Malden Reads: The Vote is in

Photo of the cover for A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.
Photo of the cover for A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.

The Malden Reads Committee had been deliberating for a while on the next book for the people of Malden to read. In the final voting, there were three books to choose from, which were A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction by Patrick J. Kennedy, Stephen Fried, Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years In Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates, and, finally, A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman. 

On October 26th, 2016, the Malden Reads Committee met up to discuss the book chosen for 2017, which was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

The book follows an old man named Ove who is seen as a cranky, sad, and overall, a bad neighbor, but throughout the story the reader can finds more about him and see what happens when a couple with two young girls move in next to him.

The committee is made up of Martha Bezzat, Erga Dormevil, Linda L. Zalk, Jodie Zalk, Ron Cox, Caron Guigli, Anne D’urso-Rose, and Sue Carr.

When asked why this was the book chosen for the year Dormevil says that she says she thinks that this choice is “important because there are so many negative things going on in the world right now and we need some good which [she feels] the book brings.”

She also mentions how it “touches on struggle and shows the importance of reaching out to people when you need it and bringing people together to celebrate that.” Zalk also adds to this saying that “there are many activities that can be done to reflect this book,” which is something that they made sure to have in mind when deciding.

The committee is extremely happy with this book and says that the decision was unanimous. It was the runner-up to the book chosen last year, so they are happy to finally be able to share it with everyone.

When asked about the other finalists for this year, D’urso-Rose, the co-facilitator for Malden Reads, and also associate director of Malden Access Television, says that “each book had its strengths, but they just weren’t the right fit for the community,” and that this book just “hit all of the right notes.”

Carr also added on saying that she feels that “there is something for everyone in this book,” which wasn’t really prominent in the other books.

Throughout the meeting, the committee was brainstorming promotional strategies for this cycle of Malden Reads. They mentioned the designing of flyers to maybe having a float in an upcoming parade. It is easy to see how much effort this committee puts into organizing everything since they were even discussing what type of font should go on the flyer.

One of the first things the group did was to come up with the themes of the book and which ones they would use to promote the book. Some of the themes discussed were “importance of community, grieving of loss, personal growth, and overcoming challenges.”

If you are interested in volunteering for Malden Reads, you can go to their website here to find out how. Volunteering includes helping out at upcoming events, helping with publicity through social media, and promoting the book within the high schools.

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