Tale proves an enduring winter highlight for local readers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 March 2013 at 12:00 am
Author Peter Troy

Photo by Tom Rivers – Peter Troy, author of “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You,” discusses his book at Hoag Library in Albion on March 8, part of a three-day visit in the area. About 100 people attended the author talk in Albion. Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties have organized “A Tale for Three Counties” the past 11 years, the second-longest running program of its kind in the state.

ALBION – The meeting room was packed with nearly 100 people to hear author Peter Troy discuss his novel, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You.” The big crowd for the March 8 event at Hoag Library shows just how popular “A Tale for Three Counties” has become.

The community reading project is a partnership among 19 public libraries in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, as well as Genesee Community College and other sponsors. The program just wrapped up its 11th year, the second-longest community reading project in the state and 10th longest in the country, said Susan Rudnicky, library director at Hoag.

Other communities will pick a book to read, but the author typically doesn’t join for a discussion. With the “Tale,” Troy and past authors meet with readers in Batavia, Perry and Albion or Medina. (The Tale discussion in Orleans County used to be at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina, but Albion’s new public library now can accommodate a big crowd. The two libraries expect to take turn hosting the event in the future.)

“It has a really loyal following at this point,” said Catherine Cooper, Lee-Whedon library director. “Meeting the author adds a dimension and enriches the experience.”

The program has expanded from its infancy to a partnership with GCC, where 21 classes read the book. Troy praised the three counties for putting on such a vibrant program.

“You can’t beat this,” he told the crowd at Albion.

Author Peter Troy

Photo by Tom Rivers – Peter Troy, author of “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You,” signs a copy of the book for 10-year-old Megan Smith during an author visit March 8 at Hoag Library in Albion. Megan is the daughter of Jason Smith, superintendent of the Lyndonville school district.

The Tale committee tries to pick up-and-coming authors. Troy’s debut novel is set in the Civil War and tells the story of an Irish immigrant named Ethan, a photographer and soldier. Other characters include a refined Spanish woman and two slaves.

Tom Zangerle of Medina has read all 11 Tale books since the 2003 debut of “Peace like a River.”

“I absolutely look forward to it every year,” he said. “Everybody has time on those dull gray days of winter to sit down and read a book.”