One Community, One Book: Here’s your assignment for Morristown festival

On your marks, get set…read!

Providence, by Flanders resident Lisa Colozza Coccahas been named the featured book for One Community, One Book, by the Morristown Festival of Books.

one community, one book, morristown festival of books, logo, 2014The idea is for everyone across Morris County to read Providence, discuss it, and then bring questions and comments to the author’s talk and panel discussion at the Festival, on Sept. 27, 2014.

A preview of the novel and the One Community campaign is scheduled for June 12 at the Harding Kemmerer Library, from 4 pm to 6 pm. Refreshments will be served, and the book can be purchased there and at The Bookworm in Bernardsville.

The new Morristown Festival of Books kicks off on Sept. 26 with a presentation by William D. Cohan, whose book The Price of Silence investigates the Duke University lacrosse scandal of 2006. Admission is $20 to that event, at the Mayo Performing Arts Center.

All talks on Sept. 27–a roster of 20 authors will be announced soon–are free. Venues include St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the parish house at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, the Morristown & Township Library, the Mayo Center Starlight Room and the Vail Mansion lawn.

Lisa Colazza Cocca, author of 'Providence.' Photo:

Lisa Colazza Cocca, author of ‘Providence.’ Photo:

Providence was chosen for the One Community campaign because of its broad appeal, organizers said. Students of middle school age and higher are encouraged to participate.

The novel “touches on loss and abandonment, the challenges of the elderly and keeping small communities vibrant,” according to a statement from the Festival team.

“As a member of the sandwich generation, I can easily relate to the multi-generation aspects of Providence and believe others will as well,” said Kim Armstrong, a Roxbury resident who co-chairs the One Community committee.

The term “sandwich generation” refers to adults sandwiched between caring for the needs of their parents and raising their own children.

Noting that New Jersey is celebrating its 350th anniversary, Festival organizers said they were eager to promote home-grown talent.

“In this inaugural year, the Morristown Festival of Books is excited to celebrate a local author, whose connection to the Morristown area will strengthen our sense of being part of the same community of readers and writers,” said Morristown resident Michele Russo, the other co-chair of One Community.

'Providence' by Mt. Olive author Lisa Colozza Cocca, has been chosen to the 'One Community, One Book' campaign.

‘Providence’ by Mt. Olive author Lisa Colozza Cocca, has been chosen for the ‘One Community, One Book’ campaign by the Morristown Festival of Books.

Lisa Colozza Cocca is a freelance writer and editor whose nonfiction titles for children and young adults include Reconstruction and the Aftermath of the Civil War, Marquis de Lafayette: Fighting for America’s Freedom, and the Understanding Graphs series.

So far, officials in Morristown, Florham Park and Netcong have issued proclamations urging residents to read Providence as part of the One Community, One Book initiative, according to organizers.  Area librarians also have expressed support.

Providence should be available in many libraries across Morris County, and several book clubs have indicated plans to add it to their reading lists, Festival organizers said.

“The mission is to encourage curiosity, dialogue and discovery by engaging community book groups, high school students and teachers, library patrons and the public at large in discussions using a single book, which appeals to a diverse readership,” their statement elaborated.

Inspired by the Savannah Book Festival, this autumn’s bookfest in Morristown is meant “to celebrate the power of the written word to challenge, transport and transform us, while bringing together our community in conversation,” said Chairwoman Linda Hellstrom.





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