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Everyone's Doing It

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If you read one book this spring, the Kansas City, Missouri, Public Library hopes that it's Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. That's the title selected for this year's Big Read, an annual effort to stimulate the community through several weeks' worth of events centered on a single piece of literature. "All of our Big Read selections are intended to make for quality conversation, and this one is no different," says Big Read coordinator Paul Smith. Published in 1980, the novel details the deaths, disasters, pleasures and love experienced by an Idaho family over three generations and leaves readers pondering. "I have gone back and read the last 10 to 15 pages of this novel several times now, and I'm still getting my head around it," Smith says. Housekeeping is a longtime favorite of Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michael Dirda, who shares his thoughts during the 6:30 p.m. Big Read kickoff at the library's Central Branch (14 West 10th Street, 816-701-3407). May 12 brings Robinson herself to the Plaza Branch (4801 Main, 816-701-3407). Other Big Read activities between now and then include readings on KKFI 90.1, an interactive webcast, discussions, and a screening of the 1987 movie version. See kcbigread.org for a complete schedule of events.
Tue., April 6, 6 p.m., 2010

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