The Big Read Blog (Archive)


July 21, 2009
Washington, DC

Founded in 1683, Orange County, New York, is home to The Orange County Library Association, which hosted a community dance, presented a concert of music by Woody Guthrie, staged a reading of the novel, and convinced local antique auto aficionados to show off their period vehicles all to celebrate John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. In total, the library and its partners hosted more than 50 events for more than 1,500 Empire Staters.

Big Read Chairperson Madelyn Folino had this to say about their experience with The Big Read:

The choice of The Grapes of Wrath attracted readers who felt they had missed out by not reading this classic in their youth. The scope and variety of programs appealed to them and offered an easy entry into reading and talking about the book. It was also gratifying to discuss the novel with readers to whom it obviously meant so much. We were nervous about the reaction of potential readers to the heft and seriousness of the novel, but were congratulated repeatedly on choosing a book that is so relevant to current economic conditions and international concerns.

From top: A Grapes of Wrath display hosted by a local business  in its downtown Warwick showroom; a staged reading of the novel was presented at three different Orange County locations; a marquee  invite to The Big Read Woody Guthrie concert thanks to Middletown's Paramount Theatre; Cornwall Public Library's Tea & A Classic program featured period automobiles from the Model A Club of Newburgh. (All photos courtesy of the Orange County Library Association.)


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