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What’s Falmouth Reading 2008


What's Falmouth Reading and Falmouth Academy presented Jay Allison, author of This I Believe. This event was held at Falmouth Academy.

The What's Falmouth Reading Committee selected This I Believe edited by local resident Jay Allison and Dan Gediman as the 2008 community read. This book is based on a series created in 1951 by Edward R. Murrow. He felt that Americans and their values were being challenged as never before and he wanted a vehicle “to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.” He urged people to express a single theme from their personal philosophy in essay form and then broadcast it over the airwaves. Allison and Gediman reinstituted the series in 2005 because they sensed a similar need today.

The subtitle of the book is The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women and it features essays from both the 1950 series and from the contemporary series. Many of these essays are by well-known people but there are also many by everyday folks such as the piece entitled Be Cool to the Pizza Dude by Sarah Adams. The book is currently being released in paperback by Henry Holt and Company.

The committee hopes the book will engage its readers in a community dialogue about what is important. At least 10 Falmouth residents already have essays posted online on the THIS I BELIEVE website.

Programs, including a presentation by Jay Allison, will take place in late winter and more information about them will be available soon.

Contacts for more information:

Jill Erickson, Falmouth Public Library

Marsha Hahn Zafiriou

This I Believe Essay writing workshop led by Jamie Cat Callan.

What are the central tenets you live your life by?
What do you truly believe in with all your heart?
What if you were asked to articulate your most deeply felt truths? What would you say?

Jamie Cat Callan will lead us in a writing workshop to explore and discover our individual ideals and truths in this special one-session writing workshop to launch Falmouth's town wide read of the new edition of This I Believe. Come share your stories, learn essay-writing techniques, make friends and write your very own 500-word "This I Believe" essay.
DATE: Saturday, February 23 TIME: 2-4 pm LOCATION: Highfield
For more information, contact Jill Erickson, 508-457-2555

Here are some places to help you think about this year's book:

The website for the radio show that started it all!www.thisibelieve.org

Jay Allison’s web site:www.jayallison.com

Publisher’s Weekly interview with Jay Allison.

Falmouth Residents Who Have Already Contributed Essays to the This I Believe website:

Christopher, Falmouth The Rope That Ties Me To the Natural World
Dennis Downey, Falmouth We Never Go Away
Sandro, Falmouth This I Believe
Geralyn, East Falmouth This I Believe
Emily, East Falmouth I Believe In Heaven
Elias, East Falmouth A Few Years Ago…
Ed, West Falmouth This I Believe
Michaela, North Falmouth I Believe In Messy Bathrooms
Jonathan, East Falmouth Where is heaven?
Jennifer, Falmouth I believe in my best friend Patti
Richard, Falmouth I believe in the power of the garden.
Lauren, East Falmouth I believe that everyone has a story to tell.
Elizabeth, Woods Hole I believe that in our current academic envirnonment…
Jim, Woods Hole I believe in integrals.
Andrew, Woods Hole This I believe

Reviews of This I Believe:

New York Times

The Rutland Herald

Library Journal
(October 1, 2006; 0-8050-8087-2; 978-0-8050-8087-2)

In an age of disinformation, spin, and lies, NPR's This I Believe comes as a source of refreshment and useful disquiet. NPR revived this 1950s radio series quite recently, and this collection (not complete at the time of review) draws transcripts from both the original series and its newer version, including some remarkable statements from the likes of dancer/choreographer Martha Graham, autistic academic Temple Grandin, writer and physicist Alan Lightman, novelist and social critic Thomas Mann, economic historian Arnold Toynbee, and feminist writer Rebecca West. Astonishing to hear and astonishing to read and reread, this work is a wonderful addition to any library.

(September 1, 2006; 0-8050-8087-2; 978-0-8050-8087-2)

National Public Radio listeners have been moved to tears by the personal essays that constitute the series This I Believe. Created in 1951 with Edward Murrow as host, the sometimes funny, often profound, and always compelling series has been revived, according to host Jay Allison, because, once again, matters of belief divide our country and the world. Oral historian Studs Terkel kicks things off, and 80 personal credos follow. Essays from the original series are interleaved with contemporary essays (selected from more than 11,000 submissions) to create a resounding chorus. English professor Sara Adams avers that one should be cool to the pizza delivery dude. John McCain states, I believe in honor, faith, and service. Iranian-born writer Azar Nafisi writes, I believe in empathy. Jackie Robinson said, I believe in the goodness of a free society. Rick Moody believes in the absolute and unlimited liberty of reading. Appendixes offer guidelines and resources because the urge to write such declarations is contagious, and schools and libraries have been coordinating This I Believe programs, which we believe is a righteous endeavor. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2006 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
(August 14, 2006; 0-8050-8087-2; 978-0-8050-8087-2)

In the 1950s, the Edward R. Murrow-hosted radio program This I Believe prompted Americans to briefly explain their most cherished beliefs, be they religious or purely pragmatic. Since the program's 2005 renaissance as a weekly NPR segment, Allison (the host) and Gediman (the executive producer) have collected some of the best essays from This I Believe then and now. "Your personal credo" is what Allison calls it in the book's introduction, noting that today's program is distinguished from the 1950s version in soliciting submissions from ordinary Americans from all walks of life. These make up some of the book's most powerful and memorable moments, from the surgeon whose illiterate mother changed his early life with faith and a library card to the English professor whose poetry helped him process a traumatic childhood event. And in one of the book's most unusual essays, a Burmese immigrant confides that he believes in feeding monkeys on his birthday because a Buddhist monk once prophesied that if he followed this ritual, his family would prosper. There are luminaries here, too, including Gloria Steinem, Warren Christopher, Helen Keller, Isabel Allende, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Updike and (most surprisingly, considering the book's more liberal bent) Newt Gingrich. This feast of ruminations is a treat for any reader. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

What's Falmouth Reading?

2007 What's Falmouth Reading Book: The Curious incident of the dog in the night-time, by Mark Haddon.
2006 What's Falmouth Reading Book: Mountains beyond mountains, by Tracy Kidder.
2005 What's Falmouth Reading Book: The Color of water, by James McBride.
2004 What's Falmouth Reading Book: 1984, by George Orwell.
2003 What's Falmouth Reading Book: To kill a mockingbird, by Harper Lee.