Since 2011, our community has been coming together around a single book. It takes the form of an annual literary celebration called One Book One Valley, and it has led us on some amazing journeys.
We welcome you to take part in this tremendous opportunity to celebrate literacy, storytelling and civic dialogue through the shared reading of a single title.
The votes are in! The winning title for 2024 is The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. Physical copies of the book are now available for checkout at the Library’s first floor service desk — stop by to pick yours up! Digital and audiobook formats are also available via the Library catalog. Start reading and prepare for all the great programs in January!
About the book: In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly thirty years later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he survived by his wits and courage, breaking into nearby cottages to take what he needed and haunting a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.
A New York Times bestseller, The Stranger in the Woods is based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, and is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life. Why did he leave? What did he learn? The gripping story of survival asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life. As one reviewer noted, “Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction.”
Ready to check out One Book One Valley events? The January calendar is full of programs designed to present a different perspective about solitude, a prominent theme of the book.
- Alone in a Crowd: Rachel Vickers on Experiencing Homelessness — January 8, in person & online
- Seeking Wisdom in Extremes: A Conversation with Bob Kull — January 11, online
- Incarceration, Solitude, & Hope: Michael Clifton’s Journey — January 15, in person & online
- The Logistics of Saving Lives in the Rocky Mountains — January 17, in person
- Intentional Solitude & Silence: Purpose & Practice with Erik Stensland — January 18, in person & online
- The Stranger in the Woods Book Discussion — January 21, in person & online
- Thriving in the Winter Wilderness: Staying Warm & Happy When Winter Hiking & Camping with Ryan Jordan — January 22, in person
- An Evening with Author Michael Finkel — January 24, in person & online (keynote event)
- The Stranger in the Woods Book Discussion — January 29, in person & online
- Alone: Solitude or Isolation? A Living Room Conversation — January 31, in person & online
One Book One Valley is made possible through the generous donors of the Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation.
Thanks also goes to our “One Book” committee, which over the past decade has been composed of Library staff, Friends & Foundation board members, and book-loving community volunteers.