September 9 through October 25, 2019
This fall, the Pequannock Township Public Library, Lincoln Park Public Library, and Riverdale Public Library are excited to announce the One Book Community Read event. One Book Community Read is a simple idea designed to foster a sense of community by bringing people together through literature.
We selected the book, Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel because we believe it can serve as a springboard for discussing how listening can be used to bridge divides. One big idea from the book comes from this quote: “when you see everyone as your equal and your teacher, the world becomes an astonishing place.”
Andrew Forsthoefel headed out the back door of his home in Pennsylvania with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read “Walking to Listen.” Over the course of a year he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers. On the surface, the book is an adventure story. Not far beneath, however, it’s a rich inquiry into the experience of being human in this time and place. How do we grow up in America today? What is our understanding of adulthood, and what are the means by which we come of age?
Andrew Forsthoefel is a speaker, peace activist, and the author of the book Walking to Listen. After graduating from Middlebury College, he spent a year walking across the highways of America, an apprentice to the discipline of listening. His narrative work has appeared on This American Life and The Moth, and he teaches trustworthy listening as a practice in reconciliation, personal transformation, and peace-making. Livingtolisten.com is the online home for his work, and he lives in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.