Readers begin talks about latest community reading effort

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 February 2015 at 12:00 am

‘We Are Called To Rise’ gets strong reviews

Photos by Tom Rivers – Margaret French leads a book discussion on Monday evening at the Yates Community Library.

LYNDONVILLE – Each winter for the past 13 years book lovers in Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties have read the same book and met to discuss issues raised in the novels.

“A Tale for Three Counties” culminates with a visit by the author in each of the three counties in late March. The book discussions have started, with Yates Community Free Library hosting the first one in Orleans County on Monday.

The readers gave a strong endorsement to “We Are Called To Rise,” a book by Laura McBride. She will be in the area from March 26-28 for book discussions, including March 27 at 7 p.m. at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina.

McBride’s book focuses on an immigrant boy whose family struggles to assimilate. A woman wrestles with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A wounded soldier also recovers from an injury.

These are some of the themes and characters in the book, which is available at local libraries and bookstores.

“We were amazed by the book,” said Emily Cebula, director at Yates Community Library.

Members of ‘The Renegade Readers’ meet on Monday to discuss the latest Tale for Three Counties. Yates Community Library Director Emily Cebula is at left and Jason Smith, Lyndonville Central School superintendent, is in the back corner.

Despite the heavy themes and tragedies early in the book, Cebula said McBride has a hopeful message at the end.

Additonal book discussions in Orleans County are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17 at Hoag Library in Albion; 1 p.m. Monday, March 2 at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina; and 7 p.m. Monday, March 2 at Community Free Library
in Holley.

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Cebula and other members of the Renegade Readers have been meeting monthly for 6 ½ years to discuss books. Usually the dozen members don’t pick the same book. They may pick an author or genre. When they meet they share in a potluck and may recommend books they’ve read.

“It keeps it lively,” Cebula said.

Jackie Reynolds enjoys the format, where the readers aren’t committed to the same book.

“I like the other people’s suggestions,” she said. “It might be for books I’d never read.”