goal is to encourage our communities to read the same title during the month of October in order to encourage readers to come together in discussions about it with neighbors, co-workers, friends and their families, as well as in classrooms and in libraries throughout the region. ;
About the Book
Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination. Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
About the Author - Jonathan Safran Foer
Bestselling Author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Foer is definitely a new sort of literary warrior—virtuosic, visionary, ingenious, hilarious, heartbreaking. He brings an astonishing array of firepower to the page…”-Village Voice
…astounding…tender, intricately and extravagantly plotted novel...” -The New Yorker
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the international bestseller, Everything Is Illuminated, which was published when he was only 25. Hailed as the “Debut of the decade,” and translated into 35 languages, it was named Book of the Year by The Los Angeles Times and has won numerous awards, including the Guardian First Book Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Prize. More than 1,500 people voted online for Everything Is Illuminated in the first People’s Choice Award, sponsored by JBooks.com. It was named the decade’s best work of Jewish fiction. A movie based on the book was released by Warner Independent in September 2005, starring Elijah Wood as Jonathan Safran Foer, Eugene Hutz as Alex, with Peter Saraf as producer and Liev Schreiber directing.
His second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, went straight onto national and international bestseller lists. It received the "Literature for Life Award," the Victoria and Albert Museum Award, and the Prix des libraries du Quebec, and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC prize. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has also been optioned for film by Scott Rudin Productions in conjunction with Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures.
Over the course of 2006, Mr. Foer visited animal farms across the country – from small, family-run organic farms, to factory farms that produce more waste than Los Angeles – in an effort to get at the most fundamental question about food, which is not “Can this be eaten?” but “Should this be eaten?” He documented his road adventure and the ecological crisis he observed in a nonfiction book called Eating Animals which was an instant New York Times and international bestseller. In 2010 he was included on The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list of the best young writers in the US.
He is currently at work on an edition of the Haggadah which it sure to have everyone talking.
Mr. Foer lives in Brooklyn, New York.