Milton Reads 2020: ‘Voyage of Mercy’
Voyage of Mercy, by Stephen Puleo, is Milton Library’s selection for Milton Reads 2020. Now in its tenth year, the town-wide reading initiative creates a shared cultural activity by exploring one book together as a community. This year, the Milton Public Library is excited to partner with the Forbes House Museum to create an even deeper Milton Reads experience.
Virtual programs and events begin in May and will continue throughout the year, starting on Monday, May 12 at 6:30pm with an online book discussion led by Library Director Will Adamczyk, and followed by an online event on Wednesday, May 20 at 7pm with Stephen Puleo, the award-winning historian and author of popular histories, such as Dark Tide, about Boston’s tragic molasses disaster in 1919.
Voyage of Mercy: the USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission, is a compelling story of tragedy, initiative, generosity, and hope. And it is a story with a strong connection to the town of Milton.
“This engaging book describes how shipping magnate Robert Bennet Forbes of Milton harnessed his wealth and influence to provide humanitarian support to Ireland during the Great Hunger, the famine in 1847,” explains Library Director Will Adamczyk. “In selecting Voyage of Mercy, Milton Reads looks forward to bringing the community together in conversation about the themes of this story, which are still relevant today.”
Voyage of Mercy tells how the American warship USS Jamestown, stripped of its weapons, sailed from Boston in March 1847 with food, clothing and supplies for the people of Cork, Ireland. The mission became America’s first international relief, establishing an everlasting connection between Boston and Ireland and spawning a commitment to national generosity and humanitarian outreach.
“The Milton Reads initiative and Puleo’s inspiring story seem particularly suited to the time we find ourselves in right now. We hope that the virtual programs we’ve planned with the library will help the community connect with one another in a meaningful way despite our physical distancing,” says Forbes House Executive Director Heidi Vaughan.
Electronic editions of Voyage of Mercy are available now, and hard copies of the book will be available to check out when the Milton Library reopens, or in the interim, through an online bookstore.
Milton Reads 2020 is sponsored by Friends of the Milton Library.
Register for these programs:
Tuesday, May 12th @ 6:30pm – Join Library Director Will Adamczyk to discuss ‘Voyage of Mercy’
Wednesday, May 20th @ 7:00pm – Join author Stephen Puleo for a discussion of his book ‘Voyage of Mercy’
Milton Reads 2019 Announcement
HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, the award-winning libretto of the hit musical Hamilton, is Milton Library’s selection for Milton Reads 2019.
HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION includes the complete libretto (the text of the show), behind-the-scenes photos and interviews, and exclusive footnotes from creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
”This book is like a backstage pass to the groundbreaking show,” explains library director William Adamczyk. “In selecting HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, Milton Reads looks forward to bringing the community together to share ideas and passions for this groundbreaking work, this revolutionary take on a revolutionary time, the history, and the performing arts.”
The musical Hamilton weaves together important events in America’s history with contemporary art forms, fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and a multi-cultural cast. It is as revolutionary a production as its subject, Alexander Hamilton, a poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. The musical won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Copies of HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION and recordings of the show are available to check out now from the Milton Public Library. Programs and events will take place in March and April. Look for the announcements at the library and at miltonlibrary.org. Happy Reading!
Milton Reads 2019 is sponsored by Friends of the Milton Library.
Amor Towles Event Wows Audience
Close to 500 people flocked to the Milton High School auditorium Wednesday night to hear Amor Towles, author of the bestselling novel, A Gentleman in Moscow. The event was a capstone to Milton Reads, a cultural initiative, now in its seventh year, that encourages the community to read a book together. There was a line out the door by 4:30pm as readers queued up to have their books autographed.
A Gentleman in Moscow tells the tale of a man, a count, exiled within the confines of the Metropol Hotel by the authorities after the Bolshevik revolution. His freedoms and finances severely curtailed, the count adapts to his new life under limited circumstances with grace and creativity.
Mr. Towles explained that the idea came to him from attending a professional conference. He was staying in a hotel and, looking around, saw the same people from the year before and wondered what life would be like for someone restricted to living there for an extended period of time. One thought led to another, and eventually the book was born. It has been on the NY Times bestseller list for over a year.
“We were thrilled to have Mr Towles come and speak to the book that has thrilled us this year,” said Will Adamczyk, the director of the Milton Public Library.
“It was a wonderful event. The Milton Reads committee thanks the Library Foundation, the Friends of the Milton Public Library, and Mr. Towles for making this happen.”
Towles began his talk with a history of the Metropol Hotel, a grand Moscow hotel built in the early 1900s and the events that flowed around it and through it over the years. It was a fascinating talk laced with humor and little-known facts. After his talk, Towles took questions from the audience which revealed, among other things, that he followed a strict regimen of writing a chapter a week and that Moby Dick, War and Peace, and 100 Years of Solitude, are three of his favorite books.
One attendee remarked, “I have been to numerous author events, and I think this was the best.”
Meet Amor Towles
Milton Reads 2018
A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, the best seller by Amor Towles, has been selected for Milton Reads 2018. The book has been on The New York Times Best Seller list for 55 weeks.
Called “transfixing” by The Washington Post and “Irresistable” by the Oprah magazine, the book was selected by public vote.
Set in 1922, A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW tells the story of a Russian aristocrat forced by a Bolshevik tribunal to live under house arrest for more than thirty years. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat, he must now live in an attic room of the grand Metropol hotel, while some of the most tumultuous times in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. His reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of personal discovery.
“Hundreds voted, and this terrific book is the clear winner,” says Milton Library Director William Adamczyk. “We are excited about it and all the related programming around it.”
Milton Reads 2018: One Book; One Town is the popular town-wide reading initiative now in its 8th year. Milton Reads brings the community together in a shared cultural activity: reading the same book!
Events and activities for adults, children, and families are part of Milton Reads and will take place during the Spring. Among these will be cultural events, book discussions, and the ever-popular trivia night!
Milton Reads is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Library.
About Milton Reads
Milton Reads is an annual program offered by the Library and sponsored by the Friends of the Library to promote a community conversation around a shared reading experience.
Milton Reads includes books discussions, lectures, movies and other programs. Beginning in 2015, Milton Reads has been held during the month of March.
Beginning in 2016, the Milton Reads book has been chosen by the community. The Milton Reads committee chooses a short list of titles, using suggestions from the public, and puts the finalists up to a vote.
- 2018 – A Gentleman in Moscow
- 2017 – Agent Zigzag
- 2016 – Dead Wake
- 2015 – The Boys in the Boat
- 2014 – Sherlock Holmes
- 2013 – The Gardner Heist
- 2012 – To Kill A Mockingbird