Published On: Mon, Feb 1st, 2016

Bringing Boca Together, One Book At A Time

By: Alyssa Lamp

The Boca Raton Public Library invites the City of Boca’s citizens to join its first community reading experience—One Book Boca—One Book Bocaby reading the book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, by J.K. Rowling. The book was selected by the library staff as part of the Boca Raton Public Library’s 2016 Civic Engagement theme for its inspirational message and the deeper questions of what it means to live a good life in our modern world.

 “Very Good Lives” is an illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech, which asks the questions:How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better ourselves and others?

Oyuki Poletz, the Program Services Librarian says, “We are excited to bring a shared reading experience to the community of Boca Raton. Last Monday, Mayor Susan Haynie presented the library with a proclamation that February 2016 is One Book Boca Month, encouraging all residents to read and participate in this annual program. The book chosen by library staff is Very Good Lives: the Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling. It is a quick enjoyable read for all ages, and its inspirational themes will stimulate discussion and foster community.”

The Library will be having two different discussions: moderated and teen book discussion. The moderated community discussion will join FAU’s creative writing professor, A. Papatya Buckak, to discuss the book on February 26th at 7:00pm at the Downtown Library. Refreshments will be served.

Poletz adds, “This is the first time the BRPL has planned a community wide reading event, we titled it One Book Boca. We appreciate the Mayor and the City Council’s support of the library and its initiative of One Book Boca because it encourages reading and community conversation.  The quote from the Washington Post says it best, “the idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.”’

At the teen book discussion, teens can view the speech and discuss Rowling’s book, and create their own idea board with tips on how to follow their dreams. Teens will also have the opportunity to share their thoughts in short video clips. It will be at the Downtown Library on February 4 at 6:00 p.m. or the Spanish River Library on February 8 at 4:15 p.m.

Very Good Lives Interactive Display: Visit the “advice board” at both libraries beginning on January 25 for the opportunity to give (and take) advice on living a very good life.

The Boca Raton Public Libraries offer both print and eBook versions of Very Good Lives available for check-out for library cardholders. A discussion study guide for schools, book clubs and individuals will be available at the libraries and

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  1. Under the pen name of Dylan Weiss I have published “Sebastian’s Tale.” This political allegory tells the story of the destruction of Pennsylvania from fracking as told through the experiences of delightful woodland animal characters. Their journey and challenges mirror what is happening in many states struggling to make the difficult but all important transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Florida is now under siege and the fight begins in your state. Learn from what has happened to Pennsylvania. This fantasy adventure has elements of comedy and tragedy, universal themes and controversy. “Sebastian’s Tale,” available in paperback through Amazon and for Kindle download promises to promote lively discussion and even debate within the classroom, in bookclubs and around the dinner table. Please consider “Sebastian’s Tale” by Dylan Weiss as one of your selections. The author is available at no charge to join in the discussion. Thank You, Gail Neustadt AKA Dylan Weiss

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