Missouri River Regional Library announced Wednesday that the 12th annual Capital READ title is "The End of Your Life Book Club," a New York Times-bestselling memoir by Will Schwalbe.
Schwalbe will speak at the library at 7 p.m. Sept. 28.
"Great literature has the power to unite people from all walks of life. That's what I enjoy most about our community read, the act of bringing people together to discuss one book," MRRL Director Claudia Schoonover said in a news release.
In addition to the author's visit, she said the library will develop some programs related to the book for the beginning of September.
She didn't have specifics, but said she and staff will be brainstorming soon. "There will be a bent towards reading and its impact on lives," Schoonover said.
The Capital READ book will also count for two books read in the library's summer reading program for adults.
She said reading is "obviously near and dear to this author's heart," given Schwalbe's bibliography. He was at the Unbound Book Festival in April in Columbia, where MRRL reference and adult programming librarian Madeline Matson contacted him.
The description provided of the 352-page "The End of Your Life Book Club" reads: "During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time — and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us."
After the 2012 release of "The End of Your Life Book Club," Schwalbe also wrote "Books for Living," published last December. He is also a coauthor with David Shipley of "SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better."
Though there are many program name iterations of the "one community, one book to read" concept, Schoonover said Nancy Pearl, a Seattle librarian, came up with the concept in the 1990s and it became popular in the library world in the early 2000s.
Schoonover started Jefferson City's version in 2006, when she was a reference librarian and established the Capital READ program locally. The first book then was "Montana 1948," by Larry Watson, a novel about a conflict between family loyalty and justice.
"I think it's grown in popularity," she said of the Capital READ program.