Cast your vote for the 2021 One Book, One Valley community read.

Drag and drop or use the arrow buttons to place the books in order from your most preferred book to your least preferred.

MOST PREFERRED

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

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The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome County have to scrape for everything—except for books. Thanks to the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome has a traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. Cussy is both a book woman, and the last of her kind, a skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. To bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she confronts a prejudice as old as the Appalachians and suspicion as deep as the holler. Themes: the joys of books and libraries; literacy; prejudice; poverty; mining; the Great Depression in rural America; and the power of the written word.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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After World War II, Cyril Conroy acquires the Dutch House as a surprise for his wife, unaware it would be the undoing of everything he loves. Spanning five decades, the story explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a haunting past. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force delving into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, and how we see ourselves. Themes: Family dynamics; finding forgiveness; architecture; the history of Pennsylvania Dutch communities; art history and the Golden Age of Dutch painting.

Running with Sherman: the donkey with the heart of a hero by Christopher McDougall

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A heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America, and, in the process, discovering the life-changing power of the human-animal connection. Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run, rescues an ailing donkey from an animal hoarder and goes on to train with him for a burro race—a unique race where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days. Themes: animals and the joys of caring for them; running events; the Leadville, Colorado burro race; and the spirit of finding the best version of ourselves.

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

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Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander survives a car accident but finds his language and memory altered, now in an unfamiliar world. He begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with help from a cast of affable and curious locals, including the father and the wife of a disappeared man. Then, into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who might just hold the key to reviving their town. Themes: small town life and the search for viability; kites and kite-making; classic movies; vintage movie theaters; intergenerational relationships; and fishing.

LEAST PREFERRED