Those who resolve to read more in the coming year can get a little help in the form of accountability thanks to the Inyo County Community Reads program.
Community Reads aims to encourage literacy by selecting one book for everyone in the county to read, from the school-aged to retired, and everyone in between.
This year’s Community Reads Program is unique because Inyo and Mono counties are teaming up and have invited a celebrity author to speak about what’s been called his empowering true story.
This year, Inyo County Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer has selected “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston as the one book everyone in Inyo County should read this year. Ralston’s autobiography reached number three on the New York Times non-fiction best seller’s list.
“This book selection celebrates our two-county mountain culture,” McAteer said.
Ralston’s story of courage is familiar to many as it was recreated in 2010 as the blockbuster film “127 Hours” starring James Franco.
“Between a Rock and a Hard Place” tells Ralston’s story of a 2003 canyoneering trip in Utah. During his solo expedition, Ralston was literally stuck between a rock and a hard spot when a boulder above him dislodged, landing onhis arm.
With only a limited supply of water and his video camera, Ralston was forced to amputate his own right arm, then hike out of the canyon to survive.
“The exciting aspect to the 2012 Community Reads Program is that the author, Aron Ralston, will be in town on March 6 to speak to the public and school children about the book and his mountaineering adventures,” McAteer said.
In addition to the talks by Ralston, the Inyo County Superintendent of School’s Office said there will be a number of events to celebrate the Community Reads Program. Those events will be announced in a community-wide post-card mailing in early January.
All residents are invited to the kick-off event scheduled for Friday, Jan. 27 at Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop.
The Inyo County Community Reads Program has grown since its inception three years ago, with hundreds of students and their families participating alongside residents who are just looking for a good book to get lost in or provide compelling themes upon which to reflect.
Past book selections have included “Farewell to Manzanar,” by Jeanne Houston, “The Other Side of the Mountain” about Olympic ski champion and Bishop local Jill Kinmont Boothe and “Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.