Monday, January 4, 2010

One Book Unveils Rutherford County Read for 2010

One Book Community Read challenges readers of Rutherford County to join together each winter to read a chosen book. This year’s selection is the The Soloist by Steven Lopez. One Book is a collaboration of Read To Succeed, Linebaugh Library, Barnes & Noble and Middle Tennessee State University to promote reading and literacy in Rutherford County.

In his non-fiction work The Soloist, L.A. Times columnist and author Steve Lopez recounts the story of a homeless person he happened by one day, who was coaxing classical music from a tattered violin with just two strings. What began as a good idea for his column turned into a much bigger story and deeper relationship when he discovered that the ragtag soloist, Nathaniel Ayers, was a Julliard-trained musician.

The Soloist is a story of the homeless plight in America as depict in the real life circumstance of Nathaniel Ayers. It is also a tale examining the inner conflicts of those who try to ease the struggle of the homeless as seen in Lopez’s honest portrayal of himself. It’s a wise and poignant tale, sometimes funny, often heart wrenching, concerning the power of music and the struggle for personal dignity in the face of mental illness and the resulting homelessness.

Published in 2008, The Soloist is heralded by critics for its “elegant sparseness” and “humanity” as a literary work of non-fiction and is the subject of a major motion picture starring award-winning actors Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

“Every year the One Book committee challenges the community to read a book that will draw attention to an issue facing our county,” said Leslie Walker, the One Book chairperson for this winter’s read. “The Soloist tells with real empathy and insight the story of homelessness and mental illness. It also offers us a profound look at the life of people in our own community, who too often go unnoticed and unchampioned.

“The element of music in the book underscores the potential talents and inherent worth of individuals society too often discards and also the makes the story even more meaningful for a Middle Tennessee community like ours, known for its rich musical tradition.”

Read To Succeed, Linebaugh Library, Barnes and Noble and Middle Tennessee State University, in conjunction with encouraging the community to read The Soloist will be promoting an understanding of homelessness and the joys of classical music.

Interested Rutherford County readers, businesses and organizations can learn more about getting involved by joining the One Book Rutherford Facebook page or visiting the One Book Rutherford Blog at

What Is One Book of Rutherford County?

One Book is a collaborative project of Read To Succeed, Barnes & Noble, Linebaugh Library System, and MTSU, created to challenge readers in Rutherford County to join in reading the same book. The objectives of One Book are to encourage reading among adults, to demonstrate to our children the importance of reading, to unify our community through a shared experience and to highlight an issue of importance by means of a book’s theme or subject matter.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are a number of ways every person and business in Rutherford County can be involved in the One Book experience.

Individuals: Read the book and encourage your friends and family to read it too. Take part in a neighborhood discussion of the book or participate in one of the events organized by One Book. A calendar of those events will be available on the One Book blog at the One Book Rutherford Facebook page or at If you’re part of a book club, consider having your group read the One Book selection between now and the end of April. If you’ve already read the book, encourage those around you to share in the experience. You can also help by volunteering to join the One Book committee or making a donation at

Companies: Companies and workplaces can encourage employees and customers to take the One Book challenge and read. They can also help further the One Book cause by becoming a sponsor of the project. For more information on One Book corporate sponsorship, contact Ronni Shaw, Read To Succeed Executive Director at 738-READ.

For More on One Book and Our 2010 Selection – The Soloist:

One Book Community Read

One Book Chair: Leslie Walker


Read to Succeed

Ronni Shaw

Phone: 615/738-READ



More Online Resources and Information Available:

The One Book Rutherford Facebook page

The One Book Rutherford Blog:


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cdhall said...

The Soloist is our book choice for February. Thanks for posting the links! Looking forward to the discussion and the community events to enrich our reading experience.
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